Draw Me Nearer

Draw Me NearerThe song “Draw Me Nearer” has been on my mind a lot as the youth choir has been preparing for choir tour. I think the truths in this song are VITAL for the choir and team as they leave on tour and also for our congregation as we come to worship each week.

The second stanza of the song is one of the most challenging of the song.

Consecrate me now to Thy service Lord by the power of grace divine.
Let my soul look up with a steady hope and my will be lost in Thine.
CHORUS:
Draw me nearer, to the cross where Thou hast died.
Draw me nearer, to Thy precious bleeding side.
Draw me nearer.

Check out the KEY WORDS.

  1. Consecrate – to make or declare something sacred or set apart for service.
  2. Service – an act of helpful activity; contribution to the welfare of others.
  3. Grace – unmerited/unearned favor of God

There are a number of passages in the Bible which speak of things, or people being consecrated or set apart. In Leviticus 8:30 Moses “CONSECRATED” Aaron & his sons (even their clothing) for service.

Take time to read Leviticus 9:1-22 to get the full picture. Without getting too bogged down in a lot of detail note the different offerings in this passage; their order, process and symbolism.

  • Aaron (the new High Priest just set apart by Moses in chapter 8) FIRST offers a SIN OFFERING and a BURNT OFFERING for himself. (verses 8-14)
  • NEXT he offered a SIN, BURNT and GRAIN offering for the people. (verses 15-18)

These offerings symbolized some very important things.

ATONEMENT – God’s provision for the return to a state of love and harmony between Himself and human beings which was broken by sin.

Both the BURNT OFFERING and the SIN OFFERING were a means of symbolizing this atonement that only God could provide. In the New Testament JESUS became the FINAL OFFERING which restored our fellowship with God.

DEDICATION – Self-sacrificing devotion; surrender.

The worshiper was to give over all his/her sin and recognize that their only hope for renewed fellowship with God was through God’s giving of it.

SUSTENANCE – Recognition

The “grain offering” was a voluntary act of worship to remind the people of God’s goodness and provision.

I think the sequence in this process is most interesting and vitally important for us today.

  1. Aaron and his sons (similar to today’s worship leadership team. i.e.  pastors, musicians leading in worship, etc.) were set apart and they PREPARED THEMSELVES to lead in worship.  First, Aaron offered a SIN OFFERING and BURNT OFFERING for himself (verses 8-14). He and his leadership team (his sons) had to be ready to lead (clean before a Holy God).
  2. Secondly, he offered a SIN, BURNT and GRAIN OFFERING for the people (verses 15-18). These symbolized ATONEMENT, DEDICATION, SUSTENANCE and COMMUNION with God.

Application for Us

  1. The leadership team of the church (pastoral staff, Sunday School leaders, deacons, etc.) need to first examine our hearts; confess our sins and dedicate ourselves to God’s service each week, then we will be able to lead like God wants us to.
  2. Individual members must do the same preparation. Examine your hearts; confess your sins and dedicate yourselves to God’s service.

What Happens When We do This? Leviticus 9:23-24 reveals the answer.

GOD showed up after Aaron (symbolic of the leadership) and the people (choir/congregation) made preparation. God accepted their offering and demonstrated His power.

Choir Tour is more than just performing for various groups; playing together and having a good time. It’s about getting close to God and allowing Him to “show up” and demonstrate what He wants to do all the time. However, for God to “show up” in our services WE MUST be prepared.

Take time now to prepare your heart for worship! It doesn’t happen just because you show up. It only happens when you intentionally make a decision to allow God’s spirit to change you as you dedicate yourself to Him. then, watch out. He will amaze us all.

 

Youth Tour

PLEASE PRAY for our youth choir and leaders as we leave Friday, June 19 on tour and return June 25. We will be ministering in a variety of ways and areas. Our ministry itinerary is listed here. Take time each day to pray for our safety, health, spiritual fervor and effectiveness. Thank you for your prayers and to so many who contributed items we were collecting for Teen Challenge and Wayside Christian Mission!

 

June 19, 6:30 p.m. Teen Challenge, Chattanooga, TN
(Teen Challenge is a faith based addiction recovery facility)

June 20, 6 p.m. Teen Challenge, Manchester, KY

June 21, 8:30 & 11 a.m. FBC, Owensboro, KY

June 22 2 p.m. – BELMONT VILLIAGE Retirement Center (Louisville, KY)
7 p.m. – Wayside Christian Mission (Homeless shelter)

June 23 Ministering at WAYSIDE CHRISTIAN MISSION

June 24 Fun Day –
7 p.m. – TREYTON OAK TOWERS Retirement Center

June 25 Travel Home

Sunday, June 28 HOMECOMING CONCERT at EHBC – 6 p.m. – Please join us!

Keith Pate About Keith Pate

Keith is originally from Castleberry, AL in Conecuh County. He joined Eastern Hills as Minister of Music in January of 2005 from Anastasia Baptist Church in St. Augustine, FL.