“Come Thou Fount of every blessing, tune my heart to sing Thy grace” (Robert Robinson)
Out of Tune Hearts
I admit, I don’t play the guitar as often as I should. The stringed instruments I own usually sit in their cases for a few days at a time, untouched and unplayed. As a result, when I finally pick one of them up to strum a chord, it doesn’t sound right. The notes that comprise the chord are noticeably dissident, because an unplayed guitar is usually an out-of-tune guitar. Instruments need to be re-tuned regularly.
My heart is a lot like my guitars, de-tuning itself quickly. And, if I had to guess, I’d say yours is the same way. In 1758, when Baptist minister Robert Robinson wrote the lyrics to his famous hymn “Come Thou Fount”, he was onto something. He spoke of our condition as a proneness to wander. You need not look far to see the waywardness of man. If you reflect on your own life long enough, you’ll see the glaring reality that you are prone to wander away from the grace that sought you and purchased you for eternity. So am I. We need to be re-tuned to sing that grace.
A Not-So-Subtle Shift
When we walk into the gathering on the Lord’s Day, God expertly re-tunes us. He calls us to worship Him, to set our minds on things above (Col. 3:2). All week long we’ve been breathing the air of a fallen creation. The world, the flesh, and the devil have smothered us to the point of near suffocation. But then comes God’s call to worship, oxygenating us and bringing us to life again. We come to our senses and respond to Him in worship by celebrating His abundant, free grace.
This not-so-subtle shift in our hearts reorients us to the reality that worship does not originate with us. It is God’s idea. And He initiates it by speaking it into existence week after week, day after day, hour after hour. Just consider these passages from His Word:
Ascribe to the LORD, O heavenly beings, ascribe to the LORD glory and strength. Ascribe to the LORD the glory due his name; worship the LORD in the splendor of holiness. (Psalm 29:1-2)
Sing praises to God, sing praises! Sing praises to our King, sing praises! For God is the King of all the earth; sing praises with a psalm! (Psalm 47:6-7)
Sing to the LORD, bless his name; tell of his salvation from day to day. Declare his glory among the nations, his marvelous works among all the peoples! (Psalm 96:2-3)
Make a joyful noise to the LORD, all the earth! Serve the LORD with gladness! Come into his presence with singing! (Psalm 100:1-2)
This is just what our out-of-tune hearts need. We can’t live without the glory, power, and majesty of God calling us out of our funk and into His presence.
Yes, we are prone to wander, but God isn’t in heaven wringing His hands. He’s been restoring the worship of His wayward children since the dawn of time. In His infinite wisdom and goodness, He’s the ever-effective Initiator of worship, pursuing sinners and re-tuning them to praise His grace. Our Father loves us too much to let us sin our way out of that. He won’t let our wanderlust have the last word. That’s the power of His grace toward us in Christ.
So I encourage you to get to church in time to hear the call to worship this Sunday. And when it is read, listen to it. Not casually. Not superficially. Not flippantly. I mean, really listen. What is God saying to us? What is He calling us to do? And will we respond to Him in repentance and faith to the praise of His glorious grace (Eph. 1:6)? I pray we will listen, respond, and receive the tune-up we so desperately need, singing “Here’s my heart, Lord, take it, seal it; seal it for Thy courts above.”
Liturgy for Sunday, August 02, 2015:
Call to Worship:
If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. (Colossians 3:1-3)
Reading for Pastoral Prayer:
Surely he has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; yet we esteemed him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted. But he was pierced for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his wounds we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned—every one—to his own way; and the LORD has laid on him the iniquity of us all. (Isaiah 53:4-6)
May your manner of life be worthy of the gospel of Christ as you stand firm, believing in him and suffering for his sake. (based on Philippians 1:27, 29)