Have Mercy on Me

As we’ve been going through these first three chapters of Romans on Sunday mornings, we have been seeing our desperate need and how we fall short and our only hope is Christ. Confession is important–necessary–it is acknowledging our hopelessness and need for a Savior. Have Mercy on Me is a reflective and thoughtful song that we’ve introduced in recent weeks. Listen to the lyrics and let that be your prayer as you confess your dependence on God.

Our Only Hope Is You

The bridges we had burned You have restored
You gave us hope when there was none before
You paid the debt that we could not afford
And cast away our guilt forevermore
What a great encouragement to hear and sing in light of the truth in Romans 3:9-26 stating our need and hopelessness without God.
None is righteous, no, not one; no one understands;
no one seeks for God. All have turned aside; together
they have become worthless; 
no one does good,
not even one.”
Be encouraged and enjoy this song as we learn it and sing it in congregational worship.

Is He Worthy

While this song doesn’t fit well in a listing of new congregational worship songs, we did sing it as a special just last Sunday and it was a powerful moment of worship. Andrew Peterson does a beautiful job reminding us of God’s worthiness, the beauty of Christ, and the mercy that comes as a free gift. 

Let this song be part of your personal worship as you think and reflect on our great God.

The Prodigal

The parable of the prodigal son found in Luke 15 is a wonderful illustration of God’s mercy and grace freely given to us. This is not a newly released song, but is a new song to our congregation and is a great reminder of God’s grace as we continue our study in the book of Romans. 

Carefully pay attention to the lyrics. There are some powerful phrases.

You held out Your arms, I walked away
Insolent, I spurned Your face
Squandering the gifts You gave to me
Holding close forbidden things
Destitute, a rebel still, a fool in all my pride
The world I once enjoyed is death to me
No joy, no hope, no life

Where now are the friends that I had bought
Gone with every penny lost
What hope could there be for such as I
Sold out to a world of lies
Oh to see Your face again, it seems so distant now
Could it be that You would take me back
A servant in Your house

You held out Your arms, I see them still
You never left, You never will
Running to embrace me, now I know
Your cords of love will always hold
Mercy’s robe, a ring of grace
Such favor undeserved
You sing over me and celebrate
The rebel now Your child

Great Is Thy Faithfulness (Beginning to End)

The hymn Great is Thy Faithfulness is always on the short list of all-time favorite Christian hymns. Generation after generation has loved this great lyric and melody. 

Mike Weaver from One Sonic Society takes this very familiar melody and lyric and adds something new. He adds a heartfelt chorus that partners so well with the truth proclaimed in the original lyric. It changes things up a little, but gets us to think–perhaps bumps us out of “rote worship”–that worship where the familiar becomes so familiar we almost forget why we sing and what we are singing about. I hope this new song jars us all out of the “repetitive” and this song becomes as new and alive as the very first time we sung it.

Kyrie Eleison

Have you ever taken a moment and thought about the fact that the God we worship and our Savior Jesus Christ has been worshiped for generations and generations. It is an amazing thing that we share this important act of giving gratitude–of declaring worth–with countless others who came before us.

All worship has a liturgy.  Liturgy simply means the form we worship. We might call our liturgy a worship order, but it is still a liturgy. Our liturgy contains new songs that were written in recent years and older songs that have been part of Christian liturgies for decades or even centuries. We sing the song Amazing Grace and join the countless others who came before us who also sung this song in their liturgy. 
Going back much further before a song such as Amazing Grace, we there were songs or prayers that were regularly used as part of the liturgy of that time. One of these is called the Kyrie. The lyric of the Kyrie is simply “Kyrie Eleison, Christe Eleison” or translated to English, “Lord have mercy, Christ have mercy.” Its foundation can be found in 1st Chronicles 16:24, “…give thanks to the LORD; for he is good; for his mercy endures for ever…” 
The Kyrie was included in the liturgy of worship and while it would be used in a variety of ways, was always found in the communion service–the mass. 
Composers such as J.S. Bach, Joseph Haydn, and Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart all wrote Kyrie’s. Here are a few examples:
In the same spirit and in the same desire to call out to God and Christ in heartfelt repentance, Chris Tomlin wrote this beautiful Kyrie for our age. As you sing and worship with this song, think of our need for God’s mercy and our thankfulness that his mercy never ends, it does endure for ever and ever.

Just As I Am-I Come Broken

I have another great worship song to share with you that we’ll be singing in an upcoming week. Much of it will be very familiar because it is a familiar hymn. The hymn Just As I Am was written in 1835 by Charlotte Elliott, but probably became most familiar as the altar call song during Billy Graham crusades. It was during this song that Billy Graham himself took the physical steps to the altar and responded to Christ during a revival meeting led by Mordecai Ham. Partnered with this very familiar hymn is a new melody and lyric written by Travis Cottrell which complements the old as a prayer of commitment and recognition of God’s mercy and grace. 

We sing from the old…

Just as I am without one plea
But that Thy blood was shed for me
And that Thou bidst me come to Thee
O Lamb of God, I come, I come

To that we add…

I come broken to be mended
I come wounded to be healed
I come desperate to be rescued
I come empty to be filled
I come guilty to be pardoned
By the blood of Christ the Lamb
And I’m welcomed with open arms
Praise God, just as I am
Be blessed as you sing this song on your own as you become familiar with it as well as together as we sing as a church family.

Build My Life

Anyone that knows a bit or two about construction will tell you that the foundation is critical to get right. Any problem in the foundation only gets worse as it goes up in the construction. A small measurement out of square in the foundation becomes a significant error by the time you get to the roof. The foundation affects the structure, doors hanging properly, windows fitting in the openings. Virtually every part of a home is dependent on that foundation.
Our lives to have a foundation. What is your life built on? Our Savior, Jesus Christ? His worthiness and holiness? The One who saves, gives us breath, understanding, and His perfect love? 
Enjoy this beautiful song. We’ll be singing it in worship on Sunday!

All Praise to Him

This is a great new song released this past fall by Sovereign Grace Worship. It is based on a hymn written by Horatius Bonar, a pastor with the Free Church of Scotland in the 1800’s. Taking the same theme of attributing countless good things to our God and Father, this version from Sovereign Grace refreshes the text and style making it a very singable and memorable song. 


Grace and Peace

We are going to reintroduce a song we sang a few years ago as we move into this series in Romans. The first seven verses of Romans is a simple salutation of a letter, but there is something very important to notice how Paul puts great emphasis on the Gospel. Paul’s worth is in the Gospel. The validity of everything Paul has to say is in the Gospel. Grace and peace comes from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. It is a simple yet amazing thing. 
I encourage you to listen to this song and think about the lyric. Think about the truth of the Gospel and the grace and peace it brings to our lives.

VERSE 1   
Grace and peace, oh how can this be
For lawbreakers and thieves
For the worthless, the least
You have said, that our judgment is death
For all eternity
Without hope, without rest
Oh, what an amazing mystery
What an amazing mystery
That Your grace has come to me