Posts tagged ‘Music’
We all need forgiveness. No matter what you have done, or what you haven’t; no matter how far you’ve fallen, you haven’t fallen too far for Him. I’m reminded of the incredible promises we find in Romans 8,
28 We know that all things work together for the good of those who love God: those who are called according to His purpose. 29 For those He foreknew He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, so that He would be the firstborn among many brothers. 30 And those He predestined, He also called; and those He called, He also justified; and those He justified, He also glorified.
31 What then are we to say about these things?
If God is for us, who is against us?
32 He did not even spare His own Son
but offered Him up for us all;
how will He not also with Him grant us everything?
33 Who can bring an accusation against God’s elect?
God is the One who justifies.
34 Who is the one who condemns?
Christ Jesus is the One who died,
but even more, has been raised;
He also is at the right hand of God
and intercedes for us.
35 Who can separate us from the love of Christ?
Can affliction or anguish or persecution
or famine or nakedness or danger or sword?
36 As it is written:
Because of You
we are being put to death all day long;
we are counted as sheep to be slaughtered.
37 No, in all these things we are more than victorious
through Him who loved us.
38 For I am persuaded that not even death or life,
angels or rulers,
things present or things to come, hostile powers,
39 height or depth, or any other created thing
will have the power to separate us
from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord!
Lord, who is like You among the gods?
Who is like You, glorious in holiness,
revered with praises, performing wonders?
Holy. This is a word that is largely ignored, misunderstood, and forgotten. Today, holy has become a Christian four-letter word that is often used without regard to what it really means. Think for a moment of what image comes to mind when you think of the word holy. What do you see? A bright light? This? If you’re like me, you have a hard time putting your finger on just what exactly holy looks like, but for a word with so much significance, we sure seem confused. The Bible is clear that God is holy, but are we clear on what that means? Here are a couple of examples of what God’s holiness is like:
Meanwhile, Moses was shepherding the flock of his father-in-law Jethro, the priest of Midian. He led the flock to the far side of the wilderness and came to Horeb, the mountain of God. Then the Angel of the Lord appeared to him in a flame of fire within a bush. As Moses looked, he saw that the bush was on fire but was not consumed. So Moses thought: I must go over and look at this remarkable sight. Why isn’t the bush burning up? When the Lord saw that he had gone over to look, God called out to him from the bush, “Moses, Moses!”
“Here I am,” he answered.
“Do not come closer,” He said. “Remove the sandals from your feet, for the place where you are standing is holy ground.” Then He continued, “I am the God of your father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.” Moses hid his face because he was afraid to look at God. – Exodus 3:1-6
In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord seated on a high and lofty throne, and His robe filled the temple. Seraphim were standing above Him; each one had six wings: with two he covered his face, with two he covered his feet, and with two he flew. 3 And one called to another:
“Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of Hosts;
His glory fills the whole earth.”
The foundations of the doorways shook at the sound of their voices, and the temple was filled with smoke. Then I said:
“Woe is me for I am ruined
because I am a man of unclean lips
and live among a people of unclean lips,
and because my eyes have seen the King,
the Lord of Hosts.” – Isaiah 6:1-5
Immediately I was in the Spirit, and a throne was set there in heaven. One was seated on the throne, and the One seated looked like jasper and carnelian stone. A rainbow that looked like an emerald surrounded the throne. Around that throne were 24 thrones, and on the thrones sat 24 elders dressed in white clothes, with gold crowns on their heads. Flashes of lightning and rumblings of thunder came from the throne. Seven fiery torches were burning before the throne, which are the seven spirits of God. Something like a sea of glass, similar to crystal, was also before the throne. Four living creatures covered with eyes in front and in back were in the middle and around the throne. The first living creature was like a lion; the second living creature was like a calf; the third living creature had a face like a man; and the fourth living creature was like a flying eagle. Each of the four living creatures had six wings; they were covered with eyes around and inside. Day and night they never stop, saying:
“Holy, holy, holy,
Lord God, the Almighty,
who was, who is, and who is coming.”
Whenever the living creatures give glory, honor, and thanks to the One seated on the throne, the One who lives forever and ever, the 24 elders fall down before the One seated on the throne, worship the One who lives forever and ever, cast their crowns before the throne, and say:
“Our Lord and God,
You are worthy to receive
glory and honor and power,
because You have created all things,
and because of Your will
they exist and were created.” – Revelation 4:2-11
After reading these passages, I have a hard time understanding how people can call God holy, and yet live as though He is ordinary. I think this is because we have wrongly attributed holiness to holy actions, but holiness is not about action, it is about substance. Unlike other characteristics of God (like his omnipotence, omniscience, and omnipresence) that point to what God does, God’s holiness points to who He is.
Does God’s holiness bore you? Excite you? Terrify you? Amaze you? This week I would encourage you to challenge your own view of God’s holiness. He alone is God.
I’ve included an incredibly beautiful song by David Crowder called After All (Holy) that I would strongly encourage you to stop and listen to (lyrics can be found here).
Therefore, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do everything for God’s glory.
1 Corinthians 10:31
I’ve never really been a fan of the song, Little Drummer Boy, but I think part of my problem was that I had never really paid attention to the words. This past Christmas, we had a guest singer (Justin Stone) in our Christmas production who sang it in such a way that the lyrics, for the first time to me, really made sense. All of us desire to come to Jesus and present Him something worthy, something fit for a King. But as the drummer boy realizes, all he has to give, is the one gift that God has given to him: his drum. And so, the little drummer boy plays his drum, not merely as a song or melody of worship, but as his literal offering of worship.
It’s an easy thing for others to look down upon this little boy and assume that his offering is somehow less than their own, but that would miss the whole point. Look at what Jesus said about our offerings,
1 He looked up and saw the rich dropping their offerings into the temple treasury. 2 He also saw a poor widow dropping in two tiny coins. 3 “I tell you the truth,” He said. “This poor widow has put in more than all of them. 4 For all these people have put in gifts out of their surplus, but she out of her poverty has put in all she had to live on.” – Luke 21:1-4
My heart has been heavy recently, because my friend and co-laborer Keith Cooper is resigning from his position as Worship Pastor here at FBC Bowie. In my experience, one of the hardest things about following Christ is following Him even when your heart is not truly ready to leave (and I know this is the case with Keith). God works through all of our circumstances, and God has a purpose for calling Keith in a different direction just as He had a purpose in calling him here. Keith has been a great man to work with and has been a constant source of encouragement to me. His heart for sharing the Gospel has challenged me as I’ve watched him witness to waiters/waitresses, store attendants, students of all ages, and even random strangers on the street.
One thing that Keith really taught me was how he uses his gift, playing the guitar, to glorify God. I don’t know that I’ve ever known anyone who takes their craft as seriously as Keith does, but I’ve personally witnessed him staying after work regularly to practice, and a number of times I’ve driven past his house only to see him standing outside in the street practicing. Not a single day goes by that Keith doesn’t pick up his guitar to practice. I asked him once why he spends so much time practicing, and he told me that the guitar is both his offering of worship to the Lord and his tool of evangelism to others. He’s not interested in bringing anything but the best that he has to give in the very way that he plays his guitar. His dedication to his craft has challenged me to analyze my own gifts and how I’m striving to get better at them. Thank you for everything Keith, you’ll be sorely missed!
Keith recently put this beautiful video of Amazing Grace together, and I felt it was fitting to share. Enjoy!
What is the Church? I think this is a fitting question that many of us have opinions on, but few of us have really stopped and thought about. This powerful video by Lecrae doesn’t necessarily teach us what the Church is, but it certainly points out what the Church IS NOT. This video is probably offensive to some people (especially if you’ve never really considered what the Church is) and it is possibly misleading (especially if you’ve never really experienced what the Church is). Please know that Lecrae is a committed Christian who is involved in his Church in Atlanta (to watch a video about his story click here). This song was written by a believer, but it is not sung from the perspective of a believer. If you’re like me and have trouble following everything he says, here are the lyrics. Finally, before you watch this video, read Ephesians 4:1-16.
So what do you think this video is about? Leave a comment and share your thoughts!