Saturday, November 29, 2008

For Him Who Has Ears To Hear

I love to read. I have a ton of books that I have read, and many that I have bought, but don't read. Unlike my wife, who reads books over and over again, there are only three books that I have read more than once. They are "Safely Home" by Randy Alcorn (read three times), "In The Footsteps Of Jesus" by Bruce Marchiano (read three times), and the book I am currently reading, "No Compromise: The Life Story Of Keith Green" (currently on my fourth time reading, but this one is the new "Legacy Edition-Updaed and Expanded").
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Keith was only 28 years old when he died in a plane crash in 1982. At the time of his death he had only released four albums (remember them...the large round peices of black plastic with little hole in in the middle....you put them on this box and played the music with a thing called a needle?...talk about the middle ages). And yet I cannot think of any Christian musician that has had a bigger impact on my life, and the life of many others than Keith Green.

I had embraced Jesus at the age of 10 as my Saviour, but somewhere around the age of 15 as trouble brewed at home and I was exposed to many of the temptations the world has to offer, I began a slow decline down a slippery slope that would eventually last for ten years and leave me a broken man in many ways.

When I cried out to the Lord he heard me. He restored me into a sweet fellowship with Himself. My initial prayer inlcuded words that went something like this, "Lord, I want to start all over again. I don't want to take anything I've ever known about you for granted, teach me about yourself like I have become newly born again."

He used the music of Keith Green to do just that. Although I had heard Keith's music several years before, I had not really listened to his music. Now, Keith was with the Lord and I went out and purchased those first four albums that he released. I began to really listen to the lyrics that he was singing.

Let me share some of those with you from his first album, "For Him Who Has Ears To Hear".
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"You Put This Love In My Heart"

I found it hard to believe
Someone like you cared for me
You put this love in my heart...

...Well I know
the loneliness I had before
Is gone now
I'll never feel it anymore

Cause your love has released me
From all that's in my past
And I know I can believe you
When you say I'll never be forsaken
Your love is gonna last"

"When I Hear The Praises Start"

My son, My son, why are you striving
You can't add one thing to what's been done for you
I did it all while I was dying
Rest in your faith, my peace will come to you

For when I hear the praises start
I want to rain upon you
Blessings that will fill your heart
I see no stain upon you
Because you are my child and you know me
To Me you're only holy
Nothing that you've done remains
Only what you do for Me

My child, My child, why are you weeping
You will not have to wait forever
That day and that hour is in My keeping
The day I'll bring you into Heaven

For when I hear the praises start
My child, I want to rain upon you
Blessing that will fill your heart
I see no stain upon you
Because you are My child and you know me
To me you're only holy
Nothing that you've done remains
Only what you do in Me

My precious bride, the day is nearing
When I'll take you in My arms and hold you
I know there are so many things that you've been hearing
But you just hold on to what I have told you

For when I hear the praises start
My bride, I want to rain upon you
Blessings that will fill your heart
I see no stain upon you
Because you are My child, and you know Me
To me you're only holy
Nothing that you've done will remain
Only what you do for me

"He'll Take Care Of The Rest"

You know it ain't no use, banging your head, up against that cold stone wall,
Cause nobody's perfect, except for the Lord, and even the best bound to fall,
Remember He is de vine, and you are de branch,
He'd love to get you through it if you'd give Him a chance,
Just keep doing your best,
And pray that it's blessed,
And Jesus takes care of the rest.
Yes the Lord said that He'd take care of the rest, He's gonna do it,
He'll take care of the rest, He'll see you through it,
He'll take care of the rest, the devil blew it,
He'll take care of the, He'll take care of the rest.

"Your Love Broke Through"

Like a foolish dreamer, trying to build a highway to the sky
All my hopes would come tumbling down, and I never knew just why
Until today, when you pulled away the clouds that hung like curtains on my eyes
Well I've been blind all these wasted years and I thought I was so wise
But then you took me by surprise

Like waking up from the longest dream, how real it seemed
Until your love broke through
I've been lost in a fantasy, that blinded me
Until your love broke through

All my life I've been searching for that crazy missing part
And with one touch, you just rolled away the stone that held my heart
And now I see that the answer was as easy, as just asking you in
And I am so sure I could never doubt your gentle touch again
It's like the power of the wind

Like waking up from the longest dream, how real it seemed
Until your love broke through
I've been lost in a fantasy, that blinded me
Until your love, until your love, broke through

These are all from the first album Keith Released, "For Him Who Has Ears To Hear". You can get it, and much more information about Keith as well as resources to help you in your walk with Christ at http://www.lastdaysministries.org/

In I Corinthians 1:11 Paul writes, "Imitate me, just as I also imitate Christ." I'm glad that the Paul only asks us to imitate the part of him that imitates Christ, because Paul also called himself the chief of sinners, and I'm sure he would not want us to imitate that part of his life.

In the same way, I have reached a point in my spiritual walk where I desire to imitate Keith Green, as he imitated Christ. Keith had many faults, just like we all do, but there is no denying his passion and love for his Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ. There is no doubt of his love and zeal for the Word of God, and there is no getting around the fact that this man was also passionate about reaching out to a lost and dying world with the love of Jesus.

Thank you Keith, for allowing yourself to be used by God.
I'll see you at home one day.

Tomorrow I will post some lyrics and thoughts about Keith's second album.

Because of You, Jesus.
Pastor Dave

2 comments:

Olu.scribe said...

I listened to Keith as an 8 year old 20 years ago, LOVED IT.Started listening to it this year again, STILL LOVE IT. With his passion for ministry and timeless talent, he puts to shame a lot of the "gospel" artists today, that are in it for the money and celebrity status.

I can confidently say that he is without a doubt the most effective gospel music minister ever,and with the current state of things it does not look, like he has any challengers.

Having turned 28 and reading NO COMPROMISE, it really makes me analyze how much impact my life has been for the Kingdom, and what i can start doing to leave an effect and impact for the Kingdom, as Keith music is still doing.

Thank God for using Keith, i miss him as if i personally knew him, can't wait to meet him in Heaven. He must be having great conversations with the original Psalmist and Jesus.

Olu said...

Keith was a truly used by God, and reading NO COMPROMISE,is a challenge to any Christian, to lay aside those shackles that stop us from living Radically for Christ.

Thanks for the post.