Bruce Collins, Evangelist

The personal website of Bruce Collins

Singing and Giving Thanks

Meditation for the week of November 23, 2008

Colossians 3:16-17
Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord. And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.

When was the last time you heard someone sing who wasn’t in a choir or a congregational setting? When was the last time you felt like singing? A redeemed person should be happy and happiness is usually associated with singing. We don’t read of angels singing though we often presume in our hymns that they did. But angels were not redeemed. They were not bought back from the slave market of sin by the blood of Christ. Perhaps that is why saints sing but angels are those who “say”.

Singing in this passage is associated with having the word of Christ dwelling in us. In the parallel passage in Ephesians 5 verse 18, being filled with the Spirit leads to singing. Clearly we are filled with the Spirit when the Spirit controls us. If we are filled with anger or envy in the Bible those things have taken control of us. I am convinced that the Holy Spirit cannot take control of us until the word of Christ has taken control of us or dwells in us richly. The Spirit and the Word always work together just as they did in creation when read that the Spirit of God moved or hovered over the waters and then God said (Genesis 1:2-3).

A singing people then is a redeemed people who are energized by the Spirit of God and who allow the Spirit to guide them by the Word of God. When that happens we are not only singing but we are thankful. What could a singing people be thankful for this time of year? There are many things that I could list, but at Thanksgiving time I am always reminded of the goodness of God in not leaving me alone until I had rested on the Truth that Christ had died for me. On November 24, 1963, the week before Thanksgiving that year, I found out that Christ had died for me and as a result I could be sure that my sins were forgiven and that God had reserved a place in heaven for me when I died. I am not always as thankful as I should be about the goodness, grace and mercy of God to me, but at Thanksgiving time, I always remember that I am indeed fortunate be called one of God’s holy ones or saints. I am a Christian. That is, I am a follower of Christ.

I remember a friend of mine who was about to lose his job at a lumber store. He was hosting me during a series of meetings. He was at an age where finding another good job was going to be difficult. In addition, he had some hip problems that were going to require surgery. I wondered how he was keeping his life together. So one day, I decided to stop at his workplace to spend a few minutes with him. When I finally found him, he was at the back of the warehouse singing a hymn. I was impressed. He obviously had the Word of Christ dwelling in him richly and he was happy and he was thankful. Circumstances could not change the fact that he was convinced that the Lord who had saved him was also able to keep him and HE WAS HAPPY!.

I don’t recommend that you sing at your place of business or at school because if you do, you will probably wind up in a strait jacket and you may be carted off to a mental hospital somewhere 🙂 . People do not understand those who are truly happy today. However, when we find out that we are loved by God and important to God and that He sent His Son to die for us so that our sins could be forgiven, should that not make us happy? When we trust Christ and His Word, shouldn’t we be singing and happy and thankful to KNOW and not HOPE that we have eternal life.

This is the thanksgiving season. I am thankful for that late afternoon two days after the assassination of President Kennedy forty-five years ago just before Thanksgiving when I listened to God and I trusted His Son. At that moment I passed from death unto life (John 5:24). That makes me happy and thankful. I hope you can honestly and sincerely be thankful as well for a day that you remember when you too passed from death unto life.

Bruce Collins

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