Elton John is coming to our town. We aren’t one of the big cities of the world. Try 14,000. We’re only a speck on a map of planet earth. But Summerside, PEI is a nice place and easy to get to know. Having said that, the world will probably always know more about Elton John than about our town.
Celebrities live in a fish bowl. Everything is scrutinized. Their clothes and fashions are judged. Their words are parsed and studied. Their lives on and off the stage make headlines. Their successes and failures are publicized. Elton John is no exception. He’s been in the limelight since the 1960’s. And he is still performing before sell-out crowds.
Born Reginald Kenneth Dwight, the English singer, composer, pianist and occasional actor has been knighted by Queen Elizabeth. He has sold more than 250 million records which vaults him into the high end of the most successful artists of all times.
When Elton John was about half the age he is now, he recorded a song on his “21 at 33 Album”. Rivers of water have flowed under the bridge of his life since then but did he ever find the answers to the spiritual questions he asked in his Dear God song?
Carefully read the lyrics below and think about a younger Elton John singing this song back in 1980. How do the words of his song relate to your thoughts about God?
Dear God, are you there
Can you hear me, do you care
Dear God, here are we
Less than perfect, far from free
Oh we take what we get and we don’t take no more
But we sometimes forget what it was you created us for
Dear God, now’s the time
If you’re listening, show some sign
Dear God, hear me plead
Don’t desert us in our need
Dear God, lend a hand
Is this really what you planned
Dear God, in you we trust
Though we’ve failed you, don’t fail us
Oh we take what we get but we can’t take much more
Do you sometimes forget what it was you created us for, dear God
I hope and pray you’ll lead us to a brighter day
Out of the darkness and light up our way, dear God
I hope and pray you’ll lead us to a better way
Love is the answer so light up our way, dear God
Light up our way dear God, dear God
Love is the answer so light up our way, dear God
Dear God, are You there?
Of course God is there. The Bible says God is not far from each one of us in this life. (Acts 17:27) He is not far when we are sinning against Him. He sees it all. He hears it all. He is not far when we want to repent of our sin and turn to Him. He is not far. The issue is not distance but rather our sin that keeps us away from God.
Dear God, do You care?
Of course, God cares. The question is: do we care about God? Or do we only care about ourselves and what we want to do with our lives? Do we care about what God thinks? Do we care about His standards and expectations for us?
Think about the Cross and ask yourself does God care about us? He gave His Son to the painful death of the Cross, to take the punishment for our sins. That’s pretty major evidence that God cares about us and wants to take away the problem of our sin. “Christ died for our sins.” 1Corinthians 15:3. When we had no ability to save ourselves or lift ourselves up out of the quagmire of our sin, totally “…without strength, Christ died for the ungodly.” Romans 5:6
Less than Perfect, Far from Free
If Elton John thinks he is the only one who is less than perfect, he is wrong. I am less than perfect. So are you. The Bible says we are all less than perfect. All!
“For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” Romans 3:23. All, without exception fall short of God’s standard of perfection – free from all sin. None of us measure up. None qualify to be in God’s perfect Heaven forever. Sin will never contaminate that place. Left to our own ways, our future would be dark.
As for being far from free, the Bible talks a lot about being shackled and bound by sin. Satan is the bondage master and wants to keep us blind and in the dark. (Ephesians 2:1-4) Jesus said about Himself: “If the Son sets you free, you shall be free indeed.” John 8:36. He also said: “The truth will set you free.” John 8:32
Have you been set free?
We sometimes forget what it was You created us for.
Sometimes forget? A bit of an understatement. We think we are here for our own pleasure and to do what pleases us. In reality, we were created to have an enjoyable relationship with God and to serve and to glorify Him. Rather, we tend to glorify ourselves and treat ourselves as mini-gods. “I’ll do it if I want to. Who’s to say it’s wrong?
The Bible says we are like sheep going astray and taking our own way – which is always the wrong way. Feeling lost? There’s a reason for it. (Isaiah 53:5-6)
If You’re listening show us some sign
Friend, God is listening carefully. Beyond the noises of this planet, He is listening for the faintest cry of despair – “O God save me from my sins. Save me from perishing and going to Hell. Save me.” He is listening and the Bible says three times over: “Whoever calls on the Name of the Lord shall be saved.” Romans 10:13
God’s Word, the Bible explains it this way: God’s mighty arm is not too short that He cannot reach down to save you. He is not hearing impaired and thus unable to hear your cry. The problem is your sins have separated you from your God. (Isaiah 59:1)
The sign that He hears our cries and sees our despair? Once again, take a look at the story of the Cross. Have you ever appreciated that Christ was on that Cross to free you from your sin and to lift you out of your despair and to take you out of your darkness? (1Peter 2:24, 3:18) Of course, He won’t force you against your will, but He would be delighted to save you right now.
Lend us a hand
We should stop pointing our fingers at God, as if He was the mean old culprit causing our misery. We ourselves and our love for sin bring it on ourselves. He’s the Saviour in this drama. Lend us a hand? Two hands were nailed to the Cross. Were they guilty hands or innocent hands?
We’ve failed You, don’t fail us.
Truer words have never been sung. We’ve failed God. The moment you turn from your sin and turn to God and embrace Jesus Christ as your Saviour, He will welcome you inside (you’ve been outside too long) and you will discover that His love for you will never fail. Jesus said: “I give unto them eternal life and they shall never, no never perish.” John 10:28. Eternally secure.
Friend, God has never forgotten what He created us for. Sin in the human family has caused the sadness and pain on this globe. Not God. Humans rebelled against God at the start and still do today and then we shake our fist at God blaming Him for our misery. A warped perspective for sure. Sin is the problem. Christ is the solution. You can have a brighter day, once you leave the darkness of sin and come to Christ who is the Light of the World.
And yes, Elton John, LOVE is the answer. One of the most beautiful verses in the Bible is about love.
For God so loved the world
that He gave His only begotten Son,
that whoever believes in Him should not perish
but have everlasting life.
Sir Elton John, please sing the lyrics of your song again and then open your Bible and read the verses highlighted above. The brighter day you need to find can be found. The freedom you crave is available. The God you sang about is real. The eternity you desire is only possible through Jesus Christ. If you only want Him as a 9-1-1 God, you will never know the peace and the joy and the forgiveness or the relationship He offers to you freely. But if you are seeking a relationship with Him – one built on love and trust and security forever, His arms are open wide to welcome you home.
And the same goes for you too.
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