Filled

www.bible.com/1713/psa.28.7.csb

What fills you with the desire to worship? What so moves you to fill the air with song raised in worship of the Almighty? What brings you to awe? I have to admit few times in my life have I recognized that feeling. It’s a feeling that overwhelms you, as if you are standing at the very foot of the throne of grace.

Back in 1997, when the Promise Keepers movement was circulating through American churches, I attended a stadium event in Indianapolis. I will never forget standing and singing with about 40,000 other men hymns of praise. I felt in that that moment that this is what the heavenly choir must be like, maybe even a little bit.

A few weeks ago, my home church had finally played a song that spoke to me, and I responded in praise. I can usually tell because I feel my heart swell and my eyes tear up, because I am truly feeling the praise flow from me to Him, my Lord. These moments feel like they are far more rare than they ought to be, but I am also grateful to the Holy Spirit within me to grant them to me. I couldn’t possibly feel this without His presence.

I hope you have known that feeling too, whether in your own worship time with God, or in the presence of a host all singing and praising with their hearts. May God fill you to overflowing.

Worship and Singing

www.bible.com/1713/psa.100.2.csb

What does worship look like? Does it look like singing? I think it can look like singing. It I also believe that singing can often masquerade as worship. Singing can also satisfy the ego and contribute to worship of self.

I remember years ago thinking this when I was hearing a performance of “special music” at church when I was a teenager. As I listened to the performer song her song, it felt too professional, to much like a concert celebrating her skill and talent than worship. Being a kid, what do I know, it I am certain this is a danger many musicians face in making “worship” music.

It seems to be that singing, done with lips and mind seems to rarely come from the heart anymore. For it to truly come from the heart, it needs to be sung, learned, and felt. There are songs we learn, new songs, and many of those too often, always being inundated with new music because the industry is always trying to make new music to make more money. I don’t blame them for trying to make money, and some music will affect some more than others. But at my church, it seems it new music week every week. I can’t learn it fast enough and thus is doesn’t touch me because I’m still trying to decide as I learn it, it is theologically sound? It is something I can sing truthfully? Or is this someone else’s experience I’m trying to ape for the sake of singing a worship song? A lot of worship music is someone else’s experience of worship, not necessarily mine.

On the flip side, I’ve been in churches where the music is too familiar. We’ve sung it every week so that my mind and lips and song without accessing the heart. Those songs near little resemblance to my modern context. They are often filled with words that I don’t use in my everyday, so that “raise my ebenezer” doesn’t mean anything to me. Granted there are many good old songs, but hearing them played by discount musicians or whoever “we could get to play this morning” often leaves me wanting.

I guess I am particular about my worship, or maybe it’s worship fatigue. Church tried very hard to pass music off as worship that we don’t know what else is worship, like silent meditation in God’s word, prayer, reading aloud the psalms, or seeing God’s glorious handiwork. We have become so accustomed to music as worship that we haven’t given room to much else. Is singing worship? It can be. But singing a Christian song doesn’t make it worship. Worship comes from the heart.

Help me dear Lord offer worship today that comes from my spirit, not just my lips and my mind. Help me to worship, even to use words when necessary. You alone are worthy of my praise and honor. Help me Lord to give glory to You in all things. I pray this in Jesus’ Name, Amen.

All-Day Praise

www.bible.com/1713/psa.113.3.csb

Is there a bad time to praise? Apparently not, since from dawn to dusk appears to be a good time for worship. Does that rule out the night-time. Nah. Nights are good for meditating in His precepts, or for, you know, sleep. Really there isn’t a bad time to praise the Lord and that’s a good thing.

All around the world, people are praising the Lord. It is daylight somewhere on the earth at all times. I think that’s why God wanted Noah’s children to scatter over the face of the earth. Someone somewhere is praising the Lord, and the sun does not go down on His Name.

So what could you do today to make today a day of worship? How could you approach your work or tasks today to offer then before the Father as acts of service to the Name? Maybe you could dedicate each act, each work as unto the Lord. Maybe each hour could be heralded with prayer. Perhaps even right now could be a moment of worship even as you read.

Heavenly Father, please remind me to worship today as I go about my daily tasks. Help me to see the holy work in which I engage because each day is Yours and I am working for you. In Jesus’ Name I pray, Amen.

True Worship

www.bible.com/1713/rom.12.1.csb

“Therefore, brothers and sisters, in view of the mercies of God, I urge you to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God; this is your true worship.”

‭‭Romans‬ ‭12:1‬ ‭CSB‬‬

https://www.bible.com/1713/rom.12.1.csb

What is true worship? Do you try and capture it on Sunday morning as the instruments play and the bodies sway in time? Is it when the worship leader says, ”Everybody stand!” or when she says to the band, ”Let’a just song this without the music now” and we don’t acapella, with just the power of our own voices?

None of these things seem to be in view of the text. Rather it seems true worship takes place everyday in little moments. While you are working and eating, thinking and serving, worship can take place. True worship dossn’t need a name. It needs a heart devoted to God so that even in the mundane, there is God.

What would you have for worship like that? What would it be worth to make every opportunity a place of worship? Apparently the cost is also included here, make your bodies a living sacrifice. It costs you to worship Him who spent His life and blood on you. It is a more than even exchange. All of Him for all of you. What can you offer Him today?

LORD, help my everyday be the Lord’s day. Make my every waking moment be yours, for I am yours. Help me to remember throughout my busyness that this world is not my home. That greater things are coming that this, and that I can endure all these things for You give me strength. Lord help me remember today that I am not my own. In Jesus Name, help me to worship you today. Amen.

New Songs and Old

www.bible.com/1713/psa.98.1-2.csb

I love it when an old song comes on the radio that I know. I hear the first few notes and I am taken back to when that song plucked my heartstrings, and the song’s power comes back in all its glory in memory and joy. New songs don’t do that, because new songs emerge in the present, with my present circumstances. It takes a bit for new songs to become familiar and find their context that make them memorable.

But here is the things about songs and worship. Old worship songs you can sing by heart. You can also sing them without thinking about them. Because you know them so well, you can “go through the motions” of singing it without really feeling it. New worship songs don’t do that. They require concentration, effort, conscious thought. It is nerve-wracking when your church decides to sing several new songs every week. But it also forces you to concentrate and not go on worship “auto-pilot.”

I like a nice mix of the familiar and the new. Give me some old songs that I know so that I can feel confident when I sing that I know the words. But also give me a new song to force me to think and engage my mind and heart together. Sing unto the Lord a new song. Song Him an old song. But sing from your heart, and not your lips alone.

May God bless you today as you continue to serve and bless His kingdom.

Praise in the Sanctuary

www.bible.com/1713/1ch.16.11.csb

Nestled in a much longer psalm, David extols the joy of this new commission of worship leaders in Asaph and his cohort. Above all, God is to be praised. His love endures forever.

So this strikes me as odd. Sunday is more the mountaintop of worship. Wednesday is the midweek hump. Today Is Tuesday. Maybe you have a tradition where Tuesday is a day of worship, but sadly I do not. Is there cause for praise on a Tuesday?

Do I hear a resounding ”YES!”?

If you can’t find a reason to praise Him on a Tuesday, you’re not paying attention. If you are in a funk please praise Him. Have you ever received good from His hand? Praise Him. Have we ever received good instead of judgment? Let us praise Him. Blessed be the name of the Lord, on a Tuesday. God bless you today.

Of you would, please pray for Kentucky today. The Election Day is today, and we have much to be in prayer for.

With One Another

www.bible.com/1713/rom.15.5.csb

Have you tried living as a Christian all on your own? Actually, I’ve heard many try this, saying that they can worship God anywhere. Some prefer especially during deer season, to take their New Testament up into the deer stand with them. There they have solitude and quiet in their peaceful worship of God. Sounds great, doesn’t it? I don’t know why more people don’t do that?

Others prefer to stay home, watching church on TV. For some, I’ll agree this is a necessity, as they are physically unable to go anymore. Many are unable to leave home for health reasons. But many of these same people will find a way to the doctor’s office, the Walmart and whatever else. I have waited in the doctor’s office longer than I’ve been in church.

But what’s so wrong about people wanting to experience God on their own terms or in the comfort of their home? I would hope that people are seeking God in their own home. But that isn’t Christianity. It’s a part of their work as Christians, their personal work in seeking His face and in prayer. That is a private work, but it not the whole.

The main work of Christianity is body life. We exist as part of a body of Christians. None of us exists to himself. Going to the deer stand on Sunday morning or sitting in your living room watching TV church does not qualify as going to church. Why is going to church so important? Because that is where the body is. You encourage others and are encouraged in return. You support others and are supported in return. The primary intent of attending church is being the church to one another. It is finding our connections in flesh and blood people who believe and serve the same God. We need social interaction and support. (And we need to be mindful of that for our elderly population).

We not only need it, but we are commanded to it, even by the verse quoted above. It isn’t just our own voice lifted up in praise to the King of Heaven that He wants to wants to hear. He wants a concert of voices. He wants to hear our song combined into one multi-layered sound. If it is not good for “man to be alone” it is certainly not good for a Christian to worship alone, to be alone, to be faithful alone.

I know this will hit some of you in the wrong place, because you’ve tried it. You’ve tried to be that encouraging voice in the church. You’ve tried to be a peacemaker, and you’ve received the sharp stick of Christian discouragement. You’ve tried going to church, and you’ve only received pain. That is not a church God wants you to attend. Find another one. As Hebrews 10:25 says, “don’t give up meeting together.” Don’t give up. Part of your Christian walk and faith is the harmony and synchronicity you find with other believers. You can’t do that on your own. Going to a church is not a suggestion. Staying home and watching it online or on TV is not a solution. You need interaction with real people. You need others to fellowship with, to study with, to share ideas with and struggles with. Is it a sin not to go to church? Is disobedience to a clear and direct command from God a sin? Then yes, and heaping sin upon yourself in wilful refusal with not help your walk or your prayer life. GO TO CHURCH!

God bless you today.

Praise All Day

www.bible.com/1713/psa.113.3.csb

is there a bad time to praise the Lord? If you wanted to take this verse literally, you might be off the hook overnight. Taken figuratively, as long as you are awake, it’s a good time to praise the Lord.

And it’s not like you have to keep inventing reasons to praise, because you are literally surrounded by some very good reasons to praise the Lord and those often.

I praise the Lord because I have a loving wife of 24 years who had not abandoned me but confessed her love for me everyday. I have four talented amazing children who surprise me everyday with their insights. I worship at s great church, have a rewarding career. I am literally surrounded by blessings everyday.

And I still get down.

I still mope that I don’t have everything i want. 🙁 I still find reasons to complain. 🤨 And the importance of this verse is not lost on me today. I needed this one today too.

May I simply send out this reminder that praising the Lord is part of our necessary work every day. God would not have us dwell on our sorrows and become sour, but dwell on His praises and remind us of our future. We have every reason, every day to praise the Lord. So let us Praise the Lord!

God bless you today.

Tuesday

www.bible.com/72/psa.47.1.hcsb

Nothing special today. Tuesday is like a part of the night sky that is unremarkable, no stars or constellations. You pass over it because it is part of the whole, but you don’t celebrate it. It’s not the back to work day, or hump day, or any of the days leading to the weekend. It’s just there.

Funny thing though. When the Hubble Telescope pointed its great lenses to the darkest part of the night sky, it saw amazing collections of stars and distant galaxies. There were whole worlds of wonder along that vector that scientists are still poring over.

Tuesday is a day that the Lord has made, woken you up into it, and reintroduced you back into the world. Today is just as good a day to sing and celebrate the resurrection as any other day. Let not the joy of Sunday wear off but continue to feed the fire of joy and worship throughout the week.

God bless you today, even if it’s a Tuesday.

Easter Monday

www.bible.com/72/psa.22.31.hcsb

Though not a day we celebrate, on some calendars you will find today labeled as Easter Monday because it follows Easter. Today’s selection comes from Psalm 22, the first verse of which is quoted by Jesus in the cross. (Just consider that in the midst of his final hours, Jesus is quoting texts of ancient literature. That’s my Jesus!) He most likely makes this reference because Psalm 22:2 accurately reflects exactly how he’s feeling. He feels forsaken by God and afflicted, just as Isaiah 53 predicted.

But Psalm 22 takes a journey of its own. From the first verse to the last, the Psalm goes from lament to praise. The Psalmist laments his condition, in many ways prefiguring Christ’s own suffering. But then he speaks of the presence of the Lord, the worship in His holy Temple, and that at the last, generations will speak of the Lord’s praise and deliverance.

And here we are, the generations to be born are reading this blog today. They are reading about what the Lord has done in raising s dead man to life. Despite all the arguments that it can’t be done, today we serve a risen Savior. Sure I apprehend these things by faith, but faith based on evidence. There is more evidence for Jesus than for Socrates.

Let us tell today about the risen Savior. It may be Monday, but Jesus is still just as risen as He was yesterday. Let us celebrate His resurrection everyday.

God bless!