4/17/16: Do You Know What You’re Singing About?


Growing up, I took piano lessons. After I learned to play pretty well, I used to sit at the piano and play and sing my way through the Baptist hymnal. Especially when you get to verses 4 and 5, you realize how rich those songs are in doctrine and theology. One of my favorites (and I have many) is At Calvary by William Newell:

Years I spent in vanity and pride,

Caring not my Lord was crucified,

Knowing not it was for me He died

at Calvary.


Mercy there was great, and grace was free;

Pardon there was multiplied to me;

There my burdened soul found liberty

at Calvary.

By God’s Word at last my sin I learned;

Then I trembled at the law I’d spurned,

Till my guilty soul imploring turned

to Calvary.

Now I’ve given to Jesus everything,

Now I gladly own Him as my King,

Now my raptured soul can only sing

of Calvary!

Oh, the love that drew salvation’s plan!

Oh, the grace that brought it down to man!

Oh, the mighty gulf that God did span

at Calvary! 

I love Gospel music and can usually be caught blasting it from my car radio or CD player, singing along as I wend my way through Los Angeles traffic. However, every now and then I find myself frustrated with some of today’s so-called praise and worship music. I find myself asking, “What does that line mean?” or “Where is that in Scripture.”

Let’s be more intentional about the songs we sing in church. Psalm 47:7b carries the same sentiment, “…Sing praises with understanding.” Amen.


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©2016 Sharon Norris Elliott. Feel free to forward this devotion in its entirety, including this copyright line. Leave comments, ask questions, read past devotions, or subscribe to receive these devotions daily in your e-mail at www.sanewriter.wordpress.com. Also, periodically check in at www.LifeThatMatters.net to see what’s going on in the ministry.

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~ by sanewriter on April 17, 2016.

3 Responses to “4/17/16: Do You Know What You’re Singing About?”

  1. We have several editions of the Baptist Hymnal at my house! And now that’s what we use in church, even though we’re not Southern Baptist. It’s sad that the newer hymnal leaves some of the verses out of some hymns. I love hymns with great theology.

  2. During a recent Bible study at a United Methodist Church, a very interesting point was discussed. While pastors may spend hours preparing their Sunday sermons, many people forget the main theme after one month. Someone noted; however, that the hymns that accompany the service may be retained much longer. Some even for a life time. Thus, as you pointed out, the lyrics of Christian music are an extremely important part of our worship. Many hymns from previous generations contain crucial points of doctrine and theology. The background for the composition of much Christian music serves a profound witness of the sovereignty and power of God.

  3. Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable, in Thy sight.

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