Colossians 3:16 says, “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God.”
Psalms and hymns and spiritual songs—these are the things God says are to flow outof the gratitude of our hearts. Therefore, as Paul writes, these songs should be used to put the Word of Christ deep in our hearts, teaching us wisdom and thankfulness. This Bible study is intended to be a companion piece to the RYM Worship album entitled “Promised Land.” It’s an attempt to walk through the album song by song, studying the Scripture and the meaning behind the lyrics, teaching our hearts to grow in wisdom and gratitude.
The album is a mixture of the old and the new with six original songs I have written and six other hymns and well-known worship tunes, all of which are meant to be sung congregationally. The curriculum is designed to be a 12-week small-group study focusing on one song per week as you dive into the music and discuss it with your group.
There are several goals for this study: First, we hope and pray that the word of Christ will “dwell in you richly” as you walk through this study with each other. Second, we hopethat you will find Jesus more and more beautiful as you learn these songs and themeaning behind them. Third, we simply hope that you would learn these songs so that you can have new ways of expressing worship and praise to your Creator both personally and as a group. And fourth...well...okay, we could probably just keep going on and on with these goals, so let’s just leave it at three.
At the beginning of each lesson, you’ll listen to the song for that week before learning about it (you can stream the music on Spotify or YouTube by searching for RYM Worship and the name of the song). The reason for listening is because these songs are more than just lyrics; the music and the melody induce an emotion that supports the lyrics. In other words, the music itself helps tell the story. So, if you love the music, great! If you hateit—how dare you?! Just kidding. If you hate it, that’s fine, too. In fact, our goal forthis study is to teach you to be more than just consumers of music. We want you to engage with the songs, perhaps in ways you normally don’t and, in turn, learn from this experience to engage more deeply with other songs as well.
And there’s the fourth goal.
I’m excited about this album and this study, and I hope and pray that God would move your hearts to worship Him through these songs and lessons. For now, I’ll leave you with some of my favorite lyrics from one of my favorite hymns on this album “Jesus I My Cross Have Taken”:
Think what spirit dwells within thee, Think what Father’s smiles are thine, Think that Jesus died to win thee, Child of heaven, canst thou repine?
Think that Jesus died to have you with Him. Think about all He’s done for you. Thinkabout how great His affections are for you. Think about what it took for God—the One that we have so greatly offended with our sin--to look down on us and smile. Think about that,and let your hearts be moved to worship as you study these songs.
And yes, we’ll talk about those crazy, ancient words like “repine.”
© Reformed Youth Ministries