Today’s Reading: Neh 12:1–13:31, 2 John 1–6, Ps 115:1–18
Today’s Themes: Sing to the Lord
Celebrate with gladness
And at the dedication of the wall of Jerusalem they sought the Levites in all their places, to bring them to Jerusalem to celebrate the dedication with gladness, with thanksgivings and with singing, with cymbals, harps, and lyres. Nehemiah 12:27 (ESV)
God is worthy of our praise, we should celebrate and praise him with joy for all he has done. 1 Corinthians 14:15
We should worship the Lord with singing, and the playing of all sorts of instruments, making a joyful sound unto God.
Paul reminds us that praise should be a part of our everyday life in Ephesians 5:19 “addressing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody to the Lord with your heart,”
Heaven is filled with loud, joyful worship. Revelation 4:8 and Revelation 19:1
Don’t let anything steal your joy today, sing to the Lord with gladness. Acts 16:25
Then I brought the leaders of Judah up onto the wall and appointed two great choirs that gave thanks. One went to the south on the wall to the Dung Gate. Nehemiah 12:31 (ESV)
We see the two great choirs here which remind us of the importance of corporate worship and singing together. God doesn’t want us to just praise him on our own. God wants us to come together as a group to sing to him too.
We are reminded of the importance of regular corporate worship in Hebrews 10:24–25 “And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.”
Reading about these choirs reminds me of our own choir “Sincere Praise”. Sincere Praise were recently in ministry in Cyprus and worship the Lord in song each week at our church.
The “We Are Not Ashamed of the Gospel of Jesus Christ” album can be listened to on Spotify here http://goo.gl/QCmo7y
The “Hold Fast” album can be listened to on Spotify here http://goo.gl/6lk6lA.
God, our greatest joy!
And they offered great sacrifices that day and rejoiced, for God had made them rejoice with great joy; the women and children also rejoiced. And the joy of Jerusalem was heard far away. Nehemiah 12:43 (ESV)
God is our greatest joy and treasure. God should bring us more joy than anyone else, we should rejoice in him and prize him as the highest source of joy.
The people rejoiced in the Lord so greatly that it was heard far away. Our praise of God should be heard across the nations to the glory of his name.
The following is an excerpt from John Piper’s book “The Pleasures of God”
“The greatest joy is joy in God. This is plain from Psalm 16:11: “You [God] will make known to me the path of life; in Your presence is fullness of joy; in Your right hand there are pleasures forever.” Fullness of joy and eternal joy cannot be improved. Nothing is fuller than full, and nothing is longer than eternal. And this joy is owing to the presence of God, not the accomplishments of man. Therefore, if God wants to love us infinitely and delight us fully and eternally, he must preserve for us the one thing that will satisfy us totally and eternally; namely, the presence and worth of his own glory.”
Truth and Love
The elder to the elect lady and her children, whom I love in truth, and not only I, but also all who know the truth, because of the truth that abides in us and will be with us forever: Grace, mercy, and peace will be with us, from God the Father and from Jesus Christ the Father’s Son, in truth and love. 2 John 1–3 (ESV)
Singing to the Lord in praise and worship is worthless if it is not done in tuth and love.
John connects truth and love as each on their own can lead us into one of two major errors.
Truth without love will lead us into cold hearted religion which is concerned only with the precise quality of the truth and teaching without regard to the application of the truth and translating the truth to everyday people.
Love without truth will lead us into apostasy as we capitulate to the worlds standards and throw away our essential core as a faith in order to “reach out”.
Love and truth must work together, this way we believe correctly through the truth and live correctly by the love of God.
This is love
And this is love, that we walk according to his commandments; this is the commandment, just as you have heard from the beginning, so that you should walk in it. 2 John 6 (ESV)
John provides us with another working definition of love, love in this context is not a mussy, sentimental, fuzzy feeling; no. Love is walking in the truth, obeying Gods commands according to his revealed word in the bible.
The world has redefined love to be whatever we want it to be, which is the opposite to John’s definition. Here we see love is not about us doing our own will but about us doing God’s will.
If we walk in love we lay down our own agenda to live for God. Laying down our lives for God and others just like Jesus did on the cross.
All glory belongs to God
Not to us, O LORD, not to us, but to your name give glory, for the sake of your steadfast love and your faithfulness! Psalm 115:1 (ESV)
We live to bring glory to God. When someone says well done for doing something, receive the thanks and praise, then turn and give it to God.
We give God glory as we sing praises to him.
Our God is in the heavens; he does all that he pleases. Psalm 115:3 (ESV)
Our God is sovereign, he does all that pleases him and it brings God pleasure when we worship him in joy. “God is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in him”