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"Gratitude" by Brandon Lake


This past week I was at our denomination’s district conference in Butler. During one of the services, we sang a very popular song called “Gratitude” which is sung by Brandon Lake. I have heard this song on the radio many times, but as we were singing it, I began to think about the words as I normally do with any song that I sing. Halfway through the song, I noticed some bad theology that was being taught in this song. I will be honest with you, I am not surprised by the bad theology in this song because Brandon Lake is connected with Bethel Church in Redding, CA and Bethel Church along with their music labels promote questionable teaching all the time. I would encourage you to read the lyrics of the song “Gratitude” below asking the question, “what is wrong with what this song teaches?”


All my words fall short

I got nothing new

How could I express

All my gratitude?

I could sing these songs

As I often do

But every song must end

And You never do


So I throw up my hands

And praise You again and again

'Cause all that I have is a hallelujah

Hallelujah

And I know it's not much

But I've nothing else fit for a King

Except for a heart singing hallelujah

Hallelujah


I've got one response

I've got just one move

With my arm stretched wide

I will worship You


So I throw up my hands

And praise You again and again

'Cause all that I have is a hallelujah

Hallelujah

And I know it's not much

But I've nothing else fit for a King

Except for a heart singing hallelujah

Hallelujah


So come on, my soul

Oh, don't you get shy on me

Lift up your song

'Cause you've got a lion inside of those lungs

Get up and praise the Lord


So I throw up my hands

Praise You again and again

'Cause all that I have is a hallelujah

Hallelujah

And I know it's not much

But I've nothing else fit for a King

Except for a heart singing hallelujah

Hallelujah


While we were singing this song at district conference, I began thinking about the lyrics of this song and began asking myself, “According to the Bible, how does God want us to show Him our gratitude to Him?” “Are we to show God our gratitude just through worship and music?” “According to the Bible, what is worship and how do we really worship the Lord?”


As I was asking myself these questions, Romans 12:1-2 came to mind. In Romans 1-11, Paul explains to us this great gift of Salvation that God has provided to us through faith in Jesus. Then Paul comes to Romans 12:1 and says “Therefore, in view of God’s mercy…” Paul then explains how this gift of salvation affects how we live. Paul then defines for us what Biblical worship is all about; we are to live lives that are holy and pleasing to God. This is what God desires, His followers to walk in obedience to Him. This is what God desired throughout the Old Testament as well, which is why God is constantly telling the nation of Israel that He does not want their sacrifices, He wants them to obey His commands. You see, we are to walk in obedience to God. A life of obedience, that is what is fit for a king. His servants pouring out their lives in service for Him.


There’s another song. This song was written by Matt Redman during the 1990’s called “The Heart of Worship.” I was told that Matt Redman wrote this song after the church he was leading music at decided to stop all music for an entire year. Why would a church do that? Because people were coming to the church just for the music and the pastors wanted to help people realize what true Biblical worship is all about. Many people thought that the church would decline in attendance, but the opposite happened, the church grew even more. Matt Redman wrote the song “ The Heart of Worship” in response to this year of lack of music to help the church remember what true Biblical worship is, a life completely surrendered to God. Here are the lyrics of “The Heart of Worship”:


When the music fades

All is stripped away

And I simply come

Longin' just to bring

Something that's of worth

That will bless Your heart


I'll bring You more than a song

For a song in itself

Is not what You have required

You search much deeper within

Through the ways things appear

You're looking into my heart


I'm comin' back to the heart of worship

And it's all about You

It's all about You, Jesus

I'm sorry, Lord, for the thing I've made it

When it's all about You

It's all about You, Jesus


King of endless worth

No one could express

How much You deserve?

Though I'm weak and poor

All I have is Yours

Every single breath


I'll bring You more than a song

For a song in itself

Is not what You have required

You search much deeper within

Through the way things appear

You're looking into my heart


I'm comin' back to the heart of worship

And it's all about You

It's all about You, Jesus

I'm sorry, Lord, for the thing I've made it

When it's all about You

It's all about You, Jesus


Yes, we need to praise the Lord, but that is not what God really desires. He desires our hearts and our entire lives completely surrendered to Him. What are you bringing to Him as an offering of gratitude? I hope it is as Paul says in Romans 12:1, that you are bringing your entire life as a living sacrifice, by walking in obedience to Him every moment of everyday, because this is what true Biblical worship is all about.


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