Throughout my life, there have been times where I have just wanted to get away from all the hustle and bustle. Those times have been thoroughly satisfied. I want some hustle. I need some bustle – whatever that is!
Extended periods of isolation bring me down. Even though I really identify myself as an introvert, I find that I need the community that comes with being part of the body of Christ. Without that connection to the body, I find that my mind goes back to all the things that bring shame and condemnation. I find it harder to “set [my] mind on things that are above, not on things that are on earth” (Colossians 3:2). I find myself forgetting that there is “there is…no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus” (Romans 8:1). I find myself forgetting His grace.
The good news is that there is grace to be found – abundant, overflowing grace! And it’s all to be found hoping in Christ.
That’s what we’ll be singing about this Sunday – the grace and love of Christ that overcomes all of our sin and draws us into relationship with Christ!
These verses were on my heart as the worship set came together this week:
- Lamentations 3:22-24 — The steadfast love of the LORD never ceases; His mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness. “The LORD is my portion,” says my soul, “therefore I will hope in Him.”
- Romans 3:22b-25 — For there is no distinction: for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified by His grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God put forward as a propitiation by His blood, to be received by faith. This was to show God’s righteousness, because in His divine forbearance He had passed over former sins.
- Romans 5:8 — …but God shows His love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
No matter what the day brings us, God has fresh mercy, grace, and love for us every day. The best part of waking up is not Folgers in your coffee cup, it’s the fresh embrace of a loving Savior, ready for whatever situation you find yourself experiencing!
Here are our songs:
- “Grace Wins” — We are not perfect. The depth of our sin is something that we are ashamed of and wish never had happened once we encounter Jesus. That shame and condemnation can weigh us down, but the gospel tells us that God’s forgiveness removes our sin “as far as the east is from the west” (Psalm 103:12). This song reminds of Christ’s victory over sin, death, and the grave. This song reminds us of the new life that is found in Christ Jesus and how it covers all of our old life. “The old has passed away; behold, the new has come” (2 Corinthians 5:17).
- “Amazing Grace (My Chains are Gone)” — This hymn is one that a lot of people know and with which all believers should be able to identify. The Bible tells us that all of our testimonies involve being formerly dead in our trespasses and sins (Ephesians 2:1-2), being made alive by the abundant grace of Christ Jesus (Ephesians 2:4-5), and being thankful for that new life in Christ (Hebrews 12:28). Imagery of being freed from the slavery of sin is abundant in Scripture, and, praise God, it is abundant in the lives of every believer!
- Scripture References / Inspiration for the Song: Romans 3:21-24, Romans 5:1-2, Romans 8:1-4, Jeremiah 17:9, Luke 15, John 9:25-29, Psalm 112:1, Psalm 31:5, Ephesians 2:4, Lamentations 3:22-23, 1 John 4:18, Matthew 13:44-46, John 8:31-36, Psalm 23:6, Philippians 1:6, Psalm 119:49, Psalm 119:81, Psalm 119:114, 2 Samuel 22:3, Lamentations 3:24, 2 Peter 3:10, Joel 2:31, Revelation 21:3
- “How Deep the Father’s Love For Us” — This is a newer hymn that beautifully shows the love of God shown to us in Christ. When it says, “…that He should give His only Son to make a wretch His treasure”, I cannot help but think of all the reasons He should not love me. But, thankfully, He does not love me because He has to – He wants to love me! Even though “it was my sin that held Him there”, He loves me and calls me His beloved. Amen.
- “Build My Life” — This song makes me think of L.G. Schmitz. I have never heard him preach where he did not declare from Scripture that “God has a plan for you!” He always accompanies that with Ephesians 2:10: “For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.” That’s the gist of this song. Out of the over-abundance of thankfulness for what Christ has done for us, we ask the Lord to build our lives in a way that makes them “worthy of the gospel of Christ” (Philippians 1:27).
- “Here Again” — This is a new song for us. It carries a lot of meaning, especially now. This song is a prayer. It asks God to be with us in the here and now, taking our eyes off the past and hoping in Him for the future. We can’t “go back to the beginning”, but, if we could, He’d be there. As believers, He’s our future. This song is about us trusting that we believe the promises He’s made us in these things.