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There are really only two reasons that you would be reading this. One, you know
that God is good and will always provide for those who love Him, or two, you
accidentally hit the button for the next blog. Either way, welcome! As you
have probably guessed, I am in the first category with a love and faith for the
Lord that is a source of hope and strength through this crazy world!! My family
has been blessed in so many ways that sometimes I just want to shout it from the
rooftops. I am kind of afraid of heights so blogging in the next best thing!!

Monday, January 23, 2017

Music and Worship

One look in the Psalms, or on an internet site about scripture, and you are sure to see something about music and worship...or 42 if you are looking at openbible.info!  The way I see it, the more heartfelt music I hear in worship, the closer to God I feel.  That however, is just my opinion on the matter, and coming from a music education and church music major, I would be dismayed to feel differently.  This post is not about my opinion though.  The authors and scribes of the Bible have some things to say about it, so looking there would be a great place to start!
Let's look at Psalm 95:1 for our first clue.  This verse reads "Oh come, let us sing to the Lord; let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation!"  I would say this one is pretty cut and dry.  This Psalm is often labeled "An Invitation to Praise God."  The next verse goes a bit farther in saying "Let us come before his presence..."  Now, the Psalmist could be talking about the day we meet our Creator face to face, but I don't think that is what he meant about being in His presence.  I see this as spending time at, and in worship.  For the record, Psalm 100:1-2 says the same thing with "Come into His presence with singing."
The next verse to look at is Psalm 33:3.  This one is a little different in that it mentions making music skillfully.  I am one of those people who believe that Jesus loves us whether we can sing or not and I encourage others around me who may be too shy, or told they are not good at singing, to sing out in worship.  This verse is going in to a little more detail though.  As I understand it, this means to continue finding new things to be grateful for; new ways to thank God, and do it well.  If you are a singer or musician, you had better hone that gift by practicing.  If you can do it, don't go to God with less than your best!
In 1 Corinthians 14:26 we read this sage advice,"What then, brothers?  When you come together, each one has a hymn, a lesson, a revelation, a tongue, or an interpretation.  Let all things be done for building up." This verse is Paul talking to the church in Corinth and, in a nutshell, teaching them how to live and worship as the Kingdom of God.  I feel that he is urging them to share their gifts.  If God gives you the inspiration to write a praise song, write it and share it.  Don't keep that stuff to yourself.  If God gave you a talent for making music, do it and do it to the best of your ability. Just as he is saying that if you have the gift of tongues, you should surround yourself with someone to interperate so that all can enjoy.
If we look in the Old Testament, we can hear about God himself about music and worship.  Zephaniah 3:17 says that "The Lord thy God in the midst of thee is mighty; he will save, he will rejoice over thee with joy, he will rest in his love, he will joy over thee with singing."  Singing! This is where you should be able to hear the "mic drop" but I got another one for you that puts it as plain as day.
Psalm 92:1 wraps it all up.  "It is a good thing to give thanks unto the Lord, and to sing praises unto thy name, O most High."  This one has it all.  Singing, instrumentation, hyms, and psalms.  This Psalm is called "A Psalm or Song for the sabbath day."  Now you may be thinking, "But the sabbath day is on Saturday" and you would be correct.  However, in Acts we see numerous verses that tell us that Paul and the other followers of Christ met on the sabbath to pray and give praise, or for our purpose here, worship. 
As I stated right off the bat, I am a believer in the power of music to help facilitate worship.  I have spent my life singing praises while either leading worship, or being led to a closer encounter with God by the words or melody of a song.  I have given my best praise, and will continue to do so through music and now I can rest knowing that makes God, my Father, well pleased.