A closer walk: Through our singing

Just a closer walk with thee  •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented   •  32:10
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The Joy of singing

Do you find joy in singing? Do you sing in the assembly? How about in private? Singing in an act of worship that is pleasing and acceptable to God(Heb13:15). Today in looking at a closer walk, we will walk, by discussing singing as an act of worship.
(Joy of singing slide here)
We set aside a portion of our worship services to the act of singing.
We participate in area wide or regional singing events.
Singing should be a part of our private worship too.
It is clear that in the O.T. times the people delighted in singing, don’t take my word for it, look at
Psalm 146:1–2 NASB95
1 Praise the Lord! Praise the Lord, O my soul! 2 I will praise the Lord while I live; I will sing praises to my God while I have my being.
We should respond to the goodness of God in prayer and in song.
James 5:13 NASB95
13 Is anyone among you suffering? Then he must pray. Is anyone cheerful? He is to sing praises.
Sing praises, the joy of singing has lost it’s place in the assembly in many parts may we consider
(singing is worship slide here)
Many have lost the joy of singing, singing is without heart, without emotions, it is going through the motions without emotions and it is something that is before the message. The joy of singing is a vital part of our worship.
Some lost the joy by singing without heart, others lost the joy by not singing at all, others by thinking singing is not part of worship and it should be about the word and the supper alone.
So today, even though we are apart, take some time and enjoy the act of worship in singing to and for our Lord.
Maybe #756 - When we all get to heaven.
Sing the wondrous love of Jesus Sing His mercy and His grace. . . .
Consider #583 - Sing to me of heaven
Sing to me of heaven, sing that song of peace, From the toils that bind me it will be release. . .
Oh, how about #301 - I will sing the wondrous story
I will sing the wondrous story of the Christ who died for me, How He left His home in glory for the cross of Calvary. . .
So enough of a singing tease from me for it is not about me it is about Him so here is a challenge right here in the into to the message today. Take time today, pull out a song book or look up some songs and lift your voice in worship today in the joy of singing!
Do you wonder why the many have lost the joy of singing? So this morning coming from a biblical stand I want to touch on a couple of things
The true purpose of singing
How to get more out of our singing
And a reflection on evaluating our singing (personally)
(Transition) So in an effort to have a closer walk with thee through our singing, to have joy in our singing may we start with the purpose.

Purpose of our singing

Singing is more than just something we do, we do it with purpose using the instrument of our heart. Understanding the reason can help us enhance the joy of our singing.
(Praise Him slide here)
Praise Him, Praise Him Jesus our blessed redeemer, sing O earth His wonderful love proclaim! - in case you are wondering that is #532 in our song book
So now comes purpose one:
Purpose of singing; to praise God (Act16:25; Ps28:6-7; Heb13:15; 1Pt2:5)
Acts 16:25 NASB95
25 But about midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns of praise to God, and the prisoners were listening to them;
So to those in prison, jail, jail or prison of our own making, may we sing hymns of praise to God. We are purposed to sing praises to our Lord.
Insert illustrations that Psalms are prayers, songs that were passed down via song so the next generation would have them.
So sing with a purpose, to praise God.
Psalm 28:6–7 NASB95
6 Blessed be the Lord, Because He has heard the voice of my supplication. 7 The Lord is my strength and my shield; My heart trusts in Him, and I am helped; Therefore my heart exults, And with my song I shall thank Him.
With purposed song praise Him and thank Him for the blessings He has bestowed on you. Because He has heard your prayers of Adoration, Confession, Thanksgiving and Supplication (A.C.T.S.) I know we have mentioned that before when we looked at a closer walk through principled, practiced prayer. If you were not here, you can go to our Faithlife page and get it.
Singing according to the Hebrew writer is a form of sacrifice that we offer to God
Hebrews 13:15 NASB95
15 Through Him then, let us continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips that give thanks to His name.
Singing with purpose is a spiritual sacrifice acceptable to God
1 Peter 2:5 NASB95
5 you also, as living stones, are being built up as a spiritual house for a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.
So, don’t let anyone or anything detour you from this acceptable sacrifice, acceptable means of worship that gives us a closer walk with thee.
Now that brings to purpose two:
Purpose of singing; to teach and admonish one another (Col3:16; Eph5:19)
Now our singing thus far has been directed toward God, with a mention of each other, but really toward God in praise so far. Now there are many songs that are directed toward one another and that goes with the scripture
Colossians 3:16 NASB95
16 Let the word of Christ richly dwell within you, with all wisdom teaching and admonishing one another with psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with thankfulness in your hearts to God.
Teaching and admonishing one another live live right and righteously, to live the life of a Christian (to be Christ like)
One commentator said that congregational singing is “congregational teaching.”
Singing is one way to encourage one another in Christian living.
Oh the parallel verse to the Colossians is here in Epheisans
Ephesians 5:19 NASB95
19 speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody with your heart to the Lord;
So from singing with thankfulness in your heart to making melody with your heart!
When we do it properly, as the scripture tells us we know it is pleasing unto God, so why do it any other way when we are told what is pleasing?
(transition) So singing with purpose and be a wonderful blessing, but now let’s look at how we may get more from our singing too.

How to get more out of our singing

More, everyone wants more. Often we hear the question “What do I get out of it?” And so far we have looked at giving, giving with purpose, to praise, to teach, to admonish, but there is getting too, and to get we have some things we need to do so to receive the full blessing to be given.
(engage your mind picture inserted here)
Be willing, be doing - Engage your mind as you sing (Col3:16; Eph5:19; Ps95:1-4).
We have already briefly looked at Col3:16, Eph5:19 whereas singing is teaching and admonishing one another and to do that we must engage our mind.
This has to take into account an assumption that you know what you are singing, you understand the words and to whom you are singing to God and to each other with purpose
Now, word of warning many enjoy singing without knowing the meaning and maybe singing things to one another that are contrary to scripture. There are many songs out there that sound great but when you read, understand the words they do not line up with your faith and should not be used for worship. so give special attention to the words that you sing in worship as you are trying to draw closer to God in your walk through your singing.
Here look at how the Psalmist David puts it:
Psalm 95:1–2 NASB95
1 O come, let us sing for joy to the Lord, Let us shout joyfully to the rock of our salvation. 2 Let us come before His presence with thanksgiving, Let us shout joyfully to Him with psalms.
Psalm 95:3–4 NASB95
3 For the Lord is a great God And a great King above all gods, 4 In whose hand are the depths of the earth, The peaks of the mountains are His also.
(engage your heart picture inserted here)
Be willing, be doing - Engage your heart as you sing (Col3:16; Eph5:19; Pro15:13; Mt15:5-7).
Turning again, turning back to Col3:16 and now focusing on the heart, the heart of the matter
Colossians 3:16 NKJV
16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.
In the NASB it says singing with thankfulness in your heart, here in the NKJV it says with grace. So engage your heart with grace and thankfulness
Making melody in your heart as noted in Eph5:19
Our singing according to Eph5:19 and Col3:16 have us engaging our mind and our heart and if we sing without emotion than we are missing the heart of the matter.
Singing without both our heart and mind engaged then that too may be evident
Proverbs 15:13 NASB95
13 A joyful heart makes a cheerful face, But when the heart is sad, the spirit is broken.
Remember today is about the joy of singing so not to be hypocritical like those Jesus condemned
Matthew 15:7–8 NASB95
7 “You hypocrites, rightly did Isaiah prophesy of you: 8 This people honors Me with their lips, But their heart is far away from Me.
Don’t give God lip service, give him all. Don’t just go through the motions, engage your mind and your heart as you sing with joy, sing with purpose, sing in praise to our God who is worthy of all praise.
So, this being socially distant from one another has brought about an out of the ordinary message on singing today, so I’m going to go one step further today. I want you to turn down the sound for just a few minutes as I put up slides from our digital songbook #990 You are the song that I sing. Sing it together as the church that does not need to be in the building to be the church. - then I have some things for us to consider.
(insert #990 slides here)

Reflection on evaluating our singing

In an effort to enhance our singing, our worship, to get a closer walk with thee may we consider a few questions.
Do I/we limit the sphere of my/our singing?
Consider Act16:25 and Ps34:1-3
Is my singing limited just to the assembly?
Do I sing at other times, even when I’m alone?
Paul was in prison with Silas and their singing and praying lead to conversions for Christ!
Now look at this
Psalm 34:1–3 NASB95
1 I will bless the Lord at all times; His praise shall continually be in my mouth. 2 My soul will make its boast in the Lord; The humble will hear it and rejoice. 3 O magnify the Lord with me, And let us exalt His name together.
Your singing, our singing will exalt His name, His praise shall ever be on our lips, it will make our soul boast in the Lord. It will truly be that He is the Words and the Music He will be the song that we sing.
Is there a lack of emotion in my/our singing (Mt22:37; Ps103:1?
We are to give God some of our heart, but all of our heart
Matthew 22:37 NASB95
37 And He said to him, “ ‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.’
Don’t do halfheartedly, we are to do all things heartily unto the Lord (Col3:17) and then add.
Psalm 103:1 NASB95
1 Bless the Lord, O my soul, And all that is within me, bless His holy name.
Do we/I understand what we are singing?
Remember our singing is to engage our mind and our heart, one person said “engage your mind and allow it to ignite your heart.”
Our song leaders are so important, they perform a valuable service trying to get songs that are easily understand to line up with the message being presented that day. Sometimes it is nice when they give a story behind or meaning behind a song to help us enhance the singing of the song with both our mind and our heart.
So engage to ignite by understanding what you sing!
Do we/I overly concern myself with the harmony of the song or the melody of my heart?
Do we/I hinder our singing by where I/we sit?
Sitting alone or spreading out from each other can hinder our singing for cannot hear each other.
I assume you are like me, the more the merrier, the more people the better the singing sounds and more uplifting it is!
(transition to conclusion) - Have we lost the joy of singing or forgotten about it? Our singing is an act of worship and it helps us in a closer walk with thee a couple more scriptures to look at to help us with the joy of singing
Psalm 104:33 NASB95
33 I will sing to the Lord as long as I live; I will sing praise to my God while I have my being.
Why did David say that, look at this and may we consider the same thing.
Psalm 147:1 NASB95
1 Praise the Lord! For it is good to sing praises to our God; For it is pleasant and praise is becoming.
So, don’t sweat how we sound, sing with your mind and your heart with instrument of your heart in purposed praise to our God as an acceptable act of worship.
Sing and be happy, sing for the joy of the Lord. Sing the in assembly, sing in your home, in the car or wherever it strikes you, just like prayer should be spontaneous, let singing be too.
(Invitation slide 1 - a closer walk) you want a closer walk with thee, first you need to know Him (expand invitation) (invitation slide 2) end recording (Exit slide)
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