DiM | “Air I Breathe” by Mat Kearney

Today is “Discernment in Music” (DiM) day here at Faithful Stewardship (2 Corinthians 10:4-6 (ESV)).

October 13, 2015. Today we’ll be taking a look at “Air I Breathe” by Mat Kearney which currently sits at #20 on the 20theCountdownMagazine’s top 20 chart.

Well… I hope that this song has popped onto the top 20 charts is a short-lived anomaly. There is nothing in this song that conveys a Christian message. No Law, No Gospel, just a few words and some imagery taken from Christianity.

Mat Kearney VEVO Lyric Video

Lyrics (via KLove)

Air I Breath

Born and raised under the rain and a Western Wind
Felt the weight trying to live up to they say I am.
Is it any wonder Shame comes calling my first name
Is there any question if I’m the one here left to blame

It’s the same fight all over again
It’s the same bite breaking on my skin
It’s the same light when you let me in
You let me in you let me in.

You are the air I breathe
You are the song I bleed
You are the war that I can’t win
This is my white flag in the wind
Every word you speak
Is the air I breathe.

I feel like a contender
Bringing my fist to pistol war
I surrender that I need you now and you’ve loved me more
It’s like an ocean over my head and I’m under the light
In slow motion tonight

It’s the same fight all over again
It’s the same bite breaking on my skin
It’s the same light when you let me in
You let me in you let me in.

You are the air I breathe
You are the song I bleed
You are the war that I can’t win
This is my white flag in the wind
Every word you speak
Is the air I breathe.

I hear you calling my name out name out
Is there any other way now
I hear you calling my name out name out
I got nothing left to say now say now

You are the air I breathe
You are the song I bleed
You are the war that I can’t win
This is my white flag in the wind
Every word you speak
Is the air I breathe.

Discussion

Who is the target audience for this song? I have no idea. Not from the lyrics, nor from the video. None. Is there any reason to assume it is a song being sung to the Christian God of the Bible? Well… lets work through the song.

Verse 1. The singer felt the weight of trying to live up to they say I am. What does that sentence mean? If the use of “I am” at the end of the sentence is supposed to point to the LORD God who told Moses how to refer to Him?

Exodus 3:13-15 (ESV)

Then Moses said to God, “If I come to the people of Israel and say to them, ‘The God of your fathers has sent me to you,’ and they ask me, ‘What is his name?’ what shall I say to them?” God said to Moses, “I am who I am.” And he said, “Say this to the people of Israel, ‘I am has sent me to you.’” God also said to Moses, “Say this to the people of Israel, ‘The Lord, the God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, has sent me to you.’ This is my name forever, and thus I am to be remembered throughout all generations.

If this is what is intended, why slip in the “they say” piece? Are you accusing folks of misrepresenting God? The weight of living up to God’s Law is unbearable for sinful man. For those whose hope is in their own righteousness, there is no hope. All have sinned and fallen short of the Glory of the Great I AM. That’s the Law. The Law crushes us, exposing our sin and killing us for it. If this is indeed the intended meaning of this line, we should expect a Christian song to then share the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Call the crushed sinner to repentance and faith in Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of sin.

But, no… after rightly pointing out that our sinfulness rightly brings shame upon the sinner, the song then jumps to some odd reference about being left to blame. To blame? The unbeliever stands condemned by his unbelief. Guilty. In one sense, I could see it saying “as a sinful man, you have no one to blame but yourself”. That’s not the vibe I’m getting from this line. Let’s move on and see where it goes.

Pre Chorus. It’s the same fight all over again It’s the same bite breaking on my skin. There is a mention of a fight and a bite breaking on the skin. Is this the war against our flesh of sin? If so, without having mentioned the Gospel of Grace, this isn’t a war that the unbeliever fights. The unbeliever is dead in sins and trespasses. So the singer is a Christian? If so, then what’s with the crushing weight of trying to live up to God’s standard. There is therefore no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. We walk by faith according to the Spirit… when we sin, the Law convicts us of our sins, leading us to repentance. I hope the chorus clears this up.

It’s the same light when you let me in You let me in you let me in. Wait, who is letting whom into where? To whom is this singer singing? Is it to the “they say” who blame the singer for not living up to the I AM? Suffice it to say I’m a little baffled by Mat Kearney’s theology at this point.

Chorus. So, who is now the air that the singer breathes? The politically correct, benefit-of-the-doubt answer would be “God”. But so far, there is no compelling reason to substantiate that assertion. Watch the video… there is a general cloud motif with people faces where the backs of their heads are morphed into clouds or vegetation. Are we dealing with some sort of pantheism or panentheism? No clue… play this song on a secular radio station and that line could simply be the singer’s girlfriend. You are the song I bleed. Well, we have a blood reference, must be the blood of Christ, right? wait… no… somehow the singer is bleeding… a song. A song that is also the air that he breathes. You are the war that I can’t win This is my white flag in the wind. and a war that the singer can’t win, so he’s surrendering. wow. So, if the singer is singing to God, he’s finally “surrendering” as he breathes God in and bleeds the song of God while fighting a hopeless war against God. That is, if God is the referent.

Verse 2. I wanted to stop, but the thought from the chorus seems to carry over a bit into the second verse just before the rather wonky breakdown underwater.

I feel like a contender
Bringing my fist to pistol war
I surrender that I need you now and you’ve loved me more

I’m completely lost in whatever scenario Mat is trying to convey, much less where his theology rests. Does he really think he’s fighting against God? Sinning against God, yes… but that’s not us resisting God like a child who refuses to be hugged. That’s the wrong idea of sin. It’s the wrong understanding of surrender, too. It’s not like we are resisting being loved and forgiven and if only we’d just let go, God would be able to hug us and forgive us. That’s nonsense. But that seems to be the way in which Mat here is trying to depict Law and Gospel.

I’m not sure how to diagram the rest of the song… verse 2 has that odd breakdown and then we’re back to the pre chorus and some refrains… and I’m pretty much done with this song.

Other Notes

You may have noticed that at the end of the song lyrics, there are no citations for production, copyright, or writers. I normally pull the lyrics from KLove or Air1, but neither has any of the attributions for this song. The VEVO video, KLove, and Air1 all say that this song comes from his latest album “Just Kids”. Even Mat Kearney’s website has the VEVO video we are using. So, I thought I’d check out what information I could find on the CD sales page at Amazon. Found the album, but this song isn’t listed. The following comment explains why:

matkearney01

I looked for the Target.com version, still no bonus track. It seems to get a version of this album with this song on it, you have to order from Christianbook.com

Why do that? Unfortunately, I read through several bios of Mat Kearney, and listened to a few other songs on this album… He isn’t a Christian artist seeking to glorify God, he’s a musical artist seeking to earn a living appealing to both the secular and Christian markets. He only manages to nominally work in some “churchy” phrases here and there, but they don’t make sense in a Christian context, not when we try to discern his theology.

Conclusion

I’m disappointed that CCM would promote this song that only exists in special “christian” versions of his album. That’s terrible. As for this song, it doesn’t stand on its own. There is no redeeming this contorted mangle of thoughts set to a beat. In closing, let us look to the encouragement found in 2 Peter 3.

2 Peter 3 (ESV)

The Day of the Lord Will Come

This is now the second letter that I am writing to you, beloved. In both of them I am stirring up your sincere mind by way of reminder, that you should remember the predictions of the holy prophets and the commandment of the Lord and Savior through your apostles, knowing this first of all, that scoffers will come in the last days with scoffing, following their own sinful desires. They will say, “Where is the promise of his coming? For ever since the fathers fell asleep, all things are continuing as they were from the beginning of creation.”For they deliberately overlook this fact, that the heavens existed long ago, and the earth was formed out of water and through water by the word of God, and that by means of these the world that then existed was deluged with water and perished. But by the same word the heavens and earth that now exist are stored up for fire, being kept until the day of judgment and destruction of the ungodly.

But do not overlook this one fact, beloved, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance. But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, and then the heavens will pass away with a roar, and the heavenly bodies will be burned up and dissolved, and the earth and the works that are done on it will be exposed.

Since all these things are thus to be dissolved, what sort of people ought you to be in lives of holiness and godliness, waiting for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be set on fire and dissolved, and the heavenly bodies will melt as they burn! But according to his promise we are waiting for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells.

Final Words

Therefore, beloved, since you are waiting for these, be diligent to be found by him without spot or blemish, and at peace. And count the patience of our Lord as salvation, just as our beloved brother Paul also wrote to you according to the wisdom given him, as he does in all his letters when he speaks in them of these matters. There are some things in them that are hard to understand, which the ignorant and unstable twist to their own destruction, as they do the other Scriptures. You therefore, beloved, knowing this beforehand, take care that you are not carried away with the error of lawless people and lose your own stability. But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be the glory both now and to the day of eternity. Amen.

Amen.
In Christ Jesus,
Jorge

CTT | Unholy like Esau

CTTToday’s Completing The Thought (CTT) post will be a short Bible study. We live in a time where playing the victim seems to be the highest virtue in society. Playing the victim will excuse your actions, statements, lying, perjury, vitriol, and bigotry… as long as you can muster up a claim at playing “the real victim” in all of it. While the foolish, unbelieving world clamors in the dark in all of this… we who are of the Faith in the Gospel of Jesus Christ have no such excuse.

Suffering Just or Unjust Punishment

Let us begin by making clear that there is a difference between being a victim and playing the victim. Whenever someone is wronged (or sinned against) they are a victim of the wrong. Sometimes, however, the suffering endured by the victim is the due penalty of the victim’s sin. The wages of sin is death. Those who die in unbelief will be punished, and that punishment will not make them the victim of God’s Wrath, but the recipients of the due punishment for their sin of unbelief. There are a couple of places we could go to work this out, but for today’s scenario I want to begin in 1 Peter 2.

1 Peter 2:18-25 (ESV)

18 Servants, be subject to your masters with all respect, not only to the good and gentle but also to the unjust. 19 For this is a gracious thing, when, mindful of God, one endures sorrows while suffering unjustly. 20 For what credit is it if, when you sin and are beaten for it, you endure? But if when you do good and suffer for it you endure, this is a gracious thing in the sight of God. 21 For to this you have been called, because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example, so that you might follow in his steps. 22 He committed no sin, neither was deceit found in his mouth. 23 When he was reviled, he did not revile in return; when he suffered, he did not threaten, but continued entrusting himself to him who judges justly. 24 He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. By his wounds you have been healed. 25 For you were straying like sheep, but have now returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls.

So, then, is there any real credit for enduring just punishment? No. However, for those times where we endure punishment that is unjust, we are taking part in the suffering of Christ, and there will be great reward laid up for us in Heaven for it. I love the Gospel clearly written in this short passage, too. The Apostle Paul often referred to his sufferings for the sake of the cross as his privilege to join in Christ’s suffering. I think that is a vital way of looking at it in the tribulation that is coming, and in some ways already is here.

Do Not Grow Weary

With this idea in place, let us now look to what the Writer of Hebrews wrote after his review of the Hall of Faith (Hebrews 11). As the writer move on to encourage his audience in the Faith, we will see a clear reference to Esau.

Hebrews 12:1-17 (ESV)

Jesus, Founder and Perfecter of Our Faith

Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.

Do Not Grow Weary

Consider him who endured from sinners such hostility against himself, so that you may not grow weary or fainthearted. In your struggle against sin you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood. And have you forgotten the exhortation that addresses you as sons?

“My son, do not regard lightly the discipline of the Lord,
    nor be weary when reproved by him.
For the Lord disciplines the one he loves,
    and chastises every son whom he receives.”

It is for discipline that you have to endure. God is treating you as sons. For what son is there whom his father does not discipline? If you are left without discipline, in which all have participated, then you are illegitimate children and not sons. Besides this, we have had earthly fathers who disciplined us and we respected them. Shall we not much more be subject to the Father of spirits and live? 10 For they disciplined us for a short time as it seemed best to them, but he disciplines us for our good, that we may share his holiness. 11 For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.

12 Therefore lift your drooping hands and strengthen your weak knees, 13 and make straight paths for your feet, so that what is lame may not be put out of joint but rather be healed. 14 Strive for peace with everyone, and for the holiness without which no one will see the Lord. 15 See to it that no one fails to obtain the grace of God; that no “root of bitterness” springs up and causes trouble, and by it many become defiled; 16 that no one is sexually immoral or unholy like Esau, who sold his birthright for a single meal. 17 For you know that afterward, when he desired to inherit the blessing, he was rejected, for he found no chance to repent, though he sought it with tears.

Is it not fascinating to you, that Esau would be the first example of unholiness mentioned after the heroes of the faith listed in Hebrews 11? And of all of the names we might consider as the example of sexual immorality and unholiness, why Esau? The focal point is in the selling of his birthright. The context here is one of believers having been adopted into the Kingdom of God by faith. By faith we are made heirs and joint-heirs with Christ. As sons we are being disciplined by God to take part in holiness. Those who are left without discipline are described as illegitimate children, not sons. Let us review the story of Jacob and Esau and a bowl of stew.

Esau Sells His Birthright

We reviewed the story of Jacob and Esau a while back. We were focused on the fact that God had chosen Jacob over Esau. This time, we are going to look at segments related to what the writer of Hebrews describes as the immoral and unholy character of Esau.

Genesis 25:29-34 (ESV)

29 Once when Jacob was cooking stew, Esau came in from the field, and he was exhausted. 30 And Esau said to Jacob, “Let me eat some of that red stew, for I am exhausted!” (Therefore his name was called Edom.) 31 Jacob said, “Sell me your birthright now.” 32 Esau said, “I am about to die; of what use is a birthright to me?” 33 Jacob said, “Swear to me now.” So he swore to him and sold his birthright to Jacob. 34 Then Jacob gave Esau bread and lentil stew, and he ate and drank and rose and went his way. Thus Esau despised his birthright.

For a bit of stew… Esau despised his birthright. Had Esau earned that birthright? No. It was his by the Grace of having been born first. We, the readers, know at this time that God had already made clear that He had already chosen Jacob as Isaac’s heir… but such transfer of blessing had not yet taken place. In the flesh, Esau is the firstborn son of Isaac, and it is his birthright. Not only the wealth and riches accumulated by Isaac (and passed down from Abraham), but also the Promise of the Messiah and the promises of God to Abraham. Esau lacked faith, and despised this birthright for the sake of something as empty and temporal as a bowl of stew.

In our present culture, we’d no-doubt see trending hashtags painting Jacob as the predator, who took advantage of Esau’s hunger to steal his birthright. That Esau was the victim of Jacob’s craftiness. Later, we’ll see Esau blame Jacob, too… and when he does, he won’t accept responsibility for this act of selling his birthright to Jacob. As we continue reading in Genesis, notice that in the very next account, God appears to Isaac reminding him of the Promise of Abraham and confirms His promise to Isaac and his offspring. The reader is being reminded of the significance of the birthright that Esau despised. As read in Chapter 27, we see Isaac desiring to grant a blessing to his son, Esau. We discussed this in our last review of this passage, where Rebekah, knowing the Word of the Lord concerning Jacob and Esau, that God had chosen Jacob over Esau, devised a plan to prevent Isaac from disobeying the Word of the Lord concerning Esau. As the plan unfolds, Isaac gives the following blessing to Jacob, thinking he was Esau:

Genesis 27:26-37 (ESV)

26 Then his father Isaac said to him, “Come near and kiss me, my son.” 27 So he came near and kissed him. And Isaac smelled the smell of his garments and blessed him and said,

“See, the smell of my son
    is as the smell of a field that the Lord has blessed!
28 May God give you of the dew of heaven
    and of the fatness of the earth
    and plenty of grain and wine.
29 Let peoples serve you,
    and nations bow down to you.
Be lord over your brothers,
    and may your mother’s sons bow down to you.
Cursed be everyone who curses you,
    and blessed be everyone who blesses you!”

30 As soon as Isaac had finished blessing Jacob, when Jacob had scarcely gone out from the presence of Isaac his father, Esau his brother came in from his hunting. 31 He also prepared delicious food and brought it to his father. And he said to his father, “Let my father arise and eat of his son’s game, that you may bless me.” 32 His father Isaac said to him, “Who are you?” He answered, “I am your son, your firstborn, Esau.” 33 Then Isaac trembled very violently and said, “Who was it then that hunted game and brought it to me, and I ate it all before you came, and I have blessed him? Yes, and he shall be blessed.” 34 As soon as Esau heard the words of his father, he cried out with an exceedingly great and bitter cry and said to his father, “Bless me, even me also, O my father!” 35 But he said, “Your brother came deceitfully, and he has taken away your blessing.”36 Esau said, “Is he not rightly named Jacob? For he has cheated me these two times. He took away my birthright, and behold, now he has taken away my blessing.” Then he said, “Have you not reserved a blessing for me?” 37 Isaac answered and said to Esau, “Behold, I have made him lord over you, and all his brothers I have given to him for servants, and with grain and wine I have sustained him. What then can I do for you, my son?

Genesis 27:41 (ESV) 41 Now Esau hated Jacob because of the blessing with which his father had blessed him, and Esau said to himself, “The days of mourning for my father are approaching; then I will kill my brother Jacob.”

So, Esau, turns to murderous intentions, while playing the victim of Jacob. Scripture doesn’t see it this way. In fact, Scripture ascribes unholiness and immorality to Esau, while including Jacob in the hall of faith. Was Jacob a more righteous person? No… we are all sinners. Esau despised his birthright and sold it for a bowl of stew. Esau had taken Hittite wives, thus his sexual immorality, for he had married ungodly women outside of the Promise. Jacob, had faith, Esau did not.

Conclusion

Esau is presented as the warning sign for sexual immorality and unholiness, for despising his birthright. This was being presented within the context of being made sons and daughters of the LORD God by faith in Jesus Christ. Do not for the sake of temporal relief, despise your birthright in Christ Jesus. Confess Jesus before men. Forgive those who sin against you. Hold fast to the faith once and for all delivered to the saints. 

Jude 24-25 (ESV) | Doxology

24 Now to him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you blameless before the presence of his glory with great joy, 25 to the only God, our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion, and authority, before all time and now and forever. Amen.

Amen.
In Christ Jesus,
Jorge

CTT | “I Deserve to be Happy”?

CTTToday’s Completing The Thought (CTT) post is a reaction to some disturbing trends in social media. The ideology behind the trends is nothing new, sinners are absolutely confvinced that they deserve whatever they want, that they deserve to “be happy”. The recent #ShoutYourAbortion campaign was an all-time low in American depravity, in that these unrepentant sinners shamelessly celebrate their murder and twist the narrative to paint their evil as though it was a good thing. Their proof? How happy they were. I much prefer the #ShoutYourAdoption response.

This weekend I saw something else that falls in that same vein, albeit stopping short of murder. I saw an acquaintance posted the following Facebook announcement:

divorce

This lady is not a Christian. A few years ago she and her now ex-husband jumped headlong into a cult that hosts what they call Insight Seminars. It’s a humanistic and pantheistic self-affirming cult that sometimes poses as workforce or family unity seminars. It’s a load a garbage, and the result is full-grown adults becoming infantile in their selfishness and self-actualization. Notice the hashtags. The self-absorbed can rationalize many things by declaring themselves empowered by them or somehow liberated from some form of bondage (real or imagined). Even the hashtags that seem to thank others, do so in light of what the others had done for her… which, from the text of the comment, was clearly encouraging her that she was doing the right thing by seeking her own happiness above all else. She is not alone in this. The world is filled with selfish sinners… this sin is in our fallen flesh, each and every one of us.

No, You Don’t “Deserve” to be Happy

Let’s begin with the reality of our sin. We are so depraved we don’t even have a right understanding of “good” and “happy”. These terms are grounded and defined by the very nature of God. Depending on the Bible translation you use, you could search for the word “happy” and not even find it in the New Testament. The KJV uses it a few times when translating the word makarios. In the ESV this word is translated “blessed”, and even in the KJV it is more often translated “blessed” (44x) than it is “happy” (5x). So what happens when a fallen and sinful world tries to understand a concept like “happy” with out the God who defines it? It bases “happiness” on its own desires, passions, and emotions. Let’s look at Romans 1 again.

Romans 1:18-32 (ESV) | God’s Wrath on Unrighteousness

18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth.19 For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. 20 For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse. 21 For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened.22 Claiming to be wise, they became fools, 23 and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man and birds and animals and creeping things.

24 Therefore God gave them up in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, to the dishonoring of their bodies among themselves, 25 because they exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever! Amen.

26 For this reason God gave them up to dishonorable passions. For their women exchanged natural relations for those that are contrary to nature; 27 and the men likewise gave up natural relations with women and were consumed with passion for one another, men committing shameless acts with men and receiving in themselves the due penalty for their error.

28 And since they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God gave them up to a debased mind to do what ought not to be done. 29 They were filled with all manner of unrighteousness, evil, covetousness, malice. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, maliciousness. They are gossips, 30 slanderers, haters of God, insolent, haughty, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents,31 foolish, faithless, heartless, ruthless. 32 Though they know God’s righteous decree that those who practice such things deserve to die, they not only do them but give approval to those who practice them.

It’s that last part that gives this away. Sure, the folks celebrating their divorces and the ladies celebrating their abortions use words like “love”, “empowerment”, “peace”, and “life” they are using these words to give approval for themselves and others who practice the very things that God hates, like murder and divorce.

Okay but Christians Deserve Happiness, right?

God is the one who blesses… and He chooses who to bless according to Grace and Mercy. Dear sinner, what do you DESERVE?

Ephesians 2:1-10 (ESV) | By Grace Through Faith

And you were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience— among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind.

Wrath is what we deserve. No, this isn’t an exaggeration for effect, this is the plain Truth. Our sin has earned us (deserved) the Wrath of God. This is the Law. Thankfully, there is more than the Law, for where the Law brings death, the Gospel of Jesus Christ brings Life. Let’s continue in Eph 2:

But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works,which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.

Dear Christian, if your salvation was by God’s grace, a gift of mercy, then where do we ever get the notion that we DESERVE anything more? We get that from our still-sinful flesh, not from the Word of God.

What About the Promises of God?

Okay, so if we’ve properly destroyed the misuse of the word “deserve”, there remains many who make unsubstantiated claims to the Promises of God. What is the Promise of the Gospel of Jesus Christ? Resurrection in Christ Jesus.

Titus 1:1-4 (ESV) Paul, a servant of God and an apostle of Jesus Christ, for the sake of the faith of God’s elect and their knowledge of the truth, which accords with godliness, in hope of eternal life, which God, who never lies, promised before the ages began and at the proper time manifested in his word through the preaching with which I have been entrusted by the command of God our Savior; To Titus, my true child in a common faith: Grace and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Savior.

1 Peter 1:3-9 (ESV) Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 4 to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, who by God’s power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, so that the tested genuineness of your faith—more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire—may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ. Though you have not seen him, you love him. Though you do not now see him, you believe in him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory, obtaining the outcome of your faith, the salvation of your souls.

When it comes to focusing on the Promise of Salvation, the focus needs to be firmly fixed in the future, the Day of His Return or the Day of our release from these fleshly bodies. We have been promised comfort in our struggles by the Grace of God and His Holy Spirit, but that is not mean we will live miraculous lives free from pain, hunger, or persecution.

2 Corinthians 1:3-11 (ESV) | God of All Comfort

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. For as we share abundantly in Christ’s sufferings, so through Christ we share abundantly in comfort too. If we are afflicted, it is for your comfort and salvation; and if we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which you experience when you patiently endure the same sufferings that we suffer. Our hope for you is unshaken, for we know that as you share in our sufferings, you will also share in our comfort.

For we do not want you to be unaware, brothers, of the affliction we experienced in Asia. For we were so utterly burdened beyond our strength that we despaired of life itself. Indeed, we felt that we had received the sentence of death. But that was to make us rely not on ourselves but on God who raises the dead. 10 He delivered us from such a deadly peril, and he will deliver us. On him we have set our hope that he will deliver us again. 11 You also must help us by prayer, so that many will give thanks on our behalf for the blessing granted us through the prayers of many.

Conclusion

We don’t live according to what we DESERVE; rather, we live by grace through faith in Jesus Christ. Emotional “happiness”  will come and go. It is foolish to live your life chasing an emotion. As we see in Romans 1, mankind rejected the Creator and was given over to their desires and passions and a depraved mind. As Christians, we are to put to death what is fleshly in us on a daily basis. The Happiness we pursue must be by faith, not by sight/emotion/circumstance.  We seek the blessing of the Lord that comes only by faith in Christ Jesus. Pray for the lost that their eyes and ears will be opened to the Truth, so that they might repent and trust in the Gospel of Jesus Christ to save them in the Last Day. 

Amen.
In Christ Jesus,
Jorge

CTT | Submission to Authority

CTTToday’s Completing The Thought (CTT) post will be an examination of the scriptures regarding submission to authority in light of what is currently going on with KY County Clerk Kim Davis and what will soon take center-stage with Oregon Judge Vance Day. Please keep these national events in mind and in your prayers, because the visible church is about to be tested here in the US and we need to be ready.

This is a topic that was addressed in detail by both the Apostle Paul in his letter to the Romans, and by the Apostle Peter. Please notice that in both cases, the instructions for submission to authority come after the teaching for what it means to live as Christians.

Let us begin with looking at Paul’s instruction to the Romans. For the sake of establishing context, let us begin in Chapter 12, verse 9.

Romans 12:9-21 (ESV) | Marks of the True Christian

Let love be genuine. Abhor what is evil; hold fast to what is good. 10 Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor. 11 Do not be slothful in zeal, be fervent in spirit, serve the Lord. 12 Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer. 13 Contribute to the needs of the saints and seek to show hospitality. 14 Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them. 15 Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep. 16 Live in harmony with one another. Do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly. Never be wise in your own sight. 17 Repay no one evil for evil, but give thought to do what is honorable in the sight of all. 18 If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all. 19 Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.” 20 To the contrary, “if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink; for by so doing you will heap burning coals on his head.”21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.

Romans 13:1-7 (ESV) | Submission to the Authorities

13 Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God.Therefore whoever resists the authorities resists what God has appointed, and those who resist will incur judgment. For rulers are not a terror to good conduct, but to bad. Would you have no fear of the one who is in authority? Then do what is good, and you will receive his approval, for he is God’s servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword in vain. For he is the servant of God, an avenger who carries out God’s wrath on the wrongdoer. Therefore one must be in subjection, not only to avoid God’s wrath but also for the sake of conscience. For because of this you also pay taxes, for the authorities are ministers of God, attending to this very thing. Pay to all what is owed to them: taxes to whom taxes are owed, revenue to whom revenue is owed, respect to whom respect is owed, honor to whom honor is owed.

Notice the hard instructions come before the mention of authority? I mean, really… the truly tough instructions on loving our enemy, blessing our enemy, and not taking vengeance on our enemy apply to all of our walk. Does this mean that every governing authority has the right to dictate to us our theology, morality, and understanding of God’s Word? Absolutely not. It does mean that if we pay taxes, we follow the laws of men that don’t lead us into sin, and we submit when their laws place us into custody. Let us look at how Paul walked this out.

Acts 23:1-5 (ESV)

23 And looking intently at the council, Paul said, “Brothers, I have lived my life before God in all good conscience up to this day.” And the high priest Ananias commanded those who stood by him to strike him on the mouth. Then Paul said to him, “God is going to strike you, you whitewashed wall! Are you sitting to judge me according to the law, and yet contrary to the law you order me to be struck?” Those who stood by said, “Would you revile God’s high priest?”And Paul said, “I did not know, brothers, that he was the high priest, for it is written, ‘You shall not speak evil of a ruler of your people.’”

Paul wasn’t wrong, what Ananias had commanded was indeed contrary to the law. However, Ananias was indeed the high priest, and Paul paid him due respect and honor for the authority he held. Paul wasn’t wrong. Ananias wasn’t right. However, Paul knew what was written, and that Paul was not to speak evil of a ruler of his people. If you read through the accounts in Acts, Paul remains imprisoned here despite not being guilty of breaking any laws of Rome nor of the Jews. Though Paul is innocent, he remains submitted to their authority to detain him. Why did Paul submit to wrongful imprisonment? Luke records for us why:

Acts 23:11 (ESV) 11 The following night the Lord stood by him and said, “Take courage, for as you have testified to the facts about me in Jerusalem, so you must testify also in Rome.”

Paul is eventually put to death in Rome. He spends years in prison, writing letters to the churches, letters we now hold as God-Breathed scriptures. Paul did not capitulate to the opinions of men regarding Godliness or the Gospel. Yet he was submitted to the governing authorities. I have to be honest, how the peddlers of the prosperity gospel get away with their false teaching is beyond me, except that they never allow their victims to read the New Testament in context. Let’s take a look at what Paul includes in the introduction to his letter to the church in Philippi.

Philippians 1:12-26 (ESV)

The Advance of the Gospel

12 I want you to know, brothers, that what has happened to me has really served to advance the gospel, 13 so that it has become known throughout the whole imperial guard and to all the rest that my imprisonment is for Christ.14 And most of the brothers, having become confident in the Lord by my imprisonment, are much more bold to speak the word without fear. 15 Some indeed preach Christ from envy and rivalry, but others from good will.16 The latter do it out of love, knowing that I am put here for the defense of the gospel. 17 The former proclaim Christ out of selfish ambition, not sincerely but thinking to afflict me in my imprisonment. 18 What then? Only that in every way, whether in pretense or in truth, Christ is proclaimed, and in that I rejoice.

To Live Is Christ

Yes, and I will rejoice, 19 for I know that through your prayers and the help of the Spirit of Jesus Christ this will turn out for my deliverance, 20 as it is my eager expectation and hope that I will not be at all ashamed, but that with full courage now as always Christ will be honored in my body, whether by life or by death. 21 For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain. 22 If I am to live in the flesh, that means fruitful labor for me. Yet which I shall choose I cannot tell.23 I am hard pressed between the two. My desire is to depart and be with Christ, for that is far better. 24 But to remain in the flesh is more necessary on your account. 25 Convinced of this, I know that I will remain and continue with you all, for your progress and joy in the faith, 26 so that in me you may have ample cause to glory in Christ Jesus, because of my coming to you again.

Did you catch that comment in verse 20? It was Paul’s eager expectation and hope that he will not be at all ashamed… he was praying for courage so that in his body, whether by life or by death, Christ will be honored. May we have the same clarity of mind and confidence in Jesus Christ our Lord when we face such trials and tribulation.

Now, let us look to how the Apostle Peter taught this matter in his letter.

1 Peter 2:1-12 (ESV) | A Living Stone and a Holy People

So put away all malice and all deceit and hypocrisy and envy and all slander.Like newborn infants, long for the pure spiritual milk, that by it you may grow up into salvation— if indeed you have tasted that the Lord is good. As you come to him, a living stone rejected by men but in the sight of God chosen and precious, you yourselves like living stones are being built up as a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. For it stands in Scripture:

“Behold, I am laying in Zion a stone,
    a cornerstone chosen and precious,
and whoever believes in him will not be put to shame.”

So the honor is for you who believe, but for those who do not believe,

“The stone that the builders rejected
    has become the cornerstone,”

and

“A stone of stumbling,
    and a rock of offense.”

They stumble because they disobey the word, as they were destined to do.

But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light. 10 Once you were not a people, but now you are God’s people; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy. 11 Beloved, I urge you as sojourners and exiles to abstain from the passions of the flesh, which wage war against your soul. 12 Keep your conduct among the Gentiles honorable, so that when they speak against you as evildoers, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day of visitation.

Peter comes into this chapter with a reminder of the Gospel, of the distinction between those who believe and those who do not. Finally, Peter charges Christians to be a people for God’s own possession, that we may proclaim the excellencies of Him who called us out of darkness. He urges us to abstain from the passions of the flesh… and he calls us sojourners and exiles. From what? From this world in which we still live but are no longer a part. Peter charges us to keep our conduct honorable, so that when we are accused as evildoers, they’ll see our good deeds and glorify God on the day of visitation. Notice that Peter isn’t promising that if we keep our conduct honorable everyone will like us.

1 Peter 2:18-25 (ESV) |  Submission to Authority

13 Be subject for the Lord’s sake to every human institution, whether it be to the emperor as supreme, 14 or to governors as sent by him to punish those who do evil and to praise those who do good. 15 For this is the will of God, that by doing good you should put to silence the ignorance of foolish people. 16 Live as people who are free, not using your freedom as a cover-up for evil, but living as servants of God. 17 Honor everyone. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the emperor.

18 Servants, be subject to your masters with all respect, not only to the good and gentle but also to the unjust. 19 For this is a gracious thing, when, mindful of God, one endures sorrows while suffering unjustly. 20 For what credit is it if, when you sin and are beaten for it, you endure? But if when you do good and suffer for it you endure, this is a gracious thing in the sight of God. 21 For to this you have been called, because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example, so that you might follow in his steps. 22 He committed no sin, neither was deceit found in his mouth. 23 When he was reviled, he did not revile in return; when he suffered, he did not threaten, but continued entrusting himself to him who judges justly. 24 He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. By his wounds you have been healed. 25 For you were straying like sheep, but have now returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls.

It should be noted that when Peter is talking about the emperor as supreme, Peter was martyred during the reign of Nero, an active persecutor of Christians. And from where did Peter draw his instruction to the saints? From the example of Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior.  Peter then brings it right back around to the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Jesus, the Son of the Living God, had done NOTHING wrong, yet He submitted even unto death, a horrible death on the cross for our sins, and for God’s Glory.

Conclusion

The Gospel of Jesus Christ can never be the occasion for rebellion and lawlessness. We don’t get to use the Gospel as a reason to overthrow our government in a coup. It is not the role of the church to take over the government. Neither is it a mandate for Christians to run and hide when the law of the land criminalizes Christianity or the Word of God. We are called to stand, in submission to authority, while testifying of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. A time will come when such submission will mean imprisonment for most Christians. The day will come when what is happening to Pastor Saeed Abedini in Iran is happening here. This world is passing away, nothing will remain. All will be brought to an end, and then the Judgement. Those who by grace through faith are part of the Resurrection, we shall see the new heaven and the new earth. Do not place your hope in this temporal life. Instead, let us place our hope where the Apostle Peter placed his.

1 Peter 1:3-9 (ESV) | Born Again to a Living Hope

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, who by God’s power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, so that the tested genuineness of your faith—more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire—may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ. Though you have not seen him, you love him. Though you do not now see him, you believe in him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory, obtaining the outcome of your faith, the salvation of your souls.

Amen.
In Christ Jesus,
Jorge

DiM | “Even So Come” by Kristian Stanfill

Presentation1Today is “Discernment in Music” (DiM) day here at Faithful Stewardship (2 Corinthians 10:4-6 (ESV)).

August 18, 2015. Today we’ll be taking a look at “Even So Come” by Kristian Stanfill which currently sits at #15 on 20theCountdownMagazine’s top 20 and at #2 on the KLove top 10.

This is another cross-over song written for corporate worship that is very popular on in Christian radio. This song serves no purpose for the unbelieving hearer, it is meant as a song of declaration of anticipation for the return of Jesus Christ for His Bride, the Church. We’ll discuss the merits of the song in that vein, to see how to best equip the believing Christian for maintaining a Gospel focus grounded in Biblical Truth. Overall, this song has some good stuff. The further removed from Passion/Hillsong the better, since their theology regarding the Church, the Kingdom of Heaven, Presence theology, and Word of Faith is aberrant. Whatever good can be found in this song, I strongly discourage anyone from accepting Hillsong theology.

PassionVEVO Lyric/Chords Video

Lyrics (via Air1.com)

Kristian Stanfill – Even So Come Lyrics
From the album Passion: Even So Come

All of creation
All of the earth
Make straight a highway
A path for the Lord
Jesus is coming soon

Call back the sinner
Wake up the saint
Let every nation shout of Your fame
Jesus is coming soon

Like a bride waiting for her groom
We’ll be a Church ready for You
Every heart longing for our King
We sing
Even so come
Lord Jesus, come

Even so come
Lord Jesus, come

There will be justice
All will be new
Your name forever
Faithful and true
Jesus is coming soon

Like a bride waiting for her groom
We’ll be a Church ready for You
Every heart longing for our King
We sing
Even so come
Lord Jesus, come

Even so come
Lord Jesus, come

So we wait
We wait for You
God, we wait
You’re coming soon

So we wait
We wait for You
God, we wait
You’re coming soon

Like a bride waiting for her groom
We’ll be a Church ready for You
Every heart longing for our King
We sing

Like a bride waiting for her groom
We’ll be a Church ready for You
Every heart longing for our King
We sing

Even so come
Lord Jesus, come

Even so come
Lord Jesus, come

Even so come
Lord Jesus, come

Even so come
Lord Jesus, come

Publishing: © 2015 sixsteps Songs // Worship Together Music // S.D.G. Publishing (BMI) (Admin. by CapitolCMGPublishing.com) // Vistaville Music obo Itself / Go Mia Music / Chrissamsongs Inc. (ASCAP) // Sony/ATV Timber Publishing // Open Hands Music (SESAC)
Writer(s): Chris Tomlin, Jess Cates and Jason Ingram

Discussion

To begin, it is important to note that this song is not written for the unbeliever. There is no Law/Gospel, Sin/Grace, Repentance/Forgiveness… this song does not convey the Gospel message for the unbeliever. For that, it will not get an overall Approval. The song’s message gets a little bit scattered after the first time through the chorus. Rather than a unified message, it sort of bounces between loosely related  verses, sometimes sung to God, sometimes sung to believers, so it can easily become awash in experiential emotionalism, so that bears some guarding.

That aside, as a song intended for believers to focus on the imminent return of Our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, I think it is quite good. Let’s work through the themes of the song and focus on the passages of Scripture being invoked.

Make straight a highway, a path for the Lord. The Prophets in the Old Testament often called Israel to repentance in light of the Promised Messiah of the Lord God. Probably the most often remembered passage comes from Isaiah 40.

Isaiah 40:1-5 (ESV) | Comfort for God’s People

40 Comfort, comfort my people, says your God.
Speak tenderly to Jerusalem,
    and cry to her
that her warfare is ended,
    that her iniquity is pardoned,
that she has received from the Lord‘s hand
    double for all her sins.

A voice cries:
“In the wilderness prepare the way of the Lord;
    make straight in the desert a highway for our God.
Every valley shall be lifted up,
    and every mountain and hill be made low;
the uneven ground shall become level,
    and the rough places a plain.
And the glory of the Lord shall be revealed,
    and all flesh shall see it together,
    for the mouth of the Lord has spoken.

Now, for the unbeliever, this is at-best a prophecy of “the end”, when God will finally be revealed. For those who have believed in the Name of Jesus Christ, we know this to be a prophetic call to repentance. If I may, we find similar words of comfort connected to repentance in Isaiah 57.

Isaiah 57:12-21 (ESV)

12 I will declare your righteousness and your deeds,
    but they will not profit you.
13 When you cry out, let your collection of idols deliver you!
    The wind will carry them all off,
    a breath will take them away.
But he who takes refuge in me shall possess the land
    and shall inherit my holy mountain.

14 And it shall be said,
“Build up, build up, prepare the way,
    remove every obstruction from my people’s way.”
15 For thus says the One who is high and lifted up,
    who inhabits eternity, whose name is Holy:
“I dwell in the high and holy place,
    and also with him who is of a contrite and lowly spirit,
to revive the spirit of the lowly,
    and to revive the heart of the contrite.
16 For I will not contend forever,
    nor will I always be angry;
for the spirit would grow faint before me,
    and the breath of life that I made.
17 Because of the iniquity of his unjust gain I was angry,
    I struck him; I hid my face and was angry,
    but he went on backsliding in the way of his own heart.
18 I have seen his ways, but I will heal him;
    I will lead him and restore comfort to him and his mourners,
19     creating the fruit of the lips.
Peace, peace, to the far and to the near,” says the Lord,
    “and I will heal him.
20 But the wicked are like the tossing sea;
    for it cannot be quiet,
    and its waters toss up mire and dirt.
21 There is no peace,” says my God, “for the wicked.”

The Promise of restoration, comfort, healing, and peace. The rest of our Lord Jesus Christ. We who are of the household of faith will enter into that rest. There is, however, no peace for the wicked.

Like a bride waiting for her groom… Here is where we need to pay attention to our theology and discern what is Biblical and what isn’t. Hillsong (and many others) push a “Kingdom” theology that declares the present church is the bride of Christ and we have a role to play in ushering in the Return of Jesus Christ. This is a false narrative. We have no part to play in spurring on the return of bridegroom; rather, our task is to be dressed in readiness and to keep our lamps lit (Luke 12:35). Hillsong hijacks the promises of God and twists them to promote their services or “worship experiences”. The end of the song with the repeating “even so come, Lord Jesus come” ends up falling into Hillsong’s presence theology, the idea that the point of worship is to invite the Holy Spirit to manifest in the church service in an emotional way… because Hillsong is a cash-cow selling an emotional high while calling it worship. The key to having the right perspective in all of this is asking one simple question… Who is preparing the Bride for her King?

Revelation 21 (ESV) | The New Heaven and the New Earth

21 Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.”

And he who was seated on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new.” Also he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.” And he said to me, “It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. To the thirsty I will give from the spring of the water of life without payment. The one who conquers will have this heritage, and I will be his God and he will be my son.But as for the cowardly, the faithless, the detestable, as for murderers, the sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars, their portion will be in the lake that burns with fire and sulfur, which is the second death.”

The New Jerusalem

Then came one of the seven angels who had the seven bowls full of the seven last plagues and spoke to me, saying, “Come, I will show you the Bride, the wife of the Lamb.” 10 And he carried me away in the Spirit to a great, high mountain, and showed me the holy city Jerusalem coming down out of heaven from God, 11 having the glory of God, its radiance like a most rare jewel, like a jasper, clear as crystal. 12 It had a great, high wall, with twelve gates, and at the gates twelve angels, and on the gates the names of the twelve tribes of the sons of Israel were inscribed— 13 on the east three gates, on the north three gates, on the south three gates, and on the west three gates. 14 And the wall of the city had twelve foundations, and on them were the twelve names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb.

15 And the one who spoke with me had a measuring rod of gold to measure the city and its gates and walls. 16 The city lies foursquare, its length the same as its width. And he measured the city with his rod, 12,000 stadia. Its length and width and height are equal. 17 He also measured its wall, 144 cubits by human measurement, which is also an angel’s measurement. 18 The wall was built of jasper, while the city was pure gold, like clear glass. 19 The foundations of the wall of the city were adorned with every kind of jewel. The first was jasper, the second sapphire, the third agate, the fourth emerald, 20 the fifth onyx, the sixth carnelian, the seventh chrysolite, the eighth beryl, the ninth topaz, the tenth chrysoprase, the eleventh jacinth, the twelfth amethyst. 21 And the twelve gates were twelve pearls, each of the gates made of a single pearl, and the street of the city was pure gold, like transparent glass.

22 And I saw no temple in the city, for its temple is the Lord God the Almighty and the Lamb. 23 And the city has no need of sun or moon to shine on it, for the glory of God gives it light, and its lamp is the Lamb. 24 By its light will the nations walk, and the kings of the earth will bring their glory into it, 25 and its gates will never be shut by day—and there will be no night there. 26 They will bring into it the glory and the honor of the nations. 27 But nothing unclean will ever enter it, nor anyone who does what is detestable or false, but only those who are written in the Lamb’s book of life.

God prepares the Bride, the Church of Jesus Christ. It is God who does the work, it is the Alpha and Omega who declares ‘It is done’! and it is He who allows the thirsty to drink without payment. Hillsong preaches a man-centric, works-based, theology that exalts the Hillsong brand. They are not the only ones who peddle in this false doctrine, but they are the single most influential music mogul in the world, and it is important that we recognize the theology that fuels their music. The Church has her marching orders, expressly laid out through the New Testament. Preach the Word, grow in the knowledge of Christ, keep the faith. What we’ve read in Revelation 21 isn’t about what the church is doing… or going to do… it is about what God is doing and Will do. With that in mind, let us read the last chapter of the book.

Revelation 22 (ESV) | The River of Life

22 Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, bright as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb through the middle of the street of the city;also, on either side of the river, the tree of life with its twelve kinds of fruit, yielding its fruit each month. The leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations.No longer will there be anything accursed, but the throne of God and of the Lamb will be in it, and his servants will worship him.They will see his face, and his name will be on their foreheads. And night will be no more. They will need no light of lamp or sun, for the Lord God will be their light, and they will reign forever and ever.

Jesus Is Coming

And he said to me, “These words are trustworthy and true. And the Lord, the God of the spirits of the prophets, has sent his angel to show his servants what must soon take place.”

“And behold, I am coming soon. Blessed is the one who keeps the words of the prophecy of this book.”

I, John, am the one who heard and saw these things. And when I heard and saw them, I fell down to worship at the feet of the angel who showed them to me, but he said to me, “You must not do that! I am a fellow servant with you and your brothers the prophets, and with those who keep the words of this book. Worship God.

10 And he said to me, “Do not seal up the words of the prophecy of this book, for the time is near. 11 Let the evildoer still do evil, and the filthy still be filthy, and the righteous still do right, and the holy still be holy.”

12 “Behold, I am coming soon, bringing my recompense with me, to repay each one for what he has done. 13 I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end.”

14 Blessed are those who wash their robes, so that they may have the right to the tree of life and that they may enter the city by the gates. 15 Outside are the dogs and sorcerers and the sexually immoral and murderers and idolaters, and everyone who loves and practices falsehood.

16 “I, Jesus, have sent my angel to testify to you about these things for the churches. I am the root and the descendant of David, the bright morning star.”

17 The Spirit and the Bride say, “Come.” And let the one who hears say, “Come.” And let the one who is thirsty come; let the one who desires take the water of life without price.

18 I warn everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: if anyone adds to them, God will add to him the plagues described in this book, 19 and if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God will take away his share in the tree of life and in the holy city, which are described in this book.

20 He who testifies to these things says, “Surely I am coming soon.” Amen. Come, Lord Jesus! 21 The grace of the Lord Jesus be with all. Amen.

It is my prayer, that as the song plays on the radio and repeats the refrain, “Even so come Lord Jesus, come…” that it will be this passage you meditate on. Our Lord is coming back, and He will make all things new.

Luke 12:35-40 (ESV) | You Must Be Ready

35 “Stay dressed for action and keep your lamps burning, 36 and be like men who are waiting for their master to come home from the wedding feast, so that they may open the door to him at once when he comes and knocks. 37 Blessed are those servants whom the master finds awake when he comes. Truly, I say to you, he will dress himself for service and have them recline at table, and he will come and serve them.38 If he comes in the second watch, or in the third, and finds them awake, blessed are those servants! 39 But know this, that if the master of the house had known at what hour the thief was coming, he would not have left his house to be broken into. 40 You also must be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect.”

Conclusion

The song bears a great proclamation of the Promise of our Savior… He is coming soon. Be ready, bear the fruit in keeping with repentance, and walk according to the Spirit by faith in Christ Jesus.

Romans 15:13 (ESV) 13 May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.

Amen.
In Christ Jesus,
Jorge