I love wholesome Christian music that you can’t help but marry. Music you can dance to, walk to, work out to, clean house to, listen with your kids and grandkids to, worship God to, cry to, sing for joy to, and experience new covenant truth through. That’s why I decided to do a summer song series on MercyMe’s newest album, Lifer, released in March of this year.
I would have never chosen to devote ten Wednesday blog posts to share the message in every song on this album unless I was passionate about what this twenty-three-year-old Christian band is belting out in their newest albums. It started with The Hurt and the Healer (2012), progressed to Welcome to the New (2014), and now, ladies and gentlemen, Lifer. Their albums just keep getting gracier and gracier. Yeah, I made that word up. But I think it fits.
Last Wednesday, in my premiere post for this series, I shared the backstory of MercyMe’s transition into writing and performing songs that stress the grace message. The finished-work-of-Christ message. The believer’s brand-new-flawless-righteous-and-holy-identity-in-Christ message. The message that changed my life over ten years ago. It was just what the Great Physician ordered for this performance-based-acceptance junkie. My life will never be the same. This Jesus + Nothing = Everything message is the eternal lifeblood that courses through my veins. I’m a lifer in Christ.
The first song (track 1) is titled “Lifer“—the same name as the album. Here’s the brief story behind the song:
Did you catch what Bart Millard, the band’s leader, said? “Christ consumes our heart and shows up in our music.” I love that. When Christ overwhelms our hearts with Himself—His love, grace, mercy, and truth—it’s going to spill over into everything we do.
Now, let’s listen to the entire song.
Aside from the fact that this song makes you want to put on your boogie shoes, forget your worries, and just plain have fun, the message surging through the lyrics is, “No matter what happens to me in this life, whether good or bad, we’re lifers in this together, God.”
The first time I heard the word lifer, it was a dreary reference to someone who was serving a life sentence in prison. The song’s meaning is at the complete opposite end of that bleak spectrum. It is filled with freedom, hope, joy, and the anticipation of life eternal (which has already started – see Track 9) in Christ Jesus. To sum up what Millard said in the Heart Behind the Song video above, “No matter how hard we try, we can’t mess this thing (our walk with Christ) up. Because He’s in it for life, so are we—even if sometimes it doesn’t feel like it.”
You might ask, “How can he make such an incredible claim?” I think Millard would be the first to tell you that MercyMe is merely one of many messengers sharing the good news of the gospel of grace. Eternal security in Christ is based in God’s infallible Word—because of the finished work of His Son, Jesus Christ. The following are just a few of my favorite Scriptures which speak of the believer in Christ’s eternal security:
- “I give eternal life to them, and they will never perish; and no one will snatch them out of My hand” (John 10:28).
- “I will never desert you, nor will I ever forsake you” (Heb. 13:5).
- “If we are faithless, He remains faithful, for He cannot disown Himself” (2 Tim. 2:13 NIV).
These aren’t promises that are going to happen some day in the distant future. They are true right now—because of our eternal spiritual union with Christ’s Spirit. I believe Christ’s greatest longing for every believer in Him is to get the revelation that we are eternally and flawlessly fused to Him the moment we actually (literally) believed into Him (His Spirit). Signed (Rev. 22:4). Sealed (Eph. 1:13). Delivered (Col. 1:13). We’re His (Song 6:3). Forever.
MercyMe’s “Lifer,” the first track on their newest album by the same name, is filled with life-giving grace-based lyrics. The group intends to keep sharing what they consider to be the best news ever (see Track 4) as long as they have breath. Not only are they lifers in Christ, but they are twenty-plus years and counting in the Christian music business. Kudos to MercyMe for sharing the gospel of grace in Jesus Christ through their music!
Dear reader, I hope you enjoyed the second post in my summer song series, “Why I Think MercyMe’s Newest Album, Lifer, Is Their Best Ever.” I’m wondering,
What do you think about the song, “Lifer,” and how does it speak to you?
If you prefer to interact with me through personal email rather than commenting below, you can do so by clicking here.
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: