1. Singing praises is an important part of our assemblies
a. We spend nearly a third of our assemblies engaged in this activity
b. Rightly so, for it has the potential of reaping great spiritual benefits
2. Singing is an important element of "Serving The Lord With Gladness"
a. It is mentioned in the text upon which our Getting More series is based - Psalm 100:2
b. There were those in Old Testament times who delighted in singing - cf. Psalm 63:3-5
c. Christians were taught to respond to the goodness of God in a similar way - James 5:13
3. But I often wonder if some have lost the joy of singing
a. Many Christians sing with virtually no emotion, some do not sing at all
b. I have personally known Christians, who:
1) Complained because time available for classes was taken up by the singing of a few hymns
2) Will not attend a worship service if they know it will be devoted primarily to singing
c. In contrast, it was common in the past for people to travel some distance to attend a service devoted to praising God in song
4. Why do such conditions exist? I suspect it may be a failure to appreciate:
a. The true purpose of singing
b. How we can get more out of singing
A. TO PRAISE THE LORD
1. This is the most common concept of the purpose of singing
a. Indeed, this is certainly the idea inherent in the word 'hymn'
b. Which comes from the Greek word humnos, meaning "a song in praise of"
2. Praising God should be natural for God's People
a. David reacted this way to the blessings God gave him - Psalm 28:6-7
b. Paul and Silas even reacted to persecution with singing praises - Acts 16:25
3. Singing is one of the spiritual sacrifices that we are to offer to God - Hebrews 13:15
a. As spiritual priests we offer up "spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God - 1 Peter 2:5
b. If we are not careful, we might be guilty of offering defiled service to God as was the case in Malachi's day! - Malachi 1:7-8,12-13
4. Is not God worthy of our best praise?
B. TO TEACH AND ADMONISH ONE ANOTHER
1. Our singing is not just directed toward God
a. Certainly, many songs are
2. That's because many songs are designed to teach one another
a. Teaching and admonishing us to live properly, to enjoy the blessings of the Christian life
b. It might even be said that 'congregational singing' is actually 'congregational teaching'
3. Do not our brethren deserve the best encouragement we can offer?
C. TO BE FILLED AND ENRICHED
1. Singing can be a means to being filled with the Spirit
b. Hebrews explained how: by singing and making melody in one's heart to the Lord - Ephesians 5:19
2. Singing can be a means to being enriched by the Word of Christ
b. Again Hebrews explains: by singing with grace in one's heart to the Lord - Colossians 3:16b
3. For a truly Spirit-filled life enriched by the Word of Christ, singing is essential
A. ENGAGE THE 'MIND' AS YOU SING
1. Remember, singing is teaching and admonishing one another
2. This assumes that we understand what we sing - cf. 1 Corinthians 14:15
3. We must be careful that our enjoyment of singing is not like how many people enjoy their popular music (i.e., liking the music without necessarily understanding the words)
4. Give careful attention to the words of the songs as they teach and admonish us
B. ENGAGE THE 'HEART' AS YOU SING
1. When we sing, we must do so
a. "with grace in your hearts" - Colossians 3:16
b. "making melody in your heart" - Ephesians 5:19
2. This assumes that we involve our 'heart strings' (emotions) as we sing!
3. To sing without emotion (without grace in our hearts)
a. Is hypocritical, and condemned by Jesus - Matthew 15:7-8
b. Will be evident in our countenances! - Proverbs 15:13
4. Put your heart into your singing
C. EXPAND THE SPHERE OF YOUR SINGING
1. Is your singing limited just to the public assemblies, on the first day of the week?
2. Singing, like prayer, ought to be spontaneous - Acts 16:25
3. Sing while you work, travel, or while alone in your private meditations
4. Make use of hymns on DVD or CDs when traveling or meditating
5. Take advantage of special opportunities to sing, such as monthly and annual singings
6. Increase your opportunities to sing at other times with others, and when alone
D. UTILIZE OPPORTUNITIES TO LEARN TO SING
1. Singing is more enjoyable when we are able to read musical notes, sing different parts
2. Congregations often provide singing classes; every opportunity to sing is an opportunity to learn
3. Take advantage of any opportunity to learn how to sing
1. Singing is like any other activity: the more you put into it, the more you get out of it
2. Increase your joy of singing and you will get much more out of worship
3. Have we lost the joy of singing?
a. If we could see ourselves as song leaders do, we might be constrained to say yes
b. If so, rekindle this act of worship which can do so much toward serving the Lord with gladness
4. May we adopt and hold David's attitude when it comes to singing, "I will sing to the Lord as long as I live; I will sing praise to my God while I have my being." - Psalm 104:33
-- Don Treadway, January 2010 --