We Lift You Up - Devotional

We Lift You Up - Devotional

Brenton Brown


Almighty God, our heavenly Father, we have sinned in thought and word and deed, through negligence, through weakness, through our own deliberate fault.
When I fell ill with a condition called Chronic Fatigue Syndrome nine years ago, one of the first things I began to notice was just how absent God's goodness was in a lot of my attitudes, thoughts and comments. It wasn't that I was necessarily a 'saint' prior to falling ill. It was just that with struggling with overwhelming tiredness, pain, nausea and a lot of disappointment, I became increasingly aware of just how bad - and how often - my attitude could be. There were many, many days when not one of God the Spirit's fruits were evident in me. When love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self control were just distant memories. Mine was a desperate and often ugly faith, a white knuckle grasping of God's promises while at the same time failing repeatedly to live up to the holy calling that those who profess Christ are charged with. And it began to dawn on me, in a way that it hadn't ever before, just how extraordinary Jesus' victory over sin was. Forget about surviving an hour or maybe even a day without sinning in thought or word or deed.

Consider that all through his pre teen years, all through adolescence, through every painful accident, through every hurtful accusation and misunderstanding, through the shame of questionable parentage, and the injustice of foreign occupation, through all of the trials of growing up on earth, Jesus' desire was to please His father and serve others. He never failed. Not once. Despite having created the very minds that questioned him, and forming the very earth that those around him stood upon, he was never sinfully impatient. Despite leaving the unimaginable sufficiency of heaven in order to lead history’s greatest rescue story; despite being born into a poor family in a backwoods and occupied town in the outlying reaches of a violent and Godless empire; despite doing all of this for a people who ultimately rejected him and called for his violent and public death, Jesus' never once strayed from the path of righteousness. He never once sinned in thought or word or deed. He never once gave into temptation. He never once refused the prompting of His Father. Though He was tempted in every way as we are, He was without sin. He did what no one else has done. He overcame temptation. His life, lived in glorious light, was without a single bad attitude, nasty retort, violent response, thoughtless comment or departure from what He knew His mission to be - even at the cost of His own life. He was sinless. And this is why His is the name above all other names. This is why I feel joy and confidence in calling others to worship Him. The One who's name we point to, who's life we sing about, who's ways we acknowledge, is truly above all others, worthy of our praise. In fact, what Jesus accomplished is so extraordinary, so far above any other human accomplishment that the praise His life commands is a praise above any other praise we might offer up to anyone or anything else in history. The greatest humanitarians, sports personalities, political leaders, or Nobel prize winners. What Jesus did has never been repeated. His life is the singular example of a life lived without sin. And his resurrection testifies to the type of life He lived.
And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death - even death on a cross! - Phil 2v8

This is why we sing it out, sing it louder than anything else we sing about in our lives. Greater than the mountains and the oceans He made, greater than any other extraordinary life lived, Jesus stands above all others. And when we turn to look above the heads and shoulders of those in history and our society who vie for our attention and praise, we see a guiltless man bowed in agony, crucified with arms spread wide on a cross of shame, giving his life so that we can live forever. A man who even now prays for us at the right hand of God the Father. Amazing God! Praising others is an activity that outside of sports stadiums is regarded with suspicion in our culture. So calling others to praise and worship is the activity of warfare. It stands against prevailing our culture. Doubts assail us as we call others to lift up the name and life of Jesus. But the truth is, Jesus stands unequivocally above every other name, every other human life. He is the one who is worthy of our highest praise! Rest in this truth as you call and bring others to worship!

We lift you up Jesus you are strong to save, There's no battle you can't win, Stronger even than the grave, We turn to you again, For only you have overcome, every trial this world can bring, Humbly you defeated sin, Then died that we might live, We lift you up, lift you higher, You deserve our highest praise, We'll sing it out, we'll sing it louder, Jesus name above all names, You conquered temptation, Obedient to death, You won our salvation, You are our righteousness.

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