Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Three Part Harmony

 By Brenda Black

From time to time, I get the privilege of singing three part harmony with a couple of lovely ladies. I admittedly sing the easy part – the melody. They employ their far more advanced musical skills to sort out the tougher tasks, finding complementary notes or writing in a sweet sounding chord. Though my notes are typically the most familiar, their low and high intricacies lend richness and complexity to the song, bringing it to its full potential.

As we practiced this week for a performance, one of my dear friends began to weep during one of our selections. I noticed first her voice had faded, but I was focusing on the sheet music and didn't see the tears until the song ended. God moved her through the music. He longs to fill each of our hearts that same way, with the harmony of Himself. And His arrangement is a beautiful blend of faith, hope and love that Christ sings into our lives.

At our little country church, our spiritual batteries were recharged this week during a revival. Thanks to singing and powerful preaching by my husband, Alan Black, and Bro. Bill Platt of Nevada First Christian Church, the presence of the Lord filled the sanctuary.

While caught up in the music or the moment, it's easy to feel empowered. But when the doors are closed, the music ceases and the preachers shut the Scriptures, the challenge truly begins. For once you've been filled, God expects you to share that power with someone else. He calls us to reach out with faith, hope and love!

We are called to walk out faith daily! How do you remain faithful in a fickle world that waffles, compromises and curses? Do your best in the power of Christ to present truth. “Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see. This is what the ancients were commended for.” (Hebrews 11:1-2) Leave no room for doubt where your loyalty lies, to whom you answer for every word and deed, or that you truly love and serve the Lord. Speak of Him out of a pure heart and cling to the cross. Never forget God was faithful to redeem. May we live faithfully grateful and eager to share.

When we are energized, hope is renewed and we must hold out that hope to the world where people settle for less than God's best and believe the sad lies of the enemy. “So do not throw away your confidence; it will be richly rewarded. You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised. For in just a very little while, 'He who is coming will come and will not delay. But my righteous one will live by faith.” (Heb. 10:35-38a)

The two are eternally intertwined – faith and hope. And they are incomplete without the final piece: Love! Only because we are filled with Christ are we able to love even when we are hated. Those who are called apart and commissioned to live as light and salt and ministers of the Gospel, will find themselves upside-down and at odds with this world. Christ came to set His people free, not just make them comfortable here on earth. He came to glorify the Father in Heaven, not fit in with the crowd. He died for our sins not that we would continue to condone them, but that we would be saved from them. And once we have tasted and seen such lavish mercy, we can't help but give it away.

“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.” (1 Corinthians 13:4-8a)

We are called to be in the world, but not of this world. We can convey the faith, hope and love of God because we've known it first-hand even though we must wait to see the beautiful composer face to face. Go share with the lost this perfect three-part remedy. Stay ignited and go touch the world for the sake of the cross and the perfect harmony of God.

“And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.” (1 Cor. 13:13)

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