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What I heard God say today

Perhaps it's because of where God has me at this point in life, but this morning's sermon—indeed, the entire worship service—spoke powerfully to me. Below are the lyrics for a couple of this morning's hymns that struck me, as well as a link to the sermon itself.

"No Strength of Nature Can Suffice"
No strength of nature can suffice
To serve the Lord aright;
And what she has, she misapplies,
For want of clearer light.

How long beneath the Law I lay
In bondage and distress!
I toiled the precept to obey,
But toiled without success.

Then to abstain from outward sin
Was more than I could do;
Now, if I feel its power within,
I feel I hate it too.

Then all my servile works were done
A righteousness to raise;
Now, freely chosen in the Son,
I freely choose His ways.

What shall I do was then the word,
That I may worthier grow?
What shall I render to the Lord?
Is my inquiry now.

To see the Law by Christ fulfilled,
And hear His pardoning voice;
Changes a slave into a child,
And duty into choice.

—William Cowper, 1779

"Light and Truth"
We limit not the truth of God
to our poor reach of mind,
by notions of our day and sect,
crude, partial, and confined.
no, let a new and better hope
within our hearts be stirred:

The Lord hath yet more light and truth
to break forth from His word.

Who dares to bind to one's own sense
the oracles of heaven,
for all the nations, tongues and climes
and all the ages given?
That universe, how much unknown!
The ocean unexplored!

The Lord hath yet more light and truth
to break forth from His word.

O Father, Son, and Spirit, send
us increase from above;
enlarge, expand all Christian souls
to comprehend Thy love,
and make us to go on, to know
with nobler powers conferred:

The Lord hath yet more light and truth
to break forth from His word.

—George Rawson, 1835

And here's this morning's sermon and text.

EDIT: Updated the sermon link—last week's sermon was great, but I didn't mean to link to it again this week.


Wow, those songs have meat on their skeletons!! So rare in my church experience.... Wow.
We use almost all old hymns or Scripture in our church, most of which are set to original music (do you ever get to listen to your CD?). God blesses different churches in different ways—a "praise and worship chorus" would likely send our congregation screaming from the building, and I might well be leading the pack.
Some folks would say that your congregation is a walking contradiction ... you give up praise choruses in leu of meaty hymns, and then you go out to a pub together to drink and be merry. :-D

Yes, Phil's CD is a favorite of mine. I thank you muchly for giving it to me....
just so you know how far you touch others...
you were in our sunday school today...even if only by discussion :)
I'm intrigued and a little scared—I'm not recommended for use with small children.
we were discussing love, christian love for our brothers...how to show...and what is harder showing or saying

many people commented on how they feel torn with giving to panhandlers and homeless on the street etc....
someone else commented about how some people think churches are used by people for handouts and they abuse the system...etc etc etc

my husband (you have to understand he is a very quiet thoughtful person and doesnt speak much in class) spoke up and said
'i have a fellow friend in blog who works at a church and says....'Jesus vistited me at work today....he needed food and hadnt bathed in a while so ....' he continued on and almost recited a post of yours....

everyone looked very lost....
i smiled when i saw the lights come on in other's heads....some never got it...
he didnt explain much but to say ...'that is how we should all be'

i was moved...even though i had read it several times from you...i think filtered through him it finally hit me...it was powerful and i realize that the reason he got it and used it as reference is that i often see thought patterns the same in both of your writings and such....so...there you have it...you were in sunday school with us...
I wish more churches sang the old hymns. Thanks for sharing. :o]
Well, we've added Liturgical Funk (the first hymn is set to original music, the second was rearranged to a Handel tune), but the meat is there.
mmmm, meat. :o]
I really like the stuff at igracemusic.com in their RUF online hymnbook. You probably are aware of so many more resources, though....

It would be nice if we were related, because then I'd have an excuse to visit your church.