Nothing is Wasted on Jesus

The Road the Cross: Nothing is Wasted on Jesus (A Poem)

Nothing is wasted on Jesus

Not a second, not a word, not a dime

If given in faith, He will bless them

And multiply them all in His time

Nothing is wasted on You, Jesus

So I will pour out every drop in my jar

Although the oil is costly

It is worthless compared to what You are

Nothing is wasted on You, Lord

Not even a kiss of utter betrayal

You embraced it with humble submission

Knowing that good would prevail

No, nothing is wasted on Jesus

Not a second, not a word, not a dime

For Jesus is greater than all

Of heaven and earth’s riches combined


Based on Matthew 26:6-16

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My God Sings

My God Sings

Often when I am driving in the car by myself I will sing praises to God. When it is just me I don’t have to worry about how loud I am being or feel self-conscious when my voice cracks. Sometimes I’ll sing an old familiar hymn like “Come, Thou Fount of Every Blessing.” Other times I will sing spontaneous songs of praise. They may not be the most beautiful songs ever written, but they express the cry of my heart in that moment. I love singing unto God. I think it is one of the sweetest privileges we have as believers. It is amazing to think that God not only hears our prayers, He also listens to our music.

He hears each note sung and every chord struck. Like a father watching his child play at his first piano recital, I can picture our Heavenly Father with a big grin and a camcorder in His hand. He loves every second of our songs written for Him. They bring a smile to His face. And He never forgets them; He never tapes over the footage.

Rest assured that God isn’t phased by a wrong notes. He doesn’t cringe when our instruments are a little out of tune. You see, God listens to more than our music; He listens to our hearts. We can play all the right notes, but have the wrong motives. We can have our instruments tuned perfectly, but our hearts not tuned “to sing [His] grace .” We don’t sing to impress God or earn His love. We sing because we love Him. We sing because we are free. We sing because He is worthy of our songs and so much more.

And all the while, He is singing over us. Read the words of Zephaniah 3:17 carefully:

The Lord your God is with you,
the Mighty Warrior who saves.
He will take great delight in you;
in his love he will no longer rebuke you,
but will rejoice over you with singing.

The Lord of All Creation is so delighted in us, His children, that He sings songs of rejoicing! Even with all of our sin and repeated failures, He still delights in us. Friend, if the god you serve isn’t singing, he isn’t the One True God. A god who isn’t rejoicing over his people is probably a god who shouts only words of condemnation. But the God of the Bible remembers our sins no more (Hebrews 8:12).  I pray that these verses would be a reminder to us all of how much God loves us.

I don’t know about you, but I feel a song coming on…

3 Songs I Listen to On Repeat

3 Songs I Listen to On Repeat

If you know me well, you know how much I love music. I love playing it, singing it, listening to it, and occasionally writing it. I actually planned on majoring in music (as a percussionist) in college before God call me to missions. Even though God steered me in a different direction, I still have a special place for music in my heart. The Lord has used music many times to help me get through some really difficult seasons. He has also used it to build my faith and deepen my understanding of His Word. Today I want to share three songs that have blessed me tremendously in recent years.

1. Holy Spirit Have Your Way by Leeland

This song has a special place in my heart. I listen to it all the time and yet, it never seems to get old. It is such a beautiful prayer about surrendering one’s life completely to God. I like the album version a lot, but the orchestral version is also very beautiful. I am currently learning how to play this song on the piano, so that I can play and sing it whenever I want. If you interested in hearing about how brothers Leeland and Jack Mooring were inspired to write this song, check out this interview by Worship Together.

2. He’s Always Been Faithful by Sara Groves

Sara Groves is one of my favorite Christian artists. She is a wonderful storyteller and a gifted pianist in her own right. Her retelling of “Great is Thy Faithfulness” is one of the most beautiful adaptions I have ever heard. It is hard to think that someone could improve upon such a classic hymn, but I think Sara Groves has done it with this song. If you have never listened to the song or her music in general, I strongly encourage you to do so today. Also, be sure to listen to Sara’s testimony about what she was going through when she wrote this beautiful song.

3. Farther Along by Josh Garrels

This was the first song I ever heard by Josh Garrels. It was so different from everything else out on Christian radio at the time (2012). I instantly fell in love with Josh’s music. In fact, I can sing almost all the lyrics to every song on the album, “Love & War & The Sea In Between.” Like the previous song in the list, “Farther Along” is also an old hymn reimagined; however, I think the original hymn is not very well known anymore. I have only occasionally seen it in some older Baptist hymnals. The chorus in both songs goes like this:

Farther along we’ll know more about it,
Farther along we’ll understand why;
Cheer up, my brother, live in the sunshine,
We’ll understand it all by and by.

In the verses, the author contemplates why it sometimes seems the righteous suffer, while the wicked thrive. He concludes in the chorus that while we may not understand why God allows certain things to happen now, we will one day, “farther along.” Personally, I like Josh Garrels’ verses a little bit more than the original, but they are both filled with rich truths. Be sure to give them both a listen when you get the chance. Also, here is a video of the concert where I got to hear him perform the song live in Atlanta. It was awesome!

I hope you enjoyed this list! I plan to share more songs in the future, as I am always updating my playlist. What are some songs you like to listen to on repeat? I would love to hear about the songs that you hold close and dear to your heart.

The Legacy of Our Praise

The Legacy of Our Praise

Yesterday, I took some time to listen to some praise music by the late-great Keith Green. Keith was a tremendous song writer and pianist who pioneered the CCM (Contemporary Christian Music) in the late-seventies, early-eighties. Even if you don’t recognize his name, you have probably heard one of his songs in church or on the radio before. He was one of those guys, like Rich Mullins, who sang with such conviction. In many ways, he was a prophetic voice of his generation. He called people to quit playing games with God and to take up their cross and follow Jesus. He also had a “pay what you can” policy for selling his music. He didn’t care about the money; he cared about people knowing Jesus. Sadly, at the age of only 28, Keith Green was killed in a small plane crash along with 11 others on July 28, 1982. Although, he is no longer with us, we still have his music to remember him by.

This got me thinking yesterday. What will the legacy of our praise be? Will we pass on songs, hymns, spiritual songs that glorify God and build up the body of Christ? Or will we pass on self-centered praise that seeks to tear others down? I think of King David’s words in Psalm 103:

My soul, praise Yahweh,
and all that is within me, praise His holy name.
My soul, praise the Lord,
and do not forget all His benefits.

May every last drop of our praise be to God and God alone, so that there is no room for our pride or self-aggrandizement. We are creatures from dust; He is I AM. He deserves all of the praise!

In today’s generation, it seems like we are living for the praise of people, not to praise our Creator. I have seen this spill over into the Church as well. Christians are becoming less and less content with simply knowing God and making Him known; we want the world to know our names too. One of my heroes in church history was Count Zinzendorf of the Moravian movement. He is quoted with saying:

The missionary must seek nothing for himself, no seat of honor or hope of fame. Like the cabhorse in London, each of you must wear blinkers that blind you to every danger and to every snare and conceit. You must be content to suffer, to die, and to be forgotten.

Others have shortened this to “Preach the Gospel, die, be forgotten.”

Men like King David, Zinzendorf, and Keith Green are godly examples of what it means to leave a legacy of praise for the generation to come. They are remembered not because they sought to have their names in lights. Neither are they remembered for being perfect and therefore, worthy of praise. No, they are remembered because they used their voices and platforms to shine a spotlight on the One True God. They humbly exalted Him, and at the proper time, He exalted them (1 Peter 5:6). Again I ask you, what will the legacy of our praise be?

Whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted. Matthew 23:12