Songs of Praise

Psalm 95:1-5 ESV

Oh come, let us sing to the Lord;
let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation!
Let us come into his presence with thanksgiving;
let us make a joyful noise to him with songs of praise!
For the Lord is a great God,
and a great King above all gods.
In his hand are the depths of the earth;
the heights of the mountains are his also.
The sea is his, for he made it,
and his hands formed the dry land.

I have been singing ever since I was a small child. From early on God gave to me the gift of song and a voice to sing his praises. Now that I am approaching 70 years of age, though, the old voice isn’t what it used to be. It cuts out on me. It cracks. It is now lacking in strength, as am I.

But, you know something? God doesn’t care what our voices sound like. He is not interested in how good we sound when we sing. He rejoices over even the tone deaf as they sing his praises, if they are singing genuinely from their hearts in true worship of God. For, he says to make a “joyful noise” to the Lord. It doesn’t have to be a great voice or professional sounding.

Yet, you know, as the body of Christ, especially here in America, I think that we can miss out on a lot of good singing to the Lord because the church, at large, has adopted this idea that the music has to be at a professional level, by the world’s standards.

But, that is not God’s standard. His is that we lift him up in song in all sincerity of heart and mind, and in genuineness of devotion and praise to our God for who is he and for the great things that he has done. He is interested in spiritual songs, biblical songs which honor and praise him, even if they are sung by someone who is tone deaf.

I am so grateful to the Lord for spiritual songs, and the hymns, too. For, they speak often to my heart the words of God. My Lord speaks to me through songs all throughout my day. They encourage me. They bless my heart. They counsel me in the ways of the Lord, and they show me the way that he wants me to go, because they are founded in His Word. Even before a prayer is on my tongue the Lord is often answering me through a spiritual song or a hymn. All praise, honor and glory to God!

Psalm 95:6-7 ESV

Oh come, let us worship and bow down;
let us kneel before the Lord, our Maker!
For he is our God,
and we are the people of his pasture,
and the sheep of his hand.

And, this is the clincher! God is not interested in our singing songs of praise to him if we have not first of all bowed the knee before him in humility of spirit, in repentance, and in walks of obedience to his will for our lives. For, this is our acceptable worship of God that we first of all give our lives over to the Lord as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God (Rom. 12:1-2).

We are to no longer be conformed to the ways of this sinful world, but we are to be transformed in heart and mind of the Spirit of God away from our lifestyles of living for sin and self, in order that we might follow our Lord in walks of obedience to his will and to the way he has for us to go (Rom. 6:1-23; Rom. 8:1-17; Eph. 4:17-24; Tit. 2:11-14; 1 Jn. 1:5-9; Lu. 9:23-25).

For, he is our God, our Lord, the owner and master of our lives, if we are truly his by God-given faith in him. And, we are the sheep of his pasture. And, his sheep listen to his voice and they follow him in obedience. And, no one can snatch us who follow him out of his hands (Jn. 10:27-30).

Psalm 95:7-11 ESV

Today, if you hear his voice,
do not harden your hearts, as at Meribah,
as on the day at Massah in the wilderness,
when your fathers put me to the test
and put me to the proof, though they had seen my work.
For forty years I loathed that generation
and said, “They are a people who go astray in their heart,
and they have not known my ways.”
Therefore I swore in my wrath,
“They shall not enter my rest.”

And, this warning here is repeated in the New Testament three times, in Hebrews 3 and 4. And, this warning was/is written to those who believe in Jesus Christ, too, and/or to those who profess faith in Jesus Christ. In Hebrews 3, he followed this warning with these words:

“Take care, brothers, lest there be in any of you an evil, unbelieving heart, leading you to fall away from the living God. But exhort one another every day, as long as it is called “today,” that none of you may be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin. For we have come to share in Christ, if indeed we hold our original confidence firm to the end” (Heb. 3:12-14 ESV).

And, this is critical that we get this. We don’t “get saved,” and then live however we want, and then when we die we get to go to heaven. Our salvation is not a one-time event in our lives. It is continuous. It is ongoing. Daily we are putting sin to death in our lives, by the Spirit of God. Daily we are taking up our cross and we are following our Lord in surrender and in obedience to his commands (Lu. 9:23-25; Rom. 8:1-17; 1 Jn. 1:5-9).

Our faith in Jesus Christ is not past tense only. It is present tense. If you know how to look up the Greek, you will soon learn how often words that sound (in English) as though they could be past tense are actually present tense words and/or words that express a continuous course of action. For, example John 3:16 should read, “that whosoever believing in him…”

All throughout the New Testament we are taught that our salvation is ongoing and that it must be continuous to the end if we want to have the hope of eternal life with God. For, our salvation will not be completed until Jesus Christ returns for his bride, to take us home to be with him.

All throughout the New Testament we are taught that faith in Jesus Christ is expressed daily in our actions, in how we live our lives, and that eternal life with God is guaranteed only to those who walk (in lifestyle) according to the Spirit, and not to those who make a profession only of faith in Jesus Christ.

So, this is a warning that all who profess faith in Jesus Christ should take seriously. For, scripture teaches us that if we walk (in lifestyle) according to our sinful flesh, that we are going to die in our sins, not have eternal life with God. If we make sin our practice, our “go to,” the way in which we conduct our lives day in and day out, then we will die in our sins.

And, if we do not leave our sinful lifestyles behind us, but we hold on to them, again, we are going to die in our sins, not have eternal life with God (See: Lu. 9:23-25; Rom. 8:1-17; 1 Jn. 1:5-9; Gal. 5:19-21; Gal. 6:7-8).

So, don’t put God to the test. Don’t play with fire thinking you won’t get burned. Take God’s Word seriously. For, God will do what he says. If we walk by the flesh, we will die in our sins, but if by the Spirit we are putting to death the deeds of our sinful flesh, then we have eternal life with God.

I Will Lift My Eyes

An Original Work / December 12, 2012
Based off Psalms 121-125

I will lift my eyes to my Lord Most High.
My help comes from Him, who saved me from sin.
He will not let your foot slip, and He who watches will not sleep.
Our Lord watches over you, and your life He will keep.
I will lift my eyes to my Lord Most High.
My help comes from Him, who saved me from sin.
I give thanks to Him.

I will lift my eyes to my God in heav’n.
I look to the Lord. My sins, He’s forgiv’n.
Because of His great love for us, He made us alive with Christ.
Through the kindness of our Savior, He gave us new life.
I will lift my eyes to my God in heav’n.
I look to the Lord. My sins, He’s forgiv’n;
My home, now in heav’n.

Praise be to the Lord, who is on our side.
Our help found in Him. He gives peace within.
Those who trust will ne’er be shaken. God will supply all we need.
Our Lord has done great things for us. He’s our friend, indeed!
Praise be to the Lord, who is on our side.
Our help found in Him. He gives peace within.
I can count on Him.

Saturday, August 31, 2019

2 thoughts on “Songs of Praise

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