Ben Speer / Photo credit: Screen grabbed from Youtube
We’ve encountered several hymns or gospel songs describing Jesus using the word “sweet.” His name is sweet. Trusting Him is sweet. Without any doubt, He really is sweet. Now, here’s another hymn associating Jesus with the word sweet. This time, the sweetness of Jesus comes from the longevity in serving Him. It’s one of the many hymns that Bill and Gloria Gaither wrote. They called it “The Longer I Serve Him (The Sweeter He Grows)” or simply “The Longer I Serve Him.”
The hymn is quite short with only two verses and the chorus. However, those few lines radiate a very strong message about the wonder of incessantly serving Jesus. The chorus says it all.
The longer I serve Him, the sweeter He grows
The more that I love him, more love He bestows
Each day is like heaven, my hearts overflows
The longer I serve Him, the sweeter He gets.
The Beautiful and Inspiring Story Behind the Song
The moving story behind the song was as beautiful as the lyrics were. According to Bill, his grandma “Mom” Hartwell provided the inspiration for the song. It was written shortly after she passed away. Mom Hartwell, as Bill recalled, used to sing songs to God as she approached the dawn of her life. When she’s about to spend her last few moments, Bill asked her one significant question,
“Has it been worth it, serving Jesus all these years?”
Her candid response came with a lovely gleam in her brown eyes,
“Billy, the longer I serve Him, the sweeter He grows.”
With those delightful words and, undoubtedly, jubilant heart, she left. But Mom Hartwell didn’t actually leave us empty. In fact, she bestowed us a wonderful inheritance.
Here it is. Let’s listen and sing it wholeheartedly.
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Ben Speer, Bill Gaither, Gloria Gaither, The Longer I Serve Him