Posted by: rcottrill | September 5, 2018

Harboured in Jesus

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Words: Elva Fay Wallingford (b. July 24, 1912; d. July 12, 2001)
Music: Don M. Allen (b. ____, 1910; d. ____, 2010)

Links:
Wordwise Hymns (none)
The Cyber Hymnal (Fay Wallingford)
Hymnary.org (Fay Wallingford)

Note: In 1936, Fay Wallingford wrote a gospel song, called Harboured in Jesus, which speaks to the personal and individual safety we have in Christ. We know little about the author, other than she lived in Los Angeles. A bit of nostalgia: On the copy of the song I have before me, I see my father’s notes for using it with our church choir, October 27, 1957. He was our organist and choir director.

A harbour is a port or haven for ships. The term comes from the Old English word herebeorg, meaning lodgings or a shelter. The Port of Shanghai, on the Yangtze River is the largest harbour in the world. It annually receives and docks about 140,000 ships.

Think of some of the uses of a port. Ships come to bring people home, or take them to their home. Or perhaps they bring those traveling on vacation. Or they come for commercial purposes, to deliver cargo, or pick up cargo. They may come for military reasons, to defend the harbour, or for medical reasons, to help out in a time of epidemic. And when a severe storm threatens, a ship may seek the refuge of a safe shelter.

Some of those purposes are represented in the Bible. In Genesis, elderly Jacob prophesies concerning the future of his sons–who became the heads of tribes in Israel. “Zebulun shall dwell by the haven of the sea,” Jacob says, “he shall become a haven for ships” (Gen. 49:13). And Psalm 107 speaks of how the Lord protects those who sail the seas: “He calms the storm, so that its waves are still….So He guides them to their desired haven” (vs. 29-30).

In the book of Acts, the Apostle Paul is arrested, and sent by ship to Rome to be tried. The author describes the journey, and the ports of call along the way. At one point he says, “We came to a place called Fair Havens [good harbours], near the city of Lasea (Acts 27:8). “And because the harbour was not suitable to winter in, the majority advised to set sail from there also, if by any means they could reach Phoenix, a harbour of Crete” (vs. 12).

Words like harbour and haven can also be used as a picture of protection and security in a more general way. When Paul and Silas, were missionaries of the gospel, they faced persecution many times. At the city of Thessalonica, when danger threatened, a man named Jason gave the two men refuge and safety in his home. Later, Jason was arrested and taken before the rulers of the city where it was charged, “Jason has harboured them” (Acts 17:7).

In spiritual terms, the New Testament describes Christians as being “in Christ,” or “in Him.” Paul often seems to use this phrase in a legal sense. It’s as though, when we put our faith in the Saviour, God sees us, in  terms of His justice, through Christ, and therefore as reaping the benefits of His saving work. In Christ we have a safe harbour, protecting us from the storms of God’s judgment. Are you looking for a safe harbour, spiritually? Christ is the answer.

¤ “Of Him [God the Father] you are in Christ Jesus” (I Cor. 1:30).

¤ “There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus” (Rom. 8:1).

¤ “The gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Rom. 6:23).

¤ “In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace….In Him also we have obtained an inheritance” (Eph. 1:7, 11).

There is even a corporate application of this to the church as a whole. “We [believers], being many, are one body in Christ, and individually members of one another” (Rom. 12:5).

1) Once I was drifting, lost and in sin;
Once I was dying, darkness within.
Now I am living, the way He planned–
Harboured in Jesus, kept by His hand.

Harboured in Jesus, safe and secure;
Harboured in Jesus, safe evermore.

2) Storms may surround me, tempests may roar,
Doubts may assail me, knock at my door;
Nothing shall move me from Jesus’ side–
Harboured in Jesus, wonderful Guide.

4) Friend, are you drifting, with none to care?
Friend, are you dying, deep in despair?
Come unto Jesus, He’ll set you free;
Harboured in Jesus, eternally.

Questions:
1) What kind of dangers, for both time and eternity, do those face who are outside of Christ?

2) How is Christ like a harbour for those who put their faith in Him?

Links:
Wordwise Hymns (none)
The Cyber Hymnal (Fay Wallingford)
Hymnary.org (Fay Wallingford)


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