Read Pastor Pilgrim’s blog post (3 of 3) below!
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Read Pastor Pilgrim’s blog post below!
Are you awake? Are you alive, walking in newness of life? Or are you dead? We will be looking at the church in Sardis this week, and the rebuke Jesus gives to this church is that they had an appearance of being live, but in reality they were stone cold dead. We know that only faith in Christ’s finished work makes us alive - but it can be easy to fall into dead rituals and complacency. May we be renewed this week as we gather together!
Check out what we’ll be singing:
1. Famous One - Chris Tomlin
We begin our service by proclaiming God’s greatness and supremacy. Every part of this universe was created to display His glory!
2. Nothing but the Blood - Traditional (Andy Cherry arr.)
Continuing in our singing, we’ll move from God’s supremacy, to the importance of the atonement. Hebrews 9:22 tells us “that without shedding of blood there is no forgiveness”. That is the truth communicated in this favorite hymn - nothing can wash away our sin except through the blood of Jesus!
3. O Church Arise (Arise, Shine) - Keith & Kristyn Getty
Have you enjoyed singing this song throughout our “7 Churches” series? This week, this song is even more relevant as we are told to “wake up!” Let us arise, and shine for Jesus!
4. Great are You Lord - All Sons and Daughters
We’ll finish our time of singing by again proclaiming God’s greatness - only He brings life, light. and hope in the midst of darkness. Only He can awaken our dead souls! And eventually, all the earth will sing His praises, and bow the knee to Jesus Christ, the Lord.
5. I Stand Amazed (How Marvelous) - Traditional (Chris Tomlin arr.)
We’ll close out the service with this classic hymn of praise for what Christ has done for us at the cross. How marvelous, how wonderful is our Savior’s love!
Check out what we’ll be singing this week:
1. Open the Eyes of My Heart - Paul Baloche
This simple song is a great prayer to open up our service. Our attitude must be one of humility as we come to learn, repent, and encourage one another during our Sunday service. We must have open eyes, and open hearts to receive what the Holy Spirit desires to teach us through His word!
2. Sooner Count the Stars - Sovereign Grace Music
We introduced this song last week, the theme is taken from Psalm 40:5 - “Many, O Lord my God, are Your wonderful works which You have done; and Your thoughts toward us cannot be recounted to You in order; if I would declare and speak of them, they are more than can be numbered.” The lyrics of the chorus say “No praise is high enough, no thanks is deep enough, no life is long enough to sing of all you’ve done.” We cannot even come close to understand or fathom the nature of our God - and the little bit we do know, we cannot praise Him enough for it. How amazing is this - and yet He still invites us to come. It’s truly mind-blowing.
3. Leaning on the Everlasting Arms/’Tis so Sweet to Trust in Jesus - Traditional (arr. by David Crowder)
These hymns were both written to give us peace and comfort in times of fear and anxiety. The author wrote “Leaning on the…” to be a comfort to two friends whose wives had recently passed away. The theme is taken from Deuteronomy 33:27, “The eternal God is your refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms.” When we rest in the sovereignty of our Savior, then we can truly sing, “Tis so sweet to trust in Jesus!”.
4. Revelation Song - Jennie Lee Riddle (arrangement by Kari Jobe
With lyrics taken directly from Revelation chapter five, this song drives us to worship our God for His holiness, majesty and great power. It also helps us look to the future, to the great day when we will proclaim His praises forever and ever. Our Lord will prevail! He has already conquered sin & death - one day He will conquer Satan with a final blow and all will be made new.
5. Your Name - Paul Baloche
We’ll end our service by directing our praise to the one whose name is above every name! May these lyrics be in our mind and on our lips as we start a new week.
A.W. Tozer said, “Without worship, we go about miserable.” I believe this is so true, and our attitudes during the week reflect this. If we try and “fix” everything by ourselves, we are depending on our own efforts and not on what the Lord desires to teach us while we’re in the midst of it. On the other side, if our week is going well and we give ourselves the glory, we’re robbing God of what truly belongs to Him. Either way, a life consistent with these two pitfalls will slowly make us miserable. Let’s give him all the worship and praise throughout our week, be in His word, growing through everything the Lord gives us.
Check out what songs we’ll be singing this week:
1. Build Your Kingdom Here - by Rend Collective
We’ll kick off our service this week by asking the Lord to continue His work in our nation and in our hearts. He has appointed us, the church, to be His ministers of reconciliation. We must have pliable hearts for Him to work in us, and in turn we will be passionate about reaching our world!
2. Blessed Be Your Name - by Matt Redman
As we move into this song, we’ll start by reading Ecclesiastes 4:1-3, which focuses on the oppression and evil that exists in this world. This song encourages us to live a life of faith, submitting to God’s sovereignty, and blessing His name through every situation, knowing that He desires to help us conform to the image of His Son.
3. Whom Shall I Fear (God of Angel Armies) - by Chris Tomlin
In contrast to the situation that Solomon describes in Ecclesiastes 4, is the truth that “if God is for us, who can be against us?” Without Christ, there is no comfort from the darkness of this world - only Christ gives us that peace and hope! Nothing formed against us will stand, He holds the whole world in his hands!
4. At the Cross (Love Ran Red) - by Chris Tomlin
As we prepare our hearts to take communion, we’ll focus on the cross and what Christ has done for us. This song also reminds us what our response should be - an attitude of surrender and brokenness. The Christian life is a life of dying to self, and living for Christ!
5. Jesus, Thank You - by Sovereign Grace Music
We’ll close our service by singing this simple yet profoundly true song together. It’s not a new song, but it will probably be new for most of you. The lyrics focus on our response to the what Christ has done for us - “Your blood has washed away my sin, Jesus thank you!”. My favorite line in the songs speaks of how we were once at enmity with God, and now we are invited to His table - “once your enemy, now seated at your table, Jesus thank you!”
I hope you were in service last Sunday! We’re diving into Ecclesiastes and received a great exhortation about the vanity of pleasure from chapter two. If you weren’t there, make sure to catch up by listening to the sermon online. Pastor Pilgrim is continuing with chapter three this Sunday, and we’ll be singing the following songs together:
1. Our God (by Chris Tomlin)
We’ll open the service by reading from 1 Chronicles 16, which praises the Lord for his greatness and supremacy above all things. That’s a great intro for our first song! He is greater, stronger, our healer, defender and friend!
2. Blessed Assurance (by Fanny Crosby)
Fanny Crosby is my favorite hymn writer of all time, and since Pastor Pilgrim quoted her last Sunday, I thought it would be appropriate to sing one of her most beloved hymns. As we study Ecclesiastes, and are confronted by the vanities of this world, this hymn helps us focus our thoughts on the “blessed assurance” we have in Christ!
3. God You Reign (by Lincoln Brewster)
During our series in Ecclesiastes, we’ll be singing songs that are based on and sometimes directly taken from this book. “God You Reign” is a great song that highlights Ecclesiastes 3:14 “whatever God does endures forever; nothing can be added to it, nor anything taken from it. God has done it, so that people fear before him.” Our God reigns forever, he is sovereign over all of creation, and also over us. Hallelujah!
4. Lord I Need You (by Matt Maher)
As we prepare our hearts to hear from God’s word, this song again reminds us of our great need. We often think that we “need” things from this world, whether it be possessions, relationships, or status. But in truth, the only thing we need is to be forgiven and set free from sin. This why we sing, “Lord, I need you!”
5. Here’s My Heart (by Chris Tomlin, David Crowder arrangement)
We’ll close out our time together by focusing on our Savior, by declaring that he is more than enough, he’s our hope, and he gives us grace and love every day. Are we surrendered to him, and to his purposes for us?
We had a great first look at the book of Ecclesiastes on Sunday. John MacArthur says, “The only lasting efforts are those designed to accomplish God’s purposes for eternity.” We know that everything in this life is temporary, so we must focus our thoughts and actions heavenward, living our lives with eternity in mind. We have a great privilege to sing and worship our eternal Savior this coming Sunday, check out the songs for this week:
1. Famous One
This song by Chris Tomlin is taken in part from Psalm 19:1, “The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of His hands.” It’s a great way to start the service as we declare what the Lord has done for us, and ascribe the glory due his name!
2. Nothing but the Blood
I love singing this classic hymn, because it so simply reminds us that without the atonement of Christ on the cross, we would still be under the wrath of God. “O precious is the flow that makes me white as snow!”
3. Forever Reign
Continuing with our theme of how life is meaningless without Christ, we will sing how Christ provides his righteousness, his peace, and his truth so graciously to us. We know that we have no inherent goodness without Christ, only he can give us peace, and only in him do we find the truth! Nothing can compare to our relationship with him, may he forever reign!
4. Man of Sorrows
We must always point to and worship our Savior for going to the cross for us. This song is probably one of the best songs Hillsong has ever released. Drawing from scriptures like Isaiah 53:3 and taking lyrics from the hymn “The Old Rugged Cross”, this song so beautifully takes us through the story of the gospel - Christ’s death, burial & resurrection. Praise and honor unto him alone!
5. Christ is Enough
This song is very appropriate for us to sing as we finish chapter two of Ecclesiastes. We learn from the story of the richest, wisest man who ever lived - he had it all and it wasn’t enough. How fortunate are we to study this book! Only in Christ do we find our true reward. It’s so easy to get lured away by temporary pleasures, may Christ be enough for us as we walk through the life He has given us!
Psalm 96:2 says “Sing to the Lord, bless His name; tell of His salvation from day to day”. This is one of the reasons why we sing every Sunday! What a joy it is to bless our Savior for what He has done, and proclaim the great salvation that He has given us!
Music in the church is not entertainment, it’s not a catchy tune that we can nod our heads to and it isn’t a venue for musicians to show off their talents. We sing and play music in the church for the purpose of exalting our triune God! What a privilege it is to come and worship, what a privilege it is to use the gift of music for His glory!
Here’s what we’ll be singing this coming Sunday:
1. Open the Eyes of my Heart
This is an important prayer we should pray as we come into the service. “Open the eyes of my heart Lord, I want to see you!” I love how this song concludes, in adoration, proclaiming the holiness of God. That really is the only response we can have after we come close to our Savior.
As we continue in worship, we move from proclaiming His holiness to proclaiming His sovereign rule over all creation. Creation reveals His majesty, from every lightning bolt to the colors of fall, we see His grand design. The amazing thing is, as the song tells us, He sees the depths of our hearts and still loves us! How indescribable is that!
3. All I have is Christ
We introduced this great song by Sovereign Grace Music a couple months ago. It reminds us how foolish and futile our life was before Christ and breaks into a great chorus of praise - “Hallelujah, all I have is Christ. Hallelujah, Jesus is my life!”
4. Come Lord Jesus (Even so Come)
This week Pastor Pilgrim will continue in 2 Peter, and through this whole series we’ll be singing songs that have the Lord’s return in mind. This song is taken directly from the book of Revelation, exhorting us as the church to be ready for Jesus’ return. The song concludes by echoing the apostle John in Revelation 22:20 “He who testifies to these things says, ‘Yes, I cam coming soon.’ Amen, come Lord Jesus!”
5. Great is Thy Faithfulness
We’ll close out our time by singing this beloved hymn. He gives us strength for today, and bright hope for tomorrow - great is His faithfulness to us! Amen!!