Week 1 – Day 5 – Friday, October 23, 2015
Hebrews 4:15-16 (ESV) – 15 For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. 16 Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 (ESV) – 16 Rejoice always, 17 pray without ceasing, 18 give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.
John 15:1-11 (ESV) – 15 “I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinedresser. 2 Every branch in me that does not bear fruit he takes away, and every branch that does bear fruit he prunes, that it may bear more fruit. 3 Already you are clean because of the word that I have spoken to you. 4 Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me. 5 I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing. 6 If anyone does not abide in me he is thrown away like a branch and withers; and the branches are gathered, thrown into the fire, and burned. 7 If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. 8 By this my Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit and so prove to be my disciples. 9 As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Abide in my love. 10 If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and abide in his love.11 These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full.
Scripture Reflection –
Paul, in Hebrews 4:15-16, reminds us that Jesus, our Great High Priest is ALBE to sympathize with our weaknesses. He understands! He came to earth as a man, was tempted (just like we are), and yet did not sin. He understands, but He is also victorious! SO THEN – we can go to Him WITH CONFIDENCE – to receive grace and mercy in our times of need. We can approach Him with confidence, knowing that not only He understands, but He can also extend grace and mercy. Yes, I need Him – every hour!
I Thessalonians gives us a blueprint for life – using words like “always,” “all,” and “without ceasing.” So – these things should be a part of ALL of my life! To rejoice ALWAYS. To pray WITHOUT CEASING. To give thanks in ALL circumstances. WHY? Because this is the WILL OF GOD – For ME! It does not say “Rejoice – when you feel like it,” or “pray – once in awhile,” or even “give thanks – for just the good things in life.” Again, a conscious decision to rejoice, to pray, to give thanks. For whatever. For everything.
John’s gospel reminds us that we NEED Christ – for life itself. John’s object lesson tells us that when a branch does not bear fruit, it is pruned. The dead part is clipped off. It is not producing what it is supposed to. The branch cannot live without being attached to the vine. I have tried to root some basil – cut it off the plant outside, and put it in water. I have watched the leaves slowly curl up, and drop off. One of the branches is going limp. I wonder if it will survive off of the plant while I try to root it. It is meant to grow ON the plant. How often have I tried to grow or live apart from Christ or in my own strength? I am MEANT to bear fruit, but cannot do that apart from Christ – therefore “I need Thee every hour!”
I NEED THEE EVERY HOUR
Annie S. Hawks, 1872
I need Thee every hour, most gracious Lord;
No tender voice like Thine can peace afford.
I need Thee, O I need Thee;
Every hour I need Thee;
O bless me now, my Savior,
I come to Thee.
I need Thee every hour, stay Thou nearby;
Temptations lose their power when Thou art nigh.
I need Thee every hour, in joy or pain;
Come quickly and abide, or life is in vain.
I need Thee every hour; teach me Thy will;
And Thy rich promises in me fulfill.
I need Thee every hour, most Holy One;
O make me Thine indeed, Thou blessèd Son.
I cannot live apart from Christ’s daily presence in my life. Why? The peace He gives. The power to overcome temptation. His presence in joy or pain – whatever circumstances that life gives – makes life worth living (or else life is in vain…). He teaches me His will and FULFILLS His promises in me! I BELONG to Him! Why WOULD I want to live apart from Him? Because I cannot. I NEED Thee EVERY hour. Every moment. Of every day.
I Need Thee Every Hour – Fernando Ortega