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Welcome

THE EXHORTER

“And with many other words did he testify and exhort, saying, Save yourselves from this untoward generation.” Acts 2:40

The Palmer Road church of Christ, Westland, Mi.                                                  January 25, 2015

Jump Start # 1257

Psalms 13:6 "I will sing to the Lord, because He has dealt bountifully with me."

 

Our verse today is common in the book of Psalms. Singing joyfully to the Lord expresses appreciation, love and thankfulness. We have grown up with music. Over the weekend I was watching my wife, who is very gifted musically, singing to our 6 month old grand daughter. The little one has heard her grandma singing and singing these songs to her. She recognizes them and just explodes with a huge smile and kicking her legs. Our movies are filled with music. Every college and branch of the military has their own songs. Loyal fans get fired up when they hear their songs being played. Major companies have songs that are recognized in commercials. Peyton Manning hums the Nationwide Insurance song in one commercial. So many of us learned our ABC's, the books of the Bible and other fundamental things through songs.

All of this lead to a thought I had the other day about Adam. How did Adam know music? How did he know how to sing? We have lullabies, fight songs, pop songs, school songs, patriot songs, hymns and even those we designate as fitting weddings and funerals. Shows like American Idol and the Voice have promoted singing. It's hard to imagine a world without music. We have songs on our computers, Ipads, Iphones, car radios and in nearly every room of our homes. But for Adam, how did he know music? He didn't have a grandma singing him "Six little ducks," as my wife does with our granddaughter. Did the birds teach him how to make music? Did God sing to Adam? Is it something inherit in our DNA? Not sure if we can ever know the answer to those questions. It isn't too many pages after Adam that we read of singing in the Bible.

Our passage today show a connection to how we feel and how we express those feelings. The Psalmist realized that God had dealt bountifully with him. He understood that. God was in his life. God had blessed him. God had been a shelter and help to him. He was thankful. He was loved and He loved the Lord. His response was to sing. I will sing to the Lord, is what the passage says.

This tells us that God would hear the song. Why sing to the Lord if the Lord would never hear it? Not only would the Lord hear it, but it would be received as a "Thank you" card. When someone has gone out of their way for you, when you have received a gift, the right thing to do is to thank them. We remember the time when Jesus healed the ten lepers. Only one, a Samaritan, returned and thanked the Lord. Were the other nine not thankful? Did they think, "Great, now we're healed. We have to go home and go back to work." Absolutely not. They were blessed and glad to be blessed. They wanted mercy. They cried out for it. The Lord granted what they wanted. They simply never expressed it. Too often we can say to ourselves, "They know." Maybe. Still, we need to say it. Be thankful in all things is what the Thessalonians were told.

Our passage illustrates one of the ways a person expresses those heartfelt feelings. Sing. Sing to the Lord. Sing as worship. I've noticed something about singing. There seems to be two categories and most fall into one or the other. Some can sing. They understand singing and they like to sing. Others can't sing very well. They know that. They don't like others to hear them sing. In our house we have both categories well represented. My wife knows music and sings beautifully. I don't know music and I don't sing very well. Still, I sing. I sing because it's not what is coming from the mouth but what is coming from the heart that matters.

Do you have a favorite hymn? Do you have a hymn that takes you back to the day you were baptized or to a funeral of a parent or grandparent? Singing will do that. We don't remember prayers. We don't remember sermons. But songs stay with us. They get in our head and the next think you know, we are singing or humming that song all day long. Spiritual songs, especially, have a way of picking up our spirits. They have a way of bringing in sunshine on a dark and dreary mood. This is the value of music.

I have also seen that not every one can preach. Not everyone can teach. Not everyone can put the words together to make sense to others. Not everyone can write. Not everyone can draw. But just about all of us can sing, even those that can't carry a tune can sing. Singing is something that you don't have to have others around to do. Try preaching when there is no one else to hear you. Not very effective. It doesn't take books, special equipment to sing. Just get a song in your head and off you go. Little children can sing. Senior citizens can sing. There is something magical and special about singing.

So give it a try today. Get a good song in your head and heart. Sing to the Lord. You'll notice, your day turns out a bit better when you have been singing to the Lord. You'll notice things don't get under you skin quite as much when you are singing to the Lord. Others will see that you are cheerful today. They won't know why, but you do. While they are grumbling because it's a Monday and they are back to work after a holiday, you're bouncing around in a good mood. Why? You've been singing to the Lord. Something else will happen when you do this. You'll tend to be more thankful when you are singing to the Lord. Your eyes are opened wider to what the Lord has done for you.

Sing to the Lord...what a great way to tackle a day!

Roger Shouse

Just a note of reminder, we have monthly sings and potluck each month at a members home. Check the list on the board to find out where it will be each month. All are invited to come and join us as we sing to the Lord. (Joe)