This morning in choir we finally got to sing a song we've been practicing for a while that I absolutely love. It's called "Total Praise" and it's by the Brooklyn Tabernacle people. It says...
Lord, I will lift my eyes to the hills
knowing my help is coming from You.
Your peace You give me
in time of the storm.
You are the source of my strength.
You are the strength of my life.
I lift my hands in total praise to You.
It's such an incredible song with a powerful picture of true worship. I'm really glad we got to sing it today.
In my quiet time lately I've been reading in Galatians. Paul is writing to the Galatian people and explaining to them that they have been set free from the law because Christ provides salvation through His grace. Here are a few "application" type things I wrote down.
"We should not begin to think that our good works make us any better than someone else. If we feel that way, Christ's death is in vain." (2:15-21)
"Christ's blood not only saves us, but also is the only way by which we can be perfected. It is Christ, not ourselves." (3:1-9)
"Funny how we try to come up with our own way of doing things even after God has told us the way He wants it done!" (3:17-22)
"Although we are corrupt, God loves us enough to ADOPT us and clean us up and make us royalty! How incredible! We are now princes and princesses!" (4:1-7)
"Don't leave behind your excitement for Christ when circumstances aren't perfect. Remain zealous!" (4:8-18)
"The promises of God are always stronger than our ability to keep the law. In salvation through faith when we fall God's grace catches us. There's nothing to catch you under the law, yet you WILL fall!" (4:19-26)
"God has set us free so we should live like it. At the same time, we are to honor, not abuse, the grace He's given us." (4:27-5:1)
The Galatians had been saved, yet they still tried to keep the law as if that was what would "keep" them saved. Paul tried to get them to understand that God isn't concerned with how good you are because He saves us just as we are. I remembered this morning that our good or bad deeds do not make us more or less saved, and also do not make it easier or harder for Christ to save us! He had to die for our sins regardless of whether we only told one little lie or were murderers. This is not to say that Christ does not want us to pursue good works after our salvation; we simply should not act as though our good works are what saves us or as if they will give us more favor in the eyes of God. God sees us all the same: we're either His children or we're not. There's only two possibilities. Good works are simply what we should be compelled to do in response to what Christ has done for us. I hope this all made sense. Feel free to leave comments or questions if I've confused you on any point! Later.