Down, But Not Out! Listen to “Grace Wins” by Matthew West ~ Monday Music

Click to Listen to Grace Wins by Matthew West via @JeanWilund


God isn’t always fair.

If He were, we’d be sunk.

A friend once told me he feels he’s lived a pretty good life and on that basis, he ought to go to heaven.

“If that’s not good enough for God,” he told me, “then God isn’t fair, and He can just keep His heaven.”

That statement is both heartbreaking and ironic. 

Think about it. By definition, in order for God to be fair, He has to treat us according to the rules and standard.

As God, He gets to be the one to set the rules and standard.

Let’s take a quick look at them: 

but like the Holy One who called you,
be holy yourselves also in all your behavior;
because it is written,
~ I Peter 1:15-16

There’s also that short, but powerful, list called the Ten Commandments. They aren’t suggestions. They’re commandments.

When my dad commanded us kids do something, we didn’t take his command as an optional suggestion. We jumped to obey.

If my friend truly wants God to be fair, then he’s saying he wants God to judge him according to His rules and standard — His Holy and perfect standard.

And if my friend never chooses to bow his knee to God and accept Christ’s work on the cross to pay for his sins, he will indeed get his wish. God will be fair.

It breaks my heart for him, but God’s grace is his for the choosing. I truly hope he’ll make that choice while he still can.

Fortunately for me, God has chosen GRACE over FAIR for His children.

It’s never over for those of us who’ve trusted in Christ.

No matter what we’re battling, God’s grace holds us in His grip.

Too many times, I’ve been down — seriously down — but thankfully, because of God’s grace, I’ll never be out. 

Down maybe, but never out. As Matthew West sings, grace wins every time.

Grace upon grace! 

“And from His fullness we have all received, grace upon grace.”
~ John 1:16

Let the powerful words to Matthew West’s song “Grace Wins” speak encouragement to you today.

Never give up.

Guilt and shame fall away in the face of God’s grace.

Who wants fair when we can have grace?

Grace wins every time!


Listen to Matthew West share the powerful story behind his song, “Grace Wins.” He shares about two guys to whom God was wonderfully and graciously unfair.

They were down, but by God’s grace, not out.

Grace won!

You may be down, but you’re not out. Trust Christ and receive His grace.

I’m living proof grace wins every time.

What about you? Do you need God’s grace today? I’d love to hear from you. Email me and let’s talk. 

Down, But Not Out! Listen to #GraceWins by @matthew_west #MondayMusic #GodsGrace Click To Tweet

No matter what we're battling, #GodsGrace holds us in His grip. #GraceWins by @matthew_west #MondayMusic Click To Tweet

Guilt and shame fall away in the face of #GodsGrace. #GraceWins by @matthew_west #MondayMusic Click To Tweet


That Was Then, This is Now! (by Josh Wilson) ~ Monday Music

Click to view video: "That Was Then, This is Now" by Josh Wilson - (Monday Music via Step into the Light of Christ

Sometimes you’ve just gotta say, “Amen!”

Josh Wilson’s song That Was Then, This is Now is one of those times. 


We get used to the dark, but the Light shows us where we’re really living. 

We can continue to dwell in the darkness, but why when grace has invited us into the Light.

More than once I drifted — or ran — away from the Light.

Slowly, I began to get used to the dark.

But the darkness couldn’t overcome the Light I knew. The Truth drew me back. Love came running like a river.

The further and further I stepped into the Light, the more I realized how much darkness I’d mistaken as Light.  

That was then.

This is now.


We can’t forget our past, but we don’t have to dwell on it. As Josh Wilson says in their song “That Was Then, This is Now,” just box it up like an old photograph.

Our past is still there, but let’s leave it there. Let’s don’t drag it into the future.

Christ came to set us free from darkness.

Instead of living in the darkness one more day, step into the Light through faith in Christ who is . . .

the only Way for salvation,

the absolute Truth in a world steeped in alluring lies,


the Light that overcomes the darkness.

Where are you living?

Watch Josh Wilson’s powerful video That Was Then, This Is Now, and walk in the Light this week. 

Click to view the lyrcs: That Was Then, This Is Now

Step into the Light of #Christ. Watch #ThatWasThenThisIsNow by @JoshWilson #MondayMusic Click To Tweet

I’m Running Wild & Loving It! “Deliverer” by Matt Maher (Monday Music)

Click to view: "Deliverer" by Matt Maher via

Guilty but free!

Running wild and loving it! 

I’m as guilty as fire is hot, but I’m not getting burned.

I’m running wild and free like a child set loose in Disney World waving my pass that gets me to the front of the line.

It really is that great.

Living over 50 years has allowed me to rack up more than a few sins.

Some are quite serious, but I don’t want to talk about them. God’s not remembering them against me. Why should I pull them back up?

I can’t even begin to express the freedom I feel from being delivered from the crushing weight of those gnarly sins.

It’s like I’ve been given spiritual immunity. That’s way better than diplomatic immunity.

No one can get more free than me. You can get as free as me, but not more free. 

In fact, right now if I were to reach out and pop you in the nose, I wouldn’t be held guilty by God.

He might let you have me arrested for assault, but I could still stand before Him free of any guilt because Christ put it all on Himself.

That’s so unfair — and amazing. 

Through Christ I’m justified — it’s just as if I’d never sinned. 

I’m sitting pretty, but my heart breaks for those who choose to push their guiltiness out of their mind.

Like the child who thinks you can’t see him if his eyes are closed, they hope if they ignore their guilt, it’s not there.

But it’s there, condemning them.

They need a Deliverer.

They can have mine. He’s the only one who can save. (Acts 4:12)

Then we can all live wild and free.

I don’t mean wild in an anarchy-type way, but rather in a free state of perpetual exhilaration way. 

Matt Maher’s song “Deliverer,” captures this exhilaration. He captures the experience of being free from the penalty and power of the sinner within each of us.

As you listen to the song, please read the words. Let them soak in. 

If you’ve never accepted that you’re guilty, and that you can’t deliver yourself, please, accept it now. Accept the free gift of salvation only Christ can offer you. Let God be your deliverer.

What could possibly be worth living one more day chained to your guilt and risking it all forever?

We’ll all account to God for our guilt one day, but I’m not afraid.

This world — and my circumstances — may still be in turmoil, but I’m free.

So excuse me now while I crank up the music and dance. I’m running wild and loving it!

I am God’s, and He is my Deliverer!

by Matt Maher:

Thank you for joining me here today.

Invite someone else to Join the Journey today by sharing this post.

And as always, I’d love to hear from you about your journey. Did this song hit you like it did me? What’s your story? 

I'm Running Wild and Loving It! Listen now to #DELIVERER by @mattmahermusic #MondayMusic Click To Tweet

Easter Friday ~ Jesus’ Last Seven Words and What They Mean For Us Today (Featuring “Freedom Battle” by Michael W. Smith)

Click to read post: Jesus' Last Seven Words and What They Mean To Us Today (Featuring "Freedom Battle" by Michael W. Smith)

Click to read post: Jesus’ Last Seven Words and What They Mean To Us Today (Featuring “Freedom Battle” by Michael W. Smith)


Today is Good Friday — the day Adam and Eve looked forward to since the Garden of Eden.

From the moment God gave them the promise of a Savior and clothed them in the skin of an innocent animal who died to cover their shame, they looked for this day.

Before we look at Christ on the cross and His last seven words, though, I want us to focus our hearts by listening to Michael W. Smith’s brilliant song “Freedom Battle.” I think he may have had Good Friday in mind when he wrote this song.

Click the play button and listen as Jesus’ Last Seven Words speak to us today.


“Father, forgive them;
for they do not know what they are doing.”
(Luke 23:34 NASB)

Christ’s first words on the cross were a prayer to God. 

I’ve said it before. God is first and last in everything. 

God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit.

Jesus’ prayer was not for Himself but for others. “Father, forgive them for they don’t know what they’re doing.” 

Really? They don’t know what they’re doing?

How could they drive nails through His hands and feet and not know what they were doing?

But, of course, Jesus knew what He was talking about. 

Sin had so blinded the people that they couldn’t see the horrific crime they were committing. 

I’m not just talking about the crime of crucifying an innocent man. I’m talking about crucifying Jesus Christ, the Lord of All.

Their blinding sin kept them from the truth of what they were doing. Sin blinded all of them from the Jewish leaders and the crowd who cried out for His crucifixion to Pilate and the Roman guards who carried out their evil desires.

What this means for us today:

Jesus’ prayer was for us as well. 

We deny, excuse, and wink at sin just like those who crucified Christ. 

And just like them, we’re blind to the depths of the depravity of our sin — our sin that nailed Jesus to the cross as surely as theirs did.

If we saw our sin as it truly is — as God sees it — we’d be so horrified by its repulsiveness, we’d stay far from it. 

But sin blinds us to sin as well. 

We must ask God to open our eyes to see sin as He sees it. 

And when others know what they’re doing to us, we should pray as Christ did, “Father, forgive them, for they don’t know what they’re doing.” Because they truly don’t. 



“And He said to him,
“Truly I say to you,
today you shall be with Me in Paradise.”
~ Luke 23:43

Christ promised the guilty criminal, who hung on the cross next to Him, that on that day he’d be with Him in paradise. 

This condemned man, who’d admitted his clear guilt while hanging on the cross next to Jesus, received salvation that day. 

He received it simply because he believed. 

He knew in his heart that Jesus was innocent. He believed that Jesus was exactly who He’d said He was. And he looked to Christ to save him. 

The criminal on the other side of Jesus refused to see or accept the truth. 

Salvation only came to one of them that day — the one who chose to believe. 

What this means for us today:

As long as there is breath in our lungs, it’s not too late for us to choose to believe. But we won’t have forever to make that choice.

Time ran out for the other criminal. Don’t let time run out on you. Choose today while there’s still today. 



“Dear woman, here is your son.”
John 19:26

Jesus’ first three last words were for other people. 

His concern, as He hung in agony, was for the forgiveness, salvation, and the needs of others. 

Even with a monumental moment as atoning for the sin of the world bearing down upon His shoulders, Jesus focused on the needs of His mother. 

We don’t know what happened to Joseph by this point. Most believe he must have died as he is not mentioned in the Bible after Jesus grows up. 

Being a widow is difficult, but even more so for women in those days. Mary had other children, but Jesus passed on the responsibility of caring for his mother to one of His beloved disciples — most likely John. 

What this means for us today:

Jesus give us a powerful demonstration that there’s never a time when we shouldn’t be looking out for the needs of others. 

In at the midst of Jesus’ agony on the cross, He’d already met three needs in His first three last words. 

When I have a headache, I expect a free pass on thinking of anyone but myself.

We love to remind each other that we can’t take care of others until we first take care of ourselves. Put your oxygen mask on first. 

Granted, if we don’t put on our own oxygen mask, we’ll keel over and be completely unable to speak, much less help others get their mask on. But Jesus has shown us, while suffering on the cross, that much can be accomplished at any time through great, selfless love for God and others.

Plus He showed us that you must always show love to your mother! Always.



“My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?”
~ Mark 15:34

Did Jesus not understand why God was turning His face away from Him? 

Was He simply confused and crying out in human anguish? 

I don’t believe so. 

In all His humanity, Christ never lost any of His deity. 

He suffered and died as fully man, but He fulfilled every divine purpose through it all.

Christ’s Words of anguish gave everyone, including us, a glimpse of the extreme cost of His sacrifice and the supernatural work He was performing on the cruel cross.

Christ had already hung their for three long hours, from 9:00 am – noon.

At noon, the sky became dark in the middle of the day. 

Now from the sixth hour there was darkness over all the land until the ninth hour.
(Matthew 27:45; Luke 24:44)

During these three hours of darkness, the sin of the world was poured out upon Christ. 

His Father, our holy God, turned His face away as Christ paid the full penalty for our sin. (Romans 6:23) 

This was the agonizing moment Christ had been looking towards when He prayed in the Garden of Gethsemane, “Yet not My will, but Yours be done.” His sweat had become like drop of blood as He prayed. (Luke 22:42-44)

But Jesus wasn’t only crying out of His anguish at being separated from God by our sin.

He was also quoting the first verse in Psalm 22, and every Jewish leader within earshot knew it.

If they had any lingering question as to whether or not Jesus believed He was the Messiah, Jesus answered that doubt with that one definitive statement. 

By quoting the first verse in Psalm 22, Jesus boldly declared that the prophecies contained in this psalm all point to Him. 

Earlier in His ministries, Jesus had told the Jewish leaders that Moses wrote about Him. (John 5:46) In this one phrase, He revealed that King David did as well. 

What this means for us today:

This is a moment we must sear into our minds. In these last words, Christ settles forever the question, “Does God really love me? Do I really matter?” 

Yes! and Yes!

God loves us with a love we can’t begin to imagine.

Which of us could hand over our own beloved son to be tortured, and then turn our face away from him as the sin of the world was heaped upon Him — all for people who mocked and despised him?

And which of us would be willing to endure such torment for those who don’t deserve it?

Yes, God really loves us!

And yes, we really matter!



“I am thirsty.”
~ John 19:28

Darkness still covered the land as Jesus accomplished and endured what no simple man ever could. 

Not only would none of us have ever qualified to be the perfect sacrifice, but none of us could have survived the physical torture He endured, much less the full weight of our sin.  

In Christ’s humanity, His body was ready to give out, but His Spirit held on. 

Ages before, through King David, God pointed to this very moment upon the cross. 

“…for my thirst they gave me sour wine to drink.”
~ Psalm 69:21

When I think of Jesus thirsting, I can’t help but think of the Samaritan woman that Jesus met at the well. He said to her, “Give Me a drink.” (John 4:7)

She was understandably surprised by this for many reasons and was drawn into a conversation with Christ. In a way that only Jesus can do, He told her about Himself. 

“Jesus answered and said to her, “Everyone who drinks of this water will thirst again; but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him shall never thirst; but the water that I will give him will become in him a well of water springing up to eternal life.”
John 4:13-14

What this means for us today:

Man can live a long time without food, although it’s not fun. But man cannot live long without water. 

Without the Living Water, who is Christ, we can’t truly live at all. All those without Christ are merely surviving, not living, until they die eternally. 

Jesus was literally thirsty when He said, “I am thirsty,” but He was also drawing our attention to our great spiritual need and His ability alone to fulfill it — just as He fulfilled every prophecy concerning Him. 

“After this, Jesus, knowing that all things had already been accomplished, to fulfill the Scripture, said, ‘I am thirsty.’” John 19:28



“It is finished!”
~ John 19:30

What God begins, He finishes. Period. 

Christ accomplished our salvation. The terrible price had been paid. 

From the moment in the Garden of Eden when the crunch was heard ‘round the world, all of heaven and earth longed to hear these three words spoken. “It is finished!” 

In these three words on the cross, Christ had said the other three words we all long to hear. “I love you!” 

What this means for us today:

If your heart has been drawn to Christ at all, that is God’s work beginning in you. Whatever God begins, He finishes. 

He’s already paid for your salvation. Accept it. Receive it. Enjoy it.

There’s much that can be, has been, and should be, said about these three words, but I won’t say more about them now.

I want us to let the impact of these three simple, yet powerful, words do the talking, not me. 

“It is finished!”  



“Father, into Your hands I commit My spirit!”
~ Luke 23:46

Just like Christ’s first words on the cross, His last words were a prayer to God. 

Once again, I say, God is first and last in everything. 

It’s only fitting that Christ’s final words on the cross were His 7th words. Seven, the number that stands for spiritual perfection. 

In His final words we see the beauty of the perfect relationship between God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit.

We also see the proof that Jesus truly gave His life. No one took it. 

His disciple Judas Iscariot betrayed Jesus to the Jewish leaders. 

The leaders demanded Pilate crucify Him. 

Pilate handed Jesus over to the Roman guards. 

The Roman guards nailed Jesus to the cross. 

But no one took His life. 

Jesus chose the exact moment when He would die. 

After declaring, “It is finished,” Jesus prayed, “Father, into Your hands I commit My spirit.” 

Then He bowed His head and gave up His life. 

Scripture doesn’t say He passed away so His head fell forward. 

It says, “He bowed His head and gave up His spirit.” ~ John 19:30

What a powerful display of Christ’s divinity. Even as He suffered the deepest agony possible, He remained sovereign over all, perfect in all His ways.

The agony was behind Him; the joy before Him. Jesus said His last words and then entered into His joy.

What this means for us today:

The Bible says it best.

“Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” Hebrews 12:1-2

These were Jesus’ Last Seven Words before He gave His life.
But this is not the end of the story.

Today is Friday, but Sunday’s coming!

 Join me tomorrow as we prepare for Easter Sunday. 

Click to Tweet: Jesus’ Last Seven Words and What They Mean to Us Today

Easter Week Series

Click to view music video: "Revelation Song" by Phillips, Craig, & Dean

Click to view music video: “Revelation Song” by Phillips, Craig, & Dean


Easter Tuesday ~ A Cross, Not a Stone ~ Jesus Came to Set us Free, Not to be Set Free (Featuring "Freedom" by Michael W. Smith)

Click to view post: Easter Tuesday ~ A Cross, Not a Stone ~ Jesus Came to Set us Free, Not to be Set Free (Featuring “Freedom” by Michael W. Smith)


Easter Wednesday ~ Jesus Came as the King of Peace, Not the King of War, And How This is a Picture of us. (

Click to view: Easter Wednesday ~ Jesus Came as the King of Peace, Not the King of War, And How This is a Picture of us.


Easter Thursday ~ Barabbas & Jesus: Both Were the Son of the Father & Why That Matters To Us (

Click to view post: Easter Thursday ~ Barabbas & Jesus: Both Were the Son of the Father & Why That Matters To Us

Monday Music ~ Do You Want to be Free? ~ “Redeemed” by Big Daddy Weave

Click to watch video: Monday Music ~ Do You Want to be Free? ~ "Redeemed" by Big Daddy Weave

Monday Music ~ Do You Want to be Free? ~ “Redeemed” by Big Daddy Weave


The prisoners received their pardons, and their prison doors swung open.

But they didn’t leave.

Some hadn’t been told they could.

Others were told, but they’d lived imprisoned so long, they refused to believe they could just walk away.

And so there they live, imprisoned still today even with the doors wide open.

This scene plays out every day across the world.

Every one of us who’s placed our faith in Christ has received a full pardon for our sin.

We’re redeemed.

Christ has opened our prison doors.

But if we’re only redeemed, but not free, what kind of redemption is that?

Did Christ forgive us of our sins and save us for eternity, yet leave us in bondage to those sins and our past?

Did He not also set us free from anything that controls us?

Aren’t we free from the shame and guilt of our failures, as well as the power of our addictions?


Can’t we walk away from the grip of regret, bitterness and despair?

Yes, instantly!

Could it be possible that Christ would give us eternal hope, but not daily hope?

No. Not possible at all.

We know that our old sinful selves were crucified with Christ so that sin might lose its power in our lives.

We are no longer slaves to sin. 

For when we died with Christ we were set free from the power of sin. (Romans 6:6-7)

Just so we’re clear, when someone is crucified, they die.

What can dead people do?


Sin loses all its power in a dead person.

Sin requires a live host. It has no power on its own. Who’s ever heard of a dead person committing murder? (We all know zombies aren’t real, right? Thank goodness!)

Since we’re crucified with Christ, we’re dead. Sin has lost its live host.

But then the Bible also says we’ve been raised with Christ. (Colossians 3:1)

Uh oh! The live host is back!

Can sin now return to feed on us? 

So you also should consider yourselves to be dead to the power of sin and alive to God through Christ Jesus. (Romans 6:11)

Sure, we can choose to donate our resurrected bodies and brains to sin.

We can choose to remain in the prison cell with sin after Christ broke open our prison doors, but why would we? Because prison is so much fun?

Let’s walk away.

We’re not who we used to be.

We’ve been set free.

Let’s stop fighting a fight that’s already been won.

It is Finished. (John 19:30)

In the immortal words of Pumbaa from The Lion King:

You’ve got to put your behind in the past. 

If we let our past only see our behinds, we’re moving forward.

We can’t let anything drag us back into our old prison cells.

Let’s shake off those heavy chains.

Let’s lift up our heads, wipe away every stain, and live in freedom forever. 

We are redeemed. 

Listen to Big Daddy Weave’s song “Redeemed” and believe.



Sharing is caring, so care away!

Click to Tweet:

Related Posts:

Click to read post: What God Begins, He Finishes!

Click to read post: What God Begins, He Finishes!


Click to view post: When Life Explodes: Part One

Click to view post: When Life Explodes: Part One


Click to read: The Day I Made the Worst Decision of My Life (Part One - The Surrender Series)

Click to read: The Day I Made the Worst Decision of My Life (Part One – The Surrender Series)