Easter Morning 2020

Country music is not everyone’s favorite.  I personally am an equal opportunity musical genre listener.  I love music.  For 10 years, when I was leading worship, we sang karaoke style.  I would find music tracks that would lead the congregation in preparation of the message from God’s Word for that day.  Found in the list of any given Sunday worship might be some gospel, choral, hymns, praise, contemporary, or even country music. Regardless of what “style” or “genre” before we ever opened our mouths to sing, I would always remind the worshipers, the most important part of any song we sing to God’s glory, are the words.  Words are our communication point.  Words capture our emotions, tune our hearts to God’s Spirit.  Words combined with music have a power pull on our psyche to really discover the power, riches and grace of God towards us.

Think about one of the songs we sing regularly, “Who You Say I Am” by Hillsong Worship.  I love this song because it reminds me of an important fact of scripture.  I am not concerned with what others say about me, or who they say I am.  I am not caught up in who I might want to be, or who I think I might be.  God alone determines my existence, and experience, and I am who God says I am.  And God says, I am His child. Where?

But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.          John 1:1-13

 

This week on my blog I wrote about Christmas, Easter, and the Resurrection.  I won’t rehash that here.  But writing this article did tune my heart toward the importance of the Easter season.  It always comes at the beginning of Spring, when our outdoor world is transformed before our eyes from the cold and dark of winter, to new life in the green grass and leaves.  While listening to music, we were puzzling again, and in a flash the words to this song from 16 years ago, had new meaning for me again.

Here are the lyrics…

Mother, do not cry for me
All of this is exactly how it’s supposed to be

I’m right here. Can you hear my voice?
My life, my love, my Lord
my baby boy

As they nail me to this tree
Just know the Father waits for me

God how can this be your will?
To have your son and my son killed?

Whatever happens, whatever you see,
Whatever your eyes tell you has become of me
This is not
Not the end
I am making all things new again

I remember when you were born
In that manger where I first held
You in my arms
So many miracles and lives you’ve changed
And this world repays you how?
With all this pain

Whatever happens (Whatever happens)
whatever you see (I don’t wanna see)
Whatever your eyes tell you has become of me
This is not
Not the end
I am making all things new again.

Sung by Sara Evans and Brad Paisley, released in 2004, the words and the music capture my heart, and tune my mind to the truth.  Click the link below to watch this awesome video.

In the Resurrection of Jesus, God makes all things new.

Not right this minute.  It doesn’t feel new does it?  In the prison of our homes, incarcerated and alone, with no touching, and very little communication, what we’re doing in response to a worldwide pandemic, what we must remember, where we must focus, is on this truth:

Jesus makes all things new again.

What will Easter next year look like?

What lessons will we take with us into the future, because of the work Jesus does during this time?

See, we can’t know these things.

But today, on Easter Sunday 2020, we can know that God is in Control.

Jesus Christ is Alive!

My old Uncle Wylie always cracked me up when he would hear something that brought joy to his life.  He would say, “Well, praise the LORD, and pass the biscuits!”  It was just his way of saying, God is in control!

I think our worship today should reflect our belief.  How about you?  Will you join the worship groups all over the planet today, on this Easter Sunday 2020, and lift your head and hands to the LORD of heaven, shouting and singing to His glory?

He alone deserves it.

He is Alive!

 

 

Bestow

There is no greater honor, right, or gift, as the one bestowed upon an individual who steps across the line of faith into Christ the LORD.  John the apostle, under the direction and inspiration of the Holy Spirit of God said so.  Listen to it now…

John 1:12,13  But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name, who were born not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.

It is not stated as a future endowment.  It is not implied that having received this right, it could somehow be taken away in the future.  The “right” to become children of God, is reserved for, and bestowed upon, those who receive Jesus and believe in His name. In addition, this is an eternal right.  It is not eternal because of us, the believers.  It is eternal because of the ONE  bestowing the blessing, and conferring the right.  It is guaranteed in His power, not mine.

I am now… a child of God.

As such, with this great honor bestowed upon those Christ-followers, their behavior should match this position of honor, and privilege.  But does it?  I’m concerned at the number of people I know who live in fear, or in opposite contrast to what they claim as their badge of honor – a Christ follower – a Child of God.

In our world today, there is a shadowy veil of hate growing at an alarming rate, fueled by unseen forces, with the intent of annihilating the words “Christian” or “Christ-follower” from our vocabulary.  People of faith around our nation are just now beginning to recognize the first salvos breaking across the bows of churches everywhere.  Christian businesses have been under attack for awhile, but now the increased activity in the legal sector demonstrate this hate has just begun to stretch its talons of destruction.  What’s interesting, but sadder still, is that most Americans don’t realize this isn’t a new event.

The pursuit of the destruction of anything Godly, but especially the people of God, is as old as the garden of Eden.  The result of God’s children’s actions in that idyllic setting was fear, blame shifting, and rationalization of their behavior.  What are the three clearest signs, that nothing has changed since then?  Fear, blame shifting, and rationalization of behavior… is the ubiquitous nature of sin around the world right now.

So… what is “supposed” to be the defining evidence of the true Christ-follower?  I suggest that the “NATURE” of God is what is bestowed upon the true person of faith, and is evidenced when one becomes a CHILD of God.  That evidence is LOVE.

1 John 4:18  There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves punishment, and the one who fears is not perfected in love.

1 John 4:16  And we have come to know and have believed the love which God has for us. God is love, and the one who abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him.

John 3:16  For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life.

So what is bestowed upon every child of God?

The right to become God’s children, living in the love of God, sharing the love of God, and one day when we graduate to the next life, living in the presence of the love of God… eternally.

There is no greater honor, right, or gift.

 

Bestow