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Do I love him? And as I thought about that question this week, a song came to mind. It's actually an old hymn and the name of the hymn in English is Jesus' Priceless Treasure. But it was originally written in German in the 1600s.
Johann Frank is the author. And so I looked it up and I read it and I thought, oh, what a beautiful hymn. And then I realized, wait a minute, I speak German. Well, yeah, I thought, you know, I want to take a look at this hymn in the original language because, and when I did, oh man, there's so much in it that could just help us treasure him. And I wanted to kind of use that as a springboard today. How's that sound?
Well, I knew as soon as you said old in German, I guess from the 1600s and it's in German, I'm thinking James Banks is all over this one. And then it has to do with treasure. This is a natural. So yes, we're ready. You win our appetite. So here's the way the hymn goes in English. And I'll just, we'll just kind of work our way through it verse by verse. Jesus, priceless treasure, source of purest pleasure, friend, most sure and true, long my heart was burning, fainting much and yearning, thirsting, Lord, for you. Yours, I am a spotless lamb. So will I let nothing hide you, seek no joy besides you.
Isn't that great? I mean, it's just this heartfelt, Lord, I love you. There's nothing that matters more to me than you.
And we don't tell him that enough, do we? Oh no. And I love that last line.
I kind of, it's challenging, right? You know, nothing more than my joy in you. Wow.
Yeah, yeah. And the German is really interesting because it refers to him as the lamb of God and as my bridegroom. So there's all this tender language there. In English we have spotless lamb, but you know, the bridegroom language as well shows how, you know, how dear to our hearts Jesus needs to be. So the next part talks about running to Jesus for comfort and for protection.
And that's something we can do, right? I mean, something that we can tell him, Lord, I love you because you protect me. I treasure you.
And here's the way it goes in English. Let your arms enfold me. Those who try to wound me cannot reach me here. Though the earth be shaking, every heart be quaking, Jesus calms my fear.
Fires may flash and thunder crash. Yea, though sin and hell assail me, Jesus will not fail me. That gets an amen, doesn't it? Oh, I love that.
I love that. It's kind of like the story of the ego can look into the sun. It's the same idea because, you know, as we get close to Jesus, nothing can come after us.
Yeah, yeah. And I've got to tell you again, though, in the German, this is even better because what it says, instead of Jesus will not fail me, is that Jesus covers me. Jesus will cover me. And I just love the visual imagery of our Savior, you know, standing over us and protecting us. And when it speaks of lightning crash, you know, lightning flashing and all of that, in German, just listen to this.
All of this is lightning and lightning. But I love that, you know, that idea of covering, you know, is our whole problem ever since, you know, Adam did what he did, we've been naked. And so that's the deal. He really, really does cover us, so that's just amazing. We're covered by his blood and all the more reason to treasure him for what he did for us at the cross, right? So then it goes on, hence all worldly treasure. Jesus is my pleasure. Jesus is my choice.
And man, there's a lot in that. Jesus is my pleasure. There's more, think about that, there's more pleasure in knowing him and being free from sin because of him than anything this world has to offer. So, you know, it's like the end of the 16th Psalm, right? Where it says, you know, at his right hand are pleasures forevermore. And there it is, right, it really is.
Yeah, yeah. And he goes on in the third verse to talk more about nothing shall move me, nothing shall tear me from Jesus, nothing shall separate me from his love. And, you know, that's, again, something to just praise him for. And again, as we wrap up today, I'd like us to focus in on that thought of Jesus as our purest pleasure, because you see that in the hymn in English, here's the last verse. Banish thoughts of sadness for the Lord of gladness Jesus enters in. Though the clouds may gather, those who love the Savior still have peace within. Though I bear much sorrow here, still in you lies purest pleasure, Jesus' priceless treasure. I think of Augustine's words that, you know, our hearts are restless until they rest in you. And, you know, again, just that sense of the pleasure that we have in Jesus, all that he is, all that he's done, all our God has done for us through his Son, all the Holy Spirit has done for us as the very presence of Jesus with us. Oh, we need to treasure him and lift him up as we go through this season, because then man will especially be blessed. Oh, well, you want me to wrap it up with a prayer?
It seemed like the thing to do. I think we're about that time. Yeah, go for it. Let's do it. Jesus, I love, love, love that purest pleasure as we are so bombarded with impurity at this time of year, Lord. Help us to be pure in our pleasure in you, Lord. Help us to gain that perspective and help us to truly treasure your purity and your joy this season. In Jesus' name I pray. Amen. You can hear more from Pastor James by visiting his website, jamesbanks.org, or by visiting Peace Church in Durham, North Carolina. May God bless you and encourage you as you pray.
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