In the last days before his ascension, Jesus had a remarkable conversation with Peter (John 21:15-17). Jesus asked, Peter, no matter what happens, no matter if the Romans crucify me again or if they crucify you or if you never see me again on earth, will you still love me? Do you love me as much as I love you?” [paraphrased].

 

Peter would, no doubt, like to respond affirmatively. However, how he so easily denied Christ before his crucifixion was probably still fresh in his mind. Therefore, Peter responds by saying he loves Jesus, just not as much as Jesus was asking. Jesus next response is incredible. I know. But Peter, I’m still going to use you, even when you mess up.” [paraphrased]

 God never uses an excuse

to stop blessing us.

 

The reason for this can be found in Isaiah 53:5 But he was pierced for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his wounds we are healed. Therefore, because of his sacrifice, he is free to use broken people like us who would otherwise be unusable.

 

In 2 Samuel 7:18, King David responds to God’s grace by humbly saying, Who am I, O LORD GOD, and what is my house, that you have brought me thus far?God never uses an excuse to stop blessing us. Therefore, we have no excuse to stop worshiping him.

 

This song is about looking back at our lives and seeing how much God has blessed us even when we may not have realized it at the time.

 

I wish I could say that I love you

As much as you love me

Lord you know when I will fail you

Yet you still choose me

 

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One of the basic principles of the Christian faith is that we as humans are separated from God. However, we cannot blame God for this separation. As Isaiah 59:1-2 explains, Behold, the LORD’s hand is not shortened, that it cannot save, or his ear dull, that it cannot hear; but your iniquities have made a separation between you and your God, and your sins have hidden his face from you so that he does not hear.

 

 

 The good news is that God wanted

to erase the separation between

humanity and himself.

 

 

Isaiah 64:5-7 echoes the same principle.

You [God] meet him who joyfully works righteousness, those who remember you in your ways. Behold, you were angry, and we sinned; in our sins we have been a long time, and shall we be saved? We have all become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous deeds are like a polluted garment. We all fade like a leaf, and our iniquities, like the wind, take us away. There is no one who calls upon your name, who rouses himself to take hold of you; for you have hidden your face from us and have made us melt in the hand of our iniquities.

 

 

The good news is that God wanted to erase the separation between humanity and himself, and also knew that he was the only one who could do it. Isaiah 59:16 shows, He saw that there was no man, and wondered that there was no one to intercede; then his own arm brought him salvation, and his righteousness upheld him.

 

The Spirit of the Lord came down

And taught us what is right from wrong

He showed us the Chosen One

The Messiah, God’s only Son

 

 

Therefore, Jesus, the Messiah, offered to take our unrighteousness when he died on the cross, and give us his righteousness when he rose from the grave. We must only believe it.

 

 

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Behind the song: El Gibbor (The Mighty God)

by admin on April 23, 2014

Jesus told us If the world hates you, know that it has hated me before it hated you” – John 15:18. This implies that if we are His, we will be hated.

The real enemy of those who follow

after Christ is not persons who hold

other convictions but Satan, his demons,

and our own sinful nature.

 

But we are called to love the people who hate us. But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you” – Matthew 5:44. The apostle Paul explained that this is because …we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly placesEphesians 6:12.

 

 

Thus, the real enemy of those who follow after Christ is not persons who hold other convictions but Satan, his demons, and our own sinful nature. Now, whenever two opposing sides battle there are four things that are necessary to know: A) your own side’s strengths  B) your own side’s weaknesses, C) the opponent’s strengths and D) the opponent’s weaknesses. As Christians:

A). Our strength is God. “For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek - Romans 1:16.

B). Our weakness is ourselves. But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong” – 1st Corinthians 1:27.

C). The enemy’s strength lies in getting us to focus on our own weakness instead of the potential strength we have to use. Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour” - 1st Peter 5:8.

D). Likewise, his weakness is our strength, the Almighty God. The God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you.”Romans 16:20.

 

“Defeat awaits that man who

forsakes the Word of the Lord.”

 - Charles Spurgeon

 

 

John 16:33 …In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.”

 

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Nature is a popular place for Christians to go with the intent of deepening their relationship with God. The act of intentionally getting away from the distractions of the modern world and focusing on God’s creation enables us to have a better picture of who he is, and what we can praise him for.

 

With all of these accolades 

for his creativeness,

it would almost be wrong for us 

not to praise him 

for his artistic brilliance. 

 

In Luke 19:40, Jesus tells the Pharisees that the very stones would cry out in worship of him if men do not. This tells us that even the little things that we take for granted (such as grass, gravel roads, or dandelions) were made to worship the Holy One.

The Psalms repeatedly praise God for his creation. For example:

By the word of the Lord the heavens were made, and by the breath of his mouth all their host.” – Psalm 33:6

Oh come, let us worship and bow down; let us kneel before the Lord, our Maker!”  – Psalm 95:6

My help comes from the LORD, who made heaven and earth.” – Psalm 121:2

Know that the LORD, he is God! It is he who made us, and we are his; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.” – Psalm 100:3

 

God is referenced as Creator elsewhere in the Bible as well. A couple examples include:                                       

He has made everything beautiful in its time. Also, he has put eternity into man’s heart, yet so that he cannot find out what God has done from the beginning to the end.” – Ecclesiastes 3:11

…Shall the potter be regarded as the clay, that the thing made should say of its maker, ‘He did not make me’; or the thing formed say of him who formed it, ‘He has no understanding’?” – Isaiah 29:16

 

Thus, with all of these accolades for his creativeness, it would almost be wrong for us not to praise him for his artistic brilliance. What is simple for him is incomprehensible for us.

This song reminds us that we worship the God of creativity whom we can only begin to fathom.

 

Where can I go and not find you?

I’d have to be blind not to see

Your creative genius all around me

 

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Behind the Song: Yahweh Shammah (The LORD is there)

April 21, 2014

What’s the opposite of love? This is an honest question. As you formulate your answer let me offer my two-cents worth.   I believe the opposite of love is fear. If I don’t love someone, it’s not because I hate them, it’s because I’m afraid they’re going to hurt me. Now, it’s natural, not to […]

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Behind the song: El Hakkidish (The Holy God)

April 20, 2014

 The song is based on Isaiah 6. The chapter can be broken into three parts. 1)   [vv. 1-5] It depicts when Isaiah was given a vision of the Lord’s throne. This vision was, for lack of a better word, breath-taking. He notices two very distinct things. First, God is ridiculously holy; second, Isaiah is […]

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Behind the song: Adonai El Elyon (The LORD Most High God)

April 19, 2014

Approaching the throne of any king is a very serious occasion, especially when it is the King of Kings. This song looks at the paradox of giving reverence to God as our King as well as embracing him as our Father, for he fills both roles. The song asks questions like: “Who is this God […]

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Freedom Defined

April 15, 2014

Lost. Lost was my middle name And death enslaved me in a cage Guilty. And though his blood was on my hands Now his blood is in my veins The great physician did the impossible And made a way out of no way My debt has been paid My whole identity has been remade What […]

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A Frozen Portrait

January 20, 2014

I recently saw Disney’s Frozen in theaters. Have you heard of it? It’s quite popular. I must say I quite enjoyed it. But it may not be for reasons you would expect. For those who haven’t seen it, let me summarize the movie [There may be spoilers].     Elsa and Anna are sisters who […]

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WHOSE IMAGE ARE YOU FIGHTING FOR?

August 23, 2013

  “We live in a time in which Christians are more afraid of being called ‘religious’ than they are of seeing their generation go to hell.” – Mattie Montgomery   Let’s examine the first part of that idea. “We live in a time in which Christians are…afraid of being called ‘religious’…” Our world has witnessed […]

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