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5 New Worship Songs For Your Weekend

A soundtrack for your weekend.
by Bryan Hunt Discuss

“Lion and the Lamb” – Leeland

“Our God is a lion; the Lion of Judah. He’s roaring with power, and fighting our battles. Every knee will bow before Him.”

 

“What A Beautiful Name” – Brooke Ligertwood (Hillsong)

“You were the Word at the beginning; one with God the Lord Most High. Your hidden glory in creation, now revealed in You our Christ.”

 

“King of My Heart” – John Mark McMillan

“Let the King of my heart be the shadow where I hide, the randsom for my life; Oh, He is my Song.”

 

“Grace to Grace” – Hillsong Worship

“How wonderful, how glorious, my Savior’s scars victorious. My chains are gone, my debt is paid, from death to life and grace to grace.”

 

“Cause of Christ” – Kari Jobe

“He is all my soul will prize, regardless of the joy or trial. When agonizing questions rise, in Jesus all my hope abides.”

 

Playlist

Listen to a playlist of all 5 songs here.


He Never Sleeps

Sleep is a gracious daily reminder that you are not in control.
by Bryan Hunt Discuss

If you’ve ever struggled with anxiety, you know how hard it can be to sleep. The night, cloaked in darkness, can ravage our minds with fears of the unknown. But eventually, even the anxious sleep. We were made that way; we need sleep. As we slumber, we are left in quite a vulnerable position. We can’t defend ourselves. We can’t see what’s heading our way. Sleep reminds us every day of our helplessness.

Dwelling in Safety

King David had every right to be anxious. He experienced betrayal from among his closest friends (Psa 41:9), and even his own son (2 Sam 15). He spent a portion of his life hiding in a cave, because King Saul was trying to kill him (1 Sam 22:1). Yet listen to what He says about sleep – 

“In peace I will both lie down and sleep; for you alone, O Lord, make me dwell in safety.” Psalm 4:8

David trusted in the fact that it was not the might of his arm or the watchfulness of his eyes that kept him safe; it was the Lord who made him dwell in safety. And God is the greatest night-watchman you could ever ask for – because first of all He is God Almighty, and secondly – He never sleeps. He is always watching over you.

“He will not let your foot be moved; he who keeps you will not slumber. Behold, he who keeps Israel will neither slumber nor sleep.” Psalm 121:3-4

In the dead of night, when your anxieties are plaguing your mind, remember this fact – He who keeps you will not slumber. He is in control of your life. Your destiny is in His good, loving, strong, and faithful hands. It’s not all up to you. 

“Sleep is a daily reminder from God that we are not God.” John Piper

While You Were Sleeping

Sometimes it can be hard to let go of control. Even though we are plagued with anxieties about the future, we still desperately hold onto control of our lives. We think that we can master our own destinies by getting up early, and going to bed late; trying to do all the things that are still undone. But sleep reminds us daily that we are not in control; that we are not our own masters. A third of our lives are spent living in a totally helpless state of sleep. 

God doesn’t need sleep. He is all-powerful (Matt 19:26); sovereign over all creation (Dan 4:35); never helpless, but always our help (Psa 121:2). In the end, it is an infinitely good thing that He is in control of the universe, and our lives, and not us. Apart from God, humans perpetually screw things up. We make the wrong decisions. We hurt others and ourselves. We are limited by our narrow vision. We can’t see the big picture of the cosmos. We can’t see all ends. We can’t even go a day without sleeping.

The Gospel tells us that apart from God we are helpless creatures (John 15:5). After the fall (Gen 3), mankind was cut off from the life of God; totally incapable of restoring itself to true life, and helpless to cure itself of its own wickedness (Rom 3:10-12). But we have a strong Saviour and Helper. While we were still weak, Christ gave us His strength (Rom 5:6-8). He loved us with an everlasting love, and broke the power of sin and death over our lives (1 Cor 15:56-57). While we were as helpless as a sleeping baby, Christ protected us with His very life. While we were sleeping in our sins, He defeated our greatest foes.

While we were sleeping.

He Keeps You

In Christ, we have been adopted into God’s family (Eph 1:5). And our Father is the culmination of all that is good, beautiful and strong. He is trustworthy (Psa 111:7). He holds us in the palm of His hand (John 10:29). He is our help and He always keeps us (Psa 121:7).

He keeps you. Let that sink in in the dead of night, when fears threaten to run away with your peace.

You are never safer than when you are sleeping under the watchful care of God. So cast all your anxieties upon Him, because He cares for you (1 Peter 5:7). Give up control of your life, because sleep daily reminds you that you never were in control in the first place. God is the reason you exist and the author and preserver of your life (1 Cor 8:6). While you sleep, He slays your greatest foes. He never sleeps, so that you can.

“God is not nearly so impressed with our late nights and early mornings as he is with the peaceful trust that casts all anxieties on him and sleeps.” John Piper


5 Worship Songs for Your Weekend

A soundtrack for your weekend.
by Bryan Hunt Discuss

“More Than Conquerors” – Rend Collective

“We are more than conquerors through Christ. You have overcome this world, this life.”

 

“The Secret Place” – Phil Wickham

“I’m running to the secret place, You are my only hope, You are the Rock on which I stand.”

 

“He Lives” – Chris Tomlin

“He lives reigning in power. He lives name above all names. Hallelujah, now and forever.”

 

“Children of God” – Phil Wickham

“Though darkness surrounds, there’s hope in our eyes. For You are our victory, our joy, and our prize.”

 

“Alive in You” – Urban Rescue

“From beginning to the end, my whole life is in Your hands.”

 

Playlist

Listen to a continuous playlist of all 5 songs.


You are an Heir to a Fortune

There is no disappointment among the heirs of God.
by Bryan Hunt Discuss

Have you ever received an inheritance? Perhaps it was from a passed-away family member. What qualified you for this gift? Did you outperform the competition to receive this honor? My guess is that you received it not because of what you did, but because of what you are – a part of a family.

A Very Special Family

As Christians, we are part of a very special family; the family of God. Because of Christ’s triumph over sin and death, and the fact that our lives have been united with Christ in His death and resurrection (Rom 6:5), we are now faced with this Earth-shattering reality – we are God’s heirs with Christ (Rom 8:17). This means that the most poverty-stricken Christian is coming into a greater inheritance than the heir of the wealthiest non-believer – because our father is the King of Kings. We are His heir, and He has promised us a glorious inheritance (Eph 1:18). This inheritance is the only one that will not ultimately leave us disappointed, and unsatisfied. There isn’t a single inheritance on Earth that can cure a broken heart, cleanse a guilty conscience, or bring you eternal joy. Plus you can’t bring Earthly inheritances with you after you die. But as J.C. Ryle said, “There is no disappointment among the ‘heirs of God.'”

What is our Inheritance?

So if our inheritance as Christians is so glorious, what is it exactly? What have we been promised?

1. A Home

Have you ever felt like you just didn’t quite belong? Like you were a stranger here in this world? Well God promises us a home that will be a “better country” (Heb 11:16), where we will be truly at home – no longer exiles, but citizens (Phil 3:20). Our home with God is the place we were made for and it will be the place where we truly, completely feel at home.

2. What is God’s is Yours

If we are heirs of God, then we will inherit what is God’s. “The earth is the Lord’s, and all it contains, the world, and those who dwell in it.” (Psa 24:1) All the world contains – its beauties, and glories are yours as an inheritance. What does this practically mean? John Piper puts it like this – “All things will serve your everlasting joy.” We will rule with Christ over the good world that God created, as princes and princesses of the King of Kings. Nothing in creation will have the power to steal our joy. 

3. God Himself

Our inheritance is not only what God has created, but God Himself. One day we will be able to see, and enjoy, and savour God in all of His fullness. Our great inheritance is that God will live with us, and He will be our light, and our portion forever (Rev 22:4-5). We were made for Him and we will finally be able to enjoy Him completely. We don’t know yet what this will be like, words fail us, but looking upon God will be the most glorious sight we have ever seen. 

4. Glorified Bodies

We will receive redeemed and glorified bodies. We will no longer experience pain, or the decay of our bodies – because we will have eternal bodies. Romans 8 refers to it as the “redemption of our bodies” and that “we will be conformed to the image of His Son”. We will be made enough like Christ that we will be able to enjoy God fully and as John piper says – “have bodies capable of deeper, higher, fuller joys than we presently have.” We will know everything fully, just as God knows us fully (1 Cor 13:12). “The whole man– spirit, soul and body – will be entirely and perfectly delivered from the reign and the tyranny and the rule of sin.” Martin lloyd Jones.

A Privilege of your New Identity

Your inheritance is not something you have to earn, it is a privilege of your new identity – a member of the household of God. Glory in this fact. Stand in wonder at the grace of God shown to you in Christ, that you have been reborn into the family of God. You have a true home. You have been given life for death. You are an heir of everything that is the Lord’s. God, the most beautiful and glorious sight in the universe, will live with you, and He will glorify your body in a way where you will be bodily like Christ – able to enjoy Him forever.

Christian, this is your glorious inheritance.
Imperishable. Undefiled. Unfading. (1 Pet 1:4)


Prayer is Breathing

Prayer is to faith what breath is to the body.
by Bryan Hunt

Have you ever tried breathing only once a day? What about once a week? Sounds ridiculous, doesn’t it? You can’t go for more than a minute or two without breathing. Oxygen is necessary to the life of your body.

You are intimately acquainted with the necessities of your body, but have you ever thought about the health and necessities of your soul? Your soul is the whole of you, the entire human person. When God breathed into man the “breath of life” (Gen 2:7), he became a “living soul”. If we are living souls, could there be something as important to our soul’s health as breathing? Could we be suffocating without even realizing it?

“Faith is to the soul what life is to the body. Prayer is to faith what breath is to the body.” J.C. Ryle

Without Ceasing

The apostle Paul describes prayer as something continuous. “Be constant in prayer.” Rom 12:12. “Devote yourselves to prayer.” 1 Cor 7:5. “Praying at all times in the Spirit.” Eph 6:18. “We have not ceased to pray for you.” Col 1:9. “Pray without ceasing.” 1 Thess 5:17. “I remember you constantly in my prayers night and day.” 2 Tim 1:3.

Prayer is a rhythmic, constant act – kind of like breathing. It fills us with life, it reminds us of the true reality of the cosmos, and draws us into closer relationship with God Himself. Without it, our faith and our souls waste away. We go around out of breath or at worst, slowly suffocating. 

Now if the idea of praying without ceasing seems hard and boring to you, then think of it like this – prayer doesn’t have to just be a somber, relegated time of the day where you make your requests known to God. Prayer is so much more. It is thankfulness. It is an awareness and acknowledgement of God’s presence in us and around us. It is standing in awe of his holiness and beauty. It is looking at the world through His eyes. It is a heart seeking to involve God in the decisions of our lives. Prayer is and can be to the Christian as natural and easy as breathing. 

If you were all of a sudden told that you had a constant open line to the most powerful, most loving, most generous person in the world, would you talk to him/her? I think you would. Now let’s try multiplying that by infinity. God is all of those things, but He is also the creator and sustainer of all things. And, in Christ, He has called you His child – His very own child. Like any good father, He cares about the little and big things in your life. Does this sound like someone that would be worth talking to? And yet, all too often, we avoid prayer.

So why don’t we pray? I’m sure there are many reasons, but here are two that many of us can identify with – guilt and unbelief.

Plagued with Guilt

When you come to God in prayer, how do you feel? For me, I am often plagued with thoughts of guilt.

Do you really think that God will listen to you? You never pray – what kind of Christian are you? God must be very disappointed in you.

My prayer time leaves me feeling depressed and exhausted. But it is not because prayer itself is draining me; it is because I am listening to the voice of the accuser, and forgetting the gospel. I am failing to remember the fact that there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ (Rom 8:1). My guilt is gone. I can come confidently before God (Heb 4:16), accepted and loved (Col 1:22), because, in Christ, I am a new creation (2 Cor 5:17). I have the righteousness of Jesus (1 Cor 1:30). This is the good news of the gospel.

When we are confronted by our sins, this should not lead us to despair, but instead to joy at the fact that our sin has been nailed to the cross and is forgiven by the blood of the Lamb (Col 2:14). His grace is always sufficient for us (2 Cor 12:9).

God welcomes us to talk with Him; to abide with Him. He has chosen to live in us by His Spirit. Don’t let guilt keep you from breathing. 

Distant Belief

If you are a Christian, you believe in the existence of God. You believe in Jesus. You believe that God works in the world. You even believe that God listens to and answers our prayers. But there are different degrees of belief. The closer you are to the reality of something, the deeper your belief will become. Let me explain. I believe that the stars are giant balls of burning gas trillions of miles away. I know this to be true, but because it is something I can’t touch or hear or experience, the reality of this truth is vague. I believe, but in a distant kind of way.

The same can be true about our belief in God. The less we immerse ourselves in the reality of God’s existence and closeness, the more distant our belief becomes. We often picture God far-removed from us in Heaven somewhere, but God is not some far-off deity. He is someone we can experience. The true reality is that He couldn’t be closer to us, for He lives in us by His Spirit. Prayer awakens us to God’s reality living in us and throughout His universe. 

Awaken to the True Reality

J.C. Ryle said that, “Prayer is to faith, what breath is to the body”. Prayer sustains faith, because the more we interact with God, the more we awaken to His close reality. We stop sleep-walking through life – we stop going around short of breath and we learn to truly breathe. Our souls crave constant interaction with God. Praying at church once a week isn’t enough. Our new natures in Christ yearn to be “constant in prayer” – it is like breath for our lungs. This is who we are – a people meant for prayer.

Try praying right now. Come to God with a clean conscience – Jesus has purchased this for you on the cross (Heb 10:22). Prayer is inherently just talking to God. If it has been awhile since you talked to Him, perhaps just say a few words. “Father, I am yours.” Say it over and over again. Let God’s closeness permeate you. Take a deep breath. Breathe Him in. Let it restore your soul.


Redemptive Justice

12 truths about God's justice and the new Christian life.
by Bryan Hunt

Last Sunday Len Finn continued in our sermon series – Marks of the True Christian. You can listen to his sermon – ‘Christian Justice’ here
Here are 12 truths to preach to your soul from ‘Christian Justice’.

1. Who you are ‘in Christ’ trumps who you are in the mirror. The image of Christ is also the image of every christian – you and me, even on our worst days, simply because we are ‘in Christ’. This reality trumps every other reality.

2. Genuine love is freedom from resentment, freedom from anger, freedom from standing over another in judgment, freedom from the need for vengeance and retaliation, an openness to forgiveness, pity, compassion, and reconciliation.

3. What keeps us from looking like who we really are? Our trust is misplaced, and our hope is too narrow. 

4. The justice of the world, the setting of all things to right, is secure in God’s hands.

5. Human justice just relocates hurt – divine justice is redemptive and cosmic in scope.

6. You are not called to judge your neighbor, you are called to love them – to be the good in their life that overcomes the evil.

7. In Christ, God has declared us His child, His sons and daughters, His friend. What God says about you matters far more than anything you think about yourself.

8. God doesn’t repay evil for evil, instead He has overcome the evil in us with good – His good.

9. “‘Vengeance is mine – I will repay’, says the Lord”, and indeed he does with the shed blood of His Son.

10. Paul, in Romans 12, is not calling us to work on our anger management issues, rather he is telling us who we are – despite who we might see in the mirror.

11. The old you – the enemy in you who doesn’t trust God, doesn’t define you anymore. Christ took that old you to the cross with Him and let it die there and buried it with Him in the tomb. That old person isn’t you anymore.

12. You are the former enemy, now made God’s beloved, overcome by God’s good.


5 Worship Songs for your Weekend

A soundtrack for your weekend.
by Bryan Hunt | Category:

“Centre My Life” – Austin Stone Worship

“Turn my eyes away from searching for lesser glory, turn my eyes. Teach my heart with all Your wisdom to live for Heaven, teach my heart.”

 

“Fierce” – Jesus Culture

“You cannot fail. The only thing I’ve found is through it all You never let me down.”

 

“Fairest Lord Jesus” – Tim Neufeld

“Fairest Lord Jesus, Ruler of all nature, O Thou of God and man the Son, Thee will I cherish, Thee will I honor, Thou, my soul’s glory, joy and crown.”

 

“Heroes” – Amanda Cook

“Awake my soul to sing. With Your breath in me, I will worship. You taught my feet to dance upon disappointment. And I will worship.”

 

“King of my Heart” – John Mark McMillan

“Let the King of my heart be the shadow where I hide. The ransom for my life; oh is my song.”

 

Playlist

Listen to a playlist of all 5 songs together.


Hopes and Dreams

12 things to remember from Sunday.
by Bryan Hunt | Category: , , , , ,

Last Sunday, Ray David stopped and personally shared with us his hopes and dreams for the people of St. George’s in the coming year. Here are 12 things that he talked about that will challenge you to grow deeper in Christ. 

  1. I am concerned that we as a church are growing larger in numbers, but maybe not growing deeper in Christ. 

  2. This is not a message of guilt, but a joyful invitation to a preferable future.

  3. What if there was something so dynamically different about the christian life, that it would radically change everything?

  4. There is more to the christian life than just superficial church attendance.

  5. If the gospel is to truly change you from the inside out – if you are to truly grow in the Lord, you have to start with a deep, and profound sense of what God has done for you in Jesus, and what God has done to you in Jesus.

  6. The gospel is more than just information to stick into your head – it is a way of living.

  7. The gospel gives us a new way of living – a new way of being.

  8. The christian life is not about trying harder – it is about being who you are in Christ.

  9. Our patterns of thinking that are not rooted in the gospel, create ruts in our lives that effect the way we think about ourselves and the way we interact with others.

  10. True spiritual growth happens when we view the world through the lens of the gospel.

  11. When defining the gospel, it needs to be articulated in terms of the birth, life, death, resurrection, and ascension of Jesus. This is the central story in the bible.

  12. My prayer is that we would default to speaking the gospel to every area of our lives – that it would become the new lens through which we see things. It will change us from the inside out – from our marriages, to our jobs, our families, and all the way into our communities.

5 Worship Songs for your Weekend

A soundtrack for your weekend.
by Bryan Hunt

“I Surrender” – All Sons & Daughters

“The riches of this world will fade. The treasures of our God remain. Here I empty myself to owe this world nothing, and find everything in you.”

 

“You Don’t Miss A Thing” – Bethel Music

“When You stand, I feel the floor of Heaven tremble. As You breathe, we live and have our being.”

 

“Song of Moses” – Aaron Keyes

“Praise the Lord, our mighty warrior. Praise the Lord, the glorious One. By His hand we stand in victory, by His Name we overcome.”

 

“You Hold It All Together” – All Sons and Daughters

“You are my strength, You are my song, You are my salvation – You hold it all together.”

 

“Closer” – Bethel Music

An intimate worship song reminiscent of King David’s Psalm 63.
“Pull me a little closer, take me a little deeper, I want to know your heart.”

 

Playlist

Listen to a playlist of all 5 songs.


The Deeper Meaning of Marriage

Marriage is a picture of something far bigger than you imagined.
by Bryan Hunt

Why did you get married? I’m assuming you fell in love. Your would-be spouse made you feel alive – made you feel complete. Spending time with him or her made you happy and content. You loved the way they made you feel. But what happens when that feeling fades? What should you do? Try again and start over? If the object of your marriage is happiness, then that makes sense. But what if there was a deeper meaning to your marriage? Something larger than yourself. Something eternal and exceedingly beautiful.

If you entered into your marriage for your own happiness, then you have a problem, because your spouse is not really what your heart is looking for. In the end, your spouse will not fulfill the longing in your heart for completion. There is only one person who can do that, and your marriage is meant to be a reflection of His self-sacrificing love for his people.

“As God made man in His own image, so He made earthly marriage in the image of His own eternal marriage with His people.” – Geoffrey Bromiley

Christ and His Bride

Marriage is not something humans came up with – it was instituted by God (Gen 2:22-25). Ephesians 5:22-33 tells us that earthly marriage is an image of something far bigger – the eternal marriage of God with His people. Christ’s bride is the church, and we are called to reflect this eternal relationship with our own marriages. In other words – your marriage is not your own. God instituted it to show forth a greater glory. 

Self-Sacrifice

Husbands are called to love their wives as Christ loves and has loved the church (Eph 5:25). How has Christ loved the church? Through self-sacrifice (Phil 2:7). Through humble service (Matt 20:28). Through pain and agony (Luke 22:44). Jesus did not give up on His marriage to His people when the going got tough. Instead He sacrificed of himself for his bride – always putting her first, even when she was undeserving. He gave of His own present happiness for her happiness. He became a man of sorrows (Isa 53:3) for a future joy – the salvation and restoration of His bride (Heb 12:2).

Your Every Need

You may be thinking, yes, but what about me? What about my needs? And I’d like to suggest that the answer is this – “God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus” (Phil 4:19). If you let Him, God is the one who will fulfill you, for you were made for Him. Every need you have, or ever could have, will be supplied in the riches of Jesus. One of God’s names in the Bible is Jehovah-Jireh, which means “The Lord will provide”. His very nature is to provide for His people. 

“Stop trying to make your spouse into the supplier of your needs.”

Stop trying to make your spouse into the supplier of your needs. He or she is bound to fail. They may succeed for a short time, but in the end they are human and will fall short. God is the only need-supplier that will never grow empty. He designed you to need to be connected with Him – to abide in Him (John 15:5). Christ will nourish and cherish you always, because you are part of his church, which is His own body (Eph 5:29-30). At times, God will undoubtedly use your spouse to supply your needs, but the nourishing always originates from Him.

Joined Together

Marriage is the closest relationship two humans can have together. In fact God said that in marriage two people are joined together and become one person (Matt 19:6). They are unified and it is a beautiful thing. As a christian, whether you know it or not, you are joined together – unified with Christ (Gal 2:20). You are in Him and He is in you (Rom 8:9). Two have become one. Sounds a lot like marriage doesn’t it? God loves using imagery from life to show forth deeper realities. This means that when you begin to love your spouse as Christ loves the church you are proclaiming the gospel. Your marriage is an image – a pale reflection, of Christ’s passionate relationship with His beloved people.

“God loves using imagery from life to show forth deeper realities.”

Fullness of Joy

When people look at your marriage, do they see a picture that shows forth the beauty of Christ and His self-sacrificing love for the church? Pray for this. Ask God to use your marriage to proclaim the love of Christ. Let God change your perspective. Your marriage is not primarily about your happiness, but when we start seeking to love our spouses as Christ loves us, instead of using them for our own selfish motives, we discover the joy of living aligned with God’s best purposes. In the end, the only way to enduring happiness is through living in Christ; by embracing your position as God’s beloved. So, let your spouse off the hook. They are awesome, and a precious gift from God, but they are not what your soul needs.

You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.” Psalm 16:11

Love out of His Love

You will only be able to love your spouse as Christ loves the church if you are allowing your needs to be met by Jesus. So spend time with Him. Talk to him. Let Him nourish you from His word. Find your fulfillment in Him and in what He thinks of you. He chose you before the foundation of the Earth (Eph 1:4). Through trials, hard times, and your unfaithfulness, His love for you never diminishes (Rom 8:35-39). He cherishes you. Fill yourself from the well of His love, and out of the overflow of His affection, love your spouse.


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