It’s the final exam time of year for most high schoolers. As a youth pastor I get a lot of questions about this time. Sometimes, young Christians tell me that they won’t be coming to church this week because they are too busy studying for those finals.
I get that. I know what it’s like to spend hours at studying for a huge test or writing a massive research paper. I crammed a bachelor’s degree into three and a half years and a master’s degree into a year and a half. I know what it’s like to have a huge amount of pressure or high expectations from parents, teachers, and yourself. I’m not writing about this to add even more pressure to your already busy week or guilt trip you into coming to church.
Music is powerful. Artistic words carried to the ear by tear-jerking melody, driving beats, or care-free tunes make their way to the deepest parts of the soul and stay there. Music can evoke feelings and emotions in a way that the spoken word never can.
Have you ever thought about why music is so powerful and how it evokes such deep emotion? I believe the most powerful music speaks to one of two things in the heart of the listener: either a deep desire or a personal experience. In other words, we emotionally connect with a song when our heart’s response is "I want that," or "I've felt that." If you turn your radio to the local hit music station, most of the songs you hear will speak to one or both of those messages.
In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also. John 14:2-3 (KJV)
There has been a lot of distrust over modern versions. Some feel their updated language somehow makes the Scripture too common. Some dislike the fact newer versions sometimes leave out words or phrases if they feel that, based on new evidence, those words or phrases weren’t part of the original text. But some don’t like the fact that classic passages, such as the one above, have been modified or altered. After all, how many of us have grown being told we will receive a mansion? And now that’s changed? The NASB, NIV, ESV, NET, and the CSB have all changed this word to either rooms or dwelling places. So what gives?
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