I was blessed to attend a delightful worship service this evening at the church where I am exploring membership. Our opening song was “O Praise the Lord,” which begins –
O praise the LORD! With all my heart
Thanks to the LORD I’ll bring
Together with the upright ones,
And in their gathering.
Worship is an act of community thanksgiving. Worship that is instructive and inspiring includes God’s Word sung, read, and applied. We worship God faithfully when we join our hearts, minds, and voices with other holy ones — not perfect, but set apart for praise. Worship happens when “upright ones” bow down before the Most Holy Righteous One.
The works accomplished by the LORD
Are very great in might;
They’re studied closely by all those
Who find in them delight.
More than anything or anyone, the subject as well as object of our worship is God. More than who we are, it is about Who God is. More than what we should do, it is about what God has done for us, does through us, and will do in us as we remain faithful to Him. The best sermons are not technical “how to” lessons about winning friends and influencing people. They are recitations of the glorious works of the LORD made evident in creation and made clear as we join in God’s creative process.
His work is splendid and displays
His glorious majesty
And His enduring righteousness
Forevermore will be.
Worship is all about God — the only One worthy of our worship. If we faithfully portray God’s glorious majesty in worship, through the Holy Spirit, people are wooed to righteousness. We become convicted of sin and are called to repentance. We are cleansed and claimed for a new way of life — abundant beyond measure, lasting forever.
He made His wonders lasting signs
The LORD is most compassionate,
And merciful is He.
The mercy of the LORD is from everlasting to everlasting. One of the great blessings of worshiping on the first day of the week is we can set our daily walk off on the right foot. Remembering not so much how we have fallen short, as how God has fulfilled His promises and forgiven us. This way we don’t set out to play catch up, as to gratefully build on the good work God has already got going.
Those fearing Him He fills with food
Provided by His hand.
He keeps in mind His covenant,
That it may ever stand.
Biblical fear is not crippling dread of God’s destructive powers, but empowering respect for God’s marvelous provision. The greatest fear I have is not that God will zap me out of existence, but that my life will be a disappointment to God. Even this fear is assuaged as I remember that the Father’s hands are used more often to feed me than to punish me and that God’s ultimate aim even in discipline is that all His children would come to the table of grace and feast forever on the goodness of the Lord.
Prayer Request: On Friday I was contacted by the chair of the English department at a local community college about teaching writing in their Spring semester. I meet with her tomorrow to discuss the details. I would ask your prayers that I present myself faithfully and that God’s will be done.
quotations from “O Praise the Lord” by H.A. Cesar Malin, based on Psalm 111:1-5
(image above from Pastor Mike)