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Songs for Sunday

Songs for Sunday — October 18, 2020

Often I find myself sitting at this computer, praying and searching for the best words to prepare our hearts for worshiping our King on Sunday. Today, I am sure that I have the best words – perfect words.

I did a Bible search for verses referencing praising the name of the Lord. Here is a small sampling that show us the scope and depth that our worship should contain for the One with a name above every other:

Praise the LORD! Praise, O servants of the LORD, praise the name of the LORD!

Psalm 113:1

Let them praise the name of the LORD! For He commanded and they were created.

Psalm 148:5

Let them praise the name of the LORD, for his name alone is exalted; His majesty is above the earth and heaven.

Psalm 148:13

Let them praise His name with dancing, making melody to Him with tambourine and lyre!

Psalm 149:3

Let not the downtrodden turn back in shame; let the poor and needy praise your name.

Psalm 74:21

And now we thank you, Our God, and praise your glorious name.

1 Chronicles 29:13

I will praise the name of God with a song; I will magnify Him with thanksgiving.

Psalm 69:30

You shall eat in plenty and be satisfied, and praise the name of the LORD your God, who has dealt wondrously with you. And my people shall never again be put to shame.

Joel 2:26

Bring me out of prison, that I may give thanks to your name! The righteous will surround me, for you will deal bountifully with me.

Psalm 142:7

I will give to the LORD the thanks due to His righteousness, and I will sing praise to the name of the LORD, the Most High.

Psalm 7:17

And it is in the name and to the “glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ” (Titus 2:13) that we will praise and have hope as we sing tomorrow!

These passages were on my heart as the worship set came together this week:

Here are our songs:

I hope to see you with us, whether you gather in person, in the parking lot via speaker, or on Facebook or YouTube live!

If gathering in person, please remember that masks are recommended and that we need to remain vigilant in our social distancing measures. Continue to pray for those who are sick – not just our members but all those around the world.

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Songs for Sunday Uncategorized

Songs for Sunday — October 11, 2020

Last week, Big John said something that has stuck in my head all week. He talked about how earthly parents are limited in how much they can do for their children.

They want to take away pain, but there is only so much they can do to relieve their children’s suffering. They want to save them from trouble, but – again – they have limits. But our God is not limited!

Romans 8:31-39 tells us about the everlasting love of our heavenly Father:

What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare His own Son but gave Him up for us all, how will He not also with Him graciously give us all things?

Romans 8:31-32

What powerful and humbling questions!

He goes on to tell us more about that love:

Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword?

Romans 8:35

Any of those things would be enough to thwart me as an earthly Father. Again, I – as all earthly fathers are – am limited. But our Father is not! Look at the answer to all of these questions:

No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Romans 8:37-39

That’s good news! And that never ending, never stopping, never failing, never giving-up love of our God and Savior is what we are singing about this Sunday!

These verses were on my heart as the worship set came together this week:

Here are our songs:

I hope to see you with us, whether you gather in person, in the parking lot via speaker, or on Facebook or YouTube live!

If gathering in person, please remember that masks are recommended and that we need to remain vigilant in our social distancing measures. Continue to pray for those who are sick – not just our members but all those around the world.

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Songs for Sunday Uncategorized

Songs for Sunday – 9/27/2020

This Sunday at Christ Community we get to celebrate new life! We celebrate the Life – our resurrected King Jesus! It is a blessing to get to be a part of what He is doing!

Speaking of what God is doing, we will get to celebrate believers’ baptism Sunday afternoon! I have always found that baptism Sundays are the most exciting ones in every church I have served, but there is only one party that outdoes Christ Community’s baptism services – when the angels rejoice over saved sinners (Luke 15:10)!

It is no less miraculous to see someone born again than seeing someone born the first time! You see, a lost sinner – dead in their trespasses and sins (Ephesians 2:1) – repenting of their sin and putting their trust in Christ – being raised to life in Christ (Ephesians 2:4-5) is a miracle. I mean, how often do we see the dead raised?

Baptism – as Paul describes it in Romans 6 – is a beautiful picture of this miracle:

We were buried therefore with Him in baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life.

Romans 6:4

When a new believer is submersed under the water, it symbolizes the death of the old self, the flesh. It represents the death we deserve that was earned by our sin (Romans 6:23). But, typically, the grave is a one way trip. Gravediggers only dig entrances.

Jesus makes a Way for us. He died for our sins and rose from the dead. He invites us to have faith – believe and trust – in Him. And, if we do that, the Bible teaches that we share in His Life, His resurrection:

For if we have been united with Him in a death like His, we shall certainly be united with Him in a resurrection like His.

Romans 6:5

That’s good news that’s worth celebrating! And that’s what we’re singing about this Sunday morning! It’s my prayer that, if you do not know Him, that you see the surpassing worth that is in Jesus (Philippians 3:8)and trust in Him!

These verses were on my heart as the worship set came together this week:

Here are our songs:

I hope to see you with us, whether you gather in person, in the parking lot via speaker, or on Facebook or YouTube live!

If gathering in person, please remember that masks are recommended and that we need to remain vigilant in our social distancing measures. Continue to pray for those who are sick – not just our members but all those around the world.

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Songs for Sunday

Songs for Sunday – 9/13/2020

Over the past week, it seems like we are hearing a lot about repentance at Christ Community.

Big John showed us our need to return to the Lord as a nation in Jeremiah 4. The last two weeks of our Refresh & Restore devotions have looked at repentance — how sin works and our need to repent and beginning to look at how to repent in Psalm 51. But, as much as I would like to tell you that we have a big plan where we have coordinated with each other, it is pure coincidence on the part of me and John. The plan goes above our pay grade.

L.G. tells us often that God has a plan for our lives, but it is different when we see it begin to form before us. It is different still when that plan involves repentance. You see, repentance is not fun. It is not enjoyable. Nor is it meant to be. Being corrected is never fun – never enjoyable. But it is always necessary. And, while the process is not enjoyable, the results are blessing and restoration!

Psalm 32 is considered a penitent Psalm (basically a Psalm of repentance). But look at how positively it teaches us to view repentance:

Blessed is the one whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered. Blessed is the man against whom the LORD counts no iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no deceit.

Psalm 32:1-2

The blessing comes from the forgiveness! This does not do away with the pain or consequence of sin. It highlights the fact that we have a loving Father waiting for us on the other side of the process (Luke 15:11-32)! We have the opportunity and the privilege to get to repent. And when we turn away from our sin and back toward our Savior — oh, what a blessing it is to return to Him!

And that’s what we are singing about tomorrow — the joy of returning to the Savior in repentance!

These Scriptures were on my heart as the worship set came together this week:

Here are our songs:

I hope to see you with us, whether you gather in person, in the parking lot via speaker, or on Facebook or YouTube live!

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Songs for Sunday

Songs for Sunday – 8/30/2020

Tomorrow is the Lord’s day. It is the day that His people gather together and celebrate the resurrection of King Jesus! We plan to make much of Him tomorrow!

All of the songs we sing make much of Jesus because He is everything. Tomorrow, all of our songs are stemming around the great Christ hymn found in Colossians 1:

For He has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son He loves, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.
[Jesus] is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For by Him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by Him and for Him. He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together. And He is the head of the body, the Church; He is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything He might have the supremacy. For God was pleased to have all His fullness dwell in Him, and through Him to reconcile to Himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through His blood, shed on the cross.
Once you were alienated from God and were enemies because of your evil behavior. But now He has reconciled you by Christ’s physical body through death to present you holy in His sight, without blemish and free from accusation — if you continue in your faith, established and firm, not moved from the hope held out in the gospel. This is the gospel that you heard and that has been proclaimed to every creature under heaven, and of which I, Paul, have become a servant.

Colossians 1:13-23

It is all about Jesus! May our lives and praises reflect this!

Here are our songs:

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Songs for Sunday

Songs for Sunday – 8/23/2020

At Christ Community, we have seen this pandemic period help us focus on the essentials: praying, preaching, praising. Each of these elements put our focus on God. Each gives us the opportunity to worship Him. Each are essential in the life of a believer.

It is easy to see the necessity of prayer and preaching, but, sometimes, it is easy to let our time of praise turn into a time of entertainment and slip into a consumer mentality.

Prayer gives us one-on-one time with the Most High where we have access to Him like a child in the lap of our Father. Preaching gives us the very words of God from His lips to our ears, every Truth profitable for our lives. And that time of corporate worship – all of our voices lifted together, some in sorrow and others in joy – connects us all by our shared belief in King Jesus. In those moments, all of the sorrows and trials in this world – that every, single one of us face – fade away because we are one voice crying out to the One and Only who can save and lift us up.

Sometimes praise is hard. Sometimes joy seems so distant. The psalmist echoes this sentiment:

“Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you in turmoil within me? Hope in God; for I shall again praise Him, my salvation and my God.”

Psalm 42:5 & 11

Singing lifts us up. We sing because we have hope in God. We sing because we are in turmoil. Satan wants us to believe that we are so beaten, so defeated, that singing praises to God is a worthless gesture. When God’s people were in exile in Babylon, they were convinced of this to the point that they hung up their praise like we would a jacket.

“By the waters of Babylon, there we sat down and wept, when we remembered Zion. On the willows there we hung our lyres. For there our captors required of us songs, and our tormentors, mirth, saying, ‘Sing us one of the songs of Zion!’ How shall we sing the LORD’s song in a foreign land?”

Psalm 137:1-4

They allowed themselves to despise those songs of praise. They allowed something essential to be taken away from them. We must not!

Rather than hanging up our praise and allowing the shame, depression, and confusion to wash over us, drowning out our cries of praise and pleas for mercy from God, let us lift up our voices. Let us “hope in God”. Let us echo Psalm 42 and say that we “shall again praise Him, [our] salvation and [our] God”!

You see, the things that torment us or try to steal our joy are not more powerful than our great God – “He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world” (1 John 4:4)! Everything that we war against is under “subjection under [Jesus’s] feet” (1 Corinthians 15:27)! That’s good news!

So, let us turn our eyes away from “worthless things” (Psalm 119:37) and set our affections, hope, and focus on Christ alone (Colossians 3:1-4)!

And that is exactly what we are going to sing out tomorrow!

These verses were on my heart as the worship set came together this week:

Here are our songs:

As always, I look forward to seeing you either person or via one of our live platforms.

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Songs for Sunday

Songs for Sunday – 8/15/2020

The gospel is simple. Thank God it is!

In the beginning, God created everything, and it was good (Genesis 1). Mankind was (and is) His special creation (Genesis 2). Adam, Eve, and God spent time together face-to-face (Genesis 3:8). It was very good (Genesis 1:31).

Unfortunately, that goodness was messed up by sin. Sin is when you break God’s commands or laws (1 John 3:4). For Adam and Eve, it was just one command – to not eat from a specific tree in the Garden of Eden (Genesis 2:15-17) – that they could not keep. They were tempted with the fruit and, knowing fully what they were doing, ate it anyway (Genesis 3:1-7). This event is known as the Fall, and its consequences continue even today.

The Fall introduced sin into the world. And sin brings forth death (Genesis 3:22, Romans 6:23). Every man and woman, boy and girl from the Fall to now and beyond are sinners (Romans 3:23). And, just like with Adam and Eve, that sin is going to bring us death one day.

BUT GOD.

“BUT GOD, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ – by grace you have been saved….”

Ephesians 2:4-5

“BUT when the goodness and loving kindness of GOD our Savior appeared, He saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to His own mercy….”

Titus 3:4-5a

God knew all along that His special creation would sin against Him. He could have scrapped the whole plan. He would have been just and right to wipe out Adam and Eve when they sinned. But, instead, we are offered grace. Like I said, God knew all of this would happen, and He had His rescue planned from before the beginning, too (1 Peter 1:20-21)!

God’s rescue plan is something no one would expect. You see, people expect religion. They expect to work hard to be good and try to do right, but none of us are righteous (Romans 3:10). No, God knew that the only way for us to be saved was for Him to leave Heaven and come to Earth to save us; He left His glorious throne and came down to live in the muck and the mire and the fallen world where we live (John 1:14). He came not just to make a way for us but to be our Way (John 14:6).

“…but God shows His love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”

Romans 5:8

We do not have to work or earn or try to get there. We simply need to call out to Him.

“…because if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.”

Romans 10:9

It really is just that simple. All we have to do is cry out to Him in repentance (turning from our sin), faith (belief in Him as who the Bible says He is), and following Him (confessing Him as Lord). All you have to do is call on Him and you will be saved (Romans 10:13).

That’s what we’re singing about this Sunday: the Gospel, plain and simple!

Here are our songs:

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Songs for Sunday

Songs for Sunday – 8/9/2020

Earlier today, I was picking up some garbage in front of the church. Cars were going back and forth down Carrollton Rd., and I thought about typing out one of those Facebook posts. I have not written one of those posts in years. I have thought them plenty of times. But I really wanted to type out a good ole passive-aggressive, self-righteous public service announcement to remind people that they should not throw trash out of their windows in front of the Lord’s house.

Then it happened. Even though it the idea for the post was just a brief thought, it triggered a memory that I had forgotten about.

It had to have been about eighteen or nineteen years ago that the men at the church I grew up in were helping an older lady move. She had a grandson who had been born special. We were the same age and had been around each other for years. I can remember being intimidated by his love for the Word and memory for Scriptures, especially since his mind did not work the same as everyone else’s. For whatever reason, they allowed him to ride with me as we hauled furniture in my pickup.

It was hot. I chugged down the last of my pop. And I threw the bottle out the window on a dusty gravel road. I can remember his words clearly: “I know the Lord doesn’t like people to throw garbage out in His creation.”

Ouch!

He did not mean it passive aggressively. He was not being self-righteous. In fact, he was not capable of either vice. He was genuinely grieved by what I had done, and I was convicted. He showed me grace.

That is what God showed me again today when I was convicted of my heart and mindset on the side of the road. I am thankful for the grace of God to allow me to see my sin and repent. I am thankful for the grace of God in forgiveness. I am thankful for the grace of God in letting me remember. And I am even more thankful for the grace of God in that “as far as the east is from the west, so far does He remove our transgressions from us” (Psalm 103:12).

And that’s what we are singing about this Sunday: the grace of God.

These verses were on my heart as the worship set came together this week:

Here are our songs:

I hope to see you with us, whether you gather in person, in the parking lot via speaker, or on Facebook or YouTube live!

If gathering in person, please remember that masks are recommended and that we need to remain vigilant in our social distancing measures. Continue to pray for those who are sick – not just our members but all those around the world.

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Songs for Sunday

Songs for Sunday – 8/2/2020

Who is the most influential person you have ever encountered?

If we were not talking in a church setting, most people would answer with the name of a parent, teacher, or mentor of some sort. Maybe you have had the opportunity to meet someone famous or have had some chance encounter that changed the trajectory of your life. No doubt these individuals have had profound and lasting impact on your life – and, hopefully, for the better. But no one – no one – has a more lasting impact than Jesus.

Encountering Jesus always has a profound effect on the lives of people. In fact, there are only two responses of people who have encountered Him. People either follow Him or reject Him. And those two responses could not be farther apart.

To reject Jesus is to follow after the world.

  • Unrepentent Cities, Matthew 11:20 – Then He began to denounce the cities where most of His mighty works had been done, because they did not repent.
  • The Rich Young Ruler, Matthew 19:22 – When the young man heart this he went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions.
  • Chief Priests & Pharisees, Matthew 21:45-46 – When the chief priests and the Pharisees heard his parables, they perceived that He was talking about them. And although they were seeking to arrest Him, they feared the crowds, because they held Him to be a prophet.
  • Chief Priests, Elders, & the High Priest, Matthew 26:3-6 – Then the chief priests and the elders of the people gathered in the palace of the high priest, whose name was Caiaphas, and plotted together in order to arrest Jesus by stealth and kill Him. But they said, “Not during the feast, lest there be an uproar among the people.”
  • Judas, Matthew 26:15 – and [Judas] said, “What will you (chief priests) give me if I deliver Him over to you?” And they paid him thirty pieces of silver. And from that moment he sought an opportunity to betray him.
  • The people/crowd – likely including those who the chief priests were afraid of in earlier verses, Matthew 27:22-23 – Pilate said to them, “Then what shall I do with Jesus who is called Christ?” They all said, “Let Him be crucified!” And he said, “Why? What evil has He done?” But they shouted all the more, “Let Him be crucified!”
  • Chief Priests & Elders, Matthew 28:12-13 – And when they had assembled with the elders and taken counsel, they gave a sufficient sum of money to the soldiers and said, “Tell people ‘His disciples came by night and stole Him away while we were asleep.’

To follow Jesus is to find Life.

  • Andrew & Peter, Matthew 4:20 – Immediately they left their nets and followed Him.
  • James & John, Matthew 4:22 – Immediately they left the boat and their father and followed Him.
  • Matthew, Matthew 9:9 – As Jesus passed on from there, He saw a man called Matthew sitting at the tax booth, and He said to him, “Follow me.” And he rose and followed Him.
  • Roman Centurion(s) at the Crucifixion, Matthew 27:54 – When the centurion and those who were with Him, keeping watch over Jesus, saw the earthquake and what took place, they were filled with awe and said, “Truly this was the Son of God!”
  • Joseph of Arimathea, Matthew 27:57-58a – When it was evening, there came a rich man from Arimathea, named Joseph, who also was a disciple of Jesus. He went to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus.

Just scanning through the book of Matthew, we can see the difference in response to Jesus. Those in both lists were people who saw Jesus with their own eyes. They could have touched Jesus with their hands. They – both groups – saw and experienced His power through miracles we can only imagine. Yet some did not follow.

Jesus’ words in Matthew 16:24-26 show us why:

Then Jesus told His disciples, “If anyone would come after Me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it. For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul?

So, when we encounter Jesus will our response be to put all of our hope, trust, faith, and worship in Him, or will we try to put all of those things in the world? Ultimately, we are asked with our lives to answer the question Pilate asked above: “Then what shall I do with Jesus who is called the Christ?”

My hope for you is that you have looked at the surpassing worth of Jesus and followed Him. 1 Peter 5:6-7 says, “Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time He may exalt you, casting all your anxieties on Him, because He cares for you.”

That’s good news and what we are singing about this Sunday! We are going to set our eyes on the King of kings and get to worship Him! We are going to seek His face and pour out our hearts before Him! We have the privilege to worship and follow Him; may He change and mold us as He sees fit!

These verses were on my heart as the worship set came together:

Here are our songs:

I hope to see you with us, whether you gather in person, in the parking lot via speaker, or on Facebook or YouTube live!

If gathering in person, please remember that masks are strongly recommended and that we need to remain vigilant in our social distancing measures. Continue to pray for those who are sick – not just our members but all those around the world.

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Songs for Sunday

Songs for Sunday – 7/26/2020

Are you forgetful? Maybe you were about to tell someone something and your mind went blank. Or maybe you walked into a store to grab a few items only to leave with ten other things (and none of what you came after in the first place). But what about what God has done for you – have you ever forgotten about that?

Psalm 107:1-3 says,

Oh, give thanks to the LORD, for He is good,
for His steadfast love endures forever!
Let the redeemed of the LORD say so,
whom He has redeemed from trouble
and gathered from the lands,
from the east and from the west,
from the north and from the south.

God’s people have always been a forgetful people. If you look back through the Bible – Old and New Testaments, you see God consistently redeeming His people from trouble, their forgetting what He did for them, and His reminding them of the grace and salvation again and again.

Psalm 107 gives us a clear picture of this.

We are able to see a variety of things that God saved His people from in this psalm; for example:

  • “wandered in desert wastes” (v. 4)
  • “hungry and thirsty”, soul-fainting, “trouble…distress” (v. 5)
  • “darkness”, “shadow of death”, “prisoners in affliction and in irons” (v. 10)
  • “fools through their sinful ways”, “because of iniquities suffered affliction” (v. 17)

Those problems and afflictions are many, and, most of us, can problem identify with many things from that list. But, rather than identify with them in their affliction, we need to identify with them in their response. Every, single, time God’s people gave the same response (vv. 6, 13, 19, 28): “Then they cried out to the LORD in their trouble, and He delivered them from their distress.” Not only was that their constant response, but God delivered them every, single, time

The pattern was the same over and over. God’s people cried out, a description was given of the affliction from which they had been delivered, and a response was prescribed for them (vv. 8, 15, 21, 31): “Let them thank the LORD for His steadfast love, for His wondrous works to the children of man!”

We have already established that we are forgetful, but let me remind you that God always delivers His people. Whatever affliction we are suffering feels like it will never end because we are in the middle of it. But think back to all of the times that God has helped you, redeemed you, rescued you. God’s track record speaks for itself. But we are forgetful in the middle of the storm. But let the words of Psalm 107 calm the storm inside of you:

Then they cried to the LORD in their trouble,
and He delivered them from their distress.
He made the storm be still,
and the waves of the sea were hushed.
Then they were glad that the waters were quiet,
and He brought them to their desired haven.
Let them thank the LORD for His steadfast love,
for His wondrous works to the children of man!

Psalm 107:28-31

And that’s what we’re singing about this Sunday morning! We are going to be reminded that the steadfast love of the Lord is upon us and available for all! And we are going to trust Him to bring us to our “desired haven” – eternity in His presence!

These verses were on my heart as the worship set came together this week:

Here are our songs:

I hope to see you with us, whether you gather in person, in the parking lot via speaker, or on Facebook or YouTube live!

If gathering in person, please remember that masks are recommended and that we need to remain vigilant in our social distancing measures. Continue to pray for those who are sick – not just our members but all those around the world.