Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Worshipping, Serving and Knowing - Psalm 100

“Shout joyfully to the LORD, all the earth.
Serve the LORD with gladness;
come before Him with joyful singing.
Know that the LORD Himself is God;
it is He who has made us, and not we ourselves;
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 loving-kindness is everlasting;
and His faithfulness to all generations.” (Ps 100)

At the start of this day I find myself in absolute awe over the beauty of the Word of God. As has been the case so much over the past 7 months my heart is leaping! Psalm 100 is a glorious invitation to come and worship the LORD. Here is the command to "shout joyfully to Him, to serve Him with gladness and to come into His presence with joyful singing!"

Now, I must admit that I have not always shouted joyfully to my God nor have I always served Him with gladness. Prior to coming to faith in Christ I was clearly a non-worshipper and non-server of God. Honestly, as an atheist I was a hater of God. I can remember those days clearly and thank Him that they are now days of the past.

I must also admit, sadly, that there have been periods in my walk with Christ where I have worshipped and served the LORD, but not necessarily with true joy and gladness. Recently that joy and gladness have been rekindled in a way that I am thankful for. So, what's been the difference?

It struck me just a few moments ago that the difference is verse 3. "Know that the LORD Himself is God...." What is the nursemaid for this type of joyful worship and glad service? It is the knowledge of God. “Know that the LORD Himself is God.”

While I was an atheist I knew Him not. I was "suppressing the truth in my unrighteousness" (Rom 1). I didn' t want to know Him because of what He said about me. Not desiring to know Him I had no conscious reason to worship Him (though I did have an ethical one as we all do).

Since coming to know Him in 1988 the times where my zeal in worship have waned have always been times where I was not seeking His face as I should. Currently, by nothing but His great grace, I am seeking to know Him with a passion and fervor that have been unmatched in my 20 something years of being a Christian. As many of you know, my recent prayer has been "One thing I ask of the LORD, this thing shall I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the LORD, and to meditate in His temple." (Ps 27:4)

These past 7 months He has moved me to seek to truly know Him as He is revealed in His Word. I am purposeful about that task at the moment. I have prayed for the energy to listen hard under the preached Word, to meditate long under the read Word, to strive fervently in prayer, and to fellowship with the saints around the things pertaining to Him. I am consciensiously becoming a simple means of grace woman and God has been pleased to strengthen me through those means. My fire is kindled and my affections are warm toward my loving God and Savior!

Matthew Henry says “Knowledge is the mother of devotion and of all obedience.” If I am to worship Him with greater joy and serve Him with greater gladness then I must by all means possible seek to know Him with greater diligence!

Psalm 100 points out 6 things that are to be known of our God. These 6 things are truths that I am personally seeking to understand in a much fuller way as I study the Word this year.
  1. He is God! “Know that the LORD Himself is God….”
  2. He is Creator! “…it is He who has made us, and not we ourselves...”
  3. He is our rightful Owner! “…we are His people...”
  4. He is our Sovereign Ruler! “…and the sheep…”
  5. He is our bountiful Benefactor! “…of His pasture.”
  6. He is a God of infinite mercy and goodness! “For the LORD is good; His lovingkindness is everlasting; and His faithfulness to all generations.”

This is the God that I worship! This is the God that I serve! This is the God of my praise! This is the God who’s glory is my chief end and my fullest enjoyment! May my knowledge of Him increase as I daily dig in the treasure field of His Word and may my worship of Him and my service to Him become ever increasingly full of joy! I pray yours does as well.

In His glorious grace,


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