What Am I Worth?

21 Nov

What do you base your self-worth on? We look around and see competitions on television, whether it’s for singing, unique talents, funny videos, or even “beauty”. We see online posts and determine their merit based on the number of shares or likes… And this culture of ratings affects us.

When we start to come up with unrealistic expectations for ourselves, we start to feel disappointed and unworthy. Perhaps you feel that way right now because your week wasn’t what you expected or things just didn’t pan out the way you had hoped today. But instead of hanging onto the disappointments and things that bring you down, consider those in your life that lift you up & encourage you; consider the moments that bring you joy, the things that actually make you feel valuable. Philippians 4:8 says, “Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.

Don’t get hung up on the value of material things and how they can affect your worth. With Black Friday just a week away, we look so far in advance all of the deals and promotions going on… how to get the best bang for your buck – for great discounts you’d stand on line for hours. You see this kind of desire and may feel like you’re not “worth it”, but God will tell you otherwise.

The Lord your God is with you,the Mighty Warrior who saves. He will take great delight in you; in his love he will no longer rebuke you, but will rejoice over you with singing. – Zephaniah 3:17

Whether it’s something someone said to you, or the way you feel about yourself after a long hard day at school/work, know that you are loved by our almighty God in heaven! See yourself the way that the Father sees you. It may be hard at first, but be encouraged that the amount God loves you far outnumbers any racing negative thoughts you may have. “How precious to me are your thoughts, God! How vast is the sum of them!” (Psalm 139:17).

If you’re looking for somewhere to start, start by looking to your family, your friends, those that are close to you… they love you too! You’re probably thinking of a few people right now. And, of course, don’t forget to look to God! You were bought with a price, you are worth it – God showed His great love for us with the sacrifice made on the cross with His son Jesus Christ, our Lord & Savior. So in this Thanksgiving season let’s be grateful, giving thanks and praise to God our Father who has redefined our worth. It’s because of Him we have life and everything within it, so going forward let’s continue to give Him our lives and everything we have, showing Him that He is worthy of it all!

Reflection Song: Unending Praise

Endless Love

10 Nov

How amazing is God’s love? It is everlasting. It is unconditional. It knows no bounds.

We recently led worship at IN2 Church’s Crosswalk lock-in where they had the banner above, representing God’s neverending love for us. Throughout the night, people wrote on heart-shaped post-its with what they are thankful for and posted it on this banner. This should get us thinking… especially in this Thanksgiving season, what are you grateful for?

Lamentations 3:22 says, “Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail.” One thing we can count on is God’s never failing love for us. And with His one and only son, Jesus, and the cross, we see His love displayed for us and making a way for us. This endless love is not something foreign or alien, but familiar and given freely to us by the grace of God. Because His love is endless, so should be our response! This reminded us of our song Unending Praise:

Lord, I live for You… Lord, I give to You unending praise, unending praise. More than anything, be my everything. We give You praise, unending praise.

Just as how we are the recipient of God’s unending love, may God receive unending praise from us – that our response to His love may be worship, that our lives would be worship, and He would be the object of our worship.

No matter what hardships you may be going through & experiencing, remember your relationship with the Lord and who He is. For starters, Psalm 145 says He is gracious, compassionate, loving, and good… so you are not in this alone. God is for us and Jesus Christ is the sign of His perfect love for us. Be encouraged today as you begin a new week for His glory. Be thankful and find peace & joy in His endless love for you!

Reflection Song: Here Today

Masks And Make-Believe

31 Oct

Happy Halloween!

For many, today is a fun day to spend time with friends & family, probably dressing up as your favorite superhero or TV character, collecting candy along the way. Costumes, capes, masks… but who are we, really? Are we make-believing?

We have the privilege to know God, who is for real and has no secret identity! It’s all fun and games today, which is great, but when it comes to our relationship with the Lord, let’s not forget who we ought to be. John declares in Romans 1:16-17 that he is not ashamed of the gospel because of the power of God. So how are we living? Are you living unashamedly for Christ?

I’m reminded of John 1 which says, “The true light that gives light to everyone was coming into the world. He was in the world, and though the world was made through him, the world did not recognize him. He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him. Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God…”

We are children of God! No pretending there… This is who we are and how we should live. But instead of getting a bag full of candy, we’ve got much better in store for us when we take off our masks and live for Him. Thomas asks Jesus in John 14, “Lord, we don’t know where you are going, so how can we know the way?” and Jesus responds, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. If you really know me, you will know my Father as well. From now on, you do know him and have seen him.”

Today, if you are feeling lost or even unidentified, proudly know the Lord and know who you are in Him. Let’s not be like the false prophets who are like wolves that wear sheep’s clothing or the hypocrites who honor Jesus with their lips but not with their hearts. Let’s take off those masks, believe, and be true to God & one another.

Reflection Song: Here I Stand

The In-Between: Transitions In Worship

3 Oct

Recently our frontman Andy joined The Church Collective, an online collective/community to equip & empower worship teams worldwide. His first entry titled, “The In-Between: Transitions In Worship” is for all you worship leaders who are looking for ways to go from song to song. Check out some of these helpful tips!

Happy International Music Day!

1 Oct

Thanks to all our friends around the world who support our music ministry! Keep taking your worship of Jesus Christ everywhere and make Him known!

What music are you listening to today? Maybe you’ll be the lucky one to get the last copy (for now) of Unending Praise off Amazon! More to come soon!

Multitasking God

24 Sep

It’s all the craze these days: How many programs can you run at once? Does your current internet browser support tons of open tabs? Can your smart phone split screens between apps? Multitasking is second nature to us, isn’t it? We might even (dare I say it) multitask God.

I’m sure we’ve all heard the phrase “too busy for God” before. But I think Psalm 34:1-10 says it well: “I will extol the Lord at all times; His praise will always be on my lips.” If we are to extol/praise the Lord at all times, I think it’s pretty clear: we ought to praise the Lord… always!

The other day at our church I challenged people to reflect upon their life and how God fits into it. Now, obviously, God is bigger than that time slot. Yet, we even limit that amount of time when we’re “busy”, trying to negotiate & bargain our time with Him. So I want to ask you the same question today: How does God fit into your life?

A popular verse in the Bible that’s written all over the gospels is probably familiar to you, either from reading it or even as a song: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength, and with all your mind.” How can this be if we only offer up some of our heart, some of our soul, some of our strength, and some of our mind? This leads me back to this idea of our band name, Shameless Plug.

Not too long ago someone asked me about the meaning, the purpose, the origin of our band’s name. If you’re unfamiliar with it, you can read about our story here. But when we multitask to the point where even we don’t know what we’re exactly juggling day-to-day, then we’ve lost sight of the important things – like the most important One of all, Jesus Christ. When we live life making Him known and famous, He becomes our shameless plug and we get to (not have to) praise Him at all times! Doesn’t that sound better than stressing out about your 15 errands today?

God is bigger than we let Him be. And maybe that’s especially true for you today. God, who is the ultimate multitasker (being the God of over 7.25 billion people in the world today), is our one True and Living God who sent His One and only Son, Jesus Christ, to show us His love and mercy. That’s actually one… huge… task. I think we’d all say that He’s worth all of our attention and being at the top of our list of priorities.

Let’s not cheap out on God by giving Him a discount of our time. Let’s give Him our all like we were intended to do. You can multitask your iPhone apps or your shopping lists, but let’s not turn our faith into a statistic. God is the One who deserves the praise, deserves the extollment, deserves the magnification and attention. Reflect upon your life again and what role God plays. Know that even in the hectic schedule you may have, God is in the midst of it. But don’t juggle him like one of your tasks. Give Him your best and give Him your all.

Reflection Song: All To You

#NeverForget

11 Sep

Today we remember what happened 13 years ago.

Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.” – Psalm 23:4

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