The Worship Series: This Love
℗ Joshua Kyle Dunn 2017
"The Worship Series" is a project that's very near and dear to my heart. Combining my passions for music, theology, worship, and teaching, I've created a short series of articles designed to deepen our collective understanding of modern worship music. Each highlights a specific worship song, and seeks to find its theological and biblical roots. I've also included original videos for each song, to give my own "stripped down" take on the song. It's my hope that these articles help mold and shape the way we approach modern worship music, and give us firm theological ground from which to sing about our God. Enjoy!
As the Worship Series draws to a close, I've chosen to feature one of my original songs in the final installment. "This Love" is a song written to express the immense weight of salvation, especially as it contrasts our own deserving.
The first verse of this song creates contrast between ourselves and God. God is supremely worthy of praise, and we are undeserving of His mercy. As we move into the chorus, we're invited to marvel at this contrast. The infinite God of the universe, who needs nothing, chose to die for us. This is a marvelous truth, made all the more significant by our sinfulness. You saw my heart and You died for me still...
The second verse praises God for His faithfulness. We recognize that God did not save us just to leave us on our own. Rather, we acknowledge that He is intimately involved in our daily lives, through the best and the worst. The bridge of this song reinforces all the previous truths of the song, and gives glory to God for all He does. You are Holy, and You stand beside me, God almighty be GLORIFIED.
Why Sing It?
The realities of this song are important. It is far too easy for Christians to become consumed with the quality of their own faith, especially when it comes to holiness—and while we should always strive toward righteousness, we should never worship our own morality. This song re-orients our hearts to recognize God as the only source of our salvation. When we see Him this way, our own lives (both our greatest strengths and most horrifying weaknesses) are surrendered to His will.
Almost every phrase of this song is a declaration, and this is no accident. We don't sing this song to ask something of God, we sing to GIVE Him all the glory.
The Weight of Glory
I want to dissect the bridge of this song a little more carefully. The first line says I add nothing to Your Glory, but still You love me just as I am. This is a line that I wrestled with for a long time. Is this true? Do we add nothing to God's glory? On the one hand, answering "yes" makes our existence much less exciting, doesn't it? But to say "no" would imply that God lacks something, or has some need that could be met by our worship. Ultimately choosing to uphold that God is supremely sovereign, I've decided to include the lyric. It's a heavy phrase, but it helps reinforce just how gracious our God is.
A Biblical Foundation
There is a strong Biblical foundation for the theme of this song. Much of the New Testament revolves around the idea of God's free grace. But perhaps the most poignant example is found in Ephesians 2:
But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved— and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them. Ephesians 2:4-10
Though we might at times feel like we've sinned beyond God's reach, Paul reminds us that this cannot be done (See the earlier verses in Ephesians). And when we're tempted to think highly of ourselves for 'who we are' or 'what we've done', he reminds us that our actions don't contribute toward our salvation. It is God alone who saves. That's why I wrote this song: to give musical life to the staggeringly beautiful truth of the gospel.
Oh this love, NOTHING can compare. You saw my heart, and you died for me still...God almighty, be glorified.