I wrote the following article for the yearbook at the school where I teach music. I think it applies to everyone, not just my students, so I’m sharing it here.

Think back over the past month. You may have heard three or four sermons during that time. Can you name the subject of one of the sermons? What about two or three or four of them? Chances are that you cannot remember most of them. What if I asked you what songs you sang during those same three or four church services? You probably would not be able to remember many titles off the top of your head. But what if I told you the title of one of the songs you sang? Would you be able to sing some or all of the song from memory? If it was a familiar song that you have sung most of your life, you probably could.

So which do you suppose has the most significant long-term impact on your life, a sermon that you cannot remember or a collection of songs that you cannot forget? They both impact our lives, but I think the songs we memorize probably shape our lives the most.

The songs you sing and listen to repeatedly will become part of your long-term memory. Your mind will store not just the words and notes of the songs, but also the meaning of the words. Many songs about Heaven are light and fluffy and sentimental. If the only Heaven songs we sing are the light and fluffy ones, we will find that our thoughts and feelings about Heaven probably do not match the reality of Heaven not because of what the Bible says but because of what the songs say.

It is hugely important that we fill our minds with good and true and beautiful things. That is why I chose to have a scripture song focus this past year. With those songs in your long-term memory, God can bring them to your mind anytime in your life that He wants to. Each scripture song is an open door for God to speak to you. So fill your mind with good songs, with scripture songs, with songs that accurately portray God. If you do, you will have a whole storehouse of wholesome sermons that you will never forget.