I’m sure you all know who Gene Autry is. Most of is remember him as the singing cowboy of the movies and tv. What some may not know is he was also the owner of a MLB team. I learned this while watching a special about his life.
In this special many stories were told about Autry. The one that stuck out to me was recounted by a former baseball business associate. He said that when folks met Autry they were expecting him to be like he was on the screen: honest, friendly, and a regular Joe-type. He then said they weren’t disappointed when they met him; he was just like that. Then he illustrated the point by telling of a time when a pitcher in a big game was just getting hammered by the other team. When they pulled the pitcher from the game he was being shouted at and called names. Autry stood up and said “Well bless his heart” feeling badly for the player. Yes, he was always who he was, no putting on airs about him.
Have you ever considered how you, as a child of God, are watched by the world? Do you think they are looking to see how you act away from church and your Christian family? Sure they are. It was once said if Christian people acted like they do on Sunday mornings Monday at work the Word would have a greater impact on the non-Christian, making them to wonder just what you have that they don’t.
Psalm 28:7 The LORD is my strength and my shield; my heart trusted in him, and I am helped: therefore my heart greatly rejoiceth; and with my song will I praise him.
Though I can’t recall for certain, I believe that the hymn The Old Ship of Zion traces its roots back to African-American spiritual songs. Where ever it originated it is a beautiful old song that I dearly love to hear and sing. Though I love the entirety of it, the third verse has some very profound thought to it:
At the stern of the ship was the captain
I could hear as He called my name
“Get on board, it’s the old ship of Zion
It will never pass this way again”
I believe that when Jesus calls us we should head His call. When He calls to you, you must make the decision to answer ‘yea’ and yield your life to Him or ‘nay’ and walk away from Him. We do not know what one minute from now holds for us, let alone tomorrow. The call you hear may be the last one you will ever receive. He implores us to say yes while the opportunity is at hand (Rev. 3:20).
2Co 6:2b …behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.
I pray that those that have not yet placed their total trust in Christ Jesus will be deeply burdened to do so. It is my solemn plea that You might use these words to bring the realization to some lost soul their desperate situation and need of a Saviour.
As many of you know or may have guessed by now, I am a big fan of music. I love to listen to and sing, though not real well, all kinds of different songs. While I enjoy some of the contemporary “radio” songs, I mostly enjoy good old church hymns. I just get so much of a blessing from them, in no small part from the truths they contain I’m sure.
Our pastor, Bro. Jonah, has often said about music that it is a plow for the heart, of sorts. By singing and listening to the praise and worship songs, we soften up the hardened ground of our hearts, preparing it for the planting of the seed of God’s Word. This is one of my favorite illustrations he uses. I know it is so very true for me at least.
The praise and adoration that comes from the singing really opens up my spiritual eyes to all the reasons I have to thank God for all His goodness, love and mercy. Sometimes it gives me a feeling of exhilaration but most often I find the wonderful peace of God washes over me and that it really has prepared my heart for the message that He has for me on that day.
Psa 57:7 My heart is fixed, O God, my heart is fixed: I will sing and give praise.
I thank You for every opportunity to give unto you praise and worship in spirit and truth.