Magnificat – A Study of Praise to Our Great God

–This hymn study of How Great Thou Art is an excerpt from my latest Bible Study Magnificat Gracefully Truthful published on March 12, 2021

Enjoy my Magnificat in Video Form

What is Magnificat?

Luke 1:46-56

Mary's Magnificat
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Magnificat is a general term meaning canticle or song, especially in praise. Specific to this passage, Mary’s Magnificat is given this title because it is her “song of praise to God.” The poem praises Him for His blessing to Mary and His faithfulness to Israel.

The Holman Bible Dictionary tells us that Magnificat (mag-nif’-i-kat) means “to magnify”, which gives us greater insight into why church historians have affixed the label “Magnificat” to this passage. The Greek word is used in the first line of Mary’s song, “My soul magnifies the Lord”.

This hymn is much like the song of another young woman in Israel’s history, Hannah, (1 Samuel 2) where we find her praising God for blessing her with a child. She continues pouring out her song of worship to God for His faithfulness to the people, Israel. Hannah’s poem of praise also begins, “My heart exults in the Lord…” [Study Light]

Both women begin by magnifying the Lord and then listing the wonderful deeds of our God; not just the blessings on themselves but for all blessings God has given since the beginning of time.

King David also does the same thing in the Psalms. One of my favorites is Psalm 136. The famous Magnificat was Mary’s response to her amazing situation

Carl Boburg’s Magnificat

As we study the great hymn of faith, How Great Thou Art, we learn this poem-turned-hymn was Mr. Carl Boburg’s “Magnificat”. Likewise, the psalmist implores us to “magnify the Lord with me. Let us exult His name together.” (Psalm 34:3, KJV). The Scriptures implore us many times to magnify the Lord.

I love it when we begin our corporate worship time together at church by reciting a psalm or singing hymns that praise God for Who He is. These calls to worship cause us to come together with singing and adoration for our great God.

Indeed, our worship services could be called a Magnificat, of sorts, where we come exulting the Lord together. However, this type of praise isn’t intended just as a Sunday kind of thing. I hope I find myself praising God aloud whenever He blesses my life with good things; indeed, even bursting into song over how much He does for this undeserving woman.

Yet, even if He never did another thing for me, I want to still choose to magnify His Name for what He did at Calvary by taking my shame and punishment for my sin upon Himself for me!

Mr. Carl Boberg, the writer of the hymn How Great Thou Art, had a back story to his profound Magnificat. According to the website, All About God, Boberg was a Swedish pastor, editor, and member of the Swedish parliament.

“Mr. Boberg was enjoying a nice walk when a thunderstorm suddenly appeared out of nowhere. After the storm was over, Mr. Boberg looked out over the clear bay and heard a church bell in the distance. And the words to How Great Thou Art began to form in his heart –

‘O Lord, my God, when I, in awesome wonder. . .’”

www.allaboutgod.com

Think of the peace he must have felt after that fierce storm to pen these beautiful words that still show us the glory of God today.

Our Own Magnificat

We, too, have a backstory to our own “Magnificat”. Let’s take the challenge and write our own Magnificat. Magnify the Lord with me! Place your praises in the comments section below. Try using Psalm 136 as a template for your song of praise.

Oh, magnify the Lord with me, for He is good; His faithful love endures forever.

(Psalm 34:3, American Standard Version)

NOTE: My study is the Digging Deeper portion following the journey study


Mandy’s Magnificat

Oh, magnify the Lord with me, for He is good;

His faithful love endures forever.

He paid the punishment for my sin before I was born.

His Faithful Love endures forever.

He placed me in a Christian home.

His Faithful Love endures forever.

He called me to Himself and saved me!

His Faithful Love endures forever.

He opened doors for a good education.

His Faithful Love Endures forever.

HE gave me a wonderful Christian husband.

His Faithful Love endures forever.

He led and directed our 25 years of ministry

His Faithful Love endures forever.

He upheld us when friends betrayed us.

His faithful love endures forever.

He provided every need through the loss of job and home

His Faithful Love endures forever

He provided a great medical team when our health faltered

His Faithful Love Endures forever.

He is coming someday soon to call us home to Heaven.

His Faithful Love endures forever.


How Great Our Joy

Advent Hymn #3 ~ How Great Our Joy

Advent Hymn #3 – How Great Our Joy! Traditional German Carol

v. 1-2 by Theodore Baker

Theme: JOY

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I am overwhelmed with joy in the Lord my God!

    For he has dressed me with the clothing of salvation

    and draped me in a robe of righteousness.

I am like a bridegroom dressed for his wedding

    or a bride with her jewels.

Isaiah 61:10

Perhaps you are not feeling it this Christmas.

Maybe you are more like Cindy Lou Who, saying, “Where are you Christmas?” Somehow the JOY has been lost. For many, it has been a dismal year. I hear of tragedy every week. Every day, my Open Doors app goes off with yet another person being persecuted. So how can there be joy?

Let’s take a closer look at this advent hymn, How Great our Joy!

Hymn of the Week How Great Our Joy

Maybe there is a clue here. This hymn speaks of the shepherds’ response to the Good News. Perhaps they can teach us about finding joy when all seems hopeless.

Verse 1

While by the sheep we watched at night,

Glad tidings brought an angel bright.

It was a quiet night. The shepherd-priests we learned of last week were settling down for another night. It had been over 400 years since they had even a word from God and the prophets. When would the Messiah come? Surely they had feelings of despair. “It’s never going to happen. We are stuck under the control of the Romans. At least they were allowing us to worship God and offer sacrifices in the temple. But When, When would the Messiah appear?

Emotions can turn on a dime. Imagine at one moment you are feeling hopeless; thinking it’s never going to happen. Nothing will ever change. I am stuck here in this trial forever. Then in a moment, everything changes. Imagine the excitement that came over the shepherds when they saw the angels and heard the Good News.

“Glory to God in highest heaven,

    and peace on earth to those with whom God is pleased.”

Luke 2:14

The shepherd-priests didn’t stay stuck in their despair. They were filled with joy. They immediately said, “Let’s go see this thing…” After they saw Jesus, they were  “glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen.

How Great was their Joy!

Verse 2

There shall be born, so he did say,

In Bethlehem a Child today.

A Child in Bethlehem! These were keywords from the prophets. They were words of HOPE.

But you, O Bethlehem Ephrathah,

    are only a small village among all the people of Judah.

Yet a ruler of Israel,

    whose origins are in the distant past,

    will come from you on my behalf.

Micah 5:2

They remembered the prophecy of Micah that a great ruler would come out of Bethlehem. Was it finally true? Had a child finally been born who would save them from tyranny? Hope was beginning to burst forth from the hearts. They just had to believe that it was so. After all, angels had come to tell them the news.

And again, Jeremiah had spoken of a Righteous King…

I will raise up to David a righteous Branch, [that is, someone in David’s line] a King who will reign wisely.

Jeremiah 23:5

This is another indication that salvation would come from the lowly town of Bethlehem; the City of David.

There was indeed HOPE RISING!

Verse 3

There shall the Child lie in a stall,

This Child who shall redeem us all.

A Promised Redeemer

Ah! Redemption! Whether you realize it or not, the thing your heart desires most is redemption. Just as God’s heart breaks because of the separation sin has caused, so our own hearts ache for restoration. Oh! How we need to be restored to God. From the beginning, at the Fall of Man in Genesis 3, God had promised a Redeemer. One who would restore man from the fall.

Then the Lord God said to the serpent,

“Because you have done this, you are cursed
    more than all animals, domestic and wild.
You will crawl on your belly,
    groveling in the dust as long as you live.
15 And I will cause hostility between you and the woman,
    and between your offspring and her offspring.
He will strike your head,
    and you will strike his heel.”

Genesis 3:14-15

Revelation 12:9 confirms that God was speaking not just to the serpent but to Satan, himself.

This great dragon—the ancient serpent called the devil, or Satan, the one deceiving the whole world—was thrown down to the earth with all his angels.

And believers grasp on to the Apostle Paul’s statement to the Romans

“The God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet. May the grace of our Lord Jesus be with you.” (Romans 16:20)

God promised Moses that He would redeem Israel for Himself. (Exodus 6:6-7 ) There was the short-term promise of redemption from Egypt. This promise was also the promise through Christ for all who would believe. (John 1:12, Galatians 4:4-5 ) And finally, the complete fulfillment will come when He returns to restore the world and set up His Kingdom. (Revelation 21 )

Now that GIFT will be JOY indeed!

Verse 4

This gift of God we’ll cherish well,
that ever joy our hearts shall fill.

This is the joy that doesn’t depend on happiness or circumstance. Things may be hard right now. But we can still have JOY in our hearts. Great Joy! We can be “overwhelmed with joy” as Isaiah was because we know that we know that God has done a great work in us.

I conclude with this from Romans 15:13

“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope”

Mandy

P.S. I came across this poem by Annie Johnson Flint recently. Had to share it.

For All the Morrows

Has the year brought sadness?
Joy is yet in store.
Has it given gladness?
Next year giveth more.
Let your Father measure
All your pain and care,
Let Him weigh the burden
That your heart must bear,
Sending light or shadow
As He deemeth best,
For in His sure wisdom
You can safely rest.
Peace for all the morrows,
Strength for all the days,
These shall be your portion
Through the New Year’s ways.

Annie Flint Johnson

RESOURCES

The Four-fold Promise of Redemption – The nationhood of Israel is tied together with connection to G‑d. – Contemporary Kabbalists (chabad.org)

How Great Our Joy | Hymnary.org

The First Promise of a Redeemer (Genesis 3:15) | Sharon Bible Presbyterian Church (wordpress.com)

22 Bible Verses about Joy – Uplifting Scripture Quotes (biblestudytools.com)

The Age of Innocence and Promise of a Redeemer – SLJ Institute

For All the Morrows by Annie Johnson Flint (homemakerscorner.com)

O Little Town

Oh, Little Town of Bethlehem

Advent Hymn #2 – O Little Town of Bethlehem by Philip Brooks, 1865

Theme: PEACE

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This week we consider the theme of peace. Christ has brought us perfect peace; something the jews for ages have desired. His blood and sacrifice bring us the true peace that we hope for. The peace that renders our soul free of guilt and sin. However, we often think of peace as quietness, like the little town where Jesus was born.

O Little Town of Bethlehem was written by Phillips Brooks around 1865. He wrote it for a children’s program at church, but it has become a favorite among adults as well. Phillips had visited Israel a few years earlier and took a tour that included riding a horse from Jerusalem to Bethlehem and arriving at dusk. He was so impressed by the little town. So quaint and peaceful. When he sat to write a song for the Christmas service, he was reminded of his time in Israel and these beautiful words came forth.

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COme Thou Long-Expected

Come, Thou Long-Expected Jesus

Advent Hymn Studies #1 – Come, Thou Long-Expected Jesus

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I love to study the lyrics of hymns. They often bless my heart probably because so often they are words straight from scripture. I haven’t done a hymn study in a while so I’m going to try to study some Christmas hymns during December. Won’t you come along with me?

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What if Blessings Come Through Raindrops?

*Originally Published on GGmandy dot com July 1, 2017

What image first comes to your mind at the word “blessings”?

Do you think of these blessings…

family

financial gain

health?

But let me ask you, where does that leave the one with no husband or children, no bank account or bad health?

This thought became real to me …

when I lost my health, and then my husband lost his job, and subsequently our home.

Are we no longer blessed?

Or is this when the true blessings became a realization?

Early on in my journey with chronic pain, my son introduced me to Laura Story and her song, Blessings. She proposed through song that the blessings were not tangible things but divine things. I venture to believe that she is right.

In our pain and loss, we actually found the TRUE BLESSINGS of God.

Hymn of the week - Blessings
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We found His PEACE that passes all understanding,

His PROVIDENCE for our every need,

we found His GRACE to walk through the valley, and so much more.

The greatest thing…

… I found was a deep, DEEP RELATIONSHIP with the God of the Ages.

I found His LOVE for me so sweet.

His tender FORGIVENESS for leaving Him behind in the dust as I “ministered to others in His Name”. You see, I really wasn’t doing it all in His Name.

I wasn’t leaning on Him FOR GUIDANCE and DIRECTION. I had taken hold of the reigns and was running the show myself.

But, oh the JOY, I found in being still before Him.

(In my case, literally still. I couldn’t move without excruciating pain.)

I found HIS WORD so fulfilling.

What an amazing God we have.

And so many do not even see it.

Do YOU see it?

Count Those Blessings!

So blessed!

Tybee Isalnd, GA

excerpt

‘Cause what if Your blessings come through raindrops
What if Your healing comes through tears
What if a thousand sleepless nights are what it takes to know You’re near
What if trials of this life are Your mercies in disguise

blessings by Laura Story

believed

I Know Whom I Have Believed

As I began thinking on verses about confidence in the Lord. I was reminded of a dear hymn that speaks of my confidence in my salvation through Jesus Christ. I wanted to share a bit about this hymn today.

The Story Behind the Hymn

Here, in Major Whittle’s own words, is what took place that night: “I dropped on my knees and held the boy’s hand in mine. In a few broken words I confessed my sins and asked Christ to forgive me. I believed right there that He did forgive me. I then prayed earnestly for the boy. He became quiet and pressed my hand as I prayed and pleaded God’s promises. When I arose from my knees, he was dead. A look of peace had come over his troubled face, and I cannot but believe that God who used him to bring me to the Savior, used me to lead him to trust Christ’s precious blood and find pardon. I hope to meet him in heaven.”

Years later, James McGranahan put music to many of Major Whittle’s hymns, including I Know Whom I Have Believed. The chorus of the hymn is based on 2 Timothy 1:12…

2 timothy 1 believed

Thoughts on 2 Timothy.. I Believe!

Paul wrote this letter from his second Roman imprisonment, and soon after he wrote this letter he was condemned and executed in Rome at the command of Nero. Paul sensed this; therefore 2 Timothy is not only the last letter we have from Paul, there is also a note of urgency and passion we might expect from a man who knew he would soon be executed.

David Guzik, Enduring Word

Last Words of Confidence

Last words are always important. Knowing that this was Paul’s last letter encourages even me that he was first concerned about encouraging his mentorees. He talk about how he was certain of the faith of not only Timothy but also Timothy’s mother and grandmother. It’s something to remember that we too should encourage the faith of those around us and those we are mentoring.

Have No Fear

Then he reminds Timothy to not let fear take hold in his life because God has given us so much more to remain confident.

For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.

2 TImothy 1:7

When we lose a loved one, at times, we wonder how can we go on? How can we even continue without the prayers of the Saints to whom we look to for guidance? I’ll tell you that I believe, the prayers of the saints continue on much longer beyond their death. I have seen it. My grandmother was a prayer warrior. Her prayers still go up and down between heaven and earth. A former pastor shared that he wondered who would pray for him after the death of his mother. Low and behold, his sister stepped in as an amazing prayer warrior. So don’t lose faith. The prayers of the faithful will continue to surround the throne of Grace.

Don’t Be Ashamed

Paul encouraged Timothy also to be strong in His faith and in sharing God’s Word with unbelievers. Oh, in these last days we must remain bold to win as many as possible before His Return. Recall that it is only through the blood of the Lamb that we even have faith and through the Holy Spirit that men are called to righteousness.

We must remain unashamed. Don’t water down the gospel to make it easier. There isn’t time. We must shed the light in the darkness that only God can make things right and remove sin in our lives.

So Sing it With Me

I Know Whom I Have Believed

But “I know Whom I have believed,

And am persuaded that He is able

To keep that which I’ve committed

Unto Him against that day.”

Sources

Would you mind sharing?

I Know Whom I HAve Believed
his eye is on the sparrow

I Sing Because I’m Happy and Free

This post was prompted by the gang at Five Minute Friday Each Friday we take five minutes to write on the same prompt. It’s a lot of fun to see what others are inspired to write from the same prompt. Give it a try or click and do a bit of fun reading.

So we’re not giving up. How could we! Even though on the outside it often looks like things are falling apart on us, on the inside, where God is making new life, not a day goes by without his unfolding grace. These hard times are small potatoes compared to the coming good times, the lavish celebration prepared for us. There’s far more here than meets the eye. The things we see now are here today, gone tomorrow. But the things we can’t see now will last forever.

2 Corinthians 4:16-18

Music is my life.

There was a day when you would always find me singing. But lately, I find it hard to sing. It’s like there is a lump in my throat. And I feel kind of sad. So what’s a girl to do?

Always a Reason to Sing

2 Corinthians reminds me that our Christian life is not about being happy but about serving Christ.  We are indeed jars of clay, cracked and broken but shining out the love of Christ. It’s those cracks and breaks that show the world we are His and that life can be fulfilling even in the valleys.

We are not promised a good life. We are not promised a bed of roses. Though if we were, I remind you the roses have thorns. 

These scriptures remind us that even when we feel we cannot sing, we should look back at what God as done for us. If nothing else, He has saved us from our sin and promised us life eternal! This should be enough to give us His joy. 

I’m reminded of the beautiful hymn, His Eye is on the Sparrow.

Why should I feel discouraged,
Why should the shadows come,
Why should my heart be lonely,
And long for heaven, heaven and home,
When, when Jesus is my portion,
My constant Friend is He;
Oh, oh-oh, his eye is on the sparrow,
And I know He watched, watched it over me.

I sing because I’m happy (happy)
I sing because I’m free (free free free)
For His eye, his eye is on the sparrow,
And I know, I know He watches over me.

He is my Constant Friend

God is watching over us. He cares about every detail of our lives. God sees us as His treasured possession! We can sing in this reality.

So don’t give up. Keep Singing.

Keep your eyes looking up. Be faithful to Him.

Allow His light to shine through you so that when you arrive at heaven’s gates, you will be bringing along a whole host of believers that found Christ because of your perseverance.

I will sing to the LORD as long as I live. I will praise my God to my last breath!

Psalm 104:33

Sing to the Lord!

Mandy Signature
Savannah, GA

[ctt template=”4″ link=”513Nr” via=”yes” nofollow=”yes”]even when we feel we cannot sing, we should look back at what God as done for us. [/ctt]

marching to zion

It’s Time to Send out the Choir

How long, O Lord? Will you forget me forever?

    How long will you hide your face from me?

.

But I have trusted in your steadfast love;

    my heart shall rejoice in your salvation.

 I will sing to the Lord,

    because he has dealt bountifully with me.

Psalm 13

How Long, oh Lord?

I woke this morning, crying out to God, “How long, oh Lord? How long must our enemies win over us?

Then God replied, remember how many times King David said these very words. In his Psalms, he cried out to God but ended up praising him.

Several years ago, I wrote a series of devotions on perseverance. Read one here and sign up to receive them once a week for 30 weeks.

What did King Hezekiah do?

Then I remembered how King Hezekiah faced a great army. He wondered how he could defeat them.

But God said “I’ve got this. You won’t even have to fight.”

So Hezekiah, sent the choir out in front of the army singing praise to God. The enemy turned on themselves killing each other.

FMF: Time

MY CHALLENGE FOR US

Let’s fill social media with praises to God. Fill it with lyrics or YouTube videos of praise to God. Do it all day long, all week long, and see what God will do. I’ll be doing it. If you want you can go to my social media and share from there.

#projectProclaimHisPraises

Here’s one to start with…

This post was prompted by the gang at Five Minute Friday Each Friday we take five minutes to write on the same prompt. It’s a lot of fun to see what others are inspired to write from the same prompt. Give it a try or click and do a bit of fun reading.

2020 is Over: How Clear is Your Vision?

Be Thou My Vision

Psalm 119:18; 2 Kings 6:8-23

Elisha was a prophet of Israel, but he also was kind of a spy letting the King know if the Syrian army was up to anything. The Syrians were aware of this so they figured if they capture Elisha it would solve their problem.

One night the Syrian army surrounded Elisha and his young, new servant. The servant was very concerned about the situation, asking, “What should we do?” But Elisha had a confident belief about him. He knew that God would protect them. He believed what King David had said that God’s angels would surround and protect them.

Elisha knew that this confidence comes from experience and knowing how God takes care of His own, so he prayed that God would open the eyes of his servant to see the Lord’s Angel armies all around them. And God did it! The servant looked around and there were horses and fiery chariots all around ready to protect him and Elisha.

Can you imagine that? …

Seeing all those fiery horses and chariots on all sides? How exciting!

Do you see the fiery chariots in the image above?

Trouble on Every Side

2020 has been one of those years with so much trouble on every side. I pray that God has opened your eyes to see His armies standing ready to defeat your enemies. I pray that God will give you the confidence of Paul when he wrote. “We are hard-pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair” 2 Corinthians 4:8-12

Let’s walked with confidence into the new year that God has it all under control.

Be Thou My Vision

Be Thou my vision, oh Lord of my heart
Nought be all else to me, save that Thy art
Thou my best thought in the day and the night
Waking or sleeping, Thou presence my light

Be Thou my wisdom, be Thou my true word
I ever with Thee and Thou with me Lord
Thou my great Father and I Thy true son
Thou in me dwelling and I with Thee one

Be Thou my breastplate, my sword for the fight
Be Thou my armor and be Thou my might
Thou my soul shelter, and Thy my high tower
Raise Thou me heavenwards, oh power of my power

Riches I need not, nor man's empty praise
Thou mine inheritance through all of my days
Thou and Thou only though first in my heart
High king of heaven my treasure Thou art

Oh high king of heaven, when battle is done
Grant heaven's joy to me, bright heaven sun
Christ of my own heart, whatever befall
Still be my vision, though ruler of all

SOURCE: Be Thou My Vision Lyrics

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One Day ~ Hymn Study

What a Difference a Day Makes

one Day Hymn Study
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This hymn, One Day was introduced to me in my teen years. We had moved from Ohio to Wisconsin and being in the middle school Sunday School class, I was required to take part in the Easter program. This hymn was the theme of the program.

At the time, I didn’t particularly like the song mainly because it was a bit slow for my tastes. But over the years the song stuck in my heart and mind because it tells the story of Jesus from beginning to end; from the virgin birth to the cross and resurrection and on to the day still coming… His return… Oh, Glorious Day!

Hymn Writer ~ J. Wilbur Chapman

Full Name: John Wilber Chapman, 1859-1918
Birth Year: 1859
Death Year: 1918

A Presbyterian evangelist. He served in several local churches before becoming an evangelist, preaching with the infamous D.L. Moody, as well as preaching many evangelistic events on his own. He had many preachers who were trained under him including Rev. Billy Sunday.

He wrote this hymn as well as two others

“Jesus, What a Friend for Sinners”  (another favorite of mine)
“‘Tis Jesus”


Hymn Studies at Gracefully Truthful

The writers at Gracefully Truthful are doing a series of hymn studies this month. Click on over to read my contribution to the study on One Day.

gracefully truthful
Worship VII Day 13 One Day – Gracefully Truthful

Hymn of the Week ~ One Day

Source: Sing to the Lord, #210

1 One day when Heaven was filled with His praises,
One day when sin was As black as could be,
Jesus came forth To be born of a virgin,
Dwelt among men, my example is He!

Chorus:
Living, He loved me; dying, He saved me;
Buried, He carried My sins far away;
Rising He justified freely forever:
One day He’s coming– O glorious day!

2 One day they led Him Up Calvary’s mountain,
One day they nailed Him To die on the tree;
Suffering anguish, despised and rejected:
Bearing our sins, my Redeemer is He![Chorus]

3 One day they left Him Alone in the garden,
One day He rested, from suffering free;
Angels came down o’er His tomb to keep vigil;
Hope of the hopeless, my Savior is He![Chorus]

4 One day the grave Could conceal Him no longer,
One day the stone rolled away from the door;
Then He arose, over death He had conquered;
Now is ascended, my Lord evermore![Chorus]

5 One day the trumpet Will sound for His coming,
One day the skies With His glory will shine;
Wonderful day, my beloved One bringing;
Glorious Savior, this Jesus is mine![Chorus]

I was thrilled when I heard that Casting Crowns had placed the lyrics into a new contemporary song, Oh! Glorious Day. What a beautiful rendition.

Source: Hymnary.org

The Updated Version by Casting Crowns

 

Casting Crowns Story Behind the Song

 

Mandy Farmer

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Coming Next Week

The hope of God with us