5 Signs the Christian Song You’re Listening to Is Polluted

If you subscribe to my blog and/or have been following my Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram accounts, then you probably already know that I’m a devoted fan of the Christian band MercyMe.

They have recently made headline news due to the fact that the movie based on the story behind their smash hit single, “I Can Only Imagine,” premiered last month and has done very well at the box office.

 

I’ve enjoyed their music since the early 2000s, but it wasn’t until April 2014 when they released their album Welcome to the New that my enjoyment was elevated to an entirely new level.

And just when I thought their music couldn’t get any better, it did!

In March 2017 they released their album Liferwhich has just been nominated by the 2018 Billboard Music Awards for Top Christian Album.

The album’s debut single, “Even If,” has been nominated for Top Christian Song, and the band has been nominated for Top Christian Artist!

Those nominations alone should be enough to spur you into grabbing your own copy.

I remember the first time I listened to Lifer.

I was walking around my neighborhood, earbuds in, and feeling like I’d died and gone to Heaven!

I wanted to dance, jump up and down, and shout for joy over the pure (no legal additives) gospel truth I was hearing!

This grace-saturated album impressed me so much that I did an eleven-week series of posts, reviewing the message in each track:

    1. Why I Think MercyMe’s Newest Album, Lifer, Is Their Best Ever” – Intro
    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
    8. Don’t Throw in the Towel” – a review of track 7, “We Win
    9. Why Every Christian Should Be Doing the Happy Dance” – a review of track 8, “Happy Dance
    10. Christian, Heaven Is Here & Now!” – a review of track 9, “Heaven’s Here
    11. This Ghost Is Way Friendlier Than Casper!” – a review of track 10, “Ghost

Devoting eleven posts to the messages in Lifer should give you a pretty good idea how important this album is to me.

You may be wondering, What’s so amazing about Lifer? 

After all, there are a lot of hit Christian albums out there.

I’ll tell you what makes Lifer so amazing: Every one of its songs communicates the unadulterated gospel of grace in Christ Jesus!

Words that mean the same as unadulterated are: “clean, pure, unmixed, spotless, unblemished, uncontaminated, undiluted, and unpolluted.”

The apostle Paul was so passionate about communicating the uncontaminated gospel, he was livid when he found out that some of the Galatian believers were trading in this spotless gospel for a polluted one by trying to add works of the Law as a requirement for their salvation:

I am amazed that you are so quickly deserting Him who called you by the grace of Christ,  for a different  gospel;  which is really not another; only there are some who are disturbing you and want to distort the gospel of Christ (Gal. 1:6-7 NASB).

Notice that he says this so-called “gospel” that some were spouting was really no gospel at all!

You can almost see the tears in his eyes and feel the lump in his throat as he writes:

I am not one of those who treats Christ’s death as meaningless. For if we could be saved by keeping Jewish laws, then there was no need for Christ to die (Gal. 2:21 TLB).

Paul had been so radically transformed by this wonderful, Jesus-plus-nothing gospel of grace, he had zero tolerance for those who were trying to pollute it with works.

The only equation that works is: Jesus + Nothing = Gospel 

Andrew Farley’s best-selling book The Naked Gospel: The Truth You May Never Hear in Church is an excellent treatise on the gospel of grace in Christ Jesus.

It resounds with the truth that the believer’s only part in their salvation is their belief that Christ did everything necessary to make them right with God and their acceptance of this gift—no good works added.

And guess what?

It wasn’t until after Bart Millard, the lead singer of MercyMe, got hold of a copy of The Naked Gospel, that he began writing song lyrics that reflected his enjoyment of God’s wonderful gift of grace in Christ Jesus!

(While MercyMe’s pre-Naked Gospel song lyrics reflect grace for the most part, Bart would be the first to tell you that he wasn’t living it.)

Now, you might be wondering, How can I know if the Christian song I’m listening to is expressing a polluted gospel?

Use the following checklist as a litmus test:

If this song suggests that I am not already and forever …

  1. a brand-new, pure, righteous, and holy creation in Christ,
  2. flawlessly fused to Christ,
  3. completely forgiven through the blood of Christ,
  4. lavishly loved and accepted in Christ, and
  5. destined to rule and reign with Christ,

then it is polluted.

People who are trained to spot counterfeit money aren’t trained by studying counterfeits; they are trained but by examining the real thing.

In the same way, if you want to become gospel-exuding song-savvy, meditate on Paul’s epistles.

You can also listen to the MercyMe albums Lifer and Welcome to the New again and again.

And, if you want to enrich your listening to Lifer, click here to read all of my MercyMe’s Lifer Messages and start scrolling.

Or you can just return to this post and click on the eleven links listed above.

And just so you know, my intimate, interactive study on the first two chapters of the Song of Solomon, His Banner Over Me Is Pursuing Love, is also saturated with the unadulterated gospel of grace in Christ Jesus.

If you love to read about the Divine Romance between Christ and His bride, then you don’t want to miss savoring His Banner Over Me Is Pursuing Love.

And right now, it’s the lowest price it’s ever been on Amazon!

I hope you’ll get a copy and let me know what you think.

Until next time,
Live Christ, Live Happy!

P.S. If you want to know more about me and the types of content I post, please visit My Core Beliefs page and my About page.

Subscribe to my blog and receive a FREE PDF Download of “Who I Am in Christ IS Who I Am!”

CONTACT INFORMATION:

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

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

The Secret to Savoring Christ’s Love

As promised in my last regular post, “The Serious Business of Enjoying God,” I will be sharing a captivating “motion picture” my Beloved projected onto the movie screen of my mind almost ten years ago and how it’s still affecting me today.

I completely understand if you are sincerely wondering, How do you know it was from God?

Let me tell you how I know.

“By the fruit it’s still bearing and the fact that it agrees with New Covenant truth.”

It wasn’t the first motion picture He gave me. Or the last.

But this particular grace reel contains gems that, I believe, are meant to be shared with believers in Christ who have a God-given longing to savor (give oneself to the enjoyment of) His astonishing, one-of-a-kind love for his or her beautiful new heart.

Before I share it, I would like to tell you what led up to this enlightening, endearing experience.

  1. Reading about other believers’ impacting encounters with the indwelling Spirit of Christ made me hungry to also experience His love in tangible ways (I believe this hunger originates in His heart’s desire for those who belong to Him to be overcome by His love.)
  2. My longing to experience His up-close-and-personal love exceeded my desire to feel accomplished through marking off items on my seemingly never-ending to-do list.
  3. I turned on relaxing Christian instrumental music (See “Simple Devotion to Christ” for a list of my favorites).
  4. With my open journal resting on the pillow in my lap and a black gel pen in hand, I turned my focus toward a Thomas Kinkade print titled “The Garden of Prayer.” This ethereal scene invited me to step into its contagious serenity. (I could almost feel the warmth of the morning sun’s rays, smell the fragrant bouquet of flowers strewn along the water’s edge, and hear the trickling stream.) Kinkade describes the purpose for which he created this beautiful painting: My prayer is that this painted garden will be a meeting place for many that would speak to their God in the silence of morning.
  5. In my mind’s eye, I saw myself standing by the open gate, looking down the well-worn path for His coming. Then I started writing what I heard and saw:

How can I have more passion for Jesus? The way I grow in my love for Him is to grow in my understanding of His love for me. It takes the power of His love on my heart to love Him back. The secret to loving is living loved in Christ, my Spiritual Bridegroom!

When Jesus wants to empower me to love Him, He reveals Himself as the One who passionately loves me.

I wait in the Garden of Prayer for the One whom my heart loves.

It’s a beautiful spring morning, not too hot and not too cold. 

I hear the birds singing and the stream flowing gently beside the gazebo. I smell the fragrant flowers as a warm breeze makes its way past every bloom.

I feel my heart beating in anticipation of spending sweet moments with my Beloved. I can hardly wait until He gets here! I love spending time with Him!

I look toward the end of the pathway to see if I can catch a glimpse of His coming. Waiting is the hardest part, but so worth it!

I sit on the steps of the gazebo and close my eyes, dreaming of my Beloved. He is Perfect in every way!

I stand up and walk to the open gate, looking down the path once more. 

I see movement! I see the form of a Man at the far right end of the pathway walking toward the gate.

As He gets closer, I make out His face. My Beloved! He has come just to see me.

He is smiling the most radiant smile; joy is His countenance.

I cannot wait until He gets to the gate, so I run up the path to meet Him. As I approach, He opens His arms wide.

Like a child, I jump into His loving embrace.

He says, “My love, you are so beautiful! It is the desire of My heart to be with you.”

He holds me for what seems like a long time. I rest my head on His chest and feel His rapid heartbeat.

Then He kisses my forehead and says, “Let’s walk together.”

He takes my hand in His as we walk down the pathway toward the gazebo. As we walk, I sense that we are the only two people in the world.

As His hand holds mine, I feel the scar from one of the wounds He received on my behalf. It is a silent reminder of a love without limits, a love that stretches beyond time.

He squeezes my hand to let me know He is reading my thoughts.

He experiences great joy when I meditate on the truths of His undying love for me. Oh, what ecstasy! What delight! To spend time with the One my heart loves!

The open gate invites us into the garden. We accept by walking through it.

We drink in the lush scenery—the vibrant trees, flowering bushes, and the diamond-like sheen on the surface of an unhurried stream.

“I created all this so that we could enjoy it together, forever, My love. Every beautiful thing you see was created for your enjoyment.”

My heart is overwhelmed to know that I was on His mind at creation.

“But you need to know that not a single place on this earth holds a candle to your beauty.”

He points to the white calla lilies nestled within the greenery outlining the stream and says, “Aren’t they gorgeous? They are pure and white and look like the flame of a candle. They also look like trumpets heralding the beauty of My creation.”

He turns to me and softly whispers, “You asked Me what your new name was when I created you in Me on that crisp Autumn evening.”

“Your new name is ‘Magnificent Beauty,’ the meaning of the calla lily. You will trumpet My name and My love throughout the earth before My coming.”

“Your passion will burn brightly for Me as a candle illuminates the night. Your purity and holiness will stand out in a world where darkness tries to overtake the light.”

“You are My Magnificent Beauty, My love. Come and dance with Me under the gazebo.”

We dance together as one, swaying to the rhythm of His heartbeat. As I rest in His guidance, every twirl and turn is orchestrated by Him. Oh, how I love to dance with my Beloved!

He whispers, “My love, always trust in My leading; never try to lead.”

I nodded as I relax my left ear on His chest. I realize His heartbeat and mine are synchronized. When I’m dancing with Him, I feel the most alive!

We stop dancing. He says, “My love, let’s rest awhile.”

We walk to the steps on the other side of the gazebo, roll up the hem of our garments, sit down, and dangle our bare feet in the cool stream.

Oh, how refreshing and invigorating it is!

“Isn’t it fun to become as little children and play in the water!” He exclaims. I wholeheartedly agree. 

When He raises one foot out of the water, I see another reminder of the great price He paid for me.

He winks at me, reading my thoughts once again.

He reaches down, cups water in His hand, and splashes me with it. “I have made you clean,” He says. “Don’t ever forget you are pure, righteous, and holy.”

“Your heart is brand-new in Me.”

This is difficult to believe, especially when my behavior is less than stellar.

Understanding my unspoken struggle, He responds, “My love, your spiritual birth determines your identity, not your behavior. The more you focus on Me and your flawless identity in Me, the more your behavior will line up with who you really are.”

I breathe a long sigh of relief in response to His life-giving words and relax in His perfect love for me.

We lie back on the gazebo, and I fall asleep in His arms.

When I wake up, I see Him looking at me with tender love. He says to me, “You are My pearl, My most treasured possession. I never sleep. My eyes are continually gazing with perfect love on you. Trust Me with every detail of your life.”

I respond, “I do trust You! Cause me to trust and love You more!”

He replies, “My pleasure!”

We get up and walk hand-in-hand to the open gate. He raises my hand to His scarlet lips, kisses it, and says, “Until we meet again.”

He strokes my hair as I hug Him goodbye.

I watch Him walk to the end of the pathway until He’s out of sight.

I miss Him already and can hardly wait until He comes again!

I will never forget this impacting encounter with my Beloved. I look forward to many more as He leads me to fix the eyes of my beautiful, new heart on Him in wonder-filled expectancy.

(I would like to clarify that we are never separated from our Beloved. We are in Him and He is in us eternally, without interruption. The parts of this motion picture that might suggest separation are an illustration of the times when we are not intentionally focusing on our unbreakable union with Him.)

Dear reader, do you have a desire to savor Christ’s refreshing love in up-close-and-personal ways? If so, there’s no time like the present to enjoy His presence!

In my next post, I will share more about how you can position yourself to delight more fully in His eternal embrace.

Until next time,
Live Christ—Live Happy!

photo credit: Patrick Vierthaler Tenju-an 天授庵 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.”

P.S.  If you enjoyed this post and want to know more about me and the types of content I post, 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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The Secret to Loving

Living Loved in Christ

I am utterly convinced that, in order for a Christian to express the authentic love of God on a regular basis, he or she must consistently receive and enjoy (not earn) His genuine, unique love for his or her individual heart.

In short, the secret to loving is living loved in Christ.

Makes perfect sense, huh? The very real truth is: what we focus on is eventually expressed through our attitudes, words, emotions, and actions.

Since January of this year, I have let the busyness of life—writing two blog posts each week, leading The Confident Woman book study, administrating His Heart’s Desire Ministries, and editing His Banner Over Me Is Pursuing Love—take up most of my focus.

As a result, I haven’t been routinely soaking in and savoring Jesus’ love for me.

And I can tell it. There is now a marked, inner thirst that needs attention. A thirst that can only be quenched by the rivers of Living Water welling up out of my new heart (where He lives!)  and spilling into my conscious awareness (John 7:38).

I think you’ll agree with me when I say that—in today’s world—it can be extremely easy to let our life run us instead of the other way around.

I believe what it really boils down to is desire (I’m a bottom line kind of girl). If you think about it, most people end up doing what they really want to do. Amen?

If I think about a Salted Caramel Truffle Blizzard long enough, more than likely you will find me at our local Dairy Queen, waiting at the drive-through window—mouth watering in anticipation of taking that first scrumptious, sweet and salty bite.

I remember the Lord showing me back in the early 2000s this principle of desire. That’s when I began to pray, “Lord, stir up a firestorm of hunger in my soul to enjoy Your love.”

Back then, I was teaching high school math and also helping with the youth at our church on Wednesday evenings. My plate of responsibility was overflowing.

But God was faithful to answer my prayer. He put an overwhelming desire in my heart to wake up at 4:00 a.m. weekday mornings so that I could spend focused time with Him before I got ready for school.

I remember writing in my journals, “I don’t want this time to end. I want to sit for hours, letting You reveal Your love for me to me in powerful ways. You are the love of my life—my Love and my Life!”

It wasn’t long before I felt the Lord’s leading to set apart Saturday mornings to soak and be refreshed in His love.

Ah…! I was in my element—pajamas on, a steaming cup of Bigelow Vanilla Caramel Tea (I’m a coffee connoisseur now), pillow and journal in my lap, and a black gel pen in hand, ready to write down whatever I sensed my Beloved speaking to me.

I now understand that God’s great longing for me to enjoy His personal love for me is the genesis of my desire to experience and savor His love. Oh, how He loves us!

Jesus said in John 6:44, “No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him.” While I do believe He is primarily referring to our initial salvation experience—when we believe into His eternal life—it also applies to our day-in and day-out relationship with Him.

I am so thankful for the Lord’s drawing love. His pursuing love. His not-of-this-world perfect love.

I believe with all my heart that His Banner Over Me Is Pursuing Love would not exist, had it not been for my Beloved’s call to “come away” with Him on a regular basis and meditate on His love:

My darling speaks; he is saying to me,
“Get up, my love! My beauty! Come away!
Song 2:10 (CJB)
                      

Dear reader, how I pray that the Lord is creating a desire in your soul to get away with Him so that you can receive and enjoy His personal love for you.

I believe what He wants more than anything is for you to know, receive, and enjoy His unique love for your heart.

When this happens, His divine love will naturally exude from your life, impacting those you come into contact with. The secret to loving really is living loved in Christ!

I am going to close by leaving you with a “moving” picture the Lord gave me one early morning in January 2006, while fixing my eyes on His personal love for me.

My journal entry: “Lord, open my ears to hear and eyes to see You as I spend time with You this morning. I’m expecting to hear from You.” The following is what I saw and heard:

         The Dance of Eternity

I want to dance with You, Jesus,
I want to touch Your face.
I want to stare deeply into Your loving eyes,
I want to feel Your warm embrace.

I want to dance with You, Jesus,
Just like Beauty & the Beast.
I want Your love to flow through me,
To the greatest and the least.

I want to dance with You, Jesus,
Held forever by Your gaze.
I want to hold Your nail-scarred hand,
Continually amazed.

And when my eyes are drawn to Your scars,
I hear You gently say,
“That is how much I love you.”
And suddenly I’m swept away.

This dance will last forever,
I know it in my heart.
In the arms of my Forever Bridegroom,
We will never be apart.

“I want to be your Romance,”
I hear my Bridegroom say.
“I’m captivated by your beauty,”
“I will never go away.”

This dance will last forever,
I know it in my heart.
This is only the beginning,
This is just the start.

The One who embraces me,
Will never leave my side.
I hear Him softly whisper, 
“You make my heart beat faster, 
My sister, My bride.”

There is nothing in this world that can compare to the glimpses of eternity we enjoy when we fix our eyes on Him and expectantly wait for Him to share His heart with us!

In Friday’s post, I’m planning to share some specific ways I receive and enjoy His affections for me.

If you struggle in this area and have questions on how to receive and enjoy your Beloved’s unique love for your heart, I invite you to submit your questions below as a comment. Or, feel free to e-mail me.

Until next time,
Live Christ—Live Happy!

photo credit: Rachel.Melton Follow Every Highway, Every Path You Know via photopin (license)

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 Lifer Is MercyMe’s Best Album Ever

And now, ladies and gentlemen, the messages in MercyMe's album Lifer

I am over-the-top excited about this post series on the messages in every song on MercyMe’s Lifer album!

You might be wondering why I would devote an entire series to this album.

After all, there are many popular ones out there.

I’ll tell you why.

It’s because MercyMe’s grace-saturated hearts are spilling over into their lyrics like no other Christian music artist I know of.

Let me explain.

Contemporary Christian music has been my music genre of choice since the fall of 1997.

That’s when personal loss drove me to seek God like never before.

I locked in my non-digital, garage-sale radio to a Christian station and ripped the knob off of it.

Well, it actually accidentally broke off!

No problem. I wasn’t planning on changing the station.

I’ve been listening to contemporary Christian music (almost exclusively) for over twenty years now.

And I will let you in on a secret: just because a song is produced “in Jesus’ name,” that doesn’t mean it fully conveys the gospel of grace in Jesus Christ.

Christian song lyrics are only as good and accurate as the theology of those who write them.

You know exactly what I mean if you’ve ever listened to a Christian song that left you feeling like the gospel (the best news ever) got worse the moment you got saved.

Lyrics that transmit messages like, “Christian, you have a wicked heart.”

“Christian, you need to read your Bible more, pray more, witness more, and give more to get and stay right with God.”

“You need to empty yourself of you (does God really want you to get rid of the new-and-only-you in His Son?) in order to be filled with God.”

Sadly, the list goes on and on.

In a September 2013 interview with ReligionNews.com, MercyMe’s lead vocalist, Bart Millard, was asked about his new-found passion for God’s grace that was being reflected in the lyrics of the songs in MercyMe’s newest album at the time, The Hurt and the Healer.

The following is his transparent response:

I preached for years that you can’t earn God’s favor. But for whatever reason, it was all so robotic for me, and all I was really trying to do was earn it. I was doing everything that religion told me to do. I was trying to get a high score. But no matter how many records were sold or people were impacted, I didn’t seem to feel like I was inching closer to God. And, meanwhile, my family life was hanging by a thread. Sure, I would have told you that I was trusting Jesus for salvation and heaven, but the reality was that I was still working overtime to gain God’s approval on a daily basis! Essentially, my identity was completely MercyMe. Then, I began to realize that the same Spirit that raised Jesus Christ from the dead lives in me.

Millard’s realization that “the same Spirit that raised Jesus Christ from the dead lives in me,” came through reading The Naked Gospel: The Truth You May Never Hear in Church, a book by best-selling author and Lubbock, Texas pastor, Andrew Farley.

The two connected through Twitter and ended up writing a grace-filled book together by the same name as the album–The Hurt and the Healer.

Since the 2012 release of their album, The Hurt and The Healer, MercyMe has produced two more grace-exuding albums: Welcome to the New in 2014 and Lifer in 2017.

And all I can say is, “Their albums just keep getting better and better!”

Don’t get me wrong.

I fell in love with MercyMe’s music the first time I heard “I Can Only Imagine,” the most played Christian radio single in history.

(Check out the I Can Only Imagine Movie that tells the story behind the song!)

But the songs written and recorded since Millard’s grace epiphany, in my opinion, shine a brighter light on the pure gospel than the ones before.

And I think Bart might tell you the same thing.

In my next post in this series of messages in Lifer‘s songs, I review the album’s title track, “Lifer,” which also happens to be its first.

(Here is a table of contents for every post in this series.)

  1. Why I Think MercyMe’s Newest Album, Lifer, Is Their Best Ever” – Intro
  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
  8. Don’t Throw in the Towel” – a review of track 7, “We Win
  9. Why Every Christian Should Be Doing the Happy Dance” – a review of track 8, “Happy Dance
  10. Christian, Heaven Is Here & Now!” – a review of track 9, “Heaven’s Here
  11. This Ghost Is Way Friendlier Than Casper!” – a review of track 10, “Ghost

In every post, I include links where you can listen to the spotlighted song and the heart behind it.

I also elaborate on the message in each song by telling you how the song speaks to me and its New Covenant foundation.

I hope you glean much grace from the album and this series.

If you do, you just might end up doing the Happy Dance with me!

Dearly beloved, I’m wondering,

What is your all-time favorite MercyMe song and why?

Until next time,
Live Christ—Live Happy!

P.S. If you love the pure gospel of grace in Jesus Christ, then you will savor my debut Bible study, His Banner Over Me Is Pursuing Love.

This is an intimate, interactive study on the first two chapters of the Song of Songs, dynamically designed to help believers in Christ, both men and women, enjoy wondrous delight in intimacy with Him through understanding their one-and-only, flawless identity in Him.

Learn more by checking out my book page.

P.S. S. If you want to know more about me and the types of content I post, please visit My Core Beliefs page and my About page.

Subscribe to my blog and receive a FREE PDF Download of “Who I Am in Christ IS Who I Am!”

CONTACT INFORMATION:

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

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

Are You a Lifer in Christ?

MercyMe Lifer Message - Track 1 - "Lifer"

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, grandkids, and friends to, worship God to, cry to, sing for joy to, and experience new covenant truth through.

That’s why I decided to do a post series on MercyMe’s 2017 album, Lifer.

I would have never chosen to devote eleven blog posts to share the message in every song on this album unless I was passionate about what this twenty-four-year-old Christian band is belting out.

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 adjective up.

But I think it fits.

In my premiere post for this series, I shared the backstory of MercyMe’s transition into writing and performing songs that exemplify 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.

And my life has never been the same.

This Jesus + Nothing = Everything message is the eternal lifeblood that courses through my veins.

I am a lifer in Christ.

The title track, “Lifer,” is the first song on this album.

Let’s listen to the short and sweet 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 His love, grace, mercy, and truth, it spills over into everything we do.

Now let’s enjoy 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 its 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 in bleak reference to someone who was serving a life sentence in prison.

The song’s actual meaning is at the opposite end of the spectrum.

It is filled with freedom, hope, joy, and the anticipation of life eternal which, by the way, has already started (see Track 9) for those of us who are in Christ Jesus.

To sum up what Millard said in the Story Behind the Song:

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 this good news of the gospel of grace.

Our eternal security in Christ is based in our eternal spiritual union with the One who, Himself, is called “eternal life”:

We know that the Son of God has come, and has given us understanding so that we may know Him who is true; and we are in Him who is true, in His Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God and eternal life (1 John 5:20).

The following Scriptures are a few of my favorites which speak of our fail-proof salvation:

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 that one of Christ’s greatest longings is for every believer in Him to realize that he or she is eternally and flawlessly united with His Spirit the moment he or she believes in (literally into) Him.

Signed (Rev. 22:4). Sealed (Eph. 1:13). Delivered (Col. 1:13). We’re His (Song 6:3). Forever and ever (Rev. 22:5).

MercyMe’s Lifer album is filled with life-giving, grace-based lyrics.

And this hit band 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!

I hope you enjoyed the second post in this series.

(Here is a table of contents for every post in this series.)

  1. Why I Think MercyMe’s Newest Album, Lifer, Is Their Best Ever” – Intro
  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
  8. Don’t Throw in the Towel” – a review of track 7, “We Win
  9. Why Every Christian Should Be Doing the Happy Dance” – a review of track 8, “Happy Dance
  10. Christian, Heaven Is Here & Now!” – a review of track 9, “Heaven’s Here
  11. This Ghost Is Way Friendlier Than Casper!” – a review of track 10, “Ghost

Dearly beloved,

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

Until next time,
Live Christ—Live Happy!

P.S. If you love the pure gospel of grace in Jesus Christ, then you will savor my debut Bible study, His Banner Over Me Is Pursuing Love.

This is an intimate, interactive study on the first two chapters of the Song of Songs, dynamically designed to help believers in Christ, both men and women, enjoy wondrous delight in intimacy with Him through understanding their one-and-only, flawless identity in Him.

Learn more by checking out my book page.

P.S.S. If you want to know more about me and the types of content I post, please visit My Core Beliefs page and my About page.

Subscribe to my blog and receive a FREE PDF Download of “Who I Am in Christ IS Who I Am!”

CONTACT INFORMATION:

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

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

Come out, Come out, Wherever You Are!

MercyMe Lifer Message - Track 2 - "You Found Me"

If you’ve been following my post series on MercyMe’s 2017 album, Lifer, then you already know its backstory and the message in the song, “Lifer,” which is the first track on the album.

In today’s post, I will be sharing the exhilarating message in track 2, “You Found Me,” and how it speaks to me.

With the exception of Lifer‘s two ballads—its debut, smash hit 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 my last post, “Are You a Lifer in Christ?” I shared the short story behind the song, “Lifer,” and then the entire song.

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 a bright smile.

Now, let’s enjoy 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 the prodigal son account 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 “You Found Me” 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 Father 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 freedom Christ died for them to enjoy.

The opening line of the song comes from the apostle Paul’s first letter to the immature church in Corinth:

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 24/7/365 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).

MercyMe’s song, “You Found Me,” is certain to be a crowd pleaser.

It is the one song on the album Millard said (in the story behind the song) he was most looking forward to playing in front of a live audience.

While I really enjoy this inspiring and upbeat track, I must admit that my favorite upbeat song on the album is “Grace Got You,” the song I review in my next post in this series.

(Here is a table of contents for every post in this series.)

  1. Why I Think MercyMe’s Newest Album, Lifer, Is Their Best Ever” – Intro
  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
  8. Don’t Throw in the Towel” – a review of track 7, “We Win
  9. Why Every Christian Should Be Doing the Happy Dance” – a review of track 8, “Happy Dance
  10. Christian, Heaven Is Here & Now!” – a review of track 9, “Heaven’s Here
  11. This Ghost Is Way Friendlier Than Casper!” – a review of track 10, “Ghost

Dearly beloved,

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

Until next time,
Live Christ—Live Happy!

P.S. If you love the pure gospel of grace in Jesus Christ, then you will savor my debut Bible study, His Banner Over Me Is Pursuing Love.

This is an intimate, interactive study on the first two chapters of the Song of Songs, dynamically designed to help believers in Christ, both men and women, enjoy wondrous delight in intimacy with Him through understanding their one-and-only, flawless identity in Him.

Learn more by checking out my book page.

P.S.S. If you want to know more about me and the types of content I post, please visit My Core Beliefs page and my About page.

Subscribe to my blog and receive a FREE PDF Download of “Who I Am in Christ IS Who I Am!”

CONTACT INFORMATION:

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

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

Has Grace Got You?

MercyMe Lifer Message - Track 3 - "Grace Got You"

If grace is a party, there’s no doubt in my mind that MercyMe’s 2017 album, Lifer, will be chosen as the official background music for it.

It’s not at all hard for me to imagine Jesus, the saints who 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 subject of this post.

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).

Put simply, 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 lining the shelves and counter tops inside.

Until 2012.

That’s when something astounding happened while he was reading a book called The Naked Gospel by best-selling author and Lubbock, Texas pastor, Andrew Farley.

That’s when Millard saw his heavenly Dad appear behind the counter and motion him to come inside the candy store and enjoy the entire smorgasbord of sweets that he was already the rightful heir of!

Now, let’s listen to Millard tell the short and “sweet” 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 (April 2017) on Facebook:

Let’s enjoy this fabulous song together.

I don’t think “Grace Got You” 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, you can hear more of Millard’s 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.

That’s when I realized that Jesus—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.

Oh, it’s not a dream, and I don’t need ruby red slippers.

Because I’m never going back to Kansas.

I’m staying right here in this wonder-filled land called grace!

I invite you to listen to “Grace Got You” (and the entire album) again and again!

(Here is a table of contents for every post in this series.)

  1. Why I Think MercyMe’s Newest Album, Lifer, Is Their Best Ever” – Intro
  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
  8. Don’t Throw in the Towel” – a review of track 7, “We Win
  9. Why Every Christian Should Be Doing the Happy Dance” – a review of track 8, “Happy Dance
  10. Christian, Heaven Is Here & Now!” – a review of track 9, “Heaven’s Here
  11. This Ghost Is Way Friendlier Than Casper!” – a review of track 10, “Ghost

Let this grace-infused album become a part of your joy-filled journey in Christ.

And remember, if you are a believer in Christ, then grace has “got” you for good!

Dearly beloved, why don’t you decide today that you are going to spend the rest of your time on planet earth celebrating the incredible Gift of Grace, Himself, who lives in you 24/7/365 and promises never to leave you?

Do you like the song, “Grace Got You”?

If so, how does it speak to you?

Until next time,
Live Christ—Live Happy!

P.S. If you love the pure gospel of grace in Jesus Christ, then you will savor my debut Bible study, His Banner Over Me Is Pursuing Love.

This is an intimate, interactive study on the first two chapters of the Song of Songs, dynamically designed to help believers in Christ, both men and women, enjoy wondrous delight in intimacy with Him through understanding their one-and-only, flawless identity in Him.

Learn more by checking out my book page.

P.S. S. If you want to know more about me and the types of content I post, please visit My Core Beliefs page and my About page.

Subscribe to my blog and receive a FREE PDF Download of “Who I Am in Christ IS Who I Am!”

CONTACT INFORMATION:

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

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

Have You Heard the Best News Ever?

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.

Yes, the BEST NEWS EVER is hands down the gospel of grace in Christ Jesus!

Today’s post, “Have You Heard the Best News Ever?” is the fifth in my series of posts on the messages in MercyMe’s 2017 album, Lifer.

The title of this post is a double entendre—a statement that has a two meanings.

For the second meaning of the title, I’m asking you, “Have you heard the MercyMe song, “Best News Ever“?

If you haven’t, to say you’re missing out would be a gross understatement.

Let’s watch as Bart Millard, the band’s lead singer, tells the short-and-sweet story behind “Best News Ever,” Lifer’s fourth track.

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.”

I wholeheartedly agree with Millard’s statement.

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!

Listening to the story behind the song reminds me of a conversation I had with a friend (who is at least thirty years my senior) at a local grocery store several years ago.

A sad conversation.

She was one of the first people to invite me and Steven to the church we have attended since we moved to Perryton almost twenty years ago.

Every time we see each other, we always end up talking about the Lord.

But that day in the pasta aisle, I was completely unprepared for what she was going to say to me.

I said something about looking forward to spending eternity in Heaven with Jesus, and she responded to me with worried eyes, “I sure hope I make it.”

I couldn’t believe my ears!

This precious friend loved Jesus with all her heart, yet she did not have assurance that she would spend forever with Him when she passed from this earth.

How heartbreaking 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 eternal bliss with Jesus.

And then we went in opposite directions to finish our grocery shopping.

How I wish I would’ve said to her 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.

I wrote a post on John 3:16 titled “The Most Important Verse in the Bible.”

In it, I share 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.

In other words, when we believe, Father God takes us out of Adam and places us into Christ (Col. 1:13).

Our new spirit is immersed (baptized) 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” with me?

Dearly beloved,

So far, which song on the album do you like best and why?

I’m looking forward to your response!

Until next time,

Live Christ—Live Happy!

Check out the following table of contents to read every post in this series:

  1. Why I Think MercyMe’s Newest Album, Lifer, Is Their Best Ever” – Intro
  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
  8. Don’t Throw in the Towel” – a review of track 7, “We Win
  9. Why Every Christian Should Be Doing the Happy Dance” – a review of track 8, “Happy Dance
  10. Christian, Heaven Is Here & Now!” – a review of track 9, “Heaven’s Here
  11. This Ghost Is Way Friendlier Than Casper!” – a review of track 10, “Ghost

If you love the pure gospel of grace in Jesus Christ, then you will savor my debut Bible study, His Banner Over Me Is Pursuing Love.

This is an intimate, interactive study on the first two chapters of the Song of Songs, dynamically designed to help believers in Christ, both men and women, enjoy wondrous delight in intimacy with Him through understanding their one-and-only, flawless identity in Him.

Learn more by checking out my book page.

If you want to know more about me and the types of content I post, please visit My Core Beliefs page and my About page.

Subscribe to my blog and receive a FREE PDF Download of “Who I Am in Christ IS Who I Am!”

CONTACT INFORMATION:

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

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

Because Life Ain’t Always Pretty

MercyMe Lifer Message - Track 5 - "Even If"

MercyMe’s debut single, “Even If,” from their album Lifer has enjoyed sweet success since its release in February 2017.

This hit song dominated the Billboard and radio charts with a 19-week streak at No. 1, received a 2018 GRAMMY nomination for Best Contemporary Christian Music Performance/Song, earned a nomination for Top Christian Song by the 2018 American Billboard Music Awards, and was nominated for a 2017 GMA Dove Award for Song of the Year.

Most recently,”Even If” garnered the honor of Song of the Year at this year’s K-Love Fan Awards. (MercyMe won every single category they were nominated for by the 2018 K-Love Fan Awards: Film Impact, Group of the Year, Song of the Year, and Artist of the Year.)

If these stats don’t convince you that MercyMe’s 2017 Lifer album’s “got it going on,” then you just might be a tough nut to crack.

Today’s post on the message in “Even If” is the latest in my post series on the messages in every song on Lifer.

Ironically, the sweet success of “Even If” is attributed to the fact that life on planet earth isn’t always sweet.

So far, every song I’ve reviewed 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 one battle after another.

With no sign of reprieve.

Weekend 22, a weekly two-hour nationally syndicated Christian music countdown show, described “Even If” as Lifer’s “crown jewel.”

Let’s watch the heart behind this inspiring 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 post on MercyMe’s Facebook 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. 

(Watch Bart give the full testimony in this YouTube video.)

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, my world was being turned upside down in the spring of 2016.

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 heartrending circumstances.

Circumstances that don’t seem to be going away.

But God continues to minister to them through the hope-filled, it-is-well-with-my-soul-regardless-of-my-circumstances message in “Even If.”

I thank God for MercyMe’s heart in ministering to hurting people through their life-giving, hope-infusing, grace-filled music!

Dearly beloved,

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

I’m would love to hear your story and praise Him with you.

(Here is a table of contents for every post in this post series.)

  1. Why I Think MercyMe’s Newest Album, Lifer, Is Their Best Ever” – Intro
  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
  8. Don’t Throw in the Towel” – a review of track 7, “We Win
  9. Why Every Christian Should Be Doing the Happy Dance” – a review of track 8, “Happy Dance
  10. Christian, Heaven Is Here & Now!” – a review of track 9, “Heaven’s Here
  11. This Ghost Is Way Friendlier Than Casper!” – a review of track 10, “Ghost

Until next time,
Live Christ—Live Happy!

P.S. If you love the pure gospel of grace in Jesus Christ, then you will savor my debut Bible study, His Banner Over Me Is Pursuing Love.

This is an intimate, interactive study on the first two chapters of the Song of Songs, dynamically designed to help believers in Christ, both men and women, enjoy wondrous delight in intimacy with Him through understanding their one-and-only, flawless identity in Him.

Learn more by checking out my book page.

P.S. S. If you want to know more about me and the types of content I post, please visit My Core Beliefs page and my About page.

Subscribe to my blog and receive a FREE PDF Download of “Who I Am in Christ IS Who I Am!”

CONTACT INFORMATION:

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

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

Bye-Bye Lies!

MercyMe Lifer Message - Track 6 - "Hello Beautiful"

The first time I heard “Hello Beautiful,” the sixth track on MercyMe’s album Lifer was in the spring of 2017.

I had my earbuds in, walking around my neighborhood and savoring the emergence of new life in its vibrant shades of green.

The song right before it was “Even If,” Lifer‘s debut, award-winning single.

(I wrote about the message in this it-is-well-with-my-soul-regardless-of-my-circumstances ballad in my post, “Because Life Ain’t Always Pretty.”)

As the intro started on “Hello Beautiful,” I couldn’t help but speed up my pace.

Its unique, finger-snappin’ folksy tune inspired me to race-walk.

(I wanted to run but was afraid my fifty-plus knees wouldn’t comply.)

Out of all ten tracks on Lifer, “Hello Beautiful” just happens to be Bart Millard’s—the group’s lead singer and song writer—absolute favorite song.

Let’s watch him tell the two-minute story behind the writing of it:

Now, let’s enjoy the full track:

The song’s message in a nutshell?

If you want to say hello to the beautiful truths of your new life in Christ, you need to first say bye-bye to the ugly lies that are keeping you from enjoying the freedom He died to give you.

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.

(For insight into where these lies originate, checkout my post, “Catch the Foxes.”)

I love the prison cell imagery in “Hello Beautiful.”

It depicts a Christian who has fallen prey to some or 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 literally rips the hinges off the prison cell door in our minds! (John 8:32).

Don’t waste one more valuable minute believing the lies of your enemy!

Fix your eyes and ears on your Beloved and start renewing your mind today with His beautiful truth.

Dearly beloved,

What lies do you need to say Bye-Bye! to so that you can say Hello, Beautiful! to the stunning truths of your new life in Christ?

(Here is a table of contents for every post in this series.)

  1. Why I Think MercyMe’s Newest Album, Lifer, Is Their Best Ever” – Intro
  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
  8. Don’t Throw in the Towel” – a review of track 7, “We Win
  9. Why Every Christian Should Be Doing the Happy Dance” – a review of track 8, “Happy Dance
  10. Christian, Heaven Is Here & Now!” – a review of track 9, “Heaven’s Here
  11. This Ghost Is Way Friendlier Than Casper!” – a review of track 10, “Ghost

Until next time,
Live Christ—Live Happy!

P.S. If you love the pure gospel of grace in Jesus Christ, then you will savor my debut Bible study, His Banner Over Me Is Pursuing Love.

This is an intimate, interactive study on the first two chapters of the Song of Songs, dynamically designed to help believers in Christ, both men and women, enjoy wondrous delight in intimacy with Him through understanding their one-and-only, flawless identity in Him.

Learn more by checking out my book page.

P.S. S. If you want to know more about me and the types of content I post, please visit My Core Beliefs page and my About page.

Subscribe to my blog and receive a FREE PDF Download of “Who I Am in Christ IS Who I Am!”

CONTACT INFORMATION:

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

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