Struggles

You’re Not Afraid?

I would like to share with you, reader, a struggle I have been dealing with for a very long time and have only recently overcome(through God’s grace and with His help).  As you know, if you have read my About page, I am a lover of music.  When I was an unbeliever about 4 years ago,(I was about 12 at the time) I was under many strong ungodly influences, and came to enjoy listening to artists such as Linkin Park, Tenacious D, Papa Roach, Disturbed, and more recently Dr. Dre and Eminem(the list of  “bad” artists goes on, these are just a few examples). You see, I had this filter for bad music. Here were my two rules: No music that talks about bad things(unless it was catchy), and no music that had swearing in it(unless it was censored, or also really catchy).  As you can probably tell, this filter didn’t work so much.

So as the years went on, I was “convicted” on and off about secular music, and would get rid of it, then get it back.  Then a few months ago, when I was really struggling with listening to music by “bad” artists, but not necessarily music which talked about bad things, I was reading in Philippians, and these verses really convicted me.

Philippians 4:7,8 7  And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
 8  Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things.

Does music which has sexual implications reflect what is honorable, right, and pure?  No it does not.  Does music which swears reflect what is lovely?  Nope.  Should I even be listening to songs which are by artists who are not of good repute?  No, according to this passage in Philippians, I should not.

Now, I’m not saying that listening to secular music is always a sin. I still listen to some secular music. But, only music which is not wrong, does not speak of that which is wrong, generally what you would call the “neutral” stuff.  For example, a song called “This” by Darius Rucker.  It speaks truth, and has good morals, and if it was written by a Christian artist, you wouldn’t question it as a Christian song.  But when speaking to others about music, and mention of a secular song that I like comes up, what I say is different. I say I listen to that song, not that artist. Because if I say I listen to that secular artist, I am supporting someone who is not of good repute, and that would directly violate the quoted passage.

This has been a big struggle for me, and I know that I will still struggle with it.  But with Christ’s help, I can overcome such struggles to grow in my walk with Him and reflect Him better.

Before I finish with this subject, I would like to address an artist whom many new and growing Christians who are also music enthusiasts struggle with listening to.  Eminem has been on top of the music charts for about as long as he has been rapping. He has great skill in the music he makes, and I respect him for that, but he uses it for the worst purposes.  I pity him, because he has gone through so much difficulty in his family, and in his early life, yet is blind to the free gift offered to him by Christ. Instead, his response to the trials in his life is anger and rage at others for what has happened to him and for what he has brought upon himself. The Bibles description of him is found in Titus 3:3:

For we also once were foolish ourselves, disobedient, deceived, enslaved to various lusts and pleasures, spending our life in malice and envy, hateful, hating one another.

I have made a habit of praying for this man, that someone may be able to bring him the gospel, and that he would accept it. Here is a song describing how lost he is in his own words. This song is clean, listen to it if you so desire. The only reason I am adding it is because after I heard it, it gave me more of a desire to pray for this man, and I grew more somber in my thoughts toward him. It is basically a dialogue between him and his daughter Hailie, whom he is separated from. He sees his mistakes, yet still believes he is going to heaven. http://grooveshark.com/#/s/When+I+m+Gone+clean+/dzghD?src=5

I hope that you will pray for this man, that he will accept the gift of eternal life which is freely offered to him.

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The Word

A King

Something that we as Christians do not normally think about was brought to my attention just this last week at a camp put on by my church. Jesus is not only our God, but He is our King. He is proven to be a King, having been born in the line of David as prophesied in the Bible. Now a thought in reply to this statement maybe something like, “Well that’s a good thought, but how does that change the way I am living my life right now?” Well, we as Christians tend to do the things Christ commanded us to do out of obligation, not necessarily doing them with joy, but rather with a sense of duty. Now take the statement, “Jesus is our King,” and think about my previous sentence in that light. How do the subjects of a good king respond to the king’s commands? They do them with joy, hoping to please the king.

See, now it changes everything. From the things we say, to the urgency with which we do what our King has commanded us.  We should be desirous to do what Christ commanded us to honor Him as King, and we should be drawing others into Christ’s kingdom, that they may serve Him as well.  And there are many people who do not know His love.  Studies show that there are approximately 6 billion people in the world who do not know Christ.  That is our mission as soldiers of the King, to go out and make disciples of all the nations. Christ our King has shown us His extravagant love, and why should we be scared to show it to those whom have not heard? It is our flesh, using pride and fear of what others may think to stop us.  Ah, think of the difference we could make if we even just took the time to share with one person every other day. And we still have trouble doing just that.  Our flesh is strong, but He is stronger.  Though we are weak, wrapped and bound in these chains of flesh, we can through our strong and magnificent King, accomplish anything.

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The Word

The Point

After perusing my blog, you may start to wonder what the purpose is. To get to the point, I am doing this because I believe this is an efficient way to encourage fellow believers in their walks with Christ, by posting my findings in Scripture and what I think about these passages, and hearing what other people(you) believe about these passages. This will also help me in my own walk with the Lord, as it will train me to determine the truth in what I am reading and how it applies to my life as a Christian, and it will train me to state the truth of God’s word in a way that can be easily understood by others.

Now, the name of the blog. Believe it or not, the name actually has meaning behind it. I did not take two words and think, “Hey, that sounds pretty spiritual!” No, the name is actually derived from Romans 8, one of my favorite chapters of Scripture. It is taken from Verse 25, speaking of the coming of Christ.

Romans 8:24,25 “24 For in hope we have been saved, but hope that is seen is not hope; for who hopes in what he already sees? 25 But if we hope for what we do not see, with perseverance we wait eagerly for it.”

We are to wait eagerly with a persevering hope in the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, combating through our Lord the sin of our flesh, the world, and Satan. I pray that this blog will edify and encourage you in your walk, helping you to have a hope that perseveres through whatever circumstances the Lord allows in your life, knowing that our Lord Jesus Christ, is coming back.

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