Church

What kind of church do you want?
A church that brings Christ honour,
obedient to his Word,
and living in a manner
that glorifies the LORD;
and those outside the kingdom
will notice and observe –
their love for One who leads them,
whom loyally they serve.

With worship that is reverent,
and filial faith in prayer,
and fellowship transparent,
sincere, and godly fear;
in trials still consistent,
upholding stumbling saints,
and sharing joys abundant,
not harbouring complaints.

We should love one another
as Jesus loves, despite
the many ways we differ:
beloved, we love aright;
esteem each other highly,
not mock, malign or bite,
displaying friendship lovely,
and lives of grace and light.

Our church should care for those who
do not yet know the LORD,
nor why he died and rose, – you
can spread the gospel Word;
attempt to help and listen
to people’s troubles, try
to beckon and convince them
to turn before they die.
Tune: 76 76 76 76 e.g. Bentley by John Hullah
(tune of ‘O Word of God incarnate’)

John 13:34,35
Never had been demonstrated
love like that of Jesus, Lord,
and those whom he’s saved, adopted
know this grace and love outpoured;
love and time they gladly give,
serve his people as they live.

Now the world sees demonstrated
love like that of Jesus, Lord,
Church attendance may be noticed,
but it’s caring love outpoured
shows them that we are in him,
– and their interest this may win.

This commandment needs attention,
loving sacrificially:
as we think of our redemption,
caring for his family:
generous, practical; and pray
that they’ll trust their Lord, obey.
Tune of ‘Master Speak, Thy servant heareth’

1 Corinthians 11:17-32
Unity, no biting schism
in his church, avoid division, –
imperfections can cause friction, –
immature with lack of wisdom:
but we all who love the Father,
must seek peace, love one another.

Gather, worship God together,
for his death give thanks, remember,
while partaking of his supper
in a right and proper manner:
this brings glory to the Saviour,
and does good to one another.

Looking round, does peace abound here?
Looking inward,
what is found there?
Faith, repentance, love to God,
and the people of the Lord?
Self-examination’s better
than chastisement hard and bitter.

Looking up to God, the Founder
of salvation’s plan of wonder;
looking back
at Calvary,
all that Christ has done for me:
this we show by wine and bread
’til he comes, – we look ahead!

from Nehemiah
We’ve worked upon the walls, –
we’ve cleared and then restored,
(resisting taunts, distracting calls,
resisting taunts, distracting calls)
to please our covenant Lord,
to please our covenant Lord.
He’s building up Zion,
beautiful, beautiful Zion,
we want to help to build Zion

the beautiful city of God.

A place to hear his Word,
commands that teach and warn,
confessing as our faults are heard,
– our waywardness we mourn.

A place to make our vow,
and gospel grace receive,
be justified in Jesus now,
his Word of peace believe.

A place to overflow
in songs and joy and praise,
anticipation here below,
of heaven with joy ablaze.
Tune: SM and refrain ‘We’re marching to Zion’ by Robert Lowry

Hebrews 13:7 Ephesians 2:22
Christ is the church’s Architect;
he builds it now, and will protect
from dangers, errors: Jesus guides, –
his Word infallible provides.
His church is not our club to choose
its rules, and add to, or confuse
his Word by our pragmatic ways,
traditions, or our latest craze.

Christ knows what’s best, – obey, he’ll bless.
In vain men promise joy, success
from what the Word of God denies.
Do only what it says is wise!
We are his witnesses of truth,
to all the residents of earth.
Truth far excels what men devise
of emptiness or hollow lies.

And those who own his Word, intent
to read, obey, believe, repent,
are members of his church; – not they
who disregard his will and stray.
His church needs officers to lead,
and care for every member’s need,
and teach the Word of Christ; – that Word
shows who can thus serve under God.

Appreciate, give thanks, support
to those that work hard (work that’s fraught
with stress and effort, toil and tears):
your love their weary labour cheers!
His church must not do things absurd,
and scorn authoritative Word.
The Head, and Owner’s always here:
let’s serve his church with godly fear!

The Lord had visited his people in giving them bread. Ruth 1:6
(
Bethlehem – ‘house of bread’; “Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.”)
Famine in the “house of bread”:
many leave, and may be fed
on food unnourishing instead;

but if they hear that God has come,
his Word is taught, and has begun
to edify, our lives transform, –
they may return, revived, reborn.

Unless by God himself we’re fed,
we nothing have to shake, and wake,
the dead.

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