Brokenness Aside

This song by All Sons & Daughters has some deep truths in it for us. Let’s just look at the chorus.

‘Cause I am a sinner
If it’s not one thing it’s another
Caught up in words
Tangled in lies
But You are a Savior
And You take brokenness aside
And make it beautiful
Beautiful

Often the point we all get to before we realise that we are in dire need of a Saviour is to realise that I am a sinner. We know that we have all sinned and fallen short of the glory of God (Romans 3.23). We also know that God is a God of justice, a holy God, and must act on sin (Habakkuk 1.13). All this point to the fact that as sinners we are deserving of judgement. The Bible tells us that the wages of sin is death (Romans 6.23).

We often find ourselves caught up in words and tangled in lies. Maybe it’s words spoken in anger to our children. Maybe it’s words said in frustration to our spouse. Maybe it’s bending the truth into a lie to make ourselves look better at work. Maybe we lie to ourselves and say that ‘just once‘ is ok, ‘this time I’ll do it, next time I won’t‘. Whatever it is, we all fall short of the glory of God, and if it’s not one thing it’s another.

All this may get us down, all this may leave us feeling hopeless. Is our conclusion going to be Romans 6.23? But, as sinful as we are, Jesus is even more righteous. As deceiving as we are, He is even more pure and holy. As irrational and unpredictable as we are, He is unchanging (Malachi 3.6, Hebrews 13.8).

Whilst we are not to use this as an excuse to do what we want (Romans 6.1-2), we are to take comfort and encouragement that Jesus is a Saviour and He takes brokenness aside and makes it beautiful.

Rather than taking our anger, frustration, guilt, shame, tiredness, inconsistencies, and apprehension out on those closest to us, there is only One place to take it. 

Take all of this, and any other burdens you are carrying, to Jesus and watch Him take brokenness aside

Our God

Today for our music devotional we’ll look at Our God by Chris Tomlin.

Water You turned into wine
Opened the eyes of the blind
There’s no one like you
None like you
 
Into the darkness You shine
Out of the ashes we rise
There’s No one like you
None like you
 
The first verse points to miracles of Jesus (John 2.1-11, 9.1-7). When we see miracles in the Bible we are supposed to react with awe, with wonder, with amazement, with thoughts like There’s no one like you, none like you
 
 
Jesus is so often described as the light of the world, a term He referred to Himself with in John 8.12. When this light shines into our lives, when we begin to live in this life, we are a new creation (2 Corinthians 5.17), and we begin to be transformed (Romans 12.2) from the inside out, little by little into the image of God’s beloved Son. 
 
 
The chorus is a triumphant declaration that we can all benefit from saying and singing. Reminding ourselves of foundational truths about God such as this is never a bad thing, and to offer these truths up as worship is also in line with what worship should be.
 
 
God is great (Jeremiah 10.6), God is strong (Proverbs 18.10), God is so far higher than anyone or anything else (Isaiah 55.8-9), God is a God of healing, both physical and spiritual (Psalm 147.3), and He is truly awesome in power (Psalm 147.5).
 
 
Our God is greater, our God is stronger
God You are higher than any other
Our God is Healer, awesome in power
Our God, Our God
 
 
And if Our God is for us, then who could ever stop us?
And if our God is with us, then what can stand against?
Then what can stand against?
 
Singing Scripture is always good, worshiping with Scripture is always good, and Romans 8.31 is a great Scripture to sing.
Paul asks the question that we sing here, and he is absolutely right, if God is for us, what can stand against? 
 
The if is taken care of by faith in Jesus.
 
God is for those who have faith in Jesus.
 
 

Psalm 34 (Taste and See)

Today for Thursday Music, Psalm 34 (Taste and See). This version is sung by the Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir and features Shane and Shane

Really simply, this is what worship should be like, this is what worship is about. The word worship comes from the idea that we give worth to whom it is due. As believers, we would assert the truth that God alone is worthy of worship (1 Chronicles 16.25, Psalm 96.4-5, 2 Samuel 22.4, Philippians 2.9-11, Hebrews 1.6, Psalm 29.1-2). Worship should be about giving God His due glory, not singing songs about ourselves. Much Christian music is good for reminding ourselves who we are in Christ, but worship, at the core, should look like this.

Much of this song is straight out of the Psalm,

I will bless the Lord at all times;
    his praise shall continually be in my mouth.
My soul makes its boast in the Lord;
    let the humble hear and be glad.
Oh, magnify the Lord with me,
    and let us exalt his name together!

I sought the Lord, and he answered me
    and delivered me from all my fears.
Those who look to him are radiant,
    and their faces shall never be ashamed.
This poor man cried, and the Lord heard him
    and saved him out of all his troubles.
The angel of the Lord encamps
    around those who fear him, and delivers them.

Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good!
    Blessed is the man who takes refuge in him!
Oh, fear the Lord, you his saints,
    for those who fear him have no lack!
10 The young lions suffer want and hunger;
    but those who seek the Lord lack no good thing.

11 Come, O children, listen to me;
    I will teach you the fear of the Lord.
12 What man is there who desires life
    and loves many days, that he may see good?
13 Keep your tongue from evil
    and your lips from speaking deceit.
14 Turn away from evil and do good;
    seek peace and pursue it.

15 The eyes of the Lord are toward the righteous
    and his ears toward their cry.
16 The face of the Lord is against those who do evil,
    to cut off the memory of them from the earth.
17 When the righteous cry for help, the Lord hears
    and delivers them out of all their troubles.
18 The Lord is near to the brokenhearted
    and saves the crushed in spirit.

19 Many are the afflictions of the righteous,
    but the Lord delivers him out of them all.
20 He keeps all his bones;
    not one of them is broken.
21 Affliction will slay the wicked,
    and those who hate the righteous will be condemned.
22 The Lord redeems the life of his servants;
    none of those who take refuge in him will be condemned.

What a wonderful declaration for us to take into the day – magnify the Lord with me, and let us exalt His name together!

This Psalm encourages us to draw near to God when things are not going well (vv.18-22), and we are told that none of those who take refuge in Him will be condemned.

So, no matter what we are going through, whether good (vv.4-5) or bad (v.6), thick or thin, we are encouraged to bless the Lord at all times, letting His praise be continually in our mouths.

What a wonderful example of a true worship song, enjoy it now and take it into your day!

How Great Is Our God

Today for our Thursday Music devotional, How Great Is Our God by Chris Tomlin.

The splendor of a King, clothed in majesty
Let all the Earth rejoice, all the Earth rejoice
He wraps himself in light
And darkness tries to hide
And trembles at His voice
Trembles at His voice
How great is our God, sing with me
How great is our God, and all will see
How great, how great is our God

The first verse and chorus here are magnifying the name of the Lord and communicating the truths of Psalm 104.2, Isaiah 66.2, and Nahum 1.5.

The chorus sings the wonderful truth that our God is great, and Chronicles 2.5 tells us that our God is greater than all gods.

Age to age He stands, and time is in His hands
Beginning and the end, beginning and the end
The Godhead Three in One, Father, Spirit, Son
The Lion and the Lamb, the Lion and the Lamb

Name above all names
You are worthy of all praise
My heart will sing how great is our God

Revelation 21.6 and 22.13 tell us that God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit are the alpha and the omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end. There was never a time that our great God did not exist, and there will never be a time when our great God will not exist. 

What great encouragement and comfort that brings us. No matter what we are going through, no matter what we are facing, we can take it to one who has always been, will always be, someone so permanent, stable, not going anywhere, a rock that is higher and stronger than us.

The idea of the Godhead three in One, can be found as far back as Genesis 1.1 wherein we see a Hebrew plural word used in the singular to convey the fact that God is three distinct persons but One.

Enjoy this song, worshiping the name above all names (Philippians 2.9), and let our hearts sing how great is our God.

Jesus Messiah – Thursday Music

Today for Thursday Music, Jesus Messiah by Chris Tomlin.

He became sin, who knew no sin

That we might become his righteousness

He humbled himself and carried the cross

Love so amazing, love so amazing

The first verse gives us the truth of 2 Corinthians 5.21, which, simply, says that Jesus who was perfect and without sin took upon sin’s consequence for us so that in Him we may be seen as righteous in God’s eyes. To add insult to injury, so to speak, Jesus even carried the cross Himself (John 19.17). The demonstration of love here is truly amazing.

Jesus messiah, name above all names

Blessed redeemer, Emmanuel

The rescue for sinners, the ransom from heaven

Jesus messiah, lord of all

John finishes his Gospel by saying that everything he had written was to show that Jesus is the Christ, the coming Messiah, the ransom from heaven, the promised Rescuer, the Son of God, and that He is the rescue for sinners. John writes that by believing you may have life in His name.

His body the bread, his blood the wine

Broken and poured out all for love

The whole earth trembled, and the veil was torn

Love so amazing, love so amazing

This verse makes us think of taking communion, right? In Mark 14.22-25 we read that as Jesus instituted the Lord’s Supper, He said that the broken bread was His body, and the cup from which they shared was His blood. Both were broken and poured out on the cross, and we know from Matthew 27 that there was indeed an earthquake when Jesus finished His amazing, saving work at Calvary.

All our hope is in you, all our hope is in you

All the glory to you, God, the light of the world

All too often modern worship songs are about us, about what we feel, about what we are telling ourselves we will do, but worship should be about magnifying the Lord (Psalm 34), about ascribing praises to Him who is worthy (Psalm 96), but we should be offering this to the Lord; all the glory to you, God, the Light of the world.

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.

Amos 4.4-5 – The heart of worship

Today God speaks through Amos and brings judgement against the worship and sacrifices being offered by Israel.

4 “Come to Bethel, and transgress;

to Gilgal, and multiply transgression;

bring your sacrifices every morning, your tithes every three days;

5 offer a sacrifice of thanksgiving of that which is leavened, and proclaim freewill offerings, publish them;

for so you love to do, O people of Israel!”

declares the Lord GOD.

It seems that Israel was going to places to worship that were simply not meant to be places of worship. David Guzik writes,

“Because the kings of Israel did not want their people to go to the southern kingdom of Judah and sacrifice at Jerusalem, they set up rival centers of worship in cities like Bethel and Gilgal. They offered sacrifices at these places – supposedly to the LORD – but because the offering wasn’t made in obedience to God, it was only a transgression.”

So even though people are – supposedly – worshiping God, it is not in the place God has decreed and therefore it is a transgression. God through Amos goes on to say that the people love to do this, so this worship that God has not declared may be a transgression in His eyes, but the people love it.

Now, we are of course past the time where God’s presence is intensely localised to the temple in Jerusalem, the temple is no longer the focal point of Christian worship after the death and resurrection of our Lord and Saviour Jesus (2 Corinthians 6.14-18, Ephesians 2.11-22), but is it possible to still offer what we see as pleasing and satisfying worship to God that is actually a transgression in His eyes? Is it possible to offer worship that we love, but that God does not?


The crux of the matter is the heart, for us.


Do we worship with mouth but not heart?

Do we worship when we feel like it, or because God deserves it?

Do we go through the motions when we offer collective and sung worship to God?

Is worship something we do once a week when gathered together with our brothers and sisters in Christ, or is worship a lifestyle choice that we have made?

We often pray at Saar Fellowship that all we do brings glory to God; a life of worship that comes from a heart of worship. We are made to give it, He deserves to receive it.

The heart of worship, then, is obedience; giving God what He is due, in the manner that He has told and shown us. The heart of worship is thanksgiving to God, praising God, glorifying God.

The heart of worship begins with obedience, if we get that right, all else will follow.