Julian Freeman

Freed to live through the death of another.

Tag: Worship (page 1 of 4)

The Tenses of Faith

The Tenses of Psalm 63

Present Tense

O God, you are my God; earnestly I seek you; my soul thirsts for you; my flesh faints for you as in a dry and weary land where there is no water.

Past Tense

So I have looked upon you in the sanctuary, beholding your power and your glory.

Present Tense

Because your steadfast love is better than life…

Future Tense

… my lips will praise you.

So I will bless you as long as I live; in your name I will lift up my hands.

My soul will be satisfied as with fat and rich food, and my mouth will praise you with joyful lips, when I remember you (when I remember you in the future!) upon my bed, and meditate on you in the watches of the night;
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Just Try to Not Worship

The Foolish Mine Owner

You know those moments when truth really sinks into your heart? Isn’t it beautiful?

This morning I was reading from the Psalms and I was struck by something I already knew: God is a precious treasure! He is worthy of worship! For us to ‘have’ him as our God is an incalculable blessing!

In fact, the many attributes of God make him more than a treasure — perhaps more like a treasure mine. There is so much blessing to be had, so many riches to be uncovered, so much wealth to be enjoyed!

And yet, so often I’m like a fool of a mine owner. I’m content to know that I have a mine and that there are riches to be had, but I so rarely do any actual mining that my day-to-day experience is far more poverty-stricken than it needs to be. What a fool I am!

Mining for Treasure in the Psalms

The Psalmists, however, were not fools. They were diligent to recount to themselves and to the people of God all the riches of his glory.

They studied who God had revealed himself to be in his word, in his providence, and in their daily experience. They explored all the furthest caverns they could find. They unearthed new treasures from old tunnels. They extracted precious diamonds and gazed from all different angles so as to enjoy the beauty in its fullest.

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Modern Hymns for the Church: From Age to Age by Sovereign Grace Music

Sovereign Grace Music has truly blessed the church. Here is an album of modern hymns that I am happy to wholeheartedly recommend. It is called From Age to Age.

Musically speaking, the album is more eclectic than we’re used to from Sovereign Grace. These songs sound distinct from each other and different than previous SGM releases. At first I wasn’t sure what that would mean, since I’ve enjoyed many of Sovereign Grace’s recent albums. But this one stands apart.

Lyrically, this album is rich. The songs glory in the dynamic interplay of God’s transcendence and immanence and the majesty of the eternal God who revealed himself in the suffering servant.

Spiritually and emotionally, this album is gripping and engaging without being cheesy. I am amazed at how well the individual songwriters did at matching the musical elements to the lyrics so that the climactic points of the music serve to make the words even more worship-compelling.

I want you to hear this album so badly I’m embedding it below so you don’t even have to leave the page to hear it.

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Why Does Grace Amaze Christians?

One amazing thing about Christians is that we don’t sing because we like to sing, but because the grace that we have received from God makes us sing. It’s not that we’re commanded to sing, but that we’re compelled to sing.

Grace, rightly beheld, always moves the heart to thankfulness and worship that must be shared. And so we sing.

But what is it that is so amazing to us about grace? Why does it make us sing? Consider these lines from some of the songs we sing:

Amazing grace, how sweet the sound that saved a wretch like me!

Alas! And did my Saviour bleed, and did my Sovereign die?
Would he devote that sacred head for such a worm as I?
Was it for sins that I had done he groaned upon the tree?
Amazing pity, grace unknown, and love beyond degree!

He left His Father’s throne above—So free, so infinite His grace—
Emptied Himself of all but love, and bled for Adam’s helpless race:
’Tis mercy all, immense and free, for O my God, it found out me!

Wayne Grudem, in his Systematic Theology defines grace as God’s ‘goodness toward those who deserve only punishment.’ That’s why it’s amazing to us. Before a holy God, with our sinful hearts and deeds exposed we are wretched and helpless — as lowly as a worm. And yet, God has been infinitely good to us.

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Want Some Great Worship Music for Free?

Download ‘The Patika Sessions’ for Free

Joshua Robinson, Lead Worshiper at GFC (Rexdale)

Over Christmas time the Band of Brothers from Grace Fellowship Church (Rexdale), together with some of the members of our worship team recorded, mixed, and produced a CD of worship tunes that we sing in our churches. This a collection of songs and hymns either written or re-written by members of our churches.

We are thrilled to offer the music to you to download for free! Simply click below to download the zip file and enjoy.

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Not Every Psalm is Psalm 119

Psalm 119 is epic. It is theologically profound, it is highly structured, it tells me new and wonderful things that I need to know. It gloriously reflects splendour of both the word of God and the God of the word. And it is long — it spans six pages of my Bible.

Surely Psalm 119 should inform our worship. We should seek to be theologically profound and we should not shy away from length of song or beautiful poetry. We should not be afraid of teaching God’s people to sing worship songs that glory in him because of their length.

But not every Psalm is Psalm 119.

Just two psalms prior we find something very different. Here is Psalm 117 (ESV):

Praise the LORD, all nations!
Extol him, all peoples!
For great is his steadfast love toward us,
and the faithfulness of the LORD endures forever.

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How Do You Feel About Predestination?

Abraham & Isaac

The doctrine of God’s electing individuals to salvation, apart from any good in them (either actual or foreseen) is known as unconditional election (o predestination). It is exemplified in Isaac’s twin sons: ‘…when Rebekah had conceived children by one man, our forefather Isaac, though they were not yet born and had done nothing either good or bad—in order that God’s purpose of election might continue, not because of works but because of him who calls—she was told, “The older will serve the younger.” As it is written, “Jacob I loved, but Esau I hated”‘ (Romans 9.10-13).

Predestination is a doctrine that is often at the centre of controversy. And too often the controversy could be quelled, if not quenched, by a calm tongue and a gentle answer (Prov 15.1). But too much of the time those who believe the most strongly in predestination are (rightly or wrongly) associated with pride and arrogance and preachiness, rather than humility, gentleness, and love.

But that should never be.

That’s just one of the reasons why I loved reading this in the 1689 London Baptist Confession of faith the other day:

The doctrine of the high mystery of predestination is to be handled with special prudence and care, that men attending the will of God revealed in his Word, and yielding obedience thereunto, may, from the certainty of their effectual vocation, be assured of their eternal election; so shall this doctrine afford matter of praise, reverence, and admiration of God, and of humility, diligence, and abundant consolation to all that sincerely obey the gospel. (1 Thessalonians 1:4, 5; 2 Peter 1:10; Ephesians 1:6; Romans 11:33; Romans 11:5, 6, 20; Luke 10:20)

That’s a big mouthful, but basically it’s saying that this isn’t a doctrine to be wielded like an ax, to wound our enemies, but should be applied carefully, like a balm to give courage to wounded souls, and like a call to worship for those who embrace it and are humbled by God’s grace. For those who know the doctrines of grace and love them, this should be the very thing which calls forth our humility and our worship like nothing else. It should never be a source of pride and it is not a doctrine to be handled flippantly.

So how do you feel about predestination? Does it make you condemn those who don’t understand it? Or does it make you marvel at God’s mercy?

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