New Song Sunday | Because of Jesus

We are getting ready to bring in the song ‘Because of Jesus’ put out by one of my favorites, Charity Gayle.  I love how she brings a gospel music feel to her songs, but more than that, I love the messages in her songs, and this one is no different.  Music is such a sweet gift, and watching the Lord use the ability of others to write songs that speak to people, myself included, is such a cool thing.  I often have people message me asking the name of a song we have sung or others sharing music with me, which is because something in that particular song stirred something in their hearts.  So, I thought I’d share how this song resonates with me and draws my heart to worship the Lord.  

Some of the worship leaders get together a couple of times a year and have what we call a “listening session.”  We listen to songs, trying to find ones that fit well with a sermon series and that we think would connect with the congregation.  We have a spreadsheet (who doesn’t love a good spreadsheet) of all the current songs and a list of potential ones.  On that spreadsheet, there are columns with information about each song.  One of those columns is labeled “H or V.” This indicates the “direction” the song is sung, meaning it is either sung Horizontally (sung to the congregation/one another about the Lord) or sung Vertically (sung directly to the Lord).  Some songs include a little of both.  The very first word of this song gives us our direction….”You”…this is sung vertically, straight to the Lord.  

The theme of ‘Because of Jesus’ is basically the Gospel message.  The verses are all about what He has done for and continues to do in the lives of His children.  And the chorus is a response of praise to Him for that.  While this song is sung from the perspective of one who has surrendered their life to the Lord, the Gospel message is for all, and these words should give hope to those who haven’t yet believed in Him. 

The beauty of the message of ‘Because of Jesus’ comes because of the depth of our depravity.  Once we give our life to Jesus, scripture tells us we are a new creation…the old is gone, and the new has come (2 Corinthians 5:17), so while I don’t encourage living in the past when I think of salvation, I can’t help but be reminded of my sin (whether past or present) that causes me even to need a Savior.  Scripture tells us that we are all sinners and fall short of God’s glory (Romans 3:23) and that the price of that sin is death. (Romans 6:23a)  “But because of His great love for you, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in sin – it is by grace you have been saved.” (Ephesians 2:4-5)

This passage points out that before being made alive in Christ, I was dead. I repeat….dead. 

Dead people can’t do anything…like nothing, nada, zero…meaning there was nothing that I could do to save myself.  So HE paid the price for my sin, HE sought me out, HE rescued me, HE redeemed me, and as the first line of this song says, HE made a covenant with me.  Sometimes, I think about how my life would look without the conviction of the Holy Spirit…just how far I would fall into sin.  It’s not a picture that I care to dwell on long, and I’m so thankful that He kindly leads me to repentance each and every day, allowing me to abound in His grace, which is much greater than my sin. (Romans 5:20)  His forgiveness alone is pretty overwhelming, but when I consider that He took on the consequence for my sin, willingly and gladly, that is next level, and when the reality of that truth really sinks in, I am overwhelmed and can’t help but respond to Him with worship and adoration.  

While the struggles of my mind constantly remind me of my need for Him, there are times that I find myself complacent and consumed by things that have no eternal value or meaning.  And while those things may not necessarily be wrong, they tend to dull my mind to the things of the Lord.  I find that I’m not dwelling on His word as I should, and when I’m not doing that, my response to messages like this song tends to be a bit delayed or maybe even nonexistent.  It’s like me yelling at my kids from another room across the house through closed doors – it takes listening intently and hearing it a few times for what I’m saying to soak in.  On the other hand, when I’m living in a season of saturating my mind with His word (like speaking to my kids in the same room sitting next to them), my response to His truth is quite a bit quicker. 

The war between the flesh and the spirit will wage on until we are physically with the Lord, so until then, we must choose to surrender to Him daily, allowing Him to transform us into His likeness.

There is something special about worshipping corporately with the body of Christ.  In John 4, Jesus says that “true worshippers will worship the Father in spirit and truth.” While our spirits (personalities) may all be different and look differently when we worship, when truth like this song hits you in the heart, regardless of how many times you had to hear it, I believe it will evoke a response.  So, as Paul prays for the church in Ephesus, it is my prayer for you that He “may give you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him, having the eyes your heart enlightened that you may know what is the hope to which he has called you, what are the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, and what is the immeasurable greatness of his power toward us who believe.” (Ephesians 1:17-19a)

– Keri Rammell