April 22, 2012

Worship the Lord with gladness; come into his presence with singing


Last week we started our exploration of what Psalm 100 can teach us about living a ‘holy life’-a life of sharing the Good News of our faith. We start with making a “joyful noise to the Lord” along with all of creation.
Verse 2 of the Psalm says we are to “Worship the Lord with gladness; come into his presence with singing.” “But I can’t sing,” some people complain. I’m pretty sure that God knows perfectly well if you are gifted with a beautiful voice or not. It is not about waiting until you are professionally trained to sing praises to God-it is about a heart for worship. When you are offering God your heart via singing, I think the angels rejoice at the beauty of the sound.
Matt Redman, a contemporary Christian musician, sings about this in his song The Heart of Worship. He says, “I'll bring You more than a song For a song in itself Is not what You have required You search much deeper within Through the ways things appear You're looking into my heart.” (The words are below and you can watch a video of this song here)
 Worship is about the offering of our whole self to God, where, as Redman says “And it's all about You All about You, Jesus.” The Psalmist says ‘worship the Lord with gladness’! Sometimes I like to look up the actual definition of words, even when they are used regularly. There are 5 definitions of the word ‘gladness,’ all of which could apply to how we worship our Lord.
Gladness can be experiencing or exhibiting joy and pleasure. It can be a sense of being appreciative or providing joy and pleasure. Gladness can mean we are very willing or pleased as well as that we are bright and cheerful. It seems to me that worship should involve all of those attributes. When we come to the Lord in worship, we ought to be joyful and appreciative. We should find pleasure in our time with God. Worship, at its best, sends us forth willing to serve in a cheerful way.
The Psalmist started by calling us to join with all creation in “making a joyful noise,” then we draw close to God in worship and offer ourselves. In coming close to God and finding that nothing matters except that relationship is where we learn to share our good news with others. Then we are empowered like the Samaritan woman who invited her friends and neighbors, “Come and see.” (John 4:29)
Can you worship the Lord this week in all that you say and do, and maybe even with a song that is “more than a song”? When we really share our heart with God, we are able to share ourselves with one another ‘with gladness’ and tell out the Good News of God’s love. That’s worth singing about, isn’t it?

“The Heart of Worship” by Matt Redman
When the music fades
And all is stripped away
And I simply come
Longing just to bring
Something that's of worth
That will bless your heart

I'll bring You more than a song
For a song in itself
Is not what You have required
You search much deeper within
Through the ways things appear
You're looking into my heart

I'm coming back to the heart of worship
And it's all about You
All about You, Jesus
I'm sorry Lord for the thing I've made it
When it's all about You
It's all about You Jesus

King of endless worth
No one could express
How much You deserve
Though I'm weak and poor
All I have is Yours
Every single breath

I'll bring You more than just a song
For a song in itself
Is not what You have required
You search much deeper within
Through the way things appear
You're looking into my heart

I'm coming back to the heart of worship
And it's all about You
All about You, Jesus
I'm sorry Lord for the thing I've made it
When it's all about You
It's all about You Jesus

Its all about you
Jesus

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