Church Requel
Come Thou Fount Of Every Blessing
Today we talk about our 11th hymn of the summer series: "Come Thou Fount Of Every Blessing."
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  • Church Requel
    2 Marion Ave, Mansfield, OH 44903, USA
    Sunday 11:00 AM
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Come Thou Fount Of Every Blessing - Hymns 4 Him - Part 11

Today we come to the end of summer and to the last of our Hymns 4 Him summer sermon series. Each week this summer we have considered a different hymn and then considered 4 life lessons that we could take away. Today we will consider “Come Thou Fount Of Every Blessing”.

This hymn was written by a young 22-year-old pastor, Robert Robinson. He had lost his own father when he was 14 and as a result was a teenager prone to trouble. He was also a leader and led other young men into troubling situations. When he was 17 - he and his gang of ruffians decided to go to a George Whitfield revival and to see if they could throw the revivalist Whitfield off his preaching game by their taunts. Robinson was surprised that he found himself moved spiritually by the things George Whitfield had to say.

Three years later - none other than John Wesley assigned a church to him, which grew to over a thousand people under his leadership. In 1758, when he was still 22 years old, Robinson wrote “Come Thou Fount Of Every Blessing” to accompany his Pentecost Sunday sermon. So - for the record - I am not the first pastor to use hymns in his sermons. With that said, we have no historical record to show that Robert Robinson ever used a ukulele in his sermons. (Ha!)

#1 - TUNE MY HEART to sing God’s grace.

“Teach me your way, LORD, that I may rely on your faithfulness; give me an undivided heart, that I may fear your name.” Psalm 86:11

Our first life lesson comes from the amazing starting lyrics “Tune my heart to sing Thy grace.” Wow! How perfect! Have you ever considered that every single day you and I need to have our hearts tuned? That on a regular basis we need to work on having “an undivided heart?”

When I was growing up my dad determined that my brother and I would have piano lessons. My dad found a used piano for $25 and moved it into an unheated space between the main house and the garage. As I’ve mentioned before, Dad never professed to being able to carry a tune, so it never dawned on him that maybe he should have the piano tuned. And since the piano was in an unheated space - it froze in the winter and sizzled in the summer. We wore coats to practice the piano. To this day, whenever I play the middle F key on a keyboard, I tend to lift up the key right after I play it - Because on our piano the F key was always stuck! Let’s just say that our piano had a certain “twang” to it!

This is also true of our Christian lives. If we are not careful about tuning our hearts to our Lord’s grace - our Christian living will have a certain “twang” to it too! We say the right words but our living isn’t in tune. As I was thinking about this I couldn’t help but think that every time our band plays together - all of our stringed instruments (bass, guitar, ukulele) tune up their instruments. Every single time! Because when we are out of tune - it’s noticeable! Every single day of our lives we should start our day out with a “tuning up session” with the Lord. Undivided heart!

Sing Verse 1

#2 - SINGING & PRAISING helps me tune up!

“Sing to Him, sing praise to Him! Tell of all His wonderful acts.” Psalm 105:2

Did you know that the word “sing” appears in Scripture over 400 times? Fifty of those are in the form of a command! God wants you to sing to Him, whether you can sing or not! There are 334 times in Scripture that the Bible tells us to praise the Lord. In Psalm 119, David says he will praise the Lord at least seven times each day! This same David says he will pray three times a day. In David’s mind, praising God was something to do even more often than praying to God!

I know what some of you are thinking. ‘I can’t sing that much.” Or for some of you, ‘I can’t sing at all!’ So how am I going to keep my heart “tuned up” if I’m not a singer? Or even if I can sing, I’ve got other things to do - I can’t be singing all the time!

Don’t be so sure! As we have seen, God inhabits our praise in our singing. Scripture tells us that there will be a LOT of singing in Heaven. If you want to get prepared for Heaven, start by singing now. Notice that the hymn, “Come Thou Fount” refers to this heavenly singing with “sung by flaming tongues above.”

Here’s the other thing to remember about singing. When you and I think about singing, we think of something that happens with our vocal cords. Some of us are blessed with better singing “voices” than others. But this is NOT how God thinks about singing. The part of your body He is most concerned about - when it comes to singing and praising - is the heart!

“For the Lord said to Samuel, ‘Do not look at the appearance… for the Lord sees not as man sees. Man looks at the outward appearance. But the Lord looks on the heart.” 1 Samuel 16:7

One of my favorite songs we sing here at Church Requel is “Heart of Worship” by Matt Redman. He hits the nail on the head with these lyrics:

“I’ll bring you more than a song, for a song in itself is not what you have required. You search much deeper within. Through the way things appear. You’re looking into my heart!”

So how’s your heart? Do you work each and every day on tuning your heart for worship? For praise? Are you singing inside to the Lord your God as you go about your day? Do you have an open mind (and heart) for what the Lord would like to show you and teach you?

Sing Verse 2

#3 - TRUE WORSHIP is my source of strength.

“Then Samuel took a stone and set it up between Mizpah and Shen. He named it Ebenezer, saying ‘Thus far the LORD has helped us.” 1 Samuel 7:12

When we sing this hymn, “Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing,” we sing about Ebenezer and most of us don’t what this means. What does it mean to “raise my Ebenezer?”

Ebenezer means stone of help. Samuel took a stone and set it up and named it Ebenezer. Why? The stone was a memorial. The stone was a reminder of God’s help and also of Israel’s past failing. Twenty years before the Israelites were in battle with the Philistines. They had not been faithful to God in their worship or in their law practice.

But when it came to the battle, they decided they needed God’s help and so they fetched the Ark of the Covenant and placed it inside the Israelite’s war camp. They misplaced their faith in God with their faith in the Ark of the Covenant. In other words they made an idol out of the Ark of the Covenant. They substituted their worship of the true God with their worship of the Ark of the Covenant. They lost badly that day!

We humans have the ability to make an idol out of almost anything, even those things that are good. We can substitute worship of good things for true worship of the true Lord God! We can worship our church. We can worship our family. We can worship our loved ones. We can worship our sports teams. We can worship our political parties.

And in each one of these areas of worship, we can search for and expect to find strength. Is there strength in church? Yes! Is there strength in family Yes! But our true strength for family or church or our health or even the strength of our nation - the true strength comes from our true worship of the One and Only True God!

This is what it means to raise my Ebenezer. It means I’m not putting anything before God! I’m not expecting true strength to come to me from any other source other than from the Lord God. I will find my source of strength for my health, for my wealth, for my church, for my family, for my nation from one Person only - The Lord God! When I raise my Ebenezer, it means I will worship God and God alone!

And when I worship the true God in the right way - with a pure heart, with humble adoration, with repentance, with God is God and I am not God, I will discover strength that I did not know I possessed. For it is not my strength. It is God’s strength. It is God the Holy Spirit strengthening me from the inside for everything that I will face. It is God the Holy Spirit Who will help me accomplish everything He wants me to do!

Sing Verse 3

#4 - PRAY FOR HELP not to wander from God.

“With all my heart I have sought You. Do not let me wander from Your commandments.” Psalm 119:10

Our true heart worship - 100% devoted to the Lord God - is really our only protection to keep us from wandering away from the Lord. I believe there is a very good reason why the story of God’s chosen people in Exodus begins with wandering in the wilderness for 40 years.

Wandering in the wilderness is what we do. It is our natural state. Other than God’s divine work in our lives, other than God’s supernatural protection keeping us close to Him, keeping us in the family of God, we are “prone to wander” - as Robert Robinson penned those lyrics in verse 3.

It does not matter what we say or what our position within the church is. It does not matter how long we have been a Christ-follower. It doesn’t matter how much we might say “NEVER!” to ourselves or anyone else, we are prone to wander. Only by the grace of God… only by the protection of God… only by the strength that results from our ongoing worship of God… only by the strength of His Holy Spirit working in our lives do we receive the grace to remain with God.

In other words it is God and God’s strength alone that keeps us protected and within God’s family. It’s not about us. It’s not about our strength. It’s not about our dedication or determination. It’s all about God.

Robert Robinson didn’t know it when he wrote those lyrics in 1758. Much later in life he found himself the fellow passenger of a young lady on a stage coach. It is reported that she began to sing to break the monotony of the trip. And what did she sing? “Come Thou fount of every blessing." She sang the whole thing from memory.

“Bind my wandering heart to Thee. Prone to wander, Lord I feel it, Prone to leave the God I love. Here’s my heart, Lord, take and seal it. Seal it for Thy courts above."

As she finished singing the young woman asked Roberts what he thought about the song. His startling reply was: “Madam, I am the unhappy man who wrote that hymn many years ago; and, I would give a thousand worlds, if I had them, if I could feel now as I feel then.”

Conclusion: As we wrap us this series of Hymns 4 Him, it may seem like I’m ending on a down note. I am not. I do end, however, with a note of warning. None of us are here in this church, or are here with our Lord Jesus, for any other reason than that God - in His infinite mercy and grace - has provided the way for us to be here. It is not now nor ever will it be that we have accomplished anything ourselves.

We have merely taken advantage of the good graces and mercies of a forgiving God Who loves us with His amazing love. It is God Who gives us blessed assurance. It is God Who gives us glorious freedom. Great is God’s faithfulness! We really do need God’s vision! We really do need God every single hour! It really is so sweet to trust in Jesus! And it really is because of God… and only because of God… that we will fly away to be with Him forever! Amen!