My Savior’s Love (What Tongue Could Tell)

What tongue could tell my Savior’s love
What song of angels could describe
Could endless praises be enough
To echo full His sacrifice
How worthy is the Lamb of God
Beyond all might or skill of pen
Still we confess and strain towards
Such mystery and magnificence

My Savior’s love
My Savior’s love
What could compare
What tongue could tell my Savior’s love

What tune could carry on its wings
The beauty of that final breath
What words dare paint the awesome scene
When God stood in the stead of man
When Jesus Christ the radiant One
Took on the shadows of our hate
Then rose again just as the sun
With light and power in fullest grace

My Savior’s love
My Savior’s love
What could compare
What tongue could tell my Savior’s love

And when in death this tongue is stilled
My song of life has reached the end
Though as a flower I may wilt
This everlasting truth will stand
No death or life could separate
Me from the love of Christ my Lord
This hope is sure from age to age

My Savior’s love
My Savior’s love
What could compare
What tongue could tell my Savior’s love

—Matt Boswell, Matt Papa, Keith Getty
©2019 Getty Music Publishing / Messenger Hymns / Getty Music Hymns
and Songs / Love Your Enemies Publishing / Adm by MusicServices.org

Lord From Sorrows Deep I Call (Psalm 42)

Lord, from sorrows deep I call
When my hope is shaken
Torn and ruined from the fall
Hear my desperation
For so long I’ve pled and prayed
God, come to my rescue
Even so the thorn remains
Still my heart will praise You

Storms within my troubled soul
Questions without answers
On my faith these billows roll
God, be now my shelter
Why are you cast down my soul?
Hope in Him who saves you
When the fires have all grown cold
Cause this heart to praise You

And, oh, my soul, put your hope in God
My help, my Rock, I will praise Him
Sing, oh, sing through the raging storm
You’re still my God, my salvation

Should my life be torn from me
Every worldly pleasure
When all I possess is grief
God, be then my treasure
Be my vision in the night
Be my hope and refuge
Till my faith is turned to sight
Lord, my heart will praise You

And, oh, my soul, put your hope in God
My help, my Rock, I will praise Him
Sing, oh, sing through the raging storm
You’re still my God, my salvation

—Words and Music by Matt Papa and Matt Boswell
©2018 Getty Music Hymns and Songs / Love Your Enemies Publishing /
Getty Music Publishing / Messenger Hymns / Adm. by MusicServices.org

Prayer For The New Year

O LORD,
Length of days does not profit me except the days are passed
                in thy presence, in thy service, to thy glory.
Give me a grace that precedes, follows, guides, sustains,
                sanctifies, aids every hour,
        that I may not be one moment apart from thee,
        but may rely on thy Spirit
                to supply every thought,
                speak in every word,
                direct every step,
                prosper every work,
                build up every mote of faith,
                and give me a desire
                        to show forth thy praise,
                        testify thy love,
                        advance thy kingdom.
I launch my bark on the unknown waters of this year,
                with thee, O Father, as my harbour,
                        thee, O Son, at my helm,
                        thee, O Holy Spirit, filling my sails.
Guide me to heaven with my loins girt,
                                my lamp burning,
                                my ear open to thy calls,
                                my heart full of love,
                                my soul free.
Give me thy grace to sanctify me,
                thy comforts to cheer,
                thy wisdom to teach,
                thy right hand to guide,
                thy counsel to instruct,
                thy law to judge,
                thy presence to stabilize.
May thy fear be my awe,
                thy triumphs my joy.

—The poem New Year from The Valley of Vision edited by Arthur Bennett

O Sacred Head, Now Wounded

O sacred Head, now wounded,
With grief and shame weighed down,
Now scornfully surrounded
With thorns, Thine only crown
How pale thou art with anguish,
with sore abuse and scorn!
How doth Thy visage languish
Which once was bright as morn!

What Thou, my Lord, hast suffered,
T’was all for sinners’ gain;
Mine, mine was the transgression,
But Thine the deadly pain.
Lo, here I fall, my Savior!
‘Tis I deserve Thy place;
Look on me with Thy favor,
Vouchsafe to me Thy grace.

What language shall I borrow
To thank Thee, dearest friend,
For this Thy dying sorrow,
Thy pity without end?
O make me Thine forever,
And should I fainting be,
Lord, let me never, never
Outlive my love for Thee.

—Text attributed to Bernard of Clairvaux (1090-1153)

Via: Tim Keesee

The Idol-Crushing King

Under the reign of King Hezekiah, “the priests went into the inner part of the house of the Lord to cleanse it, and brought out all the debris that they found in the temple of the Lord … and carried it to the Brook Kidron … and they took away all the incense altars and cast them into the Brook Kidron” (2 Chronicles 29:16; 30:14). While these kings are remembered for destroying idols from the land of Israel, none of them could purge the hearts of the people. The righteous kings of Israel may have temporarily purged the land of idols, but King Jesus removes them from our hearts forever. As He made His way to Calvary, Jesus crossed over the Brook Kidron (John 18:1) to symbolize everything He had come to do. He was burnt, crushed, and ground by the wrath of God on the cross.

Jesus is the cure for our idolatry. God the Son took to Himself flesh and blood, so that He might bear the penalty for our idolatry in His own body on the tree. Then He rose bodily from the dead. The Father now commands us to worship a man — even the God-Man, Jesus Christ.

France’s foremost preacher of the nineteenth century, Adolphe Monod, explained the mystery of this truth in a most profound way: “I strive to live in the communion of Jesus Christ — praying to Him, waiting for Him, speaking to Him, hearing Him, and, in a word, constantly bearing witness to Him day and night; all which would be idolatry if He were not God, and God in the highest sense of the word, the highest that the human mind is capable of giving to that sublime name.”

What idols are you harboring in your heart? Are you giving affections and labors to created things? How are we to keep ourselves from idols? The remedy is only to be found in the person and finished work of Christ. He has destroyed the idols of His people, once and for all, by His death on the cross. Our sins have been washed away in His blood. He has “cast them into the depths of the sea,” even as the righteous kings cast the crushed idols into the Brook Kidron. Praise God for His righteous King and His righteous rule in our hearts!

—Nicholas Batzig
Ligonier Ministries

What Does ‘Amen’ Mean?

The term “amen” was used in the corporate worship of ancient Israel in two distinct ways. It served first as a response to praise given to God and second as a response to prayer. Those same usages of the term are still in vogue among Christians. The term itself is rooted in a Semitic word that means “truth,” and the utterance of “amen” is an acknowledgment that the word that has been heard, whether a word of praise, a word of prayer, or a sermonic exhortation, is valid, that is, sure and binding. Even in antiquity, the word “amen” was used in order to express a pledge to fulfill the terms of a vow. So, this little word is one that is centered on the idea of the truth of God.

The truth of God is such a remarkable element of Christian faith that it cannot be overlooked. There are those who think that truth is negotiable or, even worse, divisive, and it therefore should not be a matter of passionate concern among believers. But if we are not concerned about truth, then we have no reason to have Bibles in our homes. The Bible is God’s Word, and God’s Word is true. It is not just true but is truth itself. This is the assessment made of it by the Lord Jesus Christ Himself (John 17:17).

Therefore, when we sing a hymn that reflects biblical truth and end it with the sung word “amen”, we are giving our approbation of the content of the praise in the hymn. When we have a choral “amen” at the end of the pastoral prayer, again we are emphasizing our agreement with the validity and surety of the content of the prayer itself.

Worship in biblical terms is a corporate matter. The corporate body is made up of individuals, and when an individual sounds the “amen,” the individual is connecting to the corporate expression of worship and praise. However, we are told in the Scriptures that the truths of God are “yea” and “amen” (2 Cor. 1:20), which simply means that the Word of God is valid, it is certain, and it is binding. Therefore, the expression “amen” is not simply an acknowledgment of personal agreement with what has been stated; it is an expression of willingness to submit to the implications of that word, to indeed be bound by it, as if the Word of God would put ropes around us not to strangle or retard us but to hold us firmly in place.

There is, perhaps, no more remarkable use of the term “amen” in the New Testament than on the lips of Jesus. Older translations render statements of our Lord with the preparatory words, “Verily, verily, I say unto you.” Later translations update that to “Truly, truly, I say unto you.” In such passages, the Greek word that is translated as “verily” or “truly” is the word “amen”. Jesus does not wait for the disciples to nod their agreement or submission to His teaching at the end of His saying; rather, He begins by saying, “Amen, amen, I say unto you.” What is the significance of this? Namely, that Jesus never uttered a desultory word; every word that came from His lips was true and important. Each word was, as “amen” suggests, valid, sure, and binding.

Furthermore, even in His own pedagogy, Jesus took the opportunity on occasion to call strict attention to something He was about to say by giving it tremendous emphasis. His practice was somewhat akin to the sounding of a whistle and an announcement over a loudspeaker on a ship: “Now hear this, this is the captain speaking.” When that announcement is made on a ship, everyone listens, realizing that when the captain speaks to the entire crew, what he is saying is of the utmost importance and urgency. However, the authority of Jesus far transcends that of a captain of a seagoing vessel. Jesus has been given all authority in heaven and on earth by the Father. So when He gives a preface to a teaching and says, “Amen, amen, I say unto you,” our listening ears should be fine-tuned to take note instantly of what our Lord is going to say following the preface, for it is of the utmost importance.

We also notice that Jesus uses the Hebrew technique of repetition by saying not merely, “Amen, I say unto you,” but “Amen, amen.” This form of repetition underlines the importance of the words that are to follow. Whenever we read in the text of Scripture our Lord giving a statement that is prefaced by the double “amen,” it is a time to pay close attention and be ready to give our response with a double “amen” to it. He says “amen” to indicate truth; we say it to receive that truth and to submit to it.

—R.C. Sproul
Tabletalk Magazine

This Is My Father’s World

So glad we sang this beautiful hymn today during the worship service at Kenwood Baptist Church – it is one of my favorites.

This is my Father’s world,
and to my listening ears
all nature sings, and round me rings
the music of the spheres.
This is my Father’s world:
I rest me in the thought
of rocks and trees, of skies and seas;
his hand the wonders wrought.

This is my Father’s world,
the birds their carols raise,
the morning light, the lily white,
declare their maker’s praise.
This is my Father’s world:
he shines in all that’s fair;
in the rustling grass I hear him pass;
he speaks to me everywhere.

This is my Father’s world.
O let me ne’er forget
that though the wrong seems oft so strong,
God is the ruler yet.

This is my Father’s world:
why should my heart be sad?
The Lord is King; let the heavens ring!
God reigns; let the earth be glad!

—Words by Maltbie D. Babcock and music adapted by Franklin L. Sheppard

The King of Love My Shepherd Is

The King of love my shepherd is,
whose goodness faileth never.
I nothing lack if I am his,
and he is mine forever.

Where streams of living water flow,
my ransomed soul he leadeth;
and where the verdant pastures grow,
with food celestial feedeth.

Perverse and foolish, oft I strayed,
but yet in love he sought me;
and on his shoulder gently laid,
and home, rejoicing, brought me.

In death’s dark vale I fear no ill,
with thee, dear Lord, beside me;
thy rod and staff my comfort still,
thy cross before to guide me.

Thou spreadst a table in my sight;
thy unction grace bestoweth;
and oh, what transport of delight
from thy pure chalice floweth!

And so through all the length of days,
thy goodness faileth never;
Good Shepherd, may I sing thy praise
within thy house forever.

—Henry W. Baker, 1868

Be Thou My Vision

Be Thou my Vision, O Lord of my heart;
Naught be all else to me, save that Thou art.
Thou my best Thought, by day or by night,
Waking or sleeping, Thy presence my light.

Be Thou my Wisdom, and Thou my true Word;
I ever with Thee and Thou with me, Lord;
Thou my great Father, I Thy true son;
Thou in me dwelling, and I with Thee one.

Be Thou my battle Shield, Sword for the fight;
Be Thou my Dignity, Thou my Delight;
Thou my soul’s Shelter, Thou my high Tower:
Raise Thou me heavenward, O Power of my power.

Riches I heed not, nor man’s empty praise,
Thou mine Inheritance, now and always:
Thou and Thou only, first in my heart,
High King of Heaven, my Treasure Thou art.

High King of Heaven, my victory won,
May I reach Heaven’s joys, O bright Heaven’s Sun!
Heart of my own heart, whatever befall,
Still be my Vision, O Ruler of all.

—Words at­trib­ut­ed to Dal­lan For­gaill, 8th Cen­tu­ry