The violin’s strings became an angel’s vocal cords when Fritz Kreisler played them. Kreisler (1875—1962) was a world-famous Austrian violinist and an officer in the Third Army Corps during World War I. And the sweetly soothing symphony of a violin was more appealing to him than the chaotic cacophony of conflict. Thus, he dedicated himself entirely to playing the violin and amassed a tremendous fortune performing at prestigious venues in Paris, New York City, and Berlin. But, one day his fortune ran dry at a particularly inopportune moment.
As he was touring, a stunningly spectacular violin tugged the strings of his heart. But, his pockets were empty because he had given away most of his money. Time passed, and he eventually saved enough money to meet the asking price, but when he returned to the seller, he learned that it had been sold to an antiques collector. Kreisler then hastily traveled to the new owner’s home and made a bid to purchase it. Unfortunately, Kreisler’s string of misfortune persisted because the collector refused to part with it.
Kreisler then tried to pull some strings. “Could I play the instrument once more before it is consigned to silence?” he asked. The collector then gave the magnificent musician permission, and the room filled with a melody so marvelous that the man was moved to tears. “I have no right to keep that to myself,” he exclaimed. “It’s yours, Mr. Kreisler. Take it into the world, and let people hear it.”
Likewise, the One who purchased redemption with His blood has commanded His people to fill the world with the sweet song of salvation: “Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature” (Mark 16:15). Jesus has called His followers to “sing the LORD’s song in a strange land” so that sinners will be moved to tears of godly sorrow (Psalm 137:4; 2 Corinthians 7:10). The gospel is the most charming carol that has ever graced the ears of fallen sinners. It is the terrific tune that causes the heart’s broken chords to vibrate with everlasting joy. And disciples of Christ are to play the “gospel violin” for all the world to hear; we have no right to keep it to ourselves.
This is well-expressed in “Jesus Saves,” the hymn written by Priscilla Owens (1829-1907):
“We have heard the joyful sound: Jesus saves! Jesus saves!
Spread the tidings all around: Jesus saves! Jesus saves!
Bear the news to ev’ry land, climb the steeps and cross the waves;
Onward! ‘Tis our Lord’s command; Jesus saves! Jesus saves!”
Bible Gleanings is a widely-read weekend devotional column, written for the Murray Ledger & Times in Calloway County, Kentucky.
Brandon is the founder and main contributor to Brandon’s Desk, the blog with biblical resources from his ministry. He is proud to be the pastor of the family of believers at Locust Grove Baptist Church in Murray, Kentucky. He and his wife Dakota live there with their three dogs, Susie (Jack Russell), Aries (English Shepherd), and Dot (Bluetick Beagle).