O the Deep, Deep Love of Jesus!

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This is a powerful, moving hymn about the depth and beauty of God's great love. A very emotional and personal text, this song can help us comprehend "what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled up to all the fullness of God." (Ephesians 3:18-19) In verse 1, the vastness, fullness, and envelopment of God's love is explored, while in verse 2 God's love is tied specifically to the work of Jesus on our behalf and the praise that work brings forth from believers. In conclusion, we sing the most amazing thought, that God's love is a "heaven of heavens" to me, as if to say that God's love is so far beyond any other love that it is a heaven's-measure above all.

Lyrics

             (Show Original Wordings)
O the deep, deep love of Jesus!
Vast, unmeasured, boundless, free!
Rolling as a mighty ocean
In its fullness over me!
Underneath me, all around me,
Is the current of Your love
Leading onward, leading homeward
To Your glorious rest above!

O the deep, deep love of Jesus!
Spread His praise from shore to shore,
How His love is never-ending,
And it changes nevermore;
How He watches o'er His loved ones,
Died to call them all His own;
How for them He's interceding,
Watching o'er them from the throne.

O the deep, deep love of Jesus!
Love of ev'ry love the best:
'Tis an ocean vast of blessing,
'Tis a haven sweet of rest.
O the deep, deep love of Jesus!
'Tis a heav'n of heav'ns to me;
And it lifts me up to glory,
With You evermore to be.

Words by Samuel Francis (1834-1925). Music by David L. Ward.
© 2004 ThousandTongues.org, admin by Thousand Tongues

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I love this song! Following is something I wrote for my blog a while ago about this song....

Current of God's Love
I woke up this morning thinking about the time almost 28 years ago now, when my husband and I were stationed (Army) in the Republic of Panama ( yea, I know, hard life)
My husband and I, with another couple and their 2 year old son, took a weekend vacation to a small little resort on the Pacific side of the Isthmus to a place called Mu Mu Cottages at Santa Clara Beach. It was absolutely beautiful! The ocean was magnificent! I had never before seen or have since seen the ocean as beautiful as it was there.
We had a great weekend of friends, and food and relaxing! AND… I had an adventure that I will never forget.

The waters were fairly rough but as a 23 year old girl, who apparently thought she was immortal, I wasn’t afraid to go into the tumultuous waters! Our friend’s 2 year old son was in a small inner tube (no such thing as arm floaties yet) in this HUGE ocean, just kicking his little feet like crazy… We were all having a wonderful time, jumping the waves etc.

SUDDENLY, I found myself without control being flipped and tossed by the water. I was doing somersaults, not of my own accord, but by the water tossing me… My head kept hitting the bottom of the ocean floor as I kept getting flipped and tossed around. I remember trying to get myself out of the situation but I was helpless, I just resigned myself to go with the “flow” of the water’s current. I started taking in water and had that brief moment of realizing I was probably going to drown when all of a sudden it seemed like the ocean spit me out and I was on shore. I was very shaken up… My friends and husband all ran over to me as did others on the shore at the time . I had been caught in an undertow!
No one could get to me to help me out. My hair was beaded with sand, there were sand particles imbedded in my scalp. I really was so tossed around! I was not a Christian at the time, but I knew I had experienced a miracle. I truly could have drowned!

Since that time the Holy Spirit has given to me a new heart, one that loves and follows Jesus.
One day I heard the following hymn and it reminded me of the time I was caught in the undertow:

O the deep, deep love of Jesus,Vast, unmeasured, boundless, free!Rolling as a mighty ocean,In its fullness over me;Underneath me, all around me,Is the current of Thy love;Leading onward, leading homeward,To my glorious rest above.
by Samuel Trevor Francis, 1875

As I heard that song I recalled that time I was caught in the undertow. There was water all around me. As I was twirling and flipping around in the water there wasn’t a part of me that didn’t have water in and around me! And that is how it is with God’s love! When God effectively calls his children and draws them to himself we are “caught” in the current of His love! We are surrounded by it! It is over us, under us, around us, in us… we are completely consumed by God’s love in Christ Jesus! God’s love for his church isn’t something that comes and goes it surrounds every part of us always… It isn’t something that we always “feel” but the truth of the matter is God’s love is always there… it is steadfast, never failing.

My prayer for all my readers this morning is this, taken from the book of Ephesians:
Ephesians 3:17-19 English Standard Version (ESV)
So that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith--that you, being rooted and grounded in love, 18may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, 19and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.
May God grant to you an ever increased awareness of His great love for you. As you are are caught up in the current of God’s love may Jesus Christ be your only treasure!
» Diane on October 29th, 2006

Diane,

Thanks for sharing that amazing story. It reminds me that while God is beautiful and majestic He is at the same time terrifyingly powerful, like the ocean. I am so thankful that Jesus absorbed the power and wrath of God for sin at Calvary, making it possible to come before Him with joy and confidence instead of fear.
» David on October 29th, 2006

Hey, This is a very interesting re-do of this song. I've never heard it sung to this melody. The actually prefer the original version, but the song nevertheless has amazing words. My fiance and I are actually using it as one of the worship songs in our wedding ceremony this saturday!
» Griffin on November 14th, 2006

One of my favorite hymns, yet one that I feel I've but comprehended so little. I remember clearly the first time I ever heard this song. It was at the Sunday morning service at Grace Church in Roanoke, Virginia in September of 1972. I was 19 at the time, and had known the Lord just about four years. Few, if any other hymns, were so strongly imbedded in my mind the first time I heard it.

Of course, nothing must be put on the same level as the inspired word of God. But nevertheless, God be thanked for the power of our great hymns of the faith.
» Robert A. Longo on January 13th, 2007

@David: Beautiful melody. I like reformedpraise's version a lot.

@Diane: Great story.
» JC on June 11th, 2007

Thanks for the full words of this hymn. The first words came to me as I prepared a meditation on the Luke stories of lost sheep, coin and son and I had to search for them on the net. I must have heard them years ago and the memory emerged.Great story here too. It's the very core of the Gospel and sends us out to do the same.
» Richard on September 14th, 2007

I was in a very abusive marriage over twenty years ago. I was raw with devastation and, although a strong believer felt God had left me. It had been a long night and I was raw with emtions of hopelessness and defeat. I had been driving earlier that week running an errand and I heaard the melody of this hymn on the radio and it struck me so deeply I began to weep. There were no words but the melody took hold of me as if I was to be captured and contained in the melodious rolling melody. I said to myself "I wonder if there on any words to this song, and then I thought to myself, I am not sure there are words that would justify the splendor of melody. I left things with that thought and later that week a friend handed me a tape at the church saying, the Lord wanted me to give this to you. I said thanks and put it in my purse. So on the awful day when things were so terrible I wanted to give up I decided I needed to take my pillow and sleeping bag and spend the night on the floor in my office as things on the homefront were too bad. I drove by a liquor store and thought may be I will get a bottle of something and just drink my pain away. But I drove on to the office bleary eyed tired and crying, saying to the Lord, "Why dont you love me?" That night, there I was hiding in my little office, thinking about my hopeless life and I noticed the tape in my purse so I put it in. All of a sudden the song began...It was like heaven opened over me as the beautiful words came forth pulsating deeper and deeper into my soul carrying me away to a place with Jesus I have never been. Weeping with joy and captured and lifted as rolls of the waves of the sea I was carrried and held in the depthless matchless love of God. I shall never forget it. I shall always hold it sacred. It was my Jesus entering into the dungeon of my life and making me whole. Did my life change after that experience? No, not until years later but he left me a cross to carry and called upon me to follow Him further still. And that is what I did. I am on the other side of that cross now for He has done great things for me. O the depths and riches of His boundless love...
» Karen Wells on October 5th, 2007

[...] Oh the Deep, Deep, Love of Jesus [...]
I had been a Christian for seven years and was serving in Nigeria at Vom Christian Hosptial. One of the Drs. leading the singing at the Bible Study sang this tune and I thought it was the most beautiful Hymn I had ever heard. It was to be brought back to me a year later as I was fighting for my life during the delivery of our fourth child. I had - Amneotic Fluid Embolism - something only my brillant Dr. with a photographic memory, had read about. I had lost so much blood, but, I could hear my workmates as they worked on me until I lost concious-ness. Most of all, despite the excruiating pain, these words and tune washed around me, calming me. This had been going on for hours until finally I had cardiac arrest. I was fortunate enough to have dedicated doctors who worked on me for 2 1/2 hours. This hymn still has this affect on me 32 years later as I marvel at what Jesus Christ has done for me and everyone who believes. Yes, my son lived.
» Pat Rathbone on July 1st, 2008

I really like this version a lot! In fact, we are trying to learn it at my church. Is there any way I could get my hands on the sheet music for it? I have the lead sheet, but is there a way I can get something with the bottom notes on it?

Thanks!
» Dan on November 15th, 2008

Praise the King of kings!!!
» Luke Veazey on February 21st, 2009

I will echo Dan on this one.
Does anyone know where I get the sheet music for this particular arrangement?

Thanks,

Garry
» Garry on August 28th, 2009

I am so thankful for your song and testimony of God's love and I am so thankful for Jesus who is the lover and guardian of my soul ! Oh yes the deep deep love of JESUS is my sustenance !
» Anna on October 15th, 2009

I just accidentally found this song---I want to hear it all the time!
It touches my heart so much. Thanks, David!
» Deloris on January 27th, 2011

Great reworking of the melody!
» Darby Hughes on March 8th, 2011

I haven't listened to this version so I don't know if its the same as what we sang this morning at church. But there's a chorus that we sang in between verses. The words are "O the deep deep love of Jesus! All I need and trust is the deep deep love of Jesus!" Those words have been resonating in my head all day. I'm at a point in my life where I want change. But Jesus' love for me is all I need and its what I put my trust in more than anything.
» jennifer on December 12th, 2011

Jennifer, you're referring to another version of this hymn text, by Bob Kauflin of Sovereign Grace Ministries. You can listen to it here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2f1bcJopx54
Great song!
» David Ward on December 12th, 2011

Wow, Karen. You wrote this five years ago and I am just now reading about your experience. Thank you. I am rejoicing in what God has done for you as I am reminded of the ways He has likewise broken through my times of darkness with His irrepressible light. May you - and I - continue to find your haven of rest in Him.
» Gayle on August 26th, 2012