Not Just Some Miracle Worker

Christ was not just some miracle worker
Whose magic died with him,
For Christ is still alive and he changes the lives
Of those who believe that he came here
To die for their sins,
Came to die for their sins.

Christ was not just some man out of history
Who changed B.C. to A.D.,
For Christ stepped out of time to make room in eternity
For the world if the world would only believe,
If the world would believe.

But this world is far too ready when it
Comes to accepting Christ as man and nothing more.
But this world is quite unsteady when it
Comes to accepting Christ as God in human form.

Christ was not just some radical peasant
Who was crowned with thorns King for a Day,
For Christ has a kingdom that is not of this world.
I don’t know where it is, but I
Know that I’ll see it some day,
I’ll live there some day.
Some day.

About This Song:
Have I ever mentioned that I wrote a rock opera–The Identity of Divinity–some years back to “straighten out” the theology expressed by Jesus Christ Superstar at the peak of its popularity?

My work, which was presented by a dedicated team of friends, students, fellow church members, members of local bands, and even a few people I’d heard of but didn’t actually know yet, played to several hundred approving members of the community.

I can’t recall whether I wrote “Not Just Some Miracle Worker” for my rock opera or whether I’d written it previously and decided to use it in The Identity of Divinity.

Nonetheless, this song really emphasizes the fact that Jesus isn’t just someone who existed at one point in time but not now. And even though He was a man, He was also fully God. Believing those two things takes a lot of faith.

No other world religions claim that their founder was divine…or that he’s still alive. And Christianity isn’t a religion, anyhow. Our salvation doesn’t depend on pleasing God. None of us is good enough to do that.

Christianity is a relationship. Christ is the mediator between us and God Himself. If God the Father is the Judge, then Jesus serves as our lawyer. Not to claim that we’re innocent, but to remind His Father that He already endured a horribly unjust death sentence just so we wouldn’t have to.

Do you have that kind of relationship with God through faith in Jesus? I hope so.

 

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I’ll be back again next Wednesday.

Best regards,
Roger

Posted in Belief, Christianity, Heaven, King, Miracle Worker, Miracles, Religion, The Identity of Divinity, World Religion, World Religions | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Then Dawned Sunday

Then dawned Sunday, the first day of the week,
When into the garden silently came
Troubled women to anoint the body of their friend,
Who–Friday on a cross–had been slain.

These women had endured his trial; these women had watched him die.
They’d wept as they saw his body torn by pain.
But they never stopped to think–they never realized–
That what he had told them was true:
That they’d see him in the flesh, alive again.

These women approached the tomb in the stillness of the dawn,
When they saw that the rock was gone from the door.
“Fear not,” an angel said, “the one you seek is not dead,
But has risen and lives today,
And his spirit will live with you evermore.”

Then dawned Sunday, the first day of the week,
When out from the garden joyously ran
Shouting women to proclaim that One who had been slain
Had lived, died, and arisen as God and man.

About this Song:
This is one of my oldest songs–thirty to forty years. I used rhymes a lot more back in the early days of my song writing. And this particular song falls more distinctly into a folk-like style than some of my more recent songs.

While Jesus promised that the Holy Spirit would come to believers following his ascension, I don’t believe any of the Gospel accounts of the women in the garden had the angel(s) saying anything about that. Otherwise, I believe this is consistent with Scripture.

I hope you had a blessed Easter. Please leave a comment if this song has spoken to you.

 

Links you might be interested in:

I’ll be back again next Wednesday.

Best regards,
Roger

Posted in Angels, Dawn, Death, Despair, Easter, Jesus, Jesus' Resurrection, Resurrection, Tomb, Women | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Nobody Else

Who else is as wonderful as Jesus?
Nobody else, nobody else.
No one is as wonderful as Jesus.
He’s the only Son of God.

Who but Christ would die to pay for our sins?
Nobody else, nobody else.
Only Christ would die to pay for our sins.
He’s the only Son of God.

Who but Christ could rise from death in victory?
Nobody else, nobody else.
Only Christ could rise from death in victory.
He’s the only Son of God.

Who but Christ will come back to take us home?
Nobody else, nobody else.
Only Christ will come back to take us home.
He’s the only Son of God.

About this Song:
Unlike the Bible, which never changes despite the wide variety of translations available these days, my song lyrics aren’t set in stone. Occasionally I realize there’s a better way to say something or–in this case–something I should emphasize differently.

“Nobody Else” used to have three additional stanzas after “Who else is as wonderful…?” and no matter how appropriate “loving,” “merciful,” and “selfless” were in describing Jesus, I had done what authors are supposed to refrain from doing: I was telling, not showing.

Although I quickly grew tired of that song as written in 2010, it took six years for me to feel led and to find a way to improve it.

In 2016 I deleted those three stanzas and let the remaining ones show how wonderful Jesus was by pointing out that He died for our sins, rose from death in victory, and will come back again at the end of the age to take us home to Heaven.

“Nobody Else” is a pleasure to sing now. It helps me celebrate in a very personal way just how wonderful Jesus was…and still is.

If you’d like to say something about this song, I’d love for you to leave a comment.


rosagus

Links you might be interested in:

I’ll be back again next Wednesday.

Best regards,
Roger

Posted in Jesus' Death, Jesus' Resurrection, Jesus' Second Coming, Jesus' Uniqueness, Mercy, Resurrection | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Our Father in Heaven (The Lord’s Prayer)

Our Father in Heaven, holy is Your name.
May Your kingdom come, may Your will be done
On earth as it is in Heaven.

Lord, give us this day our daily bread.
Forgive us our wrongs as we forgive.
Lord, turn us back from temptation’s door,
And keep us safe from the Evil One!

Our Father in Heaven, holy is Your name.

About This Song:
The Lord’s Prayer is one of the Scriptures Christians are most familiar with.

But I wonder how often we forget the fact that Jesus used it to teach His disciples how to pray. It was a model for them to use, not one for them–or us–to necessarily use verbatim.

While I think it’s possible to actually pray the Lord’s Prayer rather than simply repeat it by rote, I also think it’s extremely hard to focus on each element of Jesus’ words while trying to pray that way.

That’s one reason I chose to set Jesus’ prayer to music and to rephrase it my own way. Not out of disrespect for Jesus’ words, but because I needed to say it the way I could better pray it.

What about you? Do you pray The Lord’s Prayer as if the words are yours? Or do you get caught up in repeating word after familiar word in a way that’s almost meaningless–or at least impersonal?

Maybe you don’t want to pray the way I’ve reworded this prayer for my song, and that’s fine. But you can dig out the meaning of each section of the prayer–I won’t attempt to get into that here–and express it your own way. And show that you’ve learned something from Jesus’ model prayer.

We don’t see many specific examples of Jesus’ prayers in the Bible, although we see a number of references to His praying. But I’ll bet He didn’t use the model  prayer as a mold from which to copy His prayers.

rosagus

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Roger

Posted in Jesus' Teaching, Lord's Prayer, Model Prayer, The Lord's Prayer | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Is There a Man Who’s Religious?

Is there a man who’s religious
And does what he thinks he should?
But if his tongue’s not under control,
His religion’s no good.

The tongue’s such a small thing,
Like a bit in the mouth of a horse
Or like the rudder in a ship’s stern
To keep it on course.

But the tongue’s more like the small spark
That sets the whole forest aflame.
Unlike the wild birds and animals,
The tongue’s never been tamed.

Is there a man who’s religious
And does what he thinks he should?
But if his tongue’s not under control,
His religion’s no good.

About This Song:
In my humble opinion, the misuse of the tongue is responsible for more problems than anything else I can think of. The apostle James agrees. He wrote the Scripture I based “Is There a Man Who’s Religious?” on. Check James 1:26, 3:3-4, and 3:5b…

26 Those who consider themselves religious and yet do not keep a tight rein on their tongues deceive themselves, and their religion is worthless.

3 When we put bits into the mouths of horses to make them obey us, we can turn the whole animal. 4 Or take ships as an example. Although they are so large and are driven by strong winds, they are steered by a very small rudder wherever the pilot wants to go.

5 Likewise, the tongue is a small part of the body, but it makes great boasts. Consider what a great forest is set on fire by a small spark.
(NIV)

What more can I say? The Bible–God’s instruction book for how we humans ought to live–hits the nail on the head this time as well.

The next time you’re tempted to speak in anger or to gossip or say something unkind about someone, think about this Scripture and ask God to help you do a better job of controlling your tongue.

If you have a comment, I’d love to hear from you. And I’d love to have you sign up for my quarterly newsletter (see below) whether you leave a comment here or not.

rosagus

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I’ll be back again next Wednesday.

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Roger

 

Posted in James, Religion, Rudder, Tongue, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

God’s Special Mirror

All those who hear the Word of God
But don’t apply its teachings
Soon lose sight of who they are,
With backs turned to God’s mirror.

But blessed are those who hear God’s Word
And put it into practice;
They gaze into God’s special mirror
And see just who they can be.

About This Song:
This song might remind you a tiny bit of another of my songs, “When the Storms Come,” which is based on Matthew 7:24-27–one of Jesus’ parables…

“Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. 25 The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. 26 But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. 27 The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.”

“God’s Special Mirror” comes from James 1:23-25…

23 Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like someone who looks at his face in a mirror 24 and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. 25 But whoever looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues in it—not forgetting what they have heard, but doing it—they will be blessed in what they do.

What about you? Do you listen to God’s Word and then fail to let it change your life? I hope not.

God’s Word provides abundant freedom. Are you enjoying that freedom or have you forgotten what you look like–and what you CAN look like when you’re obedient to God’s Word?

How about leaving a comment?

rosagus

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Roger

 

Posted in God's Word(s), Mirror, Obedience, Reflection | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Roadmap & Compass

Before I start a journey to a
Place I’ve never been before,
I get out the road map and
I plan how best to get there.

But life’s a different type of trip;
The map’s not mine to look at.
I don’t know where Heaven is,
But God will help me find it.

I’m attracted to God’s love
Like a compass to magnetic north;
God knows where I ought to go;
I’ll follow close behind Him.

Life’s a different type of trip;
The map’s not mine to look at.
I don’t know where Heaven is,
But God will help me find it.

Sometimes I get distracted by the
Things this world considers good.
God comes close, His love calls fresh,
And I resume my journey.

Life’s a different type of trip;
The map’s not mine to look at.
I don’t know where Heaven is,
But God will help me find it.

About This Song:
Thank goodness everybody doesn’t use a GPS to find the way to their destinations. Else the words to this song might seem as dated as the reference to trains in some of the old Johnny Cash songs I still enjoy listening to.

Where is Heaven? Is it in some dimension we can’t enter or be part of until we die? Hard to say.

Hard? It’s impossible. No one on earth knows.

Maybe that’s why I’ve used the same idea in “I Believe It!” The third verse of that song says, “Heaven is the home of God; He shares it with believers, though moving there takes a lifetime to do. I cannot claim to tell you just where Heaven is located, but–day by day–I long to see it more.”

God gave us the Bible as the instruction manual for righteous living. But it doesn’t give us step by step instructions for the trip to Heaven. Instead, it tells us that our faith in Jesus is enough to get us there.

The closer we follow His leading, the better. But that doesn’t mean we won’t get distracted and make some wrong turns along the way. When we do, we must draw closer to Him, for He alone knows the way.

Are you on the way to Heaven? Are you counting on God to lead you there? You’ll never be good enough to make it on your own, you know.

 

rosagus

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Roger

Posted in Attraction, Compass, Guidance, Heaven, Magnetic North, Road Map, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment