Wholehearted Worship

Rejoice in the Lord, you righteous ones; praise is becoming and appropriate for those who are upright [in heart–those with moral integrity and godly character]. Give thanks to the Lord with the lyre; Sing praises to Him with the harp of ten strings. Sing to Him a new song; play skillfully [on the strings] with a loud and joyful sound. For the word of the Lord is right; and all His work is done in faithfulness. He loves righteousness and justice; The earth is full of the lovingkindness of the Lord. By the word of the Lord were the heavens made, and all their host by the breath of His mouth. He gathers the waters of the sea together as in a wineskin; He puts the deeps in storehouses. Let all the earth fear and worship the Lord; Let all the inhabitants of the world stand in awe of Him. For He spoke, and it was done; He commanded, and it stood fast. The Lord nullifies the counsel of the nations; He makes the thoughts and plans of the people ineffective. The counsel of the Lord stands forever, the thoughts and plans of His heart through all generations. Blessed [fortunate, prosperous, and favored by God] is the nation whose God is the Lord, the people whom He has chosen as His own inheritance. The Lord looks [down] from heaven; He sees all the sons of man; From His dwelling place He looks closely upon all the inhabitants of the earth– He who fashions the hearts of them all, Who considers and understands all that they do. The king is not saved by the great size of his army; a warrior is not rescued by his great strength. A horse is a false hope for victory; nor does it deliver anyone by its great strength. Behold, the eye of the Lord is upon those who fear Him [and worship Him with awe-inspired reverence and obedience], on those who hope [confidently] in His compassion and lovingkindness, to rescue their lives from death and keep them alive in famine. We wait [expectantly] for the Lord; He is our help and our shield. For in Him our heart rejoices, because we trust [lean on, rely on, and are confident] in His holy name. Let Your [steadfast] lovingkindness, O Lord, be upon us, in proportion as we have hoped in You.
Psalm 33:1 – 22
In one of my devotions, I’m walking through the Psalms right now. A few days ago, I got to Psalm 33. The questions in the devo regarding verses 1 – 3 were: “What does this say about the relationship between praise and music? What is the quality of the music? Why is this important?”

Of course, I love talking about, reading about, learning about the relationship between music and praise and worship. There is a myriad of ways in which we worship God–through our monetary giving, volunteering, helping our neighbor, smiling at the cashier…But my favorite is worship with music and song. So, digging into the relationship between music and praise perks me up! 

Here is my answer to the devo questions. “Music is another tool we have to praise and honor God. But, as with any other form of worship, it is to be done “skillfully”. Meaning, we have to put effort into it; we must have our heart in it. God isn’t interested in, nor is He deserving, of some half-hearted, weak worship. Our praise and worship should be loud and joyful, not ashamed because Jesus took our shame and sin on the cross. And, because He abased Himself and became shame for us, we can boldly lift our head and proudly proclaim God’s praises! As David said, in 2 Samuel 6:21 – 22, when he got ridiculed by his wife regarding his extravagant worship, “I will celebrate [in pure enjoyment] before the Lord. Yet I will demean myself even more than this, and will be humbled (abased) in my own sight [and yours]…”

Our only desire for worship and praise should be to please God and bring Him glory. And it should always be a whole-heart event. I believe that when a church body begins to worship wholeheartedly, it will affect the community and people will encounter Jesus! That is what I long to see for our community.
I’m Listening To…
This Week’s New Song: Undignified by Matt Redman (certainly not a new song, but a great song to crank up and truly praise wholeheartedly!)

I will dance, I will sing to be mad for my King.
Nothing, Lord, is hindering the passion in my soul.
And I’ll become even more undignified than this.
Some would say it’s foolishness but I’ll become even more undignified than this.
This Week’s Hymn: The Love of God by Frederick Martin Lehman, Meir Ben Isaac Nehorai (this song reminds me of God’s extravagant love and what He did for me which, in turn, elicits a great, extravagant praise!)
1. The love of God is greater far than tongue or pen can ever tell.
It goes beyond the highest star and reaches to the lowest hell.
The guilty pair bowed down with care, God gave His Son to win,
His erring child He reconciled and pardoned from his sin.
Chorus: O love of God how rich and pure, how measureless and strong.
It shall forevermore endure, the saints and angels song.
2.When years of time shall pass away and earthly thrones and kingdoms fall,
When men who here refuse to pray on rocks and hills and mountains call,
God’s love so sure shall still endure, all measureless and strong.
Redeeming grace to Adam’s race. the saints and angels song.
3. Could we with ink the ocean fill and were the skies of parchment made,
Were every stalk on earth a quill and every man a scribe by trade,
To write the love of God above would drain the ocean dry.
Nor could the scroll contain the whole though stretched from sky to sky.

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