In Need of Grace

There’s a great old hymn entitled “I Need Thee Every Hour” that captures our need of God’s grace to sustain us.  In fact, as the following hymn suggests, God’s provision of grace comes chiefly through the presence of our Savior:

I need Thee every hour, most gracious Lord; no tender voice like Thine can peace afford. I need Thee, O’ I need Thee; every hour I need Thee; O’ bless me now, my Savior, I come to Thee. I need Thee every hour; stay Thou nearby; temptations lose their power when Thou art nigh. I need Thee, O’ I need Thee; every hour I need Thee; O’ bless me now, my Savior, I come to Thee. I need Thee every hour, in joy or pain; come quickly and abide, or life is vain. I need Thee, O’ I need Thee; every hour I need Thee; O’ bless me now, my Savior, I come to Thee. I need Thee every hour; teach me Thy will; and Thy rich promises in me fulfill. I need Thee, O’ I need Thee; every hour I need Thee; O’ bless me now, my Savior, I come to Thee. I need Thee every hour, most Holy One; O’ make me Thine indeed, Thou blessed Son. I need Thee, O’ I need Thee; every hour I need Thee; O’ bless me now, my Savior, I come to Thee.

There are times in my life when I am more mindful of my need of grace than others. Tonight happens to be one of them. Sometimes my awareness is clothed in gratitude for my salvation and a desire for sanctification.  And, sometimes it stems from feeling helpless as a result of my sin or the challenges of living in a fallen world with fallen people. That’s when desperation and despair drive me to desire grace. Whether I acknowledge it or not, I am always utterly dependent on God’s grace throughout each moment of every day. There is absolutely no hope apart from God’s grace, and there will be no spiritual growth without it. The more consistently I acknowledge this fact, the better off I will be and the more gloriously will God be reflected through me.

The late Puritan pastor, John Owen, had a keen understanding of this human condition. He acknowledged that the Holy Spirit uses means to deliver God’s grace to us when He initiates regeneration; He then excites that grace within us throughout our sanctification. It’s a beautiful mess as God takes graceless sinners and establishes His grace within them. Nothing could be more marvelous and mind-blowing than that…

“God inclines our hearts to duties and obedience principally by strengthening, increasing, and exciting the grace we have received, and which is inherent in [believers]; but we neither have nor ever shall have, in this world, such a stock of spiritual strength as to do anything as we ought without renewed co-operations of grace.” (John Owen, The Holy Spirit, 491).

Charles Spurgeon made a similar observation when he wrote, “One thing is past all question; we shall bring our Lord most glory if we get from Him much grace.”  (An All-Around Ministry).

Oh, how desperately I feel my need of  God’s grace. I pray for both His provision of it and a growing sense of my own deep need of it.

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Filed under Charles Spurgeon, John Owen, Quotes, Sanctification, Tribbett

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