LenBanks

a continuing story of trust, grace and community

Category: Worship (page 1 of 2)

Songs/Videos that inspire one to see God bigger!

A Life Filled With Awe

In recent months a number of thoughts have been bouncing around in my mind.  But even deeper, my heart.  Life has been going on with all it’s busyness.  Demands for work projects, recovery pain from latest marathon, family activities – just like everyone, I am busy.  But like an underground spring, there have been thoughts of what could be.  What I hope for.  What I sense is missing or coming up short in my life.

I’m not depressed at all.  Rather quite hopeful and encouraged!

These thoughts have been spurred on by a few passages of the bible that have come up in some of my readings or small group discussions.

They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer.  Everyone was filled with awe at the many wonders and signs performed by the apostles. All the believers were together and had everything in common. They sold property and possessions to give to anyone who had need. Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.  Acts 2:42-47 (NIV).

Lord, I have heard the news about you; I am amazed at what you have done.  Lord, do great things once again in our time; make those things happen again in our own days.               Habakkuk 3:2 (NCV)

He is the one we proclaim, admonishing and teaching everyone with all wisdom, so that we may present everyone fully mature in Christ.  To this end I strenuously contend with all the energy Christ so powerfully works in me.  Colossians 1:28-29 (NIV)

Each of these passages have burrowed deep into my heart to create this longing.

As pastors, church leaders, and workers in our churches (paid or not) we are part of a powerful experience, opportunity and responsibility to be part of presenting “everyone fully mature in Christ”!  I know life can be busy and overwhelming.  I know that we can lose some of the wonder and joy and passion for what we do in ministry and see it as another obligation or task.  And at seasons in my life it has been reduced to that.

I want the awe!  I want the amazement!

I don’t long for some 1st century re-creation of the church.  It can never be exactly like that.  I’m not expecting signs and wonders.  I’ll take them, sure.  I don’t envision a series of revival meetings with ecstatic behavior either.

What I see, what I hunger for is a revival of community.  The principals of the Acts community can be developed.  And there is no greater miracle to be seen than “Christ formed in us”.  I want to see the Lord adding to our numbers daily.

I want these things for my generation!  My time!

I want to see a church strenuously contending with all the energy Christ so powerfully works in us!  I’m seeing signs of that in my particular local church right now, but my hope is for the Church, not just my church.

I don’t want to dismiss what I know He is already doing now, or imply we are not “strenuously contending” now.  I see the power of God at work all the time and am moved to praise and gratefulness.

I just have this sense there is something…more.

I want to encourage us today to make space in our hearts for the wonder to grow – the wonder that God would use each of us to transform lives.

Let’s not get caught up in the distractions of politics…God is bigger than America!

Let’s stop whining about the marginalization of the church in America and be the church America…and the world needs.  Our authority is not given to us by congress or the zeitgeist of culture, but by Christ!

Let’s not try to impose our faith on culture, but compel our culture to adopt our God through the irresistible grace He offers!

Let’s devote ourselves to the teaching and the fellowship and the prayer.  Let’s fill our worship centers with praise and celebration and let’s fill our homes with each other – admonishing and teaching and encouraging and proclaiming.

[youtube:http://youtu.be/dNIXhegxbx8]

This is the song I heard as I rounded the corner of the last .2 miles of the marathon. A Fitting End!

[youtube=http://youtu.be/oRgSk_-U3Oc]

Following my message this past Sunday our worship team led this great song, God With Us, by All Sons & Daughters.  I hope you will listen to my message, When Worry Meets Jesus and then watch this video (again).  All my audio messages can be found by clicking the “Sermons” tab.

Here is the incredible song that I was listening to while writing the previous post.  I have loved this song for many years.  Having grown up fatherless it has meant much to me to focus on the fathering nature of God in my life.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b0NwaJ54atw&w=420&h=315]

I’ve been posting worship songs that reflected my heart to “yearn” for God, but there are just times you want to jump, shout, and be filled with an exuberance. That is where this song comes in. I rejoice that God, the “maker of the heavens knows my name”. My soul will ever sing His praise!

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OrgmjZU1ivI&w=560&h=315]

Nothing is Wasted (Elevation Worship) is a fantastic song. One lyric in particular, the title phrase, strikes me. “Nothing is Wasted, You work all things for good.” If in fact God does work all things for good for those who love Him, then there is nothing that is left outside of that work on His part. ALL means Nothing is Wasted. God is so powerful and loving that He has the ability to make even the most insignificant or most hurtful or most evil part or experience of my life work out for His good. And not just the ability, but in fact He does accomplish this.

Now let’s get real here though and let go of childish naiveté. His good does not mean our view of happy endings. As C.S. Lewis said, God doesn’t care if we are happy, He wants us to grow up. And that growth is often through sharing in Christ’s sufferings.

But as we press in and let Him accomplish the work He has begun in us, nothing is wasted.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TCunuL58odQ&w=560&h=315]

These past couple of days I am enjoying the song How He Loves and it’s amazing lyrics.

“When all of a sudden I am unaware of these afflictions
Eclipsed by glory and I realize just how beautiful You are
And how great Your affections are for me

And oh, how He loves us, oh
Oh, how He loves us, how He loves us all”

What an amazing statement! To become unaware of our afflictions because they are eclipsed by the glory of God. What a beautiful reality to live in. What a beautiful way to say it. I am reminded of the old chorus, “turn you eyes upon Jesus…and all these things will grow strangely dim in light of His glory and grace”.

We (I) need to continually make God bigger in my view. To allow myself to focus more on Him. So much energy is spent on trial/sin/affliction management; fear, worry, fret, solutions, and frankly even telling ourselves we need to see God more and then running to the Bible for the fix. There is a franticness even in trying to see God.

But God calls us to just…rest. We don’t need to drum up His action. He already has accomplished it and it is there for us. We need to dwell, rest, delight and abide. Much different mood or tone with those words that are used all throughout scripture to describe the way to approach our Father.

The song continues,
“Drawn to redemption by the grace in His eyes
If His grace is an ocean, we’re all sinking”

I imagine those slow motion scenes where a person is falling backwards into the water and you see it just engulf them and then the shot takes you under the water where you see the silhouette floating down with the light rays behind. That moment of complete surrender and yielding. No fighting or struggling. Just a resignation. Of course we are not drowning, but we are dying to self. Drawn to the absolute grace. No more effort to maintain our image. No more struggle to become good enough. Just grace!

“I don’t have time to maintain these regrets
When I think about the way

Oh, how He loves us, oh
Oh, how He loves us, how He loves all”

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0A8almp_nCU&w=560&h=315]

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hYQ7FlND93c&w=560&h=315]

A great soulful cry to trust in the strength of God!

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fjn9sw6aXnk&w=560&h=315]

God is unchanging, unstoppable and unshakeable! I remember years ago when taking teams of students to Mexico, every time we hit a bump in the road on our plans that I would gather the entire group together and give a good news/bad news update. I would start with the bad news, delay of getting to location, truck breakdown, loss of supplies, etc and then follow it up with the good news, “But God is still on the throne!”

God is not surprised by anything. He never steps away from the throne to take a break. He is all-powerful and all-engaged in our lives. We can place our trust in Him and yield our dreams to Him. Believe you me, He dreams more for us and to a greater measure than we could ever imagine!

Live “dangerously” and be transformed by who He is. Shed the “first world problems” of what our lives get so consumed with and focus on the greater needs and concerns of life – the lost and broken world in need of the love and forgiveness of God.

I am not suggesting our issues are not real to us – they are. Let’s just get perspective in light of eternity and in light of a sovereign God. This is my journey as of late. To be reminded of the weightier purposes in life. To know God more intimately and thus be compelled to share Him more!

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