Posted by: rcottrill | January 7, 2019

Thine, Lord

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Words: Robert Harkness (b. Mar. 2, 1880; d. May 8, 1961)
Music: Robert Harkness

Wordwise Hymns (Robert Harkness)
The Cyber Hymnal (Robert Harkness)

Note: Robert Harkness was a pianist and gospel song writer who gave us many songs himself, and wrote music for the songs of others. He was born in Australia, and is buried in London, England. But he also traveled extensively as the accompanist for evangelist Reuben Archer Torrey (and his song leader Charlie Alexander), and in later years, traveled on his own.

We’ve likely all seen one from time to time. The sign on a fence, that says in bold letters, NO TRESPASSING! There are variations: Private Property, Keep Out; or, No Admittance– Trespassers Will Be Prosecuted. And perhaps a warning of electronic surveillance, or the presence of guard dogs is included.

Some signs convey the message in colourful ways. One says, No Animals, No People, No Vehicles, No Excuses. Another warns, “If You Can Read This Sign, You’re in Range!” And still another has a grave marker, topped by a sign that says, “Here Lies the Last Trespasser.” More polite (if not more successful) is, “Please Respect Our Property–No Trespassing.”

To trespass is to enter an area unlawfully and unwelcome, going where we have no right or permission to go. Sometimes the prohibition involves, private property, or maybe it’s a wildlife preserve, or government land, or that of an industrial facility. In the latter case, there may be a manned check point, and signs might read, “Restricted Area, Authorized Personnel Only.”

Reasons for these limitations vary. In some cases, it’s to keep the would-be trespasser from personal danger. Perhaps the area includes the presence of hazardous materials, or it’s a military firing range. Other times, it could involve farmers tired of hunters treading down precious crops, or endangering their livestock. Or a family swimming pool that is off limits to public use for safety reasons, and because of insurance requirements.

But there’s another kind of trespassing that applies to the Christian life. When we trust in Christ as our Saviour, the Word of God urges us to surrender to Him as Lord of our lives. “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God [after what He has done in saving you], that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service” (Rom. 12:1).

First Corinthians puts it another way: “Do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? For you were bought at a price [the shed blood of Christ]; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s” (I Cor. 6:19-20).

Several times in Scripture the Lord is described as “jealous.” It means He is rightfully zealous to protect His own reputation, and will not share His throne with anyone or anything else.

“You shall worship no other god, for the Lord, whose name [or reputation] is Jealous, is a jealous God” (Exod. 34:14).

Those who are children of God by faith in Christ (Gal. 3:26) ought to share His zeal in this. In the words of a hymn by Andrew Reed:

Holy Spirit, all divine,
Dwell within this heart of mine;
Cast down every idol throne,
Reign supreme, and reign alone.

It’s as if, with the Lord on the throne of our hearts, we put up a NO TRESPASSING sign, and will not allow anything to enter our lives and take priority and influence over His will for us, and His glory in us. Idolatry might not involve a stone idol. It can be anything that usurps control or has influence over our allegiance to God and His Word. Our determined loyalty to the Lord should declare, “No Admittance!” to anything that would challenge it.

The present song, published in 1944, and for which Mr. Harkness wrote both words and music, is called simply, Thine, Lord. It reflects the desire of Romans 12:1 that heart loyalty be our ready and joyous response to “the mercies of God.”

1) When I think of Jesus dying on the cross for me,
Thine, Lord, would I be;
Freely giving up His life from sin to set me free,
Thine, Lord, would I be.

Thine, Lord, only Thine, Thine, Lord, only Thine.
Take me, use me as Thou wilt dear Saviour,
Thine, Lord, only Thine; Thine, Lord, only Thine.

3) When I think of Jesus, coming back to earth again,
Thine, Lord, would I be;
Coming in great glory as the King of kings to reign,
Thine, Lord, would I be.

1) What does the statement, “Thine, Lord” (or Yours, Lord), mean to you, personally?

2) Is there some area of your life where you find it difficult to give the Lord full control?

Wordwise Hymns (Robert Harkness)
The Cyber Hymnal (Robert Harkness)


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