John 3:16 – Summarizing the Gospel in one Sentence
I’ve probably read John 3:16 about 316,000 times. Probably you have as well. It’s on billboards, bumper stickers and emblazoned in the crowds at sporting events with fans lifting their banners high.
Here it is for the 316,001 time:
For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. – John 3:16
So what’s the big deal?
For God so loved ME, that he gave his one and only Holy Son for ME, that if I believe in him, I shall never perish but have eternal life. And, if God so loved YOU, that God himself gave his one and only son, Jesus, and if YOU also believe in Him, than YOU also shall never perish but have a wonderful life in eternity with your creator. That’s the the big deal. It’s the Gospel in a holy nutshell.
The following is an excerpt of my list of contemporary song choices to go with the lectionary readings for the calendar year of 2018. Sorry for not getting this to all of you sooner. As always, please review song lyrics with your Pastor first! There is a link at the bottom of this post to download the entire document. Enjoy, and may God get the glory.
|Broken Vessels||Joel Houston||Rom 5:1-2|
|Your Grace is Enough||Matt Maher||Rom 5:1-3|
|Amazing Love (You Are My King)||Billy Foote||Rom 5:8|
|My Savior My God||Aaron Shust||Rom 5:8|
|The Power of the Cross||Getty & Townend||Rom 5:8|
|Grace Like Rain||Todd Agnew||Rom 5:8|
|Sweetly Broken||Jeremy Riddle||Rom 5:8|
|The Scandal of Grace||HIllsongs United||1 Cor 1:23, Ps 19:6|
|All Because of Jesus||Steve Fee||Ps 19:1-2|
|May the Words of My Mouth||Tim Hughes||Ps 19:14|
|All Because of Jesus||Steve Fee||Eph 2:4-5|
|And Can it Be?||Bob Kauflin||Eph 2:4-7|
|How Deep the Father’s Love for Us||Getty and Townend||Eph 2:4-9|
|This is Amazing Grace||Phil Wickham||Jn 3:16|
|Jesus Saves||Jermy Camp||Jn 3:16-17|
|Be Glorified||Chris Tomlin||Jn 12:23|
|One Pure and Holy Passion||Mark Altrogge||Jn 12:26|
|Be Lifted High||Michael W Smith||Jn 12:32-36|
|Hosanna (Praise is Rising)||Baloche & Brown||Mk 11:9-10|
|Jesus Messiah||Chris Tomlin||Php 2:1-11|
|Fullness of Grace||Keith Getty||Php 2:6-8|
|Lamb of God||Twila Paris||Php 2:6-11|
|Lord I Lift Your Name on High||Rick Founds||Php 2:6-11|
|Broken and Poured Out||Kevin Bueltmann||1 Cor 11:23-29|
|Make Us One||Twila Paris||1 Cor 10:16-17
|How Deep the Father’s Love for Us||Getty & Townend|
|Jesus Messiah||Chris Tomlin||Isa 53|
|By His Wounds||Mac Powell||Isa 52:5|
|In Christ Alone||Getty & Townend||Isa 53:5-6|
|Nothing but the Blood||Matt Redman||Heb 4:16|
|Your Grace Finds Me||Matt Redman||Heb 4:16|
|Gethsemane Hymn||Keith Getty||Jn 19:17-37|
LORD, it’s a brand new day
It’s also a brand new year
And so I’ll try to begin in your presence
With a heart still and sincere
And early will I seek thee
And strive to go thy way
So fill me with your spirit
And grant me peace this day
LORD, please help me to walk
To the vocation of my call
Please help me not to stumble
Please help me not to fall
And please give me boldness
For the perilous times are here
So help me to walk in the spirit
And in continuous prayer this brand new year
An Epiphany Worship Service by Pastor Michael Zarling
An excerpt of the worship service:
One of the very finest hymns ever written is “How Lovely Shines the Morning Star,” Pastor Philip Nicolai’s masterpiece. Sadly, most hymnals do not provide a complete translation of this 16th century German hymn. The version we base tonight’s service upon provides all seven stanzas. These additional stanzas bring to light the clear references to the Lord’s Supper and the Means of Grace.
Philip Nicolai graduated in 1594 from the University of Wittenberg with a Doctorate Degree in Theology. He served as a Lutheran pastor in congregations in Germany. But, he is most remembered as a hymn writer. He was the author of two famous hymns: “Awake, Awake, the Night is Flying” and “How Lovely Shines the Morning Star.” These are sometimes referred to as the King and Queen of Chorales, respectively. These two chorales have inspired many composers, including Johann Sebastian Bach, who based two of his chorale cantatas on Nicolai’s hymns.
The tune for “How Lovely Shines the Morning Star” is such a masterpiece that this is written about it: “So popular did it soon become, that its tune was often chimed by city chimes, lines and verses from it were printed by way of ornament on the common earthenware of the country, and it was invariably used at weddings and certain festivals.”
The hymn originally was in seven ten-line stanzas and bore the title “A spiritual bridal song of the believing soul concerning Jesus Christ, her heavenly bridegroom, founded on the 45th Psalm of the prophet David.” Jesus says in Revelation 22:16 that He is the fulfillment of this heavenly bridegroom and the morning star: “I, Jesus, have sent my angel to give you this testimony for the churches. I am the Root and the Offspring of David, and the bright Morning Star.”
Processional Hymn: #79 — “How Lovely Shines the Morning Star”
As the hymn is introduced, please stand and face the processional cross in the back of the church, and turn to the front as the cross passes you.
- How lovely shines the Morning Star!
The nations see and hail afar
The light in Judah shining.
Thou David’s Son of Jacob’s race,
My Bridegroom and my King of Grace,
For Thee my heart is pining.
Great and glorious, Thou victorious
Prince of graces,
Filling all the heavenly places.
- O highest joy by mortals won,
True Son of God and Mary’s Son,
Thou high-born King of ages!
Thou art my heart’s most beauteous Flower,
And Thy blest Gospel’s saving power
My raptured soul engages.
Thou mine, I Thine;
Sing hosanna! Heavenly manna
Whilst Thy love in songs repeating.
Note: The singing stops here. The music continues in the background as we begin to alternate between responsive readings and singing of the remaining hymn verses.
Minister: Grace and peace to you from him who is, and who was, and who is to come, and from the seven spirits before his throne, and from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, the firstborn from the dead, and the ruler of the kings of the earth.
Congregation: To him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by his blood, and has made us to be a kingdom and priests to serve his God and Father– to him be glory and power for ever and ever! Amen. (Rev 1:4-6)
M: The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; (Is 9:2)
C: on those living in the land of the shadow of death a light has dawned.
M: See, darkness covers the earth and thick darkness is over the peoples,
C: but the Lord rises upon you and his glory appears over you. (Is 60:2)
M: The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not understood it.
C: We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth. (Jn 1:5,14)
- Now richly to my waiting heart,
O Thou, my God, deign to impart
The grace of love undying.
In Thy blest body let me be,
E’en as the branch is in the tree,
Thy life my life supplying.
For the savor of Thy favour;
Till I rest in Thee forever.
M: For to us a child is born, to us a Son is given. (Is 9:6)
C: In him was life, and the life was the light of man. (Jn 1:4)
M: God of Glory, you sent Jesus among us as the light to the world, to reveal your love for all people. But wherever there is light, there will also be darkness.
C: We confess that we are sinful creatures who, either through foolishness or willful disobedience, often choose to dwell in the darkness instead of live in your light. We beg for forgiveness for starving ourselves of your Son’s life-giving light. We repent of our entrenched evil that hates the light and tries to dispose of it. We admit our apathy towards sanctification and renewal that cause us to continue to live in the night. Trusting your grace, we earnestly pray: “Create in us a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within us.” Through Christ Jesus our Savior. Amen. (Ps 51:10)
- A pledge of peace from God I see
When Thy pure eyes are turned to me
To show me Thy good pleasure.
Jesus, Thy Spirit and Thy Word,
Thy body and Thy blood, afford
My soul its dearest treasure.
Keep me kindly
In Thy favour, o my Saviour!
Thou wilt cheer me;
Thy Word calls me to draw near Thee.
M: Arise, shine, for your light has come, and the glory of the LORD rises upon you. (Is 60:1) The Light comes not to sear and blind us but to save us. Christ Jesus came into this world as an infant in a Bethlehem manger so that he might die as our Savior on a Roman cross in Jerusalem. For his sake, God forgives us all our sins. Therefore, as a called and ordained servant of Christ, and by his authority, I forgive you all your sins in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.
M: If we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another,
C: and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin. (1 Jn 1:7)
M: You are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. (1 Pet 2:9)
- Thou, mighty Father, in Thy Son
Didst love me ere Thou hadst begun
This ancient world’s foundation.
Thy Son hath made a friend of me,
And when in spirit Him I see,
I joy in tribulation.
What bliss is this!
He that liveth to me giveth
Nothing me from Him can sever.
Old Testament: Psalm 45 The Wedding of the Victorious King
Click here to download the entire worship service (it’s free!): How Lovely Shines the Morning Star
Thank you Pastor Zarling for sharing!
A Christmas Eve Worship Service by Pastor Michael Zarling
Excerpt of the Worship Service:
A Christmas service based on Martin Luther’s Christmas hymn for the 500th anniversary of the Reformation
Processional Hymn: #55 — “Oh, Come, All Ye Faithful” (brass accompaniment)
As the hymn is introduced, please stand and face the processional cross in the back of the church, and turn to the front of the church as the cross passes you.
Minister: We worship in the name of the Father who gave us His Son, in the name of Jesus Christ, who came as the perfect Gift, and in the name of the Holy Spirit who brought us to faith in this Christ child.
Introduction by Pastor
Pastor: This year, we are celebrating the 500th anniversary of the Reformation. There are many blessings that we enjoy today because the Lord of the Church allowed Martin Luther to rediscover for God’s people. Blessings such as the truth of Scripture alone, the Bible translated into the language of the people, the doctrine of vocation, the power of congregational singing, etc. The greatest blessing is the grace of God found in the person of Jesus Christ – the Son of God born of the Virgin Mary to be the Savior of all humankind.
Martin Luther’s writings and hymns focus on this doctrine of grace. His Christmas hymn “From Heaven Above to Earth I Come” is all about the grace of God found in this Christchild, young and fair. Luther wrote this hymn for his children. It is recorded that “Luther was accustomed every year to prepare for his family a happy Christmas Eve’s entertainment … and for this festival of his children he wrote this Christmas hymn.”
“From Heaven Above to Earth I Come” is based on Luke’s account of Jesus’ birth in the second chapter of his Gospel.
Before we focus on Jesus being born to Joseph and Mary in Bethlehem, we hear from Luke how the promise of the Savior was first given to Mary.
Here is the link to download the entire worship service program (it’s free!): From Heaven Above to Earth I Come
Thank you Pastor Zarling for sharing!
It was the end of a new beginning
When Magellan sailed the world spinning
And the Guttenberg presses started printing
A man was to be forged in God’s furnace ablaze
Hammered on an anvil into an unlikely instrument of praise
Whose effect would outlast a half millennia of days
1517 was that pinnacle year
When Martin Luther and scripture so tightly adhere
Inspired to make God’s word so crystal clear
He nailed his beliefs to the castle church door
Such courage and faith bent on God’s word to restore
Passerbys could not, would not, ignore
The hand of God was felt that October day
History had changed; 95 thesis, the communique
Prodded along by the monk who did passionately pray
Praying from matins to vespers to compline
Cloistered in a tiny cell, alone and in confine
Repenting into a state of madness; grief and relief combine
Translating the Bible, for generations to come and to own
A mighty seed had indeed been sown
When Martin Luther made his heart known
Leaning on scripture alone
Driven by faith alone
Saved by grace alone
To God be the glory alone
More poetry in my book: Lifestyle Worship – Poems, Prayers and Ministry Resources
May you be filled with the knowledge of his will through all the wisdom and understanding that the Spirit gives,
May you live a life worthy of the Lord and please him in every way:
May you bear fruit in every good work,
May you grow in the knowledge of God,
May you be strengthened with all power according to his glorious might
May you have great endurance and patience,
May you share in the inheritance of his holy people in the kingdom of light.
May the God who gives endurance and encouragement give you the same attitude of mind toward each other that Christ Jesus had, so that with one mind and one voice you may glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Amen and wow!
May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. – Romans 15:13