Want to be like Jesus? Then Sing!
Are you an early riser? So was Jesus.
Even as a child Jesus rose early and “the early morning often found Him in some secluded place, meditating, searching the Scriptures or in prayer.” (White, Desire of Ages, p. 90)
“With a voice of singing he welcomed the morning light.” (White, Bible Commentary V.5, p. 1117)
Isn’t that beautiful? What an example for us!
My Jesus, I love Thee, I know Thou art mine;
For Thee all the follies of sin I resign;
My gracious Redeemer, my Savior art Thou;
If ever I loved Thee, my Jesus ‘tis now.
When Jesus was a child, He was tempted to sin, but He did not give in to temptation. One of the things that helped Him was singing!
“The songs His mother had taught Him to sing—these songs came into His mind, and He would lift His voice in praise. And before His companions were aware of it, they would be singing with Him. God wants us to use every facility which Heaven has provided for resisting the enemy! (Evangelism, 498)
How about that! Singing can help us resist the enemy, Satan—just like it did Jesus.
Turn your eyes upon Jesus
Look full in His wonderful face
And the things of earth will grow strangely dim
In the light of His glory and grace.
Helen H. Lemmel (1864-1961)
As Jesus grew into a young man, he continued the practice of singing.
“Often the dwellers in Nazareth heard His voice raised”—in scolding or in argument? No! His voice was raised in “songs of praise and thanksgiving to God.”
“He held communion with Heaven in song; and as His companions complained of weariness from labor, they were cheered by the sweet melody from His lips. His praise seemed to banish the evil angels, and like incense, fill the place with fragrance. The minds of His hearers were carried away from their earthly exile, to the heavenly home.” (DA 73)
Another challenge for you and me to be like Jesus.
Jesus is all the world to me, My life, my joy, my all;
He is my strength from day to day,
Without Him I would fall.
When I am sad to Him I go,
No other one can cheer me so;
When I am sad,
He makes me glad:
He’s my friend.
Will L. Thompson, 1847-1909
This description of Jesus in his earthly home and workplace should cause us to reflect on our own daily lives. Would words like cheerfulness, tact, patience, and spirituality be used to describe us? Notice that He used the gift of song to help Him to keep His focus on heavenly things. Would it help for us to do the same?
“Jesus carried into His labor cheerfulness and tact. It requires much patience and spirituality to bring Bible religion into the home life and into the workshop, to bear the strain of worldly business, and yet keep the eye single to the glory of God. This is where Christ was a helper. He was never so full of worldly care as to have no time or thought of heavenly things. Often He expressed the gladness of His heart by singing psalms and heavenly song.” (DA 73)
What a friend we have in Jesus,
All our sins and griefs to bear,
What a privilege to carry everything to Him in prayer.
O what peace we often forfeit,
O what needless pain we bear,
All because we do not carry everything to God in prayer.
Joseph M. Scriven, 1819-1886
If you are trying to be like Jesus, how about having a song ready for the church board members to sing the next time the meeting gets a little too gloomy or oppressive? They might laugh at your suggestion, but it’s worth a try! It worked for Jesus.
“With a song, Jesus in His earthly life met temptation. Often when sharp, stinging words were spoken, often when the atmosphere about Him was heavy with gloom, with dissatisfaction, distrust, or oppressive fear, was heard His song of faith and holy cheer.” (Education, p. 166)
‘Tis so sweet to trust in Jesus,
Just to take Him at His word;
Just to rest upon His promise,
Just to know, “Thus saith the Lord.”
Jesus, Jesus, how I trust Him;
How I’ve proved Him o’er and o’er!
Jesus, Jesus, precious Jesus!
O for grace to trust Him more!
Note: Louisa Stead (1871-1917) and her 4-year old daughter were left with no support when her husband drowned trying to rescue a child off a Long Island Beach. One morning, when she had neither funds nor food for the day, she opened the front door and found food and money on her doorstep. That day she wrote the words of this hymn.