Free Easter Resources

I’ve been noticing a lot of good free resources floating around on the internet as we begin Holy Week. Use these resources to set your heart upon the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

Raised: Doubting The Resurrection by Jonathan Dodson (ebook)
Available in Kindle (.mobi) iBooks (.epub) and .PDF format

Love To The Uttermost by John Piper (ebook) A devotional for Holy Week
Available in Kindle (.mobi) iBooks (.epub) and .PDF format

The Truth of The Cross by R.C. Sproul (ebook)
Available in Kindle (.mobi) iBooks (.epub) and for Logos Bible Software

Did The Resurrection Really Happen? by Josh McDowell and Dave Sterrett
Available in Kindle format (.mobi)

Hallel Songs by Cardiphonia (Free Album Download): ‘”Hallel Psalms” is our sixth “flash mob” compilation. This collection of songs meditates on Psalms 113-118 often called the “Egyptian Hallel.” They were traditionally sung during passover, were sung by the disciples at the last supper, and make a fantastic set of texts to guide worship and devotion during Holy Week (March 25-30). ‘ You can download all of Cardiphonia’s albums HERE

Page CXVI is a project of a band called The Autumn Film. Their desire is to reintroduce ancient hymns of the faith to the church today. You can download  ALL 11 of their albums for FREE for a limited time.

He is Risen: A New Old Song

We are introducing a new song in our congregational singing this month (starting this Sunday). I would like to give special attention to this song because of it’s focus on the resurrection of Jesus Christ. As we approach Easter Sunday, I pray the lyrics of this hymn text will encourage you to celebrate the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. For without the resurrection, our faith is in vain (1 Cor. 15:14-17)

I greatly value hymns of the Christian faith for both personal and corporate worship. A couple of years ago, wanting to dig a little deeper into hymnody, I purchased Our Own Hymn Book compiled by Charles Spurgeon. I began reading it as a devotional, marking texts that caught my attention. One of those was Ye Humble Souls That Seek The Lord by Phillip Doddridge. It’s a hymn encouraging believers to look to the empty tomb of Jesus Christ and joyfully celebrate his victory over death. I thought, “We should be surveying the wondrous cross AND the empty tomb!”

So I got to work on an original melody and some added choruses. I wrote, re-wrote, prayed, and so on until completing the finished product. You can read the original text HERE. The following is the version we will be singing in our gatherings (Note that I didn’t change much!)

He Is Risen
Oh, humble souls, that seek the Lord,       

Chase all your fears away;

And bow with joy your head to see

The place where Jesus lay.



Here, low the Lord of life was brought;

Such wonders love can do:

Here, cold in death his heart did lay,

Which throbbed and bled for you.
            


He is risen, He is risen

Weary souls rest in His name

He is Risen, He is risen

He has conquered the grave



So raise your eyes, and tune your songs,

The Savior lives again:

Not all the bolts and bars of death

Could Conqueror detain

Above angelic bands He rears

His once dishonored head;

And through unnumbered years He reigns,

Who dwelt among the dead.



The grave has no victory

death has no sting

Christ, the Lord is risen

He has set the captives free



With joy like His shall every saint

His empty tomb survey;

Then rise with His ascending Lord

To realms of endless day.

I’ll leave you with this quote from R.A. Torrey
“Gospel preachers nowadays preach the gospel of the Crucifixion, the Apostles preached the gospel of the Resurrection as well. (2 Tim. 2:8-Remember that Jesus Christ of the seed of David was raised from the dead, according to my gospel.”) The Crucifixion loses its meaning without the Resurrection. Without the Resurrection the death of Christ was only the heroic death of a noble martyr; with the Resurrection it is the atoning death the Son of God. It shows that death to be of sufficient value to cover our sins, for it was the sacrifice of the Son of God.”

He is risen!
He is risen indeed!

Worship Music Recommendation: Sovereign Grace- From Age To Age

I’m always on the look out for Jesus-centered worship music to recommend to people. I’m encouraged by the amount of biblically rich, gospel saturated worship music that is coming from the Church today. From Age to Age by Sovereign Grace is one of those albums. It’s hot off the press (came out Tuesday) and it’s only $7.99 on Amazon.

Here’s how the liner notes describe the concept of the album…

How does one define a hymn?

It’s hard to say, but most hymns are characterized by theologically rich lyrics, symmetrical rhythmic patterns in the verse lyrics, and a tune that congregations find easy to sing. At the heart of hymn-writing is a desire to create a song that will endure for generations.

Inspired by the hymn writers of the past, we’ve written 14 new hymns for this album. Some songs are old hymn lyrics set to new tunes. For others, we used the thematic structure of a hymn as the basis for an entirely new song.

And in some cases we’ve written completely new hymns that attempt to communicate the inexhaustible riches of God’s word and the Gospel through the simple elements of words and melodies.

Above each lyric, different songwriters have shared thoughts on the background or meaning of the song. We hope you enjoy their stories. More importantly, we hope these songs open your heart and mind to the song that never changes from age to age: the song of the redeemed to their matchless Redeemer, Jesus Christ.

And here is an acoustic version of the song Glorious Christ (Track 11)

Be sure to check out the new Sovereign Grace Music website for more great music.

Sunday Service 1/29/11

Song List for this upcoming Sunday:

  1. All Because of Jesus by Steve Fee
  2. Nothing but the Blood version by Matthew Smith (Hymn text by Robert Lowry)
  3. Cling to the Crucified by Indelible Grace (Anonymous hymn text)
  4. It is Finished pt.II by Red Mountain Church (hymn text by Jonathan Evans and Benjamin Francis)
  5. The Wonderful Cross version by Chris Tomlin (Hymn text by Isaac Watts)
  6. The Solid Rock version by Charlie Hall (Hymn text by Edward Mote)

Sermon Text: Matthew 7:24-29

Sunday Service 10/9/11

This Sunday…

Matthew 6:14-15

 14 For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. 15 But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.
Why does Jesus say this, and what does it mean?  Does this mean that God will forgive me because I forgive others, and conversely, if I don’t forgive others then I will not be forgiven by God and that the reason for my not being forgiven is because of my unforgiveness toward others? What exactly is Jesus saying, and what is He not saying.  Certainly there are extremes to avoid here, but after we untangle ourselves from those extremes, it is clear that Jesus is teaching about unforgiveness.  He wants His disciples to forgive those who sin against them, and teaches that there are serious consequences for not forgiving others.

Harboring unforgiveness is serious business with God, and indicates that something is amiss in our walk with the Lord.  So, what about you.  Is there someone you need to forgive?  Why do we tend to hold on to unforgiveness, what does forgiveness look like in practice, and where can we find the strength to forgive those who have wronged us?

Let’s prayerfully ready ourselves to hear from God about these things this weekend.

My Hymn Book: Volume I


As you know, we love hymns here at NewBranch. We love songs that express rich biblical truths. We also love mission. After all, we’re commanded to do both (Col.3:16, Matt. 28:18-20).

A new friend of mine, Matt Henslee, has a new project called My Hymn Book: Volume 1.  The album consists of 13 hymns (10 of which are from the first 10 Psalms). This stuff is rich.

What’s even cooler is that Matt has set up 80% of the proceeds to go to Renovation Church, a brand new church plant in downtown Atlanta.

This is easy: You click HERE and download the album for $9.99 and support the mission of God downtown.

Behold What Wondrous Grace

Behold What Wondrous Grace!
Lyrics by Isaac Watts (slightly adapted)
Originally published in Hymns and Spiritual Songs in 1707
Arr. by Kevin Sanders

This a re-post from a blog I started devoted to hymns and worship (thirsting soul). Click the link to hear a demo version of the hymn.

In reading some of Watts’ hymns I came across this and fell in love with it. It’s simply a celebration of God’s grace poured out upon His children! Listen with Galatians 4:4-7 in mind…

But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons. And because you are sons, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, “Abba! Father!” So you are no longer a slave, but a son, and if a son, then an heir through God.  (Galatians 4:4-7 ESV)

Lyrics:

Behold what wondrous grace the father has bestowed
on sinners of a mortal race to call them sons of God
‘tis no surprising thing that we should be unknown
the world knew not their King, God’s everlasting son

Nor doth it yet appear how great we must be made
But when we see Him here we shall be like our head

A hope so much divine may trials well endure
to purge our souls from sense and sin
as Christ the Lord is pure

If in my father’s love I share a filial part
send down your spirit O to rest upon my heart

We would no longer lie like slaves beneath the throne
my faith shall Abba cry and thou the kindred own