This weekend, Joe preached about increasing our ministry in and to our families. At the end of the day, this is our primary responsibility as believers in Jesus Christ. We need to be building our families around the gospel of Christ, and that truth ought to permeate all of our family relationships. The message was out of Deuteronomy 6, where Moses is telling the people of God to dwell on the truth of how God redeemed them, and to recount it to their children and their children's children at every opportunity, from morning until night. I was really challenged to be a better husband and father, and a more faithful spiritual leader in my home. It was a little tricky to find solid songs that have a specifically "family" angle to them, but we focused on the holiness of God and how He redeemed us, and therefore our proper response is obedience and trust, spending our lives to further His kingdom and to give Him the glory He deserves.
Here's our set from this weekend:
Pre-Service - "Everlasting God" (Bb) [Brenton Brown, Ken Riley]
Call To Worship - Rev. 15:3-4
"Holy Is The Lord" (G) [Chris Tomlin]
"Cannons" (G) [Phil Wickham]
"Our God" (G) [Jonas Myrin, Matt Redman, Chris Tomlin, Jesse Reeves]
"Because of Your Love" (G) [Phil Wickham]
Message - "Upgrade: Family" [Joe Hishmeh]
Response - "All To Us" (Bb) [Chris Tomlin, Jesse Reeves, Matt Redman, Matt Maher]
"Everlasting God" - We opened in our pre-service time with this song. Not much needs to be said about the song itself. It is one our staples here, and our people connect well with it. We used this song because it emphasizes God's eternality, and sheds light on the fact that He is very different from us, and worthy of our worship. Also, He uses His great power to hold us up and strengthen us to accomplish His purposes on this earth.
"Holy Is The Lord" - This is a simple, straightforward song about the holiness and glory of God. We sang this song because the passage Joe preached from in Deuteronomy 6 speaks of God's holiness as a motivator for our obedience and dedication to Him and His purposes. He is worth following.
"Cannons" - This is a song that I haven't sang in over 8 months. I love this song and its message. Even transposed down a full step to the key of G, it is still on the high side, hitting an E in the melody on the bridge. Tuning it down more would really change the way we play it (especially on guitar), but I may consider doing that, because this song is worth singing. I prefaced this song by mentioning a quote from A.W. Tozer, who says in The Knowledge Of The Holy, "God is as far above an archangel as He is above a caterpillar." The archangel and the caterpillar actually have more in common in that they are both created things and both distinctly "not-God." It is from the chapter on God's Transcendence, and it really opened my eyes more to how "other" God really is. He is much different from us, and there is really no comparison. This idea was really fitting for all that we sang this week, but this song in particular tied in: "You are holy/ Great and mighty/ The moon and the stars/ Declare who You are/ I'm so unworthy/ But still You love me/ Forever my heart/ Will sing of how great You are." This chorus points out that we are unworthy to stand in His presence, much less be heirs together with Christ. However, God has loved us and made a way for us where there was no way.
"Our God" - We sang this song because it speaks of God's "other-ness," when it sings, "There's no one like You/ None like You." It speaks of God's greatness and power, and again points us to His surpassing worth. Because of who He is, the only appropriate response is to follow Him completely, loving Him with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength.
"Because of Your Love" - This song brings the rest of the songs into greater focus, as we sing about how this same God who is above any other is the one who laid down His life to redeem us. It makes the reality of the gospel even more astonishing, in my mind, to think that the one who gave Himself up for us is the one who shaped the universe and the galaxies. This song is a song of dedication, and points us to obedience as we sing together, "Lord, You gave Your life for me/ So I will live my life for You/ All because of Your love." His giving prompts us to give our lives to Him in obedience. We used this song to tie the message and the rest of the songs together, in that the reason we obey and sacrifice and make disciples is that God gave first.
"All To Us" - This song speaks of Jesus as our "precious cornerstone" and "sure foundation," and we felt that this was a fitting way to respond to Joe's message this weekend. We need to build our homes and our lives on the only sure foundation, Jesus Christ.
It was a good weekend of worship. I am so thankful for our community and what God is calling us to do here. The team did a fantastic job in each of the services, and I felt that God's people were engaging Him in worship the entire weekend. I was happy (and surprised) that I was able to finish all the services without any major vocal issues, despite being sick as a dog the whole weekend. I'm beat now, though, and I'm going to go take a nap or something!
I hope you had a good weekend of worship. Check out The Worship Community's Sunday Setlists to see what other leaders and worshipers experienced this week in their communities. Have a great week!
In the Son,