A lesser known Stuart Townend song that I quite like.
From an article by Steve Brown, about the difference Jesus makes to the Christian’s life:
Jesus came to die, but he also came to show us how to die; he came to love us, but he also came to show us how to love others; he came that we might be forgiven, but he also came that we might know how to forgive others. Jesus gave form to the idea of obedience. We knew what to do, but now we know how to do it because Jesus has shown us how.
And that’s not as hard as it first appears. Obedience is simply the response of a child who has been loved. Paul put it this way, “For the love of Christ controls us” (2 Corinthians 5:14). As a Christian, your natural desire is to please God—even when you continue to mess up and to struggle—not because he will punish you if you don’t please him, but because of his great love for you. Our obedience comes from freedom, not freedom from obedience.
The example Jesus set was not primarily in his acting, but in his being. The primary impact of the incarnation of God in Christ is the incarnation of God in Christ. Jesus was not obedient so that he could become the Son of God. Rather, he was the Son of God and was thereby obedient. He was not faithful in order to be God incarnate. He was God incarnate and was therefore faithful.
Jesus came simply to be who he was. Likewise, the Christian life, following Christ’s example, is not so much a life of acting, but of being. We are called to abide in Christ in exactly the same way Christ abides in the Father (John 15:4-5, John 17:20-21).
We don’t need to grow in order to abide in Christ; growth comes from abiding in him. So just stay close to Christ.
From Why We Pray by William Philip, as featured at Truth For Life:
How do we know Abraham had faith? Well, Hebrews 11:8 is plain. We know he had faith because he obeyed God when God called him. When God spoke to him and told him to go out to a place that he never knew, he responded and obeyed: “By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called.” We might say that Abraham’s obedience was the visible form of his faith. But the audible form of his faith, of his real and living relationship with God, was that he talked with God. God spoke to Abraham that word of great promise, and Abraham responded. “Abraham called upon the name of the Lord” (Gen. 12:8). In other words, Abraham prayed.
Prayer was the audible form of Abraham’s faith, as it is of all faith. Speaking to God in prayer is simply the audible response to God’s call to us, just as following him in obedience is the visible response to the call that marks out real faith and is the evidence of a real and living knowledge of God. Prayer is responding to God’s gracious word of salvation in his wonderful promise of his saving gospel. And if Hebrews 1 tells us that God spoke his ultimate word in the person of his Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, then that means fundamentally that prayer is simply responding in faith to the Lord Jesus Christ.
Prayer is answering God’s call to human beings in Jesus, answering it with all that we are and all that we have, not just with our lips but with our lives, so that our words, in that sense, are simply vocalizing what’s on the inside. It’s the inside reality coming out in an audible form. I remember my father explaining it to me this way: “It’s not so much what we pray but what we are when we pray that matters.” That’s true, because real prayer is anything that comes from a heart truly responding to the Lord Jesus Christ. It is the multitude of responses that come from a life that has found Christ.
Why We Pray, William Philip, Crossway, 2015.
One of my daughters finds this hilarious, and an accurate summary of local fashion trends.
I’m pretty sure it’s too cold most of the time, but there you go.
Parents, view this.
Let the hearers understand.
This must have done the rounds last year, but I missed it.
An EP of five hymns from She Reads Truth features What Wondrous Love Is This?
Both the words and tune are anonymous, the song dating back to the late 1800s.
I can’t give you a sample of the EP track, but the version below by Chelsea Moon from her Hymn Project Volume 2 album is a bit more reflective and substitutes nicely.
What wondrous love is this, O my soul, O my soul!
What wondrous love is this, O my soul!
What wondrous love is this that caused the Lord of bliss
to bear the dreadful curse for my soul, for my soul,
to bear the dreadful curse for my soul?
When I was sinking down, sinking down, sinking down,
when I was sinking down, sinking down;
when I was sinking down beneath God’s righteous frown,
Christ laid aside his crown for my soul, for my soul,
Christ laid aside his crown for my soul.
To God and to the Lamb, I will sing, I will sing,
to God and to the Lamb, I will sing;
to God and to the Lamb who is the great I AM –
while millions join the theme, I will sing, I will sing;
while millions join the theme, I will sing.
And when from death I’m free, I’ll sing on, I’ll sing on,
and when from death I’m free, I’ll sing on;
and when from death I’m free, I’ll sing and joyful be,
and through eternity, I’ll sing on, I’ll sing on,
and through eternity I’ll sing on.