Sunday, March 13, 2011

Songs of Joy

This week we start the book of Psalms. The 150 individual psalms cover the poetic expressions of human and religious feeling and are divided into five books. They consist of a wide variety of styles, purposes and emotions, such as lament, thanksgiving, praise, worship, pilgrimage, petition and penitence.

The theme of Psalms is praise and worship. David, the author of 73 of the 150 psalms, shares with us his love and ever deepening relationship with God through his writings. He is a song-writer and provides for us a model of praise and worship.

Today let's look at one of David's songs - Psalm 65. It's theme is because God provides abundantly, we can be thankful to Him for His many blessings. Here's Psalm 65:5-8:

You answer us with awesome deeds of righteousness, O God our Savior, the hope of all the ends of the earth and of the farthest seas, who formed the mountains by your power, having armed yourself with strength, who stilled the roaring of the seas, the roaring of their waves, and the turmoil of the nations. Those living far away fear your wonders; where morning dawns and evening fades you call forth songs of joy.

God blesses us so we may:

1) Bless others - Proverbs 3:27 tells us - "Do not withhold good from those who deserve it, when it is in your power to act."

2) Tell others - People are more open to listening to the Gospel if you can share a real-life experience of how God has blessed you. Not necessarily in terms of money and material things, but in the everyday things that matter most.

3) Bless Him - Our songs of joy are a sweet sound to God's ears - day and night (v. 8).

Here's a great devotional from the book Heaven Calling: "The work of an artist always points back to its creator. Do you remember the last breathtaking sunset you watched? I (God) shared it with you because I love you. The beauty you see in the sky, or the sea, or the forest, or across the plain - all of it points to me. Every good thing in this world is designed to praise me. Even the rocks testify of my works.

Child, the witness of the world around you affirms that I love your worship in any form - your songs, your gratitude, your talents and treasures, even your stumbling words of praise and your sighs of amazement when words fail. In heaven's language, a sigh can be high praise when my Spirit inspires you.

Take time to look around, beloved. Let the beauty of my creation bring forth songs of joy from your heart and life!"

When's the last time you truly worshiped God with songs of joy? You put aside your "to-do" list for God and just praised Him for who is He, what He's done and what He continues to do for and in you.

BLOG COMMENT: The most well-known psalm of praise is Psalm 100. Take time this week to read, reflect and then respond. Share with us a praise or two back to God for His goodness, His faithfulness and His abundant blessings.


Theresa said...

Sometimes I forget who I am living for. When that happens I start to grumble inside about all the things I have to do on a daily basis. But I am serving my Lord even when I am doing dishes, cleaning the house, and taking care of my family. When I consider those things it motivates me and puts more purpose and love into and about my work. I want to serve Him with gladness :) And through Him I feel renewed and joyous.

Tonia said...

Psalm 118:24 - This is the day the Lord has made, let's rejoice and be glad in it!!

The SUN is out and I'm REJOICING!!

Nancy Bailey said...

I rejoice! God has given me another day! I rejoice! God has given to me so many added days! God is good to sustain. The Lord is full of mercy! The Lord has heard me in times of struggle and pain…in misery and weakness. I praise Him for the small and large joys He has given to me. I rest in knowing that God makes no errors in making us. We are wonderfully and lovingly made as He intended…with purpose and the ability to serve Him. I have peace that He alone is in control.

Psalm 100:3 (New International Version)
Know that the LORD is God.
It is he who made us, and we are his;
we are his people, the sheep of his pasture.

Psalm 54:4 (New International Version) Surely God is my help;
the Lord is the one who sustains me.

Holly said...

God is so incredible. My 14 y.o. with Autism mastered telling time this week. We've been working for years on this. It has been quite a while since we accomplished such a big goal(it has been somewhat of a dry time). But as I have waited God has been so good to remind me of his faithfulness in the past and that is what has kept me going(confidence that He is working even when I dont see Him) and what will carry me to the next big goal...elapsed time and so much more.
I especially enjoyed seeing where so many of our praise and worship songs come from.

Deanna said...

With the length of our winter here in Maine, this Psalm 100 is what I needed to read today. To be able to shout with joy, worship with gladness, and sing with joy while the snow is again coming down. He has made everything, including us and we are his. So I must rejoice in the snow he has made right?

I shall enter his gates with thanksgiving, into his courts with praise and bless his name, for God is Good, all the Time!