This is one of the most well beloved hymns about our communion with and love for Jesus. Written by a 16 year old, the depth and power of these lyrics are sure to cause the heart to remember the love it has for it's redeemer. Arguably the most precious verse is the third, wherein we sing that we desire to love Jesus in life and death, and praise Him all the days of our life. May our dying words be "If ever I loved You, my Jesus, it's now."
Every now and then we find songs about singing! In this beautiful hymn, John Stocker turns our attention to God's mercy. In the first verse, we remember that it is only by God's mercy that we escape the terrors of Hell and that it was because of and for mercy that Jesus gave himself on the cross for our sins. In verse two, we remember it is only God's mercy that can overcome the coldness of our heart. Verse three proclaims the blessed truth that God's mercy is freely available to all who come for it, while we conclude by singing that it is God's covenenat love that guarantees our ownership of His mercy. This hymn has also been made popular by the group Caedmon's Call, who wrote another tune for it with slightly different verses and lyrics.
This is a beautiful song from Charles Wesley about the desire for holiness and genuine, ongoing hatred of our sin. Because we continue to sin, we have a continual need to be restored to God in our fellowship with him. This song expresses the desire for God to accept us anew when we "backslide". In the chorus we sing the powerful prayer that God would give us tender hearts that tremble at the approach of sin. Oh, that our worst fear would be offending our loving God who paid such a price to free us from sin's deadly grasp! Originally written for a solo setting, this is another song that we felt could be sung by a congregation successfully, though it is a little bit more challenging than many of our other songs.
We do not often publish songs with completely original texts. A former pastor at Calvary Baptist Church, Robert Glenn has written beautiful lyrics explaining why we can find joy, satisfaction, and rest in God. As we sing an overview of His character, recalling His perfect righteousness, unfailing promises, and righteous judgment, we remember what a truly good and perfect God it is that we can find rest in.
It has been my experience that it is hard to find good songs that express a desire for zeal in evangelism. If you are looking for this kind of song, look no further! Originally written as more of a solo performance piece, we think that it's singable at certain tempos and with certain congregations.
This is a song that could be a new Christmas favorite. Charles Wesley is famous for many beloved songs about Jesus' birth, and this song shows his skill at describing the theological significance of the incarnation. After singing the facts of Jesus' birth in the verses, we can respond along with Charles to simply proclaim "Hail! the everlasting Lord ... Friend of sinners - and of me!"
A wonderful song expressing our love for God's word, the Bible. Like only Charles Wesley can do, he delivers such personal, passionate expressions of what the Bible means for believers. It is our prayer that churches would begin to give God's holy Word the place it demands in our worship as expressed in songs like this. We can identify with Charles' cries that God would remove the folly of our darkened heart. Though as believers our hearts have been ultimately set free, we continue to bring them into temporary bondage as we sin. It is this hardness of our hearts that causes us to often disobey God's command to be both a hearer and a doer of the Word (James 1:22).
God's holy word, the Bible, is central to biblical worship. We can view one function of our times of singing in corporate worship as preparation to receive the proclaimed word of God. Since our chief joy is in God, and we experience that joy through our knowledge of Him, our hearts are genuinely warmed to the things of God as we sing His truth - not merely sentimental worship phrases. This song describes the place that God's word should have in our worship - that by it we would experience His presence, grown in our faith, be fed with heavenly food, and be guided in the righteous way. As we sing this song we also pray that God would help us to pay careful attention to His Word and that he would open our hearts to receive it. May our times of worship continue to be more Word-centered, Christ-centerd, and God-centered!
I know of no other hymn writer who could express the remorse and terror of our own sinfulness than Charles Wesley. This powerful song is a cry to the God who has graciously saved us even when we shook our fist in His face and scorned His law for our own. Those whom God is pleased to save know this guilt, this cry of the penitent sinner in Luke 18:13: "God, be merciful to me, the sinner!". Like this man, we can humbly ask, "Can there be mercy still reserved for me?". Our joy as Christians is rooted in the fact that we know the answer to this question - YES!
In John 13 we see a powerful demonstration of what it meant for Jesus to be a servant leader. As he approached Peter to wash His feet (a task normally reserved for a servant, not an esteemed teacher), Peter was understandably uncomforable. Like in Luke 5:8 when Peter told Jesus "away from me, Lord, I am a sinful man!", he felt unworthy to be in the presence of his Lord. But after Jesus told Peter "unless I wash you, you have no part with me", in characteristic Peter form, he asked for Jesus to wash not only his feet but his hands and head as well. This song adds the heart as a third thing we desire to be washed by our Lord. Note that the original text of the third verse has been altered to make it easier to understand.