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Pastoral Exhortation - Series of 2010

Making Melody Unto The Lord

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Two passions of my heart, which the Lord has placed there, are God’s Word and godly music. But I confess that I have not pursued music as much as I love to. One major reason is that I have followed hard after the Lord’s calling to feed the flock of God with His Word. Nothing has consumed my life for the last 20 years and more as much as studying God’s Word for my own blessing and preaching and teaching it to you, God’s dear flock. I am very thankful for so many opportunities to live out my life among you, by ministering the truth of God’s Word. I hope and pray that I will never be hindered all my life from preaching and teaching God’s Word in your midst.

Godly music is still a great passion in my heart. Though I am not a poetic or music genius, I humbly desire to write more Scriptural and spiritual songs. Above my own achievement in this area, I desire to see that sacred music is elevated to its rightful place in our church.

Godly music would help us to promote a sense of reverential worship, a love for God’s truth and holiness, a passion for His glory. Praising God in music is the Scriptural pattern of worship. Good music helps us to offer ourselves before God in full devotion. It helps us to gather all our thoughts, emotions and even our entire being into full focus to glorify Him and to declare His truths.

Let me point you to the people of God in Ezra’s time. They rendered worshipful praise to God by using their Godgiven musical talents in an appropriate manner. They made every effort to make sure that a good music ministry was organized to render praise to God. The choir was made up of two hundred singing men and singing women (Ezra 2:65). Do you think such a strong and enthusiastic response to the music ministry was possible if the people were not prepared to sing His praise?

Like them, we must also be a worshipful people who rejoice to sing the high praises of our God. Let us pray that we will have a heart that is prepared to sing His praise! Singing His praise is well pleasing to the Lord. However, this passion does not come without spiritual discipline.

Developing a love for sacred music

One of the secrets to developing such a passion is to spend time with the Lord every day, reading His Word and praying to Him in faith. Be consistent in your daily devotions; and you will experience a real joy in worshipping Him, even with songs. As you will become more and more aware of His love for you, your heart will burst forth in His praise. This was the testimony of King David. He wrote, “In thy presence is fulness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore” (Psalm 16:11). Enjoy the fellowship with God and you will love to sing!

Another spiritual exercise that you must actively engage in is the singing of hymns with understanding. In the Order of Worship for Sunday Worship Service, every item is carefully chosen to lead the worshippers to glorify God. So, when it is time to sing as a congregation, each one of us must sing the hymns prayerfully, worshipfully and devotionally. It is indeed very appalling to let our hearts wander while we sing His praise with our mouth. This habit must be stopped. We must sing with understanding. The Apostle Paul wrote, “I will sing with the spirit, and I will sing with the understanding also” (1 Corinthians 14:15b). The more you sing hymns with understanding, the more you will love to sing.

The Bible clearly says that singing spiritual songs is an evidence of a Spirit-filled Christian. “Be filled with the Spirit; speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord” (Ephesians 5:18c-19). How wonderful it will be if our church is a community of God’s people who are filled with the Spirit! Be worshipful singers of His great praise!

Rendering yourself in worshipful music

If we were to progress constantly in our worship and service of our great Redeemer, dear brethren, we must yield ourselves increasingly to His praise, even in songs. Those whom God has blessed with musical abilities must give themselves unreservedly, even with much sacrifice, to the praise of God through solemn music. Let there be sacred melody, whether it be by individuals, choirs or congregation, whenever we gather together in His name.

I would like to call not only on our choir, but also various fellowship groups and musically talented brethren to render praises to the Lord. Make it your delightful service to the Lord. Pray and work towards giving your best in glorifying God through your solemn offering of praise.

Brethren, let us pray for grace to sing His praises. It is no small matter. It is God’s gift to the church to rejoice in the praise of His name. Apart from God’s Word, nothing is more edifying to our soul than sound Christian music. It is one of the most wonderful expressions of the grace of God within us.

Pastoral Exhortation