OK, I’m running late — technically, later and later each day it seems. But I’m hoping that you subscribe to the “better late than never” philosophy — at least for the time that I’m on vacation. Today is/was the Lord’s Day; I hope your day of worshiping and remembering the Lord was uplifting to you and truly glorifying to the Lord Himself — that is, of course, the main point of worship, after all.
Who is this God? (Psalm 95 and 97) — Both 95 and 97 have similar themes; I’ll focus on Psalm 95. It’s hard to know where to start with this psalm, because it is the foundation of a couple of my favorite songs and it’s last few lines become an OT quote in the book of Hebrews. It’s full of joy and worship, but more importantly it is about the worth-ship of our God and the crucial importance of worshipping in everyday life through listening and obeying:
“For He is our God, And we are the people of His pasture and the sheep of His hand. Today, if you would hear His voice, Do not harden your hearts, as at Meribah, As in the day of Massah in the wilderness, When your fathers tested Me, They tried Me, though they had seen My work. For forty years I loathed that generation, And said they are a people who err in their heart, And they do not know My ways. Therefore I swore in My anger, Truly they shall not enter into My rest.” Psalms 95:7-11, NAS95.
It is so incredibly easy to think and act like worship is all and only about the assembly, the songs, the sermon, the Sunday worship. But the truth is that another equally important aspect of worship takes place every Monday morning through Saturday evening that validates or nullifies Sunday worship. So, if you’ll allow me a little literary license, “Come let us live with joy to the LORD, let us live out loud to the Rock of our salvation. Let us live before Him with thanksgiving and extol Him with righteous, good lives.” It may be bad poetry, but its sound spiritual truth.
An Evangelistic Psalm (Psalm 96) — OK, there’s nothing here about Jesus and He’s the core of the Gospel, but it is a wonderful call to all the world to abandon their idols and worship one true and living God! Evangelism may be unpopular in these all-inclusive days, but Christians need to learn how to speak the truth in love. We do no one any favors — not our unbelieving friends nor ourselves. I mention not doing a favor to ourselves, because we often will not share the good news because we’re thinking what others will be thinking about us if we say something. But saying nothing puts us responsible for the lost, “When I say to the wicked, ‘You will surely die,’ and you do not warn him or speak out to warn the wicked from his wicked way that he may live, that wicked man shall die in his iniquity, but his blood I will require at your hand.” Ezekiel 3:18, NAS95.
See you tomorrow, Lord willing