In order to 'get your song back', you MUST first 'have it'.
Many Christians seem to lose their 'song' for awhile, but if you have once 'had it',
you can 'get it' again.
I'm not talking about 'losing your salvation', but losing the JOY of full salvation!
Let me share about the 'MUSTS' of Salvation:
1) YOU MUST BE BORN AGAIN (John 3:7)
Vs. 1-7 tell of a good person, but this is not enough.
It tells us that he was a 'religious person', but religion (then and now) is not enough.
There MUST be an experience called 'the new birth' that leads to a relationship with Jesus.
Jesus is 'the Door' to all of the blessings of God and these start with the new birth.
As a Christian, you can not be 'unborn', but you can lose your joy!
2) JESUS MUST BE LIFTED UP (John 3:14-16)
"As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so MUST Jesus be lifted up,
that whosoever believes in Him, shall not perish, but have everlasting life."
In the Cross, we can know Grace in all of it's glory.
Truly the way of the Cross leads home!
Vs. 16 tells us:
Jesus - The Greatest Lover
so loved - the greatest degree
the world - the greatest company
that whosoever - the greatest invitation
believes - the greatest simplicity
in Him - the greatest attraction
shall not perish - the greatest difference
but have - the greatest assurance
Eternal Life - the greatest gift.
3) JESUS MUST INCREASE (John 3:30)
Vs. 29 speaks of the Joy of the Bride and Groom who seem to be so 'in love',
but sometimes that love wanes.
It is sad when some couples seem to love each other more at the wedding,
than they do later in life.
Our love for Jesus needs to increase more as life goes on.
Sour Christians have hurt the cause of Christ, perhaps, more than any other thing.
If you are a Christian, be sure and tell your face about it.
Present the best picture of Christ to the world that you possibly can, for Christ in you...
is the Hope! (Col. 1:27)
Isaiah 45:22: "Look unto Me and be ye saved all you, to the ends of the earth,
for I am God and there is no other."
Isaiah 12 is such a great chapter, but especially verse 2:
"God is my salvation and I will trust and not be afraid, for He is also my strength...
and my song."
Even Job said, "God gives songs in the night." (Job 35:10)
It is interesting to watch the Sunday morning crowd at church and see some who don't sing (and even some who DO sing) do not seem to have the Joy of Jesus.
I'm reminded of the response, "I can't carry a tune in a bucket".
That may be so, but we're to carry the tune in our heart....and in our life!
Our song needs to grow....not diminish!
David had a song as a shepherd, but grew in song and in strength to face Goliath.
We too, may have to face different kinds of 'giants' today...
but we need to bring all glory, praise and honor to Jesus!
Two other MUSTS are listed in John 4:4: (Witness) and John 4:24: (Worship).
In the rest of this paper, allow me to use Revelation 2-3...
where God speaks to the 7 churches of Asia.
1) The church at Ephesus (Rev. 2:1-7) had left their first love.
Jesus never completely leaves you (or a church), but sometimes it may seem like it.
We can lose our sense of needing God...
or forget Him for awhile...
or substitute things for our 'first love'.
Even prayer and heartfelt worship can be neglected.
How do you return to your first love?
The same things that saved you are needed for a 'sanctified and joyful life'.
Rev. 2:5: "Remember, repent, and rejoice."
Jesus also emphasizes that we are to be 'over-comers'.
2) The church at Sardis (Rev. 3:1-6):
"You have a name that you are alive, but really you are dead".
Vs. 2 gives the 'cure' for this:
"Be watchful and strengthen that which remains and ready to die.
Repent and overcome, grow and bear fruit."
3) The church at Laodicia (Rev. 3:14-19): "You are lukewarm. You say you are rich, but you are thinking about earthly things. I want you to have and use spiritual things for spiritual purposes. You MUST return to the first works....repent and rejoice and be warmed by the Spirit and follow the Spirit's leading."
In the light of these Scriptures, allow me to ask some questions of 'thee and me'.
a) How personal is your Savior to you? Do you talk to Him?
An older Christian was asked, "How do you know Jesus lives?"
He replied, "For one thing, I talked to Him this morning!"
Is Jesus your best friend? John 15:13:
"Greater love hath no man than this, than that he lay down his life for his friends."
We are to be willing to live...or die....for the cause of Christ.
In order to do this, we MUST crown Him Lord of all.
The children were singing the chorus, "My Best Friend is Jesus".
When they finished, one child said, "We left one out.....we didn't sing 'Crown Him'."
This is lacking in our lives sometimes.
We may not crown Him because of crowded lives...
or we may be running with the wrong crowd.
It is supremely important that we crown Him Lord of every area of our lives!
b) Do you know His Promises...and claim them....and live them by faith and the Holy Spirit?
I start my days with 3 Scriptures:
"With God all things are possible".
"Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on Thee...because he trusts in Thee."
"I can do all things through Christ Who strengthens me".
My favorite Faith Scriptures are:
Romans 4:18-21 (Abraham); I Kings 8:56 (Moses); Acts 27:25; (Paul)
c) Most of you are probably part of Christ's Family through salvation, but remember that "He loved the Church and died for her". So be a part of a good church.
Live a faithful and fruitful life, living the Fruits of the Spirit.
d) Are you ready to die?
The purpose of this paper is to help you 'nail it down' and determine for sure.
As I was preparing this paper, we rec'd an e-mail telling us that a friend of our's had died. Her name is Mattie Riley.
She and her husband, Duane, were appointed missionaries to Brazil about the same time that we were serving in Korea. Duane later pastored in Southern California and more recently here in the Norman area. She became ill only a few weeks ago and her death came quickly.
Then today we learned of the death of another dear friend, Dr. Rodney Wolfard, who with his sweet wife Sue, served as missionaries to Brazil for 36 years.
We thank God for these precious friends who shared God's Love every day of their lives, in many places around the world.
With their 'Home Going', we all need to love more...for what this old world needs is... 'Love Sweet Love'....and Jesus' Love is the sweetest Love of all.
This paper has the same title as another paper I did on March 12, 2005...
but the approach is different.
You are welcome to read the previous paper for what it says, supports what I've shared today.
A BAG OF TOOLS
Isn't it strange
that princes and kings,
And clowns that caper
in sawdust rings,
And common people
like you and me...
Are builders for Eternity?
Each is given a bag of tools,
a shapeless mass
A book of rules,
and each must make....
Ere life is flown...
a stumbling block...
or a stepping stone.
By our lives Lord, help us to be stepping stones to Jesus....
and life abundant....and Eternal.
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