Sunday, April 29, 2012 pm                        Song Index

“I Need The Every Hour”
Sacred Selections, #52

 Tonight we want to examine the message of the entitled song.  I reminds us of lessons we need to keep at the forefront of our lives, namely that we need the Lord’s help! 

The song was written in 1872 by Annie S. Hawks.  She was 37 at the time of the writing of this hymn.  History records that she began writing poetry at the age of 14 and did so throughout her life.  She married at the age of 24 and moved to Brooklyn, NY.  She had three children and often wrote poetry based upon experiences as she raised them.  The poem that would result in the hymn we are studying was written one day while we was busy tending to her household chores.  She was thinking about how the Lord is always near and that day wrote the words that would compose this song.   Shortly thereafter, she gave the poem to Robert Lowry, her Baptist preacher, who was also a song writer and composer (he has written Shall we gather at the River, Low in the Grave He Lay & Nothing but the Blood, among other hymns, and composed the tunes to numerous other hymns – Something for Jesus, All the Way, etc.).  He put the poem to music and added the chorus.

Some 16 years after writing and publishing this hymn, her husband died.  It was only then that she realized the impact this song had on so many and the comfort the message provided in her own life.  After the death of her husband, Mrs. Hawks lived with her daughter and son-in-law in Vermont until she died in 1919 at the age of 83.  During her life she wrote more than 400 hymns, but only this one has enjoyed wide circulation and continues to be sung regularly.

In this hymn we find that we ALWAYS need the Lord.  The author reminds us that He is not only needed often, but ALL THE TIME! Not even every day, but every hour of every day.
Psalm 86:1 says, “Bow down Your ear, O Lord, hear me; For I am poor and needy.”
Jesus in John 15:5 told His disciples, “Without Me you can do nothing.” 
2 Corinthians 3:4-5 speaks of our trust through Christ toward God.  Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think of anything as being from ourselves, but our sufficiency is from God.  This is the humbling AND confident attitude we need as children.

 I.                    Vs. 1 – As the source of our true peace

a.        I need Thee every hour, most gracious Lord – the word “gracious” is a derivative of the word “grace” and implies the idea of being generous.  We are here reminded of everything associated with the grace of God.
Also, as we begin this song, we realize just how much He has given for us , and continues to give to us – 1 Pet. 1:3 speaks of the abundant mercy of God (NOTE: The word abundant is translated generously in Acts 10:2 referencing the alms of Cornelius).

Certainly we appreciate how much our triune God has done for us.  God so loved the world (Jn. 3:16), Jesus came and died for us (Rom. 5:8), the Spirit made known that message, etc.
The gift He offers us was described by Paul as “Indescribable” because of how gracious it really is. (2 Cor. 9:14-15).  Vs. 14 speaks of the exceeding grace of God in you.  Cf. Eph. 1:19, 3:19.
Psalm 116:5 says, “Gracious is the Lord, and righteous; Yes, our God is merciful.

b.       No tender voice like Thine, can peace afford.  He is the source of true peace. 
This world seeks peace, which it can only give temporarily and superficially.  But our Lord Jesus gives us a lasting peace.
He gives a peace, not as the world gives it.  John 14:27, Isa. 9:6 He is called “the Prince of Peace.”
Col. 3:15, “let the peace of God rule in your hearts.”

Rom. 10:15 speaks of “the gospel of peace”
Rom. 5:1, “Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.”  (NOTE: Our peace is dependent upon being “justified by faith” – our submission to His will)

Eph. 2:14 – He Himself is our peace.

II.                  Vs. 2 - When we face temptations

a.        I need Thee every hour, stay Thou nearby

Our Lord is near – Acts 17:27, while Paul was speaking to the Athenians noted the character of Jehovah God.  He speaks of God’s appointed boundaries “so that they should seek the Lord, in the hope that they might grope for Him and find Him, though He is not far from each of us.”
Jas. 4:8 says, “Draw near to God and He will draw near to you.”
Heb. 13:5-6 speaks of the Lord being our helper.  HE said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.”

b.       Temptations lose their powers when thou art nigh!
Temptations are a difficulty we all struggle with.  There are so many whom Satan has frustrated because of surrender to temptations.  We sometimes doubt our ability to overcome temptations.  Could the reason be that we that our Lord is not as near to us as He ought to be?  In Him, we can overcome temptations:

                                                   i.      He was tempted in all points as we are, yet without sin – Heb. 4:15-16

                                                  ii.      Because of this He is able to aid us in our temptations – Heb. 2:18

                                                iii.      1 Cor. 10:13 is also a text of assurance, reminding us that we CAN handle whatever temptations come our way.

                                                iv.      Heb. 10:22 tells us to draw near to Him with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our heats sprinkled from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water.” 

III.                Vs. 3 – In both good times and bad

a.        I need Thee every hour, In joy or pain
One of the challenges we face is to draw near to God at all times.  For some, the times of pain draw us closer to God while it drives others further away.  AND for some, the good times will cause one to consider God while it causes others to forget about Him.  The challenge is to consider God ALWAYS, and regardless of the circumstances.  And for most of us – either the times of adversity OR the times of prosperity presents a challenge.
I am reminded of Job when his wife told him to curse God and die.  He responded, “Shall we indeed accept good from God, and shall we not accept adversity?” (Job 2:10) 
Phil. 4:11-12 finds Paul content, regardless of the state he finds himself in.  Why? Because His confidence was in Christ.  In vs. 13 we read, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me
The TRULY godly consider Him always.  He is not treated like an ON & OFF switch. 

b.       Come quickly and abide, or life is vain
There is here a realization that He must “quickly” come and abide within us.  We are again reminded of His nearness.
OR life is vain or meaningless – This expression is a summary of the book of Ecclesiastes, where over and over Solomon spoke of the vanity of life.  And after seeing its futility, his conclusion – “Fear God and keep His commandments, for this is man’s all.” (Eccl. 12:12-14)
Jesus told His disciples, “I am the vine, you are the branches.  He who abides in ME, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing.” (John 15:5)
2 Corinthians 3:5 says, “Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think of anything as being from ourselves, but our sufficiency is from God…”

IV.                Vs. 4 – Because He is the Most Holy One and our Savior

a.        I need Thee every hour, most Holy One
God is Holy – Isa. 6:3  where he has a vision of Seraphim we find one (from heaven) crying out, “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts; The whole earth is full of His glory
A similar statement is made in Rev. 4:8, “Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty, who was and is and is to come.
Jesus is Holy – In John 6:69, Peter acknowledged his understanding of who Jesus was saying, “We have come to believe and know that You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.”  This is a declaration of His holiness among other attributes.  In Acts 2:27 where Peter quotes from Psalm 16 of Jesus he says, “For You will not leave my soul in Hades, Nor will You allow Your Holy One to see corruption.  IN Mark 1:24 even the demons recognized Him saying, “I know who you are – the Holy One of God.”
In this phrase we again are reminded of WHO we are approaching.  The holiness of God is something that cannot be overemphasized.  The word Holy in reference to God means, that He is divine and pure in its most magnificent sense.  We cannot truly fathom the greatness of His holiness, but the BETTER we grasp the concept that He is holy, the more we will stand in awe of His presence and humbly bow before Him and submit to His will.  That is why, as we sing this song, we remind ourselves that we are approaching not just some good guy, but our HEAVENLY FATHER and His Son!  May that thought wake us up.
And in this may we remind ourselves that He has not part with sin – (cf. Isa. 59:2, Habakkuk 1:13 begins, “You are of purer eyes than to behold evil, and cannot look on wickedness.  May we keep this in  mind as we seek to approach Him with our meager requests!

b.       O make me Thine indeed, thou blessed Son
In this final phrase, we find surrender to Him.  First, there is obeying the gospel – by belief (Mark 16:16, Rom. 10:9-10), repentance (Acts 2:38, 3:19),  confession (Matt. 10:32-33, Rom. 10:9-10, cf. Acts 8:37) and being baptized – immersed – for the forgiveness of your sins (Acts 22:16, 2:38, 1 Pet. 3:21).  We are told in Galatians 3:27 that in baptism you put on Christ.
BUT, belonging to Him continues beyond that initial act of obedience – 2 Cor. 5:17 says, “If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.  A part of this is the reminder to remain faithful to Him.

 V.                   Chorus – The realization that we need Him and as such we surrender!

I need Thee, O I need Thee.  Every hour I need Thee.  O bless me thou my Savior, I come to Thee.
In the chorus we find the “groaning” of our need for Him.  Of all the places we could turn to in this world, we choose to come to Him!  Because we know that He, more than anyone or anything else in this life can give us true fulfillment.  Romans 8:37 says, “Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.


And thus we see another song that we sing from time to time.  This one reminds us that we are helpless without our Lord.  It is tragic that so many in this world live as if they do not need Him.  Perhaps they will do well in this life (though that is certainly not guaranteed), but when they face eternity they WILL see how much they needed Him.   (Every knee shall bow).  Sadly it will be too late.   If only more in the world would realize this.

This song also contains a 5th verse (actually #4) which says, “I need the every hour.  Teach me Thy will. And thy rich promises, in me fulfill.”

This song is often sung just before prayers as a reminder of our dependence on Him both in our lives and in our request.  It could also be sung as an invitation.

Do you need Him?  Have you submitted to Him and put Him on in your life?  If not, let me urge you to make yourself right today, while you still have opportunity. Revelation 320 says, “Behold, I stand at the door and knock.  If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with me.”  If you will come – He will receive you!  Why not now, this very hour?