NEW Today’s AMI QT blog is written by Andy Kim. Andy, a graduate of Northwestern University (BA) and Fuller Theological Seminary (M.Div.), currently serves associate pastor at Radiance Christian Church in San Francisco.
Devotional Thought for Today
“We Must Sing.”
2 Chronicles 20:18-22
Then Jehoshaphat bowed his head with his face to the ground, and all Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem fell down before the Lord, worshiping the Lord. 19 And the Levites, of the Kohathites and the Korahites, stood up to praise the Lord, the God of Israel, with a very loud voice…21 And when he had taken counsel with the people, he appointed those who were to sing to the Lord and praise him in holy attire, as they went before the army, and say, “Give thanks to the Lord, for his steadfast love endures forever.” 22 And when they began to sing and praise, the Lord set an ambush against the men of Ammon, Moab, and Mount Seir, who had come against Judah, so that they were routed.
Sunday worship is no longer the same. No more donuts and coffee, greeters to welcome you, a praise band to uplift you, or even the fellowship afterwards. But, perhaps, what I miss the most is hearing everyone sing together. Sadly, as worship becomes confined to a screen over Zoom, we see less people praising God. I suppose it’s a bit awkward to hear your own voice especially when you don’t have a band to drown it out. And yet in our passage this morning, God reveals to His people the importance of praising and signing, that is, the importance of worship.
Imagine being surrounded by your enemies with nowhere to go, feeling scared, trapped, and hopeless. But rather than planning their escape or plotting their battle strategy, the passage shows us that they “fell down before the Lord, worshipping Him…praising the Lord with a very loud voice.” They started to sing that led to the realization that the battle belonged to the Lord—which is precisely what the Israelites did when they marched around the walls of Jericho. Singing comforted them in His presence, as it did for Paul and Silas trapped in a dark cell where the presence of God overwhelmed the entire prison as they sang. “And when they began to sing and praise”, the Lord delivered them—for in their worship, God revealed His power to rescue them.
A while back, I attended a memorial service in which a leader led us through a well-known Gospel Spiritual. The melodies and lines were so simple, yet full of so much perspective, presence, and power. As I listened and sang along, I could not help but feel my soul being lifted.
For many of us, we can often feel helpless and trapped especially in this season of our lives. And as we pray and reflect on the many injustices happening in our world today, may we start by singing to Him and to ourselves. May we take every opportunity we have to sing unto Him.
We must sing.
Prayer: Father, I thank You for the gift of worship. We worship You not because of what You do, but because of who You are. You are worthy of our worship. We thank You that we can sing to You no matter where we are or what we’re going through. Amen.
Bible Reading for Today: 1 Corinthians 7
Lunch Break Study
Read Colossians 3:12-17: Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, 13 bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. 14 And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. 15 And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful. 16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God. 17 And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.
Questions to Consider
- What does Paul mean to “put on” the virtues outlined in the passage?
- Why is it important for us to put on these virtues?
- Reflect on your relationship to your church. What does it look like for you to “put on” these virtues? Where have you fallen short?
- The word “put on” is used in the sense of putting on one’s clothes. As we put on clothes everyday, as believers we must also put on these virtues daily. Notice here, Paul puts the burden on the believer to have these virtues rather than expecting it of others.
- Paul notes, we “put on” as God’s chosen ones; holy and beloved mean that these virtues are the fruit of our understanding that we have been loved by God. Warren Wiersbe writes, “If a believer is out of fellowship with another believer, it is because one or both of them have gotten out of fellowship with God.” Therefore, just as Christ committed to us, we must be committed to one another for the sake of unity in the church.
- Personal Reflection and prayer
Oh sing to the Lord a new song; sing to the Lord, all the earth! 2 Sing to the Lord, bless his name; tell of his salvation from day to day. 3 Declare his glory among the nations, his marvelous works among all the peoples! 4 For great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised; he is to be feared above all gods. 5 For all the gods of the peoples are worthless idols, but the Lord made the heavens. 6 Splendor and majesty are before him; strength and beauty are in his sanctuary.
Spend a few moments singing a song unto him. Start with turning on a worship song and follow along. Perhaps, even sing a new song unto him that comes from your heart. Allow Him to minister to you in worship. Ask that the Lord would give you a new song even in this season.