Oh, Praise (The Only One)
The theme of this anthem is really found between the parentheses. In fact, the theme of our faith, the truths therein, are found in that exact same place, for when we get right down to it, what makes our faith unique is the fact that Jesus is so exceptional. He truly is “The Only One.”
In a world of moral relativism, where absolutes are absolutely forbidden, this is not a popular stance. But this is nothing new. Christianity would not have been persecuted in Roman culture if it had been willing to add itself to the many gods already worshiped. One missionary in India was told, if they would only add Jesus to the other gods, He would sweep India.
But Jesus is not One among many. He is the Only One. We say that, but how much do we grasp it? How much does His singularity and superiority grip our own lives as we think about Him and as we worship Him? He is far and above just the way we’ve chosen to think or philosophy we have determined is the right one to follow. And the degree to which we have taken this into our soul is going to be telling in the choices we make each and every day. It’s going to mark our thoughts, our courage in this culture, our submission to the word, our desire for holiness, our hope in this dark world, our joy amidst its struggles and our vision of Whom we worship.
The lyrics contain many examples of the exceptionality and superiority of Jesus which we need to take to heart in fresh ways. First, they declare He is no greater truth. He is not merely “a” way, He is “the” Way! As we’ve already suggested, this is not popular today. How much do we dumb down this message in our own lives? Do we say, “I’ve found a way you might find appealing?” Or have we embraced the truth that without Him these people we see day after day are on their way to destruction? He is the Only One, the Only Way! I read an article recently which said we aren’t really loving our neighbor if we are content to let them go ignorantly to hell. That’s a sobering thought. Perhaps we aren’t bolder because we aren’t as convinced as we need to be that He is the Only One for the salvation of this lost world, or understood their true peril without Him.
The anthem also declares there is no stronger love. Oh, and isn’t that such a blessed truth? Have we grasped how much He loves us? Have we fathomed what kind of love would compel Him to bear our sins and suffering on the cross? Have we embraced the life of love He has called us to, saying: Love like I have loved you? That kind of love transformed the Roman world, it reawakened the Dark Ages. If we could get a grasp of this One and Only love in a world full of counterfeits, I truly believe we would shake even this evil planet, perhaps bringing one last revival.
There is Only One King. This one is extremely difficult for our culture to get our heads around. Nobody is sovereign in our Western world. Governments are divided, we may knuckle under to those have the force of authority behind them, but there is little respect, and everyone is looking for the loophole and the blind eye. We are rugged individualists who value bootstrap kind of people who cut their own swaths in life, even, maybe even especially, if it involves a bit of rebellion against convention. Even God’s sovereignty in our lives may be relegated to what He allows that we haven’t been able to control or maneuver for our own purposes. Have we, even as professing believers, really bowed the knee to His One and Only Kingship over our lives? —not just once, or once in a while, but are we laying our lives down as living sacrifices on His altar, day after day? I’m sure not there. Jesus is One and Only King…oh, yeah…sometimes I get so busy living my life I forget that that. I forget to live in that reality day by day—how about you? How different would our lives be if we could get this front and center in how we live and worship?
There are many more such thoughts sprinkled throughout this anthem. Is there one of these which God is particularly pointing you to in your own life where He wants to reveal Himself as the Only One in fresh ways? Ask Him to show you how singular He truly is!
by Sheri Cook, Director or Special Ministries
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