Seeing Jesus Come to Life in People (Testimony and Song)

I simply want to share the joy  which is in my heart right now.  I am teaching in a few small groups within my church.  I am sharing with the people in these groups the story of Jesus.  I am sharing with them how messed up things got with Adam’s fall, and how all the good things which happened after that weren’t enough for us, and that we needed something more than the gift of Moses.

This week I was leading the group through many passages which underline the mess we were in and we very clearly saw that we were not able to fix this, nor was the law of Moses enough for us.  And I was able to share with them that it is only through the loving kindness of God in the work of Jesus Christ that we are lifted from the way of the wicked to the way of the just.

Having people read the Scriptures together and highlighting these very poignant passages,  then teaching about salvation in Christ, all of this brings deep deep joy to me.  It’s what I was made to do.

There is one student in particular who stands out.  There’s not a lot of church background, but a sort of familiarity with the story of Jesus.  At the end of our time together she said “I am really enjoying our time together, because I am finally understanding the Bible.”  What joy in me!  And she is really grasping the Gospel of Jesus!

Here is a song which grasps the teaching I’ve been giving in these days.  I am rejoicing while listening and praying with this song, that Jesus is bringing this reality into peoples’ lives in these days.  What precious joy!

Let It Echo – Great Album to Aid Your Praise

Jesus Culture has been a great worship band in the United States for years.  This is a praise album they recorded recently and is really great to pray along with!  Look up the lyrics and you can spend a solid half hour in praise along with this video.  (I suppose they would love if you purchased the album as well.)

Some nuggets:
One of the lines in the second song “Fierce” has us singing: “How can I be lost when You have called me found.”  Jesus has found us.
The entire song “Alive in You” showcases Kim Walker Smith in the zone!  A great line echoes the verse of Paul from Galatians 2:20: “It’s no longer I who live, it’s Christ who lives within me.”
The song “God With Us” has a simple and strong chorus: “God with us. God for us.  Nothing can come against.  No one can stand between us.”

Enjoy 30 minutes of great praise; unite your voice and heart with theirs and lift praises to our great God. Cheers!

No Longer Slaves

In the book of Exodus, the Israelites encounter the miraculous parting of the Red Sea to bring them to ultimate freedom from the 400+ years of slavery they endured at the hands of the Egyptians. They were saved through water. This story prefigures our baptism, where we too are saved through water. The magnificence and drama of this story are so helpful for us because it is an even greater drama when we are baptized. But the visual effects don’t have the same theatrical, stunning quality, so we might miss it. But it is true! Our enslavement to sin is worse than the Israelites’ 430 years under the cruelty of Pharaoh.
God even allowed the ferocious army to come after the Israelites as they made their escape, so they could look their death in the face, and know without a doubt how the Mighty God had saved them. They seemed completely fenced in with death on all sides. Drown or be slaughtered. But Moses looks at them, directs them to look at the advancing army, and says,
Fear not, stand firm, and see the salvation of the LORD, which he will work for you today; for the Egyptians whom you see today, you shall never see again. – Exodus 14:13
We are faced with the same as we approach the font of baptism. The armies of the Evil One press in on all sides and we are enslaved to sin and death. He is behind us and the waters of the font are before us. We must enter in to see the salvation of the Lord. But as we enter, we can hear the loving voice of the Father say, “This sin that weighs upon you, the wages of which is death, you shall never see again!”
Listen to this awesome song by Bethel Music and revel in the fact that you are called to be a child of God. This awesome and mighty God has split the sea so you could walk right through it, drowning all your fears in perfect love. He has rescued you!
We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, so that as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life. – Romans 6:4

Valentine’s Day

Happy Valentine’s Day!

I can see the love in Your eyes
Laying yourself down
Raising up the broken to life
— “Broken Vessels (Amazing Grace),” Hillsong

This song is wonderful. Look at your Savior, who is love itself. Let His love fill you. Then be a bearer of His great love to the world.

OVERWHELMED [WORSHIP VIDEO]

God is bigger than the biggest.  God is smarter than the smartest.  God is more lovely than the lovliest.  God is more powerful than the most powerful.  God is more forgiving than the most forgiving.  God is more.  And He is our God.  And He knows us each by name.  OVERWHELMING!!!  Close your door; turn off your lights; dance with arms lifted high.  Sing unto HIM!!!

Epiphany: God made manifest

Epiphany is a marvelous and rich feast. Delightfully, that richness lingers throughout this whole last week of the Christmas season as we approach the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord. We see embers of that richness reflected in the prayers offered in the Church’s liturgy and in the readings proclaimed from Sacred Scripture. We hear declarations of the Kingship of Christ, manifestations of His marvelous glory, and his longing to claim His Bride.

Today the Bridegroom claims his bride, the Church, since Christ has washed her sins away in Jordan’s waters; the Magi hasten with their gifts to the royal wedding; and the wedding guests rejoice, for Christ has changed water into wine, alleluia. (Morning Prayer Antiphon)

God himself has taken on our human flesh in the Incarnation, but lest we forget in our gazing upon a sweet infant babe, the ensuing feasts quickly remind us that this sweet babe in the arms of Mary is the all-powerful King of the Universe who has broken into our world to bring light into dark places, to set captives free, and to draw not just a chosen few, but ALL, to himself.

Rise up in splendor, Jerusalem! Your light has come, the glory of the Lord shines upon you. See, darkness covers the earth, and thick clouds cover the peoples; but upon you the LORD shines, and over you appears his glory. Nations shall walk by your light, and kings by your shining radiance. Raise your eyes and look about; they all gather and come to you… Then you shall be radiant at what you see, your heart shall throb and overflow, for the riches of the sea shall be emptied out before you, the wealth of nations shall be brought to you. (Isaiah 60:1-5)

In the early hours of Sunday morning the song God With Us by All Sons and Daughters began running through my mind. It is my Epiphany theme song! He has come to be so near to us; He is God with us. Come, stand in His glory; know His peace, hope, and light. And come as the Magi did, no matter how far you must travel, to lay all you are and all you have at His feet, even your costliest treasures. For you shall be radiant at what you see in this great king who comes to take you as His bride, and your heart shall overflow with more joy than you can imagine when His light floods your heart.

Who I Am [RAP MUSIC]

Tru-Serva and DiJohn serve up a great one in “Who I Am”.  The second verse in particular speaks volumes into our personal situation:

without you o wretched man that i am
this selfishness got my own plans in full demand
the battle inside says that i’m unworthy
and the thoughts in my mind says that i’m unholy
even though in your word it says draw closely
still, my greatest fear is that you wouldn’t know me.

(I would have posted the official music video, but it is focused on abuse, which is not the main focus of this post.)

Because He Lives

Posted by: ZealousSheep

Matt Maher has a way of penning the thoughts of my heart–in lyrical phrases accompanied by music that stirs the soul–that fills me with gratitude because these songs help me to pray as a child before the Father. His newest song has just premiered : Because He Lives. An anthemic, soulful song calling us to recall our freedom in Christ Jesus, to declare “Credo: I believe!” Jesus, the conquerer of sin, death, fear and shame, has risen from the grave! And in Him, we too can rise to new life. My life is held in His hands and I have LIFE abundant because the Blood of Jesus has overcome sin and death in me!!!

Listen. Pray. Allow the power of Jesus to overcome in every corner of your heart so that you can cry “I’M ALIVE!” and mean it with every fiber of your being.

I believe in the Son
I believe in the risen One
I believe I overcome
By the power of His blood

Amen, Amen
I’m alive, I’m alive
Because He lives
Amen, Amen
Let my song join the one that never ends
Because He lives

I was dead in the grave
I was covered in sin and shame
I heard mercy call my name
He rolled the stone away

Because He lives
I can face tomorrow
Because He lives
Every fear is gone
I know He holds my life my future in His hands

Let Me See Them Hands Up!! #rap #sogood #jesus

2011 came and went… but this song is still really really good.  “YOU KNOW WHAT IT IS” by Tedashii.  So good.  Excellent rap.

I’m humbled from the start
my pride is in the cross
victory is mine, i’m working for the boss
you know what it is, and lemme see them hands up,
you know what it is, now lemme see them hands up
yeah we do it big, we ’bout to set it off
victory is mine, my pride is in the cross
you know what it is, and lemme see them hands up
you know what it is, now lemme see them hands up

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