Posts Tagged ‘Thomas Hastings’

This weekend, we continued our Romans series, focusing on Romans 9:30 – 10:4. In his message, Joe preached about God’s sovereignty, and how we need to be zealous for the things that last and the things that matter. Ultimately, those things are God, His Word, and people. It is easy to lose sight of those things, and to get caught up in things that don’t last and don’t matter. One of those things is our own attempts at making ourselves righteous before God, which we really cannot do. We cannot justify ourselves on our own merit. We need the redemption that is only found in the finished work of Jesus Christ. You can listen to the entire message here.

Here’s our service plan from this weekend:

“The Solid Rock” (E) [Trent Austin, William B. Bradbury, Kendall Combs, Charlie Hall, Edward Mote]
Welcome/Greeting Time
Call To Worship
“Nothing But The Blood” (D) [Robert Lowry, with additional bridge by Andy Cherry]
“Happy Day” (Bb) [Tim Hughes, Ben Cantelon]

“You Alone Can Rescue” (Bb) [Matt Redman, Jonas Myrin]

“Rock Of Ages” (Bb) [Thomas Hastings, Augustus M. Toplady]
Time of Reflection/Prayer
Message – “Romans 9:30 – 10:4” [Joe Hishmeh]

Offering/Announcements
Dismissal


“The Solid Rock”
– We sang this modern arrangement of a timeless hymn as our opening song this weekend, to point to the only solid foundation we can have for our eternal life – Jesus Christ. It is only in His complete and finished work on the cross that we have salvation and hope for eternity. We can depend on nothing else. The gospel is Jesus plus nothing. We are completely incapable of saving ourselves. Jesus is the only way of salvation for us. As this great hymn says in the chorus, “all other ground is sinking sand.”

“Nothing But The Blood” – This is another modern hymn arrangement, done by a newer artist, Andy Cherry. He was one of the worship leaders at the Re:Create Conference I attended a few weeks ago in Nashville, and his label shared a pre-release album with all of us. This was one of the songs we sang with him while we were at the conference, and I loved how his treatment of the song really captured the power and confidence of the lyric, along with a great added chorus, which sings, “The blood of Jesus is enough for me/ Oh, the blood of Jesus is enough.” You can hear his rendition of this song streaming on his website. I really encourage you to pick up his whole album when it is released in March. It was produced by Jason Ingram, and many of the songs were co-written by Ingram. I’m really enjoying it!

“Happy Day” – This song is a staple for our church, and it was a great fit for the subject matter of this weekend, as we declare that it is Jesus alone who saves us and rescues us from sin and death. We had no hope apart from Him, so there is great cause for celebration because of what He has done for us. We have been made alive together with Christ!

“You Alone Can Rescue” – We sang this song this weekend because it states the major truth of this weekend simply and clearly: Jesus alone can rescue us. There is no other way for us to be saved, nor is there any other way to eternal life. He is our salvation and our hope, and we cannot save ourselves. There is great freedom in declaring this truth together, because it frees us from the delusion that we can do anything to affect our eternal destination; it is only because of Jesus that we have life.

“Rock of Ages” – When I first heard Ascend The Hill’s rendition of this song on their hymns album (Take The World, But Give Me Jesus), I was incredibly moved. It is such a desperate cry of dependence on the finished work of Christ for us. I think the lyric and the melody do a good job of communicating that desperation and hopelessness apart from Christ’s death on the cross in our place. What a beautiful song! Other than my guitar going really out of tune on this song during the last service, it went really well. We had a time of quiet reflection after this song, where we confessed areas of our life where we weren’t trusting God, and where we’ve tried to find our hope and joy in things other than Him. He is our only source of true hope, joy, and peace. We need to depend on Him and trust Him fully, because He will not disappoint our hope in Him.

This weekend was a good weekend overall. We tried some different things with our service order, in order to try and simplify the flow of our services: we set up a countdown at the beginning of the services that included some key memory verses from our study through the book of Romans; we took out the response song and moved that time earlier in our service; and we also moved a song to the start of the time as a definitive start to each of the services. We had been doing a “Time of Preparation” prior to our services, with the hopes that people would take advantage of that time to prepare their hearts for meeting with the Lord together and to have some quiet time after the hustle of getting themselves and their families to the service. What we found, however, was that it served to muddy the actual “start time” of our services, and people were actually showing up later, not earlier. Regardless, I am in favor of occasionally changing things around in order for us not to become too attached to any kind of order or flow of a service. We often tend to pay less attention to things when we think we know what is coming next.

I am thankful for the opportunities we had this weekend to glorify our Savior. I am so grateful for the sacrifice He made for us, and for how He has rescued us. He is worthy of all praise and honor and glory, with all of our heart, soul, mind, and strength. He is good.

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

In the Son,
Bill

p.s. don’t forget to check out The Worship Community!

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This weekend, we focused on John 6:60-71, examining the different responses to Jesus when He doesn’t do what we want Him to do, and when we don’t understand what He is doing. We can either walk away (which many did), we can war against Him (like the Pharisees), or we can cling to Him (like Peter and the disciples) as our only hope. Their response of trust was basically this: “Where else could we go? To whom could we turn?” Is this our response when we don’t understand what is happening in our lives? Do we respond with this kind of worship? You can listen to the entire message here.

Focusing on this passage, we sang songs that exalted the Lord as sovereign and powerful, and songs that called us as the church to trust Him more because He is faithful and true. He is constant, and His grace toward us is unchanging because it is not based on us at all. It is based on His character and goodness. He is good, and has purchased us as His own through His blood at the cross. He has adopted us as sons and daughters, and now regards us as co-heirs together with Christ. He sees us as He sees Christ, because of Christ–justified and righteous. Because of this we have nothing to fear, because we will be with Him forever, and this life will be a “blip” on the radar of our lives in the grand scheme of things. We read from 2 Timothy 2:13 during our time of singing: “If we are faithless, He remains faithful–for He cannot deny Himself.” We are a part of Him because of what Christ has done for us, and He will not, and cannot, forsake us.

Here’s our service plan from this weekend:

Time of Preparation/Prayer
“Captivate Us” (Ab) [Charlie Hall, Christy Nockels, Nathan Nockels]
Welcome/Greeting Time
“You Are” (Ab) [Todd Fields]
“Forever Reign” (Ab) [Jason Ingram, Reuben Morgan]
“Amazing Grace (My Chains Are Gone)” (Db) [Edwin O. Excel, Louie Giglio, John Newton, John P. Rees, Chris Tomlin]
Prayer
Message – John 6:60-71 [Joe Hishmeh]
Communion
Communion Song – “Rock of Ages” (Bb) [Thomas Hastings, Augustus Montague Toplady]
Offering/Announcements
Response Time
“A Mighty Fortress” (C) [Christy Nockels, Nathan Nockels]
Dismissal

“Captivate Us” – We sang this song for our time of preparation. We had sung it last week for Overflow, which is our quarterly night of worship, and it was the first time I had heard the song. I love it. It took a little bit to figure out the finger-style acoustic part, because it has some interesting chords in the arrangement, but it is beautiful. Sarah Oldberg led this song, and I think it was perfect for our time of preparation.

“You Are” – This song by Todd Fields appeared on the first North Point Live album. We began teaching this song last weekend, and we continued with it this week. In it, we are given words to declare that Jesus is God. As I wrote last week on the blog, there are not many songs that come right out and say that Jesus is God, yet this is an important part of our Christology (study of Christ) and our overall doctrine as Christians. Jesus is equal with God, and He is God, as the beginning of the Gospel of John tells us. We need more songs that declare this truth plainly. I think our congregation connected more with it this week.

“Forever Reign” – This is one of the staples of our worship song vocabulary, and rightfully so. It is a firm declaration of the character of God, and points to many of His attributes, all contrasted with our weaknesses. It exalts God in a powerful way, along with our desperate need for Him. This song aligned really well to Joe’s message, declaring, “My heart will sing/ No other name/ Jesus, Jesus.” He is the one with the words of eternal life. He is the only one to whom we can turn.

“Amazing Grace (My Chains Are Gone)” – Part of what I enjoy about this song is that Tomlin used the original third and fourth verses of the hymn that Newton wrote. There is a common theme throughout the original verses of security and trust in God, because of His grace, and that is why we sang this song this weekend. We need to remind one another of this truth. His grace was unearned and undeserved from the beginning. It is only because of God’s character that He has grace for us, and He continues to have grace for us because of who He is and what He has done. He redeemed us through the cross, where Jesus died in our place. He was our substitute, and He continues to be that for us. He is the reason for our security and promise of an eternity with God. We have nothing to ultimately fear because our eternity has been secured by God Himself.

“Rock of Ages” – We sang this song for our time of communion/Lord’s Supper. I love this hymn, especially the arrangement by Ascend the Hill. The lyric communicates a powerful desperation for the saving work of Christ, and recognizes our own powerlessness to save ourselves. We need Him, and we are hopeless apart from Christ. “Rock of Ages” says this beautifully.

“A Mighty Fortress” – We responded to the Word with this song. Again, we were emphasizing the eternal, unchanging character of God. Because of who He is–faithful and true, unchanging and constant, powerful and mighty, righteous and good–we can turn to Him as our mighty fortress and refuge. He is the only one who can hold this place in our lives, because there is no one else like Him. I love the way this song declares these truths about our Lord. It inspires confidence and hope in me. Sarah did a great job leading this song this weekend.

This was another great weekend of worshiping our Savior together. I felt like we were all called and encouraged to trust Him more, and to have more confidence in who He is, even when we have NO idea what He is doing (which may be often). I know I was built up this weekend, and challenged to entrust Jesus with more of my life, and more of my “stuff.”

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

In the Son,

Bill

p.s. don’t forget to check out The Worship Community!

This weekend David Hinkle preached from the book of Ruth to talk about God’s mission and how it has involved His people throughout history. The message was title “Legacy,” and he talked about how we can become a part of God’s overarching purpose in this world. One of his main points was that we were born at this time to be involved in this specific part of God’s plan – sending us out to tell the world about His Son, Jesus. It was a challenging reminder of the calling on our lives as rescued believers in Jesus Christ. We have a mission.

For this week’s message, we focused on the gospel, mission, pursuing God, redemption, and the new covenant. Each of these songs carries at least one of these elements in it.

Here’s our set from this weekend:

Pre-Service – “Kingdom” (A) [Kristian Stanfill]
Call To Worship/Prayer
“Happy Day” (Bb) [Tim Hughes, Ben Cantelon]
Welcome/Offering/Announcements/Greeting Time
“Let Me Sing” (Bb) [Todd Fields]
“Forever Reign” (Bb) [Jason Ingram, Reuben Morgan]
Message – “Legacy” [David Hinkle]
Communion Song – “Rock of Ages” (Bb) [Augustus M. Toplady, Thomas Hastings]
Response – “Son of God” [Jon Neufeld, Tim Neufeld] 

This weekend was another good weekend of worship. One highlight for me was seeing one of our young guys, Anthony Dake, jump in on drums and do a fantastic job. He played like a champ, and served our congregation well. I look forward to having him in there again soon. Part of our vision for our worship ministry is to build into our younger guys and gals and teach them early on what it’s all about and how to lead worship through music, with authenticity and excellence. Our NextGen Worship Leader, Erik Oldberg, does a fantastic job with these guys, and even in the six months I have been here, I have seen huge growth in each of them. I am thankful for his leadership and passion for worship.

“Kingdom” – This song was a great fit for the theme of the weekend, but it is a little tricky for most of our congregation to sing with, which is why it was in the pre-service slot. It really communicates that it is our responsibility and calling to carry the truth of the gospel to the world, and to invade the darkness with the light of Jesus Christ. I love the message of this song.

“Happy Day” – This is now a standard for our congregation, and it has been a while since we sang it together. I love what it communicates about Jesus’ victory over sin and death, and how our eternal destiny has been permanently affected by His work on the cross and His resurrection.

“Let Me Sing” – We began teaching this song a few weeks ago, and this was our refresher week, to solidify it in our congregation’s memory. This song supported the theme of the weekend with the idea of us shining as lights in the darkness as an act of worship, in response to the amazing sacrifice that Christ made for us. In my mind, this is the most significant reason we have to worship, to obey, and to give of ourselves – Christ gave first, and did so in a marvelous way.

“Forever Reign” – We bracketed the message with this song, or parts of it anyway. The bridge and chorus really helped to communicate the drive of the message, for us to pursue Jesus Christ and His purposes with everything we have.

“Rock of Ages” – This hymn arrangement is from a band called Ascend The Hill, on their album of reworked hymns, Take The World But Give Me Jesus. The first time I heard it, I was immediately struck by the powerful lyric, and the simple arrangement, which added great power and emotion to the truth of the lyric. The lyric conveys the desperation we should all have for the saving work of Christ. We are completely hopeless without His help and His rescuing us. We sang this song during communion, and it was very appropriate in that slot. Here’s the lyric:

Rock of Ages
Augustus M. Toplady, Thomas Hastings

VERSE 1
Rock of Ages, cleft for me,
Let me hide myself in Thee;
Let the water and the blood,
From Thy wounded side which flowed,
Be of sin the double cure;
Save from wrath and make me pure.

VERSE 2
Not the labor of my hands
Can fulfill Thy law’s demands;
Could my zeal no respite know,
Could my tears forever flow,
These for sin could not atone
Thou must save, and Thou alone.

VERSE 3
Nothing in my hand I bring,
Simply to Thy cross I cling;
Naked, come to Thee for dress;
Helpless look to Thee for grace;
Foul, I to Thy fountain fly
Wash me, Savior, or I die.

VERSE 4
While I draw this fleeting breath,

When mine eyes shall close in death,
When I rise to worlds unknown
And behold Thee on Thy throne
Rock of Ages, cleft for me,
Let me hide myself in Thee.

“Son of God” – We finished the service by singing this great song to our Savior. It actually ended up being more fitting than I thought it would be, because of the way that David emphasized the covenant and Christ’s sacrifice on the cross for us. The ends of each verse spoke to these elements, singing directly about the cross and then in the second verse about how Christ fulfilled prophecy and how He is coming again for His church. I think it was a solid way to end our times together this weekend.

I am so thankful to be a part of this great church, and for the opportunity to grow together in worshiping our King. I hope you had a great weekend of worship as well. Check out The Worship Community to see what other worshipers experienced and why.

Let me know your thoughts! I love reading your opinions and feedback.

In the Son,

Bill