This Ghost Is Way Friendlier Than Casper!

2017 MercyMe Summer Song Series

Do you remember when there were only three TV networks (ABC, NBC, and CBS) and Saturday mornings were reserved for watching cartoons while eating a bowl of your favorite breakfast cereal?

One of my favorite shows was ABC’s Casper the Friendly Ghost.

Casper wasn’t like the other members of his family and his friends. He didn’t like scaring people at all.

In fact, his favorite book was Dale Carnegie’s How to Win Friends and Influence People. (Smile.)

Today’s post is about a ghost. A ghost who is way friendlier than Casper.

And this Ghost, also known as the Holy Ghost, the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of God, and the Spirit of Christ, lives perpetually inside every believer in Christ.

In today’s post, I will be bringing this MercyMe Summer Song Series on their newest album, Lifer, to a close by sharing the message in its last track—“Ghost.”

Let’s begin by listening to Bart Millard, the band’s lead singer and songwriter, share the backstory behind this calming and comforting song:

I really like what Bart said:

A lot of people are wrapped up in being Spirit-filled and getting Spirit-filled.

My take is that if you’re a believer, you are filled with the Holy Ghost the day you call His name and there is no separation.

It’s more about being Spirit-led.

When you think about it, we (Christians) have a Ghost inside of us. If you’re not a believer, that’s a creepy thing to say.

The weird irony is that the only thing that keeps me from being afraid—the only thing that calms my fears—is the Ghost that lives inside of me.

The anthem for the album—the way to end the album—is “Holy Ghost, lead me through everything. Whatever You do, just lead me.”

I might step on some toes here, but I completely agree with Bart: If you are a believer, you are filled with the Holy Ghost the day you call His name and there is no separation.

I remember a season in my walk with the Lord where it was all about me trying to get more of Jesus, getting filled (and re-filled) with the Spirit, and constant introspection (Am I sinning? Am I not sinning?).

Frankly, I’m getting worn out just remembering it.

Thank God I don’t live there anymore!

If that’s where you’re living and you are completely exhausted and overwhelmed, then keep scrolling.

If you are a believer in Christ, then all of you (you are a spirit) is already united with all of the Spirit of Christ (the Ghost)! That just might be the best news you’ll ever hear as a burned-out Christian!

If you don’t believe me, let Scripture prove it to you:

“The one who joins himself to the Lord is one spirit with Him” (1 Cor. 6:17).

The believer in Christ is eternally fused together with Christ’s Spirit, never again to be separated from Him (John 10:28; 2 Tim. 2:13; Heb. 13:5).

“His divine power has granted to us everything pertaining to life and godliness, through the true knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and excellence” (2 Pet. 1:3).

Believers in Christ have already been given everything they need because of their eternal spiritual union with Him.

“You are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, and righteousness and sanctification, and redemption” (1 Cor. 1:30).

In means “in”! It doesn’t mean a part of us is in Christ. Our entire spirit (who we are) is completely immersed into His Spirit. No separation. Ever.

Now, let’s listen the entire song:

Christian, the Ghost that lives inside of us 24/7/365 is our comforting Counselor, our forever Friend, our sustaining Strength, our relaxing Rest, our heavenly Hope, and our perfect Peace (John 14:16-17, 26; 15:26; 16:7). He is everything we need, our All-Sufficiency.

What I love most about “Ghost” and every other song on Lifer is that they all accentuate the truth of our eternal spiritual union with the Spirit of Christ. And it all started the moment we called on the Name of Jesus, believing into Eternal Life Himself.

In honor of this God-glorifying, grace-saturated, new covenant-focused album, I would like to close with this little saying that I put together that includes the name of every song on the album:

If you are one of many redeemed saints who can thankfully and enthusiastically shout to Jesus, “You Found Me!” then “Grace Got You,” and you are now a “Lifer” in Him. And it all started when you first heard and responded to the “Best News Ever”—the gospel of grace in Christ Jesus. That’s when you waved goodbye to your old life and shouted, “Hello Beautiful!” to your new life in Him. “Even If” you go through hard times on this earth, you can still do the “Happy Dance” because “Heaven’s (already) Here.” Yes, that’s right. The Holy “Ghost” lives inside you 24/7/365 and there ain’t no storm that can change how this ends: “We Win!”

If you click on the the link in each name, it will take you to the post on that particular song.

Dear reader, if you’re like me, you may already be looking forward to see what new covenant, grace-saturated songs MercyMe will write and produce next.

I thank God for MercyMe and their commitment to sharing the liberating truths of the gospel of grace in Jesus Christ!

I’m wondering, now that this series has come to an end, which song from Lifer do you like the best and why? 

 

Disclosure of Material Connection: One or more of the links in post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
 Until next time!

 

 

 

 

 

P.S.  If you enjoyed this post and want to know more about me and the types of content I will be posting, please visit my About Page.

MY CONTACT INFORMATION:

Kim K. Francis
P.O. Box 357
Perryton, TX 79070

EMAIL
MY BLOG: KimKFrancis.com
TWITTER: @KimKFrancis 64
FACEBOOK: Kim K Francis

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Christian, Heaven Is Here & Now!

2017 MercyMe Summer Song Series

Christian, what if I were to tell you that you are already in Heaven—that you don’t have to wait until you pass from this life to go there.

I understand if your brain is going tilt-tilt right now.

Mine did too when I first heard this sounds-too-good-to-be-true news.

But then again, the gospel of grace in Jesus Christ is hands down the best news any of us could ever hear, acknowledge, and say yes to.

Until the early 2000s, my beyond-this-life perspective was: Heaven is a place I go to when I pass from this life through physical death or when Jesus meets me in air at the rapture and takes me there.

What changed my mind?

God’s Word.

In his letter to the church (the saints) at Ephesus, the apostle Paul wrote:

It wasn’t so long ago that you were mired in that old stagnant life of sin. You let the world, which doesn’t know the first thing about living, tell you how to live.

You filled your lungs with polluted unbelief, and then exhaled disobedience.

We all did it, all of us doing what we felt like doing, when we felt like doing it, all of us in the same boat. It’s a wonder God didn’t lose his temper and do away with the whole lot of us.

Instead, immense in mercy and with an incredible love, he embraced us. He took our sin-dead lives and made us alive in Christ.

He did all this on his own, with no help from us! Then he picked us up and set us down in highest heaven in company with Jesus, our Messiah. (Eph. 2:1-6 MSG)

When we believed in (into) Jesus, Father God took us (our spirit) out of the realm of darkness and placed us into the eternal life of His Son (John 3:16; Col. 1:13). And once we’re in Christ, we are in Him forever (John 10:28; 2 Tim. 2:13; Heb. 13:5).

Bart Millard, the lead singer of the contemporary Christian band MercyMe, has written a hope-exuding, celebratory song that speaks of the believer in Christ’s permanent change in spiritual location.

Let’s listen to him tell the story behind “Heaven’s Here,” the ninth track on MercyMe’s newest, grace-saturated album, Lifer:

I love Millard’s transparency and excitement about the gospel of grace!

The idea behind the song was, ‘If our promise of Heaven is no more separation from Christ, if Christ is in us, then, in a way, Heaven has already begun for us as believers … We don’t have to wait till this life is through … No separation, He has raised us up … We don’t have to wait, Heaven’s here with us … So, in some weird, stranger-things-kind-of-way, we’re already there, yet still on our way … Eternity’s begun for us … There’s no more separation in Christ.’

Now, let’s listen to “Heaven’s Here.”

I’ve said it before in this series and I’ll say it again. I don’t believe there is any other Christian band out there that is unashamedly declaring the truth about who we are in Christ and who He is in us like MercyMe! 

Let’s look at more Scriptures that amplify the truth that—in a way—Heaven’s already here for the believer in Christ:

  • “Therefore if you have been raised up with Christ, keep seeking the things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth. For you have died and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is our life, is revealed, then you also will be revealed with Him in glory” (Col. 3:1-4 NASB).
  • “Our citizenship is in heaven” (Phil. 3:20 NASB).
  • We are “aliens and strangers” in this world (1 Pet. 2:11 NASB).
  • “The kingdom of God is within you” (Luke 17:21 NKJV).
  • “God has rescued us from the power of darkness and has brought us into the kingdom of his Son, whom he loves” (Col. 1:13 GW).

If you love “Heaven’s Here” and want the truth of your forever fusion with Christ to go deeper, I would like to recommend a wonderful devotional, Heaven Is Now, written by Lubbock, Texas pastor and best-selling author Andrew Farley.

Millard and Farley connected through social media while Millard was reading Farley’s debut best-seller, The Naked Gospel: The Truth You May Never Hear in Church. (I wrote about their connection in the first post in this summer song series.)

The two ended up writing a grace-filled book together by the same name as the MercyMe album The Hurt and the Healer. (You can read the brief interview here to learn more about Millard’s grace-awakening.)

I will never forget the day I first heard about Farley and Millard’s connection. I had been reading Farley’s books and knew that he was passionate about sharing the Jesus-plus-nothing gospel. Just thinking about how their connection might impact Christendom made my heart leap for joy!

And now I’m looking forward to seeing more fruit from this divine connection in the future. (Smile.)

Next Wednesday, I will be closing out this summer song series by sharing the message in “Ghost,” the tenth track on MercyMe’s newest album, Lifer. It’s hard to believe this series and summer is quickly coming to an end.

I’m not sad about it, though. Fall is my favorite season of the year! For whatever reason, I get strangely giddy about its arrival. Maybe it’s the smell of pumpkin spice, the gorgeous foliage, and the refreshing, cooler temperatures.

And speaking of changing seasons, in my next post I will be sharing how the characteristics of the four different natural seasons—winter, spring, summer, and fall—correlate to the ever-changing spiritual seasons in the life of a believer in Christ.

Dear reader, if this summer song series has blessed you in any way, I would love to hear about it!

photo credit: Brad_McKay Cloud Art via photopin (license)

Disclosure of Material Connection: One or more of the links in post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
 Until next time!

 

 

 

 

 

P.S.  If you enjoyed this post and want to know more about me and the types of content I will be posting, please visit my About Page.

MY CONTACT INFORMATION:

Kim K. Francis
P.O. Box 357
Perryton, TX 79070

EMAIL
MY BLOG: KimKFrancis.com
TWITTER: @KimKFrancis 64
FACEBOOK: Kim K Francis

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Why Every Christian Should Be Doing the Happy Dance

2017 MercyMe Summer Song Series

I double dog dare you to try to sit still while listening to “Happy Dance,” the most fun-loving (and silliest) song on MercyMe’s newest album, Lifer. If this ditty doesn’t get you dancing, you just might be wearing concrete shoes.

Let’s listen to the band’s lead singer, Bart Millard, share the cute story (involving his wife) behind the making of one of the most kid-requested tunes on the album:

Hey, why don’t you get up, put on your dancin’ shoes, raise your hands (if He done changed ya), and get down to this deliriously playful song?

Go ahead! Who cares if someone sees you!

And who knows? They just might join you and get happy, too!

I have thoroughly enjoyed sharing the messages in the songs on this feel-good-because-God-has-already-been-so-good-to-us compilation. Every one of Lifer’s songs exude the best news ever—the gospel of grace in Jesus Christ!

We don’t have to wait until our circumstances get better to celebrate Christ’s finished work on the cross. We can celebrate right this very minute because the best news ever is that the good Lord done saved us and changed us on the inside! We were made brand-spankin’-new when we believed into Jesus and were joined to His life forever (John 3:16; 2 Cor. 5:17).

And, right now, we have the fullness of His joy downloaded in our new hearts (because He lives there twenty-four/seven) just waiting to be uploaded through our believing lives on planet earth (John 15:11; 16:20; 17:13; Acts 2:28; 13:52; Rom. 5:11; 14:17; 15:13; Gal. 5:22; 1 Thess. 1:6; 1 Pet. 1:8-9).

So, what do you say? Are you really going to let your not-so-happy circumstances and the bad news in this world prevent Jesus from doing the Happy Dance in and through your life?

Or are you going to celebrate His finished work and act like He’s telling the truth about who you already are in Him? (Click here for a wonderful article by Bob George, “Christ’s Finished Work on the Cross.”)

Life’s way too short for us Christians to walk around looking like we just sucked all the juice out of a case full of lemons. It’s time we notify our faces of what is already true about our flawless fusion with Christ’s Spirit!

Don’t you think that if we actually believed what God said in His Word was already (there’s that wonderful word again!) true about us Christians, nonbelievers would be knocking down our doors to find out where they could get some of what we’ve got?

And isn’t that what witnessing is really all about?

The only better advertisement of the gospel than a satisfied Christian is a satisfied Christian doing the Happy Dance!

If you have enjoyed this 2017 MercyMe Summer Song Series, I would love to hear about it.

photo credit: Tom Simpson Here we go!! via photopin (license)

Disclosure of Material Connection: One or more of the links in post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
 Until next time!

 

 

 

 

 

P.S.  If you enjoyed this post and want to know more about me and the types of content I will be posting, please visit my About Page.

MY CONTACT INFORMATION:

Kim K. Francis
P.O. Box 357
Perryton, TX 79070

EMAIL
MY BLOG: KimKFrancis.com
TWITTER: @KimKFrancis 64
FACEBOOK: Kim K Francis

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Don’t Throw in the Towel!

MercyMe 2017 Summer Song Series

Have you ever felt like a featherweight in this boxing match called life, being pounded by a daunting heavyweight opponent—also known as the pain and problems that come from living in this fallen world? If so, you don’t want to miss today’s post on the message in “We Win,” the seventh track on MercyMe’s newest album, Lifer

“We Win” is written to believers in Christ who feel like the circumstances of their lives have knocked them down one too many times and they aren’t quite sure if they will be able to get back up. It’s written to Christians who are ready to throw in the towel—to admit sure defeat—to give up on a dream, a relationship, or a tough situation they’ve been in for far too long.

Even if you can’t relate—if you feel like you are winning the round you’re currently in—this post is still for you. If you stay in this match called life long enough, you will likely get surprised by right hooks and left jabs that will cause you to lose your footing. Or worse, you may even get knocked out cold.

Let’s listen to the band’s lead vocalist, Bart Millard, tell the story behind “We Win” to encourage ourselves in the difficult round we may currently find ourselves in:

I think this song is a great encouragement and morale booster for the body of Christ. A lot of times, we go through things where we feel like we’ve hit rock bottom and feel like we’re getting knocked around and nothing goes the way we hoped it would go, Millard says.

But we just have to be reminded that we’ve been given this amazing opportunity to live like we’ve read the last page of the Book and know exactly how this turns out. Because in the end, regardless of how tough and difficult things get, if you know Christ, you can say, ‘We win!’

Wow! That’s good stuff!

Believers in Christ have been given an amazing opportunity to live like who God’s Word says we already are—winners!

Now, let’s listen to the full track:

Both the song (and the Book) says that those of us who are in Christ are more than conquerors (one translation says we are super conquerors) :

Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? As it is written: “For Your sake we are killed all day long; We are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.” Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. (Rom. 8:35–37 NKJV)

Dear reader, if you are ready to throw in the towel—to give up—in the midst of the circumstances you are currently facing, I want to encourage you to listen to and sing this song out loud over and over until you believe the lyrics.

The One who lives inside you for all eternity has already won this match called life for you!

If you have been encouraged through this 2017 MercyMe Summer Song Series, I would love to hear your story!

  1. “Why I Think MercyMe’s Newest Album, Lifer, Is Their Best Ever”
  2. “Are You a Lifer in Christ?” – a review of track 1, “Lifer”
  3. “Come out, Come out, Wherever You Are!” – a review of track 2, “You Found Me”
  4. “Has Grace Got You?” – a review of track 3, “Grace Got You”
  5. “Have You Heard the Best News Ever?” – a review of track 4, “Best News Ever”
  6. “Because Life Ain’t Always Pretty” – a review of track 5, “Even If”
  7. “Bye-Bye Lies!” – a review of track 6, “Hello Beautiful”
Disclosure of Material Connection: One or more of the links in post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
 Until next time!

 

 

 

 

 

P.S.  If you enjoyed this post and want to know more about me and the types of content I will be posting, please visit my About Page.

MY CONTACT INFORMATION:

Kim K. Francis
P.O. Box 357
Perryton, TX 79070

EMAIL
MY BLOG: KimKFrancis.com
TWITTER: @KimKFrancis 64
FACEBOOK: Kim K Francis

Home     My Core Beliefs     About     Resources     Speaking     Contact

 

Bye-Bye Lies!

MercyMe 2017 Summer Song Series

The first time I heard “Hello Beautiful,” the sixth track on MercyMe’s newest album, Lifer, was this past spring. I had my earbuds in, walking around my neighborhood and savoring the emergence of new life in its vibrant shades of green.

The familiar song just before it was “Even If,” the group’s debut hit single from the compilation. I wrote about the message in this it-is-well-with-my-soul-regardless-of-my-circumstances ballad in last week’s post.

I couldn’t help but speed up my pace as the intro started on “Hello Beautiful.” Its unique finger-snappin,’ folksy tune inspired me to race-walk. (I wanted to run, but was sure my almost-fifty-three-year-old knees wouldn’t comply.)

Let’s find out why this song is Bart Millard’s absolute favorite song on the album by watching the two-minute story behind the song:

Now, let’s enjoy the full track:

The song’s message: before we can say hello to the beautiful truths concerning our new lives in Christ, we are going to have to say bye-bye to the downright ugly lies that keep us from enjoying the freedom He died to give us.

Debilitating lies like:

  • No one will ever really love me for me.
  • My past is unforgivable.
  • I am alone.
  • I will never be good enough.
  • I am no different than I was before I accepted Christ.
  • Because of what they did to me, my life is forever ruined—with no hope for change.

I love the prison cell imagery in this song. It depicts a Christian who has fallen prey to all of the above life-draining lies carved into the walls of his or her unrenewed mind (Rom. 12:1-2).

But God.

God begins to call us out of that prison cell with absolute truth.

He says,

  • “I’ve never quit loving you and never will. Expect love, love, and more love!” (Jer. 31:3 MSG).
  • “I made you alive with Christ, and I forgave all your sins” (Col. 2:13).
  • “I will never leave you; I will never abandon you” ( Heb. 13:5).
  • “I have made you complete in Christ” ( Col. 2:10).
  • “You are a brand-new creation because you are in My Son; the old you is gone forever!” (2 Cor. 5:17).
  • “I have blessed you with every spiritual blessing that Heaven has to offer” (Eph. 1:3).

Knowing the truth about who God is and who we are in His Son will cause us to walk through the already-been-ripped-off-its-hinges prison cell door of our minds! (John 8:32).

Why don’t you join me today in saying, “Bye-bye lies! Hello beautiful!”

As I mentioned in my last post, I’m going to take next week off from blogging to celebrate God’s miraculous match-making abilities with my man.

If you haven’t read all of my posts since launching on March 1, there are over forty in the archives. Next week would be an opportune time to catch up!

Also, if you would like my posts delivered every Wednesday and Friday at noon to your e-mail inbox, please subscribe in the upper right-hand corner (or bottom left) of my blog.

When you sign up, I will send you a free PDF of “Who I Am In Christ IS Who I Am!” It contains over two hundred illuminating passages on the believer’s identity in Christ.

photo credit: Aproximando Ciência e Pessoas Plant in dried cracked mud via photopin (license)

Disclosure of Material Connection: One or more of the links in post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Until next month!

 

 

 

 

 

 

P.S.  If you enjoyed this post and want to know more about me and the types of content I will be posting, please visit my About Page.

 

MY CONTACT INFORMATION:

Kim K. Francis
P.O. Box 357
Perryton, TX 79070

EMAIL
MY BLOG: KimKFrancis.com
TWITTER: @KimKFrancis 64
FACEBOOK: Kim K Francis

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Because Life Ain’t Always Pretty

2017 MercyMe Summer Song Series

MercyMe’s debut hit single, “Even If,” from their newest album, Lifer, is currently sittin’ pretty at the top of hot Christian music charts. And ironically, it’s because life ain’t always pretty. (Sorry, English teachers.) If you’ve lived long enough on planet earth, you just might be shouting “Amen!” and “Preach it!” right now.

Today’s post on the message in the album’s fifth track is the latest in my 2017 MercyMe Summer Song Series:

  1. “Why I Think MercyMe’s Newest Album, Lifer, Is Their Best Ever”
  2. “Are You a Lifer in Christ?” – a review of track 1, “Lifer”
  3. “Come out, Come out, Wherever You Are!” – a review of track 2, “You Found Me”
  4. “Has Grace Got You?” – a review of track 3, “Grace Got You”
  5. “Have You Heard the Best News Ever?” – a review of track 4, “Best News Ever”

So far, every song in which I’ve shared its message has been an upbeat, put-on-your-boogie-shoes song that you just can’t help but smile, sing, dance, and shout for joy to. They all reflect the reason Christians around the world should be celebrating—the finished work of Christ. The work that has already been done on our behalf.

“Even If” also celebrates the finished work of Christ, but in a different way. It is one of only two ballads on the entire album and speaks volumes of encouragement to Christians who seem to be going through never-ending battles. With no sign of reprieve. Weekend 22, a weekly two-hour nationally syndicated Christian music countdown show, describes this stunning anthem as the album’s “crown jewel.”

Let’s watch the heart behind this remarkable song:

Just in case you are more of a visual person (like me) rather than auditory, Millard summed up what he just said in a recent Facebook post on MercyMe’s fan page:

What Christ has already done on the cross is probably the only thing we need to get through those circumstances. It’s a foundation that was built long before those difficulties came to be. 

I love that Millard keeps going back to the only real reason we Christians have to hope in better days to come: Jesus Christ. Specifically, Christ in us—our glorious Hope for all eternity (Col. 1:27)!

Now, let’s watch the state-of-the-art official lyric video for “Even If”:

Even though I’m not currently going through tough circumstances, I was last year around this time. And interestingly enough, God used the MercyMe song, “Move,” to let me know that brighter days were coming. I wrote about it in my post, “What a Difference a Year Makes! How a Kiss of Hope Helped Me Get Through Gut-Wrenching Circumstances.”

Had “Even If” been released during that time, I’m convinced that I would have played it, along with “Move,” again and again to encourage and remind me of the incredible hope that I have as a believer in Christ. Even if those circumstances never changed … or got worse.

Right now, there are people close to me who are going through heart-wrenching circumstances. Circumstances that don’t seem to be going away. But I know God has ministered to them personally through the hope-filled, it-is-well-with-my-soul-regardless-of-my-circumstances message in “Even If.”

I’m thanking and praising God for MercyMe’s heart in ministering to hurting people through their life-giving, hope-infusing, grace-filled music.

Dear reader, I’m wondering,

Has God used MercyMe’s “Even If” to minister encouragement and hope to you?

I’m would love to hear your story and pray for you.

Disclosure of Material Connection: One or more of the links in post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
Until next time,

 

 

 

P.S.  If you enjoyed this post and want to know more about me and the types of content I will be posting, please visit my About Page.

MY CONTACT INFORMATION:

Kim K. Francis
P.O. Box 357
Perryton, TX 79070

EMAIL
MY BLOG: KimKFrancis.com
TWITTER: @KimKFrancis 64
FACEBOOK: Kim K Francis

Home     My Core Beliefs     About     Resources     Speaking     Contact

Have You Heard the Best News Ever?

2017 MercyMe Summer Song Series

The title of today’s post is a double entendre—a statement that has a double meaning. If you are one of many redeemed saints who can thankfully and enthusiastically shout to Jesus, “You Found Me!” then “Grace Got You,” and you are now a “Lifer” in Him. And if that’s the case, it all started when you heard and responded to the “Best News Ever”—the gospel of grace in Christ Jesus. Hallelujah!

Now, for the second meaning of the title. Have you heard the MercyMe song, “Best News Ever,” from their newest album, Lifer? If you haven’t, you’re missing out. I began this 2017 MercyMe Summer Song Series five weeks ago by sharing the album’s backstory in “Why I Think MercyMe’s Newest Album, Lifer, Is Their Best Ever.” And so far, I’ve shared the message in its first three tracks:

  1. “Lifer” — in my post, “Are You a Lifer in Christ?”
  2. “You Found Me” — in my post, “Come out, Come out, Wherever You Are!”
  3. “Grace Got You” — in my post, “Has Grace Got You?”

Now, let’s watch Bart Millard, the band’s lead singer, tell the story behind the song, “Best News Ever“:

Millard believes this song—message wise—is the flagship (the most important) on the record:

I will honestly say it’s one of my favorite messages on the record, because it’s the way I grew up. It was, ‘Be all you can be and, you know, you get what you deserve. And work harder and try harder.’ And it’s like, well wait a minute, what if somebody (which somebody did), what if they came and told me, ‘Hey, the work’s already been done; the fight’s already been won. You don’t have to try so hard.’ That’s what makes the gospel not just the good news, but the best news ever.”

The work’s already been done; the fight’s already been won … That’s what makes the gospel not just the good news, but the best news ever. I wholeheartedly agree!

Listening to the story behind the song reminds me of a sad conversation I had with a lady at least thirty years my senior at the grocery store several years ago. She was one of the first people to invite me and Steven to the church we have attended since we moved to Perryton nineteen years ago. We always ended up talking about the Lord every time we saw each other. But I was completely unprepared for what she was going to say to me that day in the pasta aisle.

I said something about looking forward to spending an eternity in Heaven with Jesus, and she looked at me and said worriedly, “I sure hope I make it.”

I couldn’t believe my ears! She loved Jesus with all her heart, yet she did not have assurance that she would spend forever with Him when she passed from this time realm into eternity. How sad that she had spent her entire Christian life not clearly understanding the gospel of grace in Christ Jesus—the best news ever!

I think I said something like, “Sure you’re gonna make it! You’re one of the most Jesus-loving women I know.” She smiled when I said that, but I knew she still wasn’t convinced that her final destination included Jesus. And then we went in opposite directions to finish our grocery shopping.

I wish I would’ve said then what I so clearly understand now:

Saving is all his idea, and all his work. All we do is trust him enough to let him do it. It’s God’s gift from start to finish! We don’t play the major role. If we did, we’d probably go around bragging that we’d done the whole thing! No, we neither make nor save ourselves. God does both the making and saving. (Eph. 2:8-9 MSG).

And now I’m wondering if she’s still wondering …

The apostle John tells us in his first epistle that we can know for sure that we have eternal life:

These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, so that you may know that you have eternal life (1 John 5:13).”

What things did he write prior to this verse so that those of us who believe in the name of the Son of God can know we will spend forever with Jesus? Let’s look at First John 5:10-12 to find the answer:

10 The one who believes in the Son of God has the testimony in himself; the one who does not believe God has made Him a liar, because he has not believed in the testimony that God has given concerning His Son.

11 And the testimony is this, that God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son.

12 He who has the Son has the life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have the life.

He who has the Son has the life (because Jesus is eternal life); he who does not have the Son of God does not have the life (because Jesus is eternal life). It really is that simple!

me + Jesus =  eternal spiritual life

me – Jesus = eternal spiritual death

And let’s not forget that John 3:16—the most famous verse in the Bible—also came from the inspired pen of the apostle John:

For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.”

Earlier this year I wrote an entire post on John 3:16 titled “The Most Important Verse in the Bible.” In it, I shared how the word in actually means “into.” So, when we believe in the name of the Son of God, we believe ourselves right into His Spirit. Our new spirit is immersed into His eternal Spirit. Forever. Never again to be separated. And there is nothing we can do (or not do) to mess this up. The gospel of grace in Christ Jesus really is the best news ever!

Now, won’t you join me in celebrating the best news ever by listening to MercyMe’s song “Best News Ever”?

Dear reader, I hope you are enjoying this summer song series on MercyMe’s Lifer album.

I’m wondering, which song do you like best so far and why?

I’m looking forward to your response!

Disclosure of Material Connection: One or more of the links in post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Until next time,

 

 

 

P.S.  If you enjoyed this post and want to know more about me and the types of content I will be posting, please visit my About Page.

MY CONTACT INFORMATION:

Kim K. Francis
P.O. Box 357
Perryton, TX 79070

EMAIL
MY BLOG: KimKFrancis.com
TWITTER: @KimKFrancis 64
FACEBOOK: Kim K Francis

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Has Grace Got You?

2017 MercyMe Summer Song Series

If grace is a party (and it is!), there’s no doubt in my mind that MercyMe’s newest album, Lifer, would be chosen as the official background music for it. It’s not at all hard for me to imagine Jesus, the saints that have gone before me, and a heavenly choir of angels celebrating up a storm to this album’s fun and funky tempo in eight of its grace-oozing songs. And my favorite of the eight is the third track titled “Grace Got You,” the focus of today’s message.

In my premiere post of this series, I shared the backstory of how the band’s lead singer, Bart Millard, experienced a revelation of the good news (the best news ever) of the gospel of grace—after almost two decades of being in the Christian music business. Even though he was singing about God’s grace, he wasn’t embracing and savoring it in his own life. He was—like so many Christians—stuck in a miserable, legalistic mindset, trying to pay for what he had already been given as a free gift (Eph. 2:8-9).

Up until 2012, when he read books like The Naked Gospel and The Cure, Millard just didn’t “get” grace. He was like an impoverished, mouth-watering child, peering through the window of a candy store (the Werther’s commercial comes to mind), longing to unwrap and enjoy the delectable wonders decorating the shelves and counter tops inside. Until … he saw something astounding. His Dad appeared behind the counter and motioned for him to come inside and enjoy the entire smorgasbord of sweets—at absolutely no cost to him (and no stomachache). After all, his Dad owned the candy store and he was a rightful heir!

Now, let’s listen to Millard tell the story behind the song:

“It’s the song that makes you smile, the song that makes you want to be silly,” says Millard.

It certainly made me smile—and want to be silly, not really caring who saw or heard me. The first time I listened to it, I was walking around our neighborhood with earbuds. I couldn’t help but smile and sing and dance. And, as you might imagine, I was “moved” to post my first impression on Facebook:

Let’s listen to this fabulous song.

I don’t think this song will ever get old to me. And I love the rap portion by John Reuben. Kudos to MercyMe for including it!

“Grace Got You” embodies the change Millard experienced the second he realized that God’s love and acceptance of him have absolutely nothing to do with how well or how poorly he behaves. God is just as madly in love with him on his worst day as He is on his best. All because of the finished work of Christ on the cross. In an April 2014 radio interview, “Bart Millard of MercyMe shares his personal journey to grasping grace,” you can hear more of his passion concerning the grace party he and his band are now attending, celebrating, and inviting others to.

As I mentioned in a previous post in this series, I was a performance-based acceptance junkie until I too “got” grace (or realized Mr. Grace, Himself, “had” me from hello). I will never forget that initial honeymoon season in my life when the wonders of His amazing grace overwhelmed me. I felt like Dorothy being swept away from the dull, black-and-white landscape of Kansas to the bright, panoramic spectrum of Oz. And I’m still in Oz over a decade later. It’s not a dream, and I don’t need ruby red slippers—because I’m never going back to Kansas. I’m an extremely grateful lifer in this wonder-filled land called grace!

I invite you to listen to “Grace Got You” (and the entire album) again and again! Let its grace-infused lyrics become a part of your joy-filled journey in Christ. I can’t think of a better way to spend the summer (and the rest of my time on this earth)—celebrating the incredible gift of Grace, Himself, who chooses to indwell me twenty-four/seven and promises never to leave nor let go of me.

If you are a believer in Christ, grace has “got” you for good! So why not come to this eternal grace party and celebrate with me, MercyMe, and countless others who will never be the same since grace “got” us?

Dear reader, I hope you enjoyed today’s new post in my summer song series, “Why I Think MercyMe’s Newest Album, Lifer, Is Their Best Ever.”

I’m wondering, Do you like the song, “Grace Got You”? If so, how does it speak to you?

If you prefer to interact with me through personal email rather than commenting below, you can do so by clicking here.

Disclosure of Material Connection: One or more of the links in post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
 Until next time,

 

 

 

P.S.  If you enjoyed this post and want to know more about me and the types of content I will be posting, please visit my About Page.

MY CONTACT INFORMATION:

Kim K. Francis
P.O. Box 357
Perryton, TX 79070

EMAIL
MY BLOG: KimKFrancis.com
TWITTER: @KimKFrancis 64
FACEBOOK: Kim K Francis

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Come out, Come out, Wherever You Are!

2017 MercyMe Summer Song Series

If you’ve been following this summer series of Wednesday posts about MercyMe’s newest album, Lifer, you already know its backstory and the message in its first song by the same name as the album. In today’s post, I will be sharing the life-giving message in track 2, “You Found Me,” and how it speaks to me.

With the exception of Lifer’s two ballads—its smash hit debut single, “Even If,”(track 5) and “Ghost” (track 10)—the remaining eight songs are invigorating up-tempo songs that make you want to get up out of your chair and celebrate the finished work of Christ. Rejuvenating songs that make you want to fully embrace your brand-new identity in Him. Songs that you can’t help but move to. There’s no way you’re sitting still if you’re within earshot of “You Found Me,” “Grace Got You,” “Best News Ever,” “Hello Beautiful,” “We Win,” “Happy Dance,” or “Heaven’s Here.” Just try it. I dare you. I double-dog dare you.

In last Wednesday’s post, “Are You a Lifer in Christ?” I shared the short story behind the song, “Lifer” and then the entire song (I can hardly wait to see the videos that will be produced!) So, I will follow suit with track 2, “You Found Me”:

“This song is about the day that He found me, the day that everything changed,” the band’s lead singer, Bart Millard, said with his bright white smile. Now, let’s listen to the full track:

Both the fun beat and the lyrics are sure to get your heart rate up. The message in this song is something to get excited about! The song’s title is reminiscent of the account of the prodigal son in Luke 15:11-32, in particular, verses 24 and 32, where the father of the prodigal son is speaking.

This son of mine was dead and has come to life again; he was lost and has been found (verse 24).

This brother of yours was dead and has begun to live, and was lost and has been found (verse 32).

At first listen, one might think this song is about the believer in Christ’s initial salvation experience, when he or she first believed in (literally into) Jesus. But I don’t think that is the central message in this song.

I think it is about God’s intense longing for every believer to understand the fullness of the gospel of grace in His Son, Jesus Christ. About His unyielding desire to see those who belong to Him live the life of liberty Christ died for them to enjoy.

The opening line of the song comes from the apostle Paul’s first letter to the fledgling church in Corinth. He writes,

When I was a child, I used to speak like a child, think like a child, reason like a child; when I became a man, I did away with childish things (1 Cor. 13:11).

In this verse, Paul is speaking of how our incomplete understanding of spiritual truth this side of heaven sometimes motivates us act in childish ways that are inconsistent with who we really and eternally are (Rom. 12:1-21 Cor. 13:9-10).

The lyrics in “You Found Me” use the imagery of the childhood game hide-and-seek to illustrate what believers typically do when they sin—they go into hiding because of shame. But our loving and relentlessly pursuing God (who has been called the Hound of Heaven) will have none of that childishness.

He goes to great lengths to remind us that we have been freed indeed (John 8:36; Rom. 6:18, 22; 8:2). We are pure, holy, and righteous in His Son (Song 6:9; 1 Cor. 3:17; 2 Cor. 5:21). We are completely forgiven for the sins of our lifetime (Eph. 1:7; 4:32; Col. 1:13–14; 2:13–14; Heb. 10:18). And His twenty-four/seven indwelling Spirit will never ever leave us or forsake us (John 10:28; Heb. 13:5).

In a sense, He finds us—gets our attention and reminds us—of the good news of the gospel of grace in His Son. And then He sings a love song to us (my favorite part of this song), reminding us that He is ours and we are His (Song 2:16; 6:3; 7:10 NASB).

MercyMe’s song, “You Found Me,” is certain to be a crowd pleaser. It is the one song on the album that Millard said (in the heart behind the song) he was looking forward most to playing for a live audience.

While I really enjoy this inspiring and upbeat track, I have to admit that I’m already looking forward to writing next Wednesday’s post on the message in track 3, “Grace Got You.” This song is hands down my favorite song on the album!

Dear reader, I hope you enjoyed today’s post in my summer song series, “Why I Think MercyMe’s Newest Album, Lifer, Is Their Best Ever.”

I’m wondering, Do you like the song, “You Found Me”? How does it speak to you?

If you prefer to interact with me through personal email rather than commenting below, you can do so by clicking here.

Disclosure of Material Connection: One or more of the links in post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
 Until next time,

 

 

 

P.S.  If you enjoyed this post and want to know more about me and the types of content I will be posting, please visit my About Page.

MY CONTACT INFORMATION:

Kim K. Francis
P.O. Box 357
Perryton, TX 79070

EMAIL
MY BLOG: KimKFrancis.com
TWITTER: @KimKFrancis 64
FACEBOOK: Kim K Francis

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Are You a “Lifer” in Christ?

2017 MercyMe Summer Song Series

I love wholesome Christian music that you can’t help but marry. Music you can dance to, walk to, work out to, clean house to, listen with your kids and grandkids to, worship God to, cry to, sing for joy to, and experience new covenant truth through. That’s why I decided to do a summer song series on MercyMe’s newest album, Lifer, released in March of this year.

I would have never chosen to devote ten Wednesday blog posts to share the message in every song on this album unless I was passionate about what this twenty-three-year-old Christian band is belting out in their newest albums. It started with The Hurt and the Healer (2012), progressed to Welcome to the New (2014), and now, ladies and gentlemen, Lifer. Their albums just keep getting gracier and gracier. Yeah, I made that word up. But I think it fits.

Last Wednesday, in my premiere post for this series, I shared the backstory of MercyMe’s transition into writing and performing songs that stress the grace message. The finished-work-of-Christ message. The believer’s brand-new-flawless-righteous-and-holy-identity-in-Christ message. The message that changed my life over ten years ago. It was just what the Great Physician ordered for this performance-based-acceptance junkie. My life will never be the same. This Jesus + Nothing = Everything message is the eternal lifeblood that courses through my veins. I’m a lifer in Christ.

The first song (track 1) is titled “Lifer“—the same name as the album. Here’s the brief story behind the song:

Did you catch what Bart Millard, the band’s leader, said? “Christ consumes our heart and shows up in our music.” I love that. When Christ overwhelms our hearts with Himself—His love, grace, mercy, and truth—it’s going to spill over into everything we do.

Now, let’s listen to the entire song.

Aside from the fact that this song makes you want to put on your boogie shoes, forget your worries, and just plain have fun, the message surging through the lyrics is, “No matter what happens to me in this life, whether good or bad, we’re lifers in this together, God.”

The first time I heard the word lifer, it was a dreary reference to someone who was serving a life sentence in prison. The song’s meaning is at the complete opposite end of that bleak spectrum. It is filled with freedom, hope, joy, and the anticipation of life eternal (which has already started – see Track 9) in Christ Jesus. To sum up what Millard said in the Heart Behind the Song video above, “No matter how hard we try, we can’t mess this thing (our walk with Christ) up. Because He’s in it for life, so are we—even if sometimes it doesn’t feel like it.”

You might ask, “How can he make such an incredible claim?” I think Millard would be the first to tell you that MercyMe is merely one of many messengers sharing the good news of the gospel of grace. Eternal security in Christ is based in God’s infallible Word—because of the finished work of His Son, Jesus Christ. The following are just a few of my favorite Scriptures which speak of the believer in Christ’s eternal security:

  • “I give eternal life to them, and they will never perish; and no one will snatch them out of My hand” (John 10:28).
  • “I will never desert you, nor will I ever forsake you” (Heb. 13:5).
  • “If we are faithless, He remains faithful, for He cannot disown Himself” (2 Tim. 2:13 NIV).

These aren’t promises that are going to happen some day in the distant future. They are true right now—because of our eternal spiritual union with Christ’s Spirit. I believe Christ’s greatest longing for every believer in Him is to get the revelation that we are eternally and flawlessly fused to Him the moment we actually (literally) believed into Him (His Spirit). Signed (Rev. 22:4). Sealed (Eph. 1:13). Delivered (Col. 1:13). We’re His (Song 6:3). Forever.

MercyMe’s “Lifer,” the first track on their newest album by the same name, is filled with life-giving grace-based lyrics. The group intends to keep sharing what they consider to be the best news ever (see Track 4) as long as they have breath. Not only are they lifers in Christ, but they are twenty-plus years and counting in the Christian music business. Kudos to MercyMe for sharing the gospel of grace in Jesus Christ through their music!

Dear reader, I hope you enjoyed the second post in my summer song series, “Why I Think MercyMe’s Newest Album, Lifer, Is Their Best Ever.” I’m wondering,

What do you think about the song, “Lifer,” and how does it speak to you?

If you prefer to interact with me through personal email rather than commenting below, you can do so by clicking here.

Disclosure of Material Connection: One or more of the links in post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
 Until next time,

 

 

 

P.S.  If you enjoyed this post and want to know more about me and the types of content I will be posting, please visit my About Page.

MY CONTACT INFORMATION:

Kim K. Francis
P.O. Box 357
Perryton, TX 79070

EMAIL
MY BLOG: KimKFrancis.com
TWITTER: @KimKFrancis 64
FACEBOOK: Kim K Francis

Home     My Core Beliefs     About     Resources     Speaking     Contact