The SELF-Designated ‘Tripadvisor’

SCRIPTURE PASSAGE:  Jeremiah 10:23-24

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This next week, my wife and I our taking a trip to Lake Chelan, Washington to celebrate our 52nd wedding anniversary.  

We have never visited Lake Chelan, so this year, we decided to take the 4+ hour trip as an exciting romantic adventure.  And as always, when planning vacation trips, I appointed myself as the designated ‘trip advisor.’  

You know, the person who plans the car stops for photos, picnics, coffee breaks, hotels, lunches and dinner venues, etc.  Of course, I always inform my wife of my [our] plans, and mostly she agrees.

In my studying this week of the passage of Scripture, I came upon this joke a couple relating their vacation experiences to a friend:

“It sounds as if you had a great trip in Texas,”  he observed.  “But didn’t you tell me you were planning a trip to Colorado?”

“Well,: the husband said, “we changed our plans because, uh…”  His wife cut in, Oh, tell the truth, Fred!”

Fred was completely silent.  After a long pause, the wife continued,  “You know, it’s just ridiculous!  Fred simply will not ask for directions!”

I think my wife can show empathy with Fred’s wife.

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Proverbs 14:12 puts it another way:  “There is a way which seems right to a man and appears straight before him, BUT at the end of it is the way of death.”

This is so critically important to drink in, in our journey through life.  And at the age of 74, I  can tell you that it is a definite journey!

Mathew 7:13-14 also tells us of the broad way and a narrow way to take on the journey:

[13] “Enter through the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and spacious and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and many are those who are entering through it.”

[14] “But the gate is narrow and the way is straightened and compressed that leads away to life, and few are those who find it.” 

The BROAD WAY is in yourself–depending on your own efforts to direct your life. The way is considered “broad” because of man’s EGO makes room for it and many walk on this same road.

BUT the Bible tells us that man’s way leads to destruction because we have a disease called SIN.  Notice the middle letter in the word SIN is “I”.

SIN is a mighty opponent because it deceives and distorts our view of direction on the roadway of life.  It makes us think we know where we;re going when we are really LOST!

The Bible gives some great examples of men–Being the Self-designatedTripAdvisors.” while trying to find the way on their own:

Samson found he couldn’t out muscle SIN to find his way.  Solomon found he couldn’t outwit SIN to find his way.  Jonah found he couldn’t out run SIN to find his way.  David found he couldn’t out maneuver SIN to find his way and Saul of Tarsus found he couldn’t out pious SIN to find his way.

But here’s some GOOD NEWS for the Directionally Impaired, who are willing to acknowledge their need for direction concerning the way of life.

The psalmist says:  “He leads the humble in what is right,  and the humble He teaches His way”  (Psalm 25:19).

The prophet Jeremiah knew his condition of directional impairment as he prayerfully understood and acknowledged his need before the LORD and confessed.

JEREMIAH says in VERSE 23:  “O LORD, I know” – the Hebrew word is “yada”.

The same word is used in Jeremiah 1:5:  “Before I formed you in the womb I KNEW [and] approved of you…”  It’s deeper than intellectual knowledge–it’s a personal commitment and intimate experience, a UNION–it’s the same word used in Genesis 4:1: “And Adam knew Eve as his wife…”

JESUS speaks of a similar union in John 15:16 (NIV):  “You did not choose me, but I chose you to go and bear fruit–fruit that will last…”

The focus on FRUIT BEARING seems to me an important emphasis in Scripture.

Notice Jeremiah’s FEAR in VERSE 24:  “O LORD, correct, instruct, and chastise me, but with judgment and in just measure–not in Your anger, lest You diminish me and bring me to nothing.”

The FEAR displayed could be rendered fruitless as I meditated on the verse and thought about the impact on my own journey’s end.  Wouldn’t it be horrifying to come to the end of your life and finding you been on the wrong road–that your life had taken a wrong turn and you’re heading in the wrong direction, from God’s perspective?  Would you have the same look on your face demonstrated in this movie clip:  PLANES, TRAINS AND AUTOMOBILES?

Planes, Trains and Automobiles
Planes, Trains and Automobiles

Jeremiah understood without the LORD in and directing his life, that he could do nothing–that he would be brought to the end of his days with nothing to show from his union–that he would face a DEAD END SIGN and be fruitless.

dead-end-signJESUS also reminded His followers in John 15:5 (AMP):  “I AM the vine; you are the branches. Whoever lives in Me and I in him bears much (abundant) fruit. However, apart from Me [cut off from vital union with Me] you can do nothing.”

GIVE PRAISE TO GOD, that Jeremiah believed this truth and acted in FAITH upon it!

He recognized man’s need and acknowledged and understood a life of OBEDIENCE; to a way which was outside of himself or his life would be brought to nothing!

On a deeper level, SUBMISSIVENESS to God’s will mean I acknowledge I’m Directionally Impaired (a sinner) and I need the Lord’s CORRECTION with on-going direction in my life to be FRUIT PRODUCING.

The word “Correct” in VERSE 24 MEANS, “to set right, penalize, discipline, admonish, instruct (The New Roget’s Thesaurus In Dictionary Form) — “but with judgment” or “with justice.” — which implies that which is proper, fitting, measure to mold and shape your life to be a fruit producer.

To me it’s significant JEREMIAH, perhaps the most religious person of his day, asks the LORD first…for CORRECTION.

Upon realizing and understanding his condition, Jeremiah’s first request is  “O Lord, correct, instruct, and chastise me,” NOT correct the other person, NOT change the circumstance I’m in right now, BUT “Correct me, O Lord.”  

This is up close and personal.  Are you up close and personal with the Lord today? Or, are you just playing games; just going through the motions or living on past accomplishments?  I asked myself the same questions several years ago, so I know your answers.

Are you then willing to SUBMIT to the Lord’s chastening, discipline, instructions, and admonishment as He determines it to be proper and fitting, or…are you overriding His direction?

Global Positioning System (GPS) – For a few hundred dollars, you can purchase a device that allows the directionally impaired to cover up or hide their need to be shown the way.  Even when we have a GPS, we often override the directions from that annoying voice because… we think there’s a better way, ignoring the “recalculating” cry of the device getting you back on the right path.

So do you have God’s GPS device?  It’s called “Christ in you, the hope of Glory!”

If you do have Christ in you, are you submissive to His directions–His will?  Are you experiencing CONFIDENCE in the present and do you have PEACE for the future?

If not, the Lord says to you,  “Call to Me and I will answer you and show you great and mighty things, fenced in and hidden, which you do not know (do extinguish and recognize; have knowledge of and understand)”  [Jeremiah 33:3 AMP].

The wisest thing is to take ALL MATTERS to the LORD and ask Him to direct you.  

The Scripture says it best:

proverb-3

 


CREDITS –

PHOTOS:  Google Image Search.

Bible Translations:  New International Version (NIV); Amplified Bible (AMP), except where noted in the text.

Your Association to the Greatest Nation

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I was glued to my TV this Summer watching the 2016 Olympics in Rio De Janeiro. I couldn’t help form  rooting for and cheering on the athletes from the United States while listening to the chants “USA, USA, USA!”

121 medals were handed out to America’s athletes, more than any other country in the world!  The results seemed obvious: “WE ARE THE GREATEST”!

Those four words have been used and recognized by another athlete, whose slogan was “I AM THE the-greatest-coverGREATEST.”

In a recent Newsweek article, it was said that “Muhammad Ali was not only a boxing champion, he was a championship talker.”

The following are some quotations from Ali who died this year, at the age of 74:

  • “Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee.”
  • “It’s just a job.  Grass grows, birds fly, waves pound the sand.  I beat up people.”
  • “At home I am a nice guy but I don’t want the world to know.  Humble people, I’ve found, don’t get very far.”   [Footnote [i] ]

So are we really the “Greatest” nation, is your country the “Greatest,” or are we like Ali, just talkers?

WHAT’S IN A NATION? – SCRIPTURE READING –  Jeremiah 8:20:

“The harvest is past, the summer has ended, and we are not saved.”  (NIV Bible)

What NATION then, do you consider to be the greatest IN YOUR LIFE today?

You may say USA or Israel or even China.  Whatever your answer, I would say that you’re mistaken.  Why?  Because there are “nations” that have a much greater effect on our everyday lives.

ProcrastiNATION –

Dictionary.com defines the Noun as “the act or habit of procrastinating, or putting off or delaying, especially something requiring immediate attention.”procrastination-doitnow-570x350

This is dangerous ground!  How many victories have been lost…due to dangerous DELAYS.

I think it’s ironic that we wouldn’t think twice missing our own graduation, our wedding, a banquet in our honor, a meeting where we are to get a promotion. BUT so many keep questioning the idea of getting SAVED!

I’m not talking about a temporary thrill, one fleeting moment, or a highlight in life.  I’m talking about a CHANGE in our ETERNAL destination.

We are creatures of habit–whether for good or bad.  Too many times, our HABIT is to keep putting off things until it’s too late–leading to lost opportunities.

LOST OPPORTUNITIES in Scripture –

  • Hebrews 12:15-17 – Esau sought repentance too late!
  • Matthew 25:10 – The Foolish Virgins waited too late to acquire the oil!
  • Matthew 26:40-46 – The Disciples missed the prayer meeting in Gethsemane because of sleepiness and unconcern!
  • John 20:19, 24 – Thomas doubted all the more because he didn’t make it to the meeting to personally see the resurrected Christ.

Then there’s the story of, good ol’e Felix.  Felix is an example of one who procrastinated too long.  

Acts 24:25 (Amplified Bible):

But as he [Paul] continued to argue about uprightness, purity of life (the control of passions), and the judgment to come,  FELIX became alarmed and terrified and said, “Go away for the present; when I have a convenient opportunity, I will send for you.”

As far as we know, Felix never found that place of REPENTANCE, and most likely, resides in the pits of hell to this day because of one lost opportunity.

The next nation to look at, is ImagiNATION –

whyimaginationmatters_feature

I love the way the New American Standard and the King James Version of the Bible reads in 2 Corinthians 10:5: 

[5] “Casting down imaginations and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ.”

The English Standard Version (ESV) says, “lofty opinions” and the New English Translation (NET). “arrogant obstacles.”  In either caseI think you get the idea.

Our IMAGINATIONS can run wild at times, so much so, that some people lose touch with reality.

Mark 7:21 puts it this way:  For from within, [that is] out of the hearts of men, come base and wicked thoughts, sexual immorality, stealing, murder, adultery.”

The devil wants you to live in a make believe world where he can control you, causing you to believe things that are not always true.

Schools of higher learning in many nations are the centers for spiritual warfare: theory of evolution, secular humanism, existentialism, false religions that capture young men and women’s thoughts and imagiNATIONS.

And here’s another “nation” to think about: DetermiNATION –

Here is a “nation” we should all want to visit, the stand up and root for kind!

Life can throw us a lot of curve balls and a lot of hardballs.  I played a lot of organized baseball growing up, so I had to use the metaphor.

Sometimes, we just want to throw in the towel and give up when things get tough. We feel that it is too hard and we are too weak to carry on.

So many times over the years I have faced those “tough” times.  Most of my working years were spent in the construction industry.  When things were “booming”, employment was a surety.  When Union Strikes came into play…unemployment usually followed.

I remember the first year of marriage and my wife and I saying to each other,  “You know, I don’t understand why people say the first year of marriage can be so tough financially. We’ve got plenty!” Although at the time, I was working nights at a large grocery chain and didn’t have a clue that a “hardball” was about to hit me between the eyes.  Six months after the wedding ceremony and with a baby on the way, we found ourselves UNEMPLOYED.

In the 60’s, being unemployed meant standing in line to get your unemployment check every week.  I felt ashamed, embarrassed, disheartened, that I was in this situation.  The head of the household responsibility was almost more than I could handle.

But I was DETERMINED!

So many times it just requires hanging in there a little longer or trying just a little harder.  When I found myself without a job…finding employment became my new job!

Matthew 10:22 (MSG):

“…But don’t quit. Don’t cave in. It is all well worth it in the end.  It’s not success you are after in such times but survival.  Be survivors!”

Although the verse in Matthew pertains to the persecution for being a Christian, the principle still applies when life situations get tough.

James 1:12 (AMP):

[12] Blessed (happy, to be envied) is the man who is patient under trial and stands up under temptation, for when he has stood the test and been approved, he will receive [the victor’s] crown of life which God has promised to those who love Him.”

Many a WAR has been won due to the ties with this country.  We must be DETERMINED to make HEAVEN our home.

“IT’S A JUNGLE OUT THERE”   

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MONK (TV Series) was an American comedy-drama detective mystery television series that ran from 2002-2009.  It’s lead character, was an eponymous character by the name of Adrian Monk.  [ footnote [ii] ]

The theme song, “It’s A Jungle Out There,” I and my wife would sing along with every week.  It was written by Randy Newman and the lyrics started out with…

“It’s a jungle out there

Disorder and confusion everywhere

No one seems to care

WELL I DO…”

There are real enemies out there in the “jungle” that want to rob you of your SALVATION, but 90 percent of the battle is in that DETERMINATION!!

In my viewpoint, procrastiNATION, imagiNATION, and determiNATION, these three are the Greatest ‘NATIONS” that exist in our lives today.  Being able to deal with each of them will determine our Spiritual Victory.

 


Footnotes & Credits –

Footnote [i]:  “I am the greatest”: Muhammad Ali in his own words by Reuters on 6/4/16 at 10:31 AM.

Footnote [ii] :  MONK- Wikipedia.

PHOTOS:  Google Image Search.

Bible Translations:  Amplified Bible (AMP), except where noted in the text.

 

You Better Turn Your Radio On!

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I’m old enough to remember the “Good old days,” when the radio at our house was always on.  From listening to radio serials every night at specific times: Tom Mix, Captain Midnight, Gabriel Heatter and the News (my parents’ choice), just to mention a few.  And of course, there was the music.  I grew up listening to my parents love of music: Guy Lombardo on New Year’s Eve, Bing Crosby, Frank Sinatra, the Big Band sounds.

In my teenage years, the radio continued to influence my taste.  Although the styles had changed, my desire to listen had not: Rock & Roll, Folk music, Surfer music, Motown.  Whatever was popular in the music world, I had turned the radio on to listen where ever I was–in the car, at home, or at the beach.

And remembering how the RADIO effected my life growing up, coincidentally, I was watching a documentary on TV recently, regarding air traffic over our country today.  It pointed out in detail, that if there wasn’t an Emergency FREQUENCY (also known as GUARD) available to pilots and air traffic controllers, it would be a disaster waiting to happen.  By turning on the TRANSPONDER to 7700–locator frequency, the device automatically receives the radio signal.

GUARD is a frequency used on the aircraft band that is reserved for EMERGENCY communications for aircraft in distress or an emergency, and in addition used by air traffic control to warn aircraft flying into restricted or prohibited airspace.  The frequency is 121.5 MHz for civilian aircraft  [*See Footnote [i] ].

As Christians, we have access to the emergency frequency that responds to our concerns in PRAYER.  Being not tuned in may lead you into an unplanned nosedive in your circumstance–a crash landing, so to speak.

Turn Your RADIO on!

The prophet Jeremiah shows us that God gives incredible directions when we call upon Him.

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JEREMIAH 33:1-3 (Amplified Bible):

[1]  MOREOVER, THE word of the Lord came to Jeremiah the second time, while he was still shut up in the court of the guard, saying,

[2]  Thus says the Lord Who made [the earth], the Lord Who formed it to establish it–the Lord is His name:

[3]  Call to Me and I will answer you and show you great and mighty things, fenced in and hidden, which you do not know (do not distinguish and recognize, have knowledge of and understand).

Jeremiah wrote these words as a prisoner (v. 1).  So much wickedness in the land existed among the people and God said, destruction was on the horizon!

Neither Jeremiah nor the kingdom of Judah could stop the Babylonian army.  Yet God says to call Him, and He will answer and do incredible things.  It was His PROMISE in the middle of their trouble and despair.

The Bible is full with PROMISES of prayer:

Psalm 50:15 – “And call on Me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you, and you shall honor and glorify Me.”

Matthew 21:22 – “And whatever you ask for in prayer, having faith and [really] believing, you will receive.”

John 16:24 – “Up to this time you have not asked a [single] thing in My Name [as representing all that I AM]; but now ask and keep on asking and you will receive, so that your joy (gladness, delight) may be full and complete.”

So why have so many given up on asking in PRAYING?

“Oh, I haven’t really given up on prayer. I just don’t pray unless someone ask me to pray for them or somebody else.  You know, like at church.”

Just maybe, we need a better understanding on how we can use the emergency FREQUENCY on our radios before we give up on PRAYER.

If you don’t know how to dial in the FREQUENCY, nothing will happen!

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If you don’t push the POWER button on your car radio, nothing will happen!

Jeremiah 33:3 provides us with a KNEEBOARD (pilot’s accessory) synopsis of PRAYER:

Pilot's KNEEBOARD
Pilot’s KNEEBOARD
  • CALL to Him.
  • He will answer
  • He will tell us of things we do not know.

“CALL” to the Lord sounds easy enough.

The Hebrew root word for “CALL” means to call out after you encounter someone.  Vine’s Complete Expository Dictionary of Old and New Testament Words says,  “Calling” in this sense constitutes a PRAYER prompted by recognize need and directed to One who is able and willing to respond (Psalm 145:18; Isaiah 55:6).”

When using 121.5 MHz on the radio,the pilot is expected to state the nature of the problem.  The pilot will also be asked if he wants to declare an emergency.  The declaration ranges from stating you have a “problem”, not to serious, to “mayday-mayday-mayday”, life threatening.

The Lord wants us to CALL, regardless of how serious the need.

  • When lacking something–CALL on Jehovah-Jireh; the LORD provides (Gen. 22:13).
  • When hurting–CALL on Jehovah-Rapha; the LORD our healer (Exodus 15:26).
  • When in the valley of the shadow of death–CALL on Jehovah-Rohi; the LORD is our Shepherd (Psalm 23:1).
  • When troubled or distressed–CALL on Jehovah-Shalom; the LORD is peace (Judges 6:24).

Did you know, Jesus’ disciples never asked Him to teach them to SING, to PREACH, or how to WITNESS.  Rather, they asked Him:  “Lord, teach us to PRAY” (Luke 11:1).

When we CALL, we must be sincere in our requests–not as hypocrites.  We can’t pray “Hallowed be Thy Name”–then cuss at our neighbor.

Nor can we say piously, “Thy will be done”–then continue to live as we please.

“Give us daily bread”–cannot be followed by hoarding & selfish gain.

“Forgive our sins”–will not work if we then carry grudges to bed at night.

The hypocrite prays “Lead us not into temptation”–but not until the party is over.

Don’t CALL on God’s EMERGENCY frequency on your radio UNLESS…you EXPECT an answer!

Let me give you an ILLUSTRATION:

A tavern owner was being built in a previously dry town (No alcohol here!).  Christians began an all-night prayer vigil, asking God to intervene.  A bolt of lightning suddenly struck the tavern, burning it to the ground.  The owner of the Bar sued the local church for destruction of his establishment.  So, the church lawyered up and claimed they were not responsible.  The judge said, “It appears the tavern owner believes in prayer & Christians do not.”

Praying with EXPECTATION–God does indeed “ANSWER” Prayer.

Could it possibly be, that when we think that God doesn’t answer OUR prayers, we aren’t praying with EXPECTATION?

How often I’ve heard when people pray, “If it be your will. God.”  Do we sometimes need an escape clause when we our praying, especially in group prayer, perhaps covering our EXPECTATION that God probably won’t answer?  At least, with an answer that meets our expectation.

psalm-4-11

Yet, what we ask for is often not as reasonable as we think.

A young school boy was saying his nightly prayer:  “Please make Lynden (where I reside) the capital of Washington State.”

His mother asked,  “Why did you ask for that?”

The boy replied,  “Because that’s what I put down on my test today at school.”

When we ask & then don’t receive, perhaps we’ve asked with the wrong motives.  Proverbs 15:29 (AMP):

“The Lord is far from the wicked, but He hears the prayer of the [consistently] righteous (the upright, in right standing with Him).”

There is faulty logic to conclude when the Lord hears our prayers that it means He will answer to OUR EXPECTATIONS!  We don’t make request, petitions, because we are righteous. but because of the Lord’s MERCY!!

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We can be assured that GOD answers EVERY PRAYER in a merciful manner.

ANSWERS can come in 4-Ways:  No, Slow, Grow, Go.

Say your daughter asks you if she can have some CANDY.  You might say “No” because there’s a reason for not giving her the candy.

I have two daughters that contracted Type I, Diabetes when they were quite young. Many times when other children were receiving candy, they would ask my wife and I for just one piece, not knowing the consequences of their requests.

A “Slow” may be the response if you say, just “one piece.”  A “Grow” answer is allowing a piece of candy AFTER she cleans her bedroom.  The “Go” reply means help yourself, you’re READY to eat the candy!

Greedy girl with pile of sweets laying on the table and with troubled expression on the face
Greedy girl with pile of sweets laying on the table and with troubled expression on the face

In the Gospel of John, Jesus’ tells us,  “Ask and keep on asking and you will receive, so that your JOY (gladness, delight) may be full and complete”  

JOY then, can come when we see God’s hand in the ANSWER; when we realize how breathtaking His ANSWER really is!

And not only will God “ANSWER” us, He will answer us of the things we do not know or can imagine (Jeremiah 33:3).

Philip, a disciple, asked Jesus if 8 months wages (about $40) would feed 5000 folks (Mark 6:37).  The only answer the disciples saw was 3 barley loaves and 2 small fish.  Then Jesus showed them a great and unsearchable thing:  5,000 were fed!

In 1973, a young couple accepted Christ as their Savior a year earlier when they were confronted with a dilemma presented by their pastor’s message one Sunday morning:  “To Tithe or Not to Tithe”.  With three children, a car payment, a mortgage, and barely getting by financially, there was no way they could take 10% out of the budget and give it to the Lord.  “PRAY about it,” they were told.  “How do we do that?” the husband asked.  “Just simply ask the LORD for help in making the decision, then trust Him in His answer.”  Well, the decision was made, or so they thought.  “We just can do this right now.”  But several months later, a “spiritual light bulb” came on.  “We can do this!”  And with their faithfulness and trust, they’ve been BLESSED ever since with “things they did not know or could imagine.”  

That young family was my family, over 43 years ago, and God is still answering our PRAYERS!

The Lord can answer in bigger and better ways than you can pray.  But, you need to turn your radio to the EMERGENCY frequency in times of spiritual failure.

If you need direction and purpose in your life–He will answer you.  After all, Jesus says “I came that they [you] may have and enjoy life, and have it in abundance to the full, till it overflows”  (John 10:10 AMP).

If you’re feeling more burdens than you can bear–let Him tell you the answer.  Our awesome, omnipotent, loving God will ANSWER Prayers, if you CALL!

 


Credit & Sources –

Footnote [1]:  Wikipedia – Aircraft emergency frequency.

Commentary:  Sermon Notes on Jeremiah 33:3 by Tom Doubt. Baptist/Minister.

Photo Credits:  Photo Pin/Shutterstock; Google Image Search.

Bible Translations:  Amplified Bible (AMP); King James Bible (KJV).

“Poor Johnny One-Note”

Singing Church

SINGING has been a part of my make-up since I was a young boy in elementary school choirs, back in the early *#’s (never mind).  I’ve been involved in music, of some sort, ever since: Church Praise Teams, Adult Choirs, Musical Ensembles, a men’s gospel trio, etc.  However today, I find myself SINGING–but in a different way.  Not as an “up-fronter”,  but accepting my role by raising my voice as a congregational singer on Sunday mornings.

But has congregational singing become just a “filler” until the pastor begins his message?  Or is there more to it than that?

“But I can’t sing!”

Most reading this blog probably never heard the song, “Poor Johnny One Note”.  Originally, it was a 1937 show tune from 1937 Rodgers and Hart musical, Babe in Arms.  You can listen to the tune by several different artists on YouTube–everyone from Carol Burnett to Barbra Streisand.  The most notable recordings were by Ella Fitzgerald and Judy Garland.  The lyrics went something like this:

Johnny could only sing one note

And the note he sang was this:

Ah!

Poor Johnny one-note sang out with “gusto”

And just overloaded the place.

A few years ago, I was attending a small church in a nearby community.  Every Sunday morning, during Praise and Worship singing, a young man (I’ll just call him “Johnny”), sang out with “gusto”, and it was but one note–and believe me, it wasn’t “Ah!”  

Now maybe you are reading this and thinking, I can identify with Johnny.  I sing terribly, and you’re not going to get me to sing.”

So, why do we sing at all, especially in a group atmosphere at church?  “What if I can’t carry a tune in a wet paper sack and sing like “Poor Johnny one-note”?”

Did you know that SINGING isn’t an option in the Bible?  It’S A COMMAND!

colossians-3_16

God’s people are more than just invited to SING–we are commanded to sing. And when we SING, we’re doing what God asks.

One of my hobbies, is GARDENING.  Every year, as I prepare the garden beds for planting, the deeper I dig in the soil, the deeper the plant’s roots will grow and flourish.

When we SING, the same efforts apply as you dig deep roots in the Word.

Colossians 3:16 (MSG):

Let the WORD of Christ–the Message–have the run of the house. Give it plenty of room in your lives. Instruct and direct one another using common sense. And sing, sing your hearts out to God.

The Apostle Paul lays out this encouragement; to let God’s WORD dwell in us richly, and then he tells us to live out that command.

The FIRST of course, is TEACHING. But the SECOND, is SINGING.

SINGING is one of the ways that the Word of God, richly living on the inside of us, can be released.

God’s command for us to sing comes with a PROMISE–we are promised that the Word of Christ will dwell inside of us–which is what we should crave as believers.

C. J. Mahoney calls church singing “Take Home Theology,” because the best songs we sing together end up serving you with a 3 minute, easily memorable, deeply biblical summary of important truths found in Scripture.  At least they should be!

Here’s what I’m getting at in example:

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There, in a memorable form, you’ve got a thorough theology of the Cross of Jesus with clear and practical applications that you can use for your life this week.

And when we SING, we build up others around us.

Ephesians 5:19 (NIV):

[19]  Speak to one another with psalms, hymns and spiritual songs…

In obedience to SING out, doing what the Bible says about singing together as a church family, we are hearing confessions of FAITH all around us.  We are hearing hundreds joining in with song, saying “In Christ alone, my HOPE is found…”

Also, try to remember as you SING, you are helping unbelievers.  In Psalm 105:1-2, the Lord is calling the Israelites to be a LIGHT to the nations, and to do this He tells them (us too!)…

[1]  O GIVE thanks unto the Lord, call upon His name, make known His doings among the peoples!

[2]  SING to Him, sing praises to Him; meditate on and talk of all His marvelous deeds and devoutly praise them.

I once attended a church where the senior pastor would stand up on the platform with the Praise Team, and begin singing the words to a Psalm.  The singers and instruments would follow his lead and God’s Spirit was felt among all the attendees.  Maybe today’s Worship and Song leaders need to try this on Sunday mornings in lieu of the favorite spiritual songs of Praise Radio–“Sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs…”

Think of the impact on someone who doesn’t know Jesus, hearing hundreds giving testimony with confessions of FAITH while singing together.

When you SING, you are SPIRITUALLY STRENGTHENED for trials.

I love singing a favorite recording on the car’s CD player on the way to church every week.  For one, it clears the ‘cobwebs’ from my throat, strengthening my voice, and at the same time, it gives me an attitude of JOY!

Often times, we think only of singing when we’re happy and when times are good. But SINGING bringing strength for trials we’re going through, comes really out in the bible in the Book of Acts.

Paul and Silas are unjustly beaten and imprisoned for the sake of the Gospel.  I don’t know about you, but if I was in their sandals, I would be moaning, complaining about how unfair and mistreated I was.  Look at what they did.

Acts 16:25 (AMP):

[25]  But about midnight, as Paul and Silas were praying and SINGING hymns of praise to God, and the [other] prisoners were listening to them.

SINGING strengthens you and helps you persevere when facing trials.

When you SING, a God-designed path of JOY opens up before you.

Here are but a few examples I found in the Psalms concerning our SINGING.

  • PSALMS 5:11:  “Let all those who take refuge and put their trust in You rejoice; let them ever sing and shout for joy, because You make a covering over them and defend them; let those also who love Your name be joyful in You and be in high spirits.”
  • PSALM 9:2:  “I will rejoice in You and be in high spirits; I will sing praise to Your name, O Most High!”
  • PSALM 51:14:  Deliver me from bloodguiltiness and death, O God, the God of my salvation, and my tongue shall sing aloud of Your righteousness.”
  • PSALM 59:16:  “But I will sing of Your mighty strength and power; yes, I will sing aloud of Your mercy and loving kindness in the morning; for You have been to me a defense and a refuge in the day of my distress.”

I love Donnie McClurkin’s song and lyrics to I Will Sing.  It’s been in our car CD player of late as we drive to church on Sunday mornings.  It really fits with Psalm 59:16.

Sing His praises in the morning

Brand new mercy every dawning

Melody, harmony

I WILL SING!

If you are still not convinced about your singing on Sunday mornings, or anywhere else, for that matter, here’s a Scriptural clincher:

“If anyone among you afflicted (ill-treated, suffering evil)? He should pray.  Is anyone glad at heart?  He should SING PRAISE to God”  (James 5:13 AMP).

While studying Scripture on this point, I noticed that sometimes JOY (“glad at heart”) gives birth to SINGING.

But persistently in the Bible, JOY & SINGING are bound together.  You can’t study one of those two biblical themes without running into the other.

When you SING, you glorify God.

Vine’s Complete Expository Dictionary of Old and New Testament Words, defines “GLORIFY”,  “to magnify, extol, praise; ascribing honor to Him, acknowledging Him as to Him being, attributes and acts.”

Each believer’s chief goal and chief purpose in life, should be to GLORIFY GOD! No pretending in this folks.  No excuses!  In our obedience, deep roots in the Word, building up others, making war against Satan and sin, persevering, ALL OF THESE THINGS in bring GLORY to His name.

In Revelation 7:9-10, the Apostle John describes a glimpse of eternity with a great multitude of people from every tribe, peoples, and languages SINGING before the Lamb.

“Our salvation is due to our God Who is seated on the throne, and to the Lamb!”

Eternity waits.

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Will you on that day be one of the great multitude singing the song of the Lamb and singing His praises?

SINGING matters.  Even for “Johnny one-notes”.  And it matters that we do it together.

 


 CREDITS and BLOG SOURCES:

Credit to: unlockingthebible.org. – Seven Biblical Reasons Why Singing Matters.

Bible translations:  Amplified Bible (AMP), except where noted.

 Photo Credits:  Google Image search.