1 Corinthians 15:10 - “But by the grace of God I am what I am; and his grace which was bestowed on me was not in vain;…”
Arguably my favorite hymn in the hymnbook we use is Come Thou Fount. Over and over I have sung this song and it has blessed my soul. As I was thinking today about the words of the song, I was struck with one of the lyrics: “tune my heart to sing thy grace.”
While I am no master musician, I do from time to time fiddle around with a guitar. I enjoy the relaxation of playing and singing along to some of the songs that have spoken to me over the years. As much as I like the play and hear the guitar, I equally despise the sound of a guitar that is out of tune.
When I think of this lyric from the hymn, I can’t help but wonder how much the Lord disdains a heart and life that is out of tune. Just as it pains me to hear or play that guitar when it is out of tune, so it must pain the Lord when my life is not at all in tune with his grace. A poorly-tuned heart will create dissonance with the Father, and the harmony is lost.
There are a few steps that are necessary from time to time if a guitar will be tuned properly. Some similarities exist between ourselves and the guitar. Let’s look briefly at a few…
1. Renew the strings. - You can always tell when stings will need to be replaced because they quit holding a tune. Just about the time you think that you have it dialed in, they are out of tune again. Such is the case for a believer who is out of tune with the Lord. What is needed is a renewal of our hearts. In Psalm 51:10, the psalmist talks of the need for a clean and renewed inward man. Our hearts, if not willingly given to Christ, will gladly play a tune that goes against the very nature of Christ. Just as that guitar may just need some new strings, so our hearts may just need a good renewal.
2. Tighten down the screws. - Once the string is in place, it’s time to put that string under some tension. In order for the sound of grace to come flowing from our lives, God will have to tighten down the screws and stretch us beyond what we think we are capable of. The testing of the Lord can be a painful and a trying process, but every time the string gets stretched, we get a little closer to being what Christ wants us to be.
3. Match pitch. - An out of tune instrument is one that doesn’t get used. If we want to be usable in the master’s hand, we will have to allow him to stretch us until our lives match the sound of his grace. I cannot produce that sound in my life…only the Lord can. He knows what the melody of his amazing grace sounds like, and when I am renewed, tested and tried, the theme of God’s grace will be abundantly clear, just as it was in the life of Paul.