Thursday, January 14, 2010

Singing Psalms and Hymns and Spiritual Songs


“Singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs” (Col. 3:16)

This week I’ve tried to focus on the importance of the cross in the music we sing corporately but also listen to individually. The reality is our styles and preferences will be different depending on background and taste but I thing must remain constant for the believer and that is the truth. Music can be used to edify the soul. Music can stir our affections which can be a good thing but may also be a dangerous and destructive thing. As Christians may we remind ourselves of the gospel by “singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs.”

In our day and age music is everywhere. Most people have multiple iPods, cell phones with music, computers or they hear music on TV commercials, radio, sporting events and on and on it goes. My concern is not in the fact that music is everywhere but rather what is coming out of the speakers. Messages about drugs, sex, money, murder and so on fill our minds. Many times, as Christians, these messages have an effect on our lives when we drop our guard of biblical truth. We must beware not to get sucked into the message the world is offering. “Do not love the world or the things in the world” (1 John 2:15). The gods of this world are being sung to us many times with beautiful melodies so we must not be deceived by the beauty but focus in on the message. Many times that is the point in the music market: The better the music the more people will listen to our message. But many times the message ought to appall us as Christians. Sadly this is not the case. We must “not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind” (Rom. 12:2) which comes through studying the Scriptures but can also come through “singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs.”

Now before the thought arises about me being a legalist let me just say secular music does not always present a dangerous message. My statement above referenced the majority of the music in the secular market. “Christian” or “Secular” all boils down to worship. Any artist will admit that they sing real, honest messages about life and most of the time about their life. They sing about what they love. I believe the Bible addresses that very topic: “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also” (Matt. 6:21). Jesus is clear that we will treasure what is in our hearts. Also in the Proverbs we read, “As in water face reflects face, so the heart of man reflects man” (Prov. 27:19). The way we live our lives reflects our heart. Musicians get to express their hearts in a different manner than most. They have a platform to stand on and tell people their message. Therefore we get to hear about what people worship. We, as listeners, have a responsibility to discern whether we need to be fed the message or turn away from the message. Our turning away ought to be to a position of prayer for the lost. Many people buy the message and therefore choose the worlds fleeting pleasure rather than the pleasure of knowing Christ.

Christian, let’s remind ourselves that we have the greatest treasure in Jesus Christ. I encourage you to fill your mind with the message of the gospel. Music is one avenue God has given us to renew our minds. Music is a powerful way for communication so use it as a powerful way to promote the cross to your own soul. Maybe the secular message isn’t bad but is it the gospel? Maybe it has a positive message but isn’t it better to be reminded of the cross? I love music so maybe I’m harping on this a little too much but Scripture reminds us as well in Colossians 3 to “let the word of Christ dwell in you richly…singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs.”

Grace upon grace,
JRL
I'd also like to wish my wonderful older sister a Happy Birthday today! Happy Birthday Krista, Love you.

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