Tag Archives: Light

Singing with the King (79) – Call to Worship

Happy are those who hear the joyful call to worship. (Psalm 89:15)

Worship2Do you remember the old Anne Murray song from 1983, A Little Good News? She lists off a litany of woes: fighting in the Middle East, bad economy, hostages, hijacked plane—and more. Hard to believe it was written over 30 years ago. She then moves into some wishful thinking, how things could change if we just… well like I said, wishful thinking. That’s why it is worth reading that verse again: Happy are those who hear the joyful call to worship.

The word happy is usually translated as blessed. But happy is good, because blessed wreaks of ancient rituals and religious artifacts. And when you look at most people in the Church, for those looking from the outside, they don’t see a lot of happiness, and they may wonder if blessedness looks like something you need to endure.

Now the word joyful sound can be translated as that, or as a battle cry. But I’m going to go with a call to worship, which would be the sound of joy, not the sound of war.

So who is sounding this joyful call to worship? Could it be joyous worshipers who are calling us to join in? That could very well be, since the remainder of the verse says: “For they will walk in the light of your presence, LORD.” It’s kinda tough not to be joyful, when you’re walking in the presence of the LORD. And it should be difficult to ignore when there is light all round you—especially when we live in such a dark world.

But the first call to worship is from the LORD Himself.Jesus Reaching Down

But now, thus says the Lord, your Creator, O Jacob, and He who formed you, O Israel, “Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name; you are Mine! (Isaiah 43:1)

He called you to salvation when we told you the Good News; now you can share in the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ. (2 Thessalonians 2:14)

If your worship has turned into ashes, remember He has called you to Himself, to walk in His light, and to share in the glory of His One and Only Son, Jesus Christ. With all that, how can you be anything else but happy. And for those who are looking in, may they see your joy!

Singing with the King (49) – 24/7 Integrity

You have tested my thoughts and examined my heart in the night. You have scrutinized me and found nothing wrong. (Psalm 17:3)

staring at the computerDo you wish you could say that? That the LORD God has come to you in the night and found in you nothing wrong? What is it about the night?

They lie awake at night, hatching sinful plots. Their actions are never good. They make no attempt to turn from evil. (Psalm 36:4)

For, behold, the wicked bend the bow, They make ready their arrow upon the string To shoot in darkness at the upright in heart. (Psalm 11:2)

Violent enemies are hiding in every dark corner of the earth. (Psalm 74:20)

There’s just a few of the things we do in the dark, and because it is dark, we begin to think that: “The Lord isn’t looking,” they say, “and besides, the God of Israel doesn’t care.” (Psalm 94:7)

Sometimes we get stuck in the darkness: Some of you were prisoners suffering in deepest darkness and bound by chains. (Psalm 107:10)

Admit it or not, we intuitively know: If I say, “Surely the darkness will overwhelm me, and the light around me will be night,” Even the darkness is not dark to You, and the night is as bright as the day. Darkness and light are alike to You. (Psalm 139:11,12)

But then something wondrous happens: “Awake, sleeper, and arise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you.” (Ephesians 5:14)

broken chainsFor once you were full of darkness, but now you have light from the Lord. So live as people of light! For this light within you produces only what is good and right and true. Carefully determine what pleases the Lord. Take no part in the worthless deeds of evil and darkness; instead, expose them. (Ephesians 5:8-11)

What do your thoughts turn to at night? What do your actions betray? Whether gossip or greed, pride or porn, deception or destruction, don’t be what you were, be who you are in Christ—day and night.

Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you. (1 Corinthians 6:9-11)

Singing with the King (31) – River Song

Let the sea roar and all it contains, the world and those who dwell in it. Let the rivers clap their hands, let the mountains sing together for joy. (Psalm 98:7-8)

KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERA

What Kind of River Are You?

The word river is also translated a few times as flood; but there is an interesting thing found in its root word and is not only translated as stream, but also shine, beam, and radiant. Think about when Scripture intersects with river, light and life.

How precious is Your lovingkindness, O God! And the children of men take refuge in the shadow of Your wings. They drink their fill of the abundance of Your house; and You give them to drink of the river of Your delights. For with You is the fountain of life; in Your light we see light. (Psalm 36:7-9)

Do you know how a river moves—especially a rushing river? Waves and spray are tossed up and sparkle in the light. This is the sort of river which would clap it’s hands. It is not a lazy river, but a turbulent river.

What kind of River are you? Do you clap for joy that people may hear the you love Jesus? Do you let His light shine on and through you maybe even sparkle the people may see you love Jesus? Or do you allow them a cooling touch or a cooling drink to bring comfort and healing in Jesus name?

That’s what hands do; they clap for joy to the Lord, and they bring healing and comfort. What other ways can you use your hands for the Lord and His People?

Singing with the King (24) – The Ways of the Lord

For I have kept the ways of the LORD, and have not wickedly departed from my God. (Psalm 18:21)

Walking On RoadFor us to keep the word of the Lord requires commitment, it requires the heart as well as the mind; is that not the nature of obedience? Two verses to put this into the proper context:

Jesus answered, “the foremost is, ‘Hear, O Israel! The LORD our God is one LORD, and you shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and all your mind, and all your strength.’” (Mark 12:29-30)

If you love Me, you’ll keep My commandments. (John 14:15)

After reading that previous verse, it should be obvious what it is we are to keep, if we do indeed love the Lord. And in this Psalm, David kept the ways of the LORD.

Some of the definitions of the way, are path, journey, direction, manner, habit, course of life, and moral character. Do you see how this is so much more than simple obedience? Indeed, keeping or walking in His way defines us: how we think, what we think, what we do, our attitudes, our perception, our character, our ambition; indeed our very lives. Why is that? Consider the radical change that has taken place within us:

When you were dead in your transgressions and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He made you alive together with Him, having forgiven us all our transgressions. (Colossians 2:13)

For you were formerly darkness, but now you are Light in the Lord; walk as children of Light. (Ephesians 5:8)

You have been radically transformed from death to life, from darkness to light. Go out there and live Christ, and light up the lives around you!