Summary: Short message delivered after a service of praise & worship through music.
Let’s talk for just a minute on singing the songs of praise and worship.
1. THERE IS A DIFFERENCE BETWEEN SONGS
There is a very big difference between singing praises and singing praises with a heart that yearns to have more of God’s glory.
People have always congregated in groups to sing songs, but not all songs have been for God; some have been for us. In the book of Amos, for instance, we see where people were busy preparing all the sacrifices, but God didn’t accept them. They were busy singing all the songs, but God didn’t hear them. They used the best instruments, and I am sure they had the latest bands play them, but God did not honor them.
AMOS 6:5-6, reads,
‘They improvise songs to the sound of the harp, and they invent their own musical instruments like David; They drink wine by the bowlful, and anoint themselves with the finest oils, but they do not grieve over the ruin of Joseph.’
God did not honor them because they were not honoring God while they were singing. They were concentrating on themselves. God fully accepts our devotions from a seeking heart, but will reject and despise any devotions that are self-centered and not God-centered. We can tell if we are singing the right songs by how we sing them. Let me explain –
Do we sing the right songs on Sunday, and then continue singing them all during the week from our hearts, or do we just sing songs on Sunday and then slip back into the world on Monday? The lives we take with us into our own worlds must be consistent with the songs we sing to God on Sundays.
It is imperative for our salvation’s sake, that we worship God in everything we do, all the time, no matter where we are when we do it. Many people think church is where we are Christian. No! Church is not where we ARE Christian, it is where we learn to BE Christian! And then we take what we learn in church out into the world with us as we leave the church.
If we don’t take this very seriously, something bad will happen to us somewhere between the church door and the car door. If we do not make every effort to have Jesus leave church with us, the devil will attack somewhere between the church door and the car door as we leave, and he will stay with us all week long! Is that what we want? If not, we had better start making the extra effort to replace our desires with those from Jesus.
2. MUSIC FROM THE MOUTH ISN’T MUSIC FOR THE HEARTS
There are two ways to sing songs. One is from the mouth, and the other is from the heart. Unfortunately, we see this in many of today’s churches. Any time we seek glory for ourselves or even for our churches, we deny that glory from going to God and by doing that, we also prohibit any glory from God coming back to us.
AMOS 5:23 tells us what God thinks of their music –
‘Take away from Me the noise of your songs! I will not listen to the music of your harps.’
What makes music from our hearts? Love. When love for God is fully in our hearts, we make wonderful and beautiful music for our Lord. And when we love God, we will have a desire to keep His commandments.
JOHN 14:15a, Jesus said,
‘If you love Me, you will keep My commandments…..’
Now here is something most people have never realized. God does not tell us to love Him in our songs. He does, however, tell us to show our love for Him by being obedient to Him; by doing what He tells us to do; by keeping His commandments.
3. MANY OF US JUST GO THROUGH THE MOTIONS
We gather at the church at specific times to sing and listen to a sermon, but we don’t take any of it with us as we leave.
In AMOS 5:21 God tells us,
‘I hate, I despise your feasts! I can’t stand the stench!’
Those are very strong words of condemnation, aren’t they? Why would God use such words to describe those who are singing about Him? Because those Israelites who sang about Him were not concerned with Him. They were concerned with themselves and what they wanted. They were used to going to church and doing all the things people in church, but they were not used to loving others in the name of our Lord. When they did things in church, it was only about them, just like many in our churches do today.
Too many times, we leave church feeling that it was a very good service. What we really mean is the program flowed evenly and the message was short and sweet. It may have not been convicting; it may not have been about sin or the consequences of that sin; but it sure did make us feel good. We left feeling ‘happy’. But sometimes, we did not leave feeling ’fulfilled’, did we? We did not leave knowing that we were in the very presence of Jesus, did we?