Hymn of the Month

We are commanded to, "Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs." (Colossians 3:16). Accordingly, we incorporate hymns into our regular Sunday morning worship at Pacific Hope Church. We firmly believe in equipping God's people with the knowledge of His Word through sound teaching in our classes, Bible studies, and even in our Sunday morning worship. Our worship will always be with the purpose of exalting the Lord to His proper place; it is never man-centered or seeking to create an emotional experience.


In November's Hymn of the Month, O Great God, contemporary hymn writer, Bob Kauflin, reflects on our utter dependence upon the object of our worship for even the sheer ability to worship Him.  Introduced at the Together for the Gospel Conference in 2010, Kauflin says of this hymn:


“I originally wrote this song for our album, Valley of Vision, a collection of songs based on The Valley of Vision: A Collection of Puritan Prayers and Devotions. It comes from the prayer, 'Regeneration,' that begins:

‘Occupy the throne of my heart,
take full possession and reign supreme,
lay low every rebel lust,
let no vile passion resist thy holy war;
manifest thy mighty power,
and make me thine forever.
Thou art worthy to be
praised with my every breath,
loved with my every faculty of soul
served with my every act of life.’


“I wanted to set that prayer to music because of how often I’m asking God to do whatever he needs to do to make me love and glorify him more.”


On the topic of true worship, Kauflin quotes the great 18th century hymn writer, Isaac Watts:


“’The Great God values not the service of men, if the heart be not in it: The Lord sees and judges the heart; he has no regard to outward forms of worship, if there be no inward adoration, if no devout affection be employed therein. It is therefore a matter of infinite importance to have the whole heart engaged steadfastly for God.’1


Kauflin goes on to say,

 

“Worship is God's gift of grace to us before it's our offering to God. We simply benefit from the perfect offering of the Son to the Father through the power of the Spirit (Ephesians 2:18). Worship is our humble, constant, appropriate, glad response to God's self-revelation and his enabling invitation.  . . . Biblical worship is God-focused (God is clearly seen), God-centered (God is clearly the priority), and God-exalting (God is clearly honored). . . . God’s glory is the end of our worship, and not simply a means to something else. In the midst of a culture that glorifies our pitiful accomplishments in countless ways, we gather each week to proclaim God's wondrous deeds and to glory in his supreme value. He is holy, holy, holy. There is no one, and nothing, like the Lord.” 




Bob KauflinWorship Matters: Leading Others to Encounter the Greatness of God

 

1 Isaac Watts, Discourses on the Love of God, 1798, p. 12.

 

O Great God

O great God of highest heaven

Occupy my lowly heart

Own it all and reign supreme

Conquer every rebel power

Let no vice or sin remain

That resists Your holy war

You have loved and purchased me

Make me Yours forevermore

 

I was blinded by my sin

Had no ears to hear Your voice

Did not know Your love within

Had no taste for heaven’s joys

Then Your Spirit gave me life

Opened up Your Word to me

Through the gospel of Your Son

Gave me endless hope and peace

 

Help me now to live a life

That’s dependent on Your grace

Keep my heart and guard my soul

From the evils that I face

You are worthy to be praised

With my every thought and deed

O great God of highest heaven

Glorify Your Name through me.