LETTING THE MUSIC OUT


 

I have a great friend, Dave Roberts who is Sr. Pastor at Montrose Church in Montrose, Ca. I have borrowed this excerpt from a recent sermon series he sent me, because I love it's truth Hope it blesses you.
                                               http://montrosechurch.org/​
. Dave and Cyndi Roberts



Psalm 19 

“Many people die with their music still in them…  Why is this so? Too often it is because they are always getting ready to live. Before they know it, time runs out.”  (Oliver Wendell Holmes) 

  

I love the thoughts in that quote.  There is beauty to the thought that our lives let out music, but there is also a warning in those words that should strike a little fear into our hearts.  I am pretty sure your life emanates sounds.  You are leaving a sound track.  I suppose the greater question is what is the genre of your sound track?  It’s a very simple principle.  Many people die with the music still in them.  They spent their lives emitting noise rather than music, or music so dissonant that it was a constant source of irritation.  Which is more true of you?  Do people in your presence and path tend to cover their ears?  Don’t hide.  Don’t be dishonest.  You know in your heart if it’s true or not.  Do people seem to cringe when you talk?  Just to be clear…that’s a ‘you’ problem not a ‘them’ problem.  Paul wrote: 

  

Ephesians 4:29 (NIV) — 29 Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. 

  

Do people cringe when you speak or do they dance?  It’s a simple question, but it’s hard to really face the answer.  Sadly, all too soon our time to let the music out passes and… “Many people die with their music still in them…  Why is this so? Too often it is because they are always getting ready to live. Before they know it, time runs out.” 

  

So What If You Believe? 

One of the reasons we don’t just Breathe is because way down deep we have heart problems.  You need good roots to breathe, but you need a good heart too.  So many of us have adopted a philosophy that says as long as we believe the right stuff, that’s all that matters.  Certainly we are saved by faith alone and not by our works.  This is not a question of earning our salvation or deserving God’s grace or love.  Salvation is the free gift of God’s grace, but discipleship, living out that salvation will cost you everything.  Jesus said: 

  

Matthew 3:8–10 (NIV) — 8 Produce fruit in keeping with repentance. 9 And do not think you can say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our father.’ I tell you that out of these stones God can raise up children for Abraham. 10 The ax is already at the root of the trees, and every tree that does not produce good fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire. 

  

James picks up the theme: 

  

James 2:14–19 (NIV) — 14 What good is it, my brothers and sisters, if someone claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save them? 15 Suppose a brother or a sister is without clothes and daily food. 16 If one of you says to them, “Go in peace; keep warm and well fed,” but does nothing about their physical needs, what good is it? 17 In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead. 18 But someone will say, “You have faith; I have deeds.” Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by my deeds. 19 You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that—and shudder. 

  

A good heart moves us to action.  It moves us to let the music out.  The music of salt and light of words spoke that edify and build up.  Jesus elaborated the thoughts in the Sermon on the Mount: 

  

Matthew 7:15–20 (NIV) — 15 “Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves. 16 By their fruit you will recognize them. Do people pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? 17 Likewise, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. 18 A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit. 19 Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 20 Thus, by their fruit you will recognize them. 

  

What soundtrack are you leaving behind.  Music or dissonance?  It’s heart problem .  Jesus explained it like this: 

  

Luke 6:45 (NIV) — A good man (person) brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and an evil man (person) brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his (their) heart. For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of. 

  

Paul joins the biblical reasoning with this: 

  

2 Corinthians 9:6–7 (NIV) — 6 Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously. 7 Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. 

  

To rest, to breathe, to find peace and share it, means we have done some good work in our good hearts and one of the ways we check the health of our heart…is the music that comes out.  No excuses.  No looking away. No blaming others.  Too many Christians die with the music in them… 

  

The Soundtrack of God 

The psalmist, in this case David, is writing a poem.  Scholars say two poems really, but I think poetry is large enough to encapsulate the two thoughts into one masterful poem. If you listen carefully you can hear David hinting at the soundtrack of God. Let the beauty of it, the music of it, inside your head and more importantly inside your heart: 

  

Psalm 19 (NIV) — For the director of music. A psalm of David. 1 The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands. 2 Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they reveal knowledge. 3 They have no speech, they use no words; no sound is heard from them. 4 Yet their voice goes out into all the earth, their words to the ends of the world. In the heavens God has pitched a tent for the sun. 5 It is like a bridegroom coming out of his chamber, like a champion rejoicing to run his course. 6 It rises at one end of the heavens and makes its circuit to the other; nothing is deprived of its warmth. 7 The law of the Lord is perfect, refreshing the soul. The statutes of the Lord are trustworthy, making wise the simple. 8 The precepts of the Lord are right, giving joy to the heart. The commands of the Lord are radiant, giving light to the eyes. 9 The fear of the Lord is pure, enduring forever. The decrees of the Lord are firm, and all of them are righteous. 10 They are more precious than gold, than much pure gold; they are sweeter than honey, than honey from the honeycomb. 11 By them your servant is warned; in keeping them there is great reward. 12 But who can discern their own errors? Forgive my hidden faults. 13 Keep your servant also from willful sins; may they not rule over me. Then I will be blameless, innocent of great transgression. 14 May these words of my mouth and this meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer. 

  

Let me offer you four insights into the depth of what David is communicating.  

  

1. God Clothed in Glory - David is deeply rooted in the belief that no person can see God and live.  We just couldn't handle the beauty of it, the holiness of it.  Seeing nature is not seeing God.  David joins with the uniquely Jewish theology of God in putting it out there that God is not nature or more accurately to his culture, nature is not God.  God is invisible, but He clothes himself in glory.  That glory for David always includes nature.  The heavens, the stars, the earth, everything in it for David was the clothing God puts over His invisibility so that his glory might be seen.  Nature is not God, but God is every present in nature. He’s behind it. He’s Lord over it.  As if to reinforce this idea David mentions the Sun.  The great empires of the world worshipped the sun and moon as God’s.  David sets his theology forward and clearly.  The beautiful imagery of his day of the sun, a god galloping across the sky is pulled into the visible glory of the invisible God who commands and tracks and sets the sun in it’s place wit these words, “In the heavens God has pitched a tent for the sun. 5 It is like a bridegroom coming out of his chamber, like a champion rejoicing to run his course. 6 It rises at one end of the heavens and makes its circuit to the other; nothing is deprived of its warmth.”  God clothes himself in the glory of nature so that he may be known, please hear this, so that he may be known by the visible actions of his glory displayed day after day, and night affect night and wonder upon wonder.  Even God’s glory must have some literal fruit to accomplish its purpose! 

  

2. You Don’t See, You Hear - So for all of the sense that nature is the clothing God puts on in order for God’s activity to be made known, the poem is not at all about seeing.  It’s about hearing.  The poem is to be set to music.  In our scientific culture we think it is the seeing that reveals the deepest truths, but listen to the lyrics of the song: “The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands. 2 Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they reveal knowledge. 3 They have no speech, they use no words; no sound is heard from them. 4 Yet their voice goes out into all the earth, their words to the ends of the world.”  There are no words, no sound but their voice goes out.  There is a soundtrack to the universe that consistently displays and reveals the glory of God.  It sin’t just some kind of wonder and awe though that is certainly present, it is also meaning and purpose.  The The universe is not merely matter.  The God behind the matter uses each element of nature to shout His message of meaning and purpose, of love and grace, and…. this is important… the message that God is consistently creating and recreating, bringing order out of chaos, and light to push back the darkness. The Hebrew here which in the NIV reads, “The voice goes out,” could be literally rendered, “the tune goes out…”  It is masterful writing.  There is a soundtrack of the universe. 

  

3. The Word Resonates the Music - Now what some consider the second poem ensues.  The point is the same though the source of the music is different.  Now it is the law that David understands as the clothing God wraps around Himself so that His activities might be seen and have literal impact on lives and hearts and journeys.  “7 The law of the Lord is perfect, refreshing the soul. The statutes of the Lord are trustworthy, making wise the simple. 8 The precepts of the Lord are right, giving joy to the heart. The commands of the Lord are radiant, giving light to the eyes. 9 The fear of the Lord is pure, enduring forever. The decrees of the Lord are firm, and all of them are righteous. 10They are more precious than gold, than much pure gold; they are sweeter than honey, than honey from the honeycomb. 11 By them your servant is warned; in keeping them there is great reward.”  The law means nothing.  It represents merely notes on a page.  There is no music until faith comes to open our ears and our hearts and then the music soars.  It lifts the heart and the mind and offer life and love and hope.  Without our deaf ears opened they are rules and regulations and limitation, but with faith they are light and knowledge.  Emmanuel Kant said,  

  

• “The sky above us and the moral law within us witness the same God.”  (Kant) 

The law is not God.  That’s pretty important.  Just like nature s not God, the law is not God either, but God is the conductor behind the music and the law is also clothing He puts on in order to make His love and glory literal and practical.   

  

4. Please Heal Our Deafness -  Finally David turns his attention to the other important reality to this symphony of God’s glory, the listener, himself, us!  He prays for the deafness to which we human beings are so prone.  So he prays that the listener might be healed of his deafness, “12 But who can discern their own errors? Forgive my hidden faults. 13 Keep your servant also from willful sins; may they not rule over me. Then I will be blameless, innocent of great transgression. 14 May these words of my mouth and this meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer.”  It is a plea to fix what I am blind to see and deaf to hear.  I’m going to need divine healing if these ears are ever to fully hear and this heart to take in: 
• what God has done for me  
• and what God asks of me!   

David after this recitation on the law now mentions two specific kinds of sin. The kind that are hidden and unintentional.  The sacrificial law made room for such sins, but next is willful sin.  There was no sacrifice for willful sin, particularly two with which David is all too familiar, murder and adultery.  Do you realize the impact?  In a land ruled by law David sings the music of grace.  the law is not God but reveals and sings his glory.  The score rises with a declaration that tIw ill be blameless, innocent of my transgressions. Finally a prayer, “May these words of my mouth and this meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer.” Please heal our deafness! 

  

What is the Soundtrack of Your Life? 

“Many people die with their music still in them…  Why is this so? Too often it is because they are always getting ready to live. Before they know it, time runs out.”  (Oliver Wendell Holmes) 

  

Our lives are designed to let the music out!  Be warned, your life emanates sounds.  You are leaving a sound track.  I suppose the greater question is what is the genre of your sound track? Many people die with the music still in them. They spent their lives emitting noise rather than music, or music so dissonant that it is a constant source of irritation.  Which is more true of you?  Do people in your presence and path tend to cover their ears?  Don’t hide.  Don’t be dishonest.  You know in your heart if it’s true or not.  Do people seem to cringe when you talk?  Just to be clear…that’s a ‘you’ problem not a ‘them’ problem.  Paul wrote: 

  

Ephesians 4:29 (NIV) — 29 Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. 

  

Do people cringe when you speak or do they dance?  It’s a simple question, but it’s hard to really face the answer.  Sadly, all too soon our time to let the music out passes and… “Many people die with their music still in them…  Why is this so? Too often it is because they are always getting ready to live. Before they know it, time runs out.” This might be the perfect time to stop kidding yourself.  To stop making excuses for why people don’t seem to be drawn to your music.  This would be a prefect time…. 

​​​​​​To change paths….. 

​​​​​​​​To put down good roots… 

​​​​​​​​​​To just….breathe! 

  

  

 

        

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