God’s Lifelines with Matthew West

What Does it Feel like to be Singularly Loved?

As followers of Jesus Christ, we often grapple with the concept of God’s love. How can the Creator of the Universe think of each one of us individually? Contemporary Christian artist Matthew West beautifully explores this theme that inspired the song “Me on Your Mind” in a recent interview with Family Life Radio, offering poignant insights that shine a light on our faith journeys.

Matthew said he’s had several times in his life when he’s experienced the sensation of God speaking directly to him. “I’m sure anybody watching or listening to this [interview] has had moments where you were like, ‘God was this just for me right now?’ Whether it’s turning on the radio and hearing a song that you needed to hear in that moment, where you’re like, ‘Okay, God’s thinking of me. He’s telling me something.’ I’ll read Scripture – sometimes I’ll reverse and read it forward a thousand times. And it’s like, wait a minute. I feel like that was just for me today.”

The psalmist wrote, “How precious to me are your thoughts, God! How vast is the sum of them! Were I to count them, they would outnumber the grains of sand” (Psalm 139:17-18 NIV).

Just as God’s thoughts filled the psalmist’s heart, you can find yourself on the receiving end of divine communication.

One day, while on a walk with his wife Emily, he got an idea for a song, now known as “Me on Your Mind.” Matthew shared, “I was thinking about all the times the last couple years, where I felt like the Lord was seeking me out and wanting me to know that He’s thinking about me.”

God’s Love is Personal

He humbly admitted, “It feels selfish to say, ‘me on your mind. Like, is that okay?’” Matthew explained, “I was just thinking, when Jesus one was on the cross, was He thinking of me? John 3:16 says, ‘God so loved the world.’ And sometimes that feels so big.”

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Matthew continued, “And I remember the first time I heard Billy Graham say that Scripture. I was watching him on TV. I didn’t hear, ‘for God so loved the world.’ I heard, ‘for God so loved Matthew West.’”

We often regard God’s love as an abstract, vast concept that encompasses the world. Yet, the truth is, His love is personal and individual. Just as God loved Matthew West, He loves each one of us.

Matthew said,

“When the gospel becomes personal to you, that’s when it becomes real to you.”

Each biblical story, teaching and principle isn’t just an abstract idea but a practical guide for living that becomes transformative when you personalize it.

Your identity is not determined by your vices, weaknesses or even your victories, but you’re defined by God’s redeeming love. Romans 8:38-39, “For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons…nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord” (NIV).

Songs become spiritual lifelines

So, on that same thought, listeners share stories all the time about how just the right song came on Family Life Radio at the right moment for them. God has perfect timing. Our darkest moments are not beyond His awareness; He can use the most unexpected means to comfort us. Songs can become spiritual lifelines for us – moments of grace, inspiration or comfort.

“I don’t want a hit song. I want to write a song that could be a lifeline for somebody,” Matthew stated. “A lifeline song is not always going to equal the number one song.”

The personal stories we share and the songs we sing can carry a message of God’s love, comfort and presence, offering hope and acting as a lifeline to someone else. When we incorporate our faith into our struggles and victories, they transcend personal experiences and become a testament to God’s love that has the power to impact others.

As Matthew reads stories, he sees opportunities to provide a lifeline of God’s love.

“I’m reading someone’s story, and all I want to do today is write a song for Renee, who just lost her daughter in a drunk driving accident, and she’s trying to figure out how to forgive the person responsible. So, I wrote her a song called ‘Forgiveness.’ I didn’t care about it being a hit. I just wanted to give her a little bit of a lifeline.”

“I wanted to write a song for Jordan, who was an all-American athlete, got hooked on oxy, became a drug addict, got kicked out of college and lost his scholarship. God radically changed his life, and now he wanted people to know that there’s still hope from addiction…. I wrote Jordan song call ‘Hello, My Name Is.’”

“Those songs became hits. I think well, why is that? How could it be that my focus was so finite. Right? Like, just like God has me on his mind. I had just had Jordan. On my mind.”

Individual Faith Experiences

Matthew said, “I’ll never forget hearing my own song on the radio, March 12, 2020. I was in an Uber headed to the Philadelphia airport, right before they were shutting the whole country down. I was leaving a city that had just gone on lockdown. Our tour was canceled, and I was freaking out in the back seat of the Uber. My song, ‘the God Who Stays’ came on in the Uber car, and the Uber driver was singing every word. From a third world country, he was singing ‘the God Who Stays’ in broken English.”

“I needed to hear my own song – that God was with me – a lifeline. Songs are little, three-minute lifelines, one at a time.”

Each faith journey is unique, yet profoundly intertwined within the broader tapestry of God’s love. By acknowledging God’s personal messages, understanding the personal nature of His love and sharing our experiences, we can deepen our faith and encourage others in their journey.

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