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Made to Shine available now
Made to Shine available now

Valentine’s and Identity

“Made To Shine”…Finding our Identity in Christ (by Kevin Davis / NewReleaseTuesday.com) 

I’ve been married for 18 years and I have 3 young daughters and the past few years have featured several songs by female and male Christian singers about finding their true identity and beauty in Christ. My daughters are more precious than anything in the world to me and to their Heavenly Father, and these ten songs are all great anthems that have all been in heavy rotation for me as a playlist to celebrate the biblical Truth from Matthew 5:15-16, that like a city on a hill, we are all “made to shine.”

This is a great message for us to celebrate our freedom from sin based on our faith in Christ Jesus. Also, it is commanded by Jesus in verse 16 to “let your light shine” so that others may praise God based on seeing the power of His life in us.

Sometimes we forget to give Jesus credit for our freedom and accomplishments. We need to celebrate that freedom with our hands reaching out to others in Christ and show His light in us and let Him shine in us. Be encouraged by the light of Jesus shining in all of us based on our faith in Him and personally I am quite moved knowing that Jesus is shining in me for all to see and believe. Perhaps in this season leading up to Easter we can all practice “letting our light shine so that others may praise our Father in Heaven.” Have a blessed Valentine’s Day! -Kevin, NRT

Here’s the list to download the playlist on Amazon.

 

1. Made to Shine by The Sonflowerz

“Made To Shine” is one of many edifying songs from two great female role models, the British-American sister duo The Sonflowerz. This song really hits home for anyone who struggles with identity issues, especially girls who are bombarded with negative and unhealthy expectations from society. The song includes an encouraging takeaway message such as “God’s Love is burning like a fire inside of you, and no one can take that away.” This song is a great reminder of the Words of Jesus in Matthew 5:15-16: “Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.” Amen.

2. Lament by Audrey Assad

“Lament” is another standout track from “Heart”(they all are), and Audrey opens with the biblically based confession: “I’m Mary & Martha all at the same time, I’m sitting at His feet and yet I’m dying to be recognized.” It’s that type of transparent lyrical “gourmet” phrasing that ranks this album above any I’ve ever heard. Audrey Assad’s album is loaded with meaningful, engaging and beautiful songs and “Lament” is yet another flawless and emotional depiction of the beauty and majesty of our Creator’s “Heart.” Thank you Audrey for blessing us with your gifted gorgeous vocals and for pouring yourself into songs that deeply stir my soul.

 

3. Still That Girl by Britt Nicole

One of my favorite songs on Britt Nicole’s Grammy nominated album “Gold” is “Still That Girl.” As my three daughters’ grow up, I love our relationships with each other are built on the understanding that God has great plans for them according to Jeremiah 29:11. Whatever happens in their lives they’ll always be my little girls. Britt has delivered the ideal album to minister to anyone struggling with identity issues. Britt has the gift of encouragement and every single song lifts me up. This album is loaded with positive grace-filled messages of hope.

4. I Want You by Lara Landon

Lara co-wrote “I Want You” with Dove Award winning songwriter Krissy Nordhoff (“Your Great Name”). The song is a tender worship ballad directly to Jesus and I lose it when Lara passionately sings the words: “That day You made the sacrifice, You dressed me in the purest white, Your bride is grateful, Desperate now for You to come, establish Your Kingdom, until then I’ll be faithful, I want You, I want You, alone” in “I Want You,” one of many times this album causes tears to flow as I worship along with Lara in Spirit and in Truth.

5. Obsolete by Sara Groves

“Obsolete” is my new all-time favorite song by Sara Groves. It is the source of the album title as Sara proclaims about our technology-driven society: “And I don’t know where we are, are we passing through these wires, are we walking through the streets of invisible empires?” The song is based on Psalm 127: “Unless the Lord builds the house, the builders labor in vain.” Sara recently read: “The Internet makes everything not enough.” When she tenderly sings “are you and I an apparition flickering on the screen…tell me can you really see me?” I well up and the tears start streaming down my face, for the first of many times during this incredible album.

6. The Damaged by Sarah Macintosh

I love Sarah’s personal introspection in “The Damaged,” where Sarah confesses, “red is the color of my heart as it cries hush, hush…I don’t want to be the one who’s broken, I don’t want be the one who falls apart, I don’t want to be damaged.” In discussing the album with Macintosh, her hope is that spiritually listeners enter the album on “Current” and exit the album on the last track, “Joy Comes In,” and not realize that they’ve shifted spiritually. Hopefully the Lord has moved them from one point to another and that listeners learn things about the Lord that changes and moves them. Hopefully the album will swirl around them like a current and reminds them that they are loved deeply by Jesus, even if they feel like “the damaged.”

 

7. Unraveling by Shelly Moore

One of the many standout experiences of this stellar album is hanging on every note of “Unraveling,” where Shelly brilliantly sings “You have taken me apart at the seams, You have brought me to where I am on my last string, unraveling” which leads to the encouraging chorus: “I’ve heard You say wait for a better day, there is purpose even in the midst of this, and just as sure as the sun will rise tomorrow, I’ll get you through the night.” God promises us in His Word that His mercies are new every morning. Whatever struggle or depression you are facing you can know that God is with you, always. This is a wonderful song of encouragement and prayer to ask God to break your pride, live redemption’s story, and move closer to who we’re meant to be in Christ. Allow God and His Holy Spirit to change you to be more like Jesus, and move closer to His glory. Even if that looks like “unraveling.” God wants us to know that He’s faithful to complete what’s He’s started in all of us who’ve put all of our hope and trust in Jesus for our salvation. Amen.

8. Beautiful For Me by Nichole Nordeman

I can’t help but get emotional when I listen to “Beautiful For Me.” I know it speaks to girls and women of all ages, but this song has many layers, and I relate to the message that God created us to have value. God feels that way about men as well. We are valuable to God. As men, we are appointed by God to take care of and partner with the women in our lives. I believe men also need to hear this song. The song is a great reminder of the kind of heart we should have both as people valued by God and as Christians who can communicate our value to other people.

9. Beautiful by MercyMe

“Beautiful” was written with the band’s daughters in mind. Having three young daughters, I’m extremely moved by the passion behind the lyrics speaking of how the world says we are never good enough, yet Christ saw something beautiful in us worth dying for. I look at my wife and I hope she is secure in my love for her, that she knows that I love her and would never leave her. I look at my 3 little daughters and I hope I am communicating to each of my girls that she is beautiful, that she is valuable, and that she is a blessing to me.

10. More Beautiful You by Jonny Diaz

“More Beautiful You” by Jonny Diaz is an important message to girls and women of all ages, reminding them: “You were made to fill a purpose that only you could do, So there could never be a more beautiful you.” It is not a new idea, but it is a truth that needs to be heard. So turn around you’re not too far, To back away be who you are, To change your path go another way. Young women everywhere, listen, be encouraged. This song offers a great message of what it means to truly have inner beauty.

 Check out the list on Amazon.

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