valley

I love this song. The choir encouraged us with this song during last Sunday’s service and my heart was being stirred by the Spirit. Rod and Tavi led this song at Junior High Bible Study last night and my heart was bursting.

I’ve been reflecting on these lyrics all week long.  This song communicates what our church is all about.  We are here to fill Southern California with the glory of King Jesus by spreading God’s Word and making Spirit-filled disciples.  I think this should be the theme song of Bethel Grace. I love this song!

Reflect carefully on these lyrics:

Your glorious cause, O God, engages our hearts
May Jesus Christ be known wherever we are
We ask not for ourselves but for Your renown
The cross has saved us so we pray,
Your kingdom come

Let Your kingdom come
Let Your will be done
So that everyone might know Your Name
Let Your song be heard everywhere on earth
Till Your sovereign work on earth is done
Let Your kingdom come

Give us Your strength, O God, and courage to speak
Perform Your wondrous deeds
Through those who are weak
Lord use us as You want, whatever the test
By grace we’ll preach Your gospel
Till our dying breath

Awesome.  Wonderful lyrics.  Is your heart engaged?  That song was inspired by this prayer in the Puritan book on prayer, The Valley of Vision.  Let’s pray this prayer lots:

Sovereign God,
Thy cause, not my own, engages my heart,
and I appeal to thee with greatest freedom
to set up thy kingdom in every place where Satan reigns;
Glorify thyself and I shall rejoice,
for to bring honor to thy name is my sole desire.
I adore thee that thou art God,
and long that other should know it, feel it,
and rejoice in it.

Follow this link to download a free mp3 of the song.  On that page, the Bob Kauflin of Sovereign Grace music explains how the Puritans’ passion to advance the gospel inspired the song.  Get the song while you can.  Get it into iTunes and listen to it lots.  Pray it lots. 

I can’t wait for this Sunday in Mark. We will hear Jesus’ first sermon: “The time is fulfilled, and the Kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the Gospel.”

~Jeff

It’s been a busy week, and I haven’t had a chance to post anything. I have come across several good posts on-line though, and since I don’t know which to link to, here’s a smorgasboard of good stuff from around the web (as usual, I found most of this stuff thanks to Tim Challies and Justin Taylor!):

  • John Piper wrote a thought-provoking post entitled, “Why I Don’t Have a Television and Rarely Go to Movies” . This post also includes a wonderful example of humbly confessing sin. 
  • Keith and Kristen Getty have released a new album of modern, celtic-style hymns. Their lyrics are saturated with Scripture and their music is beautiful! You can listen to samples and/or order the CD here.
  • Sovereign Grace Music has released another children’s album entitled, To Be Like Jesus. Read about it here.
  • Tim Challies asked John Bell, pastor of New City Baptist Church in Toronto, to share about his experience sharing the gospel with the gay community in his city. It is well worth reading – to help us think biblically about homosexuality, and to help us in God-honoring evangelism and church life. There is also some very interesting discussion in the comments, especially involving a number of men who struggle with homosexuality but turn from it because of their commitment to Christ. Read this post here
  • If you’re compiling a summer reading list, you might find these 2 posts from David Powlison to be of interest. Powlison is a bilical counselor, professor, and author, and he spent some time this week discussing some of his favorite literature with CJ Mahaney. You can read part 1 here, and part 2 here.  
  • What does Kurt Warner, a Christian who plays quarterback for the Arizona Cardinals, like most about being a professional football player? His very encouraging answer is here.   

Blessings…

~Donovan

Mark Altrogge, a pastor and songwriter for Sovereign Grace Ministries, shares how he overcame self-conciousness while worshipping God. Read it here.

~Donovan

HT: Tim Challies