Part 3. Even the smallest difference in opinion can divide deeply, whether in politics or in the Church. We sit like armies, each one camped upon a hill, with the valley of war between us. Though we start down the Narrow Road together in joy, we drift to one of two sides. This week we learn what separated us and what each side has chosen to fight for.
One of my favorite parts of church is the singing. My life was always filled with music. We learned how to play the recorder in Grade 3. In Grade 5 we were given the chance to sign up for the school band. When I went home and told my parents I needed a trumpet, they were quite surprised. All through my school years I was part of the choir, which is where I learned music theory. Later I took that knowledge and taught myself to play the piano and the guitar.
Songs can stick with us for years. It will be a long time before people stop hearing the music of Disney’s Frozen every time they hear the phrase, “Let it go.” The songs we sing in church have the same power. We may not be able to remember them in their entirety, but parts of those songs can sink deep into our memories. They help us remember powerful truths about God and life. And no matter our situation, we can pull those songs out of our hearts, any time and any place.
Scripture describes what we do with our songs using many powerful words. One of these tells us to take the words we sing and use them to take God from the back burner of our minds and put Him front and center.
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The Narrow Road Paradox, Part 2.
The New Testament was written for a culture much like our own. Acceptance and individualism allowed everything to be approved and welcomed. Such a melting pot results in a big mess. Salvation brings many promises, and among them are Freedom and Purity. As we begin our journey down the Narrow Road we find them working in harmony, and our lives are better for having them both.
The Narrow Road Paradox, Part 1.
Jesus told us that salvation is traveling a narrow road leading to life. We have different ideas of the road being dangerous, tight, and unforgiving. When God tells us to incorporate two elements of life that seem contrary to each other, we need to learn how they work together to speed us on the narrow road.
I am a child of the 80’s and early 90’s. My parents wouldn’t let me listen to secular music, and for the most part I didn’t stray away from the Contemporary Christian Music scene. Anyone who grew up in the church back then listened to one of the greatest Christian storytellers of all time: Carman.
You never knew what to expect on a Carman album. There’d usually be one great story like “The Champion” or “A Witch’s Invitation.” Though his music is considered contemporary, Carman is versed in many styles of music. And he proved it with the song, “Addicted to Jesus.”
It was a venture that a few other CCM artists would bravely dive into with mixed results. Partnering with growing sensation DC Talk, it involved adding a hip hop, from the street feel. We were called to this positive addiction, obsessed with the Son of God, the Word of God, and in prayer.
There is nothing more amazing than feeling the power of the Creator of the universe touch your life. God created us with a desire in our hearts and souls that can only be satisfied by Him. No amount of pleasure or treasure can fill that hole. So when that hole inside of us actually connects with the one true God, our lives yearn for it to happen again. But can we go too far? Can we be addicted to Jesus in a bad way?
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