I can sing but I cannot sing well. I am not even sure what a key is or if I am hitting a note. I just sing. I’ve been told to pipe down on numerous occasions and I have accepted that it is not a gift of mine. However we each have a voice with which to sing and Paul talks about us being a choir. Yep, all of us joined together can be a beautiful choir.
Today’s passage says that not only will our voices sing, our very lives will sing in harmony. But how is this possible? Paul says we each “should please our neighbors for their good, to build them up” (v.2 NIV). We should accept each other just as Christ has accepted us. Paul also says that God gives endurance and encouragement and He is able to give each of us the same attitude of mind.
It is not a small task, but God gives us what we need to get it accomplished. As we seek God for endurance and encouragement, as we continue to accept others as He has accepted us, we will grow in Christ and our spiritual maturity will bring us together with one mind and one voice so we can praise the God, singing in harmony—not only with our voices but with our very lives.
“May our dependably steady and warmly personal God develop maturity in you so that you get along with each other as well as Jesus gets along with us all. Then we’ll be a choir—not our voices only, but our very lives singing in harmony in a stunning anthem to the God and Father of our Master Jesus!” – Romans 15:5-6 [MSG]
This morning I walked into work and stood at the time clock. Around the corner someone was in their office; however, they knew it was me standing outside their door. Why? Because I’m “always humming.” Why do I hum? Well I don’t want to scare people away with my singing. Seriously though, I am humming praise music. All day long I am humming praise music at work. It certainly keeps me upbeat through the day as I continue to worship Him, switching from song to song, reminding myself of His greatness, of His Word, of His love.
Proverbs 15 speaks about “a cheerful heart (that) fills the day with song.” People can tell that I am cheerful when I am humming. Trust me, when I’m not humming I get asked “what is wrong.” It is very true that when I am not humming, I am not feeling very well, whether it be pain, depression, sadness, etc. It usually doesn’t take me long to get back to the humming when I realize I have stopped.
Do you really have something to be cheerful about? If you know Jesus, I would definitely say you do. Perhaps you aren’t a hummer, but can people tell that you are cheerful by your actions or would people probably say you are miserable? There’s this person I know who always is smiling, always upbeat, always shining with each person she meets. It doesn’t matter if she is in pain, if things are not going her way, etc. She always is cheerful. I can see it. I can feel it. Everyone around her can. Why? Jesus. Every day she wakes up and thanks the good Lord for another day. A cheerful heart fills the day with song.
“A miserable heart means a miserable life;
a cheerful heart fills the day with song.”
-Proverbs 15:15 [MSG]
On the way home from work, I was singing loudly during the praise and worship music. I would say 90% of the time you will find me doing this while driving. I came to a red light and stopped in traffic. Still singing with windows open, a SUV pulled aside me in the turning lane. They had their windows down and there were two kids in the back seat. They were not fans of my singing and yelled for me to quiet down but I kept on singing.
I do not have a very pleasant singing voice but when I am singing praises to God, I am not performing for judges or trying to land a record deal. God does not say to His off-key children, “Stop singing. I didn’t give you the gift of a great singing voice.” It is not about the voice. It is not about the musical talent. It is about the heart. When we sing it should be an outpouring of our heart.
Today sing as if no one is watching—and if someone is watching, don’t stop because you aren’t Grammy material. Sing to the Lord. Praise Him. Give Him the praise that He alone deserves.
“Let everything that has breath praise the LORD. Praise the LORD.” – Psalm 150:6 [NIV]
“About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening to them.” – Acts 16:25 [NIV]
Something stood out to me while seeing the news coverage of the Boston Marathon Bombing and the devastating Oklahoma Tornado. I witnessed so many people praising God amidst the storm. It reminded me of Paul and Silas singing hymns and praying to God amidst their own storm, while locked away in prison. They praised God during the storm and then came an earthquake which freed them from their chains.
Perhaps we haven’t experienced what the people of Boston and Oklahoma experienced, but we all have storms of some magnitude in our lives. We have suffering. We have pain. We have situations. We have troubles. We have difficulties. We have struggles. We have diseases. We have injuries. We have problems. These storms, small and large, come. Do we praise God during the storms? Do we sing to the Lord during the good and bad?
Paul and Silas sang to God and there came an earthquake. The news coverage showed a Boston victim praising God and walking the next week despite a leg amputation. A lady prayed to God amidst the storm and gave Him glory during the interview, and her missing dog was found in the rubble on live television.
Whatever storm you are going through today or whatever storm may soon come your way—keep on praising our heavenly Father. He is always good. He is always worthy of praise.
I love taking my dog for a walk. It’s great exercise for the both of us, and it gives me a chance to take a break from everything. Yesterday I invited my children to partake in the adventure. They were having fun racing each other to the next tree and playing games along the way. I started to notice that the peacefulness of my walk was absent. Then something else happened. I had a misstep and ended up having a fall.
It seemed as if I was trying my hardest to hit every body part possible as I landed. The worst of the contact was made when my knee hit the ground. Instant bleeding and swelling. The children were asking if I had a first aid kit stowed away in my pockets; I was wondering how I was going to get back home. It was a slow walk back.
Still this morning I am in a lot of pain and finding it difficult to move my knee much. Walking has become a chore. I realized through this all, how lucky I am to be able to walk. I have my limbs. I have a nice, safe area to walk. I have the time to walk. I have sneakers to use to walk comfortably. I have healthy enough to walk. These are things I don’t think about very often. In overlooking them, I neglect to give proper thanks to Him who provided all things.
We all get busy and we do not look at the things we take for granted. We expect them to be there, because they always are there. We do not consider how life would be if they were not there, because that surely would never happen. Today, as we give thanks to our Lord who showers us with blessings, may we be able to see what we have overlooked. May we thank Him for the big things and the little things, the provisions He alone provides.
“Shout joyfully to the LORD, all the earth.
Serve the LORD with gladness,
Come before Him with joyful singing.
Know that the LORD Himself is God;
It is He who has made us and not we ourselves;
We are His people and the sheep of His pasture.
Enter His gates with thanksgiving
And His courts with praise.
Give thanks to Him, bless His name.
For the LORD is good;
His lovingkindness is everlasting
And His faithfulness to all generations.”
– Psalm 100 [NASB]