Walking through the Psalms: Psalm 100

I love the Psalms. They are so vital, so precious to my devotional times with the Lord. So I wanted to share a Psalm that I am trying to have my son memorize; Psalm 100.

Here it is real quick:

Make a joyful noise to the Lord, all the earth!
    Serve the Lord with gladness!
    Come into his presence with singing!

Know that the Lord, he is God!
    It is he who made us, and we are his;[a]
    we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.

Enter his gates with thanksgiving,
    and his courts with praise!
    Give thanks to him; bless his name!

For the Lord is good;
    his steadfast love endures forever,
    and his faithfulness to all generations

Now check out the message version, which gives another perspective.

On your feet now—applaud God!
    Bring a gift of laughter,
    sing yourselves into his presence.

Know this: God is God, and God, God.
    He made us; we didn’t make him.
    We’re his people, his well-tended sheep.

Enter with the password: “Thank you!”
    Make yourselves at home, talking praise.
    Thank him. Worship him.

For God is sheer beauty,
    all-generous in love,
    loyal always and ever.

So what are some takeaways from this passage?

1. God is worthy of our emotion.

Have you ever seen a boring Christian? One who just seems stiff? During times of worship, they seem to whisper. In times of prayer, they are so timid.Expressionless. Quiet. Boring. Now in no way am I saying that silence is something that should not be present during worship times. There are times when I love being still, or meditating on the Lord’s working in my life. Yet I think that some people always seem to worship like they have a stick up their G.M’s. (Gluteus Maximus). They make it seem laborious to sing, to smile, to make noise. Yet here we have a command, an exhortation to make a joyful noise. Some versions translate that a joyful shout. Here’s the thing you may not like noise, but God does. In fact in many of the passages we see of heaven, you see its a loud place. So much to where the foundations of the temple shake. ( Isaiah 6, Revelation 6, and 14) Now that’s loud. So if you have a problem with loud worship, well you should get used to it because heaven’s going to be wild. Who said the saint’s can’t party.

Now let me also caution against the other extreme. Its not good to be loud all the time. If someone asks you how you are doing. You should not always reply  like this, “GOD IS GOOD ALL THE TIME. AMEN!!HALLELUJAH BROTHER” and then proceed to bear hug your brother cracking his back in the process. There should be a balance, but there’s nothing like a person excited about their faith; someone not ashamed to praise their Lord.

2. Worship requires and brings joy.

This is one the perplexing things about worship. There are times when I wake up and I definitely don’t feel like singing. There are times when I am just numb, barely able to offer a prayer. Yet when I come to God, and if I lock into him, into his goodness and meditate and begin to exert some energy some effort, in the midst of my singing God will deposit something in my spirit. Joy. You see I’m convinced that when someone is in the deep presence of God there’s no response but to praise, to sing, to be joyful. Just like its a reflex when you are in the deep cold to shiver, or in the heat to sweat, when we encounter the presence of the living God, there is no other response but to worship.

3. Our praise should proceed our requests, and sometimes even overshadow them.

The psalmist says that we should enter God’s presence with thanksgiving. Our prayers should not be hi God, I need you to do A,B,C, and D why did you let E happen, and I’m worried about F, by the way it would be cool if you give me G. Hurry up. Amen.

No we need to enter with thanksgiving and praise. Even in the Lord’s prayer, Hallowed be thy name proceeds give us this day. Praise should always precede our petition, even if its just a thank you.

Secondly, If we only come to God to ask something, we have a spiritual problem. My son is not a teenager yet; but when he is I hope that his only conversation with me does not center on me giving him something. It warms my heart when my son runs up to me and hugs me, or kisses me on the cheek without me asking for it. That’s what praise without petition is like to God, an uninvited kiss. This is not to say that God does not like when we petition him for things. He does, that’s why he directs us to come to him. Yet what God really wants is for us to stop focusing on our problems and to focus on him. He is good.

4. God can do what ever he wants.

There is a reason that the psalmist says Know that the Lord is God. What he’s saying is I know you may not understand God, and that you may not agree with how he is doing things, but know that the Lord he is not just a man. He is God. Deal with it. Things seem out of hand? The Lord is God. You got relationship problems? The Lord is God. You Got money problems?health problems? The Lord is still God. Sometimes he answers yes, sometimes no. We are his. You don’t have the last word. God does.  The comforting fact however is in the last and probably most important take away.

5. The Lord is Good all the time and all the time theLord is Good.

Its easy to trust God when you believe he is good. When you believe that he is in control and would not allow calamity were it not for a higher purpose. We must believe that God has our best interests in mind, even when we feel we our at our wits end. We must believe that he does not put on us any burdens that we can not bear, and that with every temptation he has made a way of escape. We must believe that he is with us, even in the shadow of death. The Lord is good and his mercy endures forever. If you were to just think on all the things God has brought you out of, and all the things that he has kept you from. Even just reading this blog is a gift of God. Not that I am a good writer, but that the fact that you are able to access the internet, that your mind is stable enough to read, your eyes work to perceive, that your fingers work to type or scroll. That you are alive. Mostly, that you have the ability to hear God’s word. That is his goodness. Thank him for that.

As a quick application. Something that I am trying to do more consistently and that I recommend is  a daily worship time with your family even if its just 5 minutes to either sing to the Lord or thank him for what he’s done for us each day. For the Lord is Good and his mercy endures forever. Amen.

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