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Spirit-filled and Anointed Offering
Posted April 02, 2014
By KevinDavis_NRT, Staff Reviewer

Paul Baloche is one of the most acclaimed worship artists and songwriters of our time. Best known for such modern classics as "Open the Eyes of My Heart," "Above All," "Hosanna (Praise Is Rising)," and "Your Name," Baloche's songs have been recorded by numerous artists, including Lincoln Brewster, Michael W. Smith, Matt Redman, Kari Jobe, All Sons & Daughters and Phillips, Craig & Dean.

Integrity Music presents Live, an all-new recording of songs that reflect Baloche's heart, and his passion for the Church, available in all formats April 1st. I really like how the songs are recorded live and have audience participation, which is how these songs are meant to be experienced, as corporate worship with other believers. Paul's songwriting ability is really displayed in the familiar songs on the album, "Our God Saves," "Hosanna (Praise is Rising)" and "Today is the Day."

My favorite song on Live is "The Same Love" and I can't get enough of this new live recording which offers a view of our God and our reliance on Him. Baloche sings, "The same God that spread the heavens wide, the same God that was crucified, is calling us all by name, You are calling us all by name." At the end of the song, you can pray along: "Lord, Give us ears to hear, You call our name." The song soothes my soul. We can all take comfort in the Truth expressed in this song which comes directly from God's Word in Hebrews 13:8: "Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever."

I love songs that are filled with biblical truth, and several stand-out tracks on the album have biblical references, especially "God My Rock," "You Lift Us Up," "Mighty Fortress," "My Hope," "Today is the Day" and new song "He is Risen." The album is filled with catchy and inspirational songs for the Church. Although traditionally worship songs are written in first person thanking God about what He has done for us, in Old Testament Psalmist style, Baloche has intentionally written and recorded a set of songs based on New Testament Scripture references and theology, with lyrics such as "In the Name of the Father, in the Name of the Son, in the Name of the Spirit, Lord we come" in "Our God Saves" and "Jesus, be my Savior, Jesus be my Lord, Jesus be my Savior, be my all in all" in "Jesus Be My Savior."

This entire collection is Jesus-focused worship, bowing our hearts in worship to the Name above all Names, Jesus. "Mighty Fortress" sings, "You are good, You are good, Mighty Fortress, You are good, You are good, and Your mercy endures, You are good, You are good, Mighty Fortress" which is a wonderful re-write of the Martin Luther penned hymn, "A Mighty Fortress is our God," ending the song with a nod to our "Bulwark never failing."

Likewise, "My Hope" builds on the hymn of the faith "The Solid Rock" singing to our Rock, Jesus: "I don't know where You'll take me, but I know You're always good, My Hope is built on nothing less, than Your Great Love and righteousness" and consistently cries out, "I'm holding on to You, I'm leaning in to You."

There's something about these great songs that immediately ushers in a Spirit-filled and anointed offering and response to Jesus from these vertical lyrics, such as "In Your Presence, all our fears are washed away" in "Hosanna" which proclaims my heart's cry: "You are the God who saves us, worthy of all our praises, Come have Your way among us, we welcome You here Lord, Jesus."

New song "He is Risen" is a wonderful telling of the Easter story: "He is Risen, Hallelujah, Christ is Risen, let the whole world sing, Christ is Risen, from the dead!" The Sovereignty of Jesus is proclaimed in the closing track, "Glorious, my eyes have seen the glory of the Lord, Glorious He stands above the rulers of the earth."

Closing Thoughts:
If you've enjoyed singing Paul Baloche penned songs for the church including "Open the Eyes of My Heart", "Hosanna (Praise is Rising)" and "Your Name", then you'll really enjoy Live. 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 album, make sure you are in prayer and submit all of yourself to God. For me, the standout songs are "Our God Saves," "God My Rock," "The Same Love," "My Hope," "He is Risen" and "Glorious." I'm looking forward to singing more new songs by Paul Baloche with fellow believers. If you like the recent live recordings, Your Grace Finds Me by Matt Redman and Majestic by Kari Jobe, you need to add Live to your worship music collection.

Song to Download First:
"He is Risen" (Get it on iTunes here).

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