Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Center Stage

I'm always so encouraged when I find music that is truly Christ-centered and biblically sound... even in the so-called Christian music industry, this is seldom the case.  I recently discovered Jimmy Needham, an artist who is intent on making Christ famous.  I enjoyed playing some of his tunes today while running my brother and I to music lessons.  The air conditioning wasn't working, so the other drivers got to hear some truth through our open car windows. ;)  Sure beats a lot of the offensive stuff we hear on the streets in the summertime!

I'm really enjoying the album Nightlights, because it has so much variety... each of the tracks has its own blend of styles.  I love the lyrics in "Grace Amazing".  I'm not sure if I've ever heard a song that puts the words of Ephesians 2:1-5 so plainly... "you were dead in your trespasses and sins".  Jimmy Needham wrote a blog post about the song, and I'd highly recommend reading it (here) and listening to the song - it truly is refreshing and powerful to hear that marvelous gospel truth of God's grace, without all the "fuzzy stuff".  "Part the Clouds" is another song that has some really solid lyrics.

This living water will not quench us
If it's watered down
It's not our place to hide again
This treasure that we've found

We might as well just fold our hands

If we can't call a spade a spade
Cuz we will miss the heart each time
If we won't ever shoot them straight
These pleasantries shading me and you too
Let's part the clouds
And show the world the Son

Anyways, the music may or may not be your style, but I'm enjoying it, and I'm thanking God, who in His grace has raised up servants to speak truth in this dark world.  Needham himself has said, "the most dangerous place for the human heart is on stage".  I pray that ambassadors for Christ who have been called to that position would seek to bring God glory and not themselves.

This poem is the last track on the album Nightlights, and I think it has the power to convict each one of us of our infatuation with self.  May God alone receive the glory!  He needs to take center stage - we're just the stage hands, who are called to shine our "nightlights" to point to the blazing Son.

Be Thou exalted over my reputation
‘Cause applause is a poor form of soul medication
And I’ve tried it for years but my symptoms remain
Still fretting the day that they’ll misplace my name
Still selling my soul for American fame
Treating the promotion of Jesus like a well oiled machine
Advancing His kingdom just to snag some acclaim
Now, I’m both comforted and haunted that it isn’t just me though
I see a nation of people needing to feed their own egos
Parading status like steeples
Do we not know it’s evil to love ourselves more than both God and His people?
But see, here’s where you turn this poem on it’s head
‘Cause the greatest among us came as servant instead
And You humbled Yourself to the point of Your death
Apparently love for the Father’s glory runs red
So friends, will we point to the Son till our own flames grow dim?
Will our bright lights become merely nightlights near Him?
Words echoed once, let them echo again
Be Thou exalted over my reputation

1 comment:

  1. LOVE this Nina-thanks so much for sharing! I think I just found another wonderful music artist. :)