A daily, Bible-based perspective of hope, encouragement and exhortation.
Home About Us Archives Free email subscription Listen to these messages
Friday, January 12, 2007
Click here to listen to this message on your audio player.
"Sing To The Lord!"
"I will sing to the LORD, for He has been good to me" (Psalm 13:6). "Sing praises to God, sing praises; sing praises to our King, sing praises. For God is the King of all the earth; sing to Him a psalm of praise" (Psalm 47:6,7).
Joe is a long-term member of the church we presently serve in the Harrisburg, PA area who has a wonderful testimony. He served in the navy during World War 2 and his ship was struck by a kamikaze plane killing many of his crewmates. The plane actually struck the ship precisely where Joe's bunk was located, but he was elsewhere on the ship at the time.
Following the war Joe married, fathered six children and worked in the Harrisburg area. His wife Jessie was a Christian and she raised their children to serve the Lord, but Joe did not serve the Lord nor did he attend church. Of course she and many others prayed for his salvation for many years. She recalls how he would help her get the kids dressed for church but he would not attend. Maybe he was looking for some "quiet time" in the empty house.
In his late forties Joe had cancer of the larynx which resulted in having his larynx removed. He then began to use a voice box. It was during this time of extensive trial that Joe finally accepted the Lord as his personal Savior and began attending the church.
One of the great blessings is hearing Joe sing. He does so with great effort, placing his hand on his throat in order to sing out. His voice has the characteristics of those who use a voice box, but that doesn't stop him from singing out! I often stand just several rows ahead of him and I am so blessed to hear his voice joining in the song of the Redeemed! Brooksyne has told me that when she is leading out in worship and playing the piano every so often she hears Joe singing out. It often brings tears to her eyes when she hears his earnest voice and she is inspired to play and sing out even more fervently.
Just one more note about how Joe has allowed God to work in his life. At Christmas the choir Brooksyne directed from our own community came to the church to present a stirring musical, "Jesus Our Treasure." Some of the visiting choir members were just a little nervous, as this was the first presentation of the season. Following the hour long musical, one of the newest choir members told Brooksyne that she was nervous at first. Then she became confident and encouraged as she observed a man in the congregation listening to the music intently and always with a smile. When she described the man's glowing countenance, which can be seen during each worship service, Brooksyne knew right away that she was referring to Joe.
One of the great blessings of gathering with other Christians is congregational singing. Those of us who have served the Lord for many years may take this for granted. It's an important time of worship giving opportunity for worshipers to express personal praise and thanksgiving in thoughts they store up in their hearts but feel inadequate to verbally express. But God has inspired a songwriter to write lyrics that express our feelings and we can espouse them as our very own when singing them from our hearts.
We love to sing with God's people. As I prepared today's message I observed that singing is found all through the Bible from Genesis to Revelation. The first recorded praise to God in song was following the crossing of the Red Sea. The book of Revelation makes it clear there is singing in heaven.
But the greatest concentration of references to singing in the Bible is in the Psalms. It's rather fitting since the Greek meaning of Psalm is "A poem sung to the accompaniment of music." Today's daily texts are just two of many examples throughout the Psalms that refer to singing.
As most of us will gather to sing unto the Lord this weekend may we do so with renewed vigor as we join our brothers and sisters in Christ and sing to our King songs of praise. We hope Joe's testimony of singing unto the Lord will encourage you to sing out!
Be encouraged today,
Stephen & Brooksyne Weber
Daily prayer: Father, we are inspired by those who are willing to give their all in praise and thanksgiving to You. Joe, along with many other overcoming believers, serves as an example to us that You gladly receive all that we have to give and You multiply its effectiveness in ways that we cannot comprehend. Thank You for the human examples You place in our path of those who overcome and find victorious living because their faith is not misplaced but it is firmly grounded in You, our Savior, Lord and soon coming King! Amen.
Brooksyne's Note: Over the years I've met many people who are unwilling to sing out in the congregation because they feel their voice is "not up to standard" or they negatively compare their musical ability to those such as gifted soloists in the church, Steve Green, Sandi Patti or other accomplished musicians. I love the Scripture in Psalm 100 that instructs us to "Make a joyful noise unto the Lord." If we offer our voices to God musically with thanksgiving and do it with a joyful heart we bless God as much (and perhaps more) than the most accomplished musician we've ever heard. Our motivation for singing to the Lord should be as a result of wanting to praise Him, not to impress Him or others next to us with how proficient a musician we are!
Also note: Whenever we share a personal testimony such as we have with Joe we have permission to do so from the person we write about. Joe is pleased to have his story told and desires that it encourage others in whatever circumstances they may be overcoming. What a great joy to see Joe and Jessie's grown children and their families filling several pews at our Christmas Eve service as they had all come home to be with their Mom and Dad for Christmas!
I wrote about Joe and Jessie in a previous daily encouragement message and their involvement in bus ministry, reaching out to others and their long-term impact on a particular child, who is now an adult in the church!
Here's another photo of Joe, along with "Red", a friend of his who also has quite a testimony.
As mentioned in the message above Joe served in the Navy in the Second World war. His ship was the destroyer Sigsbee.
Red also served in the Navy during WW2 and was on the aircraft carrier Hornet that was sunk near Midway. He was rescued after floating in the sea for sixteen days on a piece of debris. He, like Joe, also turned to the Lord later in life.
As my interim role in this particular church ends in February I am sure going to miss my association with these two old sailors!
Here's a song that Brooksyne suggests especially pertinent to today's message titled "I Offer My Life". We dedicate this song to Joe and Jessie.
As we considered supplemental music for today's message Brooksyne suggested a song by the Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir called "I Will Bless The Lord At All Times". Although I was unable to find the song to share I came across this page and viewed the clip of their upcomg DVD. WOW!
Sign up for the free daily email encouragement at www.dailyencouragement.net
New subscribers receive a link to free computer desktop background photos with Scriptures!
Permissions: Please feel free to pass on, reproduce and distribute any material on Daily Encouragement Net, in part or in whole, in any format, provided that you do not alter the wording in any way or charge a fee beyond the cost of reproduction. It is our desire to spread this material, not protect or restrict it. I do request that you keep the contact, copyright and subscription information intact.
Scripture references are from The Holy Bible: New International Version. © 1984 by International Bible Society; NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission; and the King James Version.
Personal Mission Statement: "I am created by God to bring Him glory. Through God's Son Jesus Christ I have been redeemed and I make it my life's goal to please the Lord. My mission in life is to honor God through my faith and obedience and to prepare myself and all whom I may influence for eternity."
Daily Encouragement Net is an affiliate of Christianbook.com
Daily Encouragement Net - 495 Kraybill Church Road - Mount Joy, PA 17552
"Living securely today anchored in God's solid foundation"