This past week, I had the opportunity to attend a free Christian music concert on the square in Oskaloosa featuring several local artists and bands and a couple who were nationally known.  It was a great event which brought a lot of people together and allowed me to luxury to leave early with a couple of wily, whining kids without too much regret.  Of course, it wasn’t really free, as it cost donors a fair amount of money to pay the cost of bringing these folks to town, as well as many hours to promote, set up, and take down the event.  There is always a cost.  So was it as good as a show that I would have paid $30-60 or more per ticket to enjoy as most concerts are these days?  Probably better, because someone cared about me that much to make it happen. 

Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in the Spirit and in truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks.  John 4:23

Honestly, I really enjoy music, but I don’t attend as many live shows as you might think.  When I didn’t have kids, I would probably buy tickets to about one show per year, and it was usually someone I had known for a while who was doing a show not too far away.  One of my favorite concerts was when I was around 8 years old along with my family and went to see Johnny Cash and the Carter family, who’s songs I knew fairly well by then.  Who you are with and the whole experience is maybe more meaningful than the music itself.  Honestly, I could probably get as much enjoyment out of listening to a song alone in a car as I could with thousands of others in a big stadium, but that is me.  When you worship God with many others at the same time, it is a unique experience, but it really doesn’t strengthen my faith any more than a good 30 minutes in the Word and alone with God.  What about you?

For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.  Hebrews 4:12

Does the experience of seeing and meeting the artist make the music that much more meaningful for you, or is your life about the same a month down the road?  In my experience, going to a live concert doesn’t usually make me a better singer, or a better Christian, or help me more in my devotions, or anything more than something to brag about to my friends.  Maybe it sounds like I am a better Christian if I tell people I went to hear a Christian artist, but probably doesn’t change their life much, unless it allows me an opportunity to share the Gospel message with them.  What would Jesus do? 

On hearing it, many of his disciples said, “This is a hard teaching. Who can accept it?”  John 6:60

I always wonder, how would I have responded if I were living and walking around Israel in 32 AD.  If I saw and heard the Real Deal speaking the truth to my heart, how would I have responded?  There were many who were turned off by the truth that Jesus spoke to them, which went against many traditions and customs of the day.  If people chose to follow Him, they would have to give up many of the safe things and luxuries of the world they lived in.  Is this not true still today?  We must choose to surrender our own lives to truly follow the One who gives us what we cannot gain through all our works.  There were some that walked and listened to our Lord for days and years and yet still did not believe, yet He still changes lives today through faith when led by his Word and the Spirit.  How much more will he continue to do!

Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.  Hebrews 11:1

Confidence in Christ,
Clark