Summary: So lets begin to rediscover something to sing about by beginning where Paul began. From his declaration of God’s worthiness of our full-tilt, no holds barred worship, Paul includes three additional “to the praise of …” statements. Each statement is attach
Something To Sing About
What makes you sing? Not a little whispered song, but a belt out the volume song. (Share your answer with someone seated next to you.)
It doesn’t take much to make me sing. It might be a simple statement made in a personal conversation that rings a bell of some song lyrics of years ago. It might be a song that has embedded itself in my memory. It doesn’t matter – I sing. It’s what I do.
More than a few times, I have been taking Krista or Elizabeth to school a just started singing out a song, only to have them respond, “Dad, can you stop that. You’re embarrassing.”
As Christians, do we encourage one another to tone it down? How often do we engage in living out our Christianity so that we can barely hear the heartbeat of our lives above the roar of the crowds around us? Rather than living a life that boldly shouts a declaration of God’s grace, we have retreated into a life of reserved apology.
Now, I know that some of you are wondering – “What is he talking about? Does he expect us to be loud and obnoxious about our faith?” Let me say, for some of us that might be an improvement over a faith that is lifeless and uninspiring – but that is not what I am talking about.
Those of you who have been with me to a sporting event now how loud I can get. Today, is one of those days when preachers might be expected to mention football, so let me put it this way. This evening many Christians will show more enthusiasm for a single play in today’s game than they have in several years of living out their faith.
During the week, there were those that described this as the most boring Super Bowl week in years because of the personal faith of the two coaches. Yet, others said that the faith of Lovie Smith and Tony Dungy was a refreshing thing since their faith filters down to the team – making preparation for the game the story – and not some off the field extra-curricular activity. When the faith of the coaches becomes a story in the Super Bowl – that is living out loud.
Ephesians teaches us about a life that is lived out loud – in full volume, unashamedly expressing our love and devotion for God. This is the life that breaks the silence about sin and forces Satan to retreat. This is the life that declares God’s victory over prejudice and shouts his victory over sins oppression. This is the life that speaks into the darkness and stirs it with the light of God. Ephesians is living out loud for a God who has forever changed who we are.
Paul’s blessing that begins Ephesians (a common trait of period letters) is a statement of worship proclaiming the praiseworthiness of a God that has lavished his blessings on his people. The opening verse, literally “Blessings on the one who blesses us with every spiritual blessing,” emphasizes the worship thrust of this blessing. God, as the one who has poured out his blessings on us, is worthy to of our full-blown celebration in worship.
I have a sense that the contemporary church has forgotten how to worship. The old forms of worship do not fit, and the new forms do not convince. How will we recover the depth and spontaneity of heartfelt worship?
I offer no fix-it plan for worship, but I am convinced that the key to worship is not in procedures, but in experiencing God; not in a plan for worship, but in time for worship and eyes sensitive enough to discern God and his work. Knowledge of God leads to wonder and worship.
So lets begin to rediscover something to sing about by beginning where Paul began. From his declaration of God’s worthiness of our full-tilt, no holds barred worship, Paul includes three additional “to the praise of …” statements. Each statement is attached to a specific way that God has acted to bless his people. Each blessing thus serves notice of a reason that we have to direct our worship to God, and as we understand the depth of God’s activity on our behalf worship will cry out from the depths of our soul.
Additionally, each of these blessings in not a stagnant piece of information.
Each is a piece of information that stirs us to live a life in full-volume, leaving it all on the field.
1. God has brought us into his family.
God has determined to adopt us into his family (vs. 5).
“For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love he predestined us to be adopted as his sons through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will – to the praise of his glorious grace,” (vs. 4-5)