#664 - "Jesus We Love You" by Bethel Music
Husband and wife writing duo Paul and Hannah McClure talk about the practical, grounding truth in this song of worship.

Bethel Music has introduced and developed several amazing worship leaders, including Brian and Jenn Johnson, Amanda Cook, Steffany Gretzinger, William Matthews, Matt Stinton and Hunter Thompson. We Will Not Be Shaken released everywhere January 27, featuring eleven original worship songs all beautifully produced for the Church. These songs were written from a place of reflecting on what it means to have unshakable faith in God. The project is intended to lead listeners to that place also.

Every song released by Bethel Music completely focuses me as a listener on joining in praise, worship and adoration of Jesus. All of these songs are poignant and powerful with earnest, worshipful lyrics. We Will Not Be Shaken will be one of the top worship albums of the year. It is truly a moving and prayerful worship experience.
The theme of how through God's strength we will not be shaken weaves through all of the songs, a message that all believers need to hear. This album is best described as a worship experience with an ethereal tone. These anointed worship leaders have consistently impressed me with their mature faith and sincere desires to serve Jesus. 

If you are looking for new worship songs to sing with fellow believers, this album is chock-full of congregational songs, especially the female led worship songs "Ever Be," "You Don't Miss a Thing," "Nearness," "You Are My One Thing" and "In Over My Head." I had the chance to speak with Paul and Hannah McClure in person about "Jesus, We Love You."

Please tell me the personal story behind this song.

Paul: I think practically, the song came about from me playing around with some melodies, and I loved the thought of ramping up to the big chorus of the song. A lot of times in songwriting, I think about what I would want to sing with a big group of people as a chorus. I had this thought of singing "Jesus, we love You," and I thought 6/8 time would be a cool way to ramp up to that big chorus. 

Regarding the inspiration for the song, I had the idea about a week before Hannah delivered our first son, Ezra. I was getting ready to be a new dad, and I would lay my hands on Hannah's stomach and pray these different things, and it became overwhelming to think about how much I was responsible for and what he was being born into. One night I just prayed "Lord, please help Ezra to know You and love You." I instantly felt peace when I prayed that. I started praying that every night, and still to this day I pray that prayer every day. 

For me, for my son's life and for my own life, sometimes we make it so complicated, but I can just pray "God, I want to know You and be close to You" (which ties-in with Hannah's song "You Are My One Thing"). That's the story behind the song. My life's theme since then is just to stay close to the Lord, and things will take care of themselves.

Which Bible verses connect to the message of the song?

Philippians 3:8-9 (NIV): What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish, that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ---the righteousness that comes from God and is by faith.

Ephesians 3:17-19 (NIV): And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord's holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge--that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.

1 John 3:16 (NIV): This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down His life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters.

1 John 4:19 (VOICE): We love because He has first loved us.

Psalm 86:12 (VOICE): O Lord, my God! I praise You with all that I am. I will rightly honor Your great name forever.

What is the takeaway message?

Hannah: It's interesting because the messages of this song and "You Are My One Thing" are intertwined. I think we are both pretty uncomplicated people, and we like to simplify how it just comes back to Jesus, loving Him well and having intimacy with Him. Co-writing with Paul, he had a vision for this song, and in writing the verses, I helped come up with the lyrics describing what Jesus has done for us, setting up the pre-chorus and chorus which come back to lifting up high praise. 

I think the song fits the theme of the album in that every song comes back to bringing everything we have to Jesus. He lifts our heads up, and we are looking at Jesus and offering our praise back to Him.

Paul: Hannah and I were in the same place in our lives, as she was getting ready to be a mom for the first time and I was getting ready to be a dad for the first time. I was driving by myself after Ezra was born, and I remember I was a little discouraged for some reason, and the Lord gave me the line "things that you were thought were dead are breathing in life again," in reference to dreams you may have let die. 

The verses give context to who you are because the Lord doesn't forget about you. Remember that Jesus loves us, and He is the One who lifts our heads. Sometimes we think our identity is to be solemn, but the Lord lifts us up because we are His sons and daughters. Becoming new parents, the theme "we will not be shaken" is a prophetic statement for us. Our focus and our hope and our life is in Jesus.

Old things have passed away
Your love has stayed the same
Your constant grace remains the cornerstone

Things that we thought were dead
Are breathing in life again
You cause Your Son to shine on darkest nights

For all that You've done we will pour out our love 
This will be our anthem song

Jesus we love You
Oh how we love You
You are the One our hearts adore

The hopeless have found their hope
The orphans now have a home
All that was lost has found its place in You

You lift our weary head
You make us strong instead
You took these rags and made us beautiful

Our affection, our devotion poured out on the feet of Jesus

This song reflects the yearning for Jesus that I pray for my daughters to feel in their hearts as well. Every song released by Bethel Music completely focuses me as a listener on joining in praise, worship and adoration of our beautiful King Jesus. You can take comfort in these words from Philippians 3:8: "I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things." After repeated listens, the songs get deeper into the recesses of your heart with the comforting messages of the Bible that God is love, and we love because He first loved us. You can have joy and worship loudly about the love of God in your life. When you've encountered the love of God, you won't be the same.

"Jesus, We Love You" is a great song that stirs my heart and increases my convictions to grow closer to God during my worship and devotional time. We all have our security that we sometimes trust more than God, and this song challenges me to pray more to grow closer to God. The cost of discipleship is to make Jesus the Lord of our lives. God sent Jesus so that we could have light return. As believers, that's our story, and it's our challenge to think about how we are reflecting the light of Jesus and how we are spending our time before we die, whether "this will be our anthem song." This has become my anthem song, and I love how it celebrates that Jesus takes our filthy rags and makes us beautiful.

Paul and Hannah's song is such a great way for us to respond in worship to God. Praise and worship is a heart condition, and an emotional connection to the words that we lift up to God. Our worship is an offering, but God is the One who made the way for us to be with Him. When you sing along with this great song, make sure you are in prayer that you are submitting all of yourself to God, proclaiming to Him: "You are the One our hearts adore." Let the cry of your heart be "Jesus we love You, Oh how we love You." Amen to that!

Watch the music video below.

NRT Lead Contributor Kevin Davis is a longtime fan of Christian music, an avid music collector and credits the message of Christian music for leading him to Christ. He lives in Pennsylvania with his wife and three daughters.

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