Lord of all, Your grace covers all things and You make all things new. As another year slips away, show us how to stop obsessing over things that we can’t take with us to heaven because all we leave behind is the impact that we had on the lives of others.
In the absence of so many things, we can be God’s light and love on this earth so give us the strength to push through the fear so that we can touch and change lives as Your Son did with us. The birth of the Son of God, His life, death and resurrection tells us the truth that fear cannot keep us away from the presence of God. Nothing can.
Lord, just “give us enough light to see the next step” (Vicky Beeching) for “many are the plans in a person’s heart but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails” (Proverbs 19:21). Center us now to step back into the story of “how God so loved the world that He sent His only Son” (John 3:16) to be the eternal living truth for all generations to know that “hate cannot drive out hate. Only love can.” (Martin Luther King) and Love won over death and sin and will continue to do so forever and ever. Amen.
I decided to celebrate Cinco De Mayo by singing my all time favorite praise song “Shout to the Lord” by Hillsong. I sing in both Spanish and English. My spanish is not so good but I wanted to address the global body of Christ and the many languages that are used to praise His name. I wanted to use this song in particular because this is the song that brought me back to Christ.
See, I had left the church several years ago while I was still in my youth. I was angry, lost and confused. I had so many questions and just could not get the right answers. I started to go down a very dark path until one very fateful night.
My cousin and I, loved to, and still love to sing karaoke. We are filipino, after all, so that should be no surprise to anyone. Singing is part of our culture. We would stay up until sunrise singing any song imaginable. But sometimes it is in listening that we are able to be touched in a way that moves our heart and spirit.
My cousin just happened to have one of those WOW christian hits CD’s. And during a much needed break from our karaoke, she decided to play one of the songs from this CD while we were cleaning up from our two person Karaoke extravaganza. She knew that I wanted nothing to do with religion or anything of the church but she played it anyways. Sneaky but it worked!!!
This song moved me. It’s simplistic beauty and truth hit my heart like a ton of bricks and then the walls that I had built up around my heart came crashing down. I opened up my heart to Jesus that night and I have never looked back. Yes, life happens and there are still so many questions that I have. But He has answered the one question that I had been searching for: Am I loved? He says…“This is how much God loved the world: He gave his Son, his one and only Son. And this is why: so that no one need be destroyed; by believing in him, anyone can have a whole and lasting life. God didn’t go to all the trouble of sending his Son merely to point an accusing finger, telling the world how bad it was. He came to help, to put the world right again. Anyone who trusts in him is acquitted; anyone who refuses to trust him has long since been under the death sentence without knowing it. And why? Because of that person’s failure to believe in the one-of-a-kind Son of God when introduced to him.” John 3: 16-18 (The Message).