16 Jan 2016 A song of the heart
by Marilyn Mathis
During a routine physical examination, my doctor heard an unusual sound when he listened to my heart. He sent me to a heart specialist, who recommended that I be tested to determine my problem. I was scheduled to go to the hospital as an outpatient and my check-in time was very, very early, but who sleeps before entering the hospital for tests?
One of the nurses preparing me for my procedure listened to my heart and then listened again. She looked at me and said, “That sounds like whistling.” I replied, “I’m making melody in my heart to the Lord.”
Medical science did not find the cause of my heart whistle, but I am convinced that I was just being obedient to God’s Word. Ephesians 5:18-19 says, “but be filled with the Spirit, speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody with your heart to the Lord.” This command is repeated in Colossians 3:16, “Let the word of Christ richly dwell within you, with all wisdom teaching and admonishing one another with psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with thankfulness in your heart to God.”
Our instrument of song is:
HEART, internal singing, “making melody with your heart.” It is a grateful, thankful heart that sings. God sees and hears our hearts. Is there a sweet melody to the Lord in your heart?
MOUTH, external singing. We are to speak praise and thanksgiving to one another. A man was asked why he quit singing in the church choir. He replied, “Since the Sunday I was absent and everyone thought the organ had been tuned.” God hasn’t given everyone, including me, a beautiful singing voice, but we can make a “joyful noise.” We can, and should, speak to others about our God, who He is and what He has done for us and for them.
Our instructor is the Holy Spirit. He is our singing teacher and coach. We are to be under the Spirit’s coaching and control, “be filled with the Spirit.” Submission leads to singing! Our primary concern is to be pleasing to our teacher and audience, the Lord! We are “making melody” to the Lord, not people.
Why should we sing?
TEACHING: Singing is a tool for learning. It is an aid to help us remember. Most first-grade students first learn the alphabet by singing the ABCs song. They may not recognize an A or Z, but they know the song. When my mother was a resident in a nursing home, she went each week to a time of singing in the cafeteria. Many of the residents could not remember their names, but they could sing the words to songs they learned many years ago. Hymns instruct us about the Word of God. Wonderful hymns include “Amazing Grace,” “What A Friend We Have In Jesus” and “To God Be The Glory.” We may forget the scripture, but remember the song.
ADMONISH: To admonish is to give friendly, earnest advice or encouragement. The best advice and encouragement comes from the songs of Scripture. Share with others the beautiful songs (Psalms) of God’s Word. The Psalms are timeless songs that encourage us to sing even in the darkest of times. “He (the LORD) brought me out of the pit of destruction, out of the miry clay, and He set my feet upon a rock making my footsteps firm. He put a new song in my mouth, a song of praise to our God; many will see and fear and will trust in the Lord” (Psalm 40:2-3). When we sing, we come out of the mire to the choir! Our singing will be heard by others, and they will be encouraged to fear, or revere, God and to trust Him with their lives.
Luther Bridges wrote the hymn, “He Keeps Me Singing.” The hymn’s chorus repeats, “Jesus, Jesus, Jesus, the sweetest name I know; fills my every longing, keeps me singing as I go.” Are you singing as you go? Is your life a song for His glory? Who writes your song? Gratitude or grumbling? May Jesus, who writes beautiful songs, give you a song to sing and keep you singing.
A Conway resident, Marilyn Mathis is a wife, mother, Nana and teaching leader for First Wednesday Lunch Break. Readers can reach her at [email protected].