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Songs From The Heart

But thanks be to God, who in Christ always leads us in triumphal procession, and through us spreads in every place the fragrance that comes from knowing him. For we are the aroma of Christ to God among those who are perishing; to the one a fragrance from death to death, to the other a fragrance from life to life. Who is sufficient for these things? For we are not peddlers of God's word like so many; sincerity, as persons sent from God and standing in his presence.

2 Corinthians 2:14-17 (NRSV)

Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly; teach and admonish one another in all wisdom; and with gratitude in your hearts sing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs to God. Colossians 3:16 (NRSV)

Robert Racine lives in North Carolina. Not being blessed with natural musical ability, Robert found it difficult and frustrating to learn new songs with the praise team at his church every week. Five years ago, Robert never heard any of these songs and did not understand the reason for worship. Nor did he realize that many of the songs were actually based upon Bible verses or older hymns. At first, performing each week made him anxious and uncomfortable.

But then the Holy Spirit taught him that it is the "heart of worship" that counts - and the message of the song rather than its delivery. Once Robert stopped focusing on performing perfectly, he realized that music offered as a labor of love and worship is beautiful and pleasing to God.

The purpose of playing music and singing is to praise and worship God. The psalmist says, "I will praise God's name in song and glorify him with thanksgiving" (Ps. 69:30). We worship aloud to acknowledge our love for God, not to perform or seek admiration for ourselves. The voices and sounds that fill every church around the world are pleasing to God - especially when our hearts and minds are open to the truth and power of scripture contained in the songs.

Prayer: Lord Jesus, make us instruments of your love and peace through song. Focus our minds, soften our hearts, open our eyes and ears to the truth of your word, in Jesus' name. Amen.

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