From Come, Thou Fount of Every Blessings
By Robert Robinson, 1735 - 1790
I am indebted to you. Now and always. You are due from me a great sum. I cannot escape this charge, nor do I desire to do so. I must fulfill it with utmost diligence. It is a debt acquired from the contract given me by my heavenly Father. Part of His covenant with me. My faith in Jesus Christ requires I fulfill His will, which includes many sacrifices. Part of my sacrifice is to be delivered to you. It is one I must accept and pay for most gladly with a cheerful heart and all sincerity. To deliver to you this appreciation is a privilege. It is nothing less than an honor. To count it otherwise counts me disingenuous, selfish, unworthy, unholy.
And, oh, dear friend, that which I owe you is a forever pledge. It will never be stamped "paid in full," nor will the charges ever be cleared. It is an eternal debt. It is an account that grows in value. It accumulates interest rather rapidly. It seems that as I pay this fund, the obligation grows within me. The begetting of my due multiplies exceedingly over time. And the more I give, the more I desire to give.
And what I give has, contrary to this world's ideals, no monetary value. It is counted rubbish or indifferent by most, and the insistence of such obligation is likely considered a foolish due. One never understood by a godless world. One disdained on all accounts by the practicality of earthly principles. One grasped tightly only by those who revere their relationship with God and see Him in everyone and everything.
What debt could be so costly, yet deemed so foolishly? So complete, yet so unyielding? So misunderstood, yet so required? So eternal, so living? A true gift of life and sacrifice it is. Now and always, dear friend, the forever debt I owe you is love. Nothing more. Nothing less. I owe you love. It matters not who you are. It matters not what I desire. It matters not my feelings. It matters not our pride. It matters not where you are now, where you have been, or your place in Christ. It matters not anything, for in God's word, it is so poignantly stated, "Owe no one anything except to love one another, for he who loves another has fulfilled the law" (Romans 13:8).
It is God's will that I love you. To love you is my debt to you and to Christ. It is an inescapable ordinance. Our pleasing God is dependent on our obeying this truth. And our obedience must be done with our hearts, not only our minds. Remember what Jesus said to the woman at the well? Christ told her that the time would come when those who worship would do so in spirit and in truth, for the heavenly Father seeks such as those to worship Him (John 4:23,24). In Spirit and in truth. With all our soul and with His purity in our hearts. Such is worship that pleases God. He searches for such. Longs for such. He is pleased with pure hearts.
And a pure heart loves fervently and honestly. "Since you have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit in sincere love of the brethren, love one another fervently with a pure heart" (I Peter 1:22). Oh, may we grasp these words! Sincere love for others flows from obedience, honesty, and purity. Thus may we declare the agape love of God for others is His work within us by the Holy Spirit and must be shared and declared openly (Romans 5:5)! It is now and forever a part of our covenant with Jesus Christ, and through this manifest love, our testimony is sure (John 13:35).
It is my privilege to love you with the love of the Holy Spirit today. Now. . . always. . . in this world. . . in the world to come. Love will never fade away or whither, for God Himself is love, and love He will be forever. The love He has placed in our hearts is just a tiny fraction of Himself He has shared with us and commands us to share with others. And this debt of love is not to be esteemed lightly; neither is it meant to be a burden, as true love, the agape love of God, pours from our hearts without restraint because of Christ's grace in our hearts and lives.
Oh, how I long to forever embrace this forever love! I do not want to let it go! Please join me today in seeking God's grace for a pure, obedient heart, so we may find the fulfillment of His love in us and give it willingly to those around us. You may ask today, "What evidence is given for love?" Or, "How do I know that I have the love of God in my heart?" Love, indeeed, is found in humbly doing for others, having a servant's heart. And love is a part of God that begets many other attributes. To know these well, refresh yourself with I Corinthians 13.
To be His disciple is our greatest calling! And others will know Him through our love for Christ and those around us. "By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another" (John 13: 35). But please remember, it is God's love, wrought in our hearts through His Holy Spirit, that does the work. We are simply His channels. The available ones through whom His river flows. Yes, no glory is ours, only His and His alone! What an awesome challenge and opportunity today! To know Him and have His love glorified in our lives, ministering to the needs of those around us. Dear friend, let us make His love known today.