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"Singing the Word" 11/29/23

Dear Church,

The people of God are a singing people.

Consider the Psalms, an entire book of songs written to build up the people of God. 

The command to sing runs throughout the Psalms:

"Shout to God with loud songs of joy" Psalm 47:1

"Shout for joy to God, all the earth; sing the glory of his name" Psalm 66:1-2

"Sing aloud to God our strength; Shout for joy to the God of Jacob" Psalm 81:1

"I will sing of Your steadfast love forever!" Psalm 89:1

"O Come let us sing to the Lord; let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation" Psalm 95:1

"O sing to the Lord a new song" Psalm 96:1 and 98:1

These examples are only a sample, but they remind us that it is good to make music and praise God with our voices. We don't know what tune the Israelites sang when they composed these songs, but as Christians we know and worship the same God, the God of Israel. 

Maybe you don't feel like much of a singer, it's not about talent. Singing to God is about expressing praise and thanks to God OUT LOUD, because none of us keeps the things we love inside. Some of us express our love in quieter ways, but we all share about what we love. The Psalms give expression to the hopes and joys and sorrows of the people of God. These songs of faith look forward to the fulfillment of God's promises in Christ. They remind us of our wayward and rebellious ways and speak of God's mercy and justice, His steadfast love and sovereign power. These are things worth singing about. 

Listen to what the Apostle Paul wrote to the church in Colossae.

He said, Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God.

Colossians 3:16

I don't know if you've noticed this, but songs are easier to remember than sermons. There is something about music that hits a chord deep within us. The songs we listen to say a lot about us, they affect what we think and believe, they teach us for good or ill. This is why god-honoring songs are so vital, because they fill our minds with the truth and stir up our affections to give thanks to God rather than to love the world. Unfortunately, even "Christian" songs are not immune from the influence of the world. Some fall into the trap of emphasizing SELF rather than GOD, others focus on "how it sounds" and forget about this thing called "the truth". I'm not out to knock down the whole Christian music industry; I do want to encourage each of us to be discerning about what goes into our ears. According to Paul, the Church should have the "word of Christ" in us. Our songs should exalt God and speak His truth to us. In addition to that, Paul knows full well that a "thankful heart toward God" is a must. Singing the right words is meaningless if our hearts are hardened, unthankful, and full of ourselves.

 Part of growing as a Christian is learning to thank God always, to sing even while we suffer. 

With this Scripture in mind,

Do the songs you listen to exalt Christ? 

Are they focused on the word of God or on our thoughts and feelings?

Do the songs you sing lead you to greater thankfulness? 

What is the state of your heart?

Are you thankful in your heart when you sing to the Lord?

These are the things that matter. Keep them in mind and sing to the Lord with joy in the days ahead.

Grace & Peace,

Matt

...

Matthew Deneault


Pastor at Christ Community Fellowship

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