August 5, 2017

Today you should read: Psalm 100

Charles Spurgeon wrote of this Psalm: “In this divine lyric we sing with gladness the creating power and goodness of the Lord, even as before with trembling we adored his holiness.” This Psalm is so filled with praise and thanksgiving, numerous hymns have been written in honor of it. It represents a wonderful heart of worship and praise in response to who God is.

It is also a Psalm filled with joyful exhortations:

  1. Make a joyful noise!
  2. Serve the Lord!
  3. Come into his presence!
  4. Know that the Lord is God!
  5. We are His because He made us!
  6. Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise!
  7. Give Him thanks! Bless his name!

All of these things because of the goodness of God. His goodness is shown through his steadfast love and his faithfulness.

A question to think about: when is the last time you simply worshipped God because He is God? Not because he gave you something (although we should be thankful); not because He gives you comfort in trials (we should still be thankful); not because He tells you to do so; but truly worship God because of who God is. My point isn’t that we shouldn’t worship when he provides, comforts, or out of obedience, but that those shouldn’t be the only reasons. God deserves to be worshipped simply because of who He is, not just what he can offer us.

By: Graham Withers — Pastoral Ministry Apprentice

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August 4, 2017

Today you should read: Psalm 99

Psalm 99 is a praise song to God.  So many of the Psalms are.  As we walk through it today, let’s let it guide us in worship as we get our day started.  Praise God with me for the following things:

  • The Lord is King (v.1)
  • He sits on his throne with the angels (v.1)
  • He is exalted above everything (v.2)
  • His Name is awesome (v.3)
  • He is holy (v.3)
  • He loves justice and fairness (v.4)
  • He is righteous (v.4)

Verse 8 reminds us that God answers our prayers.  What does that mean to you today?  Let’s consider some other verses that remind us of this great promise.

Know that the Lord has set apart his faithful servant for himself; the Lord hears when I call to him. Psalm 4:3  

This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us.  1 John 5:14

The eyes of the LORD are on the righteous and his ears are attentive to their cry.  Psalm 34:15

Spend sometime today and cry out to your Father – knowing that He hears and answers prayer.

By: Tim Parsons — Lead Pastor

August 3, 2017

Today you should read: Psalm 98

One of the most amazing aspects of studying anything, especially theology, at a high level is that you begin to see the things you’ve learned everywhere. For example, when I served in CPC’s college ministry back in the day, there was a young man who had been doing an in-depth study of Habakkuk. Many times that semester something would be said or something would happen and out of nowhere he would yell, “HABAKKUK!” Why, you might ask (we certainly did), because he began to see the truth of what God was teaching him in real life. All that to say, when you’re in that kind of mode, people will say things and have no idea the depth and meaning of what they’ve just said.

Psalm 98 is probably a lot like that. What I mean is that Psalm 98 was probably written after Israel had a major victory—perhaps a battle with another nation. In that sense, the “victory” is physical, the “righteousness in the sight of the nations” is probably something akin to “My God can beat up your god, nah nah na nah nah.”

Even if Psalm 98 was written after a major physical victory, it is an amazing call to worship of God’s people. However, consider the fact that when this Psalm was added to the Temple Psalter, people had a clear sense of expectation for God’s deliverance in the coming Messiah. You see, whatever the original author had in mind, the guys who added it to the Psalter understood that these words are far truer than the author even realized. Beyond that, since the greater revelation of the New Testament we can look back at the Old Testament through the lens of what Jesus has done and this Psalm should drive our knees to the dirt and our hands to the sky in light of what God has done, is doing, and will still yet do.

Although a physical victory might have been in view, we understand that, through Christ, our spiritual victory is assured. Verse 2, “The Lord has made known His salvation (The Hebrew word is yeshua, which is where we get the English name Jesus if you didn’t know what Jesus’ name meant), and we are now able to meet God standard of perfect righteousness, because of his lovingkindness (hesed, covenant love) in Jesus’ sacrificial atonement.

Somebody get Todd Thomas a lyre, because that should cause us to worship. More than that, all of creation sings at what God has done (7–8). For those of us in Christ, we no longer need to fear God’s coming judgment, Christ has made a way for us to be in fellowship with God for eternity.

In the comments tell us what verse stood out and what most excites you about what God is doing in your life.  

By: Tyler Short — Connections Ministry Associate

August 2, 2017

Today you should read: Psalm 97

The Lord is King!

I’m afraid that we are quick to declare this with our mouths, but then deny it in our hearts.

Our Psalm today mentions in Verse 7 that “those who worship idols are disgraced…” When I hear the word “idol” I think of the times in the Old Testament when people would worship statues made of gold or silver, but idolatry wasn’t just a problem for people in Old Testament times. It’s also a problem for us.

“What is an idol? It is anything more important to you than God, anything that absorbs your heart and imagination more than God, anything you seek to give you what only God can give.” Tim Keller

Many of the times we give things more significance than they deserve. This could be anything! We have “worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator” (Romans 1:25, NLT).

But the Lord is the one who reigns over the earth and should be on the throne of our hearts. He deserves it! He is a powerful and holy God! This psalm uses intense imagery to show the power of the Lord.

“Fire spreads ahead of him” – Verse 3

“His lightning flashes out across the world” – Verse 4

“The mountains melt like wax before the Lord” – Verse 5

In comparison to the Lord of all the earth, our idols make lousy gods. That’s why “every god must bow to Him” (Verse 7). It is my prayer that we will be able to declare with our mouths and our hearts that “…you, O Lord, are supreme over all the earth; you are exalted far above all gods” (Verse 9).

Do you truly believe “the Lord is king”? What are some idols with which you struggle?

By: Lucas Taylor — Worship Ministries Intern