Thursday, December 29, 2016

Okay To Act Like It

Those of you who know me well will probably have no issue with this question: What is my favorite hobby/interest ever?

Obvious, right?

It's music!

Most people around me would say TriMet (Portland's bus system). Yes, that is my most quirky interest that I have spent more time on than any other. But when it all comes down to it, music has always been my first love. Listening to it, playing it, singing it, studying it. I love music.

The thing I love most about music is how it speaks to me. This is why I love Christian music; the message in the music matters so much to me, so I want to be hearing the best message. The interplay between the lyrics and music creates something in me that nothing else can.

It is clear to me that God created music, because it is so special and amazing. And it never fails that the song I happen to be hearing has something in it that I needed to hear right then and there. God speaks through music every day.

One thing I have always wanted to do with this blog is write devotionals based on the songs I am listening to at the time. This is one reason why I don't have ads on my blog page, so that I have no monetary gain from this and can therefore reference copyrighted material, giving full attribution to the author.

Lyrics are poetry. They are crafted not just to mean something powerful but also so that they are aesthetically pleasing.

It has been a rough week for me. I, the typical human being, have made some mistakes. Everybody makes mistakes, but I expect good things from myself. So when I don't meet those expectations, I feel pretty low.

But I am reminded of a song that I have been listening to on the radio, the new single from Hawk Nelson called "Live Like You're Loved." The first line of the chorus says this:

          "So live like you're loved. It's okay to act like you've been set free."

This is really encouraging. Except that, after making mistakes, I don't feel like I'm free. How can I act like it if I don't feel like I am?

What I love about this lyric is how blunt and unpoetic it is. In an industry that is based on alliteration and the right blend, here's this lyric that just jumps off the page awkwardly. It's in your face. It sounds more like a guy scolding his friend than a poem.

But I'm pretty sure they intended it that way.

Here's the truth you and I need to remember. God's grace has set us free. The blood of Jesus on the cross was more than enough to cleanse us from all unrighteousness, and his resurrection is the ultimate victory over death. The gift of God is grace. It is a gift; I don't have to earn it. Nothing I can do will make me more or less worthy for salvation. It is a gift.

In John 8:36 (NIV), Jesus Himself says, "So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed." We are free, now and forever.

Sometimes we need a good Gibbs slap to remind us that, even though we may stumble, we are free of the chains we were once in, and free of the eternal judgment for the mistakes we make.

Therefore, it's okay to act like we're free, even if we don't feel like it. Even if we don't feel worthy of it. It's not about whether we deserve it, it is what we are. We are free.

So act like it! Don't let sin convince you that you are not good enough for freedom. Walk in confidence, knowing that God loves you and sent His Son to die for you. You are free today, and that will never change.

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