Psalm 111 – A “We Get To” Psalm (Part 2)


If you missed last week, I want to encourage you to go back and read my blog from last week.

We started to look at the five “get to’s” of Psalm 111 and we started to unpack No.1 – We get to meet God’s people.

We often mix our terms using Sabbath and the Lord’s Day in the same way, and we do the same with worship.

Worship in the Old Testament looked much different than in the early church. In the Old Testament, Temple worship was very festive and lively. It was celebrative as well as contemplative. It involved the five senses.

It was sometimes quiet, and it was sometimes loud. Saints who struggle with drums in the church would not have liked Old Testament worship. Psalm 150 indicates that there were not only cymbals – they were loud crashing cymbals. And even more disturbing to some would be the “D” word – there was dance! Lions and tigers and bears – O my!

In the early New Testament Church, they met in homes and sometimes caves. The setting would be quite different than our American church. Their practice was the teaching of the Word, breaking of the bread, prayer, and fellowship, as well as singing.

Our version of worship is quite backward. We tend to have a team of people on the stage who are “performing.” We have developed a more “spectator” version of worship. I personally believe that worship was never designed to be as a spectator, but participatory. Like life, WE GET TO worship with other believers as we participate together.

Picture it this way: a better representation of worship would be for all of us to be on the platform with Jesus sitting where you and I normally sit. He wants to be our audience of one.

So think about this: what would our Sunday look like if we really believed that Jesus would be there next week?

How would we dress?
What time would we arrive?
How would we sing?
What would we put in the offering?
Would we be looking at our cell phones? Texting?

If we do as the writer of this Psalm suggests, we are going to be thinking about meeting with God’s people before we even get there. Instead of looking at this a “we have to” time each week, we will come prepared with a “thankful” heart anticipating the privilege of meeting with my brothers and sisters.

Singing is just part of what we get to do. But singing throughout Scripture, both in the Old and New Testament is important. I love what Keith and Kristen Getty say about singing:

We do not sing because we have to. We sing because we love to.

We sing because we’re created to, commanded to, and compelled to. And when we sing great truths, great things happen. Christ-filled, Spirit-prompted singing moves out in concentric circles changing your own heart and mind . . . changing your family . . . changing your church . . . and changing this world.

When we sing together as the Church, we are showing how we are a congregation of living stones. Our singing is an audible expression of the bonds we share, testifying to the life that lies within these stones. We are cut from the same elements of faith, united in one Lord, filled by one Spirit, brought into one Church, to offer our praise to Him. We are being chiseled and refined through our singing, just as we are through every aspect of our lives. We are forged together through our singing together.

Wow. That puts it into perspective. We’ll digger deeper into Psalm 111 next week. Thanks for joining me on the journey.

Rejoice! Pray! Give thanks!

Bill Welte
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.

The Daily Bible Reading: Deuteronomy 4-6| You can download our 2017 Daily Bible Reading Plan by clicking here


Think About This: You are what you sing! Keith and Kristen Getty

This Week’s Verse to Memorize:

He who observes the day, observes it to the Lord; and he who does not observe the day, to the Lord he does not observe it. He who eats, eats to the Lord, for he gives God thanks; and he who does not eat, to the Lord he does not eat, and gives God thanks. Romans 14:6





Knocked Down, But Not Out…


I can think of several times when I was ready to quit… times when the opposition seemed so overwhelming and I just did not think I had the strength or capacity to press on. Some of those times were in my athletic career; the hardest one was when I injured my back. Lying on the floor after surgery, not knowing how I would walk, let alone run or compete again on the field, was a daunting time. Although this was hard, a much greater struggle came when I was told by my employer that they didn’t need me anymore. I had dumped my heart and soul into that job, given time away from my family that I could never retrieve, and endured several personal attacks on my faith and character. I guess if I was going to give up and not look back, these were the times.

Since then, I have learned a few things. To start, I realized a compliment from a fool is really an insult, and an insult from a fool is really a compliment, and I should always consider the source, never abandoning my faith.

Second, a finisher is not one without wounds or weariness. Quite to the contrary, he is like the boxer, who is scarred and bloody. Mother Teresa is credited with saying, “God didn’t call us to be successful, just faithful.” The fighter, like our Savior, is pierced and full of pain. He, like Paul, may even be bound and beaten, but the fighter, like Jesus and Paul, remains steadfast.

Remaining steadfast with our face towards the goal is not easy on our own. But the third thing I have learned is, I am not alone.  God, in His grace and love, walks with me every moment of every day, and in every circumstance. When I am knocked down, his nail scarred hand reaches out and picks me up. It’s these times of upheaval that bring Isaiah’s words to life for me, “Yet it was our weaknesses he carried; it was our sorrows that weighed him down… But he was pierced for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his wounds we are healed.” (Isaiah 53:4-6) Not only is He there to pick me up, He stands with me in every battle. He has promised to ‘never leave me nor forsake me’ and through His Spirit, ‘provide everything pertaining to life and godliness’ for those who place their hope and trust in Him.

The last thing I have learned is that even when I may be considering giving up, God never gives up on me. Isaiah goes on to say, “All of us, like sheep, have strayed away. We have left God’s paths to follow our own. Yet the LORD laid on him the sins of us all.” (Isaiah 53:6)

Paul repeats the theme when he writes, “while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us” (Rom 5:8). If while I was rejecting Him, He was bearing my sin because He saw value in me, how much safer would I be under His care and trusting in His Word…?

There is much else to tell you, but this one thing is more important than all else right now, ‘Don’t give up, don’t ever give up’, don’t let go of His nail scarred hand. Even though you, like the fighter, may be bloodied and hurting, Grasp tighter and pull yourself closer, finish the race, for you are not alone, nor will you ever be with Jesus.

‘The finisher, though wounded and scarred, presses on when he knows for whom and what he fights for.’

Praying 4 U…

Written by David Brown: David Brown is a husband, father, and grandfather with a Masters of Religious Studies and a Professor of Philosophy and Comparative Religions. Dave is a member of Pemberton’s First Baptist Church.

The Daily Bible Reading: 1 Samuel 21-25| You can download our 2017 Daily Bible Reading Plan by clicking here


Daily Quote: “To learn strong faith is to endure great trials. I have learned my faith by standing firm amid severe testings.” – George Mueller

This Week’s Verse to Memorize:

The Lord your God in your midst, The Mighty One, will save; He will rejoice over you with gladness, He will quiet you with His love, He will rejoice over you with singing.” Zephaniah 3:17