Friday, September 1, 2006

Voice From Home

"Don't be afraid, I've redeemed you. I've called your name. You're mine. When you're in over your head, I'll be there with you... When you're between a rock and a hard place, it won't be a dead end - because I am GOD, your personal God, The Holy of Israel, your Savior. I paid a huge price for you… That's how much you mean to me! That's how much I love you!” (Isaiah 43:1-4, The Message)

Around the time the “Voice From Home” CD from Christian group FFH was released, I heard lead singer Jeromy Deibler explaining the album’s concept during a radio interview. He said it’s basically the opposite of a worship album. Not that FFH is by any means down on worshiping God (!), but the gist I got from the interview is that we have such a focus on telling God how great He is and on performing for Him (which sometimes results in the perception that our identity in Christ results from what we do rather than the other way around), that we’ve hardly paid any attention to HIS loving voice toward us, and to what great things HE has to say to us and about us!

Rather than lyrics that sing praises to God and speak highly of Him (which again, is not meant to take away at all from us worshiping our Creator and Redeemer), this album contains lyrics that were derived from Bible verses that speak God’s voice to us – how He highly values us! His voice is not condemning. It’s not harsh. It’s not full of bitterness or anger. His voice speaks to each one of us as those crowned with glory and honor, just as the Son is crowned. We are in Christ, and He is in us, and the Father has the same relationship with us, His children, which He has with the Son (“the firstborn among many brothers” – Rom 8:29), all because of grace. The CD insert says of God’s voice, “It’s the voice of a Father, the first Father. It’s the voice of a friend, a true friend. It’s the voice of a lover, a faithful lover. It’s a voice from home, our eternal home.”

We call the Bible “God’s love letter.” Indeed it is! We may sometimes feel unworthy of His love, but that doesn’t keep Him from loving us anyway! He loved us “while we were still sinners” (Rom 5:8), and He loves us now as redeemed and justified saints (even when we are sometimes led astray by self-righteousness and sin).

As we await the return of Jesus, we can find some more words of comfort and reassurance in the promise He makes to John, “Surely I am coming quickly.” (Rev 22:20). John’s immediate response to that promise contains somewhat of a yearning and eagerness that perhaps we can all relate to: “Even so, COME, LORD JESUS!” But as eager as we may be and as much as we may long for the time when we’ll cash in these old earth suits and “meet the Lord in the air” and “always be with the Lord" (1 Thes. 4:17), I would bet my life that Someone else is even more excited and is longing and looking forward to it with even more joy and passion than we could ever imagine!

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