are you being seduced by an impostor?

15 10 2008

just saw this video and … wow.  watch it all the way to the end. (props to jay for posting)

it is an amazing depiction of our lives as believers.  finding new life in christ, learning to walk and live like him, discovering what it means for him to provide for us… only to become distracted by something that looks more appealing and courted by what appears more attractive.  before we know it, we have allowed a host of impostors to seduce our affections away and to stand between us and the great lover of our souls.

unfortunately, this is where a lot of people stay… separated, isolated, destitute, afraid… alone.  not realizing that christ is fighting for us, to reach us and that the punishment he took on himself was in our place.

this makes me take an honest look at my own life and the “lesser lovers” that I have allowed to illegally access my affections and steal my gaze from christ as the head and source of my life.

what is separating you from the unconditional love of the father?  what impostor has broken into your heart and is now the recipient of your focus and affection?

christ wants to be everything… what is he competing against in your life?

God knew what he was doing from the very beginning. He decided from the outset to shape the lives of those who love him along the same lines as the life of his Son. The Son stands first in the line of humanity he restored. We see the original and intended shape of our lives there in him. After God made that decision of what his children should be like, he followed it up by calling people by name. After he called them by name, he set them on a solid basis with himself. And then, after getting them established, he stayed with them to the end, gloriously completing what he had begun.

So, what do you think? With God on our side like this, how can we lose? If God didn’t hesitate to put everything on the line for us, embracing our condition and exposing himself to the worst by sending his own Son, is there anything else he wouldn’t gladly and freely do for us? And who would dare tangle with God by messing with one of God’s chosen? Who would dare even to point a finger? The One who died for us—who was raised to life for us!—is in the presence of God at this very moment sticking up for us. Do you think anyone is going to be able to drive a wedge between us and Christ’s love for us? There is no way! Not trouble, not hard times, not hatred, not hunger, not homelessness, not bullying threats, not backstabbing, not even the worst sins listed in Scripture:

They kill us in cold blood because they hate you.
We’re sitting ducks; they pick us off one by one.
None of this fazes us because Jesus loves us. I’m absolutely convinced that nothing—nothing living or dead, angelic or demonic, today or tomorrow, high or low, thinkable or unthinkable—absolutely nothing can get between us and God’s love because of the way that Jesus our Master has embraced us. (Romans 8:29-39 The Message)





God is not a white man

23 07 2008

i love controversial songs, messages, titles, ideas, themes, etc that challenge people’s often stalemated theology and challenge them to examine what they really believe and why.  i love to see people’s perceptions rocked to the point where they have to dig deeper past the surface.

a lot of people know michael gungor as the co-writer (along with israel houghton) of huge songs like “friend of god” and “say so”, but gungor also has a killer band of his own (the michael gungor band of course) and they have a new album that is very good, to say the very least.  the new album was released independently last year as “all i need is here”, but will be re-released through brash music this september 9 as “ancient skies” and will have a few new songs, including the one this blog is about, “white man”.

i love the simplicity of what this song says, and can’t wait for people to hear it.  some will love it while others will freak out publicly but be forced to privately wonder why the concept of “God is love” with no boundaries really freaks them out. the lyrics challenge a lot ideals and boxes that people, including lots of “christians”, have ascribed to and put God in for many, many years… and i love it!  guess what?  He gets out of all your boxes!

God is not a man / God is not a white man / God is not a man sitting on a cloud
God can not be bought / God will not be boxed in / God will not be owned by religion

but God is love, God is love / and He loves everyone
God is love, God is love/ and He loves everyone

God is not a man / God is not an old man / God does not belong to republicans
God is not a flag / not even american / and God does not depend on a government

but God is good, God is good / and He loves everyone
God is good, God is good / and He loves everyone

atheists and charlatans / and communists and lesbians
even old pat robertson / God He loves us all
catholic or protestant / terrorist or president
everybody, everybody
Love, love, love, love, love

romans 8:38-29 (the message) says:

i’m absolutely convinced that nothing—nothing living or dead, angelic or demonic, today or tomorrow, high or low, thinkable or unthinkable—absolutely nothing can get between us and God’s love because of the way that Jesus our master has embraced us.

the love of God is so limitless and far reaching beyond our human comprehension, yet we often think that we are entitled to God’s love because we live a certain way, in a certain place or don’t do things that “they” do. it’s very interesting, actually.

what parts of these lyrics challenge what you have come to believe about the love of God?  a lot of people find it easy to think about God “being” love as long as it fits in the confines of their experience or surroundings.  for example, when i was growing up i believed that God loved people who went to my church or other churches that believed like we did.  if you were outside of that group, you were questionable at best and a straight up heathen at worst.  when you say “God is love”, what does that mean to you?  how have your perceptions of God’s love been shaped and have those perceptions changed over the years?

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