Read His Words Before Ours!
I love music. It is one way I truly connect with God. Often, I’ll find myself mindlessly singing a song and, once I tune in, realize God placed it in my heart. Whether the song is from church, the radio, or simply my memory, it lifts my spirit as I sing His praises.
“Christ be Magnified” is a song I love to hold in my heart.
“Were creation suddenly articulate
With a thousand tongues to lift one cry
Then from north to south and east to west
We’d hear ‘Christ be magnified!’
Were the whole earth echoing His eminence
His name would burst from sea and sky
From rivers to the mountain tops
We’d hear ‘Christ be magnified!’”
Have you ever stood on a mountain top, or on a beach with pounding waves, and been moved to praise to the Lord? Undeniably, immersion in God’s wondrous creation stirs up praise within us!
Imagine all of creation longing to shout and sing in praise of its Creator!
In fact, Luke 19:40 declares if man is silent, the very rocks will cry out.
And Psalm 148 details every part of creation glorifying God.
“When every creature finds its inmost melody
And every human heart its native cry
O then in one enraptured hymn of praise
We’ll sing ‘Christ be magnified!’”
We are God’s finest creation.
We are not the mountain top or the sandy beaches; no, we are made in God’s own image.
We possess the ability to lift His name above all other names.
“O! Christ be magnified!
Let His praise arise
Christ be magnified in me
O! Christ be magnified!
From the altar of my life
Christ be magnified in me”
Let’s consider that last line, is Christ magnified from the “altar” of our lives?
Do we magnify Him by sacrificing our wants and desires?
By leaving behind our sin and our own ways?
By pursuing true surrender?
That one hits hard. It’s easy to say the words “Christ be magnified.”
But, when we slow down and take honest inventory, do we really embrace surrender?
Or just sing pretty words?
True surrender requires us to lay down our leadership of our own lives;
only then can Christ be magnified in us. (Matthew 16:24-25)
“I won’t bow to idols, I’ll stand strong and worship You
And if it puts me in the fire, I’ll rejoice because You’re there, too”
This stanza reminds me of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego.
Like these faithful men, how can we magnify God in the unexpected, hard times?
When we face hurt or loss or rejection?
When we encounter financial hardship, or physical illness?
When the future is unclear, and the way forward asks us to risk everything?
“I won’t be formed by feelings, I hold fast to what is true
If the cross brings transformation then I’ll be crucified with You
‘Cause death is just the doorway into resurrection life
And if I join You in Your suffering then I’ll join You when You rise
And when You return in glory with all the angels and the saints
My heart will still be singing and my song will be the same”
In our world, death seems final and fearsome. It’s an unknown. But for believers, death carries a different meaning. 2 Corinthians 5:8 reassures us “we would prefer to be away from the body and at home with the Lord.” As the song says, death is a doorway from one life to another. Are we willing to walk with the Lord and suffer with Him, even in death?
Whether we face literal death as penalty for faith, or the daily choice to embrace the death of our own wills and sin-filled natures, may our earthly lives testify to the transforming power of our God.
May we look forward, with hope and anticipation,
to the day we stand before Him in the fullness of His glory,
still declaring, “O! Christ be magnified!”
Embracing God’s fullness in our lives is rooted in scripture and memorizing His word is vital to our continued growth and depth with Jesus. Tap and hold from your mobile device to download this week’s verse and make it your phone’s lockscreen!