The Newsboys have been sharing their faith through music for over twenty years. It seems that just when they get good they keep getting better. The Christian pop rock band was started by Peter Furler and George Perdikis in 1985 in Australia. Peter was not only the original front man for the group, he also wrote the songs and produced them. When he decided to leave the band in 2009 after being with them for 24 years, he did not leave them in the lurch for a new lead singer. It was through his help and training that Michael Tait (formerly dc Talk singer) filled the void. Current members of Newsboys include Michael Tait (lead vocal), Jody Davis (guitar), Jeff Frankenstein (keyboard) and Duncan Phillips (drummer). Together they do what they do out of love: love for God, love for their fans and love for the simple act of making music (1).
The latest Newsboys CD is “Love Riot” and it is exactly as the title implies. It is a CD full of songs that are designed to encourage believers to show their love for God and their neighbors. It is not about hiding our love under a bushel, it is about shining as a light of love so that others may see Jesus by our love (John 13:35).
In the short video below Michael Tait talks about love and what we are called to do with that love. Take a look and then continue reading for a devotion from the Bible to encourage you to stand firm in your faith through love:
Michael talked about how the New Testament mentions love more than 130 times. Standing firm in your faith shows others that you understand how love should be shared. God’s word says love shows that you have an active and living faith because faith without action is a dead faith (James 2:17).
We are Called to Love Our Neighbor
Matthew 22:36-40 “Master, which is the great commandment in the law? Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.”
This familiar passage in the Bible reminds us that all of the commandments are wrapped up into two: Love God and love your neighbor. You can stand firm in your faith by making every effort to put others before yourself (Philippians 2:3). Can you find one thing to do today that will prove your love for someone else? Other areas to study in this include Mark 12:28-31; Luke 10:25-27 and 1 John 4:20-21.
We are Called to Love Our Enemy
Matthew 5:43-44 “Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy. But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you”.
In the short video above Tait mentioned that loving your enemy is probably even harder to do than loving your neighbor. To that I say, Yes! It is. However, Jesus tells us that we should love them. He even goes on to tell us how to do it! “Bless them that curse you”. “Do good to them that hate you”. “Pray for them which despitefully use you and persecute you”. That’s action! Love in action shows that you have a firm foundation. Here is a simple way to love your enemy. Most of us use social media. How great would it be if we all made an effort to post only positive things on our social media? If you feel that you are the target of hatred, post something positive. Go out of your way to do good to them that hate you. And talk to God about it – pray without ceasing for those who despise and persecute you. Prayer is powerful and God answers prayer!
Love Brought us Christ
1 Peter 1:18-19 “Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot”
The love of God brought us Christ. He gave his only begotten as our substitute. What’s more Jesus bought us with his precious blood. When you believe this old things have passed away and all things become new. You no longer stand on your own feeble strength on this earth, you now have the power to stand firm and share this fantastic news with others. Everyone deserves to hear this good news and it’s up to you to share it. For more study in this area see Romans 5:8; Galatians 2:20; Ephesians 2:4-5; 1 John 3:1 and 1 John 4:9-11.
Without Love our Actions are Empty
1 Corinthians 13:1-3 (NKJV) “Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I have become sounding brass or a clanging cymbal. And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, but have not love, it profits me nothing.”
Michael mentioned some of these things and followed it up with “without love its nothing”. His words are right from Scripture in this famous “love chapter” of Paul’s 1st letter to the church at Corith. I think sometimes we give and do and lose sight of why we are doing it. The Bible tells us that these things we do on earth will either be tried and remain or be burnt up. It all depends on that foundation upon which we do things. Are we doing them for the right reason or are we doing them to look good. I encourage you to study this one out and take a look at 1 Corinthians 3:12-15 to learn more about what our works merit. It is not salvation (Ephesians 2:8-9; Titus 3:5-7) because when you profess Jesus as your Savior you have already been saved from certain death in hell and you are destined for heaven. You can stand nowhere except on the firm foundation which is faith in Christ. In that video above near the end you hear a few bars of the song “Hero” as Tait sings “You are who You say You are, the evidence is in my heart”. I like how the writer of Hebrews puts it “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” (Hebrews 11:1)
At this present time it is becoming more and more difficult to stand firm in your faith. Difficult but not impossible. The way that you stand firm in your faith is to cultivate your relationship with the Lord. That means you need to talk to Him daily through prayer and let Him talk to you through His Word. It is the Word of God that you need as your foundation and constant reminder that you can stay the course and not be swayed by the pressures of this world.
"If saying I believe is out of line. If I’m judged cause I’m gonna give my life. To show the world the love that fills me. Then I want to be Guilty” (Otero, Juan. Stewart, Pete. “Guilty”. Love Riot. 2016.)
I am so encouraged by how the Newsboys are encouraging other believers to stand firm in their faith. Their songs are a testimony to the love they have for God and others.
The Newsboys will be in the forthcoming God’s Not Dead 2 Movie out in Theatres April 1st. Take a look at the video below which shows students standing up for Christ.
Sources: Scripture references are from The Holy Bible, King James Version unless otherwise noted. (1) Newsboys Love Riot, Fair Trade Services
Article by Pamela Rose Williams
Pamela Rose Williams is a wife, mother, and grandmother. She and her Pastor-husband, Dr. Michael Williams, serve together at Selah Mountain in Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA (www.selahmountain.org) where their main focus is to provide Biblical Counseling to all that seek it. She has been involved in music ministry all of her Christian life and loves to lead worship. Pamela is also a longtime freelance writer, editor and educator. Learn more about Pamela at her ministry website ChristianityEveryDay.com.