In Matthew 5:1-12 in the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus talked about eight blessings, known as the Beatitudes. Three examples: “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven; Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted; Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the Earth.”
Over the years, many Christian artists have written music based on the Beatitudes. Most recently, Christian music veteran Rebecca St. James’ “Kingdom Come” as well as Elias Drummer’s “Kyrie Eleison (It’s Mercy We Need)” have lyrics connected to the words of Jesus found in the Sermon on the Mount and Beatitudes.
As I listened to these songs, I started to think of other songs that I’ve featured over the past several years that are also based on that section of Scripture, and all these songs have been previously featured as Behind the Song devotionals.
These songs are great messages for us to celebrate that our freedom from sin is based on our faith in Christ Jesus. Also, it is commanded by Jesus in Matthew 5:16 to "let your light shine" so that others may praise God based on seeing the power of His life in us. Sometimes we forget to give Jesus credit for our freedom and accomplishments.
We need to celebrate that freedom with our hands reaching out to others in Christ and show His light in us and let Him shine in us as expressed in all these songs.
Rebecca St. James (feat. For King & Country) “Kingdom Come”
"Kingdom Come" paints a beautiful picture of hope, healing, and redemption while exploring what God's presence on earth can look like both now and forever. Rebecca sets out to present an opportunity for believers to live in the moment with Jesus, and beautifully portrays that message with powerful vocals from both herself and her brothers. Rebecca has consistently written biblical songs that both challenge and uplift me to give my heart to Jesus and thank Him for his grace and mercy.
Heaven on earth is something that God wants us to pray for, and biblically we're commanded to spread the Good News of the Gospel in the Great Commission. A revival is something that God wants us to pray for, and biblically we are commanded to spread the Good News of the Gospel in the Great Commission. In Mark 16:15, Jesus commands: "Preach the Gospel to every creature."
There are no conditions or exceptions in that command. It's more of a lifestyle that Jesus calls us to live as Christians. I can't get enough of the worshipful lyrics, "Right here, right now, we're reaching out with humble hearts, we're kneeling down, no other name, no other way, Lord, hear us as we pray."
Elias Dummer (feat. Citizens) “Kyrie Eleison (It’s Mercy We Need)”
If your eyes are open to the needs of others around you and if you serve others and care about people more than think about yourself and your doubts, then you can start to live out the Beatitudes. As Christians, we're called to speak out about injustice. We often mistake staying quiet about issues as turning the other cheek. The truth is that Jesus flipped over the tables in the temple when He saw injustice.
In Micah 6:8 (NKJV) we are told, "He has shown you, O man, what is good; and what does the LORD require of you but to do justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God." This song is a great way to work on the disciplines of self-examination and prayer.
It takes a while to get quiet in our culture. Unplug, and go deeper with Jesus. I'm completely convicted by the prayerful lyrics and find immense comfort in this song: "Will I do justly when it ain’t free?/ I could walk humbly, weak on my feet/ With Christ as my king, His mercy through me.”
I’ve found that by reading God’s Word, I’m strengthened by the truth that God wants me to know that fear, worry, and anxiety are not His plan for my life. God wants you to have a daily reminder to not be afraid. Joyfully sing with Natalie: "We can be the change, be the hope. We can be the arms that don't let go, we can be a light in the dark." Matthew 5:14 tells us: "You're here to be light, bringing out the God-colors in the world. God is not a secret to be kept." This song inspires us to live out the words, "Why sit around and wait for a miracle to come, when we can be one."
Jesus commands believers to love others as He loved us, and to show His love by helping people who can't help themselves. That's how we can show God in us to others. Also, look for God in the "least of these" as Jesus tells us in Matthew 25:40 (NIV): "Whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for Me."
When you listen to this song, you’ll be challenged to "do something." So, whatever cause you support, be passionate about it and speak about the cause consistently. Ask yourself if you're losing sight of God's purpose for you. Then take the words of the song to heart: "It's not enough to do nothing /It's time for us to do something."
As the song sings, "You only need a spark to start a whole blaze, it only takes a little faith, Let it start right here in this city." Matthew 5 tells us: "You're here to be light, bringing out the God-colors in the world. God is not a secret to be kept."
Sometimes Christians know facts about the Bible but don't live out the truth that the Holy Spirit is living inside of us. "Start A Fire" is a song, a prayer, and a call for revival in our hearts. Believers can all sing: "Start a fire in my soul, Fan the flame and make it grow, So there's no doubt or denying, Let it burn so brightly, That everyone around can see, That it's You, that it's You that we need."
I can’t help but break down every time I listen to this song. It encourages me. It’s inspirational. Contemporary band The City Harmonic really captures what it means to be loved unconditionally by Jesus. I love knowing that in my brokenness, I’m closer to God. It is so wonderful to know that failing by the world’s standards is what we are called to be as devoted followers of Jesus. We need to celebrate the freedom we have in Him with our hands reach out to others in Christ and show His light in us and let Him shine in us, "like a City on a Hill."
NRT Lead Contributor Kevin Davis is a long-time fan of Christian music and an avid music collector. He credits the message of Christian music for leading him to Christ. Kevin lives in Pennsylvania with his wife and three daughters.
NRT Books Launching
First title, Mixtape Theology, releasing October 2
What The Bleep
We explore the continuing trend of Christian artists including language...
NEW!BEHIND THE SONG
#1176 - Jason Gray
Exploring the message of belonging and transformation
Christian Music in 1993
NRT's J.J. Francesco reflects on the Christian music industry in 1993
Christian Music's Women
Women working to further the kingdom of God through their music
NEW!NRT BOOKS EXCERPT
You Might Be A 90s Christian