1. I WAS GLAD...
...will help lead you into God’s presence with a spirit of joy and gratefulness, as you focus on all he has done for you and how much he cares for you. Your goal is to seek him for who he is, not for what he can do for you.
This distinction represents the basic difference between Moses and the Israelites while traveling in the desert. The Israelites, fresh from Egypt, couldn’t go two days without forgetting how God had again just delivered them in some way. They constantly focused on whatever they didn’t have at the moment, and if God didn’t immediately deal with their present problem, they complained. If Moses hadn’t intervened, they would have been very happy to go the rest of the way with an angel to the Promised Land, because their focus was on what he could do for them, and not on God himself.
Learn from their mistake—Think of how God has shown his love through his blessings on you as you prepare your heart to approach him in this opening declaration of praise.
2. NO ONE IS LIKE YOU
Part of what we’re involved in worshiping God is magnifying him in our own minds.
We can never reach the limits of this. The problem we have today is thinking of God too much in human terms. We have stressed his love, but not his power, not his holiness. Thinking on God’s greatness draws us into worship; magnifying God allows him to act within us and through us more fully. Focus your eyes on him—he will change and grow you as you “make him larger” in your own life.
3. GREAT IS THE LORD
Ben West’s excellent song continues in our focus on God’s overwhelming greatness, calling now on all the earth to praise him.
When you begin to experience God’s bigness, there is an automatic overflow—you can’t help but make him known, whether by the light that grows in your eyes, the comfort felt in your tone of voice, or the peace people sense within you. The more we continue experiencing God’s presence, magnified in worship, the more will people see a reason to praise “what’s” in you, whether they know God or not.
4. BE EXALTED
There is no greater cry than that God be raised higher—over our life situations, over our problems, over our sicknesses. He’s already there; we just have to recognize it—and this is a worship process. The more you see how God has everything under control and everyone with their best interests in his heart, the more he can work in you and through you.
5. MY LIFE IS IN YOU
This comes down to being our ultimate declaration. We are in Christ; he is in us and works through us. Our true life is in the heavenlies, not here on earth.
The only way we can grow into that understanding is the same way we grow into anything—we have to “think on it,” repeat it to ourselves, speak/sing it aloud, pray it. We have an easy habit of saying and repeating what is true, and having not a clue as to what it really means. Use the declarations in this song, sung again and again, to invite the Holy Spirit to work this understanding of your position in Christ deeply inside of you.
6. MY SOUL FINDS REST
The peace that comes through unshakable faith in God. Not blown about by shifting fortunes of life, whether good or bad. If your moods and feelings swing with the tides of day-to-day living, you’re missing out on the rest spoken of in this worship song. God has everything under control. That is the root of our faith. That is the reason for our rest.
Donna Jones’ song of praise, declaring, repeating, reminding ourselves—there’s power in Jesus’ name. Our victory will come because he never changes.
You know, when people start out in the Christian life, they generally have the “get” mindset, as in the overused and over-mentioned “What’s in it for me?” We’ll go with God if God gives us what we need, or want, or at least lessens our problems. If we stick it out, we’ll have to decide to grow past the point where we don’t get everything we think we need, or want, and often past the entirely new class of problems we now have. Whose victory are we talking about anyway? Ours, or his? Am I his, or is he mine? Which perspective gets us closer to the real picture?
The victory we walk in is his, not ours. Otherwise, how could countless Christians imprisoned in certain countries speak convincingly about walking in it?
8. SWEET FELLOWSHIP WITH JESUS
Dan’s meditation on Christ’s sacrifice, giving his body and blood, and the commemoration of his sacrifice in our communion service.
This is one worship song that will work beautifully for you during communion. Intersperse the verses of the song with comments from the worship leader or pastor. The lyrics focus on the personal: Christ dying, shedding his blood, for me, my gratitude in return, my seeking a closer personal connection/friendship/fellowship with him. Use it as the frame of your service, and delve in with spoken insights.
9. LIVING UNDER THE BLOOD with DRAW ME NEARER
Simple statement; profound reality. So many phrases from “christianese” confront us in church, in hymns, in sermons. They were certainly full of meaning for those using them originally, and to more-or-less degrees in others since. But I believe the only way any one of us will really understand the meaning of many phrases that we hear in church is to think on them, pray on them, communicate to God about them, study to understand them.
Back in the 70s, the buzz word in some Christian circles in the U.S. was “relevance.” That meant changing language, reinterpreting symbols, learning where someone is “coming from,” trying to equate any person’s experience with a Christian’s experience in some way. What we actually got was a dumbing down of Christianity, a reinterpretation for the “secular man.”
Time to go back. Time to go back “to the cross where Thou hast died.”
10. NOW WE ARE HEALED
You’ll find this a touching worship song evoking themes from Isaiah 53.
I just watched The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe again. Seems like new things pop out at me each time. Of course, we can hardly ignore the central idea of Aslan dying so Edmund could live. After seeing The Passion of the Christ a number of times, Aslan’s suffering and death was entirely too tame (but then, this is a children’s story). Still, the point is there. I am Edmund. You are Edmund. Our punishment has been taken on by a perfect and holy being who has absolutely no obligation toward us, and every reason in the world to let us suffer and die for what we’ve done to him.
A few more words to think over and think through: transgressions, iniquities. Words “out of favor” today, but worth the digging to just begin to grasp the dizzying card we’ve been dealt:
11. I WAIT ON YOU
God does things on his timetable. He always answers prayer. Much of the time the answer isn’t yes. Sometimes the answer is “not now,” or “not yet.” Sometimes the answer is silence, which means to stay with the last thing he told us to do, or whatever is clearly written in the Bible.
We have a hard time waiting today. All sorts of things at our fingertips respond instantly, information overloads us from computer screens, we can talk to anywhere in the world in seconds. Only thing we’re lacking so far is instant travel (teleportation, anyone?).
Sometimes we wait on God in the wrong way. We promise we’ll move into his direction for our lives, once he gives enough money to work with, or a spouse to marry, or children fully grown. Maybe what’s really going on is: He’s waiting on us to do first what we already know he wants us to do. Then he confirms it by blessing us. We want it the other way. Bless me first, then I can do what you want.
12. GOD, YOU REIGN FOREVER
Charles Laster’s timeless worship chorus, echoing words that are sung and spoken around God’s throne now and always.
If you’re honest, you’ll admit you have a hard time envisioning an eternity of worshiping God, the angels crying “holy, holy, holy” constantly. Comes back to our opening thought: we can have no end to making God “bigger” in our thoughts (start there—in your thoughts).
Think backwards for a moment. What or who could be so wonderful that countless angels would want to constantly shout and sing praises to or about on and on and on?
Imagine moment by moment gaining a new deep insight into a person you deeply love. And it doesn’t stop. You keep getting them, every second. Now eventually, it has to, because we’re finite creatures, but when you love, you’re not thinking that. You’ll continue to look for more and more, and more will occur to you. Now imagine the same thing with an infinite being whom you love. There will always be more to see, more to know, more to appreciate, more to praise.
13. LORD, I COME BEFORE YOU
One of my favorites and sure to be one of yours—this worship song continues the theme of worship before God’s throne.
Of course, we don’t have to wait till we’re there to worship at his throne, or to be in his presence. We can do it anywhere, anytime. His throne is in your heart and my heart. Keep him on that throne, and you’ll do as he would do, speak as he would speak. And, without you looking for it, his peace and his joy will be yours.
JESUS REIGNS FOREVER comes in three different Worship Packages:
1) You may order the CD and Lead Sheets/Lyrics & Chords together. We'll mail you the CD, and you will receive an instant download of the Worship Packages without the audio files. Of course, you can always rip them to your favorite format once you have the CD.
2) We make available for you the complete Worship Package set of 13 songs as one 24-meg immediate download! You'll receive audio files (wma), Lead Sheets with worship team harmony, Lyrics & Chords for Guitar, and Lyrics Sheets, all together, for all thirteen.
3) Don't need the CD or audio files? We have that for you, too! You can download the Worship Packages of all 13 without the audio. It's under 2.5 megs!