Please, Don't Just Sit On Your Hymnal!

I am happy to report to you this morning that a new hymnal can be found in the hymnal rack under every chair throughout the sanctuary.  

But PLEASE, DON’T just SIT on your hymnal!  According to Scripture your singing (or lack thereof) is very telling.  The apostle Paul made it clear to the Christians at Ephesus that Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord is an outward sign of being Spirit filled.  

Now it is certainly possible to open a hymnal and even sing from a hymnal without being Spirit filled.  But goodness, WHY advertise your bad spiritual status to everyone around you by choosing to PURPOSELY sit on your hymnal? 

God loves music and He has commanded us to sing because He knows that singing is good for us and brings glory to Him.  God knows that singing accomplishes many objectives in our lives NOT the least of which is rejoicing in:

  • God’s goodness in deliverance and salvation (Exod. 15:1-18; Judges 5:1-31)
  • God’s blessings (Psalm 103; Psalm 18; 1 Samuel 22)
  • Anticipated victories (2 Chronicles 20)
  • God’s sufficiency in our suffering (Acts 16:25)
  • God’s glorious attributes and mighty deeds (see the Psalms)

Consider only a small representation of the many Scriptural commands to sing…

  • Psalm 33:3:  …Sing unto him a new song…
  • Psalm 96:1,2: O sing unto the Lord a new song; sing unto the Lord, all the earth.  Sing unto the Lord, bless his name
  • Psalm 100:2:  Serve the Lord with gladness: come before his presence with singing
  • Psalm 149:1:  …Sing unto the Lord a new song, and his praise in the congregation of saints

It might surprise you to know that the first mention of singing in Scripture is the song of Moses (Exodus 15:1-18) and the LAST song mentioned in Scripture is the song of Moses and the song of the Lamb.  Do you know what the last song of God’s hymnal is about?  It is found in Revelation 15:3,4 where we read…

  • 3 And they sing the song of Moses the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb, saying, Great and marvellous are thy works, Lord God Almighty; just and true are thy ways, thou King of saints. 
  • 4 Who shall not fear thee, O Lord, and glorify thy name? for thou only art holy: for all nations shall come and worship before thee; for thy judgments are made manifest

We should sing to the Lord both individually and corporately as a body.  Paul wrote in Colossians 3:16: Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another [corporately] in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts [individually] to the Lord.

The song service was never intended to be for observation – it was meant for participation.  Even if you cannot carry a tune in a bucket, you should still pick up a hymnal and at least read the lyrics to the song and participate in the service by singing in your heart unto the Lord.  

I believe that our new hymnal, Hymns of Grace, is the best hymnal in print.  It contains the rich heritage of hymns of the past as well as the priceless gems of modern hymnody.  

Those who only like the old hymns rob themselves of tremendous blessings afforded in new hymns. 

Think about it – every OLD hymn was ONCE a NEW hymn!  And those who have a DISDAIN for the old hymns likewise rob themselves of untold blessings from the rich heritage of truth from the past.  

Hymns of Grace is a compilation of the best of the past and the present.  It is a treasure trove of Scriptural truth wed to music to make the Bible memorable, motivating, and unrivalled in importance in our lives.  

I am truly excited about the opportunity to add new hymns and songs to our repertoire.  We will introduce them gradually and help familiarize them to you by having those in the choir occasionally open the service with a verse before asking you to join them.  We will also be posting YouTube links online so you can listen to the hymn or song and familiarize yourself with the tune.

But always remember that the the three-fold end purpose of our corporate song service is simple:

  • To worship, praise, and express our love to God by being obedient to sing
  • To grow and encourage ourselves in the Lord through songs, and
  • To be a blessing, and witness to those around us in singing truth.

So join me in being obedient to God, bringing glory to His name, encouraging yourself, and being a blessing to others by NOT SITTING on your hymnal!

Bill RiffeeComment