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Welcome to Blogging through music! Since music is such an important part of my life, it felt natural to come up with this.
Casting Crowns has got to be my all-time favorite group. Don’t get me wrong, there are LOTS of great Christian artists and groups out there, but CC just always hits right to the heart of the matter in everything. They don’t mince words and they aren’t afraid to tell it like it is, even if people’s toes feel stepped on. They are always there, spurring the Church on to good deeds. In fact, I consider almost every one of their songs a mini sermon!
Their new album is no different. It seems with each album, I think they’ll never be able to top it with the next one, but somehow, they always do. “Thrive” is filled with songs that make you want to rejoice in the life you’re given as well as strive for more. Thrive on Amazon or Thrive on iTunes. Honestly, the entire Thrive album has been really touching to me, and I wanted be able to take my thoughts from the songs and share them.
Love You with the Truth
is not first on the album, but I wanted to cover it first, with my new-found bravery for witnessing. I have been like the lyrics of this song. Sure, I’ve been known as the Christian girl, but very rarely did I go out of my way to witness, or lead someone to the Lord.
Jerry will often post on this series with me, but this time, I’m going to quote something he wrote two years ago (November 20, 2012), so before Casting Crowns ever wrote this song. When I found it, I was surprised (well, not overly surprised, since my husband is awesome, but I digress) to find how closely the two connected!
Man, it’s so hard to be loving sometimes, but it’s a command for those of us who claim to be followers of Christ. There is so much hatred in the world, so we definitely do not need to add anything to it. We must stand firm on sound doctrine, yet also be grounded in love.
The problem is that Christians often choose one or the other. Love without Truth is just as damaging to the eternal souls of unbelievers as is Truth without Love. The former lends itself to feed the temporary/physical while totally neglecting to nourish the eternal/spiritual. The latter uses Truth to intimidate and bully the unbeliever into submission.
We need to take our job more seriously. Everything we do and say, among unbelievers, can have a positive or negative spiritual impact in their lives. I’m saying this to myself as much as anyone. We need to be more thoughtful of how we treat people. We may be the only “Christ” they ever see. Love and Truth, bound together, in Christ.
Love You with the Truth
For the longest time, I believed the lie
That I’m not a strong enough believer
To be the friend that can take your hand
And lead you straight to Jesus
I’m waiting on the preachers, singers, and the teachers
To string the perfect words together
But every single time I have to say goodbye
I wonder will this be the last time
Waiting around to see if someone else can take over your responsibility to share the truth? Been there. :/
I can’t call myself your friend and walk away
When we love, we earn the right to speak the truth
When we speak truth, we show the world we truly love
I’m not pointing my finger, I’m holding out my hand
I lay it all on the line now to see God save my friend
OH how I love this part! If we speak the truth in love, how much more willingly will our loved ones listen to us? How often do Christians shout, bully or try to force our beliefs onto others? How is that showing Christ’s love?
Let my life and my words be the proof
I’m gonna love you with the truth
Gonna love you with the truth
Get that. My LIFE and my WORDS. My life came first in that sentence. What you DO is much more important than what you say. It’s true as a parent and it’s true as a friend.
Yes, God is love, but God is just
And we are separated in our darkness
So God let Him who knew no sin
To become sin to make us right with Him
It’s not about religion or earning God’s forgiveness
Or magic prayers or new behavior
It’s all about your heart, He’ll meet you where you are
AMEN! All of that. Love the “God is love, but He is just” part! How often do we hear “well a loving God wouldn’t judge me.” Not true. God is the ultimate judge! He demands justice!
Turn from your sin and trust in Christ as Lord
This is where I have to disagree. At least in the arrangement of the words. Trust in Christ should be first. You honestly can’t turn from your sin without the Holy Spirit to help you. So you must be a believer before you can turn from your sin.
Jesus is the truth, the life, the way
How I’ve prayed for this moment, that you would finally see
That God is more than religion, a stained-glass fantasy
And how I’ve prayed for the courage, for my silent faith to speak
Or that God would just send you a better friend than me
Ouch! Have you prayed for God to make you a stronger Christian, or to help your friend see the way of salvation without you, or just that someone new would come into his life, so you don’t have to share the gospel with him?
Be strong, sisters and brothers. God put you in that loved one’s life for a reason. Stand strong, rely on Jesus, and love them with the truth!
Open rebuke is better than secret love. Faithful are the wounds of a friend; but the kisses of an enemy are deceitful.
I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.
For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast. Ephesians 2:8,9
We’ve heard it said many times that “the truth hurts,” and usually we’re talking about the person who’s being told the truth. But sometimes, it hurts the truth-speaker just as much. It can be hard, inconvenient and downright painful. Sometimes, friends “unfriend” you, in real life, or on facebook. Sometimes, standing up for the truth makes people despise you. That hurts, friends! If it doesn’t hurt you, there’s something wrong. But seriously, telling the truth is not easy. And speaking the truth in love? Super hard sometimes!
I pray we can continue to do as we are called,
But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ
Iron sharpeneth iron; so a man sharpeneth the countenance of his friend.
Here’s the lyric video:
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