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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

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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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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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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New Song: Lamb of God (Vertical Church)

We're learning this new song on Sunday in both our services. It really focuses on Jesus as our substitute, as he died the death we all deserve, in our place. And that means we have His new life!

Here are the lyrics, and a video so you can have a listen before coming along on Sunday...

You came from heaven's throne,
aquainted with our sorrow
to trade the debt we owed:
Your suffering for our freedom.

The Lamb of God, in my place
Your blood poured out, my sin erased
It was my death you died
I am raised to life
Hallelujah, the lamb of God

My name upon your heart,
my shame upon your shoulders.
The power of sin undone,
the cross for my salvation

There is no greater love,
There is no greater love;
The saviour lifted up
There is no greater love.
Open Hands Music (Admin. by Essential Music Publishing LLC)

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Christ Triumphant

Christ Triumphant, with those great words from the hymn by the late Michael Saward, is the final track on our EP The Glory and the Crown.

Christ triumphant, ever reigning,
Saviour, Master, King,
Lord of heaven, our lives sustaining:
hear us as we sing.

Yours the glory and the crown,
the high renown,
the eternal Name.

Word incarnate, truth revealing,
Son of Man on earth;
power and majesty concealing
by your humble birth.

Suffering servant, scorned, ill-treated,
victim crucified;
death is through the cross defeated,
sinners justified.

Priestly King enthroned for ever
high in heaven above;
sin and death and hell shall never
stifle hymns of love.

So, our hearts and voices raising
through the ages long,
ceaselessly upon you gazing,
this shall be our song:

Words: Michael Saward. © 1964 Michael Saward / Jubilate Hymns Ltd (Used by permission)
Music: Ben Slee, David & Zoe Tubbs. This version © Christ Church Mayfair Music 2015.

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Whom have I in heaven but you?

Based on Psalm 73, Whom have I in heaven but you? is the fourth track on our first EP, The Glory and the Crown.

Have I trusted God in vain -
fought with sin, endured the pain -
as I watch the world enjoy its godless freedom?
As they prosper and grow strong,
taking pride in doing wrong,
how my heart is drawn to share their earthly kingdom.

And yet, O Lord, you walk with me and hold my hand,
and one day you will take me into glory.

Whom have I in heaven but you?
And on earth, there is nothing I desire
besides you, Lord.
My flesh and heart may fail,
but you are the strength of my heart;
you are my portion forever.

Help me, Lord, to understand
how the justice you have planned
will consume the world in terrible upheaval,
and how earthly wealth will seem
nothing but a worthless dream
when you take us home, and sweep away all evil.

And now, O Lord, my refuge and my trusted guide,
please make my life a song about your glory.

Words/Music by Simon & Teresa Pedley. © Christ Church Mayfair 2015.

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