"Praise Him with the sound of the trumpet;
praise Him with the lute and harp! Praise Him with the timbrel and
dance; praise Him with stringed instruments and flutes! Praise Him
with loud cymbals; praise Him with high sounding cymbals! Let
everything that has breath praise the Lord. Praise the Lord!"
We have several
guitar players who join us periodically on Monday evenings, and one
or more will lead us in song, at the start of our Bible Study.
Typically, they look at the music to be played for the evening, and
then bend over the instrument, frowning, listening to the sound of
the strings. Each string is stretched tautly and then tightened
some more, until it seems that it must break. If it did, it would
be replaced with a different string which would be stretched like
the first. This process continues until it is absolutely certain
the chords and notes truly reflect that which is written on the
sheet of paper. The musician adjusts, prays, and then the music
So it is with
our Lord. He is the Heavenly Musician, who intends that beautiful
"music" will come from your heart and mine. He is the Author of the
music and has in mind that the notes to be expressed through you
will be those written in eternity. The doctor may have said, "It's
a boy," or "It's a girl," in relation to your birth, but God already
knew about you and had a plan for you, before you even existed. His
love is to be expressed into this world, through ordinary people.
You may "listen"
to your life, and decide you're doing well, or you may not, but
there is a Master Musician who will tune you to HIS specifications
and won't settle for anything less. He will tighten your "strings"
until it is thought you might break from the strain, but then He is
likely to frown in love for you, and tighten them again. All will
be done in prayer, for the Son and the Spirit are continually
bringing you to the Father, for your "audience" is to hear only the
sweetest music from and through the center of your being.
Who is your
"audience?" Why, it is your "neighbor," defined as the person next
door or down the street, the one in the next pew, those who live in
your home, the co-worker, your relatives, including those who don't
like you, and so on. If you are to be "played" before a vast
audience, He will make it happen, but even the smallest audience is
to be greeted with the sweetest music, written in heaven, through
the blood of Christ, but played here on earth through people like
you and me.
The "music" is
expressed through the person who gives his or her heart and life to
the Lord. This is not only the action of a moment, as the result of
a speaker’s persuasive words, but it is also a life lived in the
praise and love of God. However, it is sad to note that the average
person lives moment by moment, caught by his or her needs,
continually going out of tune, as life's stresses worry them away
from the will of God. We need to be close to our Lord.
J. S. Bach said,
"All music should have no other end and
aim than the glory of God and the soul's refreshment; where this is
not remembered there is no real music." He headed his
for “Jesus Juva" which
means "Jesus help me." He ended
them “S.D.G.” for “Soli Dei gratia”
which stood for "To God alone the praise."
And so should our lives bring praise to the Lord.
produced in you by the Holy Spirit, will draw others to God. Your
neighbor should be able to look at you, filled with his or her
anxiety of the moment, and through your trust in the Lord, discover
the solution to his or her need. If you are filled with the Holy
Spirit of God, the music of His love can emanate from and through
you, as He readies you, His instrument, for that which is not of
this world at all, but from the very throne of God.
It's not so much
your words, but your "heart" that needs to be "heard" by this hungry
world. What kind of "notes" are you playing? You can decide your
need by prayerfully "listening" to yourself. Do you like the
"music" that is in your life?
What sort of
"music" can we “play”? There are basically two kinds - those
produced by our efforts and those that come from Him. "
fornication, uncleanness… idolatry… hatred, contentions, jealousies,
outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions… envy…” (Galatians
5:19-21) - these are some of the "notes" produced by those who let
the concerns of this world dominate them. Paul told us they are NOT
what the world needs to hear. He also spoke of "love,
joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,
gentleness and self-control," produced by the Spirit of God
within (Galatians 5:22-23) and they ARE needed. Look at yourself
again. It may be you need a new "touch" from God, in order to once
again (or maybe for the first time) "play" the heavenly "music" that
the world so desperately needs. He will allow your "strings" to be
stretched until it seems impossible to stretch them more, causing
you to reach out to God and let His Spirit fill your soul.
In Psalm 150:3-6, we read: "Praise
Him with the sound of the trumpet; praise Him with the lute and
harp! Praise Him with the timbrel and dance; praise Him with
stringed instruments and flutes! Praise Him with loud cymbals;
praise Him with high sounding cymbals! Let everything that has
breath praise the Lord. Praise the Lord!" It is His gift
that we are His "orchestra," the "music" of Christ in this world.
The "song" we play, as we trust in Him, brings PRAISE to God, for He
is the loving parent who delights in many children. “Praise
Him,” let His love come through, and others will want Him and
turn to Him, because of you.
Lord, we PRAISE You, right now. We love
you and TRUST in Your love. Fill me now with Your love, Lord Jesus,
and let others see and want You, too. In Jesus Name. Amen.
Ron Beckham, Pastor
Friday Study Ministries
Tel: (562) 688-5559
PO Box 92131
Long Beach, CA 90809-2131
we were yet sinners, Christ died for us"