Snippets: On Repeat

Well, Parakaleo, the approach of the end of the semester leaves time for little other than Bible verses and song, so it’s time for another Snippets!

The past few weeks have been really humbling and challenging ones for me and many others. When I grow frustrated with not achieving at a level that I would like to be, long for Christ to return and make all things new, or feel a little heartbroken, or conversely, feel uplifted and am singing praise to God, my instinct is to pour my heart out in song. Something that sets the most heartfelt singing apart, though, is repetition. I am not a Hebrew or Greek scholar, but I have gathered from sermons and conferences that repetition in the Bible often holds the significance of something being very important. Instead of using descriptors like “very,” the speaker would just repeat the word being emphasized. For example, when Jesus would say things like “Truly, truly, I say to you,” it might be similar to us saying “really truly I say” (though that may not be so representative of modern vernacular, either). In any case, repetition represented emphasis and importance. When I read these emphasized words of Christ like, “Truly, truly, I say to you, he who hears My word, and believes Him who sent Me, has eternal life, and does not come into judgment, but has passed out of death into life,” I am encouraged. Everything Christ spoke was true, but I enjoy His personal emphasis on these truths that we can hold especially close.

I think the same sort of emphasis through repetition is used today, though in a different way. Many of my favorite songs, worship and otherwise, have some component of repetition. One of my favorite Switchfoot songs, “Redemption,” was one of what I call my “over and over” songs during a time when I was quite filled with fear and sadness. They sing the following: “My fears have worn me out, my fears have worn me out, ahhh, my fears have worn me out, my fears have worn me, worn me, out.” In case you hadn’t picked up on this- we were pretty worn out by our fears. But there’s something, at least for me, about saying it again and again that allows me to evaluate and reevaluate a) the truth of what I’m saying and b) what results from that.

A lot of the Snippets songs today have repeated lines, and I have written them out here instead of just writing “3 times” or something of the sort. I like to ask myself those two questions when I sing them- What is the truth of God’s love being strong, for instance? What does that mean? Where have I seen that in my life? And then I find myself saying again: “God, Your love is strong. Oh, how I need You.”

Your Love is Strong- Jon Foreman

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hA7YIqWzKfQ

God knows what I need

You know what I need

Your love is, Your love is, Your love is strong

Your love is, Your love is, Your love is strong

Your love is, Your love is, Your love is strong

The kingdom of the heavens

Is now advancing

Invade my heart

Invade this broken town

 

More Love to Thee- Indelible Grace

http://www.igracemusic.com/hymnbook/hymns/m04.html

Once earthly joy I craved

Sought peace and rest

Now thee alone I seek, give what is best

This all my prayer shall be:

More love, O Christ, to Thee

More love, more love, more love to Thee

More love, more love to Thee

 

Oh How I Need You- All Sons and Daughters

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bG6W1XOrEwU

Lord, I find you in the morning

Lord, I seek you every day

Let my life be for Your glory

Woven in Your threads of grace

I need You

Oh, how I need You

Oh, how I need You

Oh, how I need You

 

Carry Me on Your Back- Leeland

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OI5XWVXh_W0

When the ocean is raging, I find stillness in Your presence

And I lift my voice to say, Jesus, take me away

Carry me on Your back through the storm, Lord

Carry me on Your back, through the storm, Lord

Through the storm, Lord

 

For the Moments I Feel Faint- Relient K

http://www.jesusfreakhideout.com/lyrics/new/track.asp?track_id=1199

Gather my inconsistencies and place them in Your hands, place them in Your hands, place them in Your hands

Never underestimate my Jesus

You’re telling me that there’s no hope; I’m telling you you’re wrong

Never underestimate my Jesus

When the world around you crumbles, you will be strong, you will be strong.

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If Not, It’s Useless. IF.

I would be remiss if I just let Easter slip on by without saying a word about it. As I have written before, the precious day that we celebrated last Sunday is one of the biggest in terms of importance to the Christian faith. I think Paul breaks down the importance of Christ not only coming and dying for us, but also being raised again in 1 Corinthians 15, where he says (emphasis added):

And if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is in vain and your faith is in vain. We are even found to be misrepresenting God, because we testified about God that he raised Christ, whom he did not raise if it is true that the dead are not raised. For if the dead are not raised, not even Christ has been raised. And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile and you are still in your sins. Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished. If in Christ we have hope in this life only, we are of all people most to be pitied.

“But in fact Christ has been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. For as by a man came death, by a man has come also the resurrection of the dead.”

I’ve included the English Standard Version here, but the New International Version hits even harder in the first sentence: “If Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith.” Talk about taking the focus off of me. Without Christ having raised from the dead, becoming the Victor over death and showing His power, my faith is nothing, and the hope of the goal that I am constantly talking about pressing on toward is nothing. So Hallelujah! He is risen!!

Too often I forget, or fail to live out, how big of a deal this is. I am challenged by these words in Hebrews 2:3-4: “How shall we escape if we ignore so great a salvation? This salvation, which was first announced but he Lord, was confirmed to us by those who heard Him. God also testified to it by signs, wonders, and various miracles, and by gifts of the Holy Spirit distributed according to His will.”

So basically, this is truth. This is life-changing, life-saving  truth. And I am richly blessed just to know it. How much more blessed will I be, and will God be glorified, when I acknowledge His truths in more than just my head?

To read more about Easter and how it’s absolutely a big deal, you can read last year’s blog post here. And for the whole story of the Gospel (the good news), see the Bible! =) But you can also check out a much-abridged version here.