Posts Tagged ‘salvation’

Jesus is risen! He has conquered sin and death, and He reigns forevermore. This weekend holds so much meaning for the church, and it was truly a joy to celebrate Christ’s resurrection together. This weekend, we had two services on Good Friday, and then six Easter services through Saturday and Sunday (two on Saturday and four on Sunday). It was a marathon, but it was completely worth it. I am so proud of our team for stepping up and serving with excellence in all of the services, giving their best for our Savior and His church.

Here’s our set from Good Friday:

“Jesus Messiah” (G) [Chris Tomlin, Daniel Carson, Jesse Reeves, and Ed Cash]
“Because of Your Love” (G) [Phil Wickham]
Lamb of God” (G) [Bill Horn]
Message – “The Heroic Rescue of Humanity: Jesus the Savior” [Joe Hishmeh]
Response – “The Wonderful Cross” [Isaac Watts, Chris Tomlin, Jesse Reeves, Lowell Mason, J.D. Watts]
Communion Intro
“Nothing But The Blood” [Matt Redman]
“You Saw Me” [Mia Fieldes, Ben Fielding, and Reuben Morgan]
Taking of the elements
Dismissal 

And here’s how we celebrated the resurrection in our Easter services:

Pre-service – “God is Alive” (A) [Steve Fee and Eddie Kirkland]
Call to worship – Mark 16:4-6
“Happy Day” (Bb) [Tim Hughes and Ben Cantelon]
Welcome/ Offering/ Announcements/ Greeting time
“You Alone Can Rescue” (Bb) [Matt Redman and Jonas Myrin]
“Stronger” (Bb) [Ben Fielding and Reuben Morgan]
Message – “The Heroic Rescue of Humanity: Jesus the Restorer” [Joe Hishmeh]
Response – “Jesus Paid It All” [John Thomas Grape, Elvina M. Hall, and Alex Nifong]
Dismissal – Joe Hishmeh

I am thrilled with how this weekend’s services went. Our Good Friday services were sweet times of reflection on the cross and on Jesus sacrifice for us. We used a distinct instrumentation for the service, with predominantly acoustic instruments. We had two standard acoustics, a high-strung acoustic (Nashville tuning), viola, fretless bass, and a percussion set up for our drummer with djembe and cajon and a few toys. It was very organic in the way that we put the songs together and in the way we presented it. I thought it came across the way we wanted, and people were pointed to the cross. We had the large, wooden cross lit in all red, and the band was all in black in the background on the stage, and that helped to communicate the desired focus for the evening. In all, it was a strong and sincere evening. Good Friday is one of my favorite occasions for worship, as we praise our Savior for His great sacrifice on our behalf–in our place, for our sins.

One Easter, we pulled out the stops, and pushed things forward a bit with some new elements. We opened the pre-service time with “God is Alive,” and we used a brand-new element in our context: our drummer, Jordan, is a master beat producer, and he brought out his Akai MPC 4000 to create a loop to play underneath the whole song, which would be brought into focus during the intro and the breaks. I was giddy when he put it all together and we started to play together as a band. It was such a fresh addition to what we have been doing, and it is and element that I have wanted to incorporate (in any worship setting) for years. The click track was step one to getting to this point, and we got here a lot quicker than I anticipated. It was pretty special to finally experience it in that way. I thought it added even more energy to an already exciting song. It was a perfect moment for me, as we sang out “Everyone/ Glorify the risen Son/ The Holy One has overcome/ Jesus is alive/ The enemy/ Is broken underneath His feet/ Death is crushed in victory/ Jesus is alive/ Jesus is alive.” It’s a beautiful thing!

We followed the call to worship with “Happy Day,” which felt like a great fit for the weekend. This song was a little more familiar to our congregation, so they sang out and participated more than on “God is Alive” (which is part of why we did “God is Alive” in the pre-service slot). I love the truth in this song, and I think it is one of Tim Hughes’ best songs. He captures the gospel message clearly and simply. The verses say it well: “The greatest day in history/ Death is beaten, You have rescued me/ Sing out, Jesus is alive/ The empty cross, the empty grave/ Life eternal, You have won the day/ Shout it out, Jesus is alive/ He’s alive!”

After the welcome time, we moved to “You Alone Can Rescue” and “Stronger,” which are two songs that focus on God’s unique ability to save us and rescue us from sin and death, and to give us eternal life. I love the choruses of each of the songs. “You Alone Can Rescue” sings, “You alone can rescue/ You alone can save/ You alone can lift us from the grave/ You came down to find us/ Led us out of death/ To You alone belong the highest praise.” In particular, my favorite line is the one that describes the divine condescension, His coming down to find us and leading us out of death. I am moved as I sing those words. This song really took hold with me as Matt Redman led at a week-long event in Daytona Beach last summer, and the weight of these words really landed. It remains a powerful expression of worship for me. The chorus of “Stronger” sings, “You are stronger/ You are stronger/ Sin is broken/ You have saved me/ It is written/ Christ is risen/ Jesus, You are Lord of all.” This echoes Scripture in a few places, one of which is Philippians 2, where Paul writes that “Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. For this reason also, God highly exalted Him, and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee will bow, of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and that every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father” (Phil. 2:8-11 NASB).  Because of Jesus’ humble and obedient sacrifice to conquer sin and death, He now has the name which is above every name. He is Lord of all, and worthy of being worshiped as such.

We finished the service by responding with “Jesus Paid It All,” but we did it a little differently than we had previously. We treated the original hymn in a very standard way. We played it in a way that would be very familiar for guests and regular attenders alike, in a gentle and slowly building manner. Then, we finished with an instrumental chorus, with the piano playing the melody. When we landed on the tonic chord (Bb), we let it ring out, and then quietly sang Alex Nifong’s added chorus: “O praise the One/ Who paid my debt/ And raised this life/ Up from the dead.” We went from gentle to full-bore in a matter of moments, and it was a powerful moment as we declared praise and truth about our risen King, who has also given us life when we were dead in our sins and transgressions (Eph. 2). It was a great fit with Joe’s message this weekend, which talked about two ways to live – either submitted to Jesus as the true King by faith and trust in His finished work on the cross to make things right; or attempting to reign over our own lives and to make things right on our own, unsuccessfully.

Our Easter weekend has been a true highlight of my time with Fellowship thus far. I can’t wait for us to continue to develop things and build from here. We have an amazing Worship and Arts team here, and I love their servant hearts. God is doing great things among us. He is alive and moving in His church!

I hope you had a great weekend of worship wherever you were. Be sure to check out The Worship Community to see what other leaders and team members experienced in their worship gatherings this weekend.

In the name of the risen Son!

Bill

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Behold, My servant will prosper,
He will be high and lifted up and greatly exalted.
Just as many were astonished at you, my people,
So His appearance was marred more than any man
And His form more than the sons of me.
Thus He will sprinkle many nations,
Kings will shut their mouths on account of Him;
For what had not been told them they will see,
And what they had not heard they will understand.
Who has believed our message?
And to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?
For He grew up before Him like a tender shoot,
And like a root out of parched ground;
He has no stately form or majesty
That we should look upon Him,
Nor appearance that we should be attracted to Him.
He was despised and forsaken of men,
A man of sorrows and acquainted with grief;
And like one from whom men hide their face
He was despised, and we did not esteem Him.
Surely our griefs He Himself bore,
And our sorrows He carried;
Yet we ourselves esteemed Him stricken,
Smitten of God, and afflicted.
But He was pierced through for our transgressions,
He was crushed for our iniquities;
The chastening for our well-being fell upon Him,
And by His scourging we are healed.
All of us like sheep have gone astray,
Each of us has turned to his own way;
But the Lord has caused the iniquity of us all
To fall on Him.
He was oppressed and He was afflicted,
Yet He did not open His mouth;
Like a lamb that is led to slaughter,
And like a sheep that is silent before its shearers,
So He did not open His mouth.
By oppression and judgment He was taken away;
And as for our generation, who considered
That He was cut off out of the land of the living
For the transgression of my people, to whom the stroke was due?
His grave was assigned with wicked men,
Yet He was with a rich man in His death,
Because He had done no violence,
Nor was there any deceit in His mouth.
But the Lord was pleased
To crush Him, putting Him to grief;
If He would render Himself as a guilt offering,
He will see His offspring,
He will prolong His days,
And the good pleasure of the Lord will prosper in His hand.
As a result of the anguish if His soul,
He will see it and be satisfied;
By His knowledge the Righteous One,
My Servant, will justify the many,
As He will bear their iniquities.
Therefore, I will allot Him a portion with the great,
And He will divide the portion with the strong;
Because He poured out Himself to death,
And was numbered with the transgressors;
Yet He Himself bore the sin of many,
And interceded for the transgressors.

Isaiah 52:13-53:12

I thought I would share a few thoughts about Good Friday today, as we reflect on the cross of Jesus, where our rescue was accomplished and our ransom was paid. John Donne is one of my favorite poets, and these particular poems are favorites of mine.

Good Friday, 1613. Riding Westward
John Donne

Let man’s soul be a sphere, and then, in this,
The intelligence that moves, devotion is,
And as the other spheres, by being grown
Subject to foreign motions, lose their own,
And being by others hurried every day,
Scarce in a year their natural form obey:
Pleasure or business, so, our souls admit
For their first mover, and are whirled by it.
Hence is’t, that I am carried towards the west
This day, when my soul’s form bends toward the east.
There I should see a sun, by rising set,
And by that setting endless day beget;
But that Christ on this Cross, did rise and fall,
Sin had eternally benighted all.
Yet dare I’ almost be glad, I do not see
That spectacle of too much weight for me.
Who sees God’s face, that is self life, must die;
What a death were it then to see God die?
It made his own lieutenant Nature shrink,
It made his footstool, crack, and the sun wink.
Could I behold those hands which span the pose,
And tune all spheres at once, pierced with those holes?
Could I behold that endless height which is
Zenith to us, and to’our antipodes,
Humbled below us? or that blood which is
The seat of all our souls, if not of his,
Made dirt of dust, or that flesh which was worn,
By God, for his apparel, ragged, and torn?
If on these things I durst not look, durst I
Upon his miserable mother cast mine eye,
Who was God’s partner here, and furnished thus
Half of that sacrifice, which ransomed us?
Though these things, as I ride, be from mine eye,
They are present yet unto my memory,
For that looks towards them; and thou look’st towards me,
O Saviour, as thou hang’st upon the tree;
I turn my back to thee, but to receive
Corrections, till thy mercies bid thee leave.
O think me worth thine anger, punish me,
Burn off my rusts, and my deformity,
Restore thine image, so much, by thy grace,
That thou mayst know me, and I’ll turn my face.

Here is another that is fitting for today, as we reflect on the death of death:

Holy Sonnet #6
John Donne

Death be not proud, though some have called thee
Mighty and dreadful, for, thou art not so,
For, those, whom thou think’st, thou dost overthrow,
Die not, poor death, nor yet canst thou kill me;
From rest and sleep, which but thy pictures be,
Much pleasure, then from thee, much more must flow,
And soonest our best men with thee do go,
Rest of their bones, and soul’s delivery.
Thou art slave to fate, chance, kings, and desperate men,
And dost with poison, war, and sickness dwell,
And poppy, or charms can make us sleep as well,
And better than thy stroke; why swell’st thou then?
One short sleep past, we wake eternally,
And death shall be no more, Death thou shalt die.


1 Corinthians 15:54-57: “‘Death is swallowed up in victory. O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?’ The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law; but thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.”

May we never forget the point of Good Friday. Jesus came to seek and save the lost. He came to do for us what we could not do for ourselves. We had no hope–no claim or right to eternal life–because we were dead in our sins. We had chosen to run our own lives. We had chosen our own way. We were Captives. Slaves. Prisoners. Dead. Enemies. We could not save ourselves. We would not save ourselves, because we liked our way of doing things, regardless of how it destroyed us. The only way for us to have eternal life was through Jesus’ perfect sacrificial death in our place, for our sins. The righteous wrath of God against sin had to be dealt with, and God chose to take care of it Himself. He sent His one and only Son to the cross because of His great love for us. He did it while we were His enemies! The very hands that shaped the universe were nailed to the cross so that we could be rescued from sin and death, once and for all. May we never lose sight of the amazing love and grace of God, which kept Him on the cross to finish His defeat of sin and death. There was no other way for us to be saved. There is no other way for us to be saved. Thank you, Jesus, for loving us and rescuing us!

Here’s our set from this weekend:

“All Because of Jesus” (A) [Steve Fee]
Call to Worship
“Happy Day” (Bb) [Tim Hughes, Ben Cantelon]
Welcome/Announcements/Greeting Time
“Jesus Messiah” (G) [Daniel Carson, Chris Tomlin, Ed Cash, Jesse Reeves]
“You Alone Can Rescue” (Bb) [Jonas Myrin, Matt Redman]
“Jesus Paid It All” (Bb) [John Thomas Grape, Elvina M. Hall, Alex Nifong]
Message – “I Believe God Acted – Redemption” [David Hinkle]
Response – “Amazing Grace (My Chains Are Gone)” (Eb) [Louie Giglio, Chris Tomlin, John Newton, Edwin O. Excell, John P. Rees]

I feel like this week was another step forward for our team and our congregation. We took more steps to make it easier to participate – we brought some songs down to a lower key, and we were more intentional about teaching new material. It seemed like there was more participation overall in each of the four services, which is exciting and encouraging. The team felt locked-in (most of the time), and I felt like we were engaged in worship as we were leading the congregation, as well.

We brought “All Because of Jesus” down to the key of A from the usual key of B, and we brought “Happy Day” down to Bb from B. Both were good moves, as the people sang out more on both. When I took a close look at the lead sheets this week, I noticed that both of these songs had parts of the melody that went well beyond the range of the “normal” voice, from C to C. We brought them both down to get them close. They still weren’t entirely in the desired range, but if we lowered them much more, the verses would bottom out! That’s one of the biggest problems with some modern worship songs – the low verses and high choruses make it difficult to get them into a normal person’s vocal range. We’ll keep working on it, though!

“Jesus Messiah” is one of the 21 songs we have done more than five times over the past year, and therefore is one that I would be safe in saying we know as a congregation. It showed as people sang it out and connected with God through it. I love the lyric of this song, as it really declares the gospel clearly, and finishes it all off with the simple, powerful bridge: “All our hope is in You/ All our hope is in You/ All the glory to You, God/ The Light of the world.” Jesus is our only hope of salvation. Enough said.

Also, this week we introduced “You Alone Can Rescue” by Jonas Myrin and Matt Redman. When I initially heard this song done live by Matt Redman, I was very excited about it, but when I heard the recorded version, I was a little underwhelmed, so I put it off for a while. However, when Matt led at Student Life in Daytona this past summer, I was reminded again how powerful this song is. It is a simple lyric, but proclaims a powerful truth – that Jesus is the only one who can save us. Here’s the lyric:

Verse 1
Who, O Lord, could save themselves
Their own soul could heal
Our shame was deeper than the sea
Your grace is deeper still

Chorus
And You alone can rescue, You alone can save
You alone can lift us from the grave
You came down to find us, led us out of death
To You alone belongs the highest praise

Verse 2
You, O Lord, have made a way
The great divide You healed
For when our hearts were far away
Your love went further still
Yes, Your love goes further still

Bridge
We lift up our eyes, lift up our eyes
You’re the giver of life
We lift up our eyes, lift up our eyes
You’re the giver of life

Even typing the lyric of this song is bringing me to tears. What a beautiful expression of confidence in Christ alone for our rescue and salvation. We have no hope apart from Him! His humble, loving sacrifice is the only way for us to be rescued; the fact that He chose to redeem us at such a great cost to Himself is overwhelming. This song brings this into clear focus, and is a beautiful expression of thanksgiving and recognition of the work of Jesus Christ to save us. He, and He alone, is the one who can rescue, who can save us, who can lift us from the grave. This is because He is the one who came down to find us a lead us out of death. Scripture says that Jesus’ efforts to rescue us are the reason God has given Him the name above every name (Philippians 2). I know this is the reason I worship Him. He is so good, while I am still so undeserving of it. My life is completely dependent on His grace and finished work of the cross.

We bracketed the message about our redemption with Alex Nifong’s arrangement of “Jesus Paid It All” and Tomlin’s “Amazing Grace (My Chains Are Gone).” These two songs never get old to me, because there is beauty in the simplicity of their declarations. I never tire of singing, “O praise the One who paid my debt/ And raised this life up from the dead.” On “Amazing Grace (My Chains Are Gone)” Kelsey Thomsen and I traded off on the verse. She did a great job leading, and I think it facilitated a very powerful moment of worship, especially after David’s weighty message about our redemption. I loved his words about what God has done to rescue us! We owe it all to Jesus Christ, who made a way where there was no way.

I love my church, and I am very excited about what is going on around here. We are learning and growing together, and we are pursuing Jesus Christ and His gospel. Jesus, and His work to redeem us, was truly lifted high this weekend. I am so grateful for how He has rescued us. He is truly my only hope!

I hope you had a great weekend of worship wherever you were.

Jesus alone is worthy!

Bill

Sunday Set Lists

Here’s our set from this weekend, which was also our baptism weekend at Fellowship:

Pre-service: “Happy Day” [Tim Hughes, Ben Cantelon]
Call to Worship – Psalm 47
“All Because of Jesus” [Steve Fee]
Welcome/Offering/Announcements/Greeting Time
Focus passage for second set – Ephesians 2:1-10
“Jesus Messiah” [Daniel Carson, Chris Tomlin, Ed Cash, and Jesse Reeves]
“Son of God” [Tim Neufeld, Jon Neufeld, Ed Cash, and Gordon Cochran]
“The Stand” [Joel Houston]

Message – Pastor Joe Hishmeh
Baptisms/Testimonies

Response: “Jesus Paid It All” [Alex Nifong, Elvina M. Hall, John Thomas Grape]

This weekend was my second week leading Fellowship Bible Church in worship, and I thought it went well, and that God was glorified. I have many dreams and ideas for the future of our Worship & Arts ministry, but it doesn’t all happen over night, and I am looking forward to building these things and making these ideas happen here in the near future.

We opened up with “Happy Day” as some people were still entering the worship center. We had to cut this song for the fourth service, because the baptisms went a little long, and our two services ran into one another, creating quite the traffic jam as people were coming and going. This song is fairly new to this congregation, so it was another teaching moment. I used this song during one of my trips up here to interview with the church, and this weekend was the second time they have sung it. With that in mind, it did seem that the people were with it and participating.

The second song was “All Because of Jesus,” and it followed a call to worship, in which the Word of God challenged us in Psalm 47 to clap our hands and to sing praises to our God, the great King over all the universe. I made the comparison between the way we cheer for our favorite sports teams, with loud clapping and shouting, and the way we worship our God. I challenged our people to offer at least as much energy to our God, who is infinitely more worthy than a sports team (especially the Cleveland teams that I root for…).

After the welcome, offering, announcements, and greeting time, we moved into a time of worship focused on the idea of Ephesians 2:1-10, specifically how God made us alive together with Christ when we were dead in our sins and transgressions. We were completely hopeless for eternity before He intervened and rescued us. Because of His great gift for us, we ought to respond with our lives as living acts of worship. The next three songs, “Jesus Messiah,” “Son of God,” and “The Stand,” followed that focus.

“Jesus Messiah” and “The Stand” were both very familiar to the congregation, so they engaged well with it. “Son of God” was new to Fellowship, and is a song that I believe the Church should be singing. It does a good job of describing the story of Jesus, from shaping the stars to fulfilling the prophecy of the Messiah. It wraps it up nicely with a simple, solid chorus (“Jesus, O Holy One/ I sing to You, forgiven/ Savior, I’m overcome/ With Your great love for me”) and bridge (“You are worthy/ You are worthy/ You are worthy of all my praise/ You are beautiful/ You are beautiful/ I will lift up my hands and sing”).

Pastor Joe’s message focused on the life of Saul/Paul as an example for us to describe how God’s story has intersected our own story and taken it over, transforming our lives from one centered on ourselves to one that is properly centered on Jesus Christ. After he shared, we baptized people who had signed up and prepared a testimony to share how God had rescued them.

We wrapped it all up with “Jesus Paid It All” as the response song. It’s hard to go wrong with that song, as the hymn does a great job of examining our own weakness and dependence on Jesus for our every need, and the additional chorus by Alex Nifong is a beautiful, concise expression of thanksgiving for what Christ has done: “O praise the One/ Who paid my debt/ And raised this life/ Up from the dead”. This is another song that I believe the Church needs to sing, because of the powerful truth which it contains.

Three of the four services went without a snag. The third service (Sunday, 9 AM) went a little long because some fo the testimonies were longer than we had planned for. It was a moment where we have to remind ourselves of the reasons we gather together. One of those reasons is to see lives changed, regardless of how long it takes. Sometimes our organization and systems can make it easy to lose track of the things of most importance, because we’re concerned about someone complaining or having to change our plans. While I don’t prefer to make a habit of this kind of thing (going 30 minutes over our scheduled time), I am reminded that this morning we were witnesses of God’s amazing grace and power in the lives of His people. I am thankful that He still moves in such amazing ways, and that He still rescues, just as He rescued me.

I hope you had a great day or weekend of worship wherever you were!

In the Son,

Bill

Sunday Set Lists

(Currently Listening to Quantity is Job 1, by Five Iron Frenzy)

Here’s our set from this past week:

“Kingdom” [Kristian Stanfill]
“Salvation’s Chorus” [Todd Fields]
“Glory to God Forever” [Steve Fee]
“God of This City” [Bluetree]
“Jesus Paid It All” [traditional w/ add. chorus by Alex Nifong]
Message: “It’s Your Serve–Build an Altar” [Pastor Jay]
INV: “I Want to Love You” [Todd Fields]

This week felt pretty good overall. I love it when the church sings “Kingdom” all together (“We are the Kingdom of God/ We are an army of love/ We carry truth to the world/ We are the Kingdom of God”). I also love the concept of “Salvation’s Chorus,” in that believers have a song that others cannot sing (even the angels), namely the song of the redeemed. We have been rescued from sin and death, and because of this we have much to celebrate. “Glory to God Forever” has become a major prayer of my life–specifically the bridge: “Take my life and let it be/ All for You and for Your glory/ Take my life and let it be Yours.“Jesus Paid it All” is always one of my favorites, as the church celebrates by singing, “O praise the One who paid my debt/ And raised this life up from the dead.” I don’t think we can sum up the reason for our worship more succinctly than that. I think that’s why it’s so powerful a lyric for us to sing. There are certain things that we hear or say that strike a chord within the believer, as the Spirit confirms the truth of those things and stirs us because of it. This is one of those truth statements that provokes that kind of response from believers.

As I approach my last week leading the worship in music for Church at the Mall, many things are flooding my mind as we lead. I look at the students and feel burdened for their future, their leadership, and their ministry in the church. I find myself praying over them as we sing out to God about being the Kingdom of God (“Kingdom”), and asking God to take our lives and let them be all for Him and for His glory (“Glory to God Forever”). I find myself celebrating what God has accomplished in our midst over these past 4 1/2 years. I look out over the assembly of believers and see a huge transformation from the way things were in the beginning of 2006, with nearly half as many people meeting in the old Montgomery Wards, and many blank stares as people didn’t really know what to do with the “music time” of the service. Many enjoyed the music, but did not feel the need or the motivation to participate in it. Many just spectated. Some just dreaded it. As we’ve grown together over these past few years, more and more of us are engaging in the songs and owning them, responding to God with thanksgiving and praise for who He is and what He has done. I see people passionately singing out to God. I see raised hands. I see people dwelling on the truths that we’re singing together. I love it. It is hard to leave something that I have given so much of my life to building. I am so thankful to have been a part of God’s working in Church at the Mall.

I hope you had a great day of worship wherever you were this week.

In the Son,

Bill

(Sunday Set Lists)

Here’s our set for this morning:

“I Will Go” [Jon Neufeld, Tim Neufeld]
“God is Alive” [Steve Fee, Eddie Kirkland]
“Jesus Messiah” [Daniel Carson, Chris Tomlin, Ed Cash, and Jesse Reeves]
“Because of Your Love” [Phil Wickham]
“Lamb of God” [original]

Message – “It’s Your Serve – Grab a Towel” [Dr. Jay Dennis]
INV “I Want to Love You” [Todd Fields]

This morning was a good day of worship. Because Pastor Jay was dealing with the call on each one of us to serve, we focused on the cross of Christ as described in Philippians 2:5-11. Here, Paul tells of how we are to have the same attitude as Jesus,

“who, although he existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, being made in the likeness of men. Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. For this reason also, God highly exalted Him, and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus ‘Ever knee will bow,’ of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and that every tongue will confess that jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”

“Jesus Messiah” was a perfect fit for this passage of scripture, singing, “He became sin who knew no sin/ That we might become His righteousness/ He humbled Himself and carried the cross/ Love so amazing/ Love so amazing.” There is no better example of service than Jesus Christ. He had everything to lose by serving (by the world’s perspective), yet He put it all aside to save us and to glorify the Father. We have much less to give up in order to serve those around us, yet we can still glorify the Father in doing so. May we all take a long look at our lives, and see how we can lay our lives down for one another. I know I am.

I hope you had a great day of worship wherever you were.

In the Son,

Bill

As always, check out Sunday Set Lists over at http://www.theworshipcommunity.com. It’s awesome to see how brothers and sisters around the country and the world are worshiping the Lord in their own communities of faith.