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“Why are you downcast, O my soul? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God.” (Psalm 43:5)
There is a popular expression in evangelical circles called “preaching the gospel to yourself.” Essentially, this saying acknowledges that we often forget the truth of who God is and who we are in Christ and choose instead to live according to lies. We forget that our self-worth is not a matter of what we do or do not do, but is found in the reality that God loves us so much that His Son Jesus willingly gave His life to save us. We forget how loved we are, choosing instead to listen to the evaluations of other people. We beat ourselves up over our sins and shortcomings, forgetting that all of our sins were nailed to the cross when Jesus died, so that God sees us as perfect in Christ. We mistakenly think that we are independent creatures who can do whatever we please, forgetting that when Christ saved us, He called us to die to ourselves and to live for Him.
Preaching the gospel to yourself is a way of putting into practice what the 20th century preacher D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones put it, “Have you realized that most of your unhappiness in life is due to the fact that you are listening to yourself instead of talking to yourself?”
I wholeheartedly encourage every Christian to preach the gospel to themselves regularly. But I also wonder what song or songs help you to preach the gospel to yourself, or to remind you the truth about who God is and who you are? There are certainly times we may not know what to say to ourselves, or might have a hard time even believing what we are saying. At times like that, it can be helpful to have songs to which we turn that can sing over us the truth of the gospel, reminding us who God is and who we are in Christ.
Consider a classic song like “Amazing Grace”, that reminds us that yes, we are wretches, but that God’s undeserved salvation has brought us home. Or a modern song like “How can it be?”, that tells us again how we may feel guilt and shame, but that Jesus has overcome all of that and given us new life in Him. Personally, one of my go to songs has always been the song “Obsession,” originally performed by the British band Delirious, and also covered more recently by the David Crowder Band. That song reminds my heart that nothing this world has to offer can compare to God, the one my heart truly desires.
What about you? Do you have songs that remind you of the gospel, tell you again of the love and grace that is over you when you are struggling to believe it on your own?
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