Behind The Worship Music is an in-depth look at how the songs are chosen for Sunday morning service. LHBC's Worship Leader, Dewey Noordmans, walks us through the proccess which lead to picking the set list for each week. Scripture and a few key words are given as a prompt by Tony Randall to begin the process and the rest is left to the Holy Spirit to guide and direct.

*Posts are updated weekly the following Monday after service


Sunday, March 17, 2019

*Spotify Playlist below!
Message: Forgiveness
Keywords this week: First benefit of Christ’s death: Forgiveness of sin
Scriptures: None. (I mean, I do have the entire bible to reference. Which I did, I promise)
The River by Jordan Feliz
This song borders on a tune that might be more suited for radio than worship. However, I like a good tune that gets people excited and out of their seat. My hope is that the music prompts the Holy Spirit to move more than just people’s bodies, but their hearts as they release the inhibitions than would otherwise keep them from worshipping.

This song is an invitation to those that would hear it. The song invites all those troubled by a life filled with troubles to go “down to the river to pray.” There is much talk about this river and the life, grace, and mercy that flows from it. For those unfamiliar with the imagery, in scripture rivers or water are often used to symbolize everlasting life or the Holy Spirit. Water is cleansing and life-giving, as is the Holy Spirit working to renew our spirit.

John 3:11-12
“I baptize you with water for repentance. But after me comes one who is more powerful than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. His winnowing fork is in his hand, and he will clear his threshing floor, gathering his wheat into the barn and burning up the chaff with unquenchable fire.”

John 7:37-39
On the last and greatest day of the festival, Jesus stood and said in a loud voice, “Let anyone who is thirsty come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as Scripture has said, rivers of living water will flow from within them.” By this he meant the Spirit, whom those who believed in him were later to receive. Up to that time the Spirit had not been given, since Jesus had not yet been glorified.

Those who may not know Christ are invited to a place were your past can be washed away and replaced with new life. Let Christ wash you clean, and the Holy Spirit fill you. As Christians we proclaim the power it has had in our own lives in verse 2. We invite others to join us as we return to “the river” to renew our spirit as we sing the chorus.
Majesty (Here I Am) by Promise Keepers
This song dials back the excitement quite a bit comparatively to help us focus on what it really means to be forgiven by an almighty God. When we surrender to God, we are bringing almost nothing of value to this new relationship other than an honest heart willing to repent. This is what God longs for, our humbled heart.

God has done every bit of work in bringing us back into the life he offers through Christ. Now the greatest love we could ever know is made ours because we stepped out in faith and surrendered our will to His. The song seems to speak very well for itself, so rather than explaining it to death I’ll post the lyrics below.

Verse 1
Here I am Humbled by Your majesty
Covered by Your grace so free
Here I am Knowing I'm a sinful man
Covered by the blood of the Lamb
Now I've found the greatest love of all is mine
Since You laid down Your life
The greatest sacrifice
Chorus 1
Majesty majesty
Your grace has found me just as I am
Empty handed but alive in Your hands
Verse 2
Here I am Humbled by the love that You give
Forgiven so that I can forgive
Here I stand Knowing that I'm Your desire
Sanctified by glory and fire
Chorus 2
Majesty majesty
Forever I am changed by Your love
In the presence of Your majesty
Mighty To Save by Laura Story
I enjoy this song because we are reminded that God’s love is mighty. It’s not some weak passive thing. The love of God conquered DEATH. Christ beat death into submission when he resurrected on that third day! Our God saved us from this imminent end because he is mighty! Who else could defeat death? (comic book characters don't count!)

The bridge of this song I find pretty powerful. For the former half of the song we are singing about God’s mighty never-ending love and during the bridge we point all the glory back to Him. Sure, we reap the benefits of Christ’s victory as Christians, but He gets every last drop of glory.  
O Come To The Altar by Elevation Worship
Ah, another invitation you say? Even though we open with a song that invites us to be washed clean in “the river,” the song doesn’t mention Christ as the agent at work in cleansing you from your sin. The invitation is offered again but doesn’t shy away from who is offering the invite. Jesus is calling.

This song is slower and delivers a more sobering message. It cuts through the crap and asks right up front, “Are you hurting and broken within, overwhelmed by the weight of your sin?”  Even as Christians, I think we answer ‘yes’ to this on Sunday mornings. The lyrics remind us of the dead-serious love of Christ. Yes, the pun was intentional, and no I did not mean to offend. Christ DIED to save you. His love for you was so critical that it meant He would suffer an agonizing death give you life. Jesus is calling! Come to the altar and receive the life Christ offers!

*One thing I’d like to point out with the lyric “O come to the altar” is that it isn’t just a place you’re meeting with God. You are at an altar. Altars are where things are offered to be sacrificed. Your past, your regrets, guilt, shame, and all your sin are not what is being brought as a sacrifice. Sacrifices are made to atone for those things, which Christ has already done. So what do we bring as a sacrifice if Christ was already the ultimate sacrifice then?
When you come to this altar you lay your entire life to be made a sacrifice. Your hopes, dreams, desires, talents, and more are now in God’s hands. You offer them over for God to use for his glory, not yours. God is the source of your very life and everything good we have comes from him.

James 1:17-18
Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows. He chose to give us birth through the word of truth, that we might be a kind of firstfruits of all he created.

1 John 1:8-10
If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.  If we claim we have not sinned, we make him out to be a liar and his word is not in us.

Romans 12:1
Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship.
Boldly I Approach (The Art Of Celebration) by Rend Collective
This is another song that I could explain on and on about how crazy powerful it is. The fact that Rend Collective is able to write songs that encapsulate the gospel so well is testament to the Holy Spirit being the leader of the band. I have heard it said that the Holy Spirit is the worship leader and those "leading" worship are just His side-kicks. I really think those folks are on to something with that theory.

If the Holy Spirit is Batman, I’m Robin. Actually, I’m Aquaman. The one on the team that doesn’t get really any recognition. And if I do it’s because I’m trying really hard to compete with the popularity of Batman. Anyway…

While “Boldly I Approach” is still told from a human point of view, being that it is told from very individualistic stance, we still are wrapped up in God’s glory in every section of the song. I find myself in awe of God’s majesty and overwhelming love in every verse, chorus, and bridge. The lines that stand out to me are:

Before the throne of God above He pulls me close with nail-scarred hands into His everlasting arms

O praise the one who fights for me and shields my soul eternally

His perfect spotless righteousness A thousand years, a thousand tongues are not enough to sing His praise

Again, I’m at risk of posting the entire set of lyrics here. Needless to say, we are given a very full sense of the God we worship in this tune. What a mighty God we serve!