About a month ago I heard a sermon entitled “The Extreme Measures of Repentance”. I left that sermon contemplating how I, as a Christ follower, could be a little more extreme in loving others and growing in my walk with Christ. One idea that came to mind was to only listen to Christian music for one month. It was just a personal challenge, so please don’t think I'm saying that you must do this to be a "real" Christian. But, here are a few things I learned:
- I was reminded over and over again about what Jesus did for me (1 Corinthians 15:3-4). I mainly listened to a worship album from the Village Church in Dallas, TX. The Gospel-centeredness of these songs continuously exposed my mind & heart to the death & resurrection of Jesus, and my gift of salvation as a result of it. This was a sweet reminder each day of my need for Jesus, and it kept moving me to a deep gratitude for God’s undeserved grace to me.
- I always had encouraging lyrics stuck in my head (1 Thessalonians 5:11). Throughout the day, many of us have lyrics to songs running through our head. You may not even realize it but the music you listen to has a profound affect on your life. Does the music you listen to push you to know Christ more? Over the past month, the lyrics in my head have helped to build me up, encourage me, and push me to richer faith.
- I grew in my understanding of the Bible (2 Timothy 3:14). I am a huge fan of Christian hip-hop. These artists put some deep theology into their lyrics. I would intentionally listen to the words, and I learned many things about God’s word I didn’t know previously. Hip-hop artist Tedashii said that, when he writes an album, it’s like he is giving an hour-long sermon. I was very blessed by the lyrics in these songs. I’d encourage you to listen to artists like Trip Lee, Andy Mineo, Flame, and Lecrae.
And here we are, almost one month later. I would say April has been one of my sweetest months of growing, learning, and being daily-reminded of the Gospel. I think music has had a tremendous effect on that. One verse I keep thinking about is from Philippians 4:8, which says, “Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.”
I’d encourage anybody to challenge themselves to this. Try it, and see how often throughout the day you think about Jesus and all He has done for you. Try it, and see how different you feel because of this persistent reminder of the Gospel.
Music has such a huge influence in our lives. Let’s allow it to move us forward in our walks with God!