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12

Make a Joyful Noise

September 21, 2019

BLESSED ASSURANCE

“One of the great Christian hymns is the well-known ‘Blessed Assurance.’ The melody was written by Mrs. Joseph Knapp. Her husband was the president of the Metropolitan Life Insurance Company. One day Knapp invited the prolific hymn writer Fanny Crosby to her home. Knapp wanted her to listen to a new melody she had composed.

“Knapp sat down at the piano and began playing the melody. As she played she asked Crosby what thoughts were coming into her mind— what the melody suggested to her. Crosby responded, ‘Mrs. Knapp, your husband deals in life insurance. My heavenly Father deals in assurance. This melody suggests to me: Blessed assurance, Jesus is mine.’ The word assurance means an inner confidence. Assurance is a sense of security. It also speaks of a sense of belonging and acceptance. In Christ we are accepted as children of God. In Christ we have the absolute confidence that our guilt is gone and our sins forgiven. In Christ we have complete assurance that the gift of eternal life is ours. . . .

“Satan hates it when a child of God accepts Christ by faith and receives the blessed assurance of forgiveness, pardon, and freedom from guilt. Ellen G. White wrote, ‘Satan is ready to steal away the blessed assurances of God. He desires to take every glimmer of hope and every ray of light from the soul; but you must not permit him to do this. Do not give ear to the tempter, but say, “Jesus has died that I might live. He loves me, and wills not that I should perish. I have a compassionate heavenly Father; and although I have abused His love, though the blessings He has given me have been squandered, I will arise, and go to my Father”’ (Steps to Christ, p. 53).

“In the parable of the prodigal son the father accepted his boy back home. With his father’s signet ring placed on his finger, the wayward son received the absolute assurance of his father’s love. Like the prodigal son, we too find love, acceptance, and forgiveness in the Father’s heart. What confidence, what security, what hope, what blessed assurance” (Mark Finley, Solid Ground, p. 19).

With all God has done and is doing for you, how do you plan to respond to Him? We owe so much to our heavenly Father. One way we can honor Him is by guarding the avenues to our heart, mind, and soul and listening to music that lifts our spirit in praise to Him.

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Sabbath

FOR STUDY

Memory Text: “Make a joyful shout to the Lord, all you lands! Serve the Lord with gladness; come before His presence with singing” (Psalm 100:1, 2, NKJV).

Our Beliefs, no. 22, Christian Behavior: “For the Spirit to recreate in us the character of our Lord we involve ourselves only in those things that will produce Christlike purity, health, and joy in our lives. . . . We are to engage in whatever brings our thoughts and bodies into the discipline of Christ, who desires our wholesomeness, joy, and goodness.”

Ellen G. White, Thoughts From the Mount of Blessing, pp. 76-78

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Sunday

RESPONDING

Read Philippians 4:7, 8.

You really like the music of a certain Christian artist. But when your dad hears you playing it, he tells you, “That’s not appropriate music for a Christian to be listening to! You cannot praise and glorify God with that style of music.”

What do you think? Is it only the lyrics that matter? What are the styles of music that do not lead you closer to God? How does a Christian identify the music that is truly elevating to the mind, heart, and soul and leads a person closer to God?

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Monday

BIBLE ANSWERS ON CHRISTIAN BEHAVIOR

Read 1 Corinthians 6:19, 20; Ephesians 5:17; Philippians 4:8. »» He loves you. God paid a high price for you to be able to have a saving relationship with Him. There is nothing in this world that is more important than your relationship with God. Everything you do reflects where your relationship with God is. He has given us the Scriptures, the Holy Spirit, and nature to help us in understanding His will for our lives. The things we take into our minds and bodies should be things that help us grow closer to Him.

How does the music you listen to affect you?

How does the music you listen to bring you into a closer relationship with God?

What values, ideals, and principles do you think are important and should be applied when it comes to listening to music?

Unscramble the verse below. The verse is from the New King James Version.

God and of do will 12: acceptable not perfect be and conformed good to 2 that and this is world but what be prove transformed may by you the that renewing mind Romans of your

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Tuesday

REFLECTING

Read Romans 12:1, 2 and 1 Corinthians 10:31. »» If you like music, you’re not alone. Music can have a huge influence on our lives. We can listen to music that lifts us up or brings us down. Music can set off an avalanche of opinions because tastes are so different. You’ve probably had the experience of having someone say, “Music is neutral. As long as I like it and it is good for me, that’s all that matters.” But is it just a matter of taste, or are there rights and wrongs when it comes to music? In your reading today from Romans 12:1, you can see that the service that is pleasing to God has to involve our reason: “your reasonable service.” That means that we cannot worship God or honor Him with anything that is mindless and lacking thoughtful reasoning. Your Creator expects you to put thought in everything you do, including your choice of music. What kind of music should a Christian never listen to? What kind of music is appropriate for praising and worshipping God? Why should all the music we listen to and sing honor God? Guiding principles for choosing worship music should be the strong biblical content and theological meaning of songs as well as rich harmonies that do not overshadow but affirm and support the message of praise and worship. When you choose music for listening enjoyment, make wise choices that will impact you positively. Contrary to the negative impact of rock music, jazz, hip-hop, New Age music, and other genres of popular music, classical music has been reported to have a positive impact on the brain and to enhance frontal lobe function. That is why classical music is used in music therapy and is also the best type of music that enhances performance during study time and work.

As a Christian you have a responsibility in choosing the music you listen to. Everything that influences you, you must evaluate for good or evil. The question “Will this help me grow spiritually?” has got to be at the top of your list—even ahead of “Do I like it?” and “Do my friends like it?” Think about the songs you love to listen to. What do they represent? What do they center on? Are they drawing you closer to the Lord? If not, then why are you listening to them in the first place? It is in your best interest to be guided by principles and biblical values when choosing music for worship as well as for enjoyment.

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Wednesday

BIBLE INSIGHTS

Match the follow references to the correct verse. You can find the various Bible versions at Biblegateway.com.

Psalm 150:6, NKJV 1 Chronicles 15:16, NIV James 5:13, CEV Psalm 100:1, 2, NKJV Psalm 92:1-3, NKJV Ephesians 5:19, CEV

1. “Make a joyful shout to the Lord, all you lands! Serve the Lord with gladness; come before His presence with singing.”

2. “It is good to give thanks to the Lord, and to sing praises to Your name, O Most High; to declare Your lovingkindness in the morning, and Your faithfulness every night . . . with harmonious sound.”

3. “Let everything that has breath praise the Lord. Praise the Lord!”

4. “When you meet together, sing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs, as you praise the Lord with all your heart.”

5. “If you are having trouble, you should pray. And if you are feeling good, you should sing praises.”

6. “David told the leaders of the Levites to appoint their fellow Levites as musicians to make a joyful sound with musical instruments: lyres, harps, and cymbals.“

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Thursday

CONNECTING

Read Psalm 92:1-3.

Review the memory text.

How do you make your choices about music? Too often people don’t have any standard at all for making choices. “It sounds nice.” “It makes me feel good.” “My friend gave me this CD.” But those reasons won’t cut it. If you’re going to be pouring words and music into your ears and your brain, you need to have standards.

Stretch your mind. Try listening to music that is not superficial and cheap. Analyze the music. What is it about that particular music that you like or that you don’t like? Is it something you’d want to listen to in the presence of your parents, your pastor, and God?

As you listen to music, ask yourself some questions. What are the lyrics talking about? Do they fit with my spiritual standards as a Christian? How does this music affect the way I feel? (Music always affects the way we feel—it goes directly to our emotions.)

Do some serious evaluation. Is there anything you need to drop from your CD collection because it’s coming between you and God? Are there songs of praise you can add to your listening list to bring you closer to Him? Don’t be afraid to examine your music and your heart. Remember we are here to bring honor to God. Ask yourself, Does my music bring Him honor?

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Friday

HOW DOES IT WORK?

Write your own song . . .

You don’t have to be a musician—or even a really good writer. A lot of songs are just words and feelings set to music. You can do that.

Find a piece of instrumental music you like (no words) that matches the way you’re feeling right now. Download it onto your iPod, and sit down and listen to it (perhaps repeated several times) with a blank piece of paper and pen in front of you. Write words and phrases that express what you’re feeling and what you’d like to say to God right now. See how easy it is? You’re composing your own psalm! (Note: if you read the actual book of Psalms, you’ll notice it’s OK to express bad, sad, or mad feelings as well as songs of praise!)