Our God has come close

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I can’t get this song out of my head this morning. It’s simple, but its implications are far-reaching. And, by the way, I’m diggin’ this group (new to me): Love and the Outcome.

Check this out…

A Life of Hope

For everyone
Hope has come
The Savior of the world

kingdom of godThe world attempts to manufacture hope. We talk ourselves into believing that we can create for ourselves a perfect world which will fulfill are dreams. So we work hard to stamp out disease or improve technology or broker peace or stabilize economies or develop a perfect system of government. And although it’s good to do these things and we may make headway in one area or another from time to time, our hope, if it is in these things, is ill-founded. Hope is a person, Jesus of Nazareth, who establishes / brings with Him into this world a Kingdom in which all these goals and more are achieved. There is only one Savior of the world. If we hope, let it be in Him and in His Kingdom, as we eagerly await the day when He will reign uncontested over all things. And may we live today in the reality that — in the same way warmth is available to those who will gather around the fire — God’s Kingdom is available to those who will gather around King Jesus. THEN, as He gives us power to do so, we set out to change the world around us. But if we jump directly to the work, bypassing the person, running on our own batteries, we will experience failure and frustration. Only King Jesus working through us builds the Kingdom we hope for.

Study: Acts 2:22-28; 2 Peter 1:2-10

A Life of Gospel

To light the dark
And heal our hearts
He is The Savior of the world

Emmanuel, Emmanuel
Our God has come close
The world needs to know
This good news we have to tell
Emmanuel

neighborhoodThe world needs to know the good news of King Jesus. We have been entrusted with the gospel. “Emmanuel” means “God with us.” This one word encompasses the whole of the story of God … that He doesn’t abandon us or leave us as orphans, but draws near and adopts us as sons and daughters. He brings with Him a Kingdom, a way of life, an alternate reality, that is glorious beyond words. It’s where and how we were meant to live: walking with God in the garden in the cool of the day, being His people as He is our God, trusting Him as sheep trust their shepherd, living and even reigning with Him in perfect peace. This reality is now possible and available for everyone who comes to God in humility, surrendering her rebellious heart.

What are you doing today to make Him and His Kingdom more real to those who live in darkness, groping for something they don’t fully understand but know has to be out there? Are you a light in their dark worlds? Are you an instrument by which God heals hearts? Do you proclaim with your words and with your life that there is another way, a better Kingdom than what this broken world has to offer? Will you demonstrate, in whatever you do today, the superiority of the life lived in Christ?

Study: 1 Thessalonians 2:1-8; Matthew 5; Matthew 28:18-20

A Life of Freedom

For unto us
Is born the One
Who’s love will set us free

broken chainsJesus, the Son of God and Ruler of All, sets prisoners free. Not just in some esoteric future Kingdom — though that will be amazing beyond imagination — but right now! If fear is your captor, run to God and let Him make you brave. If you’re bound by pride, God desires to release you from your chains — which means that hardship might be the best thing you could experience right now. That might require looking at life a little differently, which would be a huge first step! If you’re imprisoned by distractions, start turning things off or throwing things away, and ask God for the freedom to focus on Him. All of Christian living is God’s grace and power + your faith-that-leads-to-action. But whatever you do … maybe you don’t even know what your prison is, but you feel walls around you when you grope in the darkness … run to God! Get alone and undistracted for as long and as often as it takes — as in, take off work or go away alone for a weekend if you have to; or maybe start by turning off your phone for an hour (*yikes!*) — to clear your mind and fix your eyes on Him. Submit to Him. Ask Him to help you. And whatever He says to do, no matter how crazy or painful you think it’s going to be, just do it. Immediately. Don’t evaluate His love for you by this world’s standards. Only He brings life and freedom and wisdom. Only His word leads to the life you’ve always wanted.

Study: Isaiah 61:1-4; Matthew 6; Colossians 2:6-15

A Life of Worship

And we will sing
Unto our King
His love has set us free

Ring the bells
Ring the bells
Emmanuel

church bellsThe church bell in the steeple in the middle of a sleepy country town used to literally summon the people to worship on Sundays. The town crier used to ride into the town center, climb stairs to a raised platform, and literally shout proclamations to passersby.

May this song call us all to worship. May that worship in fact be a life lived to declare with our mouths and demonstrate with our hands a new potential reality in Christ — not just an hour on Sunday and maybe an advanced hour on Wednesday night, but every moment of every day. May our lives proclaim from a raised platform in the middle of our spheres of influence the goodness of God and the life He brings to all who will run to Him.

Study: Matthew 7; Romans 8

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About Jeff Block

Lover and follower of Christ. Husband and father. Writer and seminary student. On a long journey, learning to swim with the current of God's love and walk with Him in the garden in the cool of the day.
This entry was posted in Psalms, Music and Worship and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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