In preparation for my message at the Colony of Mercy, I was camping out in Psalm 111. It was one of those mornings where I felt compelled to stay put in one Psalm rather than read the four Psalms for the day.
It was one of those WOW moments that happens when the Spirit of God causes a passage to come alive, and the words seem to leap off the page of the sacred text.
Psalm 111 is one of five “Hallelujah” Psalms. These five Psalms either begin or end with the words, “Praise the Lord.” The Psalm is also an acrostic in that each line begins with a letter of the Hebrew alphabet. In addition to Psalm 111 and 112 being acrostic Psalms, 9, 10, 24, 34, 37, 119 and 145 are as well. Scholars believed that this aided in the memorizing of the Scriptures.
Many of us, particularly American Christians, live a shallow, empty, selfish, defeated version of the Christian life. We tend to look at our faith walk the same way we look at life – through the glass-half-empty syndrome, rather than looking at life like a glass filled and overflowing.
In this Psalm I have observed five “I get to’s” vs. “I have to’s. Our Pastor recently did a study on the Sabbath and made the point that we don’t have to do Sabbath, we get to!!! That right thinking changes our entire perspective.
Here’s the Psalm from the New Living Translation:
Praise the Lord! I will give thanks to the Lord with my whole heart,
in the company of the upright, in the congregation.
2 Great are the works of the Lord, studied by all who delight in them.
3 Full of splendor and majesty is his work, and his righteousness endures forever.
4 He has caused his wondrous works to be remembered;
the Lord is gracious and merciful.
5 He provides food for those who fear him; he remembers his covenant forever.
6 He has shown his people the power of his works, in giving them the inheritance of the nations.
7 The works of his hands are faithful and just; all his precepts are trustworthy;
8 they are established forever and ever, to be performed with faithfulness and uprightness.
9 He sent redemption to his people; he has commanded his covenant forever.
Holy and awesome is his name!
10 The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom; all those who practice it have a good understanding. His praise endures forever!
We will unpack them for the next couple of weeks.
- We get to meet with God’s people (vs.1) What would the Lord’s day look like if I went to church with a thankful heart and an “I get to go meet with the people of God,” vs. “I have to go to church today?”
Most of the worlds Christians on the Lord’s day go to church with the very fear that if caught, they could literally lose their lives. They will go to worship not for just one hour, but in many places outside of America, they will meet for most of the day. Some will meet for hours and will do so with people of all ages, standing for the entire service packed in like sardines and with no modern conveniences.
We American Christians view our worship through the lens of “it-will-be-a-good-Sunday” if:
I like the music
The temperature is just right
No one takes my seat
The sermon isn’t too long or too short
Someone speaks to me
Everyone agrees with my point of view
If you didn’t get the memo – Worship isn’t all about you! Worship is all about Him!
And I just ran over my words for this blog. So stay tuned for next week. Can I ask you to do me a favor? Read through Psalm 111 and ask the Holy Spirit to teach you too.
Rejoice! Pray! Give thanks!
President/CEO America’s Keswick
Written by Bill Welte, President/CEO of America’s Keswick: Bill has been married to his child sweetheart for 40+ years, and has four married kids and 11 amazing grand kids. He loves music and is an avid reader.
Think About This: Worship is never about being a spectator. Worship is designed for you and me to be a participator.
This Week’s Verse to Memorize:
Surely the righteous shall give thanks to Your name; The upright shall dwell in Your presence. Psalm 140:13