Friday, September 30, 2016

The Song of Saints—part 2


The Song of Saints—part 2

            Christians should take account of the second command in Psalm 149:1, “Sing unto the LORD a new song”  I will not go deeply into Old and New Testament  meaning of chadash (2319) and kainos (2537)  but may it suffice to assert that “new song” as used in the Bible connotes more than something new in relationship to time.  It means a song of a new or renovated character.  It is a song of a higher character than the song of the old man and his or her old life.

            The new song mentioned in Psalm 194:1 is a song that praises God rather than man.  It is a song about the new life that YHVH gives to those who love and serve Him.  In Psalm149:1 it is the song of saints (chaciyd 2623). I is the song of the upright, godly, good and holy me and women.  In Revelation 5: 8&9 it is the song of saints (hagios 40).  In other words, this new song is the musical offering of the pure or morally blameless.  With these understandings of new song, we can understand why the AV translators used the word saints in both the Old and New Testaments.  from the time of the ancient Levite musicians, God has used men who were righteous as we learn in Malachi 3:3, “And he shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver: and he shall purify the sons of Levi, and purge them as gold and silver, that they may offer unto the LORD an offering in righteousness.”

Song for the Day--Glorify Thy Name by  Donna Adkins

Prayer for the Day

Father, I love You, I worship and adore You.  I am thanking You for Your grace that has made me one of Your dear children.  I am praying that You will help me to music into You and unto your saints.  Please help me to so live that I may be able to offer unto the LORD an offering in righteousness.  Please help me to guard my heart so that I may sincerely offer you musical offerings that You will accept.  This I am asking in Your powerful name.  Amen




Thursday, September 29, 2016

The Song of Saints—part 1


The Song of Saints—part 1

Ps 149:1, “Praise ye the LORD. Sing unto the LORD a new song, and his praise in the congregation of saints.”

              At the risk of trying to rehash a much used phrase from the Bible, I am going to add my two cents to the phrase “Praise ye the LORD” from the next to last psalm in the Book of Praises or Sepher Tehilliam.  I think that this subject bears repeating since we are directly instructed to sing unto YAH (3050) the Lord most vehement.  Once in a while Christian musicians need to take account of who they music unto in and out of church.
             We know from Ephesians 5:19 that we are to sing to one another and unto the Lord at the same time. Verse one quoted above also teaches us that His praise is to be proclaimed “in the congregation of saints.”  As I have often said to my classes the ultimate goal of all sacred musicing is a response to God through our lavishing praise upon His wonderful name since He and He alone is the object of our musical worship.  Therefore, we must be sure that we are bringing a musical offering to God rather than merely hocking our musical wares to an audience.


Wednesday, September 28, 2016

They Musiced Distinctly---part 3


They Musiced Distinctly---part 3

            Although the meaning and understanding of religious texts are often lost in the musical trappings that surround our religious musicing, causing worshipers and seekers to understand the good news of the Gospel should be the prima fascia case for our sacred musicing.  As we should remember as Christian musicians, the musical arts are not the doorway to the God’s kingdom.  However, we are instructed very clearly in Ps 100:2 to “come before his presence with singing.” As Dr. Watts put it, "Let those refuse to sing who never knew our God; But children of the heavenly king must speak his praise abroad."  One of the most effective ways of “speaking His praise” has been, over many centuries sacred musicing.

Song for the Day—We’re Marching to Zion by Isaac Watts

Prayer for the Day

LORD, I want to thank You for your Word.  I also want to thank You for creating music so that we are able to speak Your praise abroad by musicing the food news of the Gospel. 

Also. Like the ancient Levite musicians, please allow me to cause the people to understand as the Holy Spirit anoints my musicing unto You.  This I am asking in Your wonderful and worthy name.  Amen.

Thought for the Day

It is the message of our sacred musicing not that is most important but the music part of our musicing is also very important because style reflects on the hearer’s pinion of the message of our lord and Savior Jesus Christ.


Tuesday, September 27, 2016

They Musiced Distinctly---part 2


They Musiced Distinctly---part 2

            So, when one applies current scholarship that all OT Scripture was musically notated with the te’amim above and below the text to our Western understanding of this passage in the eighth chapter of Nehemiah, one can deduce that it probably was the intoning of the Scripture that “caused the people to understand the law”. 

            The AV clearly states that “they read in the book in the law of God distinctly”.  This distinctness no doubt was made possible by the Levite musicians singing this portion of the OT Law.  Once again the Bible has left us principles of musicing that are still valuable to Christians in this century.  One of the principles that we should gather from this Bible lesson is that singing Scripture texts and song texts that are biblical will add specificity and spiritual understanding to our church music.

Monday, September 26, 2016

They Musiced Distinctly---part 1


They Musiced Distinctly---part 1

Nehemiah 8:8, “So they read in the book in the law of God distinctly, and gave the sense, and caused them to understand the reading.  Also Jeshua, and Bani, and Sherebiah, Jamin, Akkub, Shabbethai, Hodijah, Maaseiah, Kelita, Azariah, Jozabad, Hanan, Pelaiah, and the Levites, caused the people to understand the law: and the people stood in their place.  So they read in the book in the law of God distinctly, and gave the sense, and caused them to understand the reading.”

            Have you ever thought about how the Levites actually “caused them to understand the reading”?  We have a tendency to read this Scripture passage “through Western eyes” with “Western understanding”.  Protestant Bible scholars have generally not understood, or have at least glossed over the fact, that during ancient times all Scripture was sung i.e. intoned by the Levite musicians. 

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Gideon Blew a Trumpet


Gideon Blew a Trumpet

            Gideon blew a trumpet and Abiezer followed him.  Gideon’s blowing of the shofar taqa caused Abiezer to follow Gideon because the blowing caused Abiezer understand the message being proclaimed.  This verse supports the thesis that there is meaning in the music part of the music.  The word taqa has no doubt much more meaning than we understand in the translation.  The Encyclopedia Judaica gives some explanation of the meanings of the various types of blowing of the Shofar.

            However, the most striking meaning of this passage of Scripture is “the Spirit of the LORD came upon (labash 3847) Gideon”.  Labash means that the self-existent eternal God who is sent the Holy Spirit who wrapped himself or clothed Gideon with His power and blessing.  I am strengthened and encouraged when I read that the Holy Spirit wrapped an Old Testament trumpet layer with His power. That power made Gideon’s trumpet playing efficacious

            I am convinced that the Holy Spirit will enshroud a Christian musician’s musicing with His power.  I am reminded that Acts 1:8 states, “But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.” Praise God we have His promise that as He “came upon Gideon” as he pronounced God’s message with his trumpeting, the Holy Ghost will “come upon you” as you music His message of good news in this century.

Song for the Day Spirit of God, Descend upon My Heart by George Croly

Thought for the Day

A life in the Holy Spirit will do more than anything else to make a Christian’s music ministry efficacious.

Prayer for the Day

Holy Spirit my door is open wide to your leadership in all my sacred musicing.  I am asking You to “come upon me” as I music unto you and for you.  Please help my music witness to be efficacious.  I want You to know Lord that I do not want to music in my own power but rather I want you to give me that daily dunamis of the Spirit that will enshroud my music ministry.  This I am asking in Your powerful name.  Amen.


Saturday, September 24, 2016

Singing with Glee


Singing with Glee

            Genesis 1:31, “And God saw everything that he had made, and, behold, it was very good. And the evening and the morning were the sixth day.”  Revelation 22:13, “I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last.”  In the beginning God was the creator of everything.  We know this because St. John 1:3 explains that, “All things were made by him; and without him was not anything made that was made.” 

            Psalm 100:3 tells us very clearly that we are a part of that creation when it states, “Know ye that the LORD he is God: it is he that hath made us, and not we ourselves; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.”  In gratitude Christin musicians “Serve the LORD with gladness: [and] come before his presence with singing.”  (Psalm 100:2)   It is possible for a musician to music unto God and fail to do so with gladness.  Therefore, we as Christian musicians must be very careful about our attitudes when we music unto Him.  Gladness is an attitude of the mind that becomes an attitude of the Christian’s heart.

             Simchah (8057) which is translated gladness here in the AV means mirth, pleasure, rejoicing, or with exceeding gladness.  I believe that it is proper to call a choir of singing Christians a glee club.  Rather than sing with solemnness and a long sad face, Christians should sing with blithesomeness and glee.  Strictly speaking the term glee means singing short songs i.e.--glees.  Christian’s, who realize that God is alpha and omega, have the right and responsibility to sing with great delight i.e.--glee. 

Quote for the Day

Jeremiah 31:7, “For thus saith the LORD; Sing with gladness for Jacob, and shout among the chief of the nations: publish ye, praise ye, and say, O LORD, save thy people, the remnant of Israel.” 

Prayer for the Day

Since Your Word declares that we should “Sing with gladness”, I am asking You Lord to help me to always music unto You with great joy. Help me to have an inner heart life that exudes joy and gladness.  I am reminded that we are commanded to shout your praises with great acclamation.  Help me to have so much joy on the inside that it will have to come out with a great shout of joy and gladness, This I am praying in Your worthy name.  Amen.                                              

Song for the Day-- Joyful, Joyful. We Adore Thee by Horatius Bonar




Friday, September 23, 2016

Overcoming Musicians are Filled with Praises


Overcoming Musicians are Filled with Praises

Revelation 19:1, “And after these things I heard a great voice of much people in heaven, saying, Alleluia; Salvation, and glory, and honour, and power, unto the Lord our God:”  I want to go to heaven and be a part of that great number of those who love God  and say, “Alleluia; Salvation, and glory, and honour, and power, unto the Lord our God”  I know that the enemy of my soul is trying and will continue to try to snare me into sin.  He know where I am weak and where I can be tempted to sin against God. 

            As a Christian musician I must constantly be aware that I am no match for Satan.  Only our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ has power enough to overcome Satan.  However, I know that I must put my will in the safe care of the one who has declared  in Romans 8:26,  “Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered”  So when I do not know what kind of temptation will soon be facing me, I can rest assured that Christ is my advocate and as Romans 8:27 teaches Jesus cares for my wellbeing, “And he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because he maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God”.

Song for the Day A Glorious Church by Ralph E. Hudson

Thought for the Day  If God is going to make us overcomers, we must let Him help us.  God will not make us overcomers against our will.

Doxology for the Day  Jude 1:24 “Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy, To the only wise God our Savior, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and ever. Amen.”


Thursday, September 22, 2016

Contented Christian Musicians


Contented Christian Musicians
            1Timothy 6:6 “But godliness with contentment is great gain.  For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out.”  Every Christian musician must remember that godliness is essential to being a Christian.  However, being godly does not insure that a Christian musician will be content.  Paul is here instructing Timothy that Christians who are not content are impoverished.  The apostle purports that “great gain” is accomplished by being godly and by being contented.
            Hebrews 13:5 also instructs Christian to, “Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.”  This Scripture very plainly teaches Christians to not be covetous and to be content.  Aphilarguros (866) connotes not being greedy.  So, are there Christian musicians who are greedy?  Evidently there are Christians who struggle with greed.  So the writer of the Hebrew letter instructs Christians to “be content with such things as ye have”.  He further reminds Christian musicians that God has promised, “I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.”  Take time today and read Deuteronomy 31:6, 8; Joshua 1:5, 1Chronicles 28:20; Psalm 37:25; and Matthew 6:25, 34.  
Song for the Day He Keeps Me Singing by Luther B. Bridgers 
Thought for Today
Today’s devotional Scriptures teach that contentment is an act of a Christian’s will. 
Prayer for the Day
Our heavenly Father You are truly my Father.  Thank You that You have promised that You will never leave me or forsake me.  So, help me to be content with what You have given me.  Help me to purpose to be happy and content and to not be greedy.  Help me to be a godly man who understands what “great gain” really is.  These things I am asking in Your name.  Amen.


Wednesday, September 21, 2016

WHY WAS DAVID SUCCESSFUL?—part 3


WHY WAS DAVID SUCCESSFUL?—part 3

            What was the difference between Saul and David?  One writer put it this way.  "Saul was a man's man, David was God's."  The major difference seemed to be their very different attitudes toward God.  Saul disobeyed God by taking Agag the Amalekite king alive and by saving the best of the animals.  When the prophet Samuel faced him with the problem Saul lied when he said (I Sam. 15:13b) "I have performed the commandment of the LORD."  When the prophet Nathan faced David with his sin of adultery, David replied (II Sam. 12:13) ". . .I have sinned against the LORD."  As we can see, both men faced times of failure in their lives, but it seems that it was the difference in their attitudes that made the difference.