October 1: All I Have Is Christ
One of the joys of singing a song written in recent years is that sometimes the author will engage with you on why and how he or she wrote the song. Many years ago, I wrote to Stuart Townend about “How Deep the Father’s Love for Us” for a write-up I was doing for a church at which I was serving. His lovely reply encouraged me to try again with October’s Song of the Month– All I Have Is Christ— and Jordan Kauflin did not disappoint.
Jordan told me that he was “inspired to write a hymn that talked about the superior joy of following Jesus versus anything in this world.” In order to describe the wonderful life a person has with Christ, he first thought about the opposite. Without Christ, we are in a state of darkest night, the grave, in a hell-bound race. Without Christ, we are rebels, lost, and helpless.
Over and over in Scripture, we read that our situation is desperate without Jesus. “No one is righteous, not even one” (Romans 3:10). “You were dead in your sins” (Colossians 2:13), the Bible tells us, “without hope” (Ephesians 2:12), “evil in [God’s] sight” (Psalm 51:4), and “deserving of wrath” (Ephesians 2:3).
Rebel. Lost. Helpless.
Thankfully, God doesn’t leave us in this state. When we recognize our need, we are able to receive the forgiveness and mercy that is offered in Jesus Christ. “Here is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners– of whom I am the worst” (1 Timothy 1:15).
For reflection: Romans 10:13 tells us that “everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” If you recognize the darkness of your state, call on Jesus. Ask him for forgiveness and new life in him. If you are a Christ-follower, read Ephesians 2:1-10, and thank God for his mercy and grace. Ask him to help you to live each day as someone who is alive in Christ.