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, gives a brief description to how or why each song was selected and the significance to the message for that 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 morning.


 
Sunday, September 15, 2019
 
Message: Hope For Change
Keywords this week: Forgiveness, Grace, Acceptance, Equality, Respect, Love (keywords taken from personal study)
Scriptures: Philemon
 
Lord, I Need You by Chris Tomlin
This first song is about simple surrender and confession before God. We confess our shortcomings and put God first in our hearts and our lives. We stop to ask forgiveness for putting ourselves or other things above God. We surrender our pride and re-align our will with God’s as we ask him to renew us once again.

I put this as the first song to refocus our minds back to Christ. We have gathered together to worship the God who deserves all our worship and who has enabled us to continue living in right standing with him. We need to keep remembering how desperately we need God and not walk into a false worship of our own good deeds. Our ‘good deeds’ could never accomplish the victory our Savior, Christ Jesus, won on the cross.  
 
All the Poor and Powerless by All Sons & Daughters
I perhaps interpret this song a little differently than most. By evaluating the verses alone, I see this song as an equalizing one.
 
Verse 1
All the poor and powerless
And all the lost and lonely
And all the thieves will come confess
And know that You are holy
And know that You are holy


Verse 2
All the hearts who are content
And all who feel unworthy
And all who hurt with nothin' left
Will know that You are holy

The word ‘all’ is the key word that is hit on over and over. Christ seeks to claim the hearts of all people. Thieves, the Poor, outcast, and even those that are content will know He is holy. Either now or later, all will come to know the holiness of our God.

As we sang “Lord, I Need You” I hope we all came to the realization that every one of us has fallen short of the glory of God. God is God and we are not, and we worship him for not only the sacrifice he made, but also because he is holy. Christ, our lord is the only one worthy of any worship because of his purity and we worship the only God deserving of such praise.

All this to say that we are all broken sinful people that, when placed before God on our own merit, fail to meet His standard of holiness. While reading through Philemon it struck me that Onesimus and Philemon, a slave and master, before God and without Christ would meet the same end. However, these men with their now shared faith Christ will receive the same inheritance in heaven.  Both these men, no matter their status, are equal in God’s eyes because of Christ’s sacrifice. Both praise God for his forgiveness and grace, both are given a place at God’s right hand.

Resurrecting by Elevation Worship
During this song I wanted to focus specifically on Christ’s sacrifice and the ongoing work of sanctification in our lives. This was another theme I felt was an underlying theme in Philemon. Onesimus had stolen and run away from Philemon, but now had been transformed by the gospel of Christ which Paul has shared with him. He wanted to begin to live for Christ by turning his life around and returning to the home which he had hurt.

I’m sure as believers we encounter this a lot in our walk with Christ, especially when we are new to the faith. We want to restore the relationships we’ve broken to better grow not only ourselves, but others in Christ. We now know what is right and want to head in that direction but continue to stumble because our sinful nature still causes us to stumble and we sometimes live with the consequences of our past.

This new life in Christ in a process and has many growing pains, but we press onward toward Christ! Our Savior has the power to restore us if we continue to let Him!
 
Bridge
By your spirit I will rise
From the ashes of defeat
The resurrected king
Is resurrecting me
In your name I come alive
To declare your victory
The resurrected king
Is resurrecting me
 
How Deep the Father’s Love for Us by Selah
This song is very similar to “Resurrecting” in that it speaks of Christ’s sacrifice, but here our attention is drawn to his love in dying for us. To put His love into perspective here, think about your best friend in the entire world. You surely would die for them, right? No questions asked. And of course, we know the Christ calls us friends, BUT he died for us while we were still his enemies. Those Christians who came to faith later in life, Christ died for you as you lived your own way and wrote him off as unimportant. And to the Christians that cannot remember a time without Christ in your life, he died for you as you slipped up or when you purposely walked away from his outstretched arms.
 
Romans 5:6-8
You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous person, though for a good person someone might possibly dare to die. But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
 
Verse 2
Behold the Man upon a cross
My sin upon His shoulders
Ashamed I hear my mocking voice
Call out among the scoffers
It was my sin that held Him there
Until it was accomplished
His dying breath has brought me life
I know that it is finished
 
I am brought to tears nearly every time I sit and ponder this truth. Why would my God die for me when I hurt him so much—sometimes willingly—with my sin? How vast is His love that it would stretch out to those who only spit in His face? This is a holy love that does not discriminate and is a love none of us deserve. Praise the Lord that in his grace he forgives and loves without ceasing!
 
By Our Love by Christy Nockels
We are asked to show Christ’s love to one another, which is an incredibly tall order to fill as we reflected on in “How Deep the Father’s Love for Us.” This, I believe, is a great deal of Paul’s plea in his letter to Philemon. As Philemon is asked to forgive and take back a former slave, now brother in Christ, we are also asked to receive one another with grace and kindness.

I like this version/arrangement/rework of the 1960’s tune of a similar name, “They’ll Know We Are Christians By Our Love.” Both songs speak of the notion that anyone who does not know Christ would see love, not only toward them, but in our actions toward fellow Christians. The hope is that the onlookers would point and say, “They are treating each other with, respect, equality, and love!” And there would be no doubt that Christians would stand out by how we treat others.  

This song reminds us that love is not just a feeling, but is about taking action and being proactive as we live in community with one another. We follow Christ’s example and not just what feels best or seems easy. It reminds me of a song I heard in the good ol’ 90’s from DcTalk. I know this is not scripture so bear with me, but the third verse of “Luv Is A Verb” gets it right:
 
Verse 3
Back in the day there was a man
Who stepped out of heaven and He walked the land
He delivered to the people an eternal choice
With a heart full of luv and the truth in His voice
Gave up his life so that we may live
How much more luv could the Son of God give?
Here is the example that we oughtta be matchin'
Cause luv is a word that requires some action
 
Reading through this verse, it sums up the set list pretty well! But I’d like to end this point with some scripture just so that I’m not backing up my reasons with DcTalk lyrics alone.
 
1 Thessalonians 5:9-15
For God did not appoint us to suffer wrath but to receive salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ.  He died for us so that, whether we are awake or asleep, we may live together with him.  Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing. Now we ask you, brothers and sisters, to acknowledge those who work hard among you, who care for you in the Lord and who admonish you. Hold them in the highest regard in love because of their work. Live in peace with each other. And we urge you, brothers and sisters, warn those who are idle and disruptive, encourage the disheartened, help the weak, be patient with everyone. Make sure that nobody pays back wrong for wrong, but always strive to do what is good for each other and for everyone else.
Sunday September 8, 2019
 
Message: It’s About Relationship
Keywords this week: Fellowship, love, kingdom builders/building
Scriptures: Colossians 4:7-18

When I received the keywords for this week Tony also gave the thought that the people listed in these verses were kingdom workers with Paul. These people were and are part of the same fellowship of Christ that we are a part of as well! We take part in working toward the reign and fulfillment of God’s kingdom with others in fellowship and by meeting with one another to build each other up in Christ.
 
I Will Follow by Chris Tomlin
Since I wanted to include this song last week, I thought it would be a great segue from last week’s message to this week. Again, my thought behind this song is what the first century church must have been full of in their hearts for Christ and his ministry. Not that we ought to be holding them up as the prime example to follow, only Christ should be that, but I have a feeling the Church today isn’t quite as zealous.

So, as a challenge read through the chorus and evaluate in your heart how eager you are to pursue and carry out what is being said here:
 
Chorus
Where You go I'll go
Where You stay I'll stay
When You move I'll move
I will follow You
Whom You love I'll love
How You serve I'll serve
If this life I lose
I will follow You

A lot of worship songs have declarations of what or how we pledge to continue our pursuit of our relationship with Christ, the gospel, and to draw others towards Christ. They are rarely easy tasks. Without realizing it we ask God to push us in directions that are uncomfortable or even dangerous. This requires us to trust that whatever God asks us to do or to endure, that he will not forsake us and it will be used for his kingdom.  
 
Christ Lives In Me by Rend Collective
Many songs in this set list speak of pursuing the gospel/Christ at all costs. Pressing on toward the goal! (Phil. 3:14) This song is one to remind us that we do not do this by our own strength, but by a supernatural ability given to us by Christ through the Holy Spirit. The verses which this song pulls its lyrics are personally what give me my zeal and edge for carrying out the work of the gospel.
 
Galatians 2:20
I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.

Philippians 1:20-25
I eagerly expect and hope that I will in no way be ashamed, but will have sufficient courage so that now as always Christ will be exalted in my body, whether by life or by death. For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain. If I am to go on living in the body, this will mean fruitful labor for me. Yet what shall I choose? I do not know! I am torn between the two: I desire to depart and be with Christ, which is better by far; but it is more necessary for you that I remain in the body. Convinced of this, I know that I will remain, and I will continue with all of you for your progress and joy in the faith
 
Christ is our everything. And I mean everything. In difficult times when we want to give up and check out early, we must remember the value of Christ working in us and through us. He values us and longs to use and restore us for His purpose. So we press on, pursing and carrying out the tasks Christ asks of us and look forward to our prize, which is Christ Jesus crowned in majesty!

So Will I (100 Billion X) by Hillsong Worship
If I were to add a line to this song to help tie it to this weeks message it would be “If Tychicus, Onesimus, Aristarchus, Justus, Mark, Luke, Demas, and Epaphras dedicated their lives to serve you, so will I.”  This whole song is about surrendering our lives over to God over in faithful and grateful worship.

In this week’s text we read of others in the early church who were actively living out their lives in the ministry of Christ. I can imagine that the central theme of this song would resonate with the hearts of those building the first century church. There is a line in so will I that I do believe can be sung quickly and become overlooked, but it is important that we do not declare these words flippantly.

“I can see Your heart eight billion different ways
Every precious one a child You died to save
If You gave Your life to love them so will I”

 
We sung a similar line in “I Will Follow” as well. Don’t miss this line or pass over these lyrics lightly. We are telling God here that we are willing to live the gospel out, even if it costs us our lives. We are willing to follow Christ’s example to the tee and die. Many of Christ’s disciples died for the sake of Christ’s gospel and some in very grizzly ways. Living for the gospel can be difficult and we need others to gather in fellowship to spur us on in our pursuit of Christ!

Moving Forward (Ending only) by Israel Houghton
 
Ending
You make all things new yes
You make all things new
And I will follow You forward

 
My intention for adding this portion of “Moving Forward” is one of a two-pronged affect. Coming out of so will I, we extend our declaration and dedication to Christ’s cause by saying, “If everything exalts your name and gives you glory, so will I. I will follow you forward into glory.”

The second part of my intention is that it subtlety eludes to “Even So Come” which is to be played after the message as our closing song. We are reminded that creation was made by and for God, but that it longs to be restored, as do we as Christ’s children.  We continue to look forward to the day that all things will be made new; this is the goal we strive toward. That we will finally be put in right relationship with our Lord and live free from sin and damnation.
 
Philippians 3:14
I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.
 
Even So Come by Chris Tomlin
This song was the first song that came to mind when I received the keywords for this week. Our whole lives as Christ followers are working to and for the Kingdom of God. Much of this song’s lyrics are paraphrased from Revelation and speak of Christ’s return, but this is what we long for as his Church!

Revelation 21:1-5
Then I saw “a new heaven and a new earth,” for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea. I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Look! God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. ‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.”
He who was seated on the throne said, “I am making everything new!”…

Revelation 22:17 (NIV)
The Spirit and the bride say, “Come!” And let the one who hears say, “Come!” Let the one who is thirsty come; and let the one who wishes take the free gift of the water of life.
 
As Christians, this is what we continue to look forward to as we drag on through difficult seasons in this life. We keep our eyes focused on our Savior and His return, because when He returns all His promises will be fulfilled. And as those as members of the Church, we will be able to join in perfect unity in Christ. No more great rifts amongst Christians, no more squabbling over tradition or style of music, no more strife and gossip. We will finally be able to live in harmony with our family in Christ and rejoice in him without fault. This is truly a day to look forward to!