â€œHe that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him.â€ Â Â (John 14:21)
The apostle John was known as â€œthe disciple whom Jesus lovedâ€ (e.g., John 20:2). As a matter of fact, the word â€œloveâ€ (i.e., agape love, self-sacrificing love) occurs more often in Johnâ€™s writings than in the rest of Scripture. Interestingly, it is not defined as a deep friendship, but principally as â€œobedienceâ€ to Godâ€™s commands. â€œFor this is the love of God, that we keep his commandmentsâ€ (1 John 5:3).
The final verse of the beautiful hymn â€œTake My Life and Let It Beâ€ expresses a desire to unreservedly love God, enthroning Him as King.
Take my love, my Lord, I pour
At Thy feet its treasure store.
Take myself and I will be
Ever, only, all for Thee.
â€œIf ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my loveâ€ (John 15:10). He promises to send His Holy Spirit as His guarantee of our acceptance into His love. â€œHe that keepeth his commandments dwelleth in him, and he in him. And hereby we know that he abideth in us, by the Spirit which he hath given usâ€ (1 John 3:24).
The hymnâ€™s prayer reveals a desire to fully give oneself in obedient submission to the Lord. That is perhaps the sum total of the hymnâ€™s message, that we must consecrate every aspect of our lives and being to Himâ€”our life, our time, our praise, our hands and feet, our voice and song, our worldly goods, our mind and abilities, our will, our heart, our love, and indeed our whole being. Then we will truly be â€œall for Thee.â€ JDM