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Seeds of the Kingdom

Praise the Lord!

by Liz Griffin

Speak to one another with psalms, hymns and spiritual songs. Sing and make music in your heart to the Lord, always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Ephesians 5:19-20, NIV

How are we doing with this instruction from the apostle Paul? He also wrote it in his letter to the Colossians ‘Let the Word of God dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom, and as you sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God’ (Colossians 3:16).

I like what Charles Haddon Spurgeon, ‘the Prince of Preachers’, once said in a sermon; ‘You must either praise God or be miserable. You have a choice. If you don’t go forward, you go backward’. He took singing very seriously and wrote several hymns himself. His congregations of thousands were led in singing without any musical instruments. He encouraged people to praise the Lord in their shops, kitchens and bedrooms and not wait to come to a church building. If they felt their singing voice was no good he said they could speak praise. Nobody had an excuse not to praise the Lord.

But God is pleased with our singing however it might sound to human ears. The birds sing because they can’t do anything else. God has programmed it into their existence. But when it comes to human beings there is always a choice.

Little babies respond to singing and enjoy rhythm, melody and words. But sometimes the gift of singing is stifled by mockery or criticism later in life. We can be robbed of the ability to sing by illness. Occasionally I wanted to join in the singing at church but my throat was too sore. It was so frustrating, but what joy when the ability to sing came back to me.

I think Jesus must have enjoyed singing. When He celebrated the Passover meal with His disciples they sung a hymn before going to the Mount of Olives (Mark 14:26).
I don’t want to be miserable and I’ve found the best way to avoid that is to ‘Sing and make music in your heart to the Lord, always giving thanks to God the Father’. But the Lord wants me to do more than that. He wants me to share my joy with others. The apostle Paul says ‘Speak to one another with psalms, hymns and spiritual songs.’

Prayer: Heavenly Father, help us to enjoy the gift of music and song You gave to us. May we encourage ourselves, and others, by using it to praise You. May our voices express true praise and worship to You and bring You pleasure and joy. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Liz Griffin lived for 20 years as an expatriate in South Africa, Bahrain and Japan, as her husband Paul worked for an international oil company. Paul and Liz became involved with Ellel Ministries in 1991 as part of the ministry team and joined the full-time team at Ellel Grange in 1995. Paul and Liz teach and minister to those seeking healing in their lives and together have written two books, 'Anger - How Do You Handle It' and 'Hope and Healing For The Abused'.


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