Worship Begins With God

Today is Thursday, July 20, 2017. Day 21,679. Thirty days until S’s birthday!

C forgot to turn on the alarm last night, so we overslept. No time for trivial things, this morning.

TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL AND PRAYERS
All Scriptures are from the ESV unless otherwise noted

(From The Divine Hours)

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. 

Psalm 95:1-3
O LORD God of hosts, hear my prayer; give ear, O God of Jacob! Selah.
Psalm 84:8
I give thanks to you, O Lord my God, with my whole heart, and I will glorify your name forever.
Psalm 86:12
Gracious is the LORD, and righteous; our God is merciful.
Psalm 116:5
“I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinedresser. 
Every branch in me that does not bear fruit he takes away, and every branch that does bear fruit he prunes, that it may bear more fruit. 
Already you are clean because of the word that I have spoken to you.”

John 15:1-3
Glory be to God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. As it was in the beginning, so it is now and so it shall ever be, world without end. Alleluia. Amen.
The Gloria
Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be your Name. May your kingdom come, and your will be done, on earth as in heaven. Give us today our daily bread. Forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us. Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil; for yours are the kingdom and the power and the glory forever and ever. Amen.

(From Practice Resurrection)

Eugene Peterson points out that Paul, in Ephesians 4, quotes part of Psalm 68. Using that backdrop, Peterson gives us a beautiful picture of worship. It all begins with God.

“The Sanctuary is the setting for this worship: worship begins in the sanctuary (v. 24) and ends in the sanctuary (v. 35). Sanctuary is a set-apart place consecrated for worship, paying reverent attention to who God reveals himself to be and how he reveals himself in our history. The sanctuary is also a theater in which we find our place and our part for participating in the wide-ranging salvation drama. This Psalm 68 worship is not merely watching, not a show-and-tell about God at work. Nor is it a workshop for figuring out how God goes about his work. Psalm 68 worship is a listening attentiveness to God in word and action, which develops into glad participation in that word and action.”

Peterson then points out the last “God-activated” verb in the Psalm. It is “give,” in verse 35. “[God] is the one who gives power and strength to his people.” God gives to his people. He gives power and strength. Then we, his people, should receive that and “run with it, singing and playing tambourines, from the least of them, Benjamin, in the lead to the high-profile princes of Judah and Zebulun following behind.”

Father, help us to worship you. And while this worship begins and ends in “sanctuary,” help us to remember that worship is also a lifestyle. We can have a life of worship, not just setting it aside for Sunday morning (or whenever our particular gathering happens to be). May my life be a life of worship to you that culminates in the weekly gathering of the saints as we combine our lives together to worship you. And may our worship begin and end with you, allowing you to give your power and strength to us, that we might “run with it” into the world.
Even so, come, Lord Jesus!

The LORD bless you and keep you; the LORD make his face to shine upon you and be gracious to you; the LORD lift up his countenance upon you and give you peace.

Grace and peace, friends.

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