Blog Posts by Martin Hansen

Doxologies: My God Is Still the Same

For I the LORD do not change; therefore you, O children of Jacob, are not consumed. Malachi 3:6

When RBC began, there was no Internet. RBCers didn’t have computers, vehicle airbags, smartphones (or even dumb phones!) The Redskins hadn’t yet won a Super Bowl. There was no Chipotle. There wasn’t even Starbucks, unless you lived in Seattle and were buying beans by the bag from an unknown little shop in Pike Place Market.  It had been only a couple years since the Vietnam War ended. The U.S. was still 15 years out from the first Gulf War. It would be 26 years until 9/11 and 45 years until the Covid-19 pandemic. 

Of course, the 70s themselves were a milestone of much change from decades before. But with the rise of the Internet and the connectivity we experience today, one thing’s for sure: if this world wasn’t already changing rapidly before, it is certainly getting to the point where if you blink, the world becomes virtually unrecognizable.  

And yet, amidst millions of new businesses, countless technological advancements, unsettling cultural shifts and too many breathtaking tragedies, we as Christians can find comfort in the truth of Hebrews 13:8: “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.” The band Sanctus Real authored a new song called My God Is Still the Same that reflects this powerful truth, and we will sing it together this Sunday. The verses of this song focus on several elements that God used throughout the Old and New Testaments to show the unchanging nature of His mighty power. 

The song begins, “Just ask the waves, if they are stilled at the mention of His name…” These lyrics take us back to the Sea of Galilee, some 2000 years ago. Luke recounts the story of Jesus calming a raging storm with just a few words. It’s easy to read this story in context but keep a mental separation between then and now. Yet, those are the same waters floating there today that were stilled at the direction of Jesus’ voice—and they are just as beholden to the sound of His voice today as they ever were. The stanza closes with the answer of the waves, who say, “My God is still the same.” We are then taken to a time where the intimidating walls of Jericho crumbled at the mighty sound of God-fearers, shouting in faith at the top of their lungs. “Ask the walls if they still fall at the mighty sound of praise.” The stanza closes with the answer of the walls, who likewise say, “My God is still the same.” We are later prompted to consider how effectively God hears the words of those who cry out in times of hurt and sadness. “Ask the words you prayed in desperation if they’re heard.” The answer: “My God is still the same.” 

The last stanza ends with a consideration of the grave, a place that can feel so finite, so formidable to the unsaved human. “Ask the grave if it’s strong enough to keep hope in its chains.” Even the grave cedes to the Almighty, admitting that it cannot keep the believer in death: “God is still the same.” The chorus similarly proclaims truths about God’s consistent grace: He will never break His promise, never fail us, never lose His power, and never change His mercy. Not once. “Never has, never will.” Our God is still the same.

In Malachi 3, God speaks powerfully through the prophet: “’For I the Lord do not change; therefore you, O children of Jacob, are not consumed.’” Here, we have a stark and important reminder of our broken human condition in relation to God without Christ, and yet also a gracious reminder of how awesome his mercy is. Because He does not change, we are not consumed. Isn’t it amazing? Even in spite of our brokenness, even while we were still sinners …our God is still the same. Regardless of all the changes that have taken place since RBC began over 45 years ago …our God is still the same. And even as we face changes yet to come …our God is still the same.

As we gather this Sunday and sing praise to God, may we be reminded of His beautiful consistency and unwavering dependability throughout all of time. When the change around us seems unsettling or overwhelming, doubts and questions may arise in our hearts. Perhaps there are moments or seasons in which we relate with the rhetorical questions the song asks. “When did He break His promise?” “When did His kindness fail?” “When did He lose His power?” “When did His mercy change?” But when we sing this song together this Sunday, may our voices rise in worship to proclaim a resolved, unified response:

“Never has, never will. Our God is still the same!”

Doxologies: Jesus Strong and Kind

But He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. 2 Corinthians 12:9

Jesus Strong and Kind has a rich message and yet a simple melody that makes it easy for the family to learn and sing together. This song reminds us of Jesus’s promise that He is able and willing to offer ultimate sustenance and relief in our times of need. The problems we are currently facing as a community, as a country, and as a culture may lead us to rely on temporal things that can offer brief respite or relief; but they will never fully satisfy the way Jesus can.

The verses of this song touch on four symptoms of our fallen world. After each challenge is presented, truths from Scripture are sung in response reminding us of the way Jesus can satisfy when we face those challenges. So we can come to Jesus…

…WHEN WE ARE THIRSTY: Verse 1 says that if we thirst, we should come to Him, because no one else can satisfy. This reminds us of the promises of John 4:14, “Whoever drinks of the water that [Jesus] will give him will never be thirsty again,” and that “the water [Jesus gives] … will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”

…WHEN WE ARE WEAK: Verse 2 says that if we feel weak, we should come to Him, because no one else can substantially or be our strength in a sustained way. This reminds us of the promises of 2 Corinthians 12:9-10, where Jesus says “My power is made perfect in weakness” and Paul responds, “I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses… For when I am weak, then I am strong.”

…WHEN WE ARE AFRAID: Verse 3 says that if we fear, we should come to Him, because no one else can be our shield. And this is not just because He is able and strong to protect us from earthly danger, but also because no one else can protect us from the spiritual forces at work against us in this life. As Jesus says to John in Revelation 1, “Fear not, I am the first and the last, and the living one. I died, and behold I am alive forevermore, and I have the keys of Death and Hades.”  What an amazing opportunity we have to lay our fears at the feet of our Jesus who died, was raised to life again (“forevermore”!), and who literally holds the keys to Satan’s entire operation.

…WHEN WE ARE LOST: Actually, verse 4 changes things up and says that if we are lost, Jesus will come to us. The song turns to focus on our depraved sin nature – our inability to provide our own salvation. While repeating the same phrase “I should come to Him” from the first 3 verses would have certainly helped maintain the repetitive structure throughout the song, it wouldn’t have made sense, because we are unable to do this for ourselves. As Jesus says in John 14, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.”  We are indebted to Jesus because of the sacrifice He made for us.

The Bible is filled with beautiful stories and parables depicting Jesus’s passion for the lost. Like when Jesus tells the tax collector Zacchaeus, “Today salvation has come to this house… for the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost” (Luke 19).  Or when He shows the lengths to which He will go to save, not just His people (plural,) but even just one of His people – (singular.) “What man of you, having a hundred sheep, if he has lost one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the open country, and go after the one that is lost, until he finds it?…there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who need no repentance.”

Lastly, throughout the song, a simple chorus reminds us of God’s faithfulness to us at all times. As Paul writes to the church at Thessalonica, “The Lord is faithful. He will establish you and guard you against the evil one” (2 Thessalonians 3:3).

As we go forward into this week, whether we are singing together as a church body on Sunday or singing with our family as we do chores in our homes, I pray we are encouraged in knowing that Jesus is always enough for us, even – and especially – in life’s greatest moments of need.

SCRIPTURE REFERENCES: John 4:13-14, 2 Corinthians 12:9-10, Revelation 1:17-18, John 14:6, Luke 15:4-7, 19:9-10, 2 Thessalonians 3:3


Jesus Strong and Kind

Verse 1
Jesus said that if I thirst
I should come to Him
No one else can satisfy
I should come to Him

Verse 2
Jesus said if I am weak
I should come to Him
No one else can be my strength
I should come to Him

For the Lord is good and faithful
He will keep us day and night
We can always run to Jesus
Jesus, strong and kind

Verse 3
Jesus said that if I fear
I should come to Him
No one else can be my shield
I should come to Him

Verse 4
Jesus said if I am lost
He will come to me
And He showed me on that cross
He will come to me