Another incredible worship album from Bethel Live

Music Review by Shelley Wasserman

FOR THE SAKE OF THE WORLD – BETHEL LIVE (CD/DVD)

Track Listing:

  1. To Our God (Brian Johnson)
  2. Our Father (Jenn Johnson)
  3. Everything To You (Spontaneous) (Jenn Johnson)
  4. This is Amazing Grace (Jeremy Riddle)
  5. You Have Won Me (Brian Johnson)
  6. I Really Love You (Spontaneous) (Brian and Jenn Johnson)
  7. Who You Are (Jenn Johnson)
  8. Forgiven (Brian Johnson)
  9. In Your Light (Jeremy Riddle)
  10. Freedom (William Matthews)
  11. Closer (Steffany Frizzell-Gretzinger)
  12. This is What You Do (William Matthews)
  13. For The Sake of the World (Brian Johnson)

Bethel Live’s “For the Sake of The World” follows on from their amazingly intimate and beautiful album “The Loft Sessions”.  If you loved that album, like I did, you will LOVE this album. J The ebbs and flows of the songs really pull your heart strings and your hunger for Him and His precious presence is stirred.  I love that most songs are in excess of 5 minutes, as it really allows you to linger and enjoy each song’s words and the presence of God.

This album is recorded live at Bethel Church and once again features original worship songs by Brian and Jenn Johnson, Jeremy Riddle, William Matthews and Steffany Frizzell-Gretzinger.

This album has truly anointed worship and the production quality is excellent making this an incredible album!!!!!!

“To Our God” is the opening track led by Brian Johnson.  It starts off quite slowly and empty with the drums taking prominence.  Later though there is a build up lyrically and musically and it just declares who He is and what He has done for us and our response of praise to Him.  Halfway, they sing the bridge which is mesmerizing ‘…make His praise glorious, glorious…’ which is powerful!  You can hear the crowd participating and their desperation to praise Him which just adds to being drawn in.

“Our Father” by Jenn Johnson is taken from the Lord’s Prayer found in Matthew 6:9-13.  It is a slow paced song and is beautifully arranged, with Jenn’s amazing vocals really drawing you.  When the song seems to be drawing to a close, there is a powerful bridge that just takes over ‘…Yours is the kingdom, Yours is the power, Yours is the glory, forever, amen…Let Heaven come’ and you are drawn into high praise and worship toward our King.

“Everything to You” is a beautiful and powerful spontaneous song sung by Jenn. What is great about the spontaneous songs on this album is that you aren’t sitting there waiting for the next ‘real’ song to start, but you are right there with her worshipping and enjoying the presence and intimacy with Jesus.

“This Is Amazing Grace” led by Jeremy Riddle starts off quietly with the acoustic guitar and the keyboard.  As the song goes on, it just builds up more and more in perfect timing with the story of the song’s lyrics.  Lyrically this song really spells out the Gospel message of grace and love that we have in Jesus: “…This is amazing grace, this is unfailing love that You would take my place, that You would bear my cross; You would lay down Your life that I would be set free, Jesus I sing of all that You’ve done to me…’.  I also love the bridge and spontaneous part of this song “What other King leaves His throne?!…”  (On a side note, I am reviewing this while staying at a friend’s house while on holiday, and I am currently listening to this song and she just walked in and said that this is probably her favourite worship song at the moment…so it is specialJ )

“You Have Won Me” is another song sung by Brian Johnson and can also be found on “The Loft Sessions” album.  This is a slower but just as beautiful version of the song. 

“I Really Love You” is a spontaneous song by Brian and Jenn.  WOW! It really is so beautiful and passionate and moving.  When listening to it I have tears running down my face and it is probably my favourite of the album. Jenn sings of all this not being religion but writing a love song to God composed with every fibre of our beings…one of absolute love and adoration…I get goosebumps!

“Who You Are” sung by Jenn is a slow track with a hymn-like sound to it.  It sings of who He is: ‘…wonderful, mighty God…Holy, Holy Lord of all, worthy, worthy, Lord of all…’ This is definitely a song for congregations.  She once more gives her all in her passionate singing and spontaneously sings of just some of His attributes.  A beautiful song.

“Forgiven” is a thankful and powerful contribution by Brian Johnson, where he sings of the Gospel message.  The chorus is beautiful ‘…I am forgiven at the foot of the cross, I am accepted, by the power of Your love, my every stain is washed away…’

“In Your Light” is an upbeat and happy song by Jeremy Riddle.  This song will get you moving.  It sings of how He has changed our lives ‘…You’ve turned my tears of sadness into such joy and gladness, my heart can’t keep it in, I’m shouting, shouting…’.  A great song.

“Freedom” features William Matthews.  This is also an upbeat and celebratory song that speaks of what Christ dying on the cross did for us…How “where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom”.

“Closer” by Steffany is another one of those musically and vocally hauntingly beautiful songs that has the ability to immediately bring such a closeness to our Father.  Lyrically there are not many words, but they are really meaningful and this is definitely one of my favourites of this album.

 

“This is What You Do” is sung by William Matthews.  His version is a tad faster than the version found on “Loft Sessions” and the sound is rather different. 

“For the Sake of the World” by Brian Johnson closes this wonderful CD.  This song describes the purpose of this album: ‘…for the sake of the world, burn like a fire in me, light a flame in my soul, for every eye to see’. 

I really enjoyed this CD.  If you have enjoyed any of the previous CD’s from Bethel, you will love this album…If you don’t…Still take a listen as this is great mixture of private and corporate worship material.

Here are some quotes found online by some of those involved in this CD:

“It’s for the world to see us burning for Him,” says Brian Johnson, sharing the purpose for the album. “There’s a culture that’s contagious within the songs and within the worship in the live moments that people can feel on the live CDs. That’s really what we’re trying to capture. We’ve seen it throughout history – when there is a man or woman of God that burns for Him, it’s contagious.”

“I think God wants to wake his church up to the reality that He wants to visit, that He wants to interact with His people,” adds Jeremy Riddle. “When we gather together as a people in worship, it’s not meant to be this one-way street where we are directing our praise and our adoration up to heaven, but He actually wants to inhabit that activity.” 

And in that exchange, Bethel Music artists have come to expect the unexpected. Jenn Johnson says, “It’s fun to come to church and start to lead worship and you just have no idea what is going to happen- how He is going to show up…We just come expectant.”

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