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 11/6/11

Text for Sunday:  Matthew 6:19-24

19 “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, 20 but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. 22 “The eye is the lamp of the body. So, if your eye is healthy, your whole body will be full of light, 23 but if your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light in you is darkness, how great is the darkness! 24 “No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money.

A couple of weeks ago we began looking at this passage by talking about where our treasure is.  Our treasure is what we love most deeply and what we long for most desperately.  Where is ours?  Is our treasure in the here and now, or is our treasure in heaven.  We concluded that day with the probing question, “when we die, will we be leaving our treasure or going to it?”.

This Sunday we’ll conclude this passage by considering our vision and our master.  What is our vision (iow, what or who so fills our vision that our life becomes defined by our pursuit of it?), and who is our master, “God or mammon”?

I don’t know about you, but in considering these things, I have recognized a disparity between what I say love and what my life (my actions, attitudes, decisions, etc.) says I love the most.  I say with my lips (and I even truly hope this to be true of me) that Jesus is my treasure, my vision, and my master, but far too often my life does not sing the same tune.  There’s a disconnect.  I live life in the world of “here and now”, and it is so easy for my heart to be given to earthly treasures.  I find that my vision is often clouded by worldliness.

But I don’t want this to be true of me.  I want Jesus to truly be my greatest treasure.  I want His glory to so fill my vision that my life becomes defined by the pursuit of glorifying Him.  Only Jesus can transform hearts from treasuring things of this world, to treasuring Him.  Only Jesus can remove the film from our eyes so that we can behold Him in all of His majesty and beauty and glory.  As we prepare for Sunday, let us make the lyrics of this treasured song the prayer of our heart…..

Sunday’s Worship Song List:

Sunday Service 10/16/11

This week’s Scripture text:

Matthew 6:16-18

16 “When you fast, do not look somber as the hypocrites do, for they disfigure their faces to show men they are fasting. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full. 17 But when you fast, put oil on your head and wash your face, 18 so that it will not be obvious to men that you are fasting, but only to your 
Father, who is unseen; and your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.

In this week’s text Jesus returns to His warning the disciples about hypocrisy.  He has talked about hypocrisy in giving and in prayer, and in these verses He talks about hypocrisy in fasting.  Fasting is certainly not prohibited by Jesus, but He does make it clear that we must check our motives for why we fast.  Each of the three examples of hypocrisy that Jesus has given in chapter 6 have been examples of different scenarios in which we come to God in a kind of “fake worship”; pretending to hunger after God when our true heart’s desire is to be seen by others as being holy or spiritual.
If Jesus took up half a chapter dealing with this issue…at the very outset of His teaching ministry, and devoted 3 distinct illustrations of it, then shouldn’t we take notice that this is something He really wants us to watch out for in our own hearts?  What about you?  What areas of your own heart a prone to pretend with God?  What impact does that have in our relationship with God?  How does it impact our service for God?  And most importantly, how do we get out from underneath that kind of “performance mentality” and stop faking it with Him?
Again, let’s be prayed up and ready to hear from the Lord this Sunday.