This weekend, we focused on John 2:1 - 4:44, and looked at several people and their responses to Jesus. Ultimately, we all need to have the mindset of John the Baptist, that Christ must increase, and we must decrease. Jesus should be the one to receive all the glory in our lives, and not us. From salvation to the day-to-day, Jesus is the one who deserves the credit and thanksgiving for all that is good in our lives. We also focused on the gospel, and how our lives should interact with it on a daily basis. In the songs for this weekend, we emphasized the miraculous and God's ability to do the impossible, with the ultimate point being that the gospel is a fantastic miracle, where Jesus accomplished the impossible on our behalf, and rescued us from our sin. Here's our service plan from this weekend:
Time of Preparation Welcome/Greeting Time Call to Worship/Prayer "Unchanging" (G) [Chris Tomlin] "Our God" (G) [Jonas Myrin, Matt Redman, Chris Tomlin, Jesse Reeves] "The Lost Are Found" (A) [Ben Fielding, Sam Knock] "God Is Able" (A) [Reuben Morgan, Ben Fielding] Prayer Message - John 3:22-36 [Joe Hishmeh] Offering/Announcements Response - "God Is Able" [Reuben Morgan, Ben Fielding] Dismissal Baptism Service
"Unchanging" - We sang this song this weekend because it speaks about the eternal, unchanging existence of Jesus. He has always been God. As the Gospel of John begins, "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God." This song is a strong part of our church's worship vocabulary, and we are able to sing it from our hearts and not merely from the page. I have loved this song since it was first released back in 2002 on Tomlin's Not To Us album, partly because it says something that isn't quite common in worship music: Jesus was, and is, and is to come. As Hebrews 13:8 says, "Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever."
"Our God" - As we have been reading through the Gospel of John as a church, we have begun reading the accounts of Jesus' miracles as His public ministry began. This song speaks of some of those miracles, and turns those to point to Christ's supremacy - He is higher than any other, and there is no one like Him. This is another staple in our vocabulary, and it is a great reminder of the glory of God.
"The Lost Are Found" - We began teaching this song a few weeks ago, and brought it back this week as a refresher, as it fit very well with where we have been reading in John. One thing I value about this song is how it not only looks back to the miracles that Christ worked on this earth, but also forward to the future when Chris returns and makes everything new. He will restore all that is broken, heal hurts, right the wrongs of injustice, and wipe away every tear. We can look forward with confidence and hope to that day, that hope should change the way we live (as 1 John 3:3 says). This not my favorite song, because there is not a whole lot to it. However, it communicates a great truth in a new way, and some of our people really connect with it.
"God Is Able" - This was a new song that we taught this week. I have not been able to get this song off of my heart and mind over the past few weeks since I first heard it. It is very easy to sing, and it is a very encouraging song that points to the power and ability of our God to change things. Nothing is impossible with God (Luke 1:37), and He will never fail. We can place our hope and confidence in Him as we look to the empty grave and see God's power over sin and death. He is truly the Almighty. Here's the lyric:
"God Is Able" Reuben Morgan and Ben Fielding
VERSE 1 God is able, He will never fail He is almighty God Greater than all we seek Greater than all we ask He has done great things
CHORUS Lifted up, He defeated the grave Raised to life, our God is able In His name, we overcome For the Lord our God is able
VERSE 2 God is with us, God is on our side He will make a way Far above all we know Far above all we hope He has done great things
BRIDGE God is with us, He will go before He will never leave us, He will never leave us God is for us, He has open arms He will never fail us, He will never fail us
This is one of my favorite songs of this year. It grabs my heart and points my hope and my glory to the risen Christ. We repeated this song after the message. I look forward to this song becoming a part of our church's worship vocabulary over the next few weeks. Our congregation was already singing out and engaging with it this weekend, so I can't imagine how that will develop with time.
I hope you had a great weekend of worship wherever you were.
In the Son,
p.s. don't forget to check out The Worship Community!