Like a Fetter

How many times have I sung “Come Thou Fount” in my sixty years of life? Hundreds, I’m sure. This past Sunday morning I heard its words in a whole new way. Our church choir was singing. It was beautiful — strong and energetic, with rich harmony. Little James was in my lap, bouncing to the music while his mama sang and his daddy led the choir. The words jumped out at me:

“O to grace how great a debtor daily I’m constrained to be; let that grace now, like a fetter, bind my wandering heart to thee.”

God’s grace is what binds us to Him — grace that is freely given — loving, extravagant grace that is greater than our sin. It is the grace of a loving God who reaches out and takes hold of us and gives what we could never earn.

It’s not about what we do. It’s about what Christ has already done. We don’t have to perform to earn His favor. We can’t even earn any credit for believing. It is God who gives us the grace to believe.

When we understand this — as much as it’s possible to understand such grace — we won’t want to leave Him. This grace will lay its claim on our hearts, and we’ll long to please Him.

If we want our children to follow Jesus, if our prayer is that they will delight in pleasing Him, we must not lead them to believe that they need to earn God’s favor. We can’t be afraid to tell them about grace. Grace is what will bind their wandering hearts to Him.

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