William Featherston was only sixteen years old when he penned this simple but profound hymn in 1862. He had only recently given his life to Christ. This is the only hymn he wrote that we know of before his death before his twenty-seventh birthday.
How could such a young man write this deeply thoughtful hymn? The answer is simple yet very complex. When a person, young or old, come to know Christ in a real and personal way the Holy Spirit bestows a power that transcends the common. Their eyes are open to new and amazing things. See it is simple ‘cause the Holy Spirit brings the worship. However, it is complex when we allow our flesh stir up again. We allow fear, doubt and confusion to flood in and wash away the words He has given us.
Young William had come face to face with his sin and an eternity separation from God. In a life changing moment, he had trusted Jesus to forgive His sin.
He had been transformed. He had been made new. Repentance replaced sinfulness. Before that moment, Jesus had been just a name William’s heard from others. Now Jesus was his ‘Redeemer’. Realizing he was so loved by God, these beautiful words expressing his love for Jesus flowed out as worship.
Have you had that one life changing moment? Are you a “new creation”? If so, then you know the depth of His love for you is the only way you can authentically sing these words. It is because He first loved you that you can love Him.