There are areas we can grow in to have a deeper experience with God in the coming year. We all need a song in our heart.
Colossians 3:16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.
Many scriptures show us that singing is important. The scriptures tell us to teach and admonish each other in psalm, hymn, and spiritual songs. If it’s been hard to sing, ask God to help us sing from our heart.
Ephesians 5:19 Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord;
It pleases God for us to come to him with singing. When Daniel and his friends were in Babylon, they make an effort to learn. They would have sung if the king asked them to. It shouldn’t be hard to sing for God. To be a good testimony, we should be able to come before God’s presence with singing. Moses sang when he had crossed the Red Sea (Exodus 15:1-6). David sang songs – psalms and played the harp. When we sing, we’re singing and rejoicing to God. Coming into 2020, if you haven’t been singing, ask God to help you come into the services with singing, praise, and thanksgiving.
Psalm 100:1-2 Make a joyful noise unto the Lord…Serve the Lord with gladness: come before his presence with singing.
Hezekiah’s father Ahaz was very wicked and brought idols into the temple of God. Hezekiah determined he was going to clean up the temple and serve God. It took the priests sixteen days to clean out the temple.
II Chronicles 29:10-11 Now it is in mine heart to make a covenant with the Lord God of Israel, that his fierce wrath may turn away from us. My sons, be not now negligent: for the Lord hath chosen you to stand before him, to serve him, and that ye should minister unto him, and burn incense.
II Chronicles 29:16-17 And the priests went into the inner part of the house of the Lord, to cleanse it, and brought out all the uncleanness that they found in the temple of the Lord into the court of the house of the Lord. And the Levites took it, to carry it out abroad into the brook Kidron. Now they began on the first day of the first month to sanctify, and on the eighth day of the month…so they sanctified the house of the Lord in eight days; and in the sixteenth day…made an end.
When the temple was clean, Hezekiah commanded the priests to offer the sin offering for the kingdom.
II Chronicles 29:21-22 And they brought seven bullocks, and seven rams, and seven lambs, and seven he goats, for a sin offering for the kingdom, and for the sanctuary, and for Judah. And he commanded the priests…to offer them on the altar of the Lord. So they killed the bullocks…the rams…also the lambs, and they sprinkled the blood upon the altar.
They brought musical instruments to play in the temple as they sang and worshiped until the 28 burnt sacrifice animals were offered. Then they offered 3,970 animals for thank offerings. They sang and praised for hours for all God had done.
II Chronicles 29:25-33 And he set the Levites in the house of the Lord with cymbals, with psalteries, and with harps, according to the commandment of David…for so was the commandment of the Lord by his prophets. And the Levites stood with the instruments of David, and the priests with the trumpets. And Hezekiah commanded to offer the burnt offering upon the altar. And when the burnt offering began, the song of the Lord began also with the trumpets, and with the instruments…And all the congregation worshiped, and the singers sang, and the trumpeters sounded: and all this continued until the burnt offering was finished…Moreover Hezekiah the king and the princes commanded the Levites to sing praise unto the Lord…they sang praises with gladness, and they bowed their heads and worshiped. Then Hezekiah answered…Now ye have consecrated yourselves unto the Lord, come near and bring sacrifices and thank offerings…And the congregation brought in sacrifices and thank offerings; and as many as were of a free heart burnt offerings. And the number of the burnt offerings, which the congregation brought, was threescore and ten bullocks, an hundred rams, and two hundred lambs…And the consecrated things were six hundred oxen and three thousand sheep.
We all have a work to do for God. We are to show praise and thanksgiving as a testimony to God. We need to be happy and joyful so those around see and want to serve God. We need a willing heart and to do whatever God asks. When God spoke to him on the road to Damascus, Paul said “Lord, what wilt thou have me to do?” (Acts 9:1-8). We can’t count our life dear to us or when things happen that we don’t personally like, we’ll have problems. When Paul knew he was going to face persecution and jail, he wasn’t counting his life dear and wasn’t grumpy. He learned to be content in every situation (Philippians 4:11). This year we need to ask God to help us be a servant, to sing, and to praise God no matter what we face. When Paul was brought before Agrippa the ruler, he said Paul almost persuaded him to be a Christian (Acts 26:1-29). If we get grumpy when we have problems, how are we different than the rest of the world? Our demeanor shows what’s in our heart. He testified to everyone, no matter how important they were.
Acts 20:17-24…he sent to Ephesus, and called the elders of the church. And when they were come…said unto them, Ye know…after what manner I have been with you…Serving the Lord with all humility of mind, and with many tears, and temptations, which befell me by the lying in wait of the Jews: And how I kept back nothing…profitable unto you, but have shewed you, and have taught you publickly…Testifying both to the Jews, and…Greeks, repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus…I go bound in the spirit unto Jerusalem, not knowing the things that shall befall me there: Save that the Holy Ghost witnesseth…bonds and afflictions abide me. But none of these things move me, neither count I my life dear unto myself, so that I might finish my course with joy, and the ministry…to testify the gospel of the grace of God.
We need to be willing and submissive if we’re going to grow in our experience. Our motivation needs to be because God is our boss. We can’t have the attitude, “no man is going to tell me what to do.” Sometimes God has the pastor ask us to do something and we need to be submissive. God used Paul in the prison where he was submissive. God is our boss and we need to serve him in our hard places. If we have a difficult boss at work, we need to pray that God will give us grace to be the right testimony. David was running from Saul who was trying to kill him and his men said to kill Saul. David knew God didn’t want him to touch the Lord’s anointed. God wanted David to let him handle the situation and leave it in God’s hands. David knew vengeance is up to God (Romans 12:19) and he would take care of Saul in his time.
I Samuel 24:1-13 And it came to pass, when Saul was returned from following the Philistines, that it was told him…David is in the wilderness of Engedi. Then Saul took three thousand chosen men…to seek David and his men…And he came to …a cave; and Saul went in to cover his feet: and David and his men remained in the sides of the cave. And the men of David said…Behold the day of which the Lord said…I will deliver thine enemy into thine hand, that thou mayest do to him as it shall seem good…Then David arose, and cut off the skirt of Saul’s robe privily. And…David’s heart smote him…And he said unto his men, The Lord forbid that I…stretch forth mine hand against him, seeing he is the anointed of the Lord. So David …suffered them not to rise against Saul. But Saul…went on his way. David also arose afterward…cried after Saul, saying, My lord the king…David stooped with his face to the earth, and bowed…said to Saul, Wherefore hearest thou men’s words, saying, Behold, David seeketh thy hurt? Behold…the Lord had delivered thee to day into mine hand in the cave: and some bade me kill thee…I said, I will not put forth mine hand against my lord; for he is the Lord’s anointed. Moreover…see the skirt…that I cut off the skirt of thy robe, and killed thee not, know…there is neither evil nor transgression in mine hand, and I have not sinned against thee; yet thou huntest my soul to take it. The…Lord avenge me of thee: but mine hand shall not be upon thee. As saith the proverb…Wickedness proceedeth from the wicked: but mine hand shall not be upon thee.
We can’t put our hand against the Lord’s anointed or take vengeance against anyone. Saul could see that God was with David no matter what he did to him. Those around us need to see God is with us no matter what happens to us.
I Samuel 24:16-20…when David had made an end of speaking…Saul said, Is this thy voice, my son David? And Saul lifted up his voice, and wept. And he said…Thou art more righteous than I: for thou hast rewarded me good, whereas I have rewarded thee evil. And thou hast…dealt well with me: forasmuch as when the Lord had delivered me into thine hand, thou killedst me not…wherefore the Lord reward thee good for that thou hast done…And now, behold, I know well that thou shalt surely be king, and that the kingdom of Israel shall be established in thine hand.
To be a good testimony, we have to be flexible or we’ll get bent out of shape.
Romans 13:14 But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof.
(Notes from the Mature Class Bible Study, teacher Edith Tolbert)