Tag Archive for spiritual formation

God Is Shaping You

Live a life of love, just as Christ loved us. (Ephesians 5:2, NIV)

God uses relationships to make us more Christ-like.

Usually when problems arise in a relationship, we blame the other person. But more often, the reactions of the other person are a mirror in which we can see ourselves and our faults more clearly.

God uses these tough times to teach us and reshape us. He is giving us hands-on training in patience, forbearance, gentleness, and self-sacrifice. He is teaching us to set ourselves aside to make someone else happy, to reach out and understand the other person, even when they seem the most unfair.

Do you want the mind of Christ? He forms it in us through people. When painful, demanding situations arise, live love. God is doing a good work in you.

Listen…and sing if you want:
Hymn: Father, You See Our Need
Printed Music & Lyrics

Hymns and Spiritual Formation

This is the 27th in a series of Friday posts on congregational song.

Do people want to live better lives?
Yes, we do!

Do people want to live closer to God?
Yes, we do!

Do people want help praying?
Yes, we do!

In the press of daily living, it’s difficult to stay on focus. It’s difficult to keep our eyes on our heavenly Father, to remember His presence, His power, His goodness, and His unfailing promises. It’s hard to think, feel, and be the persons we need to be.

Singing hymns can help. They plant truth in our minds, hearts, and imaginations. They immerse us in the realities of God and His faithfulness, of Jesus Christ and His life within us, of the Holy Spirit and His empowering, guiding presence. Hymns help us embrace the truth physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. The truths we sing weave themselves into our thoughts, feelings, and perspectives.

Remember, it is vital that we sing the hymns, not just listen to them. If you want to be entertained, listen. If you want to be transformed, sing!

Hymns draw us to Jesus Christ. Hymns encourage us to trust God and approach Him with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith (Hebrews 10:22). Hymns strengthen us to stand firm in all the will of God, mature and fully assured (Colossians 4:12). Hymns help us comprehend, with all the saints, what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, so that we may be filled with all the fullness of God (Ephesians 3:18-19, NRSV, adapted).

That is the power and potential of hymn singing. Don’t get sidetracked! Singing is not about enjoying a pleasing sound or emotional stimulation. Hymns are not fantasy music. Hymns are reality music. They nurture our relationship with the Living Christ. They turn our attention to His constant presence and interaction in absolutely every aspect of daily life. Hymns help form Jesus Christ within us.