Article 1

Living Your True Purpose (Header)

Living Your True Purpose (Article 1)The Coloring Song, by the CCM group Petra, appeared on their 1981 album Never Say Die. It marked a turning point towards success for Petra, Gospel Glove 1 as all singles and albums prior had only performed less than moderately.

Part of the success of The Coloring Song is the appeal of the music. Its simple melody, coupled with the childlike explanation of the Gospel message in its lyrics, makes this song a near instant classic for all to enjoy.

The premise behind Petra’s song is not new. People have been using colors to explain the Gospel story for several decades. In fact, its origin dates back to 1866.

History credits Charles Haddon Spurgeon, pastor of the New Park Street Chapel (which later became the Metropolitan Tabernacle) in London, England, with the creation of what was then called The Wordless Book.

This “book” was simply three sheets of colored paper. The first page was black, and represented the sinful condition of mankind’s soul. The second page was red, which represented the blood of Christ. And the third page was white. White represented the purified condition of mankind’s soul, which God made available to all who would believe in the atoning sacrifice of His only begotten Son — Jesus Christ.

Almost ten years after C.H. Spurgeon introduced The Wordless Book to the world, Dwight L. Moody (American evangelist and publisher) adds another page to it. This fourth page is gold in color and represents eternal life in Heaven.

Today we no longer use The Wordless Book in this form. In fact, most Christian denominations are unfamiliar with it all together, but mention the Gospel Glove (pictured above) and you will evoke instant memories of someone’s early years in Sunday School.

So why the history lesson regarding these colorful forms of God’s Gospel message? Well, for this very simple reason. If you are going to live the life of a true worshiper, you must understand the importance of having a relationship with Christ. If you don’t have a relationship with Jesus, then you will not be able to become the true worshiper of God that you were meant to be.

If for any reason you are unsure of your relationship with God’s only begotten Son, then take the time now and contemplate the message that the following colors represent:

Black Square The soul of humanity is against God (sinful) by nature (Isaiah 53:6; Romans 3:23). This is because Adam and Eve rejected God’s purpose for mankind, back in the Garden of Eden (Genesis 3:1-24).

Red Square God’s only begotten Son, Jesus Christ, came to live as a human-being, and become the ultimate blood-sacrifice for us all (Hebrews 9:22, 10:9-10). Christ was able to live among sinful people without becoming sinful Himself, and thus was able to shed His perfectly sinless blood for our sake (2 Corinthians 5:21).

White Square When people surrender their lives back to God, through a relationship with His only begotten Son, then all of their sins (wrong doings) are removed from their souls. They become as pure, perfect, and sinless as the Lord, Jesus Christ (Hebrews 1:2-3; 1 John 1:7).

Blue Square Once we have accepted Jesus as our Lord, and embraced His message of salvation, we must act on our newly found faith by being baptized in water (Matthew 28:19; Mark 16:16). This act of worship is the new believer’s first public profession of Christ’s message of hope.

Green Square For all who believe in the hope of God’s Son, they must continue to act out their faith through various acts of worship (Bible study, gathering for corporate worship, giving of resources, individual worship, prayer, praise, preaching, serving humanity, teaching, etc.), and grow into the true worshiper that they were intended to be (James 2:14-26; 2 Peter 1:5-11).

Gold Square Once God has grown us into the true worshipers that He has called us to be, then our Creator will beckon us to Himself. Allowing us to live in His glorious presence for all of eternity (John 14:1-3; Revelation 14:13-15).

There you have it. The hope for mankind laid out in six easy colors. I pray you have embraced it, and are growing as a true worshiper. If you haven’t . . . I pray that God will keep “knocking” on the door of your soul until you answer His call:

“Here I am! I [Jesus Christ] stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with Me.” (Revelation 3:20)

Living Your True Purpose by J. Scott Harden is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.
Based on a work at jasonmin.wordpress.com.
Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available at http://www.jsnmin.org.

Scripture taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION ®. Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan Publishing House. All rights reserved.

The “NIV” and “New International Version” trademarks are registered in the United States Patent and Trademark Office by International Bible Society. Use of either trademark requires the permission of International Bible Society.

The Coloring Song lyrics and music written by Dave Eden. Copyright © 1981 StarSong Records.

Video made available by Jason Ministries, and StarSong Records; Copyright © 2013 All Rights Reserved.

If your church or organization would like to talk with J. Scott Harden about a speaking engagement, or a writing project, please get in touch with Mr. Harden through Jason MinistriesTwitter account or Facebook page.

Advertisements

Article 3

Robert “Bob” Hartman, is possibly one of the greatest songwriters to have graced Contemporary Christian Music over the last 40 + years. His ability to take a passage of Scripture from the Bible, or to take a strong lyrical story based on biblical content, and apply that to a melody that is both enjoyable and awe inspiring is uncanny.

Robert’s songs are rarely so simple that you can disconnect your mind from what your ears are hearing, as a parent would be able to do with their child’s nursery music. No, Bob’s music commands your ears to take heed and listen. If music can make human ears stand at attention, then that is what takes place when one hears a Bob Hartman song. If you are unfamiliar with Bob Hartman’s name, you will most likely recognize his band’s — Petra!

Hartman originally was a member of the Christian rock band known as Rapture, but after the band’s break up in the early ‘70s and a move to Fort Wayne, IN, to attend classes at the Christian Training Center, Robert began to form the Christian rock band we know today as Petra.

Of all the songs that Hartman has penned, I think it is Adonai that stands as my all time favorite. It’s from Petra’s 1985 album Beat the System, and it helped to make that project one of the biggest Christian rock albums recorded at that time and the third-biggest Christian album of the 1980s (trailing only Amy Grant’s Age to Age and Sandi Patti’s Songs From the Heart). Allow me to share the lyrics of this Christian rock masterpiece with you:

Verse 1:
This thirsting within my soul
Won’t cease ‘till I’ve been made whole.
To know You; to walk with You.
To please You in all I do.
You uphold the righteous,
And Your faithfulness shall endure.
Chorus:
Adonai, Master of the earth and sky.
You, alone, are worthy — Adonai!
Adonai, let creation testify;
Let Your majesty be magnified in me.
Adonai, You are an endless mystery — Adonai!
Verse 2:
Unchanging, consuming fire;
Lift me up from mud and mire.
Set my feet upon Your rock;
Let me dwell in Your righteousness (repeat chorus).
Bridge:
When the storms surround me,
Speak the word and they will be still.
And, this thirst and hunger
Is a longing only You can fill — Adonai (repeat chorus).

Words escape me, as I try to describe how these lyrics call my soul to worship the Creator of heaven and earth. Hear them sung, and you will be hard pressed to deny your spirit’s desire to leap for joy and shout, “Praise Adonai!” But, why? What is it about this song — this lyric — that makes it so special? I believe it’s power to move the human spirit lays in the name “Adonai.”

“Adonai” is a Hebraic name for God (Elohim/Deity), and is the emphatic plural of the title “Adon.” Adon, which means “Lord” or “Master,” is generally the title given to men of authority or angels but at times was also used when referring to Yahweh. So, since Adonai is the plural form of Adon, its meaning is interpreted as “Lords” or “Masters.” When the emphatic plural is formed in Hebrew using a singular possessive ending (example: “my Lords” or “my Masters”), it always refers to God. Our Creator, the triune God, was recognized by the Hebrews as the “Lord of Lords” (Adonei ha’adonim) or Lord Yahweh — Adonai Adonai!

I personally get emotional — spiritually moved — over this particular name of God, but I also realize that most Americans, really most contemporaries of the western hemisphere, don’t quite grasp just how powerful a title like “Lord” or “Master” is, due to our democratic societies. So very quickly, I want to help you grasp just what this truly means. We’ll begin by defining “Lord.”

The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines a “Lord” as:

(noun) someone or something having power, authority, or influence: lord of the sea | lords of the jungle. A master or ruler: our lord the king.

(verb) act in a superior and domineering manner toward someone (lord it over).

The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines a “Master” as:

(noun) 1 – a man who has people working for him, esp. servants or slaves: he acceded to his master’s wishes. A person who has dominance or control of something: he was master of the situation. 2 – a skilled practitioner of a particular art or activity: I’m a master of disguise. A great artist, esp. one belonging to the accepted canon: the work of the great masters is spread around the art galleries of the world.

(adjective) 1 – having or showing very great skill or proficiency: a master painter. Denoting a person skilled in a particular trade and able to teach others: a master bricklayer. 2 – main; principal: the master bedroom.

Here, in these two definitions for “Lord” and “Master,” we see four key attributes to understanding why God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit is Adonai.

First, our Lords, our Creator has power (Deuteronomy 8:17-18), authority (Matthew 28:18), and influence (Psalm 2:7-9; Jeremiah 28:14) over all of His/Their creation (Psalm 89:7-11). Yahweh is the ruler over all of it. Whether we accept His authority, or not, doesn’t matter — God is our Lord — Adoneinu!

Second, God is sovereign, superior, and does dominate over all (2 Chronicles 20:5-6; Psalm 89; Proverbs 8:15-17). Just because we are in a time of grace, and are not seeing God’s righteous wrath displayed in the way mankind saw it displayed in the Old Testament, does not mean that Jehovah isn’t in control. It doesn’t mean He is inferior, or weak — God is the Lord of Lords — Adonei ha’adonim! Which brings us to our third attribute, we are called by the triune God to serve Him.

Almighty God’s mercy allows us to choose to serve Him (Joshua 24:14-15; 1 Peter 4:1-11), for now, but make no mistake — there is coming a day — Yahweh will reveal the truth of His dominance, His control, and all of His majesty will be revealed (Philippians 2:9-11; Revelation 20:11-15) to all of His creation! It’s on that day that every man, woman, and child will bow before their Creator and proclaim Him/Them as Lords, Masters — Adonai!

Lastly, our fourth attribute, God has great skill and proficiency over all people, places, and things. Creation is our Creator’s testimony of this fact (Genesis 1-2; Psalms 19, 40:7-11, 139:13), as is man’s ability to learn and improve his physical state (Exodus 4:10-12; Leviticus 1-27). For it is by Jehovah’s skill in creating and His ability to teach that empowers the creativity and ingenuity of humanity — God is the Lord Yahweh — Adonai Adonai!

Selah (Pause/Reflect).

Praise, Almighty God — Adoneinu — You are the master of the earth and sky. Only You, Lord God, are worthy of being called “Master.” Devine Creator — Adonei ha’adonim — let all of creation testify, and let Your majesty be magnified in the spirit of humanity; be magnified, especially, in me. Lords, Masters — Adonai — You are an awesome, majestic, endless mystery. Adonai Adonai!

His Name Is . . . by J. Scott Harden is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.
Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available at https://jasonmin.wordpress.com/.

Scripture taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION ®. Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan Publishing House. All rights reserved.

The “NIV” and “New International Version” trademarks are registered in the United States Patent and Trademark Office by International Bible Society. Use of either trademark requires the permission of International Bible Society.

Adonai lyrics and music written by Robert “Bob” Hartman. Lyrics based on Genesis 15:2, Matthew 5:6, Hebrews 12:29, Psalms 40:2. Copyright © 1985 Star Song Records/A&M Records.

If you want to use these lyrics, please contact the authors, artists or labs.

If your church or organization would like to talk with J. Scott Harden about a speaking engagement, or a writing project, please get in touch with Mr. Harden through Jason MinistriesTwitter account or Facebook page.