I want to sing loud
to show you how much you
mean to me,
I pray in tenor
I pray in soprano
I pray in your language
and I pray off key,
You never wince
You never whine
You always got my back
and to your ears the voice of an angel is heard
though I may be a bit pitchy.
This witness was so strong that – when the ground shook beneath the floors of the prison that night the jailor came to them and asked them “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?” (Acts 16:30) And then the jailor took these two missionaries to his home where Paul and Silas taught the jailor and his family what they should believe about Jesus. And that very night, Paul and Silas baptized the Philippian jailor and his family into Christ.
Singing is a powerful to tool for witnessing.
I recently read the true story of a young boy in India who had been to a missionary school near his home. Among other things, he received food and a place to sleep and he spent time in their children’s classes.
One day, as the boy was walking down the street, he was loudly singing one of the songs he’d heard at the mission – “Jesus loves me, this I know, for the Bible tells me so.”
Other children heard him, and they asked him to sing the whole song to them.
When he did so, they asked him who this Jesus was and what this book called the Bible was. The boy told them – he didn’t know – but he took the whole group back to the mission where they heard the story for themselves… and many of them became Christians because one little boy witnessed to them in a song. A song that he didn’t even understand the words of.
Music is powerful tool.
It can change us
And it can change the lives of the people around us.
But there ARE people who don’t like to sing. They’ve come to believe that their singing is an embarrassment. They find themselves identifying with the 3 year old who sang “I love you Lord… and I lift up my noise”
One expert noted that approximately 40% of Christians have come to believe that singing should be left to those who can sing. They don’t like to sing out loud and they’d prefer to leave that to those who can carry a tune.
In his book “Psalms of the Heart,” George Sweeting illustrated a great truth from the experience of two Moody Bible Institute graduates, John and Elaine Beekman. God called them to missionary work among the Chol Indians of southern Mexico. Sweeting reported that they rode mules and traveled by dugout canoes to reach this tribe. They labored 25 years with other missionaries to translate the New Testament into the language of the Chol Indians.
Today the Chol Church is thriving. More than 12,000 Christians make up the Chol Christian community, which is financially self-supporting.
What’s interesting is that when the missionaries came, the Chol Indians didn’t know how to sing. With the coming of the gospel, however, the believers in the tribe became known as “the singers”. “They love to sing now,” Sweeting commented, “because they have something to sing about.”
The Question we should ask ourselves is not whether we can sing… but whether we have a song to sing. Because if we truly love Jesus… our voices (no matter what WE may think of them) are the sweetest musical instruments known to the courts of Heaven.
For his 27th Anniversary Program, Johnny Carson included a closing segment from one of his previous shows that he said had caught him off guard at the time, but which had actually “moved” him.
The previous year, Orel Hershiser had led his team (the L.A. Dodgers) to victory at the World Series and Carson had asked him what he did to calm his nerves between innings. Hershiser responded that he sang songs. Carson then asked the Pitcher to give him a sample.
The song that this acclaimed World Series Pitcher chose to sing, that had such an impact on a basically unreligious man like Johnny Carson and had moved him so much that he selected that segment to close his anniversary special was a simple “doxology.” A song giving praise to God.
“Praise God from whom all blessing flow
Praise Him all creatures here below
Praise Him all of ye heavenly host
Praise Father, Son and Holy Ghost.”
The question this morning is not whether you can sing… but whether you have a song to sing. If you don’t belong to Jesus, you don’t yet have a reason to sing. That’s why we offer this invitation to you right now…
Stand up and SING!