VIDEO Why Do We Sing Spirit-Filled Music?

Be filled with the Spirit, speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord. Ephesians 5:18-19

Why do people sing? The nineteenth century American poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow may have said it best: “Music is the universal language of mankind.” Even when our spoken words cannot be understood, music can bridge a gap where our words often fail. Joy, sorrow, fear, exaltation, praise, energy—every facet of life can be reflected in music. And when words are added, especially words that edify and inspire and communicate to the heart, all the better.

Why do we sing songs in church? The Early Church did so because of the Jewish culture of singing the psalms in worship. But why did Israel sing? Because they were human and needed to pour out their hearts to God in praise, confession, petition, and love. We also sing in corporate worship because Paul instructed us to praise God with “psalms and hymns and spiritual songs” (Ephesians 5:19). Corporate worship, especially with music, focuses our attention on the Savior we serve.

Do you invest your whole heart in corporate worship in church? Worship is our “sacrifice of praise” to the Lord (Hebrews 13:15).

My ready tongue makes haste to sing the glories of my heavenly King.  Charles Wesley

Spirit-Filled Music (Ephesians 5:18-19)

Never Enough

The eye never has enough of seeing. Ecclesiastes 1:8


Frank Borman commanded the first space mission that circled the moon. He wasn’t impressed. The trip took two days both ways. Frank got motion sickness and threw up. He said being weightless was cool—for thirty seconds. Then he got used to it. Up close he found the moon drab and pockmarked with craters. His crew took pictures of the gray wasteland, then became bored.

Frank went where no one had gone before. It wasn’t enough. If he quickly tired of an experience that was out of this world, perhaps we should lower our expectations for what lies in this one. The teacher of Ecclesiastes observed that no earthly experience delivers ultimate joy. “The eye never has enough of seeing, nor the ear its fill of hearing” (1:8). We may feel moments of ecstasy, but our elation soon wears off and we seek the next thrill.

Frank had one exhilarating moment, when he saw the earth rise from the darkness behind the moon. Like a blue and white swirled marble, our world sparkled in the sun’s light. Similarly, our truest joy comes from the Son shining on us. Jesus is our life, the only ultimate source of meaning, love, and beauty. Our deepest satisfaction comes from out of this world. Our problem? We can go all the way to the moon, yet still not go far enough.

By:  Mike Wittmer

Reflect & Pray

When have you felt the most joy? Why didn’t it last? What can you learn from its fleeting nature?

Jesus, shine the light of Your love on me.

Ministers of Comfort

Psalm 72:12-14

During hard seasons or times of disaster—whether natural or man-made, national or local—we are called to show kindness. True compassion tries to understand people’s pain, but it also provides practical help. So, how we can express care and concern for others?

First, remember we have the wonderful privilege of prayer anytime, anywhere. As soon as word of a tragedy reaches you, lift up the victims, rescue workers, and others involved. Let the Holy Spirit guide you in petitioning God for protection, provision, comfort, awareness of His presence, and whatever else He deems fitting (Rom. 8:26).

Second, labor and donations of money, food, clothing, or household goods are usually high priority. So donations of time and resources are helpful (after wisely consulting trusted sources about what’s needed). You also can express compassion with words of comfort, a warm embrace, or a listening ear. Through this kind of love, the world will recognize the true Light—Jesus Christ, who brings good news, binds up the brokenhearted, and comforts all who mourn (Isa. 61:1-2).

We should notice the needs around us and reach out with Christ’s love. Ask the Holy Spirit to reveal ways to pray for those around you. Your concern can have a profound impact.

Receive from the Word

“Thou hast dealt well with thy servant, O LORD, according unto thy word.” (Psalm 119:65)

The good that comes from the hand of the Lord is “according unto thy word,” a common phrase in Psalm 119 that occurs in 11 of the 22 stanzas.

Interestingly, the psalmist twice emphasizes that it was important for him to be “afflicted” before he learned something of the gracious provision of the Lord (Psalm 119:67, 71). The Hebrew word anah is used widely in the Bible, the most famous passage prophesying about the sacrificial death of the Lord Jesus: “Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted” (Isaiah 53:4).

Although affliction does not necessarily come because of personal disobedience (even though that surely happens among us), often the Lord uses an occasion to drive home a concept of holiness or obedience (according to His Word) that will bring His favor or, more properly, bring us in line with His Word so that we may experience the “peaceable fruit of righteousness” (Hebrews 12:11).

Three times the psalmist asked his Lord to teach him or let him learn from the Word about the eternal principles of righteousness (119:66, 68, 71). Three times he insisted that he will keep and delight in the holy laws and principles of which he is aware (119:67, 69, 70).

The core theme of this simple message focuses on the passionate commitment of the psalmist to learn and obey the Word of God. No past history can negate God’s faithfulness. No present difficult circumstances can thwart God’s promises. Thus, “the law of thy mouth is better unto me than thousands of gold and silver” (Psalm 119:72). HMM III

When The Fire Falls

For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.

—James 2:26


For a long time I have believed that truth, to be understood, must be lived; that Bible doctrine is wholly ineffective until it has been digested and assimilated by the total life….

We must be willing to obey if we would know the true inner meaning of the teachings of Christ and the apostles. I believe this view prevailed in every revival that ever came to the church during her long history. Indeed a revived church may be distinguished from a dead one by the attitude of its members toward the truth. The dead church holds to the shell of truth without surrendering the will to it, while the church that wills to do God’s will is immediately blessed with a visitation of spiritual powers.

Theological facts are like the altar of Elijah on Carmel before the fire came, correct, properly laid out, but altogether cold. When the heart makes the ultimate surrender, the fire falls and true facts are transmuted into spiritual truth that transforms, enlightens, sanctifies. The church or the individual that is Bible taught without being Spirit taught (and there are many of them) has simply failed to see that truth lies deeper than the theological statement of it.   TIC092-094

Lord, send the fire today. Amen.


When God Breaks Through

I am with thee to deliver thee, saith the Lord. Then the Lord put forth his hand, and touched my mouth.

—Jeremiah 1:8-9


Pascal wrote on a piece of paper a brief account of his experience, folded the paper and kept it in a pocket close to his heart, apparently as a reminder of what he had felt. Those who attended him at his death found the worn, creased paper. In Pascal’s own hand it read:

From about half-past ten at night to about half-after midnight—fire! O God of Abraham, God of Isaac, God of Jacob—not the God of the philosophers and the wise. The God of Jesus Christ who can be known only in the ways of the gospel. Security—feeling—peace—joy—tears of joy. Amen.

Were these the expressions of a fanatic, an extremist? No. Pascal’s mind was one of the greatest. But the living God had broken through and beyond all that was human and intellectual and philosophical. The astonished Pascal could only describe in one word the visitation in his spirit: “Fire!”….

What we need among us is a genuine visitation of the Spirit. WHT090-091

Nothing can prevent the spiritual rejuvenation of the soul that insists upon having it. SIZ015


The Abiding Holy Spirit

John 14:17

Jesus said to His disciples concerning the Holy Spirit that, “You know Him; for He lives in you” (John 14:7). The Holy Spirit had begun to work in them, but there was more to follow, for Jesus said, “and [He] will be in you” (John 14:7).

When a man is building a house, he is in and out of it and round about it. But when the house is finished, the owner sweeps out all the chips and sawdust, scrubs the floor, lays down his carpets, hangs up his pictures, arranges his furniture and moves in with his family. Then he is in the fullest sense within it. He abides there. Now, it is in that sense that Jesus meant the Holy Spirit should be in them.

The disciples had forsaken all to follow Christ. They had been commissioned to preach the gospel, to heal the sick, to cleanse the lepers, to raise the dead, to cast out devils. Their names were written in heaven. They were not of the world, even as Jesus was not of the world. They knew the Holy Spirit, for He was with them, working in them, but not yet living in them, for they were yet carnal, each seeking the best place for himself. They were fearful, timid and false to Him when the testing time came.

This experience of theirs before Pentecost is the common experience of all true converts. Every child of God knows that the Holy Spirit is with him; he realizes that He is working within, striving to set the house in order.

But often this work is slow, for He can only work effectually as we work with Him, practicing intelligent and obedient faith. Some days the work prospers and seems almost complete, and then peace and joy and comfort abound in the heart. At other times the work is hindered—and often almost or quite undone—

by the strivings and stirrings of inbred sin, by fits of temper, by lightness and frivolity, by neglect of watchfulness and prayer, and the patient, attentive study of His Word, by worldliness, by unholy ambitions, by jealousies and envyings, by harsh judgments, selfish indulgences and slowness to believe.

The Spirit seeks to bring every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ, to lead the soul to that point of glad, wholehearted consecration to its Lord, and that simple, perfect faith in the merits of His Blood which will enable him to enthrone Christ within.

Samuel Logan Brengle, The War Cry