In Christ Alone

inchristalone

The song I want to talk about this week has been around for awhile. It has touched many peoples lives, and is fairly well known within the Church. In Christ Alone by Keith Getty and Stewart Townsend is a simple declaration of why we put our faith in Christ and nothing else. The line “No power of hell, nor scheme of man, can ever pluck me from His hand” just speaks to the level we are supposed to be given to Christ. Paul writes in his letter to the church in Philippi:

“But whatever things were gain to me, those thing I have counted as loss for the sake of Christ. More than that, I count all things to be loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and counted them but rubbish so that I may gain Christ, and may be found in Him, not having a righteousness of my own derived from the Law, but that which is through faith in christ, the righteousness which comes from God on the basis of faith, that I amy know Him and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death; in order that I may attain to the resurrection from the dead.” –Philippians 3:7-11, NASB

We give our all to Christ, and place all of ourselves in His mighty hand. We will be singing this song in my church today, but I hope you take time to listen and spend time in worship with it. It is a great song of our faith because “here in the power of Christ [we] stand”!

This week’s set:

  • O Praise Him (David Crowder* Band)
  • Open The Eyes of My Heart Lord (Paul Baloche)
  • Center (Charlie Hall)
  • Lord, I Need You (Kristian Stanfill)
  • In Christ Alone (Keith Getty/Stewart Townsend)
  • The Solid Rock (hymn)

Psalms to Pray: Psalm 25-26

Advertisements

Don’t Be False (Mark 13)

Poster ad from the video game Bioshock Infinite
Poster ad from the video game Bioshock Infinite

Today’s chapter was a little hard for me to find something to talk about. Mark 13 talks a lot about the end times and the return of Christ. This isn’t something that I like to spend a lot of time on in discussion simply because people can get insane over the topic of the “End of the World”. But Jesus did say something that is important for us to remember, even not during the End.

Jesus says “false Christs and false prophets will arise, and will show signs and wonders, in order to lead [you] astray, if possible” (13:22 NASB). This relates to a post I made earlier. In that post I told you to be careful about what you say. In this one, you must be careful of what others say.

Jesus knew that without him to guide the disciples (and us later on), they would fall prey to people preaching about Christ, but didn’t fully understand. Something that arose in the early church was a heresy called Gnosticism. It was a belief that the physical world was evil and should be done away with, and we should only focus on the spiritual world. This belief influenced many early Christians to the point that many of the disciples had to fight against it, and Paul wrote several sections of his letters that allude to Gnostic beliefs in the Church.

In today’s world, Christianity gets put in a bad light, which I think is sad. Yet we knew it was going to happen. Jesus warned us that we would get persecuted, and honestly, the Church has been persecuted since day 1. But today, it is because of some members of the Church, not outside influence. There is a lot of hate going around in Jesus’ name. Hate that is unfounded, because Jesus preached a life of love.

This isn’t to say that God doesn’t hate things. He does. He hates sin. Sin is very simply the act of deciding that you know better than God, and you are going to decide what is right. I’m not sure how imperfection trumps perfection, but I am even guilty of the behavior. We all are. But some of this hate goes towards the people. God doesn’t hate the sinner, He hates the sin. “But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8 NASB).

So I guess my focus for today is that we not only be careful what we say and do, but also what are Christian brothers and sisters are doing. It is our duty as mature Christians to help those who aren’t as far along as we are. We must help the world to see the love of Christ and show that love through our own lives.

Brothers and Sisters (Mark 3)

children-of-god

After performing more miracles, and calling his 12 disciples, Christ returns to the home he is staying at and a crowd forms. From out side of the crowd, someone notices that Mary (Jesus’ mother), James and Jude (Jesus’ brothers), and maybe other brothers were outside. The message is passed upwards to Jesus himself, and he replies “For whoever does the will of God, he is my brother and sister and mother. (3:35 NASB)”

The implication of this seems rather simple; as Christians, we are counted as brothers and sisters of Jesus Christ. But honestly it goes a little deeper than that. First (and most importantly), this makes us children of God! We talk and sing about God’s love for us, and it honestly seems misplaced if you don’t understand this point. If we are not counted as children of God as well, this means that God loves strangers that hurt Him consistently. But rather, we are His children; He created us, He loves us, and He wants to help us (just like any good father would).

The second would be that we are all family. Think about that for a second. Every single man, woman and child that has a faith in Jesus Christ is either your brother or sister! How much fun is that? We all get to be one big happy family!

So I encourage you today to love on our brothers and sisters! Some are going through hardships and some are going through great joys! Either way, we should be there for each other because we are all family. So send up some extra prayers for your brothers and sisters, and maybe they’ll do the same for you!