MhAX Blog with Nick Costello
Evangelist, youth communicator, school assembly speaker, seminar and conference speaker Nick Costello tackles issues facing youth and young adults.
Nick Costello has experienced the glamorous rock star life millions of teens only dream about. Success didn't fulfill his search for inner peace, security and purpose in life. His bad attitude and fast lane lifestyle of sex, drugs, rock and roll nearly destroyed him. One night, Nick surrendered his life to Jesus Christ. God miraculously redeemed and transformed his life.
Today, he ministers as an evangelist, youth communicator, school assembly speaker, seminar and conference speaker. He's calling christians of all ages to an uncompromising walk of obedience to Christ. In public schools, he's equipping kids to make healthy, right life choices. Respected leaders say he's a "dynamic, relevant, passionate, challenging, inspiring communicator!
Visit Nick's website
Is music itself evil? I don't believe the Bible teaches the creative art form we call music is evil, nor does God tell us any musical instrument is evil. What is evil is the fruit an instrument produces in the hands of it's user. Does God have a favorite style of music? The Bible is silent on this issue. God may like jazz, rap, or the blues styles. No one knows. Again, don't believe any style of music is evil in itself. What's evil is the message being expressed and the spirit behind it. God has his music. Satan has his music too! God's music boasts biblical principles, encourages godly living, shouts of God's greatness. It draws people to God and the things of God. Satan's music boasts messages from hell itself, his evil and wickedness. It encourages unhealthy, ungodly living an thinking. It draws people to everything he offers which is full of poison to you heart and mind. I am not talking about music that is 'neutral'. It's simply morally good and wholesome. I am talking about music that blatantly promotes the devil's kingdom principles and beliefs. What does God call evil, wicked and ungodly? Read Matthew 15:18-20, Galatians 5:19-21 and 2 Timothy 3:1-5. They list some of the things God hates like: hate, witchcraft, jealousy, murder, anger, violence, slander, drunkenness, sexual sins of all kinds and so much more. All of it is represented in much of today's many styles of music and entertainments. It's full of the darkenss God hates. Paul warns in 1 Thessalonians 5:22 to "avoid every kind of evil." In 2 Timothy 3:5 God says stay away from anyone who practices these evil things. Don't even associate with them. If you are a Christian I ask you, when you listen to your music... what kind of people do you associate with? Are you avoiding the evil God hates in your music? Satan knows when you listen to music full of the things God hates, he has your attention. Once he has your attention, he can pour his poison into you. He isn't worried if you go to heaven. What he cares about is getting your heart and mind off of the things of God and onto what he offers. Then, he can slowly lure you away from God, get you to buy into what he offers and get you to sin. In fact, when you listen to music full of the evil god hates, you are disobeying God, grieving the Holy Spirit and sinning against God. God still loves you but he hates your ungodly music. Too many christian teens today, praise Jesus in worship during church which gives glory and honor to God. Then, they walk out the door and listen to music inspired by the devil which gives glory and honor to him. Is that you? Does the devil have a ground of entrance into your heart and mind through your music? Does your music give glory and honor to God or Satan? What kingdom does your music promote? Does your music please or displease God? God loves you, but is it possible he hates your music because it represents Satan's kingdom? You can be heaven bound. But my Christian friends, what you allow into your life can make the way there pretty rough. If you listen to music that you know grieves the heart of God and is full of the evil, wickedness and ungodliness God hates, shut the door of your heart and mind to it NOW! Say NO to the devil and his music. Be sold-out to God and worship him alone. Stay tuned for more on this issue.
Do you know what the Bible says about music and its purpose for existing Do you know where music came from? Music is perhaps one of the most powerful communication tools. The Bible tells us music was present from the beginning of creation. In Job 38:4-7, God challenges Job, "Where were you when I laid the earth's foundations - while the morning stars sang together?" Morning stars refers to angels. They were singing. It was good, clean, godly music. "God saw all that he had made, and it was very good." (Gen. 1:31 NIV) This included music. I believe when God was creating the universe there was a praise and worship celebration with angels singing. Who was the worship leader? Ezekiel reveals it was Lucifer, one of the three angels closest to God in heaven. God describes Lucifer as beautiful, perfect, "The workmanship of thy tabrets and pipes wast prepared in thee on the day thou wast created." (Ezek. 28:14 KJV) Tabrets and pipes are musical instruments. Lucifer could compose and play music with or through his body which had musical instruments built into it. Read it for yourself! He could lead the angelic worship choir praising God as he was creating. Maybe it went something like this. God spoke, "Let there be light." Light bursts forth. Galaxies, sun, moon and stars appear. The Lucifer led choir sings, "Our God, is an awesome God he reigns, holy is his name, we exalt you O Lord!" Read Revelation and Psalms. You'll gain wonderful insights about the true expression of praise and worship to God. I believe it was loud, energetic and exciting music. Remember, when God finished his creation work he said everything was very good. Music glorifying and honoring God was very good, too. The Bible draws us to conclude Lucifer knows all about music, could write music, could influence music and understood its power to communicate a message. Lucifer was an amazing one man music making machine. But, what happened next changed all creation and mankind forever. Isaiah 14 tells us there was a bad war in heaven. Lucifer rebelled against God, was defeated and cast down to earth. He lost the battle, lost his place in heaven, lost his name and became Satan or the devil. Evil consumed his heart. Satan is now the mastermind behind all the evil and wickedness in the world today. No longer was everything good. Satan became rotten on the inside and his evil influence can be seen everywhere, including in music and entertainments. He's committed to corrupting everything good God created, including music. Stay tuned because in my next article we will ask the question, "Is all music evil?"
God reveals to you and me in Daniel Chapter 3, Satan can use music to influence or lure God's people away from worshiping God. Let's follow the lives of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, three young believers and champions for God. You will learn some valuable life lessons and be inspired to be a sold-out worshiper of God.
Read Daniel Chapter 3. King Nebuchadnezzar made a monster, gold image or idol representing his evil kingdom and all his accomplishments. It was a fake, false god. He commands everyone, everywhere to attend this huge worship celebration. The king orders that when everyone hears the sound of the music, they're to bow down and worship the statue representing the king and his kingdom. "When you hear the sound of the horn, flute, zither, lyre, harp, pipes, all kinds of music, you must fall down and worship the image of gold that King Nebuchadnezzar has set up. Whoever does not fall down will be thrown into the blazing furnace." (Daniel 3) Anyone who refuses will be fried up in the blazing furnace and die. The band plays and everyone falls down and bows to the statue. No one is standing except Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego. The king freaks out as they defied his command. He confronts the 3 champions and they tell the king they will never bow down to any other God but the God Of The Universe, Jehovah God Almighty.
Have you made that decision today or do you bow down before some other God? Maybe your God is astrology, drugs, alcohol, the occult, sex, a job, your music, something that you put before the Lord God.
The king gives them another chance and again the defy the king and are thrown into the blazing furnace. Miraculously, the Lord meets them in the furnace and rescues them. hen the king sees the miracle, he becomes a believer in their God. What an amazing and inspirational story of God's faithfulness to those who honor him with their lives. Are you honoring God with your life?
This is a favorite Bible story told in churches everywhere. But we miss something very important to Christian young people today. Music played a major role in this celebration. Follow me as I take you on a long journey in the next year and look at music in the Bible.
Do you know what the Bible says about music and it's purpose for existing? Do you ever wonder where music came from? Have you ever wondered why so much of today's music is full of evil content God hates? Have you ever considered what both God and Satan think about your music?
When God created the universe, music was present. God speaks to Job saying, "Where were you when i laid the foundations of the earth's foundations. On what were its footings set, or who laid its cornerstone while the morning stars sang together and all the angels shouted for joy?" (Job 38:4) Morning stars refers to angels. They were singing. it was good music. After God created the universe he said, "God saw all that he had made, and it was very good." (Gen. 1:31) There was nothing in the world that was evil. Everything was absolutely perfect and good, including music. It was pure and excellent in every way. I believe as God was creating the universe the angels were conducting a praise and worship service to God. Music was created originally by God, to bring glory, honor and praise to God.
What happened? How did music that was good become bad and corrupted? Tune in next month as we look deeper into how music became evil. Read Ezekiel 28 and Isaiah 14.
Part 1 I am beginning a new series of teachings based on my book: Kiss What? Exposing What God And Satan Think About Your Music And Worship. This series is lengthy and will be a great tool for personal or group bible study. Read Daniel Chapter 3. It is a wonderful story about three young Christian champions for God: Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego. Our study will revolve around their personal relationship with God. God has a plan for your life and your personal love relationship with him. “All things were created by God and for him.” (Col. 1:16 NIV) You were created by God, to experience a personal love relationship with him and be used by God for his purposes. That’s awesome.
What does God require of you? “He requires you to fear him, to live according to his will, to love and worship him with all your heart and soul, to obey the Lord’s commands and the laws I am giving you today for your own good.” (Duet. 10:12-13 NLT) God has a small problem. Too many young people (adults too), claim to be Christians, but they’re not really reflecting Christ to those around them. They blend in to fit in. Many compromise with how God wants them to live as taught in the Bible. They copy their friends, not Jesus. They’re involved in things God says aren’t right for Christians. Is that you? One area of compromise is in their music listening and entertainment viewing habits. Do you find pleasures in the things God says aren’t right for Christians, things God calls evil, wicked and ungodly? If so, you grieve the heart of God and can open yourself up to be influenced by demonic powers. Do you find pleasures in the things God says aren’t right for Christians, things God calls evil, wicked and ungodly? If so, you grieve the heart of God and can open yourself up to be influenced by demonic powers. You give the devil an opportunity to influence how you think and act, leading to sin and disobedience to God.
Once you’re saved, Satan takes his focus off keeping you from heaven and on to rendering you useless and effective for God. He’ll do all he can to lure you away from God, the things of God and abuse you to be a poor representation of Christ on earth. When you participate in what God calls evil, wicked and ungodly, its call sin and disobedience. It grieves the Holy Spirit of God. “Do not put out the Spirit’s fire. Avoid every kind of evil.” (1 Thess. 5:19-22 NIV)
Where are you in your love relationship with Jesus Christ today? Are you loving and following Jesus with all your heart? You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind, and all your strength.” (Mark 12:30 NLT) Does God have all your heart and every area of your life? Does God have your music? Do your music listening habits bring honor and glory to God? Does your music please God? Your music listening habits are on trial in this series. Regarding this area of your life, does God have all your heart and worship or does the devil have a piece, too? The Holy Spirit of God is the judge, not me. Let’s follow the three young champions for God and find answers to those questions.
Further scriptures for study: 1 John 2:6, Eph. 5:1, Rom. 6:23, 1 Tim. 6:17, 2 Peter 1:3, John 6:35
Are you following THE TEEN COMMANDMENTS? They will help you live the Christian life and become the person God has designed you to be.
1. OBEY YOUR PARENTS - "Obey your parents. This is the right thing to do because God has placed them in
authority over you. And this is the promise, that if you honor your father and mother, yours will be a long life,
full of blessings." (Eph. 6:1-3 LB) The only time you can disobey your parents is if they ask you to do
something you know is sin. Disobedience is rebellion and rebellion is sin.
2. CHOOSE YOUR FRIENDS CAREFULLY - "Do not be deceived and misled. Evil companionships corrupt and
deprave good manners, morals and character." (1 Cor. 15:33 AMP) You will become like those you hang
3. BE A MASTER OF YOUR HABITS OR THEY WILL MASTER YOU - "Since you have heard all about him
and have learned the truth that is in Jesus, throw off your old evil nature and your former way of life, which is
rotten through and through, full of lust and deception. Instead, there must be a spiritual renewal of your thoughts
and attitudes. You must display a new nature because you are a new person, created in god's likeness - righteous,
holy and true." (Eph. 4:21-24 NLT) Get rid of your old way of living and bad habits before you became a
Christian. Live a God-fashioned life and be a new person through the power of Christ. Be like Jesus!
4. TREASURE YOUR TIME - DON'T WASTE IT - INVEST IT WISELY - "Be careful how you live, not as fools
but as those who are wise. Make the most of every opportunity to do for doing good in these evil days." (Eph.
5:15-16 NLT) Time is precious. You can't get it back. Don't waste it on the foolish things of this world. make
your life count for Jesus!
5. TAKE A STAND FOR SOMETHING OR YOU'LL FALL FOR ANYTHING - "Stand firm and hold onto the
teachings we passed on to you." (1 Thess. 5:15 NIV) What teachings? The teachings of Jesus! "Do not let
anyone lead you astray." (1 John 3:7 NIV) Don't let anyone lure or seduce you away from Christ. Take a stand
6. ONLY DATE AND MAKE YOUR INITMATE CLOSE FRIENDS CHRISTIANS - "Don't team up with those
who are unbelievers." (2 Cor. 6:14 NLT)
7. SEE WHAT YOU CAN DO FOR OTHERS, NOT WHAT OTHERS CAN DO FOR YOU - "Nobody should
seek his own good, but the good of others." (1 Cor. 10:24 NIV)
8. GUARD YOUR THOUGHTS - WHAT YOU THINK... YOU ARE - "He will keep in perfect peace all those
who trust in Him, whose thoughts turn often to the Lord." (Isaiah 26:3 LB) "Fix your thoughts on what is good,
true and right. Think about things that are pure and lovely, and dwell on the fine, good things in others. Think
about all you can praise God for and be glad about it." (Phil. 4:8 NIV) Be God conscious and heavenly minded!
Include God in all your decision making.
9. DON'T FILL UP ON THE WORLD'S CRUMBS - FEED YOUR SOUL ON LIVING BREAD - Jesus said, "I
am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry and he who believes in me will never be
thirsty." (John 6:35 NIV) "A wise man feeds on truth, while a mocker feeds on trash." (Prov. 15:14 LB) All
truth, life and everything you need will be found only in Jesus! Trust Him for
everything you need.
10. GIVE YOUR ALL TO CHRIST - HE GAVE HIS ALL FOR YOU - "Whatever you do, do it all for the glory of
God." (1 Cor. 10:31 NIV) "And you must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your
mind and all your strength." (Mark 12:30 NLT) make your life all about Jesus!
It’s a New Year and new beginning at life for some. Perhaps, you know someone who also had a new beginning at living life because they were Born Again into the Kingdom of God. They became a baby Christian.
Now what? A baby needs some constant care and attention as they discover their new world. They eat mushy baby food and liquid formula to nourish their new bodies. A new Christian needs some constant care and nourishment, too. Who is going to take responsibility for this important and critical undertaking?
The church? Christian TV and radio? How about you? How can you help a new Christian grow?
The most important stage of life for the new baby Christian is immediately after they get saved. The Bible warns that the devil will come right in and try and snatch that good seed out of their heart. They will hear things like, “You really didn’t mean that prayer you prayed. God can’t love you. You’re not really saved. You don’t need to go to church or read a Bible.” The most critical time for a new believer is the first 48 hours of their Christian life. That’s where you can step right in and help them.
Here is a short list to help you care for a new Christian, especially if they’re your friend and classmate:
- New babies need love and care. Show the new believer unconditional love. Don’t try and clean them up. That’s the job of the Holy Spirit and it will take a lifetime. Loving young Christians gives evidence of your love for Jesus.
- New babies need food in small doses. New Christians don’t know how to eat spiritual food from the Bible. Make sure they have a Bible that is easy to understand like the NIV, NLT or LB version. Answer their questions. They need to grow in their knowledge of Jesus.
- Bring a new believer to your life group or home fellowship gatherings. Introduce them and then make them feel special and important because they are to God.
- New babies can seem helpless and unprotected from danger. You may need to lovingly guide a new believer away from attitudes, beliefs, lifestyles or even people that may threaten their walk with God. They aren’t spiritually strong and mature enough to protect themselves. Love, merciful and gentle in your approach.
- Invite them and bring them to church, Christian events, social gatherings involving your Christian friends.
- Make sure if you are rising up and training baby Christians, you are living like a Christian should as taught in the Bible. But remember, you’re not perfect. You’ll make mistakes. Let the new believer know how much you need God and rely on His grace every single day.
- Give them some easy to read new believer literature.
- Help them learn how to pray, how to simply talk to God through prayer and sit in His presence to listen for His still small voice leading and guiding them.
- Memorize simple key scriptures with them.
- Make sure they know you are always ready to help them, answer their questions and pray for or with them.
God wants to use you to help new Christians take their first baby steps. They can’t do it alone. You don’t need to be a Bible scholar. As you help them, you will learn, too. Step out in faith and help a new believer you know begin their journey to become all God has designed them to be as a follower of Christ!