Today’s Readings:  click here  –  Psalm 105:1-6, 23-26, 45b; Exodus 3:16-22;                                         2 Thessalonians 2:7-12 (to open the scripture links – hover over, right click, open hyperlink)

I do encourage you to read the above passages, but the devotional today is going to take a more personal and desirable route.  Given the evil and darkness lurking in every sphere of our lives lately,  it may seem somewhat of the normal and possibly understandable to feel saturated with fear and doubt, as we raise questions to diminishing faith and surrounding obscurities in ourselves and others.  Quenching our dry and thirsty selves in our down time, quiet time, work time, any time with God’s mighty and faithful words, is the very thread of hope and strength we need to stand firm together in this falling world.

Reading and studying scripture is and has always been the foremost effective means to growing faith and favor with God.  It opens our hearts and minds to the life God has prepared for us and to his endless love and hope-filled  promises.  I never really was very good at this. I would read and study but it just didn’t make sense until I started to  engage in group bible studies, discovered bibles  that include life application commentaries that have proven to open my mind to understand and move towards living my life for a whole new reason.;  living my life for the glory of God.

Finding time to read and study scripture proved to an endless struggle.  But right from the beginning I discovered Christian music and radio. If I wasn’t reading, studying or praying, then I was LISTENING.  Every song sanctioned God’s love, promises, strength, hope and salvation, filling my heart and mind to feel Him close, understand Him more, and  grow an endless desire to live a  life of faith by serving a Mighty God and His Son who gave His life for me.

Christian music speaks volumes, piercing my heart with hope and strength to be brave and hopeful in this world.  It is like constant and continuous prayer with each note and lyric. Even if it is just playing in the background, my mind is still tuned in and can receive the blessings and messages it’s pouring out.

If you’ve never listened closely to the words and values of God’s word through music, continue reading here and witness the power that blasts captivating and authentic prayer and God’s word through each song.  Often, I experience songs that speak specifically to my unsettled heart, and this comforts me. Whether it is a specific lyric, verse or chorus, and in some cases, the whole song, that restores joy in my soul, like these few favorites here:

In the eye of the storm you remain in control, and in the middle of the war, You guard my soul. You alone are the anchor when my sails are torn. Your love surrounds me in the eye of the storm.  When the solid ground is falling out from underneath my feet, between the black skies and my red eyes, I can barely see.  When I realize I’ve been sold out by my friends and my family I can feel the rain reminding me;, You remain in control.  “Eye of the Storm” by Ryan Stephenson

This world has nothing for me.  This life is not my own. I know You go before me and I am not alone. This mountain rises higher. The way seems so unclear, but I know that You go with me so I will never fear. I will trust in You whatever will come our way, Through fire or pouring rain, we won’t be shaken.  You know my every longing.  You’ve heard my every prayer. You’ve held me in my weakness ’cause You are always there.  So I’ll stand in full surrender, It’s Your way and not my own. My mind is set on nothing less than You and You alone, and I will not be moved“We Will Not be Shaken” by Building 429

In my weakest moment I see you shaking your head in disgrace.  I can read the disappointment written all over your face. Here comes those whispers in my ear, saying ‘Who do you think you are? Looks like you’re on your own from here, ‘cause grace could never reach that far.’  But, in the shadow of that shame, beat down by all the blame, I hear You call my name sayin’ it’s not over and my heart starts to beat so loud now, drowning out the doubt.  I’m down but I’m not out.  There’s a war between guilt and grace and they’re fighting for a sacred space, but I’m living proof, grace wins every time!  No more lying down in death’s defeat. Now I’m rising up in victory. Singing hallelujah, Grace wins every time! Words can’t describe the way it feels when mercy floods a thirsty soul.  A broken side begins to heal, and grace returns what guilt has stole. And, in the shadow of that shame, beat down by all the blame I hear you call my name sayin’ it’s not over and my heart starts to beat So loud now, drowning out the doubt.   ‘Grace Wins’ by Matthew West

Lord, keep me in the moment. Help me live with my eyes wide open, ‘Cause I don’t wanna miss what you have for me. Singing oh Lord, show me what matters. Throw away what I’m chasing after, ‘Cause I don’t wanna miss what you have for me. Keep me in the moment, ‘Cause I don’t wanna miss what you have for me‘Keep Me In the Moment” by Jeremy Camp

This one right here struck a cord in my heart the first time I heard it, like it was written just for me:  You’re lifting my head up.  I was keeping my head down. I didn’t know love, But I do now. Cause You stood right there, and then You broke apart the lies. You told me I had something beautiful inside.  You brought to life the part of me I thought had died.  ‘Cause You stood right there until I saw me,  I saw me through Your eyes“Through Your Eyes” by Britt Nicole

Some see just a wooden cross but I can see the grace of Your redemptive heart. Some say, this is foolishness, but I believe the truth of Your redeeming love.  And some will say this place belongs to history. But I can see.  Yes I can see a cross that changes everything, and a love that sets the captives free, a hope that resurrected me, and the power of God for all who believe. I believe.  ‘Your Cross Changes Everything’  by Matt Redman

There are millions of songs that have and continue to fill my heart, restore my soul, renew my joy, seal my salvation, experience Jesus’ presence, reveal  my sin and wash me with forgiveness, satisfy my uncertainty, wipe away any doubt and fear, remind me I am a child of God, consumes my whole being with the earthshaking, unwavering, unfailing love of God. ‘Unfailing Love’  by  Chris Tomlin .

I encourage you to find a means wherever you are, whenever you can, to listen and pray through the lyrics of Christian Music. Try it for ONE month and see how God will work in your heart and life through each song.   Here are a few ways to do so:

WBGL Radio             https://www.wbgl.org/

KLOVE Radio           https://www.klove.com/

SHINE FM                 https://www.shine.fm/

SIRIUS Radio           https://www.siriusxm.com/themessage   THE MESSAGE

PANDORA                https://www.pandora.com/genre/christian-contemporary

Prayer:  Lord, help me to focus my life on seeing and hearing you through every part of my everyday.  I want to know you more, feel you move in my life, and experience wholeness throughout my soul.  I know that  is what you want for me, and I give you my life to mold me and make me an instrument of your LOVE and peace that serves and brings you glory.  AMEN.

Kris