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New Song: His Mercy is More

"where sin increased, grace increased all the more" - Romans 5:20

 

We're learning a new song - His Mercy Is More - this Sunday at our 10:15 and 6pm services. Matt Boswell and Matt Papa have written a simple yet poignant song that reminds us that, whoever we are and whatever we've done, God's mercy is strong enough to cover our sin through the blood of His Son Jesus Christ, shed on the cross.

This simple song also helps to maintain a healthy balance in our diet of songs. Alongside our theologically rich, more dense songs and hymns, we need simple songs that remind us of simple, profound truths.

Here's the lyrics, and a link to a YouTube video of a really nice arrangement...

 

 

(Verse 1)
What love could remember no wrongs we have done
Omniscient, all knowing, He counts not their sum
Thrown into a sea without bottom or shore
Our sins they are many, His mercy is more

(Chorus)
Praise the Lord, His mercy is more
Stronger than darkness, new every morn
Our sins they are many, His mercy is more

(Verse 2)
What patience would wait as we constantly roam
What Father, so tender, is calling us home
He welcomes the weakest, the vilest, the poor
Our sins they are many, His mercy is more

(Verse 3)
What riches of kindness he lavished on us
His blood was the payment, His life was the cost
We stood 'neath a debt we could never afford
Our sins they are many, His mercy is more

Copyright 2016 Messenger Hymns,Love Your Enemies Publishing
Administered by: Music Services, Inc., Love Your Enemies Publishing

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Singing with the Word at the Centre – Psalm 119

Last night was our annual Music Team Night at CCM for all our musicians and technicians. Our theme was FOCUS: Singing with the Word at the Centre.

We heard a talk from Psalm 119 on how God can work through our word ministry of music by His Holy Spirit to bring spiritual life, build the church and strengthen those who suffer. There were also practical seminars on Running Tech to Help us Sing for technicians and Removing Distractions for musicians.

You can listen to the first talk from Psalm 119 here.

 

Psalm 119:25-32 New International Version - UK (NIVUK)

ד Daleth

25 I am laid low in the dust;
    preserve my life according to your word.
26 I gave an account of my ways and you answered me;
    teach me your decrees.
27 Cause me to understand the way of your precepts,
    that I may meditate on your wonderful deeds.
28 My soul is weary with sorrow;
    strengthen me according to your word.
29 Keep me from deceitful ways;
    be gracious to me and teach me your law.
30 I have chosen the way of faithfulness;
    I have set my heart on your laws.
31 I hold fast to your statutes, Lord;
    do not let me be put to shame.
32 I run in the path of your commands,
    for you have broadened my understanding.

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We’re recording a new EP…

Here at CCM, we're about to launch a fundraising campaign for our second EP on the crowdfunding website Kickstarter!

Our Kickstarter page should go live any day now - it'll tell you all about the project and show you lots of ways you can get involved. For now, please pray that we might reach our funding goal, and please consider supporting us when the page goes live.

Stay tuned to www.christchurchmayfair.org/kickstarter for updates in the meantime!

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Day of Judgement!

This week at CCM, we're learning a new song to help us engage with our upcoming sermon series on Amos. And it's on a topic we don't sing about much...

The theme of God's judgement is significant in Scripture. It's an uncomfortable one to speak about, let alone sing about. And as the general tone of Church music has become more joyful and celebratory over the years, we've lost some of the hymns that talk about judgement, lament over sin, and so on. The truth is, it's only by dwelling on these 'low' points of sin and judgement that we can understand and appreciate the 'high' points of the cross and eternal life.

The Olney Hymn book, published in 1779, contains the hymns of pastor John Newton and William Cowper (pronounced 'Cooper'), a poet in his congregation. Newton often wrote hymns to go with his sermons, and the Olney Hymns preserves the best of those, including  Amazing Grace and Cowper's God moves in a mysterious way. These hymns contain a great variety of topics presented with Newton's typical pastoral sensitivity.

This Sunday, we'll be learning an updated version of Newton's hymn Day of Judgement, day of wonders, which helps us feel the dread of that great final Day, and points us to the mercy we so desperately need in Christ. The lyrics are below, and you can find the lead sheet on our CCM Music page:

Day of judgment, day of wonders!
Hear the awful sound,
Louder than a thousand thunders,
Shakes the vast creation round!
 
2. Jesus calls: the dead awaken,
Rise from earth and sea;
All the pow’rs of nature shaken
by his look, prepares to flee:
 
When all earth and heaven melt away,
Gracious Saviour, own me in that Day!

 
3. Every knee shall bow before Him,
Every heart exposed;
All the stains of our rebellion
Clear before His judgement throne.
 
Under earth and heaven’s blackened sky,
Gracious Saviour, You were lifted high,
Bearing all the curse that my sin deserved
As You bled upon that tree:
God the judge hangs cursed for me.
 
4. Rise now, sinner: come to Jesus
Pardoning grace to know.
Meet Him now as gracious Saviour,
Not just then as Judge alone.
Original words by John Newton. Additional words & music by Ben Slee. © Ben Slee 2017.

 

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The Glory and the Crown: 18 months on

It's been about 18 months since CCM released it's first EP, The Glory and the Crown, so I was asked to put together a little update on some of the encouragements we've heard about since it's launch...

The vision was simple: we wanted to share some songs written by people at CCM, which we thought would be an encouragement to our church family and others who hear them. We long for the word of Christ to dwell in us richly; we recorded 5 songs which we hoped would help us do that.

Although most of the team involved with the project had been involved in various recording projects before, we'd never attempted anything quite like this. But, spurred on by that vision, we put together the EP over the course of about 6 months. We learned a lot and, even though it isn't perfect, we hope and pray it will serve the church: both CCM and further afield.

In God's kindness, He's taken our efforts and used them for His glory!

The songs from the EP are now being sung around the world. We've received messages from American and Australian churches passing on their thanks for the songs, and saying they're using them regularly. Lots of churches all over the UK are singing them, too.

Some of the songs from The Glory and the Crown have been re-recorded for live albums last year, including the Word Alive 2016 album New Again and The first Co-Mission album, See Him Face to Face.

We also launched a brand new music page on our website, packed with resources to help churches sing the songs; including free sheet music, how-to videos, acoustic demos and devotionals to do with your band, small group of family.

Will you join us in giving thanks to God for all He has done! We want to keep serving the church like this - not building a name for ourselves, but building the kingdom of Jesus and serving His church. Please pray for us!

 

 

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He will hold me fast

We really enjoyed learning this new song on Sunday Night. It speaks of the assurance we have in Christ, that he'll never let go of those He's died for:
When I fear my faith will fail,
Christ will hold me fast;
When the tempter would prevail,
He will hold me fast.
I could never keep my hold
Through life’s fearful path;
For my love is often cold;
He must hold me fast.

He will hold me fast,
He will hold me fast;
For my Savior loves me so,
He will hold me fast.

Those He saves are His delight,
Christ will hold me fast;
Precious in His holy sight,
He will hold me fast.
He’ll not let my soul be lost;
His promises shall last;
Bought by Him at such a cost,
He will hold me fast.

For my life He bled and died,
Christ will hold me fast;
Justice has been satisfied;
He will hold me fast.
Raised with Him to endless life,
He will hold me fast
‘Till our faith is turned to sight
When He comes at last!
Words: vv. 1-2 Ada Habershon (1861-1918), Public Domain.
Alt. words, new words (v.3), and music: Matthew Merker
© 2013 Getty Music (BMI)/Matthew Merker Music (BMI) (adm. by Music Services)
All Rights Reserved. Used by permission.

Here's the story behind the song from it's author, Matt Merker (source: gettymusic.com)

A member of our church had sent the original words to “He Will Hold Me Fast” to me and our senior pastor, suggesting that this could be a good song for us to learn as a church. I forgot about the song for a while, but later pulled it out again when I was walking through a difficult personal season of doubt and uncertainty. I was wrestling with the hard questions of the faith and struggling to place my trust in the enduring power of God’s preserving grace. John Piper’s sermon from T4G 2012 on Jude vv. 20-25 was a lifeline for me, and Jude 24 became an anchor for my soul in that trying time: “Now to him who is able to keep you from stumbling and present you blameless before the presence of his glory with great joy...” It was at this time that I was beginning to try my hand at writing new tunes for old texts, mainly as a personal devotional exercise to help aid my own soul in seeking Christ. I pulled out “He Will Hold Me Fast” again and the words ministered to me deeply. I wanted to see the resurrection and return of Christ featured in the lyrics, since our hope is guaranteed by the reality that Christ has risen and is coming again.

I first shared the song with my wife and then with our pastor, and he suggested we should try singing it as a congregation. We introduced the song to CHBC early in 2013 and the church quickly owned the song and began singing it with joy (and really loud voices!) For anyone who is discouraged by the enormity of the work or by the apparent lack of fruit in any particular missions context, it reinvigorates us to know that God is in control and he will preserve us to the end!

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