Mean What You Sing

Nothing touches the human heart deeper than music. This is never more true than when a group of Christians sings heartily unto their Lord. Many a cold heart on skid row has melted as the strains of some old hymn lingered in the steamy streets and sleazy alleys surrounding a gospel mission. When congregations sing the praises of the King, even the demonic hosts stand at attention. “The powers of darkness fear when this sweet chant they hear, May Jesus Christ be praised!”
Such moving melodies hold out a warm welcome to strangers, comfort to the broken, refreshment to the lonely, and affirmation to the discouraged. Great music from God’s people instructs and reproves, blesses and relieves.

Who hasn’t nodded in agreement while singing, “Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it, Prone to leave the God I love”? Who hasn’t stood taller or felt more confident after all the stanzas of “And Can It Be?” or “Am I a Soldier of the Cross?” or “A Mighty Fortress Is Our God”? And who hasn’t found himself lost in wonder, love, and praise while declaring “My Hope Is in the Lord”? Or received fresh strength from “It Is Well with My Soul”?

Charles Wesley, perhaps the most prolific hymnist of all time, realized the value of corporate singing as he wrote “Oh, for a thousand tongues to sing my great Redeemer’s praise.” There is nothing to compare to that sound. Nothing.

But have you noticed the fly in our melodic ointment? It is not a lack of beauty or harmony, nor is it insufficient volume or intensity. It is, plain and simple, the presence of words with an absence of meaning. We sing well, but we fail to heed the message hidden behind the bars.

Stop and think. There’s a line in “Take My Life and Let It Be” that always makes me pause as the words stick in my throat: “Take my silver and my gold, not a mite would I withhold.” Imagine! Not even “a mite”! We all sing that with such ease, yet I have known few who wouldn’t withhold something. Including me.

And how about this one?

Have Thine own way, Lord! Have Thine own way!
Thou art the Potter, I am the clay.
Mold me and make me after Thy will
While I am waiting, yielded and still.

Really? Truly yielded? Genuinely still? Absolutely willing to be molded and made after His will?

Last Sunday after the service our congregation sang “I Give All My Witness to You” . . . and then we left. We all got into our cars, drove away, and most of us have not seen one another since. What’s been happening? Has He had our witness? Have the days that passed been that much different than two weeks earlier? A month? Those thoughts haunt me.

Think of each song or hymn as a promise to God, a binding statement of your commitment. Picture the results of this commitment as you sing it with gusto. Then, after the song has ended, apply it with the same gusto.

God not only loves a cheerful giver, He honors a sincere singer.

Excerpted from Charles R. Swindoll, “Mean What You Sing,” in The Finishing Touch: Becoming God’s Masterpiece (Dallas: Word Publishing, 1994), 486–87. Copyright © 1994 by Charles R. Swindoll, Inc. All rights reserved worldwide.

Posted in Worship.

Accuracy, clarity, and practicality all describe the Bible-teaching ministry of Charles R. Swindoll. Chuck is the chairman of the board at Insight for Living and the chancellor of Dallas Theological Seminary. Chuck also serves as the senior pastor of Stonebriar Community Church in Frisco, Texas, where he is able to do what he loves most—teach the Bible to willing hearts. His focus on practical Bible application has been heard on the Insight for Living radio broadcast since 1979.

ఖచ్చితత్వం, స్పష్టత మరియు ఆచరణాత్మకత అన్నీ చార్లెస్ ఆర్. స్విన్డాల్ యొక్క బైబిల్-బోధనా పరిచర్యను వివరిస్తాయి. చక్ ఇన్సైట్ ఫర్ లివింగ్ కు బోర్డు ఛైర్మన్ మరియు డల్లాస్ థియోలాజికల్ సెమినరీకి ఛాన్సలర్. చక్ టెక్సాస్‌లోని ఫ్రిస్కోలోని స్టోన్‌బ్రయర్ కమ్యూనిటీ చర్చ్ యొక్క సీనియర్ పాస్టర్‌గా కూడా పనిచేస్తున్నారు, అక్కడ ఆయన చాలా ఇష్టపడేదాన్ని చేయగలుగుతున్నాడు-ఇష్టపడే హృదయాలకు బైబిల్ నేర్పిస్తున్నారు. ఆచరణాత్మక బైబిల్ అనువర్తనంపై ఆయన దృష్టి 1979 నుండి ఇన్సైట్ ఫర్ లివింగ్ రేడియో ప్రసారంలో వినబడుచున్నది.