I love contemporary Christian music. John DeGrazio is a new name to me, but I really like what I’ve heard from his new album, Stronghold.
If you’re not familiar with him either, check out what his website has to say. Here’s a bit to orient you:
A two-time ASCAP Award winner, John DeGrazio is an accomplished songwriter/composer/producer. He has a number one hit song to his credit; has worked with many major label artists; played in the group Burlap to Cashmere; and toured with Jars of Clay, DC Talk, and Jaci Velasquez.
My favourite song from Stronghold is “New Life“. I like what he does with the lyrics and with the music. I can’t quite articulate why, but it reminds me of Todd Agnew’s music–which is a very good thing in my books.
Jesus told us that God is light and doesn’t have any darkness in him. Now we are telling you. If we say that we share in life with God and keep on living in the dark, we are lying and are not living by the truth. But if we live in the light, as God does, we share in life with each other. And the blood of his Son Jesus washes all our sins away.
1 John 1:5-7, CEV*
I love the way sunlight strikes trees early and late in the day: slanting to emphasize details of branches and trunks we don’t notice at midday. It helps us see more clearly, and it warms the trees.
I love the image of living (the NIV says walking) in God’s pure light. It’s not a one-time deal, it’s a new way of behaviour that takes practice.
We expose ourselves to His light through the Bible, prayer, listening to the Holy Spirit’s promptings and in all the ways we interact with His believers.
God’s light will reveal thoughts, attitudes or actions that we need to change. And it will warm and strengthen us. Unlike the sun, it won’t damage us if we stay too long or don’t protect ourselves.
Father, help me stay in Your light. Warm me and help me to grow. As You show me things in my life that don’t belong, help me work with Your Spirit to remove them. Help me take wrong thoughts and attitudes captive and help me continually replace them with those which will honour You. Help me behave in ways worthy of the gospel.
Here’s a catchy song from DC Talk to remind us we need to be “In the Light”.
*Contemporary English Version (CEV) Copyright © 1995 by American Bible Society.