What should I write? How should I say it? These were some of the questions that crossed my mind as I thought about this week’s blog. As always, God used various things such as music to share a different aspect of His truth with me.
As many of you know, I love love love music. I frequently reference a variety of Christian music in my blog. Yesterday, as I was getting ready for church, Dad started playing songs sung by Michael English. One song stuck out to me and that was the song, “In Christ Alone,” (see video below) which made me realize that it is only through Christ that I can do anything, and when something glorious happens, I should boast only in Him. When difficult circumstances arise, the first person I should turn to is Jesus. In Christ Alone.
So before I continue with my thoughts, here are the lyrics to this song…
In Christ alone will I glory
Though I could pride myself in battles won
For I’ve been blessed beyond measure
And by His strength alone I overcome
Oh, I could stop and count successes
Like diamonds in my hand
But those trophies could not equal
To the grace by which I stand
Before I continue with the rest of the song, allow me to focus on what this first verse showed me. I could talk about all of the different things I have accomplished in life, such as good grades, various scholarships, achieved goals, but the truth is that none of that could have been possible without Christ. I could talk about all that He has blessed me with, yet I cannot overlook that is He who has given me those blessings. All these successes, and all of these blessings in life are great, but none of it could possibly compare to God’s matchless grace. None of these “trophies” could equal to the eternal relationship I have with Christ. In Christ Alone.
The chorus goes like this…
In Christ alone I place my trust
And find my glory in the power of the cross
In every victory let it be said of me
My source of strength, my source of hope
Is Christ alone
In every circumstance, good or bad, instead of trusting in the world and relying on Earthly things, I should place my every trust in Him. Only through Him, can I accomplish anything worth accomplishing. Sure, I certainly work hard, and hard work is needed to accomplish many of life’s goals, but without Christ, all that hard work would be for nothing. Christ loved us so much that He sacrificed Himself on the cross so that we could have a forever relationship with Him. So that is where I will find my glory, in the power of what He did on the cross. When I am victorious, let it be said of me that my ultimate source of strength, the biggest reason why I succeeded, the reason I had hope that it could be done, is only by the power of Christ. In Christ Alone.
The second verse is as follows:
In Christ alone will I glory
For only by His grace Am I redeemed
Only His tender mercy
Could reach beyond my weakness to my need
Now I seek no greater honor
Than just to know Him more
And to count my gains but losses
To the glory of my lord
I have come to realize that even in the bad circumstances, I should praise Him. Only through Christ, can I overcome any challenge or any trial. For truly through Him, I am REDEEMED! When I am with Christ, when my hope is placed in Him, I am not broken, scarred, bruised, ashamed, sick, or afraid. Instead I am loved, I am His, I am REDEEMED! Only His grace and mercy can pull me out of any situation. So in every circumstance, I should seek His face. Therefore I glory in trials, and I thank Him for my weaknesses, my sufferings. These circumstances allow me to fully rely on Him, and they draw me closer to Him. There is without a doubt no greater honor than to know Him more and more. Only by His love, can I live a life worth living. In Christ Alone.
So why should I fear, why should I worry? If my life is filled with Christ, if I am alive in Him, what is there to fear? In Christ alone, I can find courage, peace, and reassurance. And if am successful, how can I not give Him the credit for giving me the strength and wisdom to get the job done? It is in Christ alone, that I can truly find meaningful success. Without Him, my accomplishments would be for nothing. When life is going great, how can I not thank Him and give Him the glory? It is in Christ alone that I can truly be happy and enjoy life to the fullest.
Therefore, because of all of this truth, I will only boast in Jesus. How could I possibly boast in anything else? This reminds me of part of a song sung by Phillips, Craig & Dean called “How Deep the Father’s Love for Us.”
I will not boast in anything
No gifts, no power, no wisdom
But I will boast in Jesus Christ
His death and resurrection
Why should I gain from His reward
I cannot give an answer
But this I know with all my heart
His wounds have paid my ransom
I cannot boast in anything else! Any talent I have, any success I have is absolutely worthless without Christ. Therefore let my heart give Him all the glory, and let me boast in Him above all else. He gave His life for me (yes me!). I am so unworthy, of this sacrifice, yet He gave His life for me anyways. The very least I can do is give Him all the glory and boast in Him. In Christ alone will I boast!
As imperfect as I am, He chose me to be used for His glory. He chose me despite any weakness I have. What an honor! He chose all of us according to His purpose. He didn’t choose perfect people. He chose imperfect people. Never believe the lie that God cannot use you. Society may sometimes overlook you and tell you that you are worthless, but who cares what society thinks? God’s opinion is the only one that truly matters and He thinks you are precious and someone that can be used for His glory! It is often those society overlooks whom God uses to carry out His plan.
1 Corinthians 1:26-31 (The Message) says this:
26-31 Take a good look, friends, at who you were when you got called into this life. I don’t see many of “the brightest and the best” among you, not many influential, not many from high-society families. Isn’t it obvious that God deliberately chose men and women that the culture overlooks and exploits and abuses, chose these “nobodies” to expose the hollow pretensions of the “somebodies”? That makes it quite clear that none of you can get by with blowing your own horn before God. Everything that we have—right thinking and right living, a clean slate and a fresh start—comes from God by way of Jesus Christ. That’s why we have the saying, “If you’re going to blow a horn, blow a trumpet for God.”
Worded in another translation (NIV), the last verse says this:
31 Therefore, as it is written: “Let the one who boasts boast in the Lord.”
Society may tell you that you are a nobody. God thinks the opposite! He can use you and every part of you for His purpose. So boast in the Lord. Blow your trumpet for Him! It is in Him alone, that anything is possible.
When life is going great, when we find success, let us give Him the glory and remember that only in Him are all of these blessings and successes meaningful. When life has us “down,” let us remember to call ourselves REDEEMED and know that only in Him can we find strength and courage to overcome any challenge. When we feel worthless, feel as if we cannot be used for His glory, let us remember that we can be used for His purpose, and that it is through Christ that we find worth. So let us boast in Him and blow our trumpet for Christ.
In every situation, let us always remember these words: IN CHRIST ALONE!
English, Michael. In Christ Alone. By Donald A. Koch and Andrew Shawn Craig, 1991. Lyrics007. Web. 3 Aug. 2015.
New International Version. Bible Gateway. Web. 3 Aug. 2015.
Phillips, Craig & Dean. How Deep the Father’s Love for Us. By Stuart Townend, 1995. SongLyrics. Web. 3 Aug. 2015.
The Message. Bible Gateway. Web. 3 Aug. 2015.
In Christ Alone by Michael English
How Deep the Father’s Love for Us by Phillips, Craig & Dean