Look and Live: An Interview with Recording Artist Matt Papa

Look and Live: Behold the Soul-Thrilling, Sin-Destroying Glory of Christ (Bethany House, 2014)

Matt Papa

Look and Live | Matt Papa

A few years ago, Josh Olds caught up with author and recording artist Matt Papa to discuss the art of worship. In 2009, Matt’s album Your Kingdom Come charted #46 on the Billboard Top Christian Albums and #33 on the Top Heatseekers chart. Josh caught up with Matt to talk about Look and Live, a book on worship that he wrote to go along with the album of the same name.

Josh Olds: Matt, you say that human beings cannot not worship. What do you mean by that?

When you get angry, it's typically because what you worship is being threatened. - Matt PapaMatt Papa: All people are religious. We have a hunger, a craving. We have to deify something. We have to chase something, pursue something with reckless abandon. We never begin worship. We aim it.

And so we change fundamentally when we change what we worship. Any change that we make in our lives that are trying to be changes for the better that are not worship changes are going to be superficial. So we have to change what we worship. And we change what we worship, by understanding, beholding, gazing into the Gospel.

One of the things that CS Lewis did was that he made lots of incredible arguments for the truth of the Christian faith, but one of the more compelling ones he made was the argument from desire. Which, Lewis’s words “If I find in myself a desire which no experience in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that I was made for another world.”

The Book | Look and Live

Look and Live Matt PapaMatt Papa was a “professional Christian” in full-time ministry, ready and determined to change the world. All the while he was depressed, addicted to the approval of others, and enslaved to sin. But then everything changed. He encountered the glory of God.

All of us live in the tension between where we are and where we ought to be. We try our best to bully our desires into submission. And we all know, this is exhausting.

Are you tired? Stuck? Still fighting the same sin you’ve been fighting for years? The call in these pages is not to work or to strive, but to lift your eyes. You don’t need more willpower. You need a vision of greatness that sweeps you off your feet. You need to see glory.

Behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world.

Look and Live.

The Author | Matt Papa


Matt Papa is a songwriter, worship leader and author whose heart longs to see people from every corner of the world set ablaze by the love of God that is in Christ Jesus. It is his passion to lead people into an encounter with the risen Lord. His latest project “Church Songs” offers five new hymns co-written with Matt Boswell and Aaron Keyes.

Matt has ministered all over the world alongside gifted communicators such as David Platt, John Piper, Matt Chandler, Francis Chan, Rick Warren, Tim Keller, David Nasser and many more leading songs like “Come Behold The Wondrous Mystery,” “Christ The Sure and Steady Anchor,” and “His Mercy Is More.”

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