Posted by: rcottrill | February 12, 2016

Saviour, My Heart Is Thine

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Words: original author unknown; adapted by George Coles Stebbins (b. Feb. 26, 1846; d. Oct. 6, 1945)
Music: George Coles Stebbins

Wordwise Hymns
The Cyber Hymnal (George Stebbins)

Note: Mr. Stebbins was in a unique place in hymn history. His ninety-nine years spanned two centuries. He knew many of the old hymn writers personally, and brought his knowledge of them well into the twentieth century. In his 1924 book, Reminiscences and Gospel Hymn Stories, he writes vividly of important nineteenth century figures such as Philip Bliss, William Bradbury, Fanny Crosby, James McGranahan, Daniel Whittle, and Ira Sankey, with much about evangelist Dwight L. Moody, too. He knew them all.

We likely all know what it’s like to arrive at an event, and go to seating that has been reserved for us. Or perhaps, if we live in an apartment, to have a parking space reserved for us. Reserved. In that sense, it means something has been set apart for a particular purpose, or for the use of a particular person.

The Bible has a group of words meaning the same thing. Hundreds of times, in our English Bibles, we’ll read words such as: dedicated, consecrated, hallowed, sanctified, holy, sacred, All have a similar or related meaning: separated or set apart for a particular person or purpose. Usually, the sense is that a person or thing has been set apart for God, or a godly use.

For example, in the Old Testament, the nation of Israel was commanded to “remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy [reserved for God]” (Exod. 20:8). And Moses was commanded, “You shall anoint Aaron and his sons, and consecrate them [reserve them for Me], that they may minister to Me as priests” (Exod. 30:30).

The word is applied to the Spirit of God, the third Person of the Trinity, all through the Bible. He is called the “Holy Spirit,” and God is spoken of as a “holy God” (Josh. 24:19). The meaning in this case is that God is a set-apart Being, supreme and incomparable. He is, in His righteous character, set apart from even the slightest taint of evil (I Jn. 1:5; Rev. 4:8). The Bible itself is called holy–“the Holy Scriptures” (Rom. 1:2; II Tim. 2:15). There, the sense is that that it is a unique book, set apart from all others, and that it is separated from falsehood and error (Jn. 17:17).

In the New Testament, this group of related words is applied to individuals in several important ways. We read in Hebrews that the Lord Jesus Christ “consecrated [set apart]” for human beings a “new and living way to God, by His shed blood (Heb. 10:19-22). Through faith in Him, we are forgiven and brought into fellowship with God (I Pet. 3:18), and Christ is the only way to gain this access (Jn. 3:16; 14:6).

When a person comes to Christ, he should seek to live a holy life, separated from what is sinful (II Cor. 6:17).

“As He who called you is holy [set apart from evil], you also be holy [set apart from evil] in all your conduct” (I Pet. 1:15). “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God [because of all He has done for you], that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy [set apart], acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service” (Rom. 12:1).

The Amplified Bible calls it, “your reasonable (rational, intelligent) service, and spiritual worship.” To serve the Lord is an act of worship, and it is a reasonable return for all of God’s many blessings. So we are urged to set ourselves apart for this, to be dedicated and wholly committed to it. It effect, to put ourselves, our time, talents, and treasures, at God’s disposal, made available to Him, reserved for the Master’s use.

There is a beautiful hymn about this. We do not know the original author, but George Coles Stebbins revised the words, and wrote a tune to match. His song takes its title from the opening line. An earnest prayer of Christian dedication, it says:

1) Saviour, my heart is Thine,
Keep it for me;
May every thought of mine
Glorify Thee.
Glorify Thee, glorify Thee;
May every thought of mine
Glorify Thee.

3) Saviour, my life is Thine,
Keep it for me;
May every hour of mine
Be lived for Thee.
Be lived for Thee, be lived for Thee;
May every hour of mine
Be lived for Thee.

1) What are the practical results if we say, in sincerity, “Saviour, my life is Thine”?

2) What other hymns of dedication do you know and love?

Wordwise Hymns
The Cyber Hymnal (George Stebbins)

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