Some indeed preach Christ from envy and rivalry, but others from good will. The latter do it out of love, knowing that I am put here for the defense of the gospel. The former proclaim Christ out of selfish ambition, not sincerely but thinking to afflict me in my imprisonment.
How do you express your gratitude?
In Ephesians 5:19-20, Paul encourages us to express our gratitude and thanksgiving by "speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody with your heart to the Lord; always giving thanks for all things in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ to God, even the Father." Pastor John comments:
Now there is a reason for different kinds of music. The main reason is that God is infinitely varied in his beauty and he relates to us in profoundly and wonderfully different ways.
- If you experience God in the death of your four daughters and your wife, in the sinking of a ship, you may write, "It Is Well with My Soul."
- If you are overwhelmed with the truth of the incarnation at Christmas time, you may write "Joy to the World."
- If God meets you simply and quietly in your prayer closet, you may write, "Father, I adore you, lay my life before you . . ."
- If you are stunned at the marvel that you are saved, you may write "Amazing grace! How sweet the sound . . ."
- If you area Sunday School teacher longing to teach your students profound things in simple ways, you may write, "Jesus loves me, this I know, for the Bible tells me so. . ."God meets us in high and holy ways. He meets us in lowly and meek ways. He meets us in thunderously glorious ways; he meets us in quiet, intimate ways. He meets us in complex ways and simple ways, furious ways and merciful ways. There are aspects of God's character and relation to us that can only be expressed with high and fine expressions of music like Handel's Messiah, and there are aspects of God's character and relation to us that can only be expressed with more common and folk-like kinds of music like "Amazing Grace" and "Just a Closer Walk with Thee," and "The B-I-B-L-E." —Singing and Making Melody to the Lord, December 28, 1997