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
- Published on Monday, 15 October 2012 11:42
- Written by Nick Costello
Have you ever made the decision like I have when I was younger, to give into peer pressure when someone puts pressure on you to do something you know is wrong for you as a follower of Jesus? Just because someone or everyone is doing something, doesn't make it right for a Christian. God warns, "Do not follow the crowd in doing wrong." (Exodus 23:2)
We have been following in Daniel 3, the lives of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego who were sold-out champion worshipers of God. They faced serious pressure to bow down and worship King Nebuchaddnezzar's 90 foot tall, gold fake idol when they heard the sound of the music. Everyone bowed down but these guys. They didn't follow the crowd and do wrong by worshiping another God. They refused, knowing it meant certain death in the blazing furnace.
Music was used to capture the hearts of the people and prepare them to bow down and worship the idol statue. All the Christians in the crowd bowed down and broke the first commandment of God, "Do not worship any other gods besides me. You must never bow down to them, for I, the Lord your God am a jealous God who will not share your affections with any other God." (Exodus 20:3) Anyone or any thing you worship other than the one true Jehovah God of the Universe is to disobey God. It's called SIN. An idol can be anything you love more than God or anything God asks you to surrender to Him and you can't. It could be a job, sports, hobbies and... even MUSIC! Is your music your God? If you can't give ungodly music up for God, it could be an idol.
Why don't believers resist peer pressure? Fear! When you take a stand for God, perhaps you won't have to fear death, but maybe rejection, verbal or physical abuse, being ignored, never getting invited to a party, sitting alone in the lunchroom or loss of so-called friends, maybe even Christian friends. You'll suffer for doing what's right in God's sight but God has a blessing in store for you. "But eve if you suffer for doing what is right, God will reward you for it. So don't be afraid and don't worry. Instead, you must worship Christ as Lord of your life." (1 Peter 3:14-15)
When you give into peer pressure, you give someone else power over your life. You can become their personal puppet on a string. They can pull the strings of your life controlling what you do. You give them permission to control your thinking, decision making and behavior. Some people even stop thinking for themselves. Do you want to be someone's puppet on a string and let them lead you in the wrong direction and even towards sinning? That's not what a good friend is all about.
Search your heart right now. Are you giving into peer pressure to do something you know God says isn't right for you? Do you say NO when asked to go to an R-rated movie, drinking, doing drugs, lying, stealing, cheating, bad attitudes, watching TV programs full of ungodly themes and messages, full of profanity, sex scenes and more things God hates? How about your music? Can you stop listening to the same ungodly music your lost friends or even Christian friends listen to in order to honor God?
Whatever it is, if you fear what your friends may think, say or do if you turn from it and say No, more than than fearing what God thinks, you need to change your thinking. If you say you love Jesus, you need to trust Him to give you the grace you need to live an uncompromising, obedient walk with Jesus. It's a fear that says, "God, above anyone or anything else, I give you the reverence, honor, respect and affection you rightly deserve. I am in awe of you, I love you, you are all-powerful, holy, almighty and awesome."
Is it more important for you to honor and obey God or compromise? Can you trash your ungodly music even if your friends make fun of you because what God thinks means more to you than anything else in your own little world? Can you say, "I won't do it," to something everyone else is doing you know grieves the heart of God?
- Published on Monday, 18 June 2012 16:33
- Written by Nick Costello
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.
- Published on Tuesday, 08 May 2012 09:25
- Written by Nick Costello
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?"