Why The Shore?

In many, many places the Bible tells us always to be in the effort of writing a “new song” for God’s people to sing in praise and thanksgiving to him. Search your Bible for how many times the words “new song” appear. Pretty amazing.

For example, Psalm 33:2-3 tells us—

“Give thanks to the LORD with the lyre; make melody to him with the harp of ten strings! Sing to him a new song; play skillfully on the strings, with loud shouts.” (English Standard Version)

The Bible, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, is telling us that an important part of our lives should be filled with listening to “skillfully” played instruments and skillfully sung lyrics of praise and thanksgiving. “Make melody to him” with instruments (and instrumentals—in other words, words are not always necessary for worship) and with singing. “Play skillfully on the strings” a “new song.” A melody doesn’t always have to have lyrics in order to be praise and thanksgiving.

So the church is never finished with the call to write, play, and sing a “new song” to the Lord that’s enjoyed by the people of God. And sometimes we’re even called just to listen to the song and enjoy its life-giving effect on our heart and mind and soul (see Psalm 40:3).
See also:
Psalm 98:1
Psalm 100:1-2
Psalm 144:9
Psalm 149:1
Isaiah 42:10
There are not any instruments necessarily more “sacred” or spiritual than others (although it’s fair to say some people will be more spiritually affected by different instruments from others). The Bible tells us to use a wide variety of instruments in playing these new songs and melodies.
For example, Psalm 150:3–5 tells us—

Praise him with the sounding of the trumpet,

Praise him with the harp and lyre,
Praise him with timbrel and dancing,
Praise him with the strings and pipe,
Praise him with the clash of cymbals,
Praise him with resounding cymbals.
(Today’s New International Version)
See also Psalm 98:4-6. The harp and lyre were kind of ancient guitars. The idea is to use a wide variety of instruments (strings, wind, percussion, etc.) to skillfully play new songs and melodies for the church. Use all kinds.
Of course, skillful musicians and singers and songwriters don’t just pop into existence. So to fulfill this calling, a church needs to take seriously whatever role it can have in constantly developing new musicians and vocalists and songwriters.

Accordingly, we at The Crossing have released our second recorded album with 10 (technically 12) new songs (and melodies) written, played, and sung by our worship team. And since its release last month, I’ve heard so many people of all ages tell me how much they love it and are being blessed by it. Just yesterday a man in his 50’s told me he was “absolutely mesmerized by it.”

You can look into it further for yourself right here. It’s also for sale at The Crossing each Sunday. (Update: You can also find in on iTunes here.)

Let me discuss a couple of my favorite songs in detail lyrically.
Song #1— His Loving-Kindness

Awake, my soul, in joyful praise, sing of my great Redeemer’s ways:
He justly claims a song from me, “His loving-kindness set me free!”
Often I feel my sinful heart prone from my Savior to depart;
but though I have Him oft’ forgot, His loving-kindness changes not!
How precious is Your steadfast love, Eternal Lord of all;
in You is life, is true delight; I choose to rest in love.
Soon shall I pass the gloomy vale, soon my mortal flesh must fail;
O may my last expiring breath, His loving-kindness sing in death!
Then let me mount and soar away to the bright world of endless day,
and see my Savior’s shining face, His loving-kindness, His embrace!
Let pride not turn my heart from You and Your promises,
I will abide in You alone!
What I like about this song is that it reminds my soul, mind, and heart that when I really understand the infinite scope and intensity of Christ’s love for me—a love that is eternal in past, present, and future—a love that necessitated the cross and resurrection for me—I know I can rest from worry and fear and guilt. And when I ignore that Love and disobey God in some way, I’m letting my pride harden my heart to Christ’s perfect, eternal, infinite love for me.
Another one of my favorite songs on this album is Song #9—Day of Christ
Wading through the darkened tide, waiting for this curse to die;
Day of Christ, arise on us, illuminate Your promise.
When will You rise upon the sea?
How long till we dwell with Thee in the breakers of Your love;
gaze on glory from above. From these shores we call out praise, call out praise!
We wait, we watch, we long for Your kingdom!
We wait, we watch, we long for You, Jesus…
This is a song written during our sermon series through Revelation. There the symbolism of the Sea as this age of evil and darkness and death is eternally and utterly overcome by Christ’s return. There, on “the shore,” all believers will forever dwell with Jesus, sharing in his glory, glorying in his love, without the evils of death, disease, sin, and separation (See Rev. 21:1-7). All believers long for this day—and call out for this day—in Revelation. And through this song, so do we.
I hope you’ll buy a copy for yourself (and for your family) and I hope you’re blessed by it as well. Give yourself a few listens because it IS different—truly a “new song.”
Here is a version of the last song on the album that was video recorded live.

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