All Glory Be To Christ
 
All Glory be to Christ-6 resize.jpg
 
 

“Come now, you who say,
“Today or tomorrow we will go into such and such a town
and spend a year there and trade and make a profit”—
yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring.
What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes.
Instead you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that.””
James 4:13-15


As I read through this verse, I’m always so abruptly reminded of what my life really is. 
I live as if people knowing my name and singing my songs is what matters. Like getting married and having a family is what matters. Or like having nice things and financial security is what matters. Yet, I don’t have the slightest clue what tomorrow will bring. Add to that, I have absolutely no control over what tomorrow will bring. James 1 has been a wake-up call for me:

“Like a flower of the grass he will pass away. For the sun rises with its scorching heat and withers the grass; its flower falls, and its beauty perishes. So also will the rich man fade away in the midst of his pursuits.”
James 1:10-11

If I’m in this thing called “life” for myself, then all that I counted as gain here, will be but loss when I die. I am only “a flower of the grass” and “a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes”.

I find myself bucking up against this, not wanting it to be reality, but as I look around the world, I see it painted true everywhere. I remember the day Steve Jobs passed away. I grieved his life, because though he built much, it was merely a “flower of the grass” that James speaks of in James 1. It’s all gone for him, and though we still enjoy his work, it will fade away sooner than we like to think.

So, what do I make of all this?
Is all of life for nothing?
Yes, but for one exception.
Jesus. 

Because of Jesus, every moment we live and breathe in carries an eternal value.

If I live for myself and my glory, it’s gone when the wind decides to blow. But if I live for Christ, every moment resounds forever in the halls of heaven. Living for Christ is the only kind of living in the true sense, that there is. For to live for myself is but mere vanity, dust returning unto dust.

Poet and lifelong missionary C.T. Studd says it this way:

“Only one life, ‘twill soon be past, Only what’s done for Christ will last.”

No matter how hard we fight, we can’t step beyond the inescapable reality that we, in and of ourselves, will come to an end. Wholly true: “only what’s done for Christ will last.” 

May He open our hearts to this.

For if in our breathing in and living out, we begin to embrace this truth, we’ll find ourselves rushed into the greenest fields of freedom. We’ll find He’s put a new rhythm into our beating chests. We’re awake again. Putting our feet on the floor, morning by morning with purpose now; the highest calling. We’re raising our glasses and breathing deeply, exhaling songs solely for His glory. Each redeemed moment, we come a little closer to the absolute meaning of our lives: “All glory be to Christ”.
 May we do everything unto Him.

 

 

All Glory Be To Christ
(Written by Dustin Kensrue)

Should nothing of our efforts stand
No legacy survive
Unless the Lord does raise the house
In vain its builders strive

To you who boast tomorrow's gain
Tell me, What is your life?
A mist that vanishes at dawn
All glory be to Christ!

All glory be to Christ our king!
All glory be to Christ!
His rule and reign we'll ever sing
All glory be to Christ!

His will be done, His kingdom come
On earth as is above
Who is Himself our daily bread
Praise Him, the Lord of love

Let living water satisfy
The thirsty without price
We'll take a cup of kindness yet
All glory be to Christ!

All glory be to Christ our king!
All glory be to Christ!
His rule and reign we'll ever sing
All glory be to Christ!

When on the day the great I Am
The faithful and the true
The Lamb who was for sinners slain
Is making all things new

Behold our God shall live with us
And be our steadfast light
And we shall e'er his people be
All glory be to Christ!

All glory be to Christ our king!
All glory be to Christ!
His rule and reign we'll ever sing
All glory be to Christ!

 

Listen to my cover of “All Glory Be To Christ” on YouTube or SoundCloud!

 
 
 
Kristi Hepp
Far Away // Help Me Believe
 
Far away//Help Me Believe
You can always hear me
You are always near me

So, then why do you feel so far away?
So, then why do you feel so far away?

Help me believe when I can’t see You
You are still right here
Help me believe when I don’t feel You
You haven’t gone anywhere

This is for my good, I’m sure
This is for my good, I’m sure

You can always hear me
You are always near me

This is for my good, I’m sure
This is for my good, I’m sure

Oh God, I want to believe You.

I want to believe that you hear every word I say when I talk to you in prayer. I want to believe that you care about my pain and the pain of the people I love. I want to believe that You are beside me and that I don’t have to do any of this alone. But, God.

I struggle, and I flounder. In and out of the water, from belief to unbelief and back again. There’s so much I don’t understand that I want to understand, if I’m honest. I’m still asking the same questions about suffering and sickness and injustice. In my mind, I hear the whispered wondering of “does God even care?” and “is this for real?”.

I hear these questions when I talk with others about their lives as well. While they say things like, “I know God is for me”, I hear the questions hidden behind their words. I think we’re so afraid of our doubts that we hide them behind cliches and sentiments. We secretly live hopeless lives even we are unaware we’re living, because we’re so afraid of what we’ll find if we ask our questions of God.

I’m not saying we’ll find all the answers. In fact, I know we won’t find all the answers, but yet that’s exactly what is so assuring to my soul about our faith. The God of the Christian faith is not a god so small that He could ever be fully known. Isaiah 40:25-28 (NIV) says it this way:

“To whom will you compare me?
Or who is my equal?” says the Holy One.

Lift up your eyes and look to the heavens:
Who created all these?

He who brings out the starry host one by one
and calls forth each of them by name.
Because of his great power and mighty strength,
not one of them is missing.

Why do you complain, Jacob?
Why do you say, Israel,
“My way is hidden from the Lord;
my cause is disregarded by my God”? 

Do you not know?
Have you not heard?

The Lord is the everlasting God,
the Creator of the ends of the earth.

He will not grow tired or weary,
and his understanding no one can fathom.


To be a Christian is to have faith in a God we cannot fathom or understand.
Faith is defined as, “complete trust or confidence in someone or something”. The Bible in Hebrews 11:1 (GNT) defines faith as: “…Being sure of what we hope for, being convinced of what we do not see.”

Faith is believing even when our eyes cannot physically see. Faith is trusting even when our minds cannot possibly comprehend the ways of God. I long to be a daughter who has seen her Father in action enough to trust Him even when I feel like there’s no good to come of it. I want to be a sister to my fellow sojourners who speaks truth even in the midst of suffering seasons. Oh, that I may genuinely utter the words of 1 Peter to my fellow wanderers:

“In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, so that the tested genuineness of your faith- more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire- may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ. Though you have not seen Him, you love Him. Though you do not now see Him, you believe in Him…”

I pray this song meets you in the journey of fighting to believe truth. That though you do not see Him, you may yet believe, He is near. That though you do not feel Him, you may yet believe, He is good. 

May faith be the shield with which we “extinguish all the darts of the evil one” (Eph. 6:16 NIV). Where we’ve been swallowed and sunken by doubt, may we cry out unto our Father:

“I do believe;
help me overcome my unbelief.”

(Mark 11:24 NIV)

 
Kristi Hepp
Worthy Of My Days // August Song

I feel like a hypocrite most of the time.

Maybe you know this feeling, too. 
I wrote this song and I’ve been struggling to share it with you all. The first line of the song says, “I’m laying down all other treasures, I’m laying down all other loves”. The struggle inside of me is this: how can I sing what I know I don’t mean with my whole heart? I long to mean these words, but I’ve seen the way I fail to live them out. Should I be ashamed by my failure? Should I stop singing songs like this?

Let’s back track a little to hit on the heart of this struggle that I think many of you might also be able to relate to.

I’ve been reading in Philippians. Paul writes in Philippians 3:8, “Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord.” As I read this, far from encouraged or even convicted, I felt ashamed. Ashamed that my heart and passion for Jesus is nothing like Paul’s. The sneaking feeling creeps in that Jesus is also ashamed of me for not being “better” than I am.

I unpacked my struggle of feeling shame when I read the Bible across the table from a mentor recently. As I did, she spoke some words that God has used to open the doors to understanding what truth is. She said, “the truth is only the truth when it’s spoken in love.” Shame is a quick and fast indicator that God’s voice is not the one we’re hearing. Just like Satan took the Word of truth from the old testament and twisted it to try and cause Jesus to stumble (Matthew 4:1-11), he still is in the business of taking God’s words and trying to cause us to stumble and despair that we will never measure up.

I have often cowered in the corner with these truth-lies shaming me. The truth that I don’t love God with my whole heart. The truth that I throw myself repeatedly back into the arms of other lovers. The truth that I am not worthy of grace, and I do deserve hell. Oh, how I have often lived to the tune of the enemy’s song. His accusations are meant to drive us far from the love of God, but the Holy Spirit’s voice is kind and takes the shame out of the truth the enemy speaks. God, meets us with the same truths, but offers us grace unimaginable.

The Holy Spirit’s voice reminds us that Jesus came. God knew we could never measure up. He knew we would never be able to follow Him and keep His commands. He stirs this question, why would God have sent His son Jesus to die for the penalty of our sins, if there were any other way for us to attain the moral goodness and righteousness He required? There simply is no answer apart from this: He loves us. He loves us, deeply, friends.

When I read the words of God in the Bible, the only way I can receive them without shame is to remember the Gospel, the love of God. My failures are covered in Jesus and now I can, with Paul, cry out, “forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus (Philippians 3:13-14).

Shame will continue to attack me with graceless truth, but with the gift of faith, I am listening to the sweet song of grace now.

It’s in the grace of God, that I can sing this song. I’m not a hypocrite, but a daughter who longs to love Him. Join me in singing this song of surrender, resting in the grace that meets us in Jesus, as we will continue to fail to measure up. We are loved and because of that, we keep coming back and giving Him all of our days.

 

No Other Name is Worthy

I’m laying down all other treasures
I’m laying down all other loves
You’ve opened my heart to something better
No other love could be enough

Just to know You
Just to love You
Jesus, oh Jesus

I lay it all down
For all that I’ve found
In Jesus, oh Jesus

No greater worth than knowing You
No greater call that I could choose
Than sell my days and follow you
No other Name is worthy

No sweeter cross that I could bear
No other Name I’d rather wear
Abandon all unto Your care
No other Name is worthy of my days
You’re worthy of my days
Kristi Hepp