One of the most important questions about the songs we sing at church is this: Where does the lyrical content come from? Answering this question is revealing. What kind of songs should shape our thoughts about God and guide our worship of him? I would say that, our songs sung corporately on the Lord’s Day must agree with, affirm, and celebrate how God has revealed himself in his word. This is not to legalistically say that we should only be singing scripture, instead this is an encouragement that we need to be able to draw a clear line from our songs to God’s word.
This is a guiding principle within our worship ministry and for the songs that are being released from Sovereign Hope Music. Our “Mercy’s Throne” project, released this past March, walked through the final week of Jesus’ life and throughout the writing process, we relied on God’s word to shape our lyrics. It was a great experience and we’re thankful for the songs which came out of it. With no major album projects on the horizon, I began to make a list of themes and ideas. At the top of the list was a sentence that I pass by on my way to work every day. It’s our church’s mission statement. It’s on the sign out front.
“Engaging Our City and the Nations with the Treasure of Jesus”
This statement is a heart check for me. How am I engaging Missoula or the nations? Is Jesus my Treasure? I’m convinced that we’ll never get to the “engaging our city and the nations” part of this statement unless Jesus is our treasure. To treasure something is to put it above everything else. To treasure Jesus means that you could “suffer the loss of all things and count them as rubbish” if it meant that you would “gain Christ and be found in him.” And so Philippians 3:7-11 became the scriptural base for this song. For the rest of this post, I’m going to connect the dots and draw that clear line from this song to God’s word.
Scripture and Lyrics
7But whatever gain I had, I counted as loss for the sake of Christ. 8Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ 9and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God that depends on faith— 10that I may know him and the power of his resurrection, and may share his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, 11that by any means possible I may attain the resurrection from the dead. (Philippians 3:7-11)
Jesus you’re the treasure of my heart - (Philippians 3:7-8, Colossians 2:2-3)
the surpassing worth of Christ I now can see - (Philippians 3:8, Ephesians 1:18)
and whatever gain I had, I count as loss - (Philippians 3:8)
for the righteousness of Christ has covered me - (Philippians 3:8-9)
And it’s all by grace
that I stand amazed - (2 Corinthians 4:6)
By the power of your word - (Hebrews 4:12, Romans 10:17, Acts 20:32, Romans 1:16)
you have made me new - (2 Corinthians 5:17, 1 Peter 2:9-10)
Christ who died is risen - (1 Corinthians 6:14, Romans 6:9, Romans 8:34)
So I am forgiven - (John 3:16, 2 Corinthians 5:21)
His great gospel is true - (Romans 1:16,John 17:17, John 14:6)
Jesus you're the treasure of my heart - (Philippians 3:7-8, Colossians 2:2-3)
and from faith to faith your glory is revealed - (Romans 1:17)
for the stone within my chest now beats with life - (Ezekiel 11:19, Jeremiah 17:9, John 5:24)
you have called my name, my faith is in you Christ - (1 Peter 2:9, Ephesians 2:8, John 15:16, John 6:44)
When I heard your voice
Lord, I had no choice
but to run to you - (John 6:37, John 6:44, Romans 8:29, Ephesians 1:11, Ephesians 1:5, Titus 3:5)
We hope that the songs we release this summer bless you and encourage your faith. We hope you play them in the car on the way to a vacation. We hope you sing them with your kids. We hope you store them in your hearts. The reason that we can have that hope is because of where these songs come from and what they point to. In the middle of a beautiful summer, our hope is that the most beautiful thing you see is the treasure of Jesus.