A New Worship Song

Ever wonder what a new worship song sounds like before it gets on an album? I’ll tell you: pretty rough. Here’s a song I wrote recently for possible inclusion on Sovereign Grace Ministries upcoming album. I’m not sure if it will make the album, but you can hear it anyway. It’s just my voice and acoustic guitar, so it’s pretty rough, but you get the idea. Click on the play button to listen.

The Man Who Wouldn’t Salute

underground in Hamburg

A few months ago I had the privilege of accompanying my friend Dave Harvey to Hamburg, Germany to participate in a conference sponsored by Wolfgang Wegert, a pastor who has great influence in Europe. Wolfgang has held huge crusades over 30 years of ministry, and now has many churches and leaders who look to him as a spiritual father. He produces one of only 3 government sanctioned Christian television programs that is broadcast throughout Germany.In his office hangs a copy of a newspaper photo, entitled “The Man Who Wouldn’t Salute.”

Wolfgang’s father was a believer and worked in the shipyards in Hamburg during World War II. Every month Hitler would come to the shipyards to inspect the fleet. All the workers were required to assemble for Hitler’s visit. When the Feurher would pass by the thousands of workers would all extend their arms and give him the “sig heil” salute together.

The photo captured hundreds of ship workers in the act of saluting. But near the middle, and slightly off to the right, one man could be seen not saluting. This “Man Who Would Not Salute” was Wolfgang’s father, standing there with his arms crossed in defiance of Hitler.

As the War progressed, Hitler started making his inspections on Sundays, so that workers could assemble without having to take time away from shipbuilding. Wolfgang’s father refused to join assemblies, so that he could attend his church, despite people’s warnings that he would suffer the consequences of not showing up to salute Hitler. Nothing ever happened to him.

What a heritage Wolfgang has. In the providence of God, out of thousands who saluted Hitler, his father was an uncompromising Christian. If your parents are believers, praise God for his providence in causing you to be born to them. What a blessing to have been taught the gospel from a young age. What a blessing to have the gospel lived out before you from your childhood.

If you are a believer with children still at home, praise God for his providence in saving you so that you can influence your children for Jesus Christ. Wolfgang’s father could never have imagined that in God’s providence his son would have such widespread ministry for Christ. We can’t possibly imagine what effect our words and example will have on our children and future generations of believers.

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If You Can Read This…

“And yet, though our present views and reflections upon Providence are so short and imperfect in comparison to that in heaven, yet…it has so much excellence and sweetness in it that I may call it a little heaven…It is certainly a highway of walking with God in this world, and a soul may enjoy as sweet communion with Him in His providences as in any of His ordinances.” –John Flavel, The Mystery of Providence, 22

God’s providence is his sustaining and directing all things for his glory and our good. There are no accidents. Meditating on God’s providence in our lives is a sweet exercise that produces joy and thanksgiving.

If you can read this, in God’s Providence, you were either born in an English-speaking nation or have been able to learn English. Because we speak English, we have access to the Bible and the gospel. Many have never heard the gospel or God’s word because no translation exists in their tongue. How blessed we are to have God’s word in the English language.

English was the language of many of the Puritans and great Christian teachers. I have been blessed so much from reading works like The Precious Jewel of Christian Contentment by Jeremiah Burroughs, The Mystery of Providence by John Flavel, Sin and Temptation by John Owen, The Bruised Reed by Richard Sibbes. Not to mention works and messages by Charles Spurgeon, Thomas Watson, John Bunyan, Jonathan Edwards and others who wrote in English.

And think of all the contemporary preachers and teachers who write and speak in English who have benefitted our lives. I’ve been so blessed by men like C.J. Mahaney, John Piper, Jerry Bridges, R.C. Sproul, and many others. If God had seen fit in his providence to have me speak another language, I might not have had access to the works of these men.

And how many wonderful worship songs and hymns have been written or translated into English? I’m sure there are multitudes of incredible spiritual books and songs written in other languages, but I’ve been blessed simply by virtue of being born in the good ol’ English speaking USA. If you can read this, praise God for his providence that you were born in an English-speaking nation.

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