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20 January 2009

Because He Lives

In 1971, William J. Gaither wrote a song called "Because He Lives." The lyrics are simple statements of fact about the glorious freedom that can be enjoyed because Christ died then rose again. When we accept Him as our savior, that freedom is ours! (written 29 Nov 07)

I remember singing this song as a child, remember Sissy playing so we could all sing. When I look back at my growing up years, many of my memories have music running through them. Most of the memories that revolve around grandmother and granddaddy's house have gospel music soundtracks. Even now, reflecting on that time brings a smile to my face and a warmth to my heart. Grandmother and granddaddy's house was just like home, I guess it was my second home. There was never any question about God's existence, about Jesus as savior, it was just a fact of life. I wonder sometimes how I meandered so very far off the path that I walked as a child.

I wish I had the words to better explain just what peace God gives me. There are those who may turn up their nose at the thought, or decide that they want no part of "that religious stuff," and it hurts to realize that I may never have the words to say to make them understand. God sees my struggle, however, and assures me that living for Him and showing His love through my words is enough. He has helped me to understand that making the decision to follow Christ is a very individual one, as it must be. I cannot "save" someone else, all I can do is show them through my words, thoughts, and actions the beautiful peace He brings. I can talk about His wonder, embrace the joy, offer a shoulder to lean on or share words of wisdom, but the ultimate decision to take up the cross and follow Christ is left to each of us on our own.

Although he may never hear of it, I thank Bill Gaither for those beautiful words of joy that he penned some 36 years ago. "Because He lives, I can face tomorrow," and that statement is so true. I am adding the lyrics in case you may not know the song. I could sing it for you, but I promise that singing is not a gift that God bestowed upon me ... that gift definitely skipped a generation. If I close my eyes, I can hear Sissy playing. I wish you could hear it!

Jesus, thank you for the gift of life. Because You live, I live. Living the rest of my life for you does not even begin to compare to what you have given me. Thank you for loving me. May I live so that I honor that sacrifice.

Because He Lives
words and music by William J. Gaither,
1971

God sent His son,
they called Him, Jesus;
He came to love, heal and forgive;
He lived and died to buy my pardon,
An empty grave is there to prove my Savior lives!

Chorus
Because He lives,
I can face tomorrow,
Because He lives,
all fear is gone;
Because I know
He holds the future,
And life is worth the living,
Just because He lives!

How sweet to hold
a newborn baby,
And feel the pride
and joy he gives;
But greater still
the calm assurance:
This child can face uncertain days
because He Lives!

Repeat Chorus

And then one day,
I'll cross the river,
I'll fight life's final
war with pain;
And then, as death
gives way to vict'ry,
I'll see the lights of glory
and I'll know He lives!

Repeat Chorus

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