Posted by: rcottrill | February 19, 2016

Ho, Everyone That Is Thirsty in Spirit

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Words: Lucy Jane Rider Meyer (b. Sept. 9, 1849; d. Mar. 16, 1922)
Music: Lucy Jane Rider Meyer

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Note: Lucy Rider, later Mrs. Meyer, was a busy pastor’s wife, and an educator. She was also an author and publisher, with several hymns to her credit, including the passionate He Was Not Willing That Any Should Perish. She wrote a hymn about that text (II Pet. 3:9) in 1884. The present song is based on an Old Testament text.

No cost to you, no payment required. It’s free! That’s the pitch. But we’ve learned to be cynical. We look for a catch. Scam artists use the word “free” as a come-on, and further down the line you may find you must part with a lot of money.

“Win a free iPhone,” the advertising may proclaim. Be careful. Obligations you are asked to agree to may be costly. “Buy one of our hamburgs, and get a second one free!” If you’ve got a friend along who wants a burger too, that’s likely a good deal, but it’s not exactly free. It’s two hamburgs offered at half price.

One time my aunt was doing grocery shopping, and the store had set up one of those tables where they give out free samples of a product, hoping it will encourage customers to buy some. As my aunt moved down an aisle, a man’s voice range out loudly. He had stopped to try a sample, and he cried, “Come and try this, Mrs. Dorey! It’s like salvation, it’s free!”

The call came from an evangelist known to many of us. Cameron Orr was an irrepressible ambassador for the Lord. For years he witnessed boldly to sailors traveling on ships that passed through the Welland Canal, in Ontario. He spoke out in situations where many of us would not have the courage to do it.

But was he right? Is God’s salvation truly free? Yes, in a way. But not exactly. Of course, someone had to pay the price. Romans 6:23 spells it out. “The wages [the just payment] of sin is death.” That’s why the Lord Jesus came to this earth. To take upon Himself the punishment for our sins. The “gospel” (the good news) is that “Christ died for our sins” (I Cor. 15:1, 3). “For Christ also suffered once for sins, the just for the unjust, that He might bring us to God” (I Pet. 3:18).

Now that the payment has been made by the Saviour, salvation is given freely to us. The Bible calls it God’s gift, received through personal faith in what Christ accomplished on Calvary. “The gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Rom. 6:23). We cannot pay for salvation with good works or anything else, or it wouldn’t be a gift. “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that [salvation is] not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast” (Eph. 2:8-9).

There’s a passage in Isaiah in which the prophet uses the imagery of the marketplace to explain what the Lord has done for us, by His grace.

“Ho! Everyone who thirsts, come to the waters; and you who have no money, come, buy and eat. Yes, come, buy wine and milk without money and without price. Why do you spend money for what is not bread, and your wages for what does not satisfy?” (Isa. 55:1-2).

It’s a picture of God’s abundance, available by His grace. So many who are spiritually needy struggle to get things that can never eternally satisfy. They pay a big price for that, while the Lord offers His best to us, freely. Jesus had the same message for the Samaritan woman by Jacob’s well: “If you knew the gift of God, and who it is who says to you, ‘Give Me a drink,’ you would have asked Him, and He would have given you living water” (Jn. 4:10).

God’s abundant riches, available without charge, for the asking. Through faith, we enjoy “the riches of His grace now,” and look forward to eternity, when the Lord will shower upon us “the exceeding riches of His grace” (Eph. 1:7; 2:7).

CH-1) Ho! every one that is thirsty in spirit,
Ho! every one that is weary and sad;
Come to the fountain, there’s fullness in Jesus,
All that you’re longing for: come and be glad!

“I will pour water on him that is thirsty,
I will pour floods upon the dry ground;
Open your hearts for the gifts I am bringing;
While ye are seeking Me, I will be found.”

CH-2) Child of the world, are you tired of your bondage?
Weary of earth joys, so false, so untrue?
Thirsting for God and His fullness of blessing?
List to the promise, a message for you!

CH-3) Child of the kingdom, be filled with the Spirit!
Nothing but “fullness” thy longing can meet;
’Tis the endument for life and for service;
Thine is the promise, so certain, so sweet.

1) Why do human beings struggle with the concept of grace, wanting instead to do something to earn God’s salvation?

2) What feelings to you have as you consider salvation is yours freely, by God’s grace?

Wordwise Hymns
The Cyber Hymnal


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