Blog Posts by Julie Stanos

Doxologies: Thank You Jesus for the Blood

But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. Ephesians 2:13

Blood.  We know that for every creature, “its blood is its life” (Leviticus 17:14), yet the very connotation of the word can also bring thoughts of brutality, pain and death.  While the flow of blood sustains life, the shedding of blood ends it—at least in human terms.  As we introduce this new song, Thank You Jesus for the Blood, we as a church body have the opportunity to reflect on how Christ’s blood shed for us (Isaiah 53:5) and His subsequent resurrection (Matthew 28:5-6) secures and sustains abundant, eternal life. Jesus’ blood is for us life through death—just another example of how human understanding is often turned upside down in the context of God’s Kingdom (Philippians 1:21).

As I read through each day’s headlines, my heart breaks at the injustice, the malice and the lack of mercy exhibited between human beings. One needs to look no further than current events in Afghanistan or on the streets of our cities here at home. The bloodshed of innocents is a brutal reality of the fallen and broken condition of this world. It’s more than my frail flesh can handle, and I cry out, “Jesus, have mercy. Come quickly.”

But then I’m reminded of the ultimate Innocent One, whose blood was shed: God’s Son who dwelt among us (Matthew 1:23, John 1:14), lived a sinless life (1 Peter 2:22, Hebrews 4:15) and formed human bonds as a son, a brother, a cousin, and a friend over the course of thirty-some years.  He came to seek and save the lost (Luke 19:10), and to reconcile us to the Father while we were still sinners and enemies of God (Romans 5:8-10).  In the greatest act of mercy and love ever witnessed, Jesus took on the depravity of the entire world and every generation (2 Corinthians 5:21) as He willingly submitted to the brutality of Roman crucifixion.  His innocent blood was shed and applied as payment for our sin, satisfying the wrath of a just and Holy God, and securing our salvation once and for all, forever and ever (1 Peter 2:24). Jesus stands in stark contrast to the fallen world we navigate—and rarely is this contrast more visible than when we gaze upon the brutality and the beauty of the cross.

So as we sing the words of this song together and reflect on the cost of our atonement, may we remember who we were (and are) apart from the grace of Christ. May we recall that the old has passed away, crucified and buried with Christ in the likeness of His death. May we rejoice that the new has come, raised anew in the likeness of His life.  May we remember the price that was paid in our Savior’s blood to purchase us from sin and death. And may we sing out in humble gratitude for the Savior who applied His blood to our debt and paved the way back to Him.

Thank you, Jesus.

————–

Thank You Jesus for the Blood

I was a wretch, I remember who I was.
I was lost, I was blind
I was running out of time
 
Sin separated, the breach was far too wide
But from the far side of the chasm
You held me in Your sight

So You made a way across the great divide
Left behind Heaven's throne
To build it here inside

And there at the cross, You paid the debt I owed
Broke my chains, freed my soul
For the first time I had hope
 
CHORUS
Thank you, Jesus, for the blood applied
Thank you, Jesus, it has washed me white
Thank you, Jesus, You have saved my life
Brought me from the darkness into glorious light
 
You took my place
Laid inside my tomb of sin
You were buried for three days
And then You walked right out again
 
And now death has no sting
And life has no end
For I have been transformed
By the blood of the Lamb
 
BRIDGE
There is nothing stronger
Than the wonder-working power of the blood, the blood
That calls us sons and daughters
We are ransomed by our Father
Through the blood, the blood
 

Doxologies: My Worth Is Not In What I Own (At the Cross)

I have given them Your Word, and the world has hated them because they are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. I do not ask that You take them out of the world, but that You keep them from the evil one. They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. Sanctify them in the truth; Your Word is truth. As you sent me into the world, so I have sent them into the world. And for their sake I consecrate myself, that they also may be sanctified in truth.” John 17:14-19

Are you discouraged or frustrated by the barrage of identity politics, labels and divisions that run deep even within families and lifelong friendships?  Consider even a few of the labels thrown around today. Mask or no mask.  Vaccine or anti-vax.  Red or blue, left or right, black or white.  The world tells us we have worth based on the labels we have or the ones we avoid. But make no mistake – we are missing the big picture when we adopt these labels and entrench ourselves (and others) in these identities above that which we have in Jesus.  When we categorize people (particularly those we disagree with) by lesser identities we forget the foundational truth that all people are precious in God’s sight, not just the ones who happen to agree with our position on a particular matter. In a city that glorifies and promotes division perhaps more than any other, we are called to be in the world, but not of it. It’s easy to identify ourselves and others according to the world’s lesser labels, but who does Jesus say we are? As followers of Christ Jesus, God’s Word bestows the following “labels” upon us, each a priceless blessing:

  • WE ARE NEW CREATIONS.  2 Corinthians 5:17 says, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation.  The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.”
  • WE ARE FREE.  Romans 6:6 says, “We know that old old self was crucified with Him in order that the body of sin might be brought to nothing, so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin.”
  • WE ARE RECONCILED TO GOD.  Romans 5:10 says, “For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of His Son, much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by His life.”
  • WE ARE CHILDREN OF GOD.  Romans 8:15-16 says, “…but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, “Abba! Father!” The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God…”
  • WE ARE CO-HEIRS WITH CHRIST.  Galatians 3:29 says, “And if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s offspring, heirs according to promise.”
  • WE ARE FRIENDS OF CHRIST.  John 15:15 says, “No longer do I call you servants, for the servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all that I have heard from my Father I have made known to you.”
  • WE ARE SECURE IN OUR SALVATION.  Romans 8:38-39 says, “For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, not anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
  • WE ARE EQUIPPED.  Romans 12:6-8 says, “Having gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, in proportion to our faith; if service, in our serving; the one who teaches, in his teaching; the one who exhorts, in his exhortation; the one who contributes, in generosity; the one who leads, with zeal; the one who does acts of mercy, with cheerfulness.”
  • WE ARE FULL & COMPLETE.  Ephesians 3:14-19 says, “For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named, that according to the riches of His glory He may grant you to be strengthened with power through His Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith—that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.
  • WE ARE WASHED, SANCTIFIED & JUSTIFIED.  1 Corinthians 6:11 says, “But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.”

What palpable worth do the fading labels of this world have to offer in light of these eternal, invaluable promises?

As we seek to honor Jesus by knowing Him and making Him known, the RBC staff meets, worships and prays together each week. A couple months ago, Tony Cho led us in the song we’re introducing in Doxologies, My Worth Is Not In What I Own. Several worship team members have also expressed a deep resonance with its lyrics, particularly as we wrestle with the labels of the world versus the identity we are given in Christ. As we sing this song congregationally, our prayer is that it will aid each of us in reassessing where we find our worth: in the world, or in the Kingdom? In man’s words, or God’s Word? In the treasures we hold in our hands, or in the Savior who holds us in His?

May this song serve as a reminder of the solid truth that our identity if formed and founded in Jesus: that our worth is not found in human riches, worldly metrics, or cultural labels du jour, but in the name of Christ Jesus – our Redeemer, Treasure, Wellspring of our souls. 

“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”  (Matthew 6:19-21)

————–

My Worth Is Not In What I Own (At the Cross)

My worth is not in what I own
Not in the strength of flesh and bone
But in the costly wounds of love
At the cross
 
My worth is not in skill or name
In win or lose, in pride or shame
But in the blood of Christ that flowed
At the cross
 
CHORUS
I rejoice in my Redeemer
Greatest Treasure
Wellspring of my soul
I will trust in Him, no other
My soul is satisfied in Him alone
 
As summer flowers we fade and die
Fame, youth and beauty hurry by
But life eternal calls to us
At the cross
 
I will not boast in wealth or might
Or human wisdom's fleeting light
But I will boast in knowing Christ
At the cross
 
Two wonders here that I confess
My worth and my unworthiness
My value fixed, my ransom paid
At the cross

Doxologies: Ain’t No Grave

Our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places.” Ephesians 6:12

We celebrated Resurrection Sunday only a few short weeks ago. We combed through the Easter story and the good news of the gospel in intricate detail, from the dark moments that led to Jesus’ walk to Calvary to the glorious moments surrounding the revelation of His resurrection.  The truths that permeate Easter are magnificent and astounding. Yet how many of us returned to “normal life” the following Monday morning and allowed the spectacular truths of these events to become clouded by the mundane?  (Raising my hand with you here.)

What is it about the minutia of daily life that so cunningly robs us of the joy of our salvation?  Ephesians 6:12 says, “Our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places.”

Wow.  That’s a lot to go up against.

Ever heard the saying, “The devil is in the details”?  The seeming insignificance of each word we utter, each step we tread and each decision we make can ultimately culminate in something much more substantial (1 Peter 5:8).  In the midst of the daily routine, we can easily be overwhelmed and enticed into embracing the ways of the world (Isaiah 53:6) rather than abiding in Christ Jesus (John 15:5) as we are called to do.

Colossians 2:6-15 says,

“6 Therefore, as you have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him, having been firmly rooted and now being built up in Him and established in your faith, just as you were instructed, and overflowing with gratitude. See to it that there is no one who takes you captive through philosophy and empty deception in accordance with human tradition, in accordance with the elementary principles of the world, rather than in accordance with Christ. For in Him all the fullness of Deity dwells in bodily form, 10 and in Him you have been made complete, and He is the head over every ruler and authority; 11 and in Him you were also circumcised with a circumcision performed without hands, in the removal of the body of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ,12 having been buried with Him in baptism, in which you were also raised with Him through faith in the working of God, who raised Him from the dead. 13 And when you were dead in your wrongdoings and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He made you alive together with Him, having forgiven us all our wrongdoings, 14 having canceled the certificate of debt consisting of decrees against us, which was hostile to us; and He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross. 15 When He had disarmed the rulers and authorities, He made a public display of them, having triumphed over them through Him.”

In Christ crucified, the world no longer defines us (Galatians 6:14); we no longer walk in darkness (John 8:12); fear is cast out (1 John 4:18); and the grave has no power over us (John 11:25) as we have been set free from the law of sin and death (Romans 8:1-4).  Praise Jesus.

The song Ain’t No Grave is a celebration of these truths and the power of the perfect love of God to assure (Philippians 1:6) and quiet our souls (Zephaniah 3:17) in the midst of a world often marked with doubt and chaos (John 14:27).  As we sing this triumphant anthem together, may we rejoice in the victory we have over the grave (Revelation 1:18) and the gift of eternal and abundant life (John 3:16, Romans 6:23, 1 Corinthians 15:52) through Jesus Christ, our Lord.

————–

Ain’t No Grave

Shame is a prison as cruel as a grave
Shame is a robber and he's come to take my name
Love is my redeemer, lifting me up from the ground
Love is the power where my freedom song is found
 
There ain't no grave
Gonna hold my body down
There ain't no grave
Gonna hold my body down
When I hear that trumpet sound
I'm gonna rise up outta the ground
There ain't no grave
Gonna hold my body down
 
Fear is a liar with a smooth and velvet tongue
Fear is a tyrant, he's always telling me to run
Love is a resurrection and love is a trumpet sound
Love is my weapon, I'm gonna take my giants down
 
There was a battle, a war between death and life
And there on a tree, the Lamb of God was crucified
And He went on down to hell, He took back every key
He rose up as a lion and He set all captives free

Doxologies: Way Maker

This is what the Lord says—
    he who made a way through the sea,
    a path through the mighty waters,
who drew out the chariots and horses,
    the army and reinforcements together,
and they lay there, never to rise again,
    extinguished, snuffed out like a wick:
“Forget the former things;
    do not dwell on the past.
See, I am doing a new thing!
    Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?
I am making a way in the wilderness
    and streams in the wasteland.”
Isaiah 43:16-19

I often wonder how the Israelites must have felt as they approached the Red Sea with Pharaoh’s mighty army in hot pursuit. The story, found in the 14th chapter of Exodus, is a dramatic illustration of God’s omnipotent providence and His promise to weave all things together for the good of those who love him.  On the surface, one might think that God merely plucked the Israelites from a crushing defeat at the last excruciating moment.  The truth is that God held every heart-pounding instant in His almighty hand for the purpose of His glory. From commanding the Israelites’ flight from Egypt to the hardening of Pharaoh’s heart which led to his overwhelming pursuit of them; and from the Israelites’ incredible deliverance and safe passage through the Red Sea to the great victory over Pharaoh’s army with “all of the horses and chariots” resulting in an indisputable recognition of God’s unmatched might, God always finishes what He begins. Always.

God is faithful.  And when He is for us, no one can stand against us. (Romans 8:31).

It is my desire that as we sing this song together as a church body, we will enter into a bold and confident moment of declaration and thanksgiving for who God is: asking Him for nothing, but praising Him for the great things He has done (Psalm 126:3) and is yet to do.

He is with us. (Joshua 1:9)

He is for us. (Psalm 56:9)

He is faithful. (2 Thes 3:3)

He is our healer. (1 Peter 2:24)

He is our savior and redeemer. (John 3:16)

He is the way, the truth and the life. (John 14:6)

He is the light. (John 8:12)

He is the miracle worker.  (Luke 1:37)

He is the way maker. (Isaiah 43: 19)

————–

Way Maker

You are here
Moving in our midst
I worship You
I worship You
You are here
Working in this place
I worship You
I worship You

You are
Way maker, miracle worker
Promise keeper, light in the darkness
My God, that is who You are

You are here
Turning lives around
I worship You
I worship You
You are here
You're healing every heart
I worship You
I worship You

You are
Way maker, miracle worker
Promise keeper, light in the darkness
My God, that is who You are

Even when I don't see it, You're working
Even when I don't feel it, You're working
You never stop, You never stop working
You never stop, You never stop working

Way maker, miracle worker
Promise keeper, light in the darkness
My God, that is who You are

Doxologies: Promises

But according to His promise we are looking for new heavens and a new earth, in which righteousness dwells. 2 Peter 3:13

During a time in which we are so keenly aware of the frail human condition, we are especially prone to spend our prayer and worship time in lamentation (Psalm 6:6) or simply wander off in despair (Proverbs 20:6).  Promises, a bold declaration of God’s faithfulness through the ages, puts the truth of God’s character at the forefront and brings me back to a place of worship through praise, joy, confidence and peace that passes understanding with its reminder of God’s unwavering covenant from generation to generation (Genesis 17:7).  It comes as a blessing and sweet reminder of God’s inherent goodness (Psalm 25:8) and His promise to complete the work that He begins (Philippians 1:6).  

Our God is faithful (Hebrews 13:8, Psalm 89:8) even when we struggle (2 Timothy 2:13).  It’s simply who He is, part of His very nature and character (Psalm 92:15).  His mercies are new each morning, His love never fails or ceases (Lamentations 3:22-23) and His promises are true (1 Kings 8:56): yesterday, today and tomorrow (Hebrews 13:8).  It is my prayer that, as we sing these words together, we will fix our eyes upon Christ Jesus in a posture of adoration, praise and thanksgiving – authentically and humbly exalting Him and resting on the firm foundation of His word (Luke 6:47-49, 1 Corinthians 3:11).  May we, this body of believers, truly put our trust in Jesus in every sense: remaining steadfast as the trials of this world come and go (James 1:12, Romans 12:12) – and impacting those around us with the deep, steadfast and abiding love of Christ Jesus in our daily lives and interactions (Matthew 28:16-20).

————–

Promises

God of Abraham
You're the God of covenant
And of faithful promises
Time and time again
You have proven
You'll do just what You said

Though the storms may come
And the winds may blow
I'll remain steadfast
And let my heart learn
When You speak a word
It will come to pass

Great is Your faithfulness to me
Great is Your faithfulness to me
From the rising sun to the setting same, 
I will praise Your name
Great is Your faithfulness to me

God from age to age
Though the earth may pass away
Your word remains the same, yeah
Your history can prove
There's nothing You can't do
You're faithful and true

Though the storms may come
And the winds may blow
I'll remain steadfast
And let my heart learn
When You speak a word
It will come to pass, yeah

Great is Your faithfulness to me
Great is Your faithfulness to me
From the rising sun to the setting same, 
I will praise Your name
Great is Your faithfulness to me

So I put my faith in Jesus
My anchor to the ground
My hope and firm foundation
He'll never let me down

Great is Your faithfulness to me
Great is Your faithfulness to me
From the rising sun to the setting same, 
I will praise Your name
From the rising sun to the setting same, 
I will praise Your name
From the rising sun to the setting same, 
I will praise Your name
In every season, great is Your faithfulness to me
Great is Your faithfulness to me
Great is Your faithfulness to me

The Blessing DMV

The Lord bless you, and keep you; The Lord cause His face to shine on you, And be gracious to you; The Lord lift up His face to you, And give you peace. Numbers 6:24-26

Unity. It seems so out of reach these days. As we the Church continue to navigate these difficult days and push through the process of making challenging decisions in the wake of fear and division running rampant in our society, it’s easy to lose sight of our identity. It’s easy to gloss over the divine blessing that has been bestowed upon us, the Body of Christ, and the charge that we have been given to bless others out of the abundance of favor and good will that has been granted to us as the children of God, even in the hard times.

We must hold fast to the bonds that tie us together as children of the one true God. We must turn our eyes upon Jesus. We must earnestly abide in Christ. We must seek and find our rest in the midst of chaos in the hands of God who holds it all in his perfect will and sovereignty. From there, God will fill us up and send us out to impact the people around us with the love and light of Jesus. May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit (Romans 15:13).

Recently, several members of the RBC worship team had the opportunity to participate in a project called “The Blessing DMV,” a collaboration of many churches throughout the DC area coming together as the Body of Christ to pray for God’s peace, unity, blessing and favor over the Church and upon our city. As we sing The Blessing as a church family this weekend, it is our desire that we as the Body of Christ might sincerely appreciate both the gravity and the joy encompassed in these lyrics, pulled straight from scripture…and embrace the unity that they convey. We are ONE BODY. We are ONE CHURCH. We are a city on a hill: a light for all to see and know us by our love for one another and for others.

Doxologies: Let There Be Light

This is the message we have heard from Him and proclaim to you, that God is light, and in Him is no darkness at all. If we say we have fellowship with Him while we walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. But if we walk in the light, as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin. 1 John 1:5-7

What is truth? Where can we find it in a world overrun with media in every form, most of which is available 24/7? How do we quiet the chaos and navigate dark days?

In a world full of darkness and discord, God has provided a “true light” to guide our feet into the way of peace (John 1:9, Luke 1:79). There is such hope and joy to be found in the gift of Jesus as the Light of the World (John 8:12), the Light that can never be extinguished or overcome by darkness (John 1:5). He is the bright and morning star (Revelation 22:16), the life and light for all mankind (John 1:4). In our need for truth in dark days, may we look to Jesus, the true light, full of grace and truth (John 1:9-14).

It is my prayer that this song brings us to the altar in an intimate moment of prayer and communion with the one true God who commands all of creation with the sound of His voice. He is the God of revival who breathes life into dry bones, the Lord of Light in whom there is no darkness, and He is our Savior King whose grace is sufficient for every void within the brokenness of our humanity.

————–

Let There Be Light

When You speak
Darkness has to bow
Confusion has its final hour
When You speak
Mountains rise and fall
It tears down every wall around me

When You speak
You breathe upon the dust
You come alive in us
When You speak
You silence every fear
We feel Your Spirit here around us

Let there be light
Let there be light
Until it fills up every space
Come and have Your way
Let there be light
Let there be light
Just one word and I am changed
Come and have Your way

Now You’re everything we seek
As deep cries out to deep
We will see God
Here Your glory on display
Jesus take Your place
We will see God

Let there be light
Let there be light
Until it fills up every space
Come and have Your way
Let there be light
Let there be light
Just one word and I am changed
Come and have Your way

Doxologies: God of Revival

If my people who are called by My name humble themselves, and pray and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land. 2 Chronicles 7:14

As we, the Church, find ourselves in the midst of the wind and waves of culture, it’s easy to be distracted, unsure and even gripped by fear. But while the sea may be angry, powerful, and capable of consuming us in the frailty of our humanity, it is no match for our sovereign and mighty God who calms it with a simple command, “Peace, be still.”

There is such hope and assurance to be realized in the character of God. He is the Ancient of Days and the living King of the world even to this very day (Daniel 7:13, Isaiah 44:6). He parts and calms the sea (Exodus 14:21, Psalm 107:29).  He changes seasons and times (Daniel 2:21). He causes the earth to tremble at His glance (Psalm 104:32). He breathes life upon dry bones (Ezekiel 37:9). He resurrected Jesus from the dead on the third day, after overcoming sin and death, and seated Him at His right hand (Romans 8:34, Colossians 3:1). He is on the throne, and  He is in control (Psalm 103:19). He is loving and good (Romans 5:8, Psalm 145:9). And He is the same yesterday, today and forever (Hebrews 13:8).

In a time when this fallen world offers little peace or hope, may God of Revival serve as a reminder to fix our eyes upon the Lord Jesus Christ. He alone is the author and perfecter of our faith who will surely complete the work He has begun. My prayer is that, in the coming days, we as His disciples will rest under the covering of our Redeemer and be subsequently moved to our knees in fervent intercession for a world so desperately in need of the love and light of Jesus.

————–

God of Revival

We see what you can do,
Oh God of wonders.
Your power has no end.
The things You’ve done before,
In greater measure,
You will do again.
There’s no prison wall You can’t break through,
No mountain You can’t move.
All things are possible.

There’s no broken body you can’t raise,
No soul that You can’t save.
All things are possible.

The darkest night,
You can light it up.
You can light it up,
God of revival.
Let hope arise.
Death is overcome.
You’ve already won,
God of revival.

You rose in victory
And now You’re seated
Forever on the throne
So why should my heart fear
What You’ve defeated
I will trust in You alone
Cause there’s no prison wall You can’t break through,
No mountain You can’t move.
All things are possible.
There’s no broken body you can’t raise,
No soul that You can’t save.
All things are possible.

The darkest night,
You can light it up.
You can light it up,
God of revival.
Let hope arise.
Death is overcome.
You’ve already won,
God of revival.

Come awaken Your people.
Come awaken Your city.
God of revival, pour it out, pour it out.
Every stronghold will crumble.
Hear the chains hit the ground.
God of revival, pour it out, pour it out.