Sing A New Song Part 3: A Song Of Love

On Sunday 15th September we continued our 'Sing A New Song' series . 

You can listen to the talk by clicking here.

Below is a summary of the talk.

When I first became a Christian it was an amazing experience. I would see and hear God in nature, experiences and in music. Significant secular God songs for me were You’ve got a Friend and Bridge over Troubled Water. They both spoke to me of the love and support of Jesus. An acquaintance of mine found Florence and the Machine’s “You’ve got the Love” very helpful when she was going through a really tough period in her life. It spoke to her of the strength that God was giving her to sustain her through her pain. God can sing new songs to us if we have the ears to hear. You may have songs that bring you closer to God. They may be secular or sacred.
Lots of Songs that we hear are love songs. We’ve talked about songs of praise and songs of thanks to God over the past couple of weeks. If you are new to church or coming to see what we are about you may be mystified by the use of songs and hymns. They are often sung as a response to the love that we have received from God. We are asked to sing a new song. A song of love.
It is easier to love when you feel loved up. In my early days with God, I was very aware of his presence, his love for me and the world around me. There were secular songs that I used to sing to him to express how much I loved him back.
When you start to fall in love you spend hours talking together, finding out about each other. The relationship goes through different stages and reaches a point when you don’t need to talk together you just want to be together to enjoy each other’s presence. It can be like this when we find God. We are happy to be silent together.
All relationships can atrophy. We may say/sing the words but not feel them. Dealing with disappointment or the struggle with daily difficulties, even other things or people attracting us away can weaken our relationships. These types of things can lead to a faith that is about going through the motions and ceases to be a heartfelt passion. Many of us have times when we don’t feel loved and we drift from God’s love. It is easier to love when you feel loved up.
Jesus went through many difficult experiences, which could have made him feel far from God’s love. Somehow He rose above it, so how did He cope with knowing that love of God in every circumstance?
How did He find the strength to go through what He did and express not only love for God but also the people who made demands on him day after day? By reading the accounts of Jesus’ life, it is clear how this works. We read over and over of Jesus spending time alone with God. In his final words to his disciples he talks to them of the need to stick close to God and feel his love. It is easier to sing a song of love when you are loved up.
John 15 verses 9 to 12, which you can read here.
Jesus emphasises the necessity of remaining in God’s love. We need to stick close enough to be sure of that love every day and in every situation. He wants us to experience that same love that Jesus himself does. He wants us to be filled with joy. That love that we absorb from God makes it easier for us to love those around us.
To sing a new song of love we need to be touched afresh by his love.
It is easier to love when you feel loved up.
God wants us to abide with him, to remain connected in love to him.
Set aside times and places.
Look for God in every day moments.

Questions and Reflections (for you to think about on your own or to discuss in your small group)
1. Are there secular songs that bring you closer to God and express your feelings for him? If so, what are they and what do they say?
2. What Christian songs help you? What is it in them that helps?
3. Are there songs that we sing that make it hard for you to worship? Why do you think that is?
4. One of the ways to experience God’s presence and love is to be alone with him and quiet. Are you able to enjoy this way of the being with God? If not, how could you grow into this experience?

5. When you feel close to God and loved by him, does it make a difference to how you are with people? If not, do you think that it should? If so how and why?

6. What would you like your relationship with God to be like? What needs to happen for you to achieve that?
Steph Littlejohn, 15/10/2019