Sunday, July 29, 2018 pm                                Songs Index 

I Am Thine, O Lord
#4, Sacred Selections

 Tonight we want to examine another song we sing from time to time.  As previously noted, we do this because in our singing we are commanded to teach and admonish one another (Ephesians 5:19) and sing with both “the spirit” and with “the understanding”.  That is why every song we sing needs to be truthful to God’s word.  And many songs lend themselves well to lessons, such as the one we are addressing this evening.

 I.                     Background

a.       Written by Frances Jane Van Alstyne.  This was a pen name for Fanny J. Crosby (1820-1915). 
Crosby authored thousands of hymns during her life.  She became blind at 6 weeks of age and began composing songs at 6 years old.  One source notes that her grandmother and a caretaker dedicated themselves to helping her memorize the Bible. (How much of it she memorized we do not know, but clearly the verses she did know became a source for the numerous hymns she wrote). 
She married a blind musician named Alexander Van Alstyne, which is the basis of the pen name for this song.  Looking at her life, we learn that we do not have to let disabilities keep us from accomplishing anything.
This song is said to be based upon a discussion one evening while visiting William H Doane in Cincinnati, OH.   blessed they were.  They were discussing the nearness of God.  With numerous thoughts going through her head, before retiring that evening, she penned the words to this hymn.  Doane put the words to music.  It was published in 1875.

b.       A song about surrender and dedication to God and our Lord. 

 II.                   Vs. 1 – Surrender

a.       “I am thine O Lord” – do we belong to Him?  
The premise of this song BEGINS with this idea of surrender.  By surrender I mean we give ourselves to Him – we “give up” on making life about our selfish pursuits.  Romans 12:1-2; Galatians 3:27, 2:20. 

b.       I have heard Thy voice – clearly today, He speaks to us, through His word. 
Hebrews 1:1-2, in the days he speaks by His Son through the message He left us.  Jesus Himself said, “The words that I speak to you are spirit, and they are life.” (John 6:63)
Hebrews 4:12 speaks of the word of God being “living and powerful”.  The idea of living is that it has life and that it GIVES life.

c.        And it told thy love to me – John 3:16, Romans 5:8.  The love of God is that which moves us to surrender to Him – 1 John 4:9-11 elaborates on His love for us.  Note vs. 19 – “We love Him because He first loved us”

d.       But I long to rise in the arms of faith -  Romans 10:17 – we are told that our faith comes by hearing His word.  Faith is that trust that we have in Him.  Romans 1:16-17 – from faith to faith. 
Furthermore, consider James 1:21 – we receive with meekness the implanted word which is able to “save your souls”.

e.       And be closer drawn to Thee – certainly, that is our goal, to be closer to Him.  That will happen as our faith grows. 

 III.                 Vs. 2 – Consecration

a.       Consecrate me now to thy service Lord
Consecrate means to put something into effect, or make it available.  In matters of faith, it is associated with our sanctification – the fact that God has set us apart.  If there is a difference between the two, it would have to do with the purification process to make sanctification possible.  He has PURIFIED us so that we are able to approach Him.
Under the Old Law at times the Lord consecrated things or people (such as Jericho – Joshua 6:19), but at other times He called for people to consecrate themselves – that is, take steps to set themselves apart and purify themselves – Leviticus 20:7, Exodus 32-29 – Israel after golden calf. 
Hebrews 10:20-22 – Jesus consecrated the way to the Father through His flesh (and sacrifice). 

b.       By the power of grace divine – ultimately, our consecration is only possible because of God’s grace – again consider Ephesians 2:8-9.  We need the consecration that comes as a result of Jesus dying on that cross for us (the chorus of this song)

c.        Let my soul look up with a steadfast hope – hope is our anchor (Hebrews 6:19).  Romans 8:24-25, For we were saved in this hope, but hope that is seen is not hope; for why does one still hope for what he sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, we eagerly wait for it with perseverance.
Our desire ought to be to use our hope to help us endure and remain purified in His sight.  -

d.       And my will be lost in Thine – again, Galatians 2:20.  1 Peter 4:1-2 – we live no longer for the lusts of men, but of the will of God.

 IV.                 Vs. 3 – Prayer

a.       Continually, we remind ourselves of the importance of prayer and the power of prayer.  In seeking to draw near to God, we do so with prayer.  It is how we communicate TO Him. 
Prayer is part of the answer to virtually any problem we deal with, and it is vital to our growth.
Hebrews 4:15-16 – Christ is a high priest who can sympathize with our weaknesses, therefore, through Him we can come boldly to the throne of and find mercy in our times of need.

b.       O the pure delight of a single hour that before Thy throne I spend -
Could you sit down and pray to God for a solid hour?  How quickly would you run out of things to say? 
We need to pray OFTEN – 1 Thessalonians 5:17 – without ceasing;  1 Thessalonians 3:9-10 Paul and company were “night and day praying exceedingly.”
Again be reminded of how Jesus, THE SON OF GOD, prayed all night (Luke 6:12), in the morning and in the evening. 

c.        When I kneel in prayer – we have noted there is no set posture for prayer, but several are mentioned with the point being, our prayers need to show due reverence to God – 1 Timothy 2:8 – lift up holy hands.  Matthew 6:6 – pray in your closet in secret and God will hear.

d.       And with Thee my God, I commune as friend with friend – our prayers are directed to our heavenly Father, through Jesus -
He is a friend – John 15:13-16 – Jesus speaking to His apostles noted that they were His friends, not just acquaintances.  One of the unique qualities of our God (contrasted with so many gods of other world religions) is how personal He is.  He cares and has showed us He cares. 
He wants us to come to His personally, as a friend.  John 14:23, Jesus answered and said to him, “If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home with him.

e.       IF you want to be nearer to God, you need to pray!!!!   Philippians 4:6-7 – be anxious for nothing…

 V.                   Vs 4 – Hope

a.       There are depths of love that I cannot know, till I cross the narrow sea – in this song we have talked about faith, hope and love. 
Hopefully, as we grow in our faith, our love will increase – cf. 1 John 4:19 – we love Him, because He first loved us.  May our appreciation of His love continue to grow, and may it move us to love Him even more.
HOWEVER, no matter how much we understand about His love, we will not fully grasp it until we face in for eternity – Ephesians 3:17-19 – our goal is to comprehend the greatness of His love which passes knowledge.  Romans 8:35-39 – who shall separate us from the love of Christ?...
I think of 1 Corinthians 13:13 – the greatest of these is love.
The narrow sea – is a poetic reference to death.  Not used in so many terms in scripture, typically it is a reference to Israel crossing from the wilderness over the Jordan river to finally receive their promised land. 

b.       There are heights of joy that I may not reach, till I rest in peace with Thee -
Certainly, as Christians we are to rejoice – Philippians 4:4, Romans 12:15, etc.  There are many wonderful things as Christians that bring about pure joy in our lives.
Often the “joys” of this life as Christians involve struggles – we rejoice in tribulations (Matthew 5:10-12.  This is a joy the world does not understand, but may desire when it is duly demonstrated.
But 1 Peter 4:12-13 explains the sentiment of our song.  Note how we rejoice as partake in Christ’s sufferings, that when He is revealed we may be glad with exceeding joy.
The joy of heaven and resting in God’s presence will make all the toils and disappointments of this life as nothing. 

 VI.                 Chorus – Draw me nearer

a.       Draw me nearer, nearer – clearly we need to be drawing ever nearer to God and Jesus.
James 4:8 – let us draw near to God and He will draw near to you.
And we ought to desire that as this encourages us to resolve we are going to do.  AND we ought to be praying about it.

b.       Blessed Lord, to the cross where thou hast died – It IS the cross that makes access to the Father possible.  It was at the cross that history was given its ultimate purpose! 
Hebrews 10:22 – because of His sacrifice we can draw near with a true hears in full assurance…  7:19 – we have a better hope through which we draw near to God.

c.        Draw me nearer, nearer, nearer blessed Lord, to by precious bleeding side.  Again emphasizing the same thing as the previous phrase, we are reminded that He died for us.  In this expression I see the trauma inflicted upon the body of Jesus.  Surely from the beatings prior to the cross, if depictions of the flogging are correct, his sides would have been shredded. 
We also read that after He died, a soldier pierced His side and blood and water flowed from it – John 19:34.  The point is, that as we think of the cross, we genuinely consider what He went through for us.
We need to call on the Lord with a pure heart.   It is His blood that cleanses us – 1 John 1:7, and washes away our sins – Revelation 1:5.


And thus we find the message of another song we sing from time to time.   As we conclude this I ask you, are you drawing nearer to Him or are you drifting further away.  Have you come to Him?  If not, let us help you surrender you life to him, and then you can begin that journey that will end at the finish line where our Lord is eagerly waiting for us – Hebrews 12:1-2.   Think about it!