BEHIND THE SONG WITH KEVIN DAVIS
#902 - "Whole Heart" by Passion
Passion's Kristian Stanfill talks about the radical truth of God's love and how it calls us to respond.
 


BEHIND THE SONG WITH KEVIN DAVIS, #902 -
Posted: March 13, 2018 | By: KevinDavis_NRT
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Passion's songs have consistently been some of the most popular in all of worship music, with many of their songs being sung by millions in churches all across the country. Some of their recent staples include "10,000 Reasons," "Lord, I Need You," "One Thing Remains," "My Victory" and "Even So Come." 

The live releases drawn from each year's conferences have been highly anticipated since the first edition in 1998. Their worship songs have been a constant companion for me personally on my faith journey, and I've had the privilege to speak with many Passion artists over the past 10 years of writing these devotionals, including "Waiting Here For You," "Whom Shall I Fear," "You Found Me," "Lift Your Head Weary Sinner" and "Remember."

Whole Heart marks the newest release from Passion and features the most balanced lineup yet, with new standout songs by Kristian Stanfill, Crowder, Melodie Malone, Sean Curran, Brett Younker and Matt Redman. I had the chance to speak with Kristian Stanfill about "Whole Heart."

Please tell me the personal story behind this song.

This song is the Gospel. When we were far away, God brought us close. When we were rebelling and in a distant place, God came to us, which is crazy thinking. Just think that God in His holiness, the Divine, would come for humanity. Not just that, it wasn't just the rescue, it was that He gave us a love that came with no conditions.

I didn't write this song, so I can tell you that this song is brilliantly written, and the language is really compelling. I think anyone who has experienced the love of God or been moved by mercy or touched by grace, this is their response. It's almost like this song is stating how something so unbelievable is something we believe in, that God would come and offer me a love. That's what seems to be moving people when we lead the song: it is calling people back to Him. 

When you talked about the Psalms earlier, when you say "restore to me the joy of Your salvation," that's what this song is about. I've been walking with God since I was thirteen, and this song recalls back to me the joy it is to be known by God and the joy of His salvation. I think also for someone who is not walking with God or hasn't been touched by the love of God, it sparks this question about "what is this love with no conditions?"

Which Bible verses connect to the message of the song?

Psalm 119:67-77 (NIV): "Before I was afflicted I went astray, but now I obey Your word. You are good, and what You do is good; teach me Your decrees. Though the arrogant have smeared me with lies, I keep Your precepts with all my heart. Their hearts are callous and unfeeling, but I delight in Your law. It was good for me to be afflicted so that I might learn Your decrees. The law from Your mouth is more precious to me than thousands of pieces of silver and gold. Your hands made me and formed me; give me understanding to learn Your commands. May those who fear You rejoice when they see me, for I have put my hope in Your word. I know, O LORD, that Your laws are righteous, and in faithfulness You have afflicted me. May Your unfailing love be my comfort, according to Your promise to Your servant. Let Your compassion come to me that I may live, for Your law is my delight."

Psalm 119:11 (NIV): "Your word I have hidden in my heart, that I might not sin against You."

My life passage is John 15:4-5 (VOICE): "Abide in Me, and I will abide in you. A branch cannot bear fruit if it is disconnected from the vine, and neither will you if you are not connected to Me. I am the vine, and you are the branches. If you abide in Me and I in you, you will bear great fruit. Without Me, you will accomplish nothing."

Luke 15:24 (VOICE): "Because my son was dead and is alive again. He was lost and has been found." So they had this huge party.

1 John 3:1 (NKJV): "Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called children of God! Therefore the world does not know us, because it did not know Him."

Hebrews 4:14-16 (NIV): "Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has gone through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are-yet was without sin. Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need."

Ephesians 3:20-21 (NIV): "Now to Him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us, to Him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen."

What is the takeaway message?

The crazy thought in this song is about how God loves us with no conditions. When we think about love that we experience as humans on earth, a lot of times it has conditions from other people. We are conditioned to think about love having conditions. The love of God isn't like that. It is unparalleled. To wrap our minds and our hearts around that is hard, but it is life-changing, and it affects the way that we live. 

I got a text from a friend this morning about the lyrics "how could a wretch become Your treasure?" and how that line was wrecking him. Man, do I feel that as well. If that ever loses its power or it fails to move me to worship, then I need to check my heart, because that would mean I've gone stone cold. That line is for all of us, for me, for you and everybody. Why would Jesus go to the Cross for sinners? That is the question. It's all about love. I am really grateful to be under that love.

Lyrics:
I once was captive by the enemy
He had me thinking I was out of reach
O Jesus, mercy shut his mouth

I once was crippled by the weight of shame
Embarrassed, I couldn't even show my face
O Jesus, then I heard You speak

Your love
It comes with no conditions
You give us Your whole heart
My hope
Is in the blood of Jesus
I know who I am
Because of who You are

I hear You calling me beyond my sin
You tell me that grace has taken care of it
O Jesus, You're my victory
O Jesus, You're my victory

Your love
It comes with no conditions
You give us Your whole heart
My hope
Is in the blood of Jesus
I know who I am
Because of who You are

I serve a King with good intentions
God, You will never
Turn Your back on me
How could a wretch become Your treasure
The love of God
Has changed my destiny

Your love
It comes with no conditions
You give us Your whole heart
My hope
Is in the blood of Jesus
I know who I am
Because of who You are
Your love
It comes with no conditions
You give us Your whole heart
My hope
Is in the blood of Jesus
I know who I am
Because of who You are 


"Whole Heart" featuring Kristian Stanfill has become my personal worship anthem, and is one of my top worship songs of the year. Musically similar to "This We Know," I'm really engaged by Stanfill's emotional vocals and the deep, prayerful lyrics throughout the album. God can do immeasurably more than anything and everything one can ask or even imagine, and this song is a true celebration of the great biblical truth of "Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us" from Ephesians 3:20. God wants us to boldly approach the throne of mercy and grace to receive and obtain what we need from Him.

God explains love in 1st John 4:19: "We love because He first loved us." God's love was given at an outrageous cost, the life of His only begotten Son. Not only should we love God because He first loved us, but we should also love others unconditionally because while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. God, our Creator, adores us immensely, and sent Jesus to die for us to show us the definition of love: "But God demonstrates His own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us" Romans 5:8 (NIV). Before we were saved, we were dead in our sins. We were lost, and then God found us, and now we are alive in Christ. He desires us to love Him with all of our heart, mind, soul and strength, and to love one another. That's how we can show our adoration and thankfulness for what God has done for us.

This song reminds us of our standing before God. We know what love is because God is love. He showed us His love when Jesus laid down His life for us, and He gave us His whole heart. "Your love / It comes with no conditions / You give us Your whole heart / My hope is in the blood of Jesus / I know who I am / Because of who You are" are Stanfill's cries of praise that will have you singing along. Make the lyrics of this bridge your prayer as you prepare your hearts for Easter: "I serve a King with good intentions, God, You will never turn Your back on me. How could a wretch become Your treasure? The love of God has changed my destiny!" Amen to that!

Watch the performance video below.
 



 

NRT Lead Contributor Kevin Davis is a longtime fan of Christian music, an avid music collector and credits the message of Christian music for leading him to Christ. He lives in Pennsylvania with his wife and three daughters.

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