Our key verse for this week’s sermon is Acts 11:23, “When he came and saw the grace of God, he was glad, and he exhorted them all to remain faithful to the Lord with steadfast purpose.” We’ll be focusing on the phrase “remain faithful” with this week’s songs.
1. O For a Faith That Will Not Shrink
If the tune to this song sounds familiar while the words don’t, that’s because we also use this tune for the Isaac Watts song “I’m Not Ashamed to Own My Lord.” These words, written by William Bathurst around 1831, are a prayer for God to increase our faith. His description of faith definitely requires an effort on our part. A faith that will “not murmur or complain”? Not sure how well we do at that sometimes!
2. Faith of Our Fathers
Frederick Faber wrote this song as a reminder for the Catholic church of those who were persecuted during the reign of King Henry VIII and Queen Elizabeth I. Many became martyrs are endured great torture. Of course, now this song has taken on a larger meaning in the Christian faith to honor all those who have passed on their faith to us.
3. Faith of Our Mothers
We know that there are many women who have suffered for the cause of Christ, as well. I’m sure each one of us also have women in our lives who have impacted our faith. During the most formative years of my childhood, I many wonderful women who taught me in Bible class and helped build the foundation of my faith. It’s therefore fitting that we sing this song and acknowledge them, just as we acknowledged the men in the last song.
4. Faithful Love
Our ultimate example of faith is Jesus, who loved us so much that He “came to earth to show the Father’s love.” If we truly know and understand that love, then we’ll “never be the same.”
5. When My Love to Christ Grows Weak
“When for deeper faith I seek.” When our faith is weak, what better place to go than Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane? Even Jesus struggled in His faith. If He hadn’t, He would not have asked “take this cup away from me.” Knowing that He endured that pain and agony for me increases my faith. This particular arrangement of this song starts with just the men on verse 1 and just the women on verse 2. The video below is the traditional arrangement.
6. My Eyes Are Dry
“My faith is old.” Keith Green wrote this song when he was only 25 years old. So what did he mean when he said his “faith is old”? No doubt he had experienced enough life to know that our faith can waver. He desired to have the same unwavering faith as that when he first became a Christian. How does one accomplish that? “Soften it up with oil and wine.” (Shoutout to my college choir director, Dr. Arthur Shearin, who is directing in the recording of the video below.)
7. You Are My All in All
In corresponding with our minister on this week’s sermon, he specifically mentioned being strengthened when we are weak. Naturally, this song popped in my head. Written by Dennis Jernigan in 1990, it reminds us that when we “fall down,” He picks us up, and when we “are dry,” He fills our cup. What an amazing God we have to help us in our weakness.
8. Yield Not to Temptation
In my opinion, this song is mistitled. It should be called “Ask the Savior to Help You.” Asking God for help is not just about asking when you are being tempted. God is able to “comfort, strengthen and keep you” through all life’s difficulties.
9. Behold Our God
One day our faith will become sight. On that day, we can declare “Behold our God, seated on His throne, come let us adore Him!”
ORDER OF WORSHIP
SCRIPTURE READING – Acts 11:19-23
O For a Faith That Will Not Shrink
Faith of Our Fathers (1,3)
Faith of Our Mothers (2,3)
When My Love to Christ Grows Weak
My Eyes Are Dry
You Are My All in All
Yield Not to Temptation
Behold Our God