Thursday, January 24, 2013

The Power of Music.

Music for most of us is like a big cold glass of ice water on a hot summer day.  In fact, Deitrich Bonhoeffer that great German Lutheran pastor, theologian, and dissident who stood up to the evils of Hitler's Third Reich said, Music... will help dissolve your perplexities and purify your character and sensibilities, and in time of care and sorrow, will keep a fountain of joy alive in you.”

Martin Luther surely knew something of the healing power of music when he said,
“Next to the Word of God, music deserves the highest praise. The gift of language combined with the gift of song was given to man that he should proclaim the Word of God through Music.”

God has given us 150 chapters of songs in the book of Psalms, and if you took notice the book of Psalms is the largest book in the entire Bible.
The word psalms is derived from the Greek Ψαλμοί (Psalmoi), perhaps originally meaning "music of the lyre" or "songs sung to a harp" and then to any piece of music. Psalms expressed Israel's religious faith and were sung to give God praise and glory.

The idea of music as a means to uplift and encourage is woven throughout the entire Bible. The Apostle Paul in his letter to the believers at Ephesus says that they should be----"
speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord...5:19.

Well, that brings me to a song that I've been hearing on Christian radio frequently---it is sung by Big Daddy  Weave----he is big, but his voice is even bigger. The song is "REDEEMED."  Let my share one of the stanzas with you that just rushed in and exploded on my inner man:

                                                         "I am redeemed, You set me free
                                                          So I'll shake off these heavy chains
                                                          Wipe away every stain, 'cause I'm not who I used to be"

he concept of redemption is central to the New Testament, for Christ came to bridge the gap between man and God. The word redeemed carries the idea of purchasing back something that was previously sold. The concept in the Scriptures is that man was lost and a slave to sin; and our Messiah came to purchase us back to himself (cf. Gal. 3:13; Eph. 1:7-8).

1 Corinthians 6:19-20 gives us a crystal clear picture of what it means to be redeemed, when the Apostle Paul writes:

"Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own;
  you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies."

As I look back at my life of being redeemed for nearly four decades I can sing as Big Daddy Weave sings:

               "I'm not who I used to be."

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