*This post is reprinted from Amazing Grace: 366 Daily Devotionals, by Kenneth W. Osbeck, copyright 1990.
It would be enlightening if the people in the pew could stand on the platform and observe the congregational singing during an average church service. One would soon concur that there are many who appear to have attended church without the express purpose of having a personal encounter with God. Comparatively few people reveal evidence of losing themselves in worship and praise or of appropriating the great truths about which they sing.
How different would be our times of corporate praise if each of us would heed the apostle Paul’s teaching of “singing with the Spirit and with the understanding also” (1 Corinthians 14:15). Not all of us are able to sing tunefully, but everyone in whom the Spirit of God dwells can and should respond with joyful praise when the opportunity is presented.
During his early teen years, Robert Robinson lived in London, where he mixed with a notorious gang of hoodlums and led a life of debauchery. At the age of 17 he attended a meeting where the noted evangelist George Whitefield was preaching. Robinson went for the purpose of “scoffing at those poor, deluded Methodists” and ended up professing faith in Christ as his Savior. Soon he felt called to preach the gospel and subsequently became the pastor of a rather large Baptist church in Cambridge, England. Despite his young age, Robinson became known as an able minister and scholar, writing various theological books as well as several hymns, including these words written when he was just 23 years of age:
Come, Thou Fount of every blessing, Tune my heart to sing Thy grace;
Streams of mercy, never ceasing, Call for songs of loudest praise.
Teach me some melodious sonnet, Sung by flaming tongues above;
Praise His name – I’m fixed upon it – Name of God’s redeeming love.
Hitherto Thy love has blest me; Thou hast bro’t me to this place;
And I know Thy hand will bring me Safely home by Thy good grace.
Jesus sought me when a stranger, Wandering from the fold of God;
He, to rescue me from danger, Bought me with His precious blood.
O to grace how great a debtor Daily I’m constrained to be?“COME, THOU FOUNT OF EVERY BLESSING,” Robert Robinson (1735-1790)
Let Thy goodness, like a fetter, Bind my wandering heart to Thee;
Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it, Prone to leave the God I love;
Here’s my heart, O take and seal it; Seal it for Thy courts above. Amen.