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Inspirational Readings | 57 Songs:Devotional of Beloved Hymns: Introduction
Inheriting A Worship Leader's Heart
It all began with this worship leader’s heart. I can't help but encourage everyone not just Christians to take time to listen to as many of the old hymns as possible. Find your favorites and enjoy them. Let them bless you. Sing them as you go about your household duties, driving to work and when you feel stressed. Soak them in. Each hymn tells a story and each has it’s own anointing or powerful influence on the human heart. Christian hymns add a certain element of soberness to the heart and mind; a balanced and deeper appreciation for the often painful sacrifices made by the composers in sharing their hearts with us. The old traditional hymns still carry a special blessing similar to that enjoyed and experienced by my own elders and ancestors in the faith across all cultural and denominational lines. The hymns were frequent melodic reminders of their God and His love and care for them.
Incorporating hymns into your personal worship time will have rewards you cannot imagine. The words of the hymns are straight forward, no vagueness there and they are timeless. Oftentimes the hymns will seem as if they were written for today’s generation and it’s problems. I have no doubt that some individuals have been brought directly to the throne room of grace while listening to one of these precious hymns or simply reading and treasuring the words like a reader does the Holy Bible. Hymns will surprise you with a blessing to you now and later.
Hymns, musical praise to God is and will continue to be, believe it or not, a shield of protection in the days to come. To those who already know and understand the power of sincere heartfelt musical praise to God - this is no surprise.
King David And The Ark of the Covenant
During David’s time David had to learn a hard lesson about following God’s instructions for carrying the ark of the covenant (1 Chronicles 15:11-28). After the Levite Priests musicians and singers had finished consecrating themselves, singing and playing of instruments was the next protocol. The appointed singers and musicians were right there up front singing and expressing their love and their praises to God. God inhabits the praise of His people (Psalm 22:3). As God's people were singing; God’s presence was right there. If we love God and are singing praises to Him, God’s presence will be right there with us too. If this doesn't excite you read it over again until it sinks in.
Paul And Silas: Jail Break During Earthquake
Want God to bust down some doors in specific areas your life? Try singing praises to our God! Seriously! God loves music. Powerful and wondrous things happen when music is present, especially heartfelt praises to God. Just read the story about Paul and Silas. It’s a story about Paul and Silas: Acts 16:25, 26 just passing the time in jail. They decided to sing. God decided to send angels to shake the jail up. Doors flew open, falls caved in, you name it. And then one thing led to another and a whole household got saved. Talk about a holy adventure!
Have You Experienced God's Protection Through Music?
Personal Experience: Music And God's Protection
Once I was under spiritual attack for befriending someone at God’s request and then telling them something God told me to tell them. I procrastinated as long as is wise to do so when God tells you to do something. But God was merciful and understood. But then God told me in so many words to do what He instructed me to do and to stop stalling. I obediently did what I was told. Of course it wasn't received well at all. That next evening was a prayer meeting with singing afterward. I would discover later, but unknown to me at the time, the weekly scheduled prayers and the jubilant singing were providing a covering of protection for me.
A couple of years later I had a run-in with the same individual. They showed up at church. Their intentions weren't good and God’s discernment revealed that this person's wounds were still fresh. Although people don't always necessarily intend to hurt others, hurting people often do hurt others. Those who are discerning seek God's will and offer hurting people love whenever possible.
Would you believe that a small army of children lined up in front of the stage guided by their teacher, singing with their banners with the various names of God raised high as the worship team and I joined in behind them singing? It was difficult to keep my emotions in check. I was close to tears. Singing children are so cute and so open to God's love I can hardly resist them. I also know that their singing praises to God is more powerful than we can imagine. No incidents happened that day. Many others have similar stories. You may have one of your own.
Do You Hate Singing The Choruses In Hymns?
The Genius of Choruses And Refrains
I recall some bickering and complaining about choruses many years ago throughout some churches in the United States. Some expressed their exhaustion of singing the same old choruses over and over again. They wanted something new. We always want something new don’t we. As humans we unfortunately grow impatient with sameness. But some of the first choruses we see in the Bible were in David’s psalms.
The beauty of choruses is that yes, you sing it over and over and over again and it becomes locked in mind and hopefully in the heart as well. A chorus is an important part of the song's structure. It’s the most effective way to learn too. Think about when you learned your ABCs. The words in the familiar abc children’s jingle may not be the same but the tune is a repeat all the way through. Why? Because it makes it easy to remember. In music there's a musical idea called a hook. And it is rightly named for it metaphorically hooks a phrase in our minds. Although the idea of a hook is a new idea, the basic concept isn't. If it weren't for the choruses and refrains it would be a lot harder to learn music in any form. We do make the effort to learn the songs we fall in love with, but it does take a little more time if no choruses or refrains are included.
What About Contemporary Christian Music?
Some of you may ask why I didn't say anything about the contemporary music. That’s because there’s no need. We hear them often at churches around the world and if we’re tuned into that kind of music. Many radio stations still play some of the old hymns but most are playing what the masses of people want to hear. Even Christians have their favorites. If you grew up with the hymns like I did you remember them and they aren't a foreign sound and they are welcome right alongside of the contemporary songs as they should be.
This Devotional of Beloved Hymns project is dedicated both to those who love the old hymns of the Christian faith and to those who aren't too familiar with them. To both I give a warm welcome with hopes that you will return again to reminisce with me through some of the old traditional hymns and receive a blessing.
2015 Barb Johnson (Babbyii)