Posted by: rcottrill | April 18, 2019

He Giveth More Grace

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Also see 30+ Ideas for Promoting Hymn Singing in your church. As others have contributed ideas, this wonderful resource has grown to over 80 items now. And, for more than three dozen reasons why congregations should still use hymn books rather than merely projecting words on the wall, see The Value of Hymn Books.

Words: Annie Johnson Flint (b. Dec. 24, 1866; d. Sept. 8, 1932)
Music: Blacklands, by Ray Steadman-Allen (b. Sept. 18, 1922; d. Dec. 15, 2014)

Links:
Wordwise Hymns (for another article see here)
The Cyber Hymnal
Hymnary.org

Note: The arrangement of this song I’m more familiar with uses the third stanza in the Cyber Hymnal as the refrain for the other two stanzas. The composer is Hubert Mitchell (1907-?), a missionary to India who was much comforted by Miss Flint’s poem, and wrote his own tune for it. Hymnary.org lists many books that include the hymn in this latter format, including The Hymnal for Worship and Celebration, and The Celebration Hymnal.

The saying, “You get what you pay for,” has been around for about five centuries. Most often it’s related to the quality of purchased goods or of workmanship. Yes, there are sometimes true bargains to be had. But often what is less expensive will not be of the quality of what costs more.

The adage also can be turned around. We should pay for what we get. Most of us understand that. But shoplifters try to escape without doing so. It can happen in a restaurant too. However, what’s called colloquially “dine and dash,” is a form of theft. Something similar happens with those who fill up at a gas pump, then drive away without paying. They’re committing a crime, and defrauding the owner of the station. This has led many companies to insist on customers pre-paying for gas.

And there’s another application of the principle. We speak of a lawbreaker paying for his crime. To quote a saying from the 1960’s, “Don’t do the crime of you can’t pay the time.” And the payment exacted is usually more severe for a more serious offense. That legal balancing act is expressed in Gilbert and Sullivan’s 1885 operetta, The Mikado, when the title character sings:

“My object all sublime I shall achieve in time–
To let the punishment fit the crime,
The punishment fit the crime.”

The same principle was laid down by the Lord in the Law of Israel (Exod. 21:22-25). It’s briefly summarized as, “An eye for an eye.” In other words, the punishment should fairly represent, but not exceed, the nature of the offense.

But far more serious is the way this relates to our eternal destiny. God warned our first parents that disobedience to Him would bring death (Gen. 2:17). “The wages if sin is death” (Rom. 6:23). In human experience, this involves not only the terminus of physical death, but a future eternal separation from God, what the Bible calls “the second death” (Rev. 21:8; cf. II Thess. 1:7-9).

That’s the bad news. But there’s some overwhelmingly good news. To quote Romans 6:23 in full:

“The wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

“God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Rom. 5:8). “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life” (Jn. 3:16).

Notice particularly the word “gift” in Romans 6:23. That’s what God’s grace is all about. Grace is God giving us what we don’t deserve and could never earn. “By grace you have been saved through faith” (Eph. 2:8). “Where sin abounded, grace abounded much more” (Rom. 5:20).

And grace, God’s free giving, doesn’t stop when we trust Christ as Saviour. The Bible speaks of “this grace in which we stand” (Rom. 5:2), and which the Lord will continue to pour into our lives for all eternity (Eph. 2:7). Indeed, He invites us to come boldly before His throne, and pray for more and more “grace [divine assistance] to help in time of need” (Heb. 4:15-16).

For whatever we may face in life, “He gives more grace” (Jas. 4:6). That’s the basis for a lovely hymn by accomplished devotional poet, Annie Johnson Flint. (And see note above for a tune that makes the third stanza a repeated refrain.)

CH-1) He giveth more grace as our burdens grow greater,
He sendeth more strength as our labours increase;
To added afflictions He addeth His mercy,
To multiplied trials His multiplied peace.

CH-2) When we have exhausted our store of endurance,
When our strength has failed ere the day is half done,
When we reach the end of our hoarded resources
Our Father’s full giving is only begun.

CH-3) His love has no limits, His grace has no measure,
His power no boundary known unto men;
For out of His infinite riches in Jesus
He giveth, and giveth, and giveth again.

Questions:
1) What does it mean to you that God’s throne is described as “the throne of grace” (Heb. 4:16)?

2) What does it mean when it says Christians can approach the throne “boldly”?

Links:
Wordwise Hymns (for another article see here)
The Cyber Hymnal
Hymnary.org


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