I am the song leader in my church. I am not very proficient as a musician or a choral director. I pray that, someday soon, God will send someone more capable, to take this ministry from me. But for the time being it is my responsibility to select the music and lead the congregation in the singing every week.

I take that responsibility seriously. The hymns and songs that I select must be doctrinally sound, they must be appropriate for worship with a God-centered worldview, and, withing those parameters, I try to select music that will reinforce and, support the text and subject of my pastor’s messages.

Some of us have been singing the hymns for years; the words roll off our lips but the messages often don't engage our minds or penetrate our hearts. With the apostle Paul, I want the congregation to "sing with understanding."

So for the past couple years, it has been my practice to select one hymn each week, research it, and then highlight it with a short introductory commentary so that the congregation will be more informed regarding the origin, the author's testimony, or the doctrinal significance of the hymns we sing.

It is my intention here with this blog, to archive these hymn commentaries for my reference and to make them freely available to other church song leaders. For ease of reference, all the hymn commentaries in this blog will be titled IN ALL CAPITAL LETTERS. Other posts (which will be music ministry related opinion pieces) will be printed in lower case letters.

I know that some of the comments contain traces of my unique style, but please feel free to adapt them and use the content any way you can for the edification of your congregation and to the glory of God.

All I ask is that you leave a little comment should you find something helpful.

Ralph M. Petersen

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Friday, March 18, 2016


A contemporary worship hymn (1988) by Dr. Terry York

To worship means "to give reverential honor."   The word also implies bowing down in obedience with awe.  We worship God because He is worthy. 

How is He worthy?  The hymn writer, in three short verses, lists at least ten reasons why God deserves our worship:  

1.            He is Our Creator—

Psalm 100:3 “Know that the Lord, He is God; It is He who has made us, and not we ourselves; We are His people and the sheep of His pasture.”

Revelation 4:11 "You are worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honor and power; For You created all things, and by Your will, they exist and were created.”

2.            He is Our Savior—

Luke 2:11 "For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord."

2 Peter 3:18 "but grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.  To Him be the glory both now and forever.”

3.            He is Our Sustainer—

Psalm 3:5 "I lay down and slept; I awoke, for the Lord sustained me.”

4.            He is Our Almighty Father—

2 Corinthians 6:18 "I will be a Father to you, and you shall be My sons and daughters, says the LORD Almighty.”

1 John 3:1 "Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called children of God!  Therefore, the world does not know us, because it did not know Him.

5.            He is Our Master and Lord—

Psalm 145:3 "Great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised, and His greatness is unsearchable."

Romans 10:9   "If you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved."

Philippians 2:9-11   "Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name,  that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth,  and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”

6.            He is King of all kings—

1 Chronicles 16:25 "For the Lord is great and greatly to be praised;
He is also to be feared above all gods."

1 Timothy 6:15-16 "…He who is the blessed and only Potentate, the King of kings and Lord of lords, who alone has immortality, dwelling in unapproachable light, whom no man has seen or can see, to whom be honor and everlasting power. Amen.”

Revelation 19:16 "And He has on His robe and on His thigh a name written:  KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS."

7.            He is Our Redeemer—

Romans 3:23-24  "for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24 being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus."

1 John 4:10   "In this is love: not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins."

8.            He is Our Wonderful Counselor—

Isaiah 9:6b "And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace."

9.            He is Our Comforter—

2 Corinthians 1:3-4 “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort those who are in any trouble, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God."

10.            He is Our Friend—

Exodus 33:11 "So the LORD spoke to Moses face to face, as a man speaks to his friend."

John 15:15   “No longer do I call you servants, for a servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends…”

This is one of a few great worship songs.  It is a simple yet beautiful musical composition, it is easy to sing, and it is abundant with sound biblical doctrine.


Worthy of worship, worthy of praise, 
Worthy of honor and glory;
Worthy of all the glad songs we can sing,
Worthy of all the off'rings we bring...

Worthy of rev'rence, worthy of awe,
Worthy of love and devotion;
Worthy of bowing and bending of knees,
Worthy of all this and added to these...

Almighty Father, Master, and Lord,
King of all kings and Redeemer,
Wonderful Counselor, Comforter, Friend,
Savior and source of our life without end...


You are worthy, Father, Creator.
You are worthy, Savior, Sustainer,
You are worthy, worthy and wonderful,
Worthy of worship and praise.

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