Sunday, March 23, 2014

Brethren, We Have Met to Worship

Matthew 6:7
But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking.

With all the fluff in much of the contemporary Christian music, it's hard to get anything truly meaningful out of it. Short, repetitive choruses have replaced the deep theological messages that were once common in the songs of the church. A great hymn is a sermon in song. In this post I want to take a close look at one of the great old hymns, "Brethren, We Have Met to Worship."

Verse 1:
Brethren, we have met to worship
     And adore the Lord our God;
Will you pray with all your power,
     While we try to preach the Word?
All is vain unless the Spirit
     Of the Holy One comes down;
Brethren, pray, and holy manna
     Will be showered all around.

Colossians 1:9
For this cause we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to desire that ye might be filled with the knowledge of his will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding;

"Will you pray with all your power, while we try to preach the Word?" Are we praying for our pastor as we should? Are we asking the Lord to provide wisdom and grace for our pastor as he preaches, or are we warming our spot on our pew? Can we expect to receive a blessing from the sermon if we aren't taking an active part in it and praying not only for wisdom and grace for the preacher, but for understanding for ourselves? If we show up for church and don't get anything out of it, whose fault is it?

Verse 2:
Brethren, see poor sinners round you
     Slumb‘ring on the brink of woe;
Death is coming, hell is moving,
     Can you bear to let them go?
See our fathers and our mothers
     And our children sinking down;
Brethren, pray, and holy manna
     Will be showered all around.

Luke 10:2
Therefore said he unto them, The harvest truly is great, but the labourers are few: pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he would send forth labourers into his harvest.

Are we praying for the lost around us? How many lost people do you know? James 5:16 says, “the effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much." We need to be praying for these people, that they will wake up and see the truth before it's too late.

Verse 3:
Sisters will you join and help us?
     Moses’ sister aided him;
Will you help the trembling mourners
     Who are struggling hard with sin?
Tell them all about the Savior,
     Tell them that He will be found;
Sisters, pray, and holy manna
     Will be showered all around.

Proverbs 31:30
Favour is deceitful, and beauty is vain: but a woman that feareth the LORD, she shall be praised.

We're all familiar with the story of how Moses was found by Pharaoh's daughter, who decided to adopt him and have one of the Hebrew women nurse him for her. Miriam spoke up and recommended her (and Moses') mother for the job. While women are not permitted scripturally to be pastors, that does not give them a pass when it comes to doing the Lord's work. There are many lost and hurting people out there who need someone to care enough about them to share the gospel with them and pray for them. There are children who need a Sunday School teacher who so fervently cares for their eternal well-being that she never misses an opportunity to share the gospel with them. There are men who need a wife to stand with them and help them in their ministries. Every Christian has a vital role in the Lord's work.

Verse 4:
Is there here a trembling jailer,
     Seeking grace, and filled with tears?
Is there here a weeping Mary,
     Pouring forth a flood of tears?
Brethren, join your cries to help them;
     Sisters, let your prayers abound;
Pray, Oh pray that holy manna
     May be scattered all around.

Galatians 6:2
Bear ye one another's burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ.

We need to be aware of the struggles our fellow servants are facing, and continually lift each other up in prayer. We also need to be aware of those around us who may be on the verge of being saved and be diligent to not become a hindrance to them. We need to be available to help those who are struggling to believe, because if we don't, there are a lot of false teachers out there who will gladly lead them down the wrong path and ultimately straight into Hell.

Verse 5:
Let us love our God supremely,
     Let us love each other, too;
Let us love and pray for sinners,
     Till our God makes all things new.
Then He’ll call us home to heaven,
     At His table we’ll sit down;
Christ will gird Himself, and serve us
     With sweet manna all around.

Mark 12:30-31
30 And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment.
31 And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these.

If we will just love the Lord and each other the way we are instructed to, all other problems will work out on their own. God has unimaginable blessings in store for us when this life is over. If we truly love those around us, shouldn't we be trying to share those blessings with as many people as possible while we still have time?

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