We are the reason

As little children we would dream of Christmas morn’:
of all the gifts and toys we knew we’d find…
But we never realized:  a Baby born one blessed night
gave us the greatest gift of our lives!

We were the reason that He gave His life;
we were the reason that He suffered and died!
To a world that was lost He gave all He could give
to show us the reason to live…

As the years went by we learned more about gifts,
the giving of ourselves and what that means…
On a dark and cloudy day a Man hung crying in the rain
all because of love, all because of love –

Chorus

I’ve finally found the reason for living:
it’s in giving every part of my heart to Him.
In all that I do, every word that I say,
I’ll be giving my all just for Him, for Him!

Chorus

He is the reason to live!
(Don’t you know, do you know the reason
That He came, oh he came to save us
When He gave his life for us) He suffered and died!
To a world that was lost He gave everything (everything that He had He gave)
To show us the reason to live!

Chorus
Don’t know how I could thank Jesus all that he had all…

~ Written by:  David Meece
Performed by:  Avalon ~

Advertisements

It is well

When peace, like a river, attendeth my way,
When sorrows like sea billows roll;
Whatever my lot, Thou hast taught me to say,
It is well, it is well with my soul.

It is well with my soul,
It is well, it is well with my soul.

Though Satan should buffet, though trials should come,
Let this blest assurance control,
That Christ hath regarded my helpless estate,
And hath shed His own blood for my soul.

My sin—oh, the bliss of this glorious thought!—
My sin, not in part, but the whole,
Is nailed to the cross, and I bear it no more!
Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, O my soul!

For me, be it Christ, be it Christ hence to live:
If Jordan above me shall roll,
No pang shall be mine, for in death as in life
Thou wilt whisper Thy peace to my soul.

But, Lord, ’tis for Thee, for Thy coming we wait,
The sky, not the grave, is our goal;
Oh, trump of the angel! Oh, voice of the Lord!
Blessed hope, blessed rest of my soul!

And Lord, haste the day when the faith shall be sight,
The clouds be rolled back as a scroll;
The trump shall resound, and the Lord shall descend,
Even so, it is well with my soul.

~ Written by:  Horatio G. Spafford ~

2 Kings 4:8-37
And it fell on a day, that Elisha passed to Shunem, where was a great woman; and she constrained him to eat bread.  And so it was, that as oft as he passed by, he turned in thither to eat bread.  9 And she said unto her husband, “Behold now, I perceive that this is an holy man of God, which passeth by us continually.  10 Let us make a little chamber, I pray thee, on the wall; and let us set for him there a bed, and a table, and a stool, and a candlestick: and it shall be, when he cometh to us, that he shall turn in thither.”  11 And it fell on a day, that he came thither, and he turned into the chamber, and lay there. 12 And he said to Gehazi his servant, “Call this Shunammite.”  And when he had called her, she stood before him.  13 And he said unto him, “Say now unto her, Behold, thou hast been careful for us with all this care; what is to be done for thee? wouldest thou be spoken for to the king, or to the captain of the host?” And she answered, “I dwell among mine own people.”  14 And he said, “What then is to be done for her?”  And Gehazi answered, “Verily she hath no child, and her husband is old.”  15 And he said, “Call her.”  And when he had called her, she stood in the door. 16 And he said, “About this season, according to the time of life, thou shalt embrace a son.”  And she said, “Nay, my lord, thou man of God, do not lie unto thine handmaid.”  17 And the woman conceived, and bare a son at that season that Elisha had said unto her, according to the time of life.  18 And when the child was grown, it fell on a day, that he went out to his father to the reapers.  19 And he said unto his father, “My head, my head.”  And he said to a lad, “Carry him to his mother.”  20 And when he had taken him, and brought him to his mother, he sat on her knees till noon, and then died.  21 And she went up, and laid him on the bed of the man of God, and shut the door upon him, and went out.  22 And she called unto her husband, and said, “Send me, I pray thee, one of the young men, and one of the asses, that I may run to the man of God, and come again.”  23 And he said, “Wherefore wilt thou go to him to day? it is neither new moon, nor sabbath.”  And she said, “It shall be well.”  24 Then she saddled an ass, and said to her servant, “Drive, and go forward; slack not thy riding for me, except I bid thee.”  25 So she went and came unto the man of God to mount Carmel. And it came to pass, when the man of God saw her afar off, that he said to Gehazi his servant, “Behold, yonder is that Shunammite:  26 Run now, I pray thee, to meet her, and say unto her, Is it well with thee? is it well with thy husband? is it well with the child?”  And she answered, “It is well.”  27 And when she came to the man of God to the hill, she caught him by the feet: but Gehazi came near to thrust her away. And the man of God said, “Let her alone; for her soul is vexed within her: and the Lord hath hid it from me, and hath not told me.”  28 Then she said, “Did I desire a son of my lord? did I not say, Do not deceive me?”  29 Then he said to Gehazi, “Gird up thy loins, and take my staff in thine hand, and go thy way: if thou meet any man, salute him not; and if any salute thee, answer him not again: and lay my staff upon the face of the child.”  30 And the mother of the child said, “As the Lord liveth, and as thy soul liveth, I will not leave thee.”  And he arose, and followed her.  31 And Gehazi passed on before them, and laid the staff upon the face of the child; but there was neither voice, nor hearing. Wherefore he went again to meet him, and told him, saying, “The child is not awaked.”  32 And when Elisha was come into the house, behold, the child was dead, and laid upon his bed.  33 He went in therefore, and shut the door upon them twain, and prayed unto the Lord .  34 And he went up, and lay upon the child, and put his mouth upon his mouth, and his eyes upon his eyes, and his hands upon his hands: and he stretched himself upon the child; and the flesh of the child waxed warm.  35 Then he returned, and walked in the house to and fro; and went up, and stretched himself upon him: and the child sneezed seven times, and the child opened his eyes.  36 And he called Gehazi, and said, “Call this Shunammite.”  So he called her.  And when she was come in unto him, he said, “Take up thy son.”  37 Then she went in, and fell at his feet, and bowed herself to the ground, and took up her son, and went out.

The Story

This is a story:
A story about a Hero and a damsel,
a villain and a scandal…
So bend down, untie your sandals,
’cause where we’re going is holy ground.  (Exodus 3:5)

Starts like this:

In the beginning there was the Hero.  (Genesis 1:1)
And the Hero was the Father.
And the Hero was the Spirit.
And the Hero was the Son.
And if this hurts your head already, welcome to the kingdom.
Immutable, inscrutable, infinitely glad-hearted Triune Perfection;
His ancient love reverberated off each Member with no hint of dissension.
Perfect in unity,
Perfect in diversity,
Holy trinity.

And even before the rocks could cry out His Name, He was singing His own praises –
How could He not?
You know anyone else who goes by “The Rock of Ages”?
He needed nothing from no one,
as if something made could improve upon His majesty.
His majesty’s amp was already at 11.
And if this was the end of our story,
that’d be enough for us to glory for a thousand eternities at Him.

But our story isn’t over because one day the Hero started speaking.
And when He started speaking, things started being:  (Genesis 1 & 2)
Light, night, wind, water, mud, moons, seas and spiders,
swimmers and flyers, gallopers and gliders,
Stars and seasons, rhyme and reason to all of it, and all of it was good.
And suddenly all the commotion came to a standstill,
when our Hero bent down and fashioned His damsel.
God leaned over our body of earth,
breathed life into our lungs, made our heart beat from dirt.
He put light into our eyes
He gave us each other and He gave us Himself as a prize.  (Philippians 3:14)
And we were naked and were not ashamed.

But of course, the plot thickens…
Enter stage right The Villain.

The serpent was craftier than any beast in the garden.  (Genesis 3)
He made a beeline for the tree line and found Eve and her husband,
and in less than fifty words he convinced perfectly satisfied people
they were starving to death.
And since that day God’s damsel has known nothing but starving to death;
The poison of asps is heavy on her breath.
We traded the glory of the incorruptible God for a silly substitute
like a school kid duped into giving up his brand new Jordan’s for a pair of worn out tennis shoes.
We became dark-hearted.
Bent inward on a mission to find within ourselves the solution,
like trying to number the stars while gazing through L.A.’s air pollution.
We couldn’t see and we fell in love with lesser things;
and we bought them each a diamond ring,
and we betrayed our Maker, our Husband, our King.

Let me clarify:

‘Cause this doesn’t just apply to the treacherous and murderous –
even the best of us are as bad as the worst of us:  (Romans 3:23)
Outwardly clean, but inside full of dead men’s bones.  (Matthew 23:27)
Like the Taj Mahal, it looks good and all but there’s nobody home.
And one terrible day, we looked around,
but there was no more villain to be found:
he’d crawled inside of us!
Like a virus, rewired us
and now the damsel is the villain as well!
We tied our own self to the train tracks, the horn blows
and careening toward us
is 10’000 tons of God’s wrath;
sounds so loud, you can barely hear the screaming chorus,
“Who will save us from the body of this death?!”  (Romans 7:24)

Enter stage left, Jesus of Nazareth

The Word became flesh and dwelt among us.  (John 1:14)
He came lowly.
Perfectly holy.
He came like a groom on His way to the altar to meet the bride
and for the dowry, He had no cash so He paid with his life.  (1 Corinthians 6:20)

Are you shocked by the consequence of sin?
Be more shocked at the mercy of Him!
Couldn’t free ourselves, so Christ became our freedom;  (Galatians 5:1)
Couldn’t fill these lungs, so He became our breathing.
We live because He died.  (2 Timothy 1:10)
Once a harlot now a bride.
Sins were scarlet, now made white.  (Isaiah 1:18)
Perfect by proxy,
Saved by a surrogate,
Holy through Him – (Romans 5:9)
the Hero and the damsel are one once again.  (Revelation 19:7)

But wait:

I haven’t told you the best part yet.
See, as if there wasn’t enough Hero already to impress you,
the best part about this story, is this story is true.
The only fairytale that’s not a fairytale:
So long, Mother Goose!
Farewell, Dr. Seuss!

This here’s the genuine article:

God made.
We strayed.
God’s love displayed 
God-Man gives grace,
stands in our place:
Our sins erased,
debt paid always.
So fall on your face,
and give God all praise.

~ Written and performed by:  Jimmy Needham ~

Unworthy of the Blood

I know not why the Sovereign King would leave His throne on High
to dwell here in this barren land with mortals, such as I…
He left His home in Paradise, oh why, I’ll never know…
but His precious Blood has made me purer than the virgin snow!

Here am I, so unworthy of the Blood
Unworthy of the Blood that sets me free!
Here am I, so unworthy of the Blood,
and yet, it flowed for me…

For every time I falter and I bring the Father shame,
a droplet of His precious Blood then falls upon my name…
I’ll never know the reason why this thing has come to be,
all I know is that He did it, just for you and me!

~ Written by:  Jeff Ross
Performed by:  Jimmy Swaggart ~

Ephesians 1:7
“In Whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace…”

Ephesians 2:13
“But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ.”

Colossians 1:14, 20
“In Whom we have redemption through His blood, even the forgiveness of sins…  And, having made peace through the blood of His cross, by Him to reconcile all things unto Himself; by Him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven.”

1 Peter 1:18-19
“Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers;  But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a Lamb without blemish and without spot…”

1 John 1:7
“But if we walk in the light, as He is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanseth us from all sin.”

Revelation 12:11
“And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death.”

More than conquerors

When my hope and strength is gone,
You’re the One Who calls me on –
You are the Life, You are the fight that’s in my soul…

Oh, Your resurrection power
burns like fire in my heart;
When waters rise I lift my eyes up to Your throne.

We are more than conquerors, through Christ
You have overcome this world, this life
We will not bow to sin or to shame
We are defiant in Your Name
You are the fire that cannot be tamed
You are the power in our veins
Our Lord, our God, our Conqueror

I will sing into the night:
Christ is risen and on high!
Greater is He living in me than in the world!

No surrender, no retreat:
we are free and we’re redeemed!
We will declare over despair: You are the hope!

Chorus

Nothing is impossible;
Every chain is breakable:
With You, we are victorious

You are stronger than our hearts;
You are greater than the dark:
With You, we are victorious

~ Written and performed by: Rend Collective ~

Romans 8:37
“Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him that loved us.”

1 John 4:4
“Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is He that is in you, than he that is in the world.”

1 Corinthians 15:57
“But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.”

The value of Time

To realize the value of one year:
Ask a student who has failed a final exam.

To realize the value of one month:
Ask a mother who has given birth to a premature baby.

To realize the value of one week:
Ask an editor of a weekly newspaper.

To realize the value of one hour:
Ask the lovers who are waiting to meet.

To realize the value of one minute:
Ask the person who has missed the train, bus or plane.

To realize the value of one-second:
Ask a person who has survived an accident.

To realize the value of one millisecond:
Ask the person who has won a silver medal in the Olympics.

~ Author unknown

Ephesians 5

15  See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise,
16  Redeeming the time, because the days are evil.
17  Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is.