Listen to the Sermon:

Download the Notes:



Into the Heart of Jesus

Are we prepared to live as we sing?

Daniel 4.27

By Don Ruhl

Last Lord’s Day we sang a song with a line that has captured my attention before, and it did again last week, and so I thought to myself, it seemed good to deliver a message on this spiritual song.

The whole song has a powerful message, but one part of the song makes a request of the Lord, that we may miss. How many times have we all sung a song without realizing what we had said in that song?

My point will be this: We should practice what we sing.

Into the Heart of Jesus

Into the heart of Jesus, deeper and deeper I go,
Seeking to know the reason why He should love me so,
Why He should stoop to lift me up from the miry clay,
Saving my soul, making me whole,
Tho’ I had wandered away.

The opening verse of this song shows the awesomeness of the love of Jesus. I search in the heart of Jesus to find a reason for His love. His love moved Him to stoop down to me, to lift me up from the miry clay. Lifting me up from the miry clay, He saved my soul, He made me whole. This in spite of the fact that I had wandered away.

We can give an intellectual explanation for why He loved us so, yet, this is more than an intellectual issue. (Like trying to explain Psa 22.1.) He loved us with His heart. Why? To say that He stooped down understates what He did. What Paul said to the Corinthian Christians even seems to understand the experience of Jesus, “…you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though He was rich, yet for your sakes He became poor, that you through His poverty might become rich” (2Co 8.9). How rich was He? He turned His back on all that for me!

Into the Will of Jesus

Into the will of Jesus, deeper and deeper I go,
Praying for grace to follow, seeking His way to know,
Bowing in full surrender low at His blessed feet,
Bidding Him take, break me and make,
Till I am molded and meet.

The second verse of this song shows the dominion of the will of Jesus. I want to go deeper into the will of Jesus. However, I pray for grace to follow Him in His will, for my will often gets in the way, or my will distracts me. I truly seek His way to know. My way matters little. His way means everything. Therefore, I bow in full surrender low at His blessed feet. I bid Him take, now this is the part that gets me, because I do not know whether I fully understand what I am saying to Him at this point, asking Him to “break me,” and make me molded just as He wants me. I am asking Him to break me.

What does it mean when I sing to the Lord to break me? And are we prepared for Him to answer our prayer? Break me from the mold I have created for myself? Break me from bad sinful habits? Break me from my mindless routines of life? Break my person? No longer am I malleable clay, but I have become hardened pottery, that He has to break, ground into dust, mix in water, and remake into malleable clay that I might be what He wants me to be. The Lord broke Peter with a look, “But Peter said, ‘Man, I do not know what you are saying!’ Immediately, while he was still speaking, the rooster crowed. And the Lord turned and looked at Peter. Then Peter remembered the word of the Lord, how He had said to him, ‘Before the rooster crows, you will deny Me three times.’ So Peter went out and wept bitterly” (Luke 22.60–62). How will He break me?

Into the Cross of Jesus

Into the cross of Jesus, deeper and deeper I go,
Following thro’ the garden, facing the dreaded foe,
Drinking the cup of sorrow, sobbing with broken heart:
“O Savior, help! Dear Savior, help!
Grace for my weakness impart.”

The third verse of this song shows our state when we are broken. I want to go deeper and deeper into the heart of Jesus, and I want to go deeper and deeper into the will of Jesus, but that all means I have to go deeper and deeper into the cross of Jesus. I want to follow Him, starting in the Garden of Gethsemane where He broke His own will, where He broke Himself. I want to follow Him, facing the dreaded foe, and that means drinking the cup of sorrow, as now my broken heart sobs. I sob to Him, “O Savior, help! Dear Savior, Help!” I make a double plea, for I am desperate. I am broken and weak, and only the Lord Jesus can remake me. He is Lord, not me. I want, I need, grace for my weakness, and I believe He will impart it, even as the Scripture says, “For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need” (Heb 4.15–16). Temptation comes, but if I ask for His mercy and His grace, He teaches that I will find them, for the Lord will not abandon me during my time of need.

The third verse shows us that this process is not necessarily pleasant. We may sorrow. We may sob. We may have broken hearts. However, when we finally plead for His help, even as the Prodigal Son became a broken man, drinking the cup of sorrow, sobbing with a broken heart that his father received him back as a mere servant, “And not many days after, the younger son gathered all together, journeyed to a far country, and there wasted his possessions with prodigal living. But when he had spent all, there arose a severe famine in that land, and he began to be in want. Then he went and joined himself to a citizen of that country, and he sent him into his fields to feed swine. And he would gladly have filled his stomach with the pods that the swine ate, and no one gave him anything. But when he came to himself, he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired servants have bread enough and to spare, and I perish with hunger! I will arise and go to my father, and will say to him, “Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you, and I am no longer worthy to be called your son. Make me like one of your hired servants.”’ And he arose and came to his father. But when he was still a great way off, his father saw him and had compassion, and ran and fell on his neck and kissed him. And the son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and in your sight, and am no longer worthy to be called your son’” (Luke 15.13–21). Great was the joy of that father. Great will be the joy when we give ourselves to Jesus.

Into the Joy of Jesus

Into the joy of Jesus, deeper and deeper I go,
Rising with Soul enraptured far from the world below;
Joy in the place of sorrow, peace in the midst of pain, “
Jesus will give, Jesus will give;
He will uphold and sustain.

The fourth verse shows the elation that Jesus gives in us. When I go deeper into the heart of Jesus, I also go deeper into the will of Jesus, and then I go deeper into the cross of Jesus. I finally discover the joy of Jesus. I want to go deeper and deeper into His joy. I leave the world behind as my soul rises enraptured, leaving the world behind. I discover that for the sorrow I had experienced, He gives me joy, and for the pain of my life, even right in the middle of it, He gives me peace. Jesus gives and He gives, as I go deeper and deeper into His life and death, and He upholds and sustains me.

Truly, sorrow and sobbing often precede peace and joy,

Those who sow in tears
Shall reap in joy.
He who continually goes forth weeping,
Bearing seed for sowing,
Shall doubtless come again with rejoicing,
Bringing his sheaves with him.
(Psa 126.5–6)

Now Jesus knew that they desired to ask Him, and He said to them, “Are you inquiring among yourselves about what I said, ‘A little while, and you will not see Me; and again a little while, and you will see Me’? Most assuredly, I say to you that you will weep and lament, but the world will rejoice; and you will be sorrowful, but your sorrow will be turned into joy. A woman, when she is in labor, has sorrow because her hour has come; but as soon as she has given birth to the child, she no longer remembers the anguish, for joy that a human being has been born into the world” (John 16.19–21).

Please think about the words of this song as you sing them. Remember especially that second verse when we ask Jesus to break us and to make us that He might mold us until we finally become as the Son of God, “For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son…” (Rom 8.29).

What does He have to do to conform us to the image of Jesus Christ? How willing are we to work with Him? We sing that we want to submit willingly to His remaking of us. The breaking does not have to be severe. It depends upon whether we work with Him or not. For example, Daniel 4 shows the Lord breaking Nebuchadnezzar. The Lord warned the king a year in advance, but the king would not listen. He had a dream of a huge tree,

“I saw in the visions of my head while on my bed, and there was a watcher, a holy one, coming down from heaven. He cried aloud and said thus:

‘Chop down the tree and cut off its branches,
Strip off its leaves and scatter its fruit.
Let the beasts get out from under it,
And the birds from its branches.
Nevertheless leave the stump and roots in the earth,
Bound with a band of iron and bronze,
In the tender grass of the field.
Let it be wet with the dew of heaven,
And let him graze with the beasts
On the grass of the earth.
Let his heart be changed from that of a man,
Let him be given the heart of a beast,
And let seven times pass over him.
This decision is by the decree of the watchers,
And the sentence by the word of the holy ones,
In order that the living may know
That the Most High rules in the kingdom of men,
Gives it to whomever He will,
And sets over it the lowest of men.”
(Dan 4.13–17)

Then Daniel gave the interpretation, that the tree represented Nebuchadnezzar; The Lord would humble him until he learned that the Lord rules. After the interpretation, Daniel spoke this words, “Therefore, O king, let my advice be acceptable to you; break off your sins by being righteous, and your iniquities by showing mercy to the poor. Perhaps there may be a lengthening of your prosperity” (Dan 4.27). Nebuchadnezzar, break yourself, for that will be far better than the Lord breaking you.

Which shall it be? Shall you break yourself? Or, Shall the Lord break you? Decide to submit yourself to the leadership and authority of Jesus, which is what we mean when we confess, “Jesus is Lord.”