Day 2 – October 20, 2015 – Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing – http://shereadstruth.com/2014/11/11/come-thou-fount/
Scripture for this study – PSALM 16:1-11, ROMANS 5:6-11, 7:21-25, 1 SAMUEL 7:12
Psalm 16 English Standard Version (ESV)
16 Preserve me, O God, for in you I take refuge.
2 I say to the Lord, “You are my Lord;
I have no good apart from you.”
3 As for the saints in the land, they are the excellent ones,
in whom is all my delight.
4 The sorrows of those who run after another god shall multiply;
their drink offerings of blood I will not pour out
or take their names on my lips.
5 The Lord is my chosen portion and my cup;
you hold my lot.
6 The lines have fallen for me in pleasant places;
indeed, I have a beautiful inheritance.
7 I bless the Lord who gives me counsel;
in the night also my heart instructs me.
8 I have set the Lord always before me;
because he is at my right hand, I shall not be shaken.
9 Therefore my heart is glad, and my whole being rejoices;
my flesh also dwells secure.
10 For you will not abandon my soul to Sheol,
or let your holy one see corruption.
11 You make known to me the path of life;
in your presence there is fullness of joy;
at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.
Romans 5:6-11English Standard Version (ESV)
6 For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly.7 For one will scarcely die for a righteous person—though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die— 8 but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. 9 Since, therefore, we have now been justified by his blood, much more shall we be saved by him from the wrath of God. 10 For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by his life. 11 More than that, we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation.
Romans 7:21-25 English Standard Version (ESV)
21 So I find it to be a law that when I want to do right, evil lies close at hand. 22 For I delight in the law of God, in my inner being, 23 but I see in my members another law waging war against the law of my mind and making me captive to the law of sin that dwells in my members.24 Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death?25 Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, I myself serve the law of God with my mind, but with my flesh I serve the law of sin.
1 Samuel 7:12 English Standard Version (ESV)
12 Then Samuel took a stone and set it up between Mizpah and Shen and called its name Ebenezer; for he said, “Till now the Lord has helped us.”
1 Samuel 7:12 Amplified Bible (AMP)
12 Then Samuel took a stone and set it between Mizpah and Shen, and he named it Ebenezer (stone of help), saying, “Thus far the Lord has helped us.”
We can take refuge in the Lord – clinging to Him. We can say “I have NO GOOD apart from you.” Knowing that God is with us, and is our Helper (I Sam. 7:12), we can be content, in Him. Following Him is a conscious decision (I take refuge, my chosen portion, I bless the Lord, I have set the Lord always before me, my whole being rejoices – Psalm 16), not dependent upon circumstances, but on the knowledge that HE IS THERE! The Psalmist declared that as a result, his life was steady, and at rest (the lines have fallen for me in pleasant places, I have a beautiful inheritance, I bless the Lord, my heart instructs me, I shall not be shaken, my heart is glad, my whole being rejoices, You make known to me the path of life, in Your presence there is fullness and joy….- Psalm 16)
Paul, in Romans, declares that Christ died for the ungodly – (just at the right time…. Hmmm – refers back to the passage from yesterday Romans 3:25-26). God shows His love by sending His Son for us, to die for us, WHILE we were still sinners! We didn’t have to earn this, or be good enough! It is through Christ’s death that we have reconciliation – to be brought back into a right relationship with God.
The difficulty in all this is that while we may WANT to do the right things, the inner man in us is at war with the decision to follow Christ wholeheartedly. As is way in Romans 7:21, ‘Evil lies close at hand.” Even if we “delight in the Law of God, in my inner being”, we are at war in the law of our own minds – making us captive to the law of sin. This is the battle that we wage daily. To know the right – and to do it! BUT – THANKS BE TO GOD THROUGH JESUS CHRIST OUR LORD! (Romans 7:25). With Christ’s death, we have the victory!
Finally, we can look back at all those times that God has helped us, and say – “Ebenezer – thus far the Lord has helped us.” I need CONCRETE reminders of God’s help in the past. Whether it is a journal entry, or a photo, or a rock, I need those daily reminders of God’s help in the past.
Hymn Reflection –
“Come, thou Fount of every blessing, tune my heart to sing thy grace.” – Oh, Lord, just as my piano needs tuning to play correctly, to be pleasing to the ears, even more so does my heart need to be tuned. All that discordance needs to be stretched, and wound tighter around the pegs of Your Word. Father, work in my heart, so that it will sing and proclaim Your grace. Help me not to be off key, or on my own. Tune it to YOUR master word. Father, You are the master, I am the vehicle of Your works.
“Here I raise my Ebenezer, hither by thy help I’m come” I KNOW that God has helped me thus far. I need to keep remembering that – to recall those times that God was with me. In my backyard is a rock, “Ebenezer,” that my mom and dad put in their yard after his successful cancer surgery. Yes, thus far, they realized that God had helped them. When I look outside our back slider door, I see that rock. In that rock, I “see” examples of God’s provision, God’s protection, God’s presence, God’s help, and God’s love for me.
“Let thy goodness, like a fetter, bind my wandering heart to thee.” – I need God’s ever-protecting presence to dwell in me. On my own, yes, I am prone to wander, to get distracted, to concentrate on my own paltry problems. I need God’s goodness, His presence, to bind me, tie me, wrap me in His self.
“Here’s my heart, O take and seal it, seal it for they courts above” – Again, the conscious decision to follow Him. But it is also a conscious “giving over” of myself, my wants and desires, my priorities, my gifts and abilities – to Him. The sealing of it – to have God’s “stamp” on my life.
Father God, may Your stamp, Your image be pressed upon my life today. I give my heart to You – bind and seal it unto Yourself. Keep me from wandering, or from making You less of Who You are. Tune my heart, work in it so that my soul sings Your praises – in tune with Your Word. Make my words reflect Your love to others today. Thank You for all those times that You have been my Ebenezer – my help. Your presence and protection in my life have brought me to where I am today. Dwell in me, and live out Your love for others through me today.