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Worship Ministry - March 2023

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What He’s Done

In the gospels, we see over and over again the compassion Christ had for those that were hurting. The two blind men in Matthew chapter nine, having faith that Jesus could heal them, had their sight restored. The man with a “serious skin disease,” in Mark chapter one, begging for cleansing. A girl suffering from twelve years of bleeding, in Luke chapter eight, reached out to touch the robe of Jesus believing that even that small act of faith would heal her.

Compassion toward those suffering from physical hurt wasn’t the only way Christ reached out to the people He came across along His journey. He drove demons out of those who were spiritually hurting. He calmed the storm for others that were stricken with fear. Again and again, Christ Jesus met the needs of the community around Him, and this is still true right now. Think of all the provisions God has blessed you with over your lifetime! The money and job He provided when you didn’t know how you were going to pay that bill; the encouraging people He surrounded you with during your great time of need; that miraculous doctor’s report that can’t be explained. His blessings being immeasurable is a testament to how incredible our God is and how much He cares for us.

At age thirteen, I watched as my mother battled severe cancer and ultimately lost that fight. I watched as her body got weaker and weaker, the coughing got worse and worse, and the days she could barely get out of bed because of all the chemo and radiation treatments she had to endure. Eight days before I turned fourteen, my mother, the person I was closest to in all the world, took her last breath. Oh, how I wish Jesus would have healed her body here on Earth. Oh, I wish she could have stretched out her hand and touched His robe! I often think about how she never got to see me drive, graduate, and go off to college. She didn’t get to be there when I married my best friend, or to celebrate the birth of my two children. There are many days that I am flooded with intense emotions, longing to see her again and wishing she was here to be a part of whatever is happening at that moment. Tears fall that she never got to meet my bride. Tears fall that she never got to play with my dinosaur-loving son or spoil my baby girl with way too many clothes and treats.

If I were honest, when asked the question, “what is the best birthday present you’ve ever received?” my answer has to be the present received on my fourteenth birthday knowing that my mother was forever healed and is in the presence of God. I never give that answer because it seems too dark and morbid, but it shouldn’t be. Just like all of those healed in the gospels, I should want to “spread the news about Him (Jesus)” (Matt. 9:31), and want the world to know the hope I have in Christ. Hope that whether it be here on earth or in heaven, I will be made whole just as my mother was because of our salvation in Christ Jesus. We should want to testify to the world of “What He’s Done” in our lives and what He will do when we take our last breath. I still miss her, but because of Jesus, I have a joyful hope to rely on. Just like the two blind men, the man with the skin disease, or the girl who bled, I have a testimony of God’s healing because He has washed me clean of my sins. Do you have this hope? Can the world see His hope in you? Tell the world who God is!

Lyric of the Month
All the glory and the honor to the Son
My sins are forgiven
My future is Heaven
I praise God for what He's done

Psalm 95:1-2
1Come, let us sing for joy to the Lord; let us
shout aloud to the Rock of our salvation.
 2Let us come before him with thanksgiving
and extol him with music and song.

Posted by Evan Gray with

Worship Ministry - February 2023

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Great Is Thy Faithfulness

The hymn “Great Is Thy Faithfulness” is one all of us know and know well, and if you grew up in church you probably have sung it many times. This hymn is one of my favorite songs of all time because of its rich truth of God’s faithfulness. I must confess that I was a little shocked to learn that in the grand scheme of time, this song isn’t that old (1923); especially when you compare it to hymns such as “A Mighty Fortress is Our God” (1529)(translated in 1852) or even “Holy, Holy, Holy” (1826). You would also expect a song as powerful as “Great Is Thy Faithfulness” to be accompanied by a great story inspired by some great tragedy or life-altering triumph, but the author once admitted that there “was no dramatic story behind the writing” of the song.  

The hymn's author, Thomas Chisholm, was born not too far from us in Franklin, Kentucky. Chisholm came to Christ at the age of 27 and from then until he died at the age of 94, he penned 1,200 poems and hymns. After sending a few of his poems to his friend and musician, William Runyan, “Great Is Thy Faithfulness” was put to a tune and first published in 1923. It is a little hard to believe that the popularity of the song was slow to spread and only became well known after being used by George Beverly Shea and the Billy Graham Crusades.

As I ponder the lyrics of this song and the history of their author, I am stuck by his declaration of there not being a “dramatic story.” Each one of us has times in our lives when we are overwhelmed by grief, stress, and hardship, and other days that are full of joy, triumph, and victory; however, most of our days are just normal days. The majority of our days have nothing partially special about them, nothing out of the ordinary. Yet, it was on a day much like that when Chisholm penned the words “Thou changest not, thy compassions, they fail not; as thou hast been, thou forever wilt be” and “Morning by morning new mercies I see; all I have needed thy hand hath provided. Great is thy faithfulness, Lord, unto me!”

What an incredible challenge to us that we would remember God’s unending overwhelming faithfulness on our most mundane days. That we wouldn’t only be thankful for His provision as we are relieved of pain or sorrow. Not just on days when the storm seems to be clearing. Not just on days when we are on top of the world and it seems like nothing can stop us from achieving all that we want to accomplish. Rather, on those days that are the most normal, the days that won’t be remembered next week; those too are the days to celebrate God’s great faithfulness. Every morning we should lift praise to our King for His faithfulness in filling our lungs with breath, providing for our most basic needs, and allowing us to call Him father. May we be a more faithful people to the One who has been the most faithful! “Your steadfast love, O Lord, extends to the heavens, your faithfulness to the clouds.” Psalm 36:5

Lyric of the Month
For God so loved The world that He gave us His one and only Son to save us Whoever believes in Him Will live forever

Psalm 103:1
Praise the Lord, my soul; all my inmost being, praise his holy name.

Posted by Evan Gray with

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