Thursday, April 08, 2010

2010 – April 8 – The Joy of Singing

Study from God’s Word2nd Samuel 6: 12a; 1st Chron. 15: 1 – 10; 1st Chron. 15: 11 – 24; 2nd Sam. 6: 12b – 15 [1st Chron. 15: 25 – 28]; 2nd Sam. 6: 16 [1st Chron. 15: 29]; 2nd Sam. 6: 17 – 19 [1st Chron. 16: 1 – 3]; 1st Chron. 16: 4 – 6; 1st Chron. 16: 7 – 36 [Psalms 105 and 96] … Passage for Reflection: 1st Chronicles 15: 16 … NIV 16 David told the leaders of the Levites to appoint their brothers as singers to sing joyful songs, accompanied by musical instruments: lyres, harps and cymbals.

My Journal for Today: Today’s devotional message, led by Dr. F. LaGard Smith, from his book The Daily Bible Devotional rings with great truth, for me personally, but actually for all mankind I believe. Dr. Smith, by highlighting the passage about David’s command to the Levites in 1st Chronicles 15: 16 to sing joyful songs honoring the return of the Ark of the Covenant to the City of David, highlights an important gift God has given to mankind which needs to be used to glorify and to worship our God. And most certainly David did that, using his lyrical and musical gifts to create and write what we know of as most of the Psalms. And other of David’s songs are also chronicled in books like the books of the Chronicles and the books of Samuel.

I don’t know about you; but my life, especially my life as a Christian, would be sorely lacking if I could not sing or be sung to. Oh so often, when I come to this place – my quiet place in the morning – I listen to, or even sing along with, some wonderfully crafted praise/worship songs; and I’m especially touched or led into God’s presence by the melodies and the lyrics of these songs. When I feel down-and-out or exhausted to the point of being frayed, hearing or singing beautiful Christian music brings me peace or healing. Has that been the case for you?

Dr. Smith wrote something in today’s devotional that I hadn’t pondered or thought about all that much. He wrote, ”… have you ever considered that singing does not play a central role in some religions? Perhaps there is an inward-focused chanting, but not joyous, exuberant singing [like that found in today’s Christian churches and culture]. Why should that be unless these religions have not a story to tell [in music]?” And the creation of great music, with poignant/powerful lyrics, is greatly illustrated as integral to the worship of God by David, who wrote, sang, and performed a myriad of songs to and for God’s people so that they (and he) might have glorious and joyful times of worship for and with God.

God gave mankind a soul and the ability to sing; and we know, from God’s word, that God constantly has His angels singing in heaven before His throne. Now, we may have been created a little lower than the angels; but, as Dr. Smith points out, we were not created lower than the angels in the gift of singing or creating music. Oh, you may not be able to carry a tune in a bucket. The Pastor of our church is like that; but nobody I know of makes a more “joyful noise” and sings with more heart on Sunday mornings in our church than does my brother in Christ and my Pastor.

Singing can and does touch our soul; and when great Christian music is joined with poignant and truthful lyrics, as has been done over the century in some of the great hymns and more recently with contemporary praise/worship songs, we all can be lifted before God’s throne of grace by such music. And when we listen to or sing a great song of the faith, as I am doing as I type this on my computer here this morning, our hearts can worship God, especially when we surrender ourselves in the music and lyrics with God’s Spirit in our hearts. And here are the words of the chorus I’m hearing this morning … one of by favorites, and one which helps me go deep into my relationship with Christ >>>

Turn your eyes upon Jesus
Look full in His wonderful face.
And the things of earth will grow strangely dim
In the light of His glory and grace. [Selah]

I hope that music, which glorifies our God, helps you to go deeper and deeper in your relationship with our Savior and Lord as it does with me. He gave us the ability to sing – some better than others – so that this gift would bring us joy and a closer relationship with Him. Let’s sing it out for His glory!

My Prayer for Today: Lord, the songs of my love for You break forth from my heart so that I can know You more intimately and serve You with more joy. Amen

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