Sing of the Lord’s Great Love

Day 26 of the 28-Day #LoveChallenge

sing great love

I will sing of the Lord’s great love forever; with my mouth I will make your faithfulness known through all generations. Psalm 89:1

Warm up your vocal chords and break out the band! Today’s #LoveChallenge is to sing of the Lord’s great love.

I understand if you can’t carry a tune to save your life – I’m with you on that score. But God doesn’t care about the quality of your voice. Rather, he looks at music and song as an expression of your love for and worship of him, no matter the circumstance.

I have been chronicling references of singing and making music to the Lord for a couple years in my Evernote app. The references are too many to mention in this post. Suffice it to say, making music, joyful song, and singing hymns to the Lord is a universal practice (with benefits) throughout all of Scripture.

Here are just a few of the multitude occurrences of singing and making a joyful sound to the Lord:

  • Singing and playing musical instruments is a fitting way to praise God – Psalm 3:1-3
  • “I will praise God’s name in song and glorify him with thanksgiving.” Psalm 69:30
  • Believers are commanded to teach and admonish one another through psalms, hymns and spiritual songs with thankful hearts – Colossians 3:16
  • “But as for me, I will sing about your power. Each morning I will sing with joy about your unfailing love.” Psalm 59:16
  • On joyous occasions – after Solomon had the Ark moved into the new Temple – 2 Chronicles 5:12-14
  • Upon going into battle – the king appointed singers to walk ahead of the army – 2 Chronicles 20:21-22
  • Singing and making music has the power to defeat your (spiritual) enemies – Psalm 27:4-6
  • The singing and praise of children silences the devil – Psalm 8:2
  • Because the Lord has compassion on his people in their suffering – Isaiah 49:13
  • There will be music and songs of praise at the second coming of Christ – Rev. 15:3-4
  • Paul and Silas experience the power of prayer and singing hymns while in prison: “About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening to them. Suddenly there was such a violent earthquake that the foundations of the prison were shaken. At once all the doors flew open, and everyone’s chains came loose.” Acts 16:25-26
  • Plus many more references to singing and making a joyful sound to the Lord.

I am persuaded that if we spent more time in corporate and private singing and making music to the Lord we’d have more hope, love, joy, power, and fruit of the Holy Spirit in our life.

Take some time today to sing of the Lord’s great love for you. Here are some tips and suggestions of how to make this #LoveChallenge happen and engage with singing unto the lord:

  • Page through the book of Psalms (the Book of Songs) and sing the verses out loud.
  • Play some of your favorite worship music and sing along – one of my favorites is the Voice performance of Great is Thy Faithfulness by Jordan Smith (viewed over 9 million times and available on iTunes, Google Play, etc.
  • Do a Google search for the lyrics of your favorite hymn or worship song, then sing the lyrics out loud!
  • Make up your own song and sing it to the Lord as I did here with The Non-Musician’s Guide for Making a Joyful Sound.
  • Some churches publish their song list on social media or their website. This is a great way to extend your worship and praise following a service. Grab a song from the list that ministered to you, then get the music for it, sing along with it, maybe even memorize it to “take it with you” while you’re out and about. Here’s an example from Grace Church in Eden Prairie.
  • Sing a new song by adding a new song (to you) to your music library. For example, I have Keith and Kristyn Getty’s “In Christ Alone” modern-day hymn and have loved learning it and singing along to it!

Here is their YouTube version of In Christ Alone:

Those should give you a great start toward our #LoveChallenge goal: I will sing of the Lord’s great love and use my mouth to make his faithfulness known.

In case you missed them…

Previous Posts in the #LoveChallenge Series of February

I’ve been writing and posting on the theme of #LoveGod and #LoveOthers – the #LoveChallenge for the month of February – #LoveFor28. Here are the other posts in this series:

The Non-Musician’s Guide for Making Joyful Song

Confessions of an untalented musician

Make Joyful Song

Sing joyfully to the Lord, you righteous; it is fitting for the upright to praise him. Praise the Lord with the harp; make music to him on the ten-stringed lyre. Sing to him a new song; play skillfully, and shout for joy. Psalm 33:1-3 NIV

Sometimes I like to break out the harmonica and let it rip. But I’m not very good and it drives the dogs crazy.

Before taking up the harmonica I played the clarinet, a little guitar; oh yeah, and the drums in a high school rock band. I wasn’t all that great at any of those instruments either.

Singing? I can’t carry a tune to save my life.

What’s an untalented musician-singer like me do to praise the Lord through song? Write one:

Trembling Joy

Listening I feel;
Spirit moving.
You are amazing,
Reaching even me.
More than amazing:
Saving even me.

Trembling joy,
And quivering heart.
Jesus my savior,
From world’s apart.
In kindness you drew me,
In mercy you touched me,
In grace you forgave me,
And never will depart.

Engaging I receive;
Jesus loving.
You are loving,
Loving even me.
Unfailing love:
Never letting go.

Trembling joy,
And quivering heart.
Jesus my savior,
From world’s apart.
In kindness you drew me,
In mercy you touched me,
In grace you forgave me,
And never will depart.

Returning I come;
Compassion showing.
You are helping,
Helping even me.
Faithfully loving:
Your blessings I see.*

Trembling Joy,
And quivering heart.
Jesus my savior,
from world’s apart.
In kindness you drew me,
In mercy you touched me,
In grace you saved me,
And never will depart.

*This verse was updated from the original because I was later inspired by Isaiah 30:18: “So the Lord must wait for you to come to him so he can show you his love and compassion. For the Lord is a faithful God. Blessed are those who wait for his help.” God’s people returning and coming back to him is a recurring theme throughout the Bible. God is a God of second and third…chances. This has been the case with me, and returning to him has led to engaging with God in songs of joy (see Isaiah 30:29 NLT).

Are you a musician?

Perhaps you are one who can “play skillfully,” as the Psalm says? Leave a note in the comments if you’d be interested in writing music to Trembling Joy. I’d love to hear what it might sound like. Thanks!

Break into Music

Reading the Bible cover to cover, you can’t help but notice music, singing and even dancing are constant expressions of joy, praise and worship among God’s people. Not just when engaged in Temple or church worship, but in everyday life: in peace and war, in times of trouble, gladness and in celebration. Not only that, but making music is a two-way channel of communication and communion with the Lord.

Engaging with God in music and song, no matter what our ability or level of skill, deepens our spiritual connection with him and is a source of great joy and meaning in our lives. We were meant for this.

Here are a sampling of verses and passages that reference musical engagement with the Lord. It’s truly amazing how many references there are. It points to just how important making a joyful song to the Lord is.

As you graze these references, keep this thought in mind: Singing, making music and dancing before  the Lord channels joy and reminds us of our deep connection with the Lord:

  • But the people of God will sing a song of joy, like the songs at the holy festivals. You will be filled with joy, as when a flutist leads a group of pilgrims to Jerusalem, the mountain of the Lord – to the Rock of Israel. Isaiah 30:29 NLT
  • Shout with joy to the LORD, all the earth! Worship the LORD with gladness. Come before him, singing with joy. Psalm ‭100:1-2‬ ‭NLT‬‬
  • Don’t be drunk with wine, because that will ruin your life. Instead, be filled with the Holy Spirit, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs among yourselves, and making music to the Lord in your hearts. Ephesians‬ ‭5‬:‭18-19‬ NLT
  • Blow the trumpets in times of gladness, too, sounding them at your annual festivals and at the beginning of each month. And blow the trumpets over your burnt offerings and peace offerings. The trumpets will remind your God of his covenant with you. I am the LORD your God.” Numbers‬ ‭10‬:‭10‬ NLT

  • But as for me, I will sing about your power. Each morning I will sing with joy about your unfailing love. For you have been my refuge, a place of safety when I am in distress. O my Strength, to you I sing praises, for you, O God, are my refuge, the God who shows me unfailing love. Psalm‬ ‭59‬:‭16-17‬ NLT
  • Is anyone among you in trouble? Let them pray. Is anyone happy? Let them sing songs of praise. “James 5:13 NIV
  • David also ordered the Levite leaders to appoint a choir of Levites who were singers and musicians to sing joyful songs to the accompaniment of harps, lyres, and cymbals. ‭‭1 Chronicles‬ ‭15:16‬ ‭NLT‬‬

  • And the Levites who were musicians—Asaph, Heman, Jeduthun, and all their sons and brothers—were dressed in fine linen robes and stood at the east side of the altar playing cymbals, lyres, and harps. They were joined by 120 priests who were playing trumpets. The trumpeters and singers performed together in unison to praise and give thanks to the LORD. Accompanied by trumpets, cymbals, and other instruments, they raised their voices and praised the LORD with these words: “He is good! His faithful love endures forever!” At that moment a thick cloud filled the Temple of the LORD. The priests could not continue their service because of the cloud, for the glorious presence of the LORD filled the Temple of God. ‭‭2 Chronicles‬ ‭5:12-14‬ ‭NLT‬‬

  • The priests took their assigned positions, and so did the Levites who were singing, “His faithful love endures forever!” They accompanied the singing with music from the instruments King David had made for praising the LORD. Across from the Levites, the priests blew the trumpets, while all Israel stood. ‭‭2 Chronicles‬ ‭7:6‬ ‭NLT‬‬

  • After consulting the people, the king appointed singers to walk ahead of the army, singing to the LORD and praising him for his holy splendor. This is what they sang: “Give thanks to the LORD; his faithful love endures forever!” At the very moment they began to sing and give praise, the LORD caused the armies of Ammon, Moab, and Mount Seir to start fighting among themselves. ‭‭2 Chronicles‬ ‭20:21-22‬ ‭NLT‬‬

  • Rise up, O LORD, in all your power. With music and singing we celebrate your mighty acts. ‭‭Psalm‬ ‭21:13‬ ‭NLT‬‬

  • King Hezekiah then stationed the Levites at the Temple of the LORD with cymbals, lyres, and harps. He obeyed all the commands that the LORD had given to King David through Gad, the king’s seer, and the prophet Nathan. The Levites then took their positions around the Temple with the instruments of David, and the priests took their positions with the trumpets. Then Hezekiah ordered that the burnt offering be placed on the altar. As the burnt offering was presented, songs of praise to the LORD were begun, accompanied by the trumpets and other instruments of David, the former king of Israel. The entire assembly worshiped the LORD as the singers sang and the trumpets blew, until all the burnt offerings were finished. Then the king and everyone with him bowed down in worship. King Hezekiah and the officials ordered the Levites to praise the LORD with the psalms written by David and by Asaph the seer. So they offered joyous praise and bowed down in worship. ‭‭2 Chronicles‬ ‭29:25-30‬ ‭NLT‬‬

  • The one thing I ask of the LORD — the thing I seek most— is to live in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, delighting in the LORD’s perfections and meditating in his Temple. For he will conceal me there when troubles come; he will hide me in his sanctuary. He will place me out of reach on a high rock. Then I will hold my head high above my enemies who surround me. At his sanctuary I will offer sacrifices with shouts of joy, singing and praising the LORD with music. Psalm ‭27:4-6‬ ‭NLT‬‬

  • When the builders completed the foundation of the LORD’s Temple, the priests put on their robes and took their places to blow their trumpets. And the Levites, descendants of Asaph, clashed their cymbals to praise the LORD, just as King David had prescribed. With praise and thanks, they sang this song to the LORD: “He is so good! His faithful love for Israel endures forever!” Then all the people gave a great shout, praising the LORD because the foundation of the LORD’s Temple had been laid. ‭‭Ezra‬ ‭3:10-11‬ ‭NLT‬‬

  • Let the godly sing for joy to the LORD; it is fitting for the pure to praise him. Praise the LORD with melodies on the lyre; make music for him on the ten-stringed harp. Sing a new song of praise to him; play skillfully on the harp, and sing with joy. For the word of the LORD holds true, and we can trust everything he does. He loves whatever is just and good; the unfailing love of the LORD fills the earth. ‭‭Psalm ‭33:1-5‬ ‭NLT‬‬

  • For the dedication of the new wall of Jerusalem, the Levites throughout the land were asked to come to Jerusalem to assist in the ceremonies. They were to take part in the joyous occasion with their songs of thanksgiving and with the music of cymbals, harps, and lyres.”
    ‭‭Nehemiah‬ ‭12:27‬ ‭NLT‬‬
  • Sing to the LORD, for he has done wonderful things. Make known his praise around the world. ‭‭Isaiah‬ ‭12:5‬ ‭NLT‬‬

  • Wake up, my heart! Wake up, O lyre and harp! I will wake the dawn with my song. I will thank you, Lord, among all the people. I will sing your praises among the nations. For your unfailing love is as high as the heavens. Your faithfulness reaches to the clouds. Psalm ‭57:8-10‬ ‭NLT‬‬

  • But as for me, I will sing about your power. Each morning I will sing with joy about your unfailing love. For you have been my refuge, a place of safety when I am in distress. O my Strength, to you I sing praises, for you, O God, are my refuge, the God who shows me unfailing love. ‭‭Psalm‬ ‭59:16-17‬ ‭NLT‬‬

  • David and the army commanders then appointed men from the families of Asaph, Heman, and Jeduthun to proclaim God’s messages to the accompaniment of lyres, harps, and cymbals. Here is a list of their names and their work: ‭‭1 Chronicles‬ ‭25:1‬ ‭NLT‬‬
  • But now bring me a harpist.” While the harpist was playing, the hand of the Lord came on Elisha. 2 Kings 3:15 NIV
  • God has ascended amid shouts of joy, the Lord amid the sounding of trumpets. Sing praises to God, sing praises; sing praises to our King, sing praises. For God is the King of all the earth; sing to him a psalm of praise. Psalm‬ ‭47‬:‭5-7‬ NIV
  • Your procession, God, has come into view, the procession of my God and King into the sanctuary. In front are the singers, after them the musicians; with them are the young women playing the timbrels. Praise God in the great congregation; praise the Lord in the assembly of Israel. Psalm‬ ‭68‬:‭24-26‬ NIV
  • I will praise God’s name in song and glorify him with thanksgiving. Psalm‬ ‭69‬:‭30‬ NIV
  • I will praise you with the harp for your faithfulness, my God; I will sing praise to you with the lyre, Holy One of Israel. My lips will shout for joy when I sing praise to you— I whom you have delivered. Psalm‬ ‭71‬:‭22-23‬ NIV
  • Sing for joy to God our strength; shout aloud to the God of Jacob! Begin the music, strike the timbrel, play the melodious harp and lyre. Psalm‬ ‭81‬:‭1-2‬ NIV
  • Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth, burst into jubilant song with music; make music to the Lord with the harp, with the harp and the sound of singing, with trumpets and the blast of the ram’s horn— shout for joy before the Lord, the King. ‭Psalm‬ ‭98‬:‭4-6‬ NIV
  • My heart, O God, is steadfast; I will sing and make music with all my soul. Awake, harp and lyre! I will awaken the dawn. Psalm‬ ‭108‬:‭1-2‬ NIV
  • Give praise to the Lord, proclaim his name; make known among the nations what he has done. Sing to him, sing praise to him; tell of all his wonderful acts. Psalm‬ ‭105‬:‭1-2‬ NIV
  • I will sing a new song to you, my God; on the ten-stringed lyre I will make music to you, to the One who gives victory to kings, who delivers his servant David. Psalm‬ ‭144‬:‭9‬ NIV
  • Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts. Colossians‬ ‭3‬:‭16‬ NIV
  • David and all the Israelites were celebrating with all their might before God, with songs and with harps, lyres, timbrels, cymbals and trumpets. 1 Chronicles‬ ‭13‬:‭8‬ NIV
  • The trumpeters and musicians joined in unison to give praise and thanks to the Lord. Accompanied by trumpets, cymbals and other instruments, the singers raised their voices in praise to the Lord and sang: “He is good; his love endures forever.” Then the temple of the Lord was filled with the cloud. 2 Chronicles‬ ‭5‬:‭13‬ NIV
  • It is good to give thanks to the LORD, to sing praises to the Most High. It is good to proclaim your unfailing love in the morning, your faithfulness in the evening, accompanied by a ten-stringed instrument, a harp, and the melody of a lyre. Psalm ‭92‬:‭1-3‬ NLT
  • “Shout with joy to the LORD, all the earth! Worship the LORD with gladness. Come before him, singing with joy.” ‭‭Psalm‬ ‭100:1-2‬ ‭NLT
  • Praise the LORD, for the LORD is good; celebrate his lovely name with music. ‭‭Psalm ‭135:3‬ ‭NLT‬
  • But let all who take refuge in you be glad; let them ever sing for joy. Spread your protection over them, that those who love your name may rejoice in you. Psalm‬ ‭5‬:‭11‬ NIV
  • The LORD is my strength and shield. I trust him with all my heart. He helps me, and my heart is filled with joy. I burst out in songs of thanksgiving. Psalm‬ ‭28‬:‭7‬ NLT
  • About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening to them. Acts 16:25 NIV
  • And they sang a new song before the throne and before the four living creatures and the elders. No one could learn the song except the 144,000 who had been redeemed from the earth. Revelation 14:3
  • and sang the song of God’s servant Moses and of the Lamb: “Great and marvelous are your deeds, Lord God Almighty. Just and true are your ways, King of the nations. Revelation 15:3