A blog about current Christian songs that have strong, deep lyrics and can be used in contemporary or blended Christian Worship formats.

Advent

Oh Come, Oh Come, Emmanuel by Matt Maher

Today’s strong worship song is Matt Maher’s Oh Come, Oh Come, Emmanuel which was released on this year’s WOW Christmas album.  Matt is gifted with depth and variety of musical style including writing fresh new melodies to traditional hymns. He keeps the integrity of the original hymn yet adds a powerful chorus that is easy to sing. This is a great Advent and Christmas song.

Scripture references include Isaiah 7:14, Matthew 1:23, Luke 2:40, Romans 11:23, and 1 Corinthians 2:24.

Oh Come, O Come, Emmanuel

Oh come, Oh come, Emmanuel
And ransom captive Israel
That mourns in lonely exile here
Until the Son of God appear

Rejoice, rejoice
Emmanuel shall come to thee, O Israel

O come, Thou wisdom from on high
Who orderest all things mightily
To us the path of knowledge show
And teach us in her ways to go

Rejoice, rejoice
Emmanuel shall come to thee, O Israel
Shall come to thee, O Israel

Rejoice, again, I say, rejoice
For unto us is born the Savior of the world
Take heart, oh weary soul, take heart
For help is on its way
And Holy is His name

Rejoice, rejoice
Emmanuel shall come to thee, O Israel

Holy is His name
Holy is His name


He is the Life (A Christmas Song) by Jonathan Favorite

Just in time for Christmas our strong worship song is He is the Life (A Christmas Song) by Jonathan Favorite of the CrossWalk band. This song is based on Luke 2:8-20 and John 14:6.  The lyrics are simply yet strong. The tune is folksy and very singable.  The song can be downloaded on iTunes here.

A chord sheet  is located below the video.

He is the Life (A Christmas Song)

Shepherds tending
Out in the fields nearby
Their flocks were grazing
It was an ordinary night
Just an ordinary night
When out of nowhere
A man in white appeared
And said “Do not fear!
I bring you tidings of great joy
About a little baby boy”

Woah woah
He is the Way
He is the Truth
He is the Life

“In David’s city
You’ll find the King of Heaven
In a manger
All wrapped up in his swaddling clothes
For he was born not long ago”
And with the angel
A multitude appeared
And joined in singing
“All glory be to God on high
And peace on earth, good will toward men”

Woah woah
He is the Way
He is the Truth
He is the Life

Woah woah
He is the Way
He is the Truth
He is the Life

Capo 5 in C

Intro

C  G  Am7  G  F  G

C

Shepherd tending

G

Out in the fields nearby

Am7

Their flocks were grazing

G                F      G

It was an ordinary night

C

Just an ordinary night

When out of nowhere

A man in white appeared

And said “Do not fear!

I bring you tidings of great joy

About a little baby boy”

F   C   Am  G

Woah  woah

F

He is the Way

G

He is the Truth

C

He is the Life

“In David’s city

You’ll find the King of Heaven

In a manger

All wrapped up in his swaddling clothes

For he was born not long ago”

And with the angel

A multitude appeared

And joined in singing

“All glory be to God on high

And peace on earth, good will toward men”

F   C   Am  G

Woah woah

F

He is the Way

G

He is the Truth

F   C   Am  G

Woah woah

F

He is the Way

G

He is the Truth

C       G  Am  G/B  C

He is the Life


Sing by Josh Wilson

Today’s strong worship song is Josh Wilson’s Sing. I can not say enough about the lyrical strength of this song. Jesus meets us were we are in our sin and then rescues us from it. Jesus carried the curse of sin for the entire world in order to set us free from it. There is no greater reason for us to sing then knowing the hope that Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection brings to us. Another great feature of this song is that there is an alternate Verse 2 written for the Christmas season. We have sung this song several times at Lamb of God Lutheran and it has already become a favorite. We will be singing it for Christmas Eve. I need to thank my wife and son for insisting that I listen to Josh Wilson.

Scripture references include Galatians 3:13, Hebrews 13:5, Matthew 28:20, Isaiah 7:14, Matthew 1:23, 1 John 2:2, Matthew 2:2.

Sing

Verse 1

Ev’ry bit of history, and ev’ry single breath we breathe
Has led us here and brought us to our knees
From carrying the curse we bear, and praying that He’s
heard our prayers to set us free, oh, set us free

Pre-Chorus
‘Cause we could never get back home with broken hearts
so home has come to meet us where we are

Chorus
So sing that God is with us, sing
He has come to save us, sing
He will never leave us
Glory in the highest! Ev’rybody sing
To the Child who is our King
He has come to bring redemption to us
God is with us

Glory in the highest! Ev’rybody sing

Verse 2 (non-Christmas version)

We have found our hope again
In the Son of God and Son of Man
This Savior King is changing all we know
By carrying the curse we bear
For everybody everywhere
He lived and died and brought us life
And we will rise to meet Him in the sky

Verse 2 (Christmas version)
For He is born in Bethlehem, the Son of God and Son of man
This little Child is changing all we know
By carrying the curse we bear, for ev’rybody ev’rywhere
And He would someday die to bring us life
and we will rise to meet Him in the sky

Bridge
Jesus, Jesus, in a manger lay with the world to save
Jesus, Jesus, in a manger lay with the world to save
‘Cause we could never get back home with broken hearts
So, home has come to us

So Home has come to meet us where we are

Chorus (congregation may sing)
So sing, God is with us
Sing, He has come to save us
Sing, He will never leave us
Glory in the highest, everybody sing
To the One who is our King
He has come to bring redemption to us

God is with us
Glory in the highest, everybody sing

We have found our hope again
In the Son of God and Son of Man
This Savior King is changing all we know
By carrying the curse we bear
For everybody everywhere
He lived and died and brought us life
And we will rise to meet Him in the sky

Repeat chorus (congregation sing)

Jesus, Jesus, our Emmanuel
God is with us now

Jesus, Jesus, our Emmanuel
God is with us now


Alive by Natalie Grant

Today’s strong worship song is Alive by Natalie Grant which was recently released on the WOW 2012 album. This is a great post-Easter song and very strong Biblically and musically. The lyrics paint Jesus as our Creator, Hero and Savior. The backdrop behind the lyrics is Jesus’ resurrection appearance to Mary Magdalene in John 20:11-1. I also like the powerful word pictures in the lyrics like “Mercy’s pen”, “breathing in our dust”, “a crown that bleeds and scars”, “death has lost and love has won”, etc.

Alive

Who but You
Could breathe and leave a trail of galaxies
And dream of me?
What kind of Love
Is writing my story until the end
With Mercy’s pen?
Only You
What kind of king
Would choose to wear a crown that bleeds and scars
To win my heart?
What kind of Love
Tells me I’m the reason He can’t stay
Inside the grave?
You. Is it You?
Standing here before my eyes
Every part of my heart cries

(Chorus)
Alive! Alive!
Look what Mercy’s overcome
Death has lost and Love has won
Alive! Alive! Hallelujah, Risen Lord
The only One I fall before
I am His because He is alive.

Who could speak
And send the demons back from where they came
With just one Name?
What other heart
Would let itself be broken every time until He healed mine?
You. Only You
Could turn my darkness into dawn
Running right into Your arms

Chorus

Emmanuel, the promised King
The baby who made angels sing
Son of Man who walked with us
Healing, breathing in our dust
The author of all history
The answer to all mysteries
The Lamb of God who rolled away
The stone in front of every grave

Alive! Alive! Look what Mercy’s overcome
Death has lost and Love has won
Alive! I am His because He is alive.
Alive!


I Believe by Natalie Grant

Today’s strong worship song is I Believe by Natalie Grant. This is a great Christmas ballad with a strong message. Many reduce the Christmas account to a fable or mere story. Natalie professes her faith in Christ and the Bible account of His birth. She also beautifully takes Christ beyond the manger to the cross where our salvation was purchased for us.

I Believe

In a land far away
Time stood still
Long ago
There were shepherds in fields
Or at least this is how
The story goes
The story goes
Woman
And an inn with no room
Born in a manger
Foretelling it, too
This is how
The story goes
But it is more than a fable
And it’s more than a fairytale
And more than my mind can conceive

I believe
The Wiseman saw
The baby boy the angels
called the son of God
Heaven’s child
The great I am
Born to take away my sins
through nailed pierced hands
Emmanuel has come
I believe

Two thousand years
Still the story lives on
God’s gift to us
Sent to earth Wrapped in flesh
His only son
His only son
And the heartbeat of heaven
Confounded our wisdom
But it’s still the simple truth
That sets me free

I believe
The Wiseman saw
The baby boy
the angels called the son of God Heaven’s child
The great I am
Born to take away my sins
through nailed pierced hands
Emmanuel has come
And I believe

Precious child How can it be that
God’s great plan
For history
Would send you to
The lonely tree
That you would come
For one like me

I believe In a cross
I believe he came For one,
he came for all
Heavens child became a man
Gave his life for me
In spite of all I am
I believe
I believe
Oh I believe
Christmas lives in me
I believe


Silent Night (Emmanuel)

Today’s strong worship song is Matt Maher’s Silent Night (Emmanuel). Silent Night is obviously not a new song. It was written about 200 years ago, and has become the most popular Christmas song ever. Oh Come Oh Come Emmanuel is also not new. It was written about 800 years ago! Matt Maher brilliantly combines these two traditional  Christmas hymns into a fresh song. He somehow preserves the original  tunes, as he subtly connects them. Matt also adds his own rich words to the bridge.  I love this song!  Be sure to not only listen to the song on the first YouTube link, but also to Matt Maher’s explanation of the song. Enjoy.

Silent Night (Emmanuel)

VERSE 1:

Silent night, holy night
All is calm, all is bright
Round yon virgin, mother and Child
Holy Infant, so tender and mild
Sleep in heavenly peace
Sleep in heavenly peace

VERSE 2:
Silent night, holy night
Shepherds quake at the sight
Glories stream from heaven afar
Heav’nly hosts sing alleluia
Christ the Savior is born
Christ the Savior is born

BRIDGE:
O come, O come Emmanuel
And ransom captive hearts that fell
Bring peace on Earth and love’s goodwill
To everyone
For You so loved the world You gave
Your life for us to heal and save
We see the echoes of Your grace
To everyone

VERSE 3:
Silent night, holy night
Son of God, love’s pure light
Radiant beams from Thy holy face
With the dawn of redeeming grace
Jesus, Lord at Thy birth
Jesus, Lord at Thy birth
Jesus, Lord at Thy birth


Emmanuel by Chris Tomlin

Today’s Strong Worship Song is Chris Tomlin’s Emmanuel which came out in 2009. It has an alternate name Hallowed Manger Ground.  The lyrics are strong for both Advent and Christmas. The lyrics not only celebrate Jesus’ birth and Jesus’ name Emmanuel, but also take us to the cross where Jesus bled and died for us. The King of Kings incarnate willing to live and die for us is worthy of our praise.

Scripture references include Isaiah 7:14,  John 19:2, Luke 2:6-7, Matthew 2:9-11, and Matthew 1:23.

Emmanuel

What hope we hold this starlit night
A King is born in Bethlehem
Our journey long, we seek the light
That leads to the hallowed manger ground

What fear we felt in the silent age
Four hundred years can He be found
But broken by a baby’s cry
Rejoice in the hallowed manger ground

Emmanuel, Emmanuel
God incarnate here to dwell
Emmanuel, Emmanuel
Praise His name Emmanuel

The son of God, here, born to bleed
A crown of thorns would pierce His brow
And we beheld this offering
Exalted now the King of kings
Praise God for the hallowed manger ground

Emmanuel, Emmanuel
God incarnate here to dwell
Emmanuel, Emmanuel
Praise His name Emmanuel
Praise His name Emmanuel

Oh, praise His name Emmanuel


When the Stars Burn Down

Today’s strong worship song is When the Stars Burn Down by Jonathan Lee and Jennie Lee Riddle. This song is also one of the featured songs in Rebecca St. James’ new album “I Will Praise You.” 

This song reminds us this fallen world is wearing out, winding down, and coming to an end.  As the lyrics say “the world will fall.” Our resurrected Lord will return to resurrect all the dead. He will judge the world and then lead the resurrected saints into the resurrected universe, the Kingdom of God that He has prepared for us. On that day all sorrow, tears, and pain will forever be gone as we live in the full presence of our Savior God, as God intended from the beginning.

Scripture references include Revelation 22:16, Revelation 7:17, Revelation 6;14, 1 Thessalonians 4:16, Revelation 5:13, and Matthew 24:30-31

When the Stars Burn Down 

When the stars burn down and the earth wears out
And we stand before the throne
And the witnesses who have gone before
We will rise and all applaud
Singing blessing and honor, glory and power, forever to our God

When the hands of time wind fully down
And the earth is rolled up like a scroll
The trumpets will call and the world will fall
To its knees as we all go home
Singing blessing and honor, glory and power, forever to our God

Chorus

Star of the morning, light of salvation, majesty
God of all mysteries
Lord of the universe
Sovereign king

There will come a day, standing face to face
In a moment we will be like Him
He will wipe our eyes dry
Take us up to His side
And forever we will be His
Singing blessing and honor, glory and power, forever to our God

 


Love Has Come by Mark Schultz

Today’s strong worship song is Mark Schultz’ Love Has Come.

The song is a great combination of adoration, thankfulness, and proclamation. I especially like the personal nature of this song in thanking Jesus for the cross. The only weaknesses I see are ones of clarity. According to Scripture every knee will bow and every tongue confess that “Jesus is LORD” (Philippians 2:11). Mark is combining different Biblical truths into one statement (God is love, Jesus is God, Jesus is returning, every knee will bow). A second thing to clarify is that those who reject Christ are not going to have their hearts set free. Their rejection of God’s love will result in heart ache and shock, not praise. The lyrics can be correctly understood, however from every believers perspective. Every believer will have their heart set free and will be filled with complete adoration for Jesus on that Great Day. Every believer who has had a loved one in Christ die young will be overwhelmed with joy in seeing that loved one again.

Scripture references include Philippians 2:11, Romans 14:11, John 3:16, Matthew 25, Isaiah 25:8, Revelation 7:17, Revelation 21:4, 1 John 4:16, 1 John 4:8, and 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18.

Love Has Come 

I know this life is filled with sorrow
And there are days when the pain just lasts and lasts
But I know there will come a day
When all my tears are washed away
With a break in the clouds
His glory coming down
And in that moment

Every knee shall bow, every tongue confess
That God is love and love has come for us all
Every heart set free, everyone will see
That God is love and love has come for us all

To anybody who has ever lost a loved one
And you feel like you had to let go too soon
I know it hurts to say goodbye
But don’t you know it’s just a matter of time
‘Til the tears are gonna end
You’ll see ‘em once again
And in that moment

Oh, and on that day
We will stand amazed
At our Savior, God and King!
Just to see the face
Of amazing grace
As our hearts rise up and sing

Glory, glory, hallelujah!
Thank You for the cross!
Singing glory, glory, hallelujah!
Christ has paid the cost!


All to Us by Matt Redman, Matt Maher, Chris Tomlin, and Jesse Reeves

Here is another strong worship song written by a powerhouse of contemporary artists; namely, Chris Tomlin, Matt Redman, Matt Maher, and Jesse Reeves. This song is a modern hymn which is one of the reason I really like it. It too is Christocentric or Christ centered. It identifies Christ as our sure foundation, precious cornerstone, and the Promise of God. Other themes include Christ’s return, unity, church, mission, adoration, love, praise and eternity.

We introduced this song in worship at Lamb of God Lutheran on March 6, 2011. The congregation easily sang along with both the verses and chorus. The song starts out slow in a  meditative way but then builds to a strong bridge and then ends again in a meditative way.

Scripture references include 1 Corinthians 13:12; Isaiah 28:16, Matthew 21:42, Mark 12:10, Luke 20:17, Acts 4:11,  and 1 Peter 2:6

All to Us

Verse 1
Precious cornerstone, sure foundation
You are faithful to the end
We are waiting, on You, Jesus
We believe You’re all to us

Chorus
Let the glory of Your name be the passion of the Church
Let the righteousness of God be a holy flame that burns
Let the saving love of Christ be the measure of our lives
We believe You’re all to us

Verse 2
Only Son of God sent from Heaven
Hope and mercy at the cross
You are everything, You’re the Promise
Jesus, You are all to us

Bridge
You’re all to us
You’re all to us
You’re all to us
Yes, You are

Verse 3
When this passing world is over
We will see You face to face
And forever we will worship
Jesus, You are all to us

Sincerely in Christ,

Pastor Scott Martz


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