Attributed to Bernard of Claivaux, 1091-1153
Translated by Ray Palmer, 1808-1887

These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy may be full.
John 15:11

This song is another of the fine hymn texts that originated during the Middle Ages. Since churchmen were among the few who could read and write in medieval times, their institutions became powerful influences in shaping the religious and cultural development of western civilizations.

In 1146 Bernard of Claivaux was commissioned to lead a second preaching crusade to the Muslims. Because of his eloquence and strong preaching, great crowds followed him. One of the conditions for those joining the crusade was a personal conversion experience--salvation. It is recorded that multitudes of men were dramatically changed through Bernard's preaching of God's Word. The crusaders carried a cross unashamedly as a symbol of their commitment to Christ and the crusade to share the gospel.

Bernard wrote a number of books, chiefly on such subjects as church government and other church-related topics. In 1858 Ray Palmer, an American Congregational preacher, translated the hymn "Jesus, Thou Joy of Loving Hearts". This hymn text aptly describes the preciousness of Christ in each believer's life.

Jesus, Thou Joy of loving hearts,
Thou Fount of life, Thou Light of men,
From the best bliss that earth imparts,
We turn unfilled to Thee again.

Thy truth unchanged hath ever stood;
Thou savest those that on Thee call;
To them that seek Thee, Thou art good;
To them that find Thee, all in all.

Our restless spirits yearn for Thee,
Wherever our changeful lot is cast;
Glad when Thy gracious smile we see,
Blessed when our faith can hold Thee fast.

O Jesus, ever with us stay,
Make all our moments calm and bright;
Chase the dark night of sin away,
Shed over the world Thy holy light.

*For Today*: John 6:35; Ephesians 2:14-18; Colossians 1:13 & 14; I Peter 1:8

Live with the awareness that even with the "best bliss that earth imparts," without an intimate awareness of Christ, life will be empty.

Music url: The Cyber Hymnal

Taken from Amazing Grace -- 366 Inspiring Hymn Stories for Daily Devotions Copyright 1990 by Kenneth W. Osbeck. Published by Kregel Publications, Grand Rapids, MI. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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