I once heard a well-meaning Christian leader say something like this, "Ahh, music is so overrated. You don't need music. If you were stranded on an island, you would get along fine without music." I actually believed him for a time and used to think this. But then, when I faced some of my darkest moments, I realized that it was music that helped bring me back. It was music that cleared the rubble of my heart and brought it tenderly before Jesus. I need music.
As we approach thanksgiving, I think it's important to offer worship and gratitude to God, not only through our thoughtful expressions and notes, but also through music. Consider this passage from Ephesians 5:15-21:
Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is. And do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery, but be filled with the Spirit, addressing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody to the Lord with your heart, giving thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, submitting to one another out of reverence for Christ.
Do you notice how the Scriptures instruct us to worship? "With psalms and hymns and spiritual songs." What's a key indicator of a heart that is worshiping God, ruled by the Spirit? It's a heart that sings. How do we express gratitude to the Lord? By singing and making melody in our hearts to the Lord.
In other words, you can't rightly worship God without music. Now some can sing beautifully, others not so much. What matters is not necessarily the noise that comes out, but the heart that sings. In other words, everyone should be a singer, for without singing, without music, you cannot worship God.
So, to take this fellow's words seriously. If music is "overrated" and unnecessary, then you'd have to rip out most of the Scriptures, including the largest book, the Psalms. Then you'd have a sort of Jefferson Bible.
No, music in a diversity of styles, is important for the life of every serious believer. We worship God with music. We do this at church on Sunday, but we should also do this throughout the week. And especially on Thanksgiving.
I'd encourage you as you lead you're families, to consider breaking out in song. Do you have an old hymnal? Why not play a few bars of a hymn of worship? Parents, teach your kids to worship through song. Don't just be a grump about the music you hate that they listen to, be proactive and positive and introduce your family to songs, hymns, and spiritual songs.
For this is how you worship your Creator and Savior, Jesus Christ.
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About Daniel Darling
Daniel Darling is the Senior Pastor of Gages Lake Bible Church in the northwest suburbs of Chicago and is the author of several books, including his latest, iFaith. His work has been featured in evangelical publications such as Relevant Magazine, Focus on the Family, Marriage Partnership, Pray!, Relevant, In Touch with Dr. Charles Stanley. He has guest-posted on leading blogs such as Michael Hyatt, The Gospel Coalition, OnFaith (Washington Post), and others. He has been profiled by The Chicago Tribune. Daniel is a contributing writer to Zondervan’s Couples Devotional Bible. Publisher’s Weekly called his writing style “substantive and punchy.” Dan is a contributing writer to Christian Today‘s online magazine, Kyria as well as Lifeway’s men’s devotional, Stand Firm. He also maintains a blog at patheos.com, entitled, The Friday Five, where he interviews leading evangelicals. Dan’s columns appear weekly at Crosswalk.com and monthly for the local Lake County Journals. Dan has been interviewed on TV and radio outlets across the country, including Moody Broadcasting Network, Harvest Television, The Sandy Rios Show, American Family Radio, the Salem Radio Network, and a host of drive time radio stations across the country. Daniel has a bachelor’s degree in pastoral ministry from Dayspring Bible College. He traveled extensively to India and the Middle East. He and his wife, Angela, have three daughters and a son and reside in the northwest suburbs of Chicago.
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