HOW GREAT THOU ART

And when I think that God, his Son not sparing,
Sent him to die, I scarce can take it in,
That on the cross, my burden gladly bearing,
He bled and died to take away my sin.

Then sings my soul, my Savior God, to thee:
How great thou art! How great thou art!
Then sings my soul, my Savior God, to thee:
How great thou art! How great thou art!

-S.K. Hine

One of my favorite hymns EVER. 

I love hymns because they are so rooted in God’s Word and they often have sound theology (at least the ones I know). Most of the songs today tend to shine the spotlight on how we view God or feel about Him. There is a place for this as well. I’m not saying it is wrong but I personally feel I am able to truly worship when the focus is entirely on God, on who He is, and what He has done through His Son and hymns do this in a way when modern songs simply don’t. 

When God sent His Son Jesus Christ, He didn’t give us leftovers. He gave us His best. He always had a plan for our redemption. Sending Jesus for our salvation was the greatest gift God could us. How can we not sing to God? How can we not thank Him for the rest of our days?

Do we really take the time to think about this?

Do we ever take a moment and think about why Jesus went through what He did on the Cross? He was all about doing His Father’s will and that included loving us as the Father does.

If I was sentenced to agonizing death and I rightly deserved it (even if I didn’t think I’m guilty) but a loved one took my place, I would feel indebted to this person for the rest of my life. After all, I wouldn’t be alive if it wasn’t for this person, right? Well, that is exactly what Jesus did for us. O how great God is and how great is the measure of His love for us!

Why may I not believe I am guilty? Because sin has a way of making a person feel good. Sin doesn’t want me to question what it is that makes me feel good so long as it feels good. Sin is all about me, me and me and never about any responsibility. Satan’s goal is to keep us from Jesus (the truth).

Sin consumes our mind with the cares of today so we would be blinded to the consequences of tomorrow. Today’s pleasure will be tomorrow’s pain. This is the very nature of sin.

Humble yourself and ask God to meet with you today. He promises to show Himself to those who truly wish to seek Him and know Him. Once you meet Him, you will never be the same.

 

 

TAKE THE WORLD BUT GIVE ME JESUS

Oh, the height and depth of mercy!
Oh, the length and breadth of love!
Oh, the fullness of redemption,
Pledge of endless life above!
So take the world, but give me Jesus 

-Ascend The Hill

Everybody wants to go to heaven but nobody wants Jesus. This thought came to me a while back.

It amazes me how everyone likes the idea of going to heaven (at least those who believe in heaven do) but many want nothing to do with Jesus.

Why anybody would want to go to heaven if they didn’t want anything to do with Jesus is beyond me. Once this life is over and we are with Jesus forever and ever, we will be in His presence worshipping Him. So if one doesn’t want anything to do with Jesus here on this earth, why would this person want to be in heaven with Jesus? 

I know you’re probably thinking of the song, Everybody wants to go to heaven but nobody wants to die.

I don’t know the origins to that song and haven’t entirely studied all the lyrics so I can’t speak to the author’s personal beliefs or Biblical influences or accuracy but just going from that one sentence alone, there is some truth to that statement for most people love the idea of going to heaven without having to die. Heaven brings with it thoughts and feelings of happiness, joy, no more sorrow or pain. It is the ideal happy place.

Death, however, brings sadness and pain but mostly I think it brings fear for many. The thought of death brings fear I believe because most people don’t know what happens when people die. Is there another side? What happens when we get to the other side? Most live life without caring to ask the important questions about life or death. We live as if tomorrow won’t matter and as if there won’t be accountability after this life when death knocks on the door.

The Bible gives clear answers in regards to death. We aren’t left to wonder about or fear death.

We are told that after we die we will ALL stand before God to face judgment. The Bible says in Hebrews 9:27 this is appointed for every man which means it will happen. We all have an appointment to appear before God. There is no doubt we will all die and the context here indicates an ending of one thing so that another can begin. So that tells us there is something that follows after death. Death in itself is not the end.

I love this song by Ascend The Hill. I have had it on repeat in my playlist as I write this. It reminds me how the joys of this world will never compare to the joy I have found in Jesus and a relationship with Him. 

Death for the believer is the beginning of another bright and glorious chapter of life. The first bright chapter was when we made a choice to walk with Christ. This was the first time we truly started living and the next will be when we see Jesus face to face. Oh, what glorious day that will be!!!!!!!

The picture of Jesus’s suffering at Calvary is the greatest picture of Love. Period.

If we really take the time to know and understand what Jesus has done for us as we visit the Cross, we cannot leave unchanged.

A soul touched by Jesus is never the same. Every person Jesus met with in His time here on earth, something in every one of those people changed.

One of the saddest stories is the story of the rich young ruler in Matthew 19: 16-22. The bottom line there was this young man went away saddened for he had great possessions. He wanted eternal life and when Jesus told him the cost of eternal life, the man went away sad. He didn’t ask questions, he didn’t argue, he didn’t speak with Jesus further. He just walked away. Why? He walked away because he didn’t want eternal life more than all the other things in his life. He wanted it in addition to the other things.

Can we relate to this? Can we think of how comfortable we get in our daily living and how much value we place on material possessions or things we have made into idols in our lives on a daily basis? We have become so comfortable and even enjoy living in our sin. We have resigned ourselves to thinking “this is all there is to life” when God has more for us!

In our daily living, we invest into everything but the kingdom of God when in light of eternity everything else won’t hold the same value when compared to life in Christ.

The world screams a message of self-indulgence, doing whatever you want for your happiness as long as you don’t hurt anybody. The world will tell you to follow your heart. Christ’s message is otherwise. He says we must die to ourselves and our desires and only then we will find the meaning of true life. In fact, if God let us do whatever we wanted and left us in our state of helplessness and pleasure of sin, we would have died in our hopelessness.

Jesus did His Father’s will when here on earth and God from even before the beginning of time purposed to bring us back to him because He loves us.

What is this eternal life anyway the rich young man was inquiring about?

The Bible describes eternal life in John 17:3 “And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.”

Eternal life isn’t just heaven or a happy place. It is Knowing Jesus Christ (in this life and the next). The two cannot be separated.

Will you take a moment today to meet Jesus at the Cross? Turn to Mark 15 and ask God to meet with you. We will find ourselves among the crowd that crucified Jesus.

I pray that as you read through His Word and meet him at the Cross, the Holy Spirit will draw you to a life in Jesus Christ as you see what Jesus has done for you, yes for YOU.

You Are Loved.