Songs & Scripture: “How Great is Our God” (Chris Tomlin, Ed Cash, and Jesse Reeves)

A few weeks ago I had the wonderful privilege of worshiping with some of the ladies of my church at a women’s retreat, and we sang this song and it was the most precious moment of the retreat together.

In honor of that I wanted to go deeper into this song, and discovered it is rich with Scripture and theology. The lines about God as the Father, Spirit, and Son especially became sweeter to me after studying the Scriptures filled with those references. I hope this study blesses you to know how great is our God!!

How Great is Our God
Written by Chris Tomlin, Ed Cash, and Jesse Reeves
CCLI#: 4348399
(c) 2004 sixsteps Music

The splendor of a king (Psalm 96:9, Psalm 104:1, Isaiah 33:17, Isaiah 33:22)
Clothed in majesty (Job 37:22, Psalm 93:1, Psalm 104:1)
Let all the earth rejoice (1 Chronicles 16:31, Psalm 96:11, 13, Psalm 97:1)
All the earth rejoice

He wraps Himself in light, (Psalm 104:2, Isaiah 60:19, 1 Timothy 6:16, 1 John 1:5, Revelation 21:23, Revelation 22:5)
And darkness tries to hide (Psalm 139:12, Isaiah 9:2, Matthew 4:16, Luke 1:79, Luke 2:32, John 1:4-5, Ephesians 5:8, 1 Peter 2:9)
And trembles at His voice (Psalm 46:6, Jeremiah 10:10, Nahum 1:5)
Trembles at His voice

[CHORUS:]
How great is our God – sing with me
How great is our God – and all will see
How great, how great is our God (Exodus 18:11, 2 Chronicles 2:5, Psalm 48:1, Psalm 86:10, Psalm 95:3, Psalm 96:4, Psalm 104:1, Psalm 135:5, Psalm 145:3, Psalm 147:5, Psalm 150:2, Job 36:26)

Age to age He stands (Psalm 90:2, Psalm 102:27, Job 36:26, Isaiah 40:28, Isaiah 43:13, Habakkuk 1:12, Hebrews 13:8)
And time is in His hands (Genesis 1:1, Psalm 102: 25, Isaiah 41:4)
Beginning and the end (Genesis 1:1, Exodus 3:14, Isaiah 44:6, Hebrews 13:8, Revelation 1:8, Revelation 1:17, Revelation 21:6, Revelation 22:13)
Beginning and the end

The Godhead Three in One
Father, Spirit and Son (Matthew 28:19, Galatians 4:6, Romans 8:15, Romans 14:17-18, Romans 15:16, 1 Corinthians 2:2-5, 1 Corinthians 6:11, 1 Corinthians 12:4-6, 2 Corinthians 1:21-22, 2 Corinthians 13:14, Ephesians 2:18-22, Ephesians 3:14-19, Colossians 1:6-8, 1 Thessalonians 1:3-5, 2 Thessalonians 2:13-14, 1 Peter 1:1-2, Titus 3:4-6)
Lion and the Lamb (Genesis 49:9, Hosea 5:14, John 1:29, John 1:36, 1 Peter 1:19, Revelation 5:5-6,  Revelation 7:10, Revelation 7:17, Revelation 15:3, Revelation 21:22, Revelation 22:3)
Lion and the Lamb

[Chorus repeats]

Name above all names (Acts 4:12, Ephesians 1:21, Philippians 2:9-11)
Worthy of all praise (1 Chronicles 16:25, Psalm 18:3, Revelation 4:11, Revelation 5:12)
My heart will sing (Psalm 30:12)
How great is our God

[Chorus x 3]
Related Posts:

I found these sites exceedingly helpful in putting a list of verses together about the Trinity and laying out that doctrine:
Is the Doctrine of the Trinity in the Bible?
God as a Trinity

This site was great in pointing out some verses I hadn’t considered, and also was just a great devotional on the song!:
Story Song: How Great Is Our God

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Songs & Scripture: Beautiful Things (Michael and Lisa Gungor)

Photo by Laura Shreck
Photo by Laura Shreck

My favorite lyrics in this song are at almost the end: You make me new, you are making me new! How amazing and true that is. God makes us new creations in Christ!

Beautiful Things
Written by Michael and Lisa Gungor
CCLI#: 5665521
(c) 2009 worshiptogether.com songs

All this pain (Psalm 13:1-2, Psalm 31:9-10, Psalm 38:17, Jeremiah 4:19, Jeremiah 15:18, Jeremiah 30:15, Lamentations 2:11, Habakkuk 1:2-4)
I wonder if I’ll ever find my way (Psalm 139:24, Matthew 7:13-14)
I wonder if my life could really change at all (Ephesians 4:22-24, Colossians 3:9-10)
All this earth (Genesis 6:5, Psalm 53:2-3, Psalm 102:18-20)
Could all that is lost ever be found (Matthew 10:39, Luke 15:3-7, Luke 15:8-10, Luke 15:32)
Could a garden come up from this ground at all (Genesis 2:8-9, Isaiah 35:1, Isaiah 43:19, Isaiah 51:3, Isaiah 55:13, Isaiah 61:11, Ezekiel 36:35-36)

[Chorus:]
You make beautiful things (Genesis 1:31, Ecclesiastes 3:11, Psalm 19:1)
You make beautiful things out of the dust (Genesis 2:7, Isaiah 61:3)
You make beautiful things
You make beautiful things out of us (Psalm 139:14, Isaiah 52:7, Romans 10:15)

All around
Hope is springing up from this old ground (Psalm 107:35, Isaiah 43:19, Lamentations 3:21-23, Colossians 1:5-6)
Out of chaos life is being found in You (John 1:4, 1 John 4:9, 1 John 5:11)

[chorus repeats x 2]

[Bridge:]
You make me new, You are making me new (Ezekiel 11:19, Ezekiel 36:26, Romans 6:4, 2 Corinthians 5:17, Galatians 6:15, Ephesians 4:24, Colossians 3:10, Revelation 21:4-5)
You make me new, You are making me new

[chorus repeats]

Songs & Scripture: “Lay Me Down” (Chris Tomlin, Jason Ingram, Jonas Myrin, and Matt Redman)

I’m dedicating this Songs & Scripture post to a good long-time friend and North American missionary, Owen Grey, who works with Athletes in Action at Wilmington College in Wilmington, OH. He introduced this song to me just a few days ago (yeah, I guess I’m behind the times) and told me it’s one of his favorites because the song is basically about letting God take control and yielding to him.

This is something Owen would know about, because he didn’t originally plan to go into ministry full-time:

“During my 4 years at Eastern Michigan University the Lord used my time competing on the swim team to introduce me to the need my fellow athletes had for Jesus. In my senior year I had the opportunity to disciple two underclassmen on my team who were new to their relationship with Christ. Experiencing their passion, excitement, and desire for a changed life as a result gave me far more joy and sense of purpose than the engineering degree I was studying. Through these experiences I have felt God’s call into the vocation of full-time ministry, specifically with athletes.”

If you’d like to learn about supporting Owen’s ministry, you can click here or email him directly at owen.grey(at)athletesinaction.org.

As usual for all my Songs & Scripture posts, I have links to related Bible verses after each lyric. (You can right click to select “open in new tab” if you don’t want to keep hitting “back” every time you look up a verse).

Lay Me Down
CCLI#: 6223577
Written by Chris Tomlin, Jason Ingram, Jonas Myrin, and Matt Redman

[Verse 1:]
With this heart open wide (Proverbs 15:11Acts 2:37-38, Acts 16:142 Corinthians 6:11-13)
From the depths from the heights (Psalm 95:4)
I will bring a sacrifice (Psalm 50:23, Psalm 51:17Romans 12:1Hebrews 13:15)
With these hands lifted high (Psalm 28:2, Psalm 63:4, Psalm 134:2Psalm 141:2, Lamentations 3:41, 1 Timothy 2:8)
Hear my song, hear my cry (Psalm 27:7, Psalm 61:1)
I will bring a sacrifice (Psalm 50:23Psalm 51:17Romans 12:1Hebrews 13:15)
I will bring a sacrifice (Psalm 50:23Psalm 51:17Romans 12:1Hebrews 13:15)

[Chorus:]
I lay me down I’m not my own (1 Corinthians 6:19-20)
I belong to you alone (Romans 1:6, Romans 6:22Romans 7:4)
Lay me down, lay me down (John 15:12-14, 1 John 3:16)
Hand on my heart this much is true
There’s no life apart from you (Matthew 16:24-26, Mark 8:34-36, John 6:67-69, John 14:6, Romans 6:23Galatians 2:20, Ephesians 2:1-5, Colossians 2:13-14)
Lay me down, lay me down
Lay me down, lay me down

[Verse 2:]
Letting go of my pride (2 Chronicles 7:14Philippians 2:3, James 4:10, 1 Peter 5:6-7)
Giving up all my rights (1 Corinthians 9:18)
Take this life and let it shine (Matthew 5:15-16, 2 Corinthians 4:6, Philippians 2:14-15)
Take this life and let it shine

[Chorus repeats]

[Bridge:]
It will be my joy to say Your will Your way (Matthew 6:10, Matthew 26:42, Luke 22:42)
It will be my joy to say Your will Your way
It will be my joy to say Your will Your way always

 

Credit to this post for getting me started on the references:
Lay Me Down By Chris Tomlin” (WorshipSpeaks.com)

Related posts:
“Praying Lay Me Down by Chris Tomlin” (Six11.Wordpress.Com)
“Lay Me Down” (WhataChristianGirlWants.Wordpress.com)

 

Canciones y Escritura (Songs & Scripture): “Ríos de Agua Viva (Rivers of Living Water)” (Alejandro Roop)

Note: This is my first Songs & Scripture post addressing a spanish worship song. But for the large percentage of Spanish-speaking countries that have hit up my blog (and it’s not as though the United States has a small percentage Spanish-speaking christians!), I can’t help but put out one of my favorite songs of all time, Ríos de Agua Viva, based on John 7:37-38. Please forgive my abysmal Spanish, it has grown quite rusty!

~~

Profe Roop, perdóname por mi español horrible.

Parque Nacional Iguazú, Argentina, foto por Lauren Settle
Parque Nacional Iguazú, Argentina, foto por Lauren Settle

Ríos de Agua Viva es una canción que es puramente Escritura, escrito por (cuando yo era estudiante allí) un profesor de Wheaton College (IL), Alejandro Roop. Esta canción fue una favorita del grupo de estudiantes de Wheaton (incluyendo a yo) que estudió en Argentina y Chile juntos en el año de 2009.

La cantamos en muchas iglesias en Chile como parte de una presentación. Hoy, yo la canto cuando necesito recordar la verdad que Jesús me ha salvado con “agua viva.” Nunca he encontrado una canción basado en Juan 7:37-38 en inglés que es tan hermosa.

También, creo que no hay suficiente canciones de adoración que son escritos de personas de que español es su primer idioma. Muchos son de inglés que eran traducidas a español. No es el mismo. Pero aunque yo sea oradora de inglés principalmente, esta canción me mueve. Es muy hermosa, especialmente cuando una iglesia usa “llamada y respuesta” con los hombres y mujeres.

~~

Sorry, Profe Roop, for my horrible Spanish. 🙂

Ríos De Agua Viva is a song that is pure Scripture, written by (when I was a student there) a professor of Wheaton College (IL), Alejandro Roop.  This song was a favorite of a group of Wheaton students (including myself) that studied in Argentina and Chile in 2009. 

We sang it in many churches throughout Chile as part of a presentation for them. Today, I still sing it when I need to remember the truth that Jesus has saved me with “living water.” I have never found another song based on John 7:37-38 that is so beautiful.

Also, I believe that there are not enough worship songs written by people for which Spanish is their first language. Many Spanish worship songs are just English worship songs translated into Spanish. They’re just not the same. But even though I am primarily an English-speaker, this song still moves me. It’s very beautiful, especially when a church uses “call and response” with men and women.

~~

Juan 7:37-38 (versión Reina-Valera 1960)
John 7:37-38 (NKJV)– about the comparable version to the Spanish “Reina-Valera”

Ríos De Agua Viva (Rivers of Living Water)
Escrito por (written by) Alejandro Roop/Álex Roop Martín
© ARM, Reverdecer.com
Para escuchar, haga clic aquí (To listen, click here): Ríos De Agua Viva
English translation (NKJV) on the right

En el último y gran día de la fiesta, /On the last day, that great day of the feast
En el último y gran día de la fiesta, /On the last day, that great day of the feast
En el último y gran día de la fiesta, /On the last day, that great day of the feast
Jesús se puso en pie (x2) /Jesus stood

y alzó la voz, /and cried out,
diciendo: /saying:

Si alguno tiene sed, /“If anyone thirsts,
que venga a mí y beba. /let him come to Me and drink.
El que cree en mí, /He who believes in Me
El que cree en mí, /He who believes in Me

como dice la Escritura, de su interior /as the Scripture has said, out of his heart
como dice la Escritura, de su interior /as the Scripture has said, out of his heart
como dice la Escritura, de su interior /as the Scripture has said, out of his heart
correrán ríos de agua viva /will flow rivers of living water.”
correrán ríos de agua viva /will flow rivers of living water.”
correrán ríos de agua viva /will flow rivers of living water.”

~~

Con amor,/ With love, 🙂

Lauren

Songs & Scripture: “Everlasting God (Strength will Rise)” (Brenton Brown, Ken Riley)

“It wasn’t like I got a word in the night and woke up and I heard God say, ‘Strength will rise as we wait upon the Lord.’ It wasn’t one of those special moments. I mean I do remember people praying that over me. Of course, the danger with suffering from a chronic illness without being healed is you grow cold to some words. But I was pretty intentional about it. This is God’s promise to us. However it works out, however he chooses to bring His strength. He hasn’t chosen the way I would have chosen, so to sing those words, for me, it’s almost a redeeming action. This is where I am at, this is the truth of God, and this is His promise. He will look after my wife and me, and he will carry us through this time.”

~Brenton Brown, on writing “Everlasting God”, excerpt from this article on WorshipLeader.Com

Soaring Eagle
Soaring Eagle (Photo credit: w4nd3rl0st (InspiredinDesMoines))

Do you ever feel exhausted? Like, mind-numbing, fall-asleep-on-your-feet, not even have an emotional response for anything, exhausted? That pretty much sums up a lot of nursing school for me. The verses that I often went back to during that period of my life were Isaiah 40:28-31, which are the large basis for the song Everlasting God.

Whenever I can, I try to link to the story behind a worship song, and how worship pastor Brenton Brown initially started writing this song is an amazing testimony. Both he and his wife were diagnosed with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS), leaving them both physically and mentally drained. Maybe that’s you today. So read these lyrics encouraged, knowing that they’re not only heavily Scripturally based, but also written by someone who intimately knows what it’s like to be exhausted and has experienced God’s promise to carry you through it.

As usual, I’ve included the Scriptures that the original author of the song was thinking about, but have also included many cross-references to other Scriptures that relate to the lyrics as well.

For the full story behind Everlasting God, click here.

Everlasting God
Written by Brenton Brown and Ken Riley
CCLI#: 4556538

Strength will rise as we wait upon the Lord (Psalm 31:24Isaiah 40:29-31, Isaiah 41:10)
Wait upon the Lord, we will wait upon the Lord (Psalm 27:14, Psalm 130:5-6, Proverbs 20:22Isaiah 8:17) (x2)

Our God, You reign forever (Exodus 15:18, Psalm 146:10, Lamentations 5:19, Revelation 11:15)
Our hope, our strong deliverer (Psalm 18:2, Psalm 56:13Psalm 144:2, Jeremiah 14:22, 2 Corinthians 1:10, 1 Timothy 4:10, Hebrews 10:23)

You are the everlasting God
The everlasting God
You do not faint
You won’t grow weary (Genesis 21:33, Psalm 121:4Isaiah 40:28)

You’re the defender of the weak (Psalm 12:5, Psalm 18:2-3, Psalm 59:9-10, Psalm 91:1-2)
You comfort those in need (Isaiah 40:1, Isaiah 51:12, Isaiah 66:132 Corinthians 1:3-4)
You lift us up on wings like eagles (Psalm 103:5Isaiah 40:31)

You are the everlasting God (Genesis 21:33Isaiah 40:28)
The everlasting God
The everlasting God
The everlasting (repeat x 2)

With love,

Lauren

p.s. Officially in the 5 digits for hits on the blog! Wow. I remember posting about getting 500 hits just a little while ago, and before starting this blog a short 5 months ago I would never have expected it to grow so exponentially. Thanks to everyone for reading, hope the music and the Scriptures bless you richly!

Songs & Scripture: “Hosanna (Praise is Rising)” (Brenton Brown and Paul Baloche)

"They brought the donkey and the colt and put on them their cloaks, and he sat on them....And the crowds that went before him and that followed him were shouting, "Hosanna to the Son of David! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! Hosanna in the highest!" ~Matthew 21:7, 9  (Photo credit: Andreas Krappweis)
“They brought the donkey and the colt and put on them their cloaks, and he sat on them….And the crowds that went before him and that followed him were shouting, “Hosanna to the Son of David! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! Hosanna in the highest!” ~Matthew 21:7, 9 (Photo credit: Andreas Krappweis)

I remember singing this song in youth group growing up, but have recently come back to it. ‘Cause when we see You, we find strength to face the day is still the cry of my heart.

After a time of singing my heart out to God, or glimpsing Him through nature, or reading a familiar Bible passage anew as if God wrote it exactly for me, or someone’s unexpected kindness, or a story of redemption, or another amazing piece of evidence of God’s existence or the validity of the Bible, that’s when I find strength to face another day.

Hosanna

Written by Brenton Brown and Paul Baloche
CCLI#: 4662491

Praise is rising, eyes are turning to You, we turn to You (2 Chronicles 20:12, Psalm 113:3Acts 14:15)
Hope is stirring, hearts are yearning for You, we long for You (Psalm 63:1, Psalm 84:2Isaiah 26:8-9James 4:8)
‘Cause when we see You, we find strength to face the day (Exodus 15:2Psalm 46:1, Psalm 73:26Psalm 138:3, Nehemiah 8:10b, Ephesians 3:16-19, 1 Timothy 1:12, 1 Peter 4:11)
In Your Presence all our fears are washed away, washed away (Exodus 14:13-14Psalm 46:1-3, 1 John 4:18)

CHORUS

Hosanna, hosanna (Matthew 21:9)
You are the God Who saves us, worthy of all our praises (2 Samuel 22:4/Psalm 18:3, John 3:16, Hebrews 7:25, 1 Timothy 1:15)
Hosanna, hosanna (Matthew 21:9)
Come have Your way among us (Exodus 33:13Psalm 86:11, Mark 14:35-36, James 4:7)
We welcome You here, Lord Jesus

Hear the sound of hearts returning to You, we turn to You (Deuteronomy 4:29-31Joel 2:12-13Acts 14:15)
In Your Kingdom broken lives are made new, You make us new (Isaiah 43:19, 2 Corinthians 5:17, Revelation 21:5)
‘Cause when we see You, we find strength to face the day (Exodus 15:2Psalm 46:1Psalm 73:26Psalm 138:3Nehemiah 8:10bEphesians 3:16-191 Timothy 1:121 Peter 4:11)
In Your Presence all our fears are washed away, washed away (Exodus 14:13-14Psalm 46:1-31 John 4:18)

Songs & Scripture: “Open the eyes of my heart” (Paul Baloche)

Smiling Through Her Eyes
May we all be more like children, with our eyes open and our hearts soft. (Photo credit: Michael Mistretta)

I have always understood this song to be a plea to not be the kind of people God  condemns for their hardened hearts that cause them to not hear or see as in the passages from Isaiah and Ezekiel, but then I found it also is in Ephesians in the positive sense:

I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people.

~Ephesians 1:18, NIV

In fact, this is the verse that inspired Paul Baloche to write this song. You can read the rest of that story here.

Open the Eyes of My Heart
Written by Paul Baloche
CCLI#: 2298355

Open the eyes of my heart, Lord (Psalm 119:18Isaiah 6:9-10, Ezekiel 12:1-2, Matthew 13:13-17Acts 26:16-18, Acts 28:25-27Ephesians 1:18)
Open the eyes of my heart
I want to see You (Exodus 33:18)
I want to see You (2x)

To see You high and lifted up (Isaiah 6:1)
Shining in the light of Your glory (Exodus 33:19-23)
Pour out Your power and love (Isaiah 44:3-5)
As we sing holy, holy, holy (Isaiah 6:3Revelation 4:8)

Holy, holy holy (Isaiah 6:3, Revelation 4:8)
Holy, holy, holy
Holy, holy, holy
I want to see You (2x)

With love,

Lauren