Eph.5:18,19 – And do not get drunk with wine, in which there is debauchery, but be filled with the Spirit, speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody with your hearts to the Lord;

They say that your earliest memories stick with you for a reason. One of my earliest memories that I have was attending my great uncle’s funeral somewhere in the backwoods of Georgia. I wasn’t used to emotional singing in church but that is exactly what I got that day. Our family’s church attendance was sporadic at best and apparently most people were at church to sooth their conscience rather than to glorify God. That was not the case at my uncle’s funeral. The service was different but I didn’t understand why as a child. Many years later I found out that my dad’s family was Pentecostal and they were having quite a Pentecostal celebration at Uncle Clevie’s funeral. That was my first encounter with Pentecostal worship, thankfully it hasn’t been my last. True worship flows from heaven and through Christians here on earth. This is the kind of worship we all long for. Here is how the Fire Bible describes today’s verses.

“He exhorts the Ephesians, instead of being filled with wine, to be filled with the Spirit. Those who are full of drink are unlikely to be full of the Spirit. People should seek a plentiful measure of the graces of the Spirit, which would fill their souls with great joy and courage, things that worldly people expect their wine to inspire them with. We should not be satisfied with a little of the Spirit, but be filled with the Spirit. Now by this means we will come to understand what the will of the LORD is. The apostle, therefore, urges them to sing to the LORD. Drunkards often sing their obscene and sacrilegious songs. The joy of Christians should express itself in songs of praise to their God. In these they should speak to themselves in their meetings. Although Christianity is an enemy of worldly merriment, it still encourages joy and gladness. God’s people have reason to rejoice and to sing for joy. They are to sing and to make melody in their hearts, not only with their voices but also with inward joy, and then it will be done to the LORD.”

What was it that stood out to me over sixty five years ago? It was the unmistakeable joy in the singing mixed with the mourning over the loss of a loved one at that funeral service. Paul told us to be filled constantly with the Spirit. Pure worship, Pentecostal worship only flows out from the Holy Spirit. God the Holy Ghost is the life and inspiration of all true worship. So go ahead, be filled with the Spirit, speak and sing out to one another in Spirit songs. This is the very essence and source of our life.

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