Because He Lives

In the early 1970s, Bill and Gloria Gaither wrote a song titled “Because He Lives.”

Because He lives, I can face tomorrow.

Because He lives, all fear is gone.

Because I know He holds the future,

And life is worth the living just because He lives.

While the song doesn’t quote scripture, it’s theme is found throughout the Bible: Romans 5:7, John 14:19, Philippians 3:10-11, and 1 Corinthians 15:20-22, to name a few.

I grew up listening to this song – and pretty much every other song the Gaithers ever sang. Near the end of his life, my grandpa had a stroke that stole his ability to remember names and events, and it eventually took his ability to speak. He was aware of things going on around him and interacted with others, but he didn’t talk anymore.

Every now and then a young man named Gus would bring his guitar and sing hymns at Grandpa’s care center. Grandpa loved to listen and would usually tap his foot or nod his head to the beat, but one day Gus was singing, “Because He Lives” and he realized that my grandpa was singing along. He knew every word to every verse.

Hearing the music sparked a moment of remembrance for my grandpa.

Grandpa became a Christian as a teenager and spent his adult life reading, studying, teaching and telling others about how his life was different because Jesus lives. That act of remembering and sharing what Jesus had done for him – what He did for all of us – became a habit deeply ingrained in who he was.

For believers, lent (the 40 days leading up to Easter) is a long season where we pause to remember who we are, who God is, and what Jesus has done.

But it doesn’t stop at remembering. It is a season of repentance because we are taking the time to honestly consider who we are in light of what Jesus has done for us. Repentance is the act of turning from what is wrong and starting over with what is right. It means we both rethink our actions AND physically turn from sin. What’s important to remember is that there is a third component of repentance, and that is remembering that it is by the grace and strength of Jesus that we are able to repent at all. We can neither rethink nor turn around without Him. In turning away from our sin, we are returning to our starting point: Jesus – once again allowing Him to be our Way to restoration and life. But, it is never to bring shame. It is to lead us into wholeness. In the midst of realizing our great need for a Savior, we are reminded of the restoration and hope Jesus offers.

Lent reminds us that we are invited to come confidently before God and that we can trust completely in the work of Jesus Christ on our behalf. It is an invitation to start over and hold tightly to the truth of Jesus, setting aside the things that get in the way of our relationship with Jesus. It is a moment of refreshing – refreshing our commitment and our hope.

Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord. Acts 3:19 (NIV)

Remember. Repent. Restore. Refresh.

Do not miss the opportunity to embrace this moment of remembrance. All Because He Lives.

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