“Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs” (Col 3:16 ESV).
As with culture, present day Christian music continues to fluctuate. “In the lyrics of the songs we can detect a shift from an emphasis upon teaching doctrine.”1
[T]hough much of our truly wonderful contemporary music celebrates the greatness of God and His power to deliver us from brokenness, to ease our sorrows, and to drive away our fears there is little focus on the cause of our brokenness, sorrows, and fears—our sin.2
For more than a hundred years we’ve favored emotional, responsive-type songs over songs that magnify the nature, attributes, and works of God. We tend to favor devotion over doctrine. That order needs to be reversed, without losing either. We need more songs that help us think deeply about God and help us respond with wholehearted emotion.3
“[W]hen we don’t major on objective truth, our songs can quickly drift into emotionalism and self-absorption.”4 “[B]eing moved emotionally is different from being changed spiritually.”5 “[T]here is no authentic worship of God without a right knowledge of God.”6
Singing God’s Word can include more than reciting specific verses in song. If the Word of Christ is going to ‘dwell in [us] richly’ we need songs that explain, clarify, and expound on what God’s Word says. We need songs that have substantive, theologically rich, biblically faithful lyrics.7
This 2-volume book is a recounting of the historical facts spanning the time period GOD revealed His final word to mankind through His Son. With less scriptural emphasis in our churches now days, JESUS! In Word and Song is a resource to present Christian doctrine and highlight those facts in song.
“Corporate worship [should have] a teaching function through the lyrics of its songs.”8 “God wants our worship to be intelligent and informed. He wants to stretch our minds to the limits as we consider the greatness of his being and the wonder of his works.”9 “True worship is always a response to God’s Word.10
GOD’s Word is never changing. The truth in these songs is never changing. In this changing and more and more changing world GOD has to stay the hearts of His people. It’s all up to GOD, but these songs and written pages are one method He has opportunity to use to keep His never changing Word in our hearts.
“Let this be recorded for a generation to come, so that a people yet to be created may praise the LORD” (Psalm 102:18 ESV).
My life’s purpose has been that I may know CHRIST; that I may progressively become more deeply acquainted with Him. Therefore I determined to ponder His life as told in the scriptures more deliberately than ever before.
JESUS! In Word and Song, Vol. 1, addresses the history of JESUS’ time on earth. The subjects of the songs span the anticipation of His birth until Pentecost. The resources used were the four Gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke and John) and Acts, chapters one and two, as well as comments about scripture by “the great cloud of witnesses” (Hebrews 12:1) before me.
The written page before each song contains material collected while researching the subject of the song. Each song and page of facts have footnotes where the words are not mine. These “Endnotes” are on the page after each song.
Used as a devotional the volumes, JESUS! In Word and Song Vol. 1 and 2, contain enough songs to meditate on one song and the companion page of information weekly for a year. This is a great help to preach the gospel to ourselves daily.
Songs are positioned in the book to align with the Church Calendar Year. More detailed information about the Calendar can be found in Appendix A. Appendix B lists songs according to subjects and includes scripture references.
JESUS! In Word and Song is also a resource for the church family; it’s well suited for corporate singing and study. It is appropriate for the worship service as well as Bible study and Sunday school.
The Bible’s use in public worship should be set in the context of songs and hymns and programs that are redolent with the substance of God’s holy word. Responsive readings can [also] be beneficial because they involve the congregation in voicing the sacred text.1
“Great are the works of the LORD, studied by all who delight in them” (Ps 111:2 ESV).
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