Anthem // Great Are You Lord – Thursday Music

Today for Thursday Music something familiar with something added on the end. We’ve had Anthem by Phil Wickham before, today it’s that plus Great Are You Lord by All Songs And Daughters.

First we get the whole Anthem song, and if you look back through our Thursday Music Devotionals, you’ll see it on 28/03/19.

For my own two cents, I think it’s great when two songs fit so well together that the overall worship experience is enhanced. It’s something we do occasionally at Saar Fellowship, perhaps the chorus from a hymn fits in with a more contemporary song inspired by the hymn, perhaps the opposite, but seamlessly blending two songs together helps us feel like we are worshiping through song rather than just singing individually wrapped and packaged pieces.

So, Great Are You Lord begins, here at least, with

And all the earth will shout Your praise
Our hearts will cry, these bones will sing
Great are You, Lord

So many Psalms come to mind when talking about praising the Lord, 150.1-2, 63.3, 27.1, 103, 148, we could go on and on!

It's Your breath in our lungs
So we pour out our praise
We pour out our praise
It's Your breath in our lungs
So we pour out our praise
To You only

The idea of God’s breath in our lungs being a reason to pour out our praise takes us back to Genesis 2.7, doesn’t it, wherein God formed man, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being. In Job we read, more than once, that because the breath of God is in us, as long as the breath of the Almighty gives us life we should speak only good things about our Lord and Savior (27.3, cf. 33.4)

Simply, it’s the right thing to do, isn’t it, to pour out our praise to Him only, because He is the anthem of our heart, and the anchor of our souls.

23.05.19 – Breath On Us – Thursday Music

Today for our music devotional, Breath On Us, by Calvary Creative.

Meet me in the solitary

Meet me in the ordinary

Meet me in the sanctuary

Make my heart your home

How often we fall into the trap of thinking that our weekly attendance at a worship service is the only place we will encounter God that week. Acts 7.48-50 and 17.24 tell us clearly that God does not live, or His presence is not localised, to one particular place. So, He is with us in the solitary, He is with us in the ordinary humdrum of everyday life, and He is with us in the sanctuary of His church as we assemble together to worship Him. 

I want the fullness of your love

I want the treasure of your peace

I want the fullness of your love

Surrounding me

What a wonderful prayer this would be for us when we wake in the morning – Father, I want the fullness of your love, and the treasure of your peace to surround me today. God’s Word to us tells us that there is nowhere we can go to escape His presence, His good, loving, peace-brining presence (Psalm 139.7, 1 Kings 8.27, Jeremiah 23.24).

Spirit of God

Breathe on us

Spirit of God

Breath on us

Spirit of God

Fall on us

The encounter that the disciples had with the Holy Spirit in Acts 2 was unique and was so uniquely powerful that the church as we know it was birthed then and there, but, is it a bad thing to pray and ask God for a fresh filling of His Spirit today? Is it wrong to earnestly pray for the same Spirit that ministered to Jesus in the wilderness, the same Spirit that was present at creation, the same Spirit that allowed scared, dejected, timid men become powerful preachers of the Good News, is it wrong to pray for the same Spirit that raised Jesus from the dead to indwell us and fill us fresh each day? Absolutely not!


Point to ponder – 

Romans 8.11

If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit who dwells in you.


Prayer – Father, we want the fullness of your love, the treasure of your peace, and the same Spirit that raised Jesus from the dead to surround us today and every day. Give life to our mortal bodies, Lord, so that we in turn can use them for your glory. Amen. 

Come Thou Fount – Thursday Music

Last week something new, this week something old (but performed new!), Come Thou Fount.

Marshall Segal, for Desiring God, writes,

In 1743, when Robert Robinson was just eight years old, he lost his father. Angry, bitter, and fatherless, Robert rebelled in excess through his teenage years — drinking, gambling, and causing trouble. But God broke into his heart through the gospel preaching of George Whitefield. Several years later, he followed the Lord into ministry and was later inspired to write “Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing.”


Come, thou Fount of every blessing

Tune my heart to sing thy grace;

Streams of mercy, never ceasing

Call for songs of loudest praise

Coming from the background that Robinson did, is it any wonder that He looked at the Lord as the fount of every blessing? Someone who can turn you from drinking, gambling, and causing trouble into the full-time, devoted, self-sacrificing ministry is surely someone to be praised, and rightly referred to as a fount of every blessing. Jesus Himself said that if any man thirsts, let Him come to me (John 7.37-38).

Teach me some melodious sonnet

Sung by flaming tongues above

Praise the mount! I’m fixed upon it

Mount of thy unchanging love

We now want to sing His song, don’t we, His melodious sonnet, the song of triumph over death and the grave, the song sung in heaven (Psalm 40.3, Psalm 96.1, Isaiah 42.10, Revelation 5.9, 14.3).

Here I raise mine Ebenezer;

Hither by thy help I’m come;

And I hope, by thy good pleasure

Safely to arrive at home

An Ebenezer is found in 1 Samuel 7, a memorial to the victory provided by the Lord, and it commemorates His Divine victory. 

“Ebenezer means “stone of help.” From then on, every time an Israelite saw the stone erected by Samuel, he would have a tangible reminder of the Lord’s power and protection.”


Jesus sought me when a stranger

Wandering from the fold of God;

He, to rescue me from danger

Interposed his precious blood

What a wonderful truth this verse conveys; Jesus seeks the lost. Jesus sought you and I whilst we were wandering away from Him, whilst we were sinners, Christ even went to the lengths to die for us (Matthew 18.12, Luke 19.10, Romans 5.8).

O to grace how great a debtor

Daily I’m constrained to be!

Let thy goodness, like a fetter

Bind my wandering heart to thee

Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it

Prone to leave the God I love;

Here’s my heart, O take and seal it

Seal it for thy courts above

We are so apt to wander, doing what we indeed know to be wrong (Romans 7.19, Hebrews 3.15), but one of the reasons why this hymn has endured is that it is all about Him, all about Jesus; His goodness, His grace, His mercy, His salvation, His love for us. 

Even though we are unfaithful, He is still faithful, and hymns like this put this awesome truth into words.

Enjoy!

Mercy Seat – Thursday Music

Sometimes on Thursday we look at a classic hymn, other times contemporary Christian music. Today, something that was released only last week, Mercy Seat by Maranatha Worship. The song is pretty simple, it puts forth this one main idea that we are now welcome and able to go running to the Father by way of the Son.

I see my Father’s open arms, I see Him running

I see my Father’s open arms

Bearing my shame, wearing my scars, I see Him running

I see my Father’s open arms

The first verse takes the mind back to the parable of the prodigal son, doesnt it, 

“…when he was still a great way off, his father saw him and had compassion, and ran and fell on his neck and kissed him.” (Luke 15.20)

As our loving Father in heaven, God’s arms are open and if He had a body I’m sure He would run towards us just as the father in the prodigal son parable does. He so wants a personal, loving, intimate relationship with you. To prove it, He sent His Son, God in the flesh, His exact copy on earth, Jesus, to die on the cross for you, to pay the righteous price for your sin, to die a death that we deserved so we can live a life He deserved, eternal and everlasting with the Father in heaven (Isaiah 53.5, 1 Peter 2.24, Hebrews 12.2, Psalm 25.2).

I fall before the mercy seat where the blood of Jesus speaks for me

I fall before the mercy seat

The mercy seat was “…the ornate “lid” for the ark of the covenant, made with the designs of cherubim upon it. The blood of sacrifice was sprinkled upon it for the forgiveness of Israel’s sin on the Day of Atonement (Exodus 25.17-22).”

As God looked down into the ark, He saw the symbols of Israel’s sin, rebellion and failure. But when the blood of sacrifice was applied to the mercy seat, the blood of sacrifice covered His sight of the sin of Israel.” David Guzik.

Now we need not rely on the blood of animals to temporarily cover our sin, because Jesus’ righteous blood was poured out for many, and this blood is poured out for us onto the true mercy seat in heaven, His throne of grace (Hebrews 9.23-26). 

Earthly rituals are but a copy of the heavenly realities, and the mercy and grace that come from the blood of Jesus shed for the sins of the entire world far surpasses that found in outdated animal sacrifice.

I’m not a beggar anymore, so I come running

I see my Father’s open arms

I’m not a beggar anymore, so I come running

I see my Father’s open arms

We need not beg for leftover scraps anymore, even though the crumbs that fall from our Master’s table would surely satisfy us for an eternity (Matthew 15.25-28).

How do we reach such a wonderful position, then, being saved from sin and being given the gift of eternal life? 

Through faith in Jesus alone. 

We are no longer beggars on the outside looking in, we have gone from outside to in, death to life, old to new, slaves to sin to servants of the Most High, and this is all through faith in Jesus; His name, His finished work, His provision, in Him.

18.04.19 – Christ Is Risen – Thursday Music

This weekend is Easter weekend, the most important three days in the history of the world. God the Son, God in human form took upon Himself the sins of the world, died a death to sin, and three days later rose from the dead, declaring victory over sin and death forever. That being said, it seems only logical that we look at an Easter-themed song for our Thursday music. Christ Is Risen by Phil Wickham sings of the triumph of Christ all those years ago.

Amazing grace, how sweet the sound

That saved a wretch like me

For I once was lost but now I’m found

Was blind but now I see

It starts off familiar looking, borrowing a verse from the classic hymn Amazing Grace, but to a different tune. The message is still the same though, God’s grace is amazing and saves all who call upon it.

The prodigal is welcomed home

The sinner now a saint

For the God who died came back to life

And everything is changed

This references the parable of the prodigal son (Luke 15.11-32), and alludes to the thief on the cross next to Jesus (Luke 23.39-43). The fact that this man repented so close to death gives us hope for those who do not yet know Jesus that there is always time.

The God who died came back to life, and everything is changed…could there be a more succinct summary of Easter weekend?

The chorus then echoes the foundational, formative truth of our faith, without which we simply don’t have what we think we have,

Hallelujah

Christ is risen from the grave

Hallelujah

Christ is risen from the grave

Can you imagine what His disciples felt when they saw Him?

Can you imagine what you will feel when you see Him face to face?

I’d suggest this may be right up there, Hallelujah, Christ is risen from the grave!

Secular historians confirm that His death was real and really happened, what makes Christianity distinctly Christian is the fact that Christ is risen from the grave!

O death, where is your sting?

O fear, where is your power?

For the mighty King of kings has disarmed you

Delivered and redeemed

Eternal life is ours

O praise His name forever

Here we think back to 1 Corinthians 15.55-57, 

“O death, where is your victory?

 O death, where is your sting?”

The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.


And on the day You call me in

To heaven’s sweet embrace

I’ll see Your scars, Your open arms

And the beauty of Your face

Through tears of joy, I’ll lift my voice

In everlasting praise

Hallelujah

Christ is risen from the grave

The day we meet Jesus face to face will be the sweetest day we can ever imagine, and then some (Revelation 22.4), and as the old saying goes, the only man-made thing in heaven will be the scars we will see on our Lord and Saviour (John 20.24-27). We will join the heavenly host in a cycle of never-ending praise (Revelation 4.1-11), and this is all available to us because Christ is risen from the grave!

Have a great Easter weekend!

28.03.19 – Anthem – Thursday Music

Sometimes, it’s just so obvious that God’s providential ordering of things is shining through that we just can’t miss it. Tomorrow at Saar Fellowship we are looking at Hebrews 6.13-20, with a message titled The Anchor. Today, we are singing about this anchor…

So many reasons

Too many to count

To say that I love You

To worship You now

Your love is perfect

Your heart is kind

I’m Yours forever

Forever You’re mine

How many reasons do we have to love Jesus? Too many to count; He loved us first, He justified us, He is sanctifying us, and He will glorify us. He died for us. 

Jesus, the anthem of my heart

Jesus, the anchor of my soul

I’m overwhelmed by all You are

Oh how I love You

He is the name we sing from within, and He is the anchor of our souls (Hebrews 6.13-20). When we really unpack how and why He is the anchor, what He did, where He now is, who He is, we really are overwhelmed by all He is. 

You call me beloved

You call me friend

Your grace says I am worthy

You welcome me in

Now all that I long for

And all that I need

Is to be in Your presence

Forever I fall at Your feet

What a privilege it is to ba called a friend of the Lord (John 15.15), and through His amazing grace we are counted as worthy (Romans 3.10, 2 Corinthians 5.21). Not only that, but He has promised to supply all our need, all that we truly long for (Philippians 4.19). 

Faithful to the end

God You are always good

Where do I begin

There’s so many reasons to love You

Your promise never breaks

Your beauty never fades

What else can I say

There’s so many reasons to love You

Jesus is truly faithful to the end (Revelation 22.12-13), and truly good until the end. God’s unswerving, unchanging, immutable, ineffable character is the reason His promise never fades, and that is what we are talking about tomorrow morning!

So, what else can we say, there’s so many reasons to love Him. 


Love Him today!


Below My Feet – Thursday Music

This week for Thursday music Below My Feet by Mumford and Sons.

Have you ever heard a song that is not overtly Christian but has so much Christianity in it that you have to listen again? This was one of those songs for me.

You were cold as the blood through your bones

And the light which led us from our chosen homes

Well I was lost

And now I sleep

Sleep the hours and that I can’t weep

When all I knew was steeped in blackened holes

I was lost

God’s Word to us tells us that Jesus died a physical death and was buried (John 19.28-30, 38-42). The Light of the world (John 8.12), sent to redeem mankind (Colossians 1.13-14), who called men and women away from jobs, homes, old lives (Matthew 4.19). 

Depending on what you read, some say this is a song about the band’s search for truth and personal faith, some say this was written in response to the death of a family member. Either way, when life gets heavy for whatever reason, be it personal understanding or bereavement, it can feel like we are in a daze, not seeing things clearly, under some kind of spell. The same Jesus that died and was buried three days later rose again and brought us out of darkness into His wonderful light (1 Peter 2.9). We will never see things as clearly as when we are walking with the Lord. 

And I was still

I was under your spell

When I was told by Jesus all was well

So all must be well

The chorus of the song is where we come in; what do we do now? Now we have been redeemed, now we have been bought with such a high price, now we have have been brought from darkness into light, what do we do?

Keep the earth below my feet

For all my sweat, my blood runs weak

Let me learn from where I have been

So keep my eyes to serve, my hands to learn

Well keep my eyes to serve, my hands to learn

We are to walk humbly with our God, keeping our feet on the ground (Micah 6.8), because we know that we are weak, but He is strong (2 Corinthians 12.9-11), we are to see just how much God has done for us and look back on the wonderful things He has done in our lives (Joshua 4), and we are to serve, to do, to learn, and to love one another (John 13.34-35, Hebrews 6.9-12).

Let us then keep our eyes to serve, and our hands to learn.