Descriptions of Hymns

~~~~~July 20 2014 ~~~~~

We will begin our service with the beautiful Isaac Watts' hymn, "Come, Ye That Love the Lord."  The words in this hymn are an encouraging call to Christians as we gather together that our common purpose is praising our Heavenly Father and worshipping in community.  As the refrain illustrates, we are "marching to Zion, Beautiful, beautiful Zion; The beautiful city of God."  Our hearts can be filled with gladness because we know Christ ordains everuthing for us for our own good.

This will be followed by "What a Friend We Have in Jesus," a hymn written by Joseph Scriven for his aging mother who was lonely in Ireland while he was in the U.S.  The words Scriven wrote provide for us a true friend actually means.  The friend we have in Jesus is one who is unconditionally faithful, sacrificial, and loving, and we can take comfort in Him:

"What a Friend we have in Jesus, all our sins and griefs to bear!
What a privilege to carry everything to God in prayer!
O what peace we often forfeit, O what needless pain we bear,
All because we do not carry everything to God in prayer."

To prepare our hearts to hear God's word, we will sing, "Speak, O Lord," which asks God to reveal himself to us, which should be our plea whenever we come to the word of God.  Our passage this week comes from Zechariah 10, which promises the restoration of Judah and Israel.  Let us focus on the fact that our God is one who will provide complete restoration for all His people.  

"Speak, O Lord, and renew our minds;
Help us grasp the heights of Your plans for us—
Truths unchanged from the dawn of time
That will echo down through eternity."

To conclude our service, we will sing William Cowper's beautiful hymn that highlights the transformation that happens when the Lord changes a believer's heart.  As Cowper points out in "Love Constraining to Obedience," our view of obedience changes from a list of things we feel required to do against our own desire to a privilege in serving the Lord through following Him:

"To see the Law by Christ fulfilled, 

To hear His pardoning voice, 
Changes a slave into a child 
And duty into choice."