God’s Reminder on Our Mountain Vacation

There’s just something about the mountains.

When we’re thinking “vacation,” sandy white beaches and theme parks never enter our minds.

It’s almost as if we hear God whisper, “Come and get away from your daily routines and just rest.”

“Rest in Me.”

“And receive.”

“Allow yourself to be inspired.”

“Let Me love you unconditionally.”

“Be still.”

“And know.”

“That I am God.”

“You are Mine forever.”

“And I am yours forever.”

“So why don’t we just enjoy each other’s company?”

“No agenda. No to-do list.”

“Just enjoy Me while I enjoy you.”

“After all, isn’t that what true intimacy is?”

If any of the above appeals to you, God might just be calling you to “come away by yourselves to a secluded place and rest for a while” (Mark 6:31).

I had made up my mind that I was going to unplug (go offline) while during our vacation.

It really wasn’t as hard as I thought it might be.

There were a couple of times I was tempted to check my e-mail and Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter feeds, but the desire didn’t last long.

My desire to be attentive to the Lord and experience sweet intimacy with Him was much greater.

I’m so thankful that His desire for me to spend time relaxing in His presence is the well from which my heart’s desires spring (Jer. 31:33; Heb. 8:10).

His heart’s desire is where it all starts!

One way that helps me get into a state of relaxed receptivity is to read the New Testament (especially Paul’s epistles) and New Covenant, grace-saturated books such as the following:

Lifetime Guarantee
The Confident Woman
What God Wishes Christians Knew About Christianity
Relaxing with God
God without Religion
The Naked Gospel
The Art of Spiritual War
The Hurt & the Healer
Heaven Is Now
God’s Astounding Opinion of You
Life According to Perfect
God’s Best-Kept Secret
The Cross Worked
Unveiling Jesus

And I don’t want to leave out my debut Bible study on the first two chapters of the Song of Songs: His Banner Over Me Is Pursuing Love.

Every one of these books highlights the finished work of Christ and the believer’s spotless identity in Him.

Jesus really did do all the work on the cross! (John 19:30)

When we literally believed into Him, we became a blameless child of God and the pure bride of Christ (John 3:16; Phil. 2:14-16; 2 Cor. 11:2; Eph. 5:27; Rev. 19:7).

All that’s left for us to do is believe the Gospel of grace in Christ Jesus and walk in harmony with His Spirit who lives in us 24/7/365 (John 6:28-29; Gal. 5:16, 22-23).

If you view yourself as a dirty, rotten sinner with whom God is always disappointed or angry, then you will not allow yourself to enjoy the intimacy with Him that is available for the receiving.

Receiving, not earning.

That’s amazing grace.

The kind of grace that you will not be fully able to wrap your mind around in this time-bound world (Eph. 2:8-9).

So why don’t you do yourself a huge favor and unplug, get away with Jesus, and rest in His unconditional love for a while?

The greatest benefit of my mountain vacation was God’s reminder to get back into “restful, receiving mode,” no matter what I’m doing.

It’s an attitude of the soul where I am continually drawing on His resources within (John 7:38).

And realizing that I don’t have anything to offer unless I’m enjoying authentic intimacy with the Lover of my soul on a regular basis (Song 2:10, Matt. 11:28-29).

As I wrote in my book,

No one wants to read a book on how to bake the perfect cherry pie unless he or she knows the author makes delicious cherry pies! Likewise, no one wants to read a book or listen to a message about how to enjoy Jesus unless the author or speaker consistently shows forth the fruit of delighting in Him.

You cannot go wrong when you invest precious time resting in Christ’s finished work and enjoying His sweet presence!

Dear reader, what, if anything, is keeping you from resting in Christ’s finished work and enjoying His sweet presence?

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

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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

Home          My Core Beliefs          About          Pursuing Love          Speaking          Contact

What the Resurrection Has to Do with You

Today, on Good Friday 2018, Christians around the globe are commemorating the passion of Jesus Christ—the suffering He went through to pay our sin debt in full with His blood and to give us new life in Him.

Photo by Evan Kirby on Unsplash

Good Friday isn’t a national holiday in the U.S., but it is a state holiday in Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, North Carolina, North Dakota, New Jersey, Tennessee, and Texas.

I’m so glad I live in Texas, one of eleven states in the U.S. that recognizes the importance of the Resurrection!

Every Christian knows (or ought to know) that Christ’s crucifixion on Good Friday wasn’t the end of His story:

Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and … He was buried, and … He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures (1 Cor. 15:3-4 NASB).

If Christ was not raised from the dead on the third day, then our faith is in vain (worthless) and we are still in our sins (1 Cor. 15:14, 17).

The Good News is, if you are a believer in Christ, you are no longer in your sins.

Every person on this earth at this moment is either “in Christ” or “in their sins.” There is no middle ground.

And the change of location from “in our sins” to “in Christ” happens once in a lifetime. There’s no such thing as jumping in and out of Christ.

Dear reader, I am leaning entirely upon His Spirit within me to cause me to communicate the extraordinary significance of not only what happened to Him over two thousand years ago, but also what happened to me and you (if you are in Christ) at the same time!

You may be scratching your head, wondering, How in the world could something that happened to Christ have happened to me at the same time? 

I will tell you. It’s a spirit-thing.

It happened in the unseen, eternal spiritual realm.

Father God exists in the Eternal Now (eternity past, eternity present, eternity future). He exists outside of this time realm.

After all, He is the One who created time. He didn’t have a beginning. He has always been, is, and will always be.

If you’re having trouble wrapping your mind around this, ask Christ’s Spirit within you to give you eyes to see into the eternal spiritual realm and realize this amazing truth.

In Ephesians 1:3-4, the apostle Paul writes:

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ, just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we would be holy and blameless before Him, in love (NASB).

Father God chose you and me to be in His Son, Jesus, before the foundation of the world.

Why did He want us “in” His Son? So that we would be holy and blameless before Him in love.

I believe Father God does the Happy Dance every time one who belongs to Him realizes (becomes fully aware of; understands clearly) that not only are they in Christ right now and forever, but they were “in Christ” when He was crucified, buried, risen, and ascended into Heaven at His right hand.

In other words, those who belong to Him were co-participants (in union) with Christ in His crucifixion, burial, resurrection and ascension (all Scriptures below are taken from the NASB):

Scriptures that speak of our crucifixion with Christ:

  • “Our old self was crucified with Him” (Rom. 6:6).
  • “I have been crucified with Christ” (Gal. 2:20).
  • “You have died and your life is hidden with Christ in God” (Col. 3:3)

Scriptures that speak of our burial with Christ
(burial implies the finality of death):

  • “We have been buried with Him through baptism into death” (Rom. 6:4).
  • “Having been buried with Him in baptism” (Col. 2:12).

Scriptures that speak of our resurrection with Christ:

  • “God … even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ … and raised us up with Him” (Eph. 2:5).
  • “You were also raised up with Him through faith in the working of God, who raised Him from the dead … He made you alive together with Him” (Col. 2:12–13).
  • “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His great mercy has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead” (1 Pet. 1:3).

Scriptures that speak of our ascension with Christ:

  • “God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus” (Eph. 2:4–6).
  • “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ (Eph. 1:3).

Dear reader, please notice that all of the above Scriptures are past tense.

If you are a believer “in Christ,” the old, sinful you was crucified and buried with Him and the new, holy you was born again in Him when Father God raised Him from the dead!

And that is exactly what the Resurrection of Christ Jesus has to do with you!

On Resurrection Sunday (and every day), you should be doing the Happy Dance, celebrating your resurrection—your spiritual birthday—in Christ!

If your brain is going tilt-tilt and you are struggling to wrap your mind around this supernatural, eternal truth, this tangible example might help:

Imagine that Father God is holding a Holy Bible in His right hand.

This Bible represents His Son, Jesus Christ, who is also called the Word of God (John 1:1, 14).

Since Christ is also referred to as “eternal life,” we can think of this Bible as the spiritual realm of eternal life and everything outside of it as the spiritual realm of eternal death (1 John 1:2; 2:25; 3:15; 5:11-13, 20).

The Bible refers to these two distinct spiritual realms as “in Christ” and “in Adam.” “For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ all will be made alive”(1 Cor. 15:22 NASB).

Now, I want you to see Father God taking a blank sheet of paper and writing your name on it. This is when He knit you together in your mother’s womb (Psalm 139:13-16).

When you were born into this world, you were born into the spiritual realm of Adam, separated from Christ’s eternal life (John 8:21, 24; 1 Cor. 15:17; Col. 1:13, 2:13).

Please notice that this paper (you) is outside of the Bible (Christ).

Father God longs to put you (the paper) inside of Christ (the Bible), but because He gave you a free will, this is not His choice to make.

He can woo you, presenting all the evidence to you, but you get to choose whether or not to be joined to Christ.

If there is such a thing as Father God “waiting,” I believe He waits with bated breath for us to hear the Gospel and believe in (literally “into”) His Son (John 3:16).

Think back to the moment you accepted Christ and see Father God take you (the paper) out of Adam and put you into Christ (the Bible) (Col. 1:13).

Take a moment to let this truth sink in.

Once you are placed into Christ, your God-less spiritual past becomes nonexistent and you automatically share in Christ’s Spiritual past, present, and future.

Talk about a quantum leap!

And His past includes His crucifixion, burial, resurrection, and ascension!

In other words, it is just as if we had never been separated from God by sin!

Now that is shouting (and dancing) ground!

Our sins are gone—not merely covered. They are no longer attached to us because we are now and forever in Christ!

We don’t live in the realm of our sins—in the uncircumcision of our flesh—any longer!

Outside of Christ, we were in the flesh; inside of Christ, we have been separated, or cut off, from the flesh.

And the news just keeps getting better: “Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and of death” (Rom. 8:1-2 NASB). (Notice the verb tense is once again past.)

Jesus promises us that no one can take us out of His eternal life: “I give eternal life to them, and they will never perish; and no one will snatch them out of My hand” (John 10:28 NASB).

No one means no one, not even ourselves. Once we are in Him, we cannot get ourselves out of Him. Only Father God could do that and He promises not to!

He also promises never to leave us or forsake us: “He Himself has said, ‘I will never leave you nor forsake you'” (Heb. 13:5 NKJV).

Christ promises to never separate Himself from us, no matter what we do or don’t do!

And finally, He says that even our own faithlessness (not living in dependence on Christ) can’t disqualify us once we are in Him: “If we are faithless, He remains faithful, for He cannot deny Himself” (2 Tim. 2:13 NASB).

Goodness gracious!

This says we are so joined to Him—so mingled with Him—that we are “one spirit with Him,” and He cannot ever be separated from Himself! (1 Cor. 6:17).

The super-fantastic news of the Gospel is: Every believer in Christ is in Him forever! It’s a done deal!

No chance of ever going back to Adam. Even if you were deceived into believing you wanted to.

Don’t you think it’s high time we Christians put on our dancin’ shoes and celebrate what Christ has ALREADY accomplished for and in us (made us holy and blameless) through our co-participation (union) with Him in His crucifixion, burial, resurrection, and ascension!

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 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

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That Time Those Dogs Ganged up on My Beagle

So, this past Monday, March 12, 2018, National Napping Day was celebrated in the United States. This was the day after most of us reluctantly moved our clocks forward one hour.

I hadn’t heard of this national day, but since I was feeling particularly sleep-deprived that morning, I decided to join the celebration.

And I did that by doing what any serious tweeter would do: I tweeted about it.

I honored the best napper I know, our beagle, Little Joe Jack Carson. But we just call him “Joe.”

 

 

Funny thing about this particular tweet.

It hands-down got more activity than any of my other tweets.

 

 

To date, I have 500 tweets, most of which pertain to the Gospel of Jesus Christ and how we can enjoy greater intimacy with Him through understanding our one-and-only flawless identity in Him.

Now, I’m sure that Jesus isn’t offended, so I shouldn’t be offended for Him, right?

Because without Jesus creating this world, Joe wouldn’t have even been a glimmer in his parents’ eye.

And besides that, you have to admit that Joe is the most handsome beagle of all time and eternity! (Thank you, big brother Bobby, for giving him to us!)

As you can tell, I love our dog. And it’s amazing how much I’ve learned just watching him.

For instance, if there is only one tiny spot in our big backyard with the sun shining on it, that’s where you will find Joe, basking in all his beagle glory. (Smile.)

Whether he is just sitting there being his regal self, catching rays or sprawled out in a full-fledged nap without a care in the world, Joe knows how to savor life.

Even though Jesus has been showing me how to consistently enjoy Him and life in general, I sometimes envy a dog’s world.

You know—how easy it is for a dog to relax, take several naps a day, and dream whatever it is dogs dream about.

No, I wouldn’t rather be a dog. But, at times, I have a tendency to be super-serious about life, so I have to be intentional about relaxing and taking a nap when I need one.

Since Joe spends most days just mindin’ his own beagle business—without a care in the world—you can imagine how my ears perked up this past Saturday morning when I heard him going ballistic right outside my library window.

I was just sitting there quietly, reading Day 3 from Week 6 of my debut study on the first two chapters of the Song of Songs, His Banner Over Me Is Pursuing Lovewhen all the commotion started.

The subject of that day’s study is taking enemy thoughts captive that pop up in our minds.

Jarred from my peaceful contemplation, I bolted out of my chair, looked out the window, and saw the three little culprits that were rocking Joe’s world.

One was mostly white, another mostly black, and the third, a black-and-white mix.

You would have thought they were planning to eat Joe alive by the way they sounded.

So, I started banging on the window. Their combined canine courage quickly dissolved and they took off like a bat out of … well, you know.

One of them—the black one—mustered up enough gumption to stop and look back.

So, I banged on the window again and told him to vamoose! It didn’t take him long to catch up with his partners in crime.

And they haven’t been back to our house since.

I did, however, catch a glimpse of this trouble-making trio roaming around the neighborhood the other day as I was driving home from the grocery store.

No doubt trying to rock another canine, feline, or squirrel’s peaceful world with their all-bark-and-no-bite dogsanas.

Right after that brief interruption in our otherwise uneventful morning, Joe got settled into his backyard utopia and I dug back into my study.

That’s when God started talking to me about what just happened.

It was no coincidence that I was just reading about how the enemy works in our thought lives, stealing our peace, joy, and contentment.

One of the main reasons I wrote this book was to expose Satan’s clandestine schemes. The fifth bullet point on my back cover reads:

  • You have a real, invisible enemy who is trying everything within his limited power to hoodwink you into accepting his lies about who you are. Once you learn his most effective strategy, you will be armed and dangerous to the kingdom of darkness.

There is a daily battle going on in the mind of every believer in Christ. And it’s called a  battle because there are opposing forces in there.

Some of you may be shouting a loud Amen right now to this statement.

The apostle Paul wrote about these skirmishes in his second letter to the church at Corinth:

The world is unprincipled. It’s dog-eat-dog out there! The world doesn’t fight fair. But we don’t live or fight our battles that way—never have and never will. The tools of our trade aren’t for marketing or manipulation, but they are for demolishing that entire massively corrupt culture. We use our powerful God-tools for smashing warped philosophies, tearing down barriers erected against the truth of God, fitting every loose thought and emotion and impulse into the structure of life shaped by Christ. Our tools are ready at hand for clearing the ground of every obstruction and building lives of obedience into maturity (2 Cor. 10:3-5 MSG).

I laughed out loud when I read the second sentence of this passage in The Message paraphrase of the Bible—given the subject matter of this post!

God has a wonderful sense of humor, don’t you agree?

Now, let’s zero in on the phrase fitting every loose thought and emotion and impulse into the structure of life shaped by Christ.

Please notice that our mind trouble comes from loose thoughts, emotions, and impulses.

Thoughts drive emotions, emotions drive impulses, and impulses drive actions.

In the negative sense, the genesis of all of our mental trouble are thoughts that don’t line up with truth—loose thoughts.

And we all know what those loose thoughts are called—LIES! And where do lies originate?

We need look no further than the John’s Gospel to find out. Here, Jesus is addressing the Jewish people:

“If God were your father,” said Jesus, “you would love me, for I came from God and arrived here. I didn’t come on my own. He sent me. Why can’t you understand one word I say? Here’s why: You can’t handle it. You’re from your father, the Devil, and all you want to do is please him. He was a killer from the very start. He couldn’t stand the truth because there wasn’t a shred of truth in him. When the Liar speaks, he makes it up out of his lying nature and fills the world with lies. I arrive on the scene, tell you the plain truth, and you refuse to have a thing to do with me. Can any one of you convict me of a single misleading word, a single sinful act? But if I’m telling the truth, why don’t you believe me? Anyone on God’s side listens to God’s words. This is why you’re not listening—because you’re not on God’s side” (John 8:42-47).

Jesus makes it clear: all lies originate with the Devil (Liar, killer).

Whether you realize it or not, the lies you hear in your mind are not coming from you.

They are coming from an outside enemy. And you are not it!

I purposely left out one very important detail of Joe’s story.

The entire time, those hairy little harassers were on the other side of the fence!

They weren’t in the backyard with Joe but they were raising enough ruckus, they might as well have been.

It’s the same with ungodly thoughts that seemed to pop into our minds out of nowhere, stealing our peace and joy.

And before you know it, we’re acting contrary to who we really are!

Satan, “the one who deceives the whole world,” would love nothing more than for you to believe that those ungodly thoughts are coming from you (Rev. 12:9).

And if he can get you to believe this, you won’t believe that you are the new creation in Christ that God’s Word unquestionably declares you to be!

And then there you are, duped, acting like the devil! Because people act like who they think they are.

This one truth—if the body of Christ could get a revelation of it—would turn their world right-side up! It did mine.

And no, I don’t always catch the lying thoughts the enemy sometimes serves up to my mind.

But I experience a lot more peace and joy now that I know that junk isn’t coming from me!

Through dependence on Christ’s power within me, I am on a mission to fit every loose thought and emotion and impulse into the structure of life shaped by Christ.

What do you say, dear reader? Want to join me in this God-honoring mandate, now that you know where those enemy thoughts are coming from?

I hope you will!

If you enjoyed this post, I believe you will relish my book! In it, I devote two full days of study exposing how the enemy works in our thought lives, and I share powerful offensive strategies in this daily war going on in our minds.

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 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

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You Are Invited to My 1-Year Blogiversary Celebration!

Have you ever been so excited about something, you thought you would burst if you didn’t share your news with someone else? You know, like lickety-split?

That’s how I felt last year at this time when I was getting ready to launch A Happy Christian’s Secret Life.

I smiled as I revisited my launch day (March 1, 2017) Facebook posts and got blessed all over again by the excited reactions, encouraging well-wishes, and shares.

To be honest, I didn’t have a clue what would happen when I clicked the “PUBLISH” button and launched my first post into cyberspace.

But it didn’t matter to me.

I had a holy determination (and still do) to have an online platform where I could share the best news ever.

And that was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made!

Not only do I want to herald the Good News of Jesus Christ for those who have never heard it, but I also long to help Christians enjoy greater intimacy with Him through understanding their flawless identity in Him.

That’s right. Flawless. If you are in Christ, then you have a flawless new heart!

Sure, no one but Jesus has lived a sinless life. But what we do is not who we are.

Birth determines identity, not behavior.

I lived way too many years (and my life was a mess!) not having a clue that I became a brand-new, pure, righteous, and holy creation in Christ Jesus the moment I believed in (literally into) Him!

And that is what sparked a holy fire in me to let other Christians know who they are in Him! (You can read more about my journey on my About page).

This past year I have had the joy of writing seventy posts (three are guest posts). They are listed below and ranked in popularity:

  1. Faith in the Midst of a Cloud of Unknowing
  2. That Time I Put My Yoga Pants on Backwards
  3. Could This Be the Day?
  4. This Man of Mine
  5. What God Taught Me through Mrs. Stuart’s Cookies
  6. How to Make Your Stumble Part of the Dance
  7. How to Master the Art of Enjoying Jesus
  8. What My Debut Book Has in Common with Fifty Shades
  9. It’s Gonna Be So Good!
  10. God Built this House for Us in 1923!
  11. Jesus – Best Gift Ever! Have You Received Him?
  12. The Serious Business of Enjoying God
  13. Why Every Christian Should Be Doing the Happy Dance
  14. Today’s Guest Post by Award-Winning Author Latayne C. Scott – Priska’s Betrothal
  15. Unwrap Your Best Gift Ever in 2018
  16. Why I Wrote This Book
  17. My Personal Testimony
  18. Are You the Ideal Candidate for My Launch Team?
  19. Not Especially Fond of The Shack? – The Shack Cons
  20. What You See Isn’t Always What You Get
  21. My Morning Heart-to-Heart with Jesus
  22. Assurance in the Christmas Season – Today’s Guest Post by Alex Lomangino
  23. Christian, Which Spiritual Season Are You In?
  24. How to Tune into God’s Live Love Stream
  25. You’re Already a Godly Person – Today’s Guest Post by Mark Maulding
  26. Groundhog Day & Grace
  27. Pure Devotion to Christ
  28. Because Life Ain’t Always Pretty
  29. What God Wants Most This Valentine’s Day
  30. Are You a Lifer in Christ?
  31. Undivided Devotion to Christ
  32. The Secret to Loving
  33. Welcome To “A Happy Christian’s Secret Life!”
  34. Simple Devotion to Christ
  35. Just Who Is the Bride of Christ Anyway?
  36. Christian, Heaven Is Here & Now!
  37. Not Especially Fond of The Shack? – The Shack Pros
  38. Not Especially Fond of The Shack? – The Shack Facts
  39. A Book Review on Peter Lord’s “Turkeys & Eagles”
  40. Has Grace Got You?
  41. New Seasons & Next Steps
  42. My Debut Book Launch Party
  43. Bye-Bye Lies!
  44. How I Got Raving Endorsements for My Book
  45. Don’t Throw in the Towel!
  46. Our Mountain Celebration
  47. The Most Important Verse in the Bible
  48. Are You Drinking This Poison?
  49. How God Interrupted My Quiet Time with a Noisy Cricket
  50. It’s Almost Time!
  51. Way Better Than Botox!
  52. Have You Heard the Best News Ever?
  53. “God Won’t Give Us More Than We Can Handle.” True or False?
  54. What a Difference a Year Makes!
  55. Have You Ever Been Kissed Awake?
  56. Kids Say the Darndest Things
  57. Come out, Come out, Wherever You Are!
  58. The Secret to Savoring Christ’s Love
  59. Catch the Foxes
  60. Why I Think MercyMe’s Newest Album “Lifer” Is Their Best Ever
  61. This Is Way Better Than a Fairy Tale!
  62. The Greatest Love Song of All Time
  63. This Ghost Is Way Friendlier Than Casper!
  64. What You May Not Know About This Romantic Love Song
  65. My Sweet Spot
  66. The Triple-Crown Kiss from Our Savior
  67. Ready or Not, Here I Come! (Part 1)
  68. I Was Totally Unprepared for This Kiss
  69. How God Spoke to Me through Chicken Little
  70. The Importance of Seizing and Savoring Every Moment
  71. How Many Were Crucified with Christ? If Your Answer Is 2, This Post Will Surprise You
  72. Christian, Who Do You Think You Are?
  73. Ready or Not, Here I Come! (Part 2)

Not only was 2017 a pivotal year in launching A Happy Christian’s Secret Life, but it was also the year that I published my debut Bible study over the first two chapters of the Song of Songs: His Banner Over Me Is Pursuing Love.

I started writing it in July 2008 and it went live September 2017.

It was quite a long journey, but so worth it!

And I wrote it for the very same reason that I started this blog:

To help Christians enjoy greater intimacy with Christ through understanding their flawless identity in Him.

Next Thursday, March 1, 2018, you are invited to celebrate my 1-year blogiversary on my Facebook author page, Kim K Francis, from 10 a.m. till 8 p.m.

I will be giving away 5 FREE digital downloads and 1 FREE hard copy of His Banner Over Me Is Pursuing Love.

You can get your name in the drawing between now and Thursday, March 1, 2018 by answering one or both of the following questions (both questions will be pinned at the top of my author page, Kim K Francis):

  1. Answer the question “How has A Happy Christian’s Secret Life blessed you this past year?”
  2. Answer the question “How can I improve A Happy Christian’s Secret Life in the coming year?”

The winners will be announced at the following times on my Facebook author page, Kim K Francis, on Thursday, March 1, 2018:

  • 10 a.m. – free digital copy
  • Noon – free digital copy
  • 2 p.m. – free digital copy
  • 4 p.m. – free digital copy
  • 6 p.m. – free digital copy
  • 8 p.m. – free hard copy

I hope you will celebrate with me!

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 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

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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