The Enjoyment Of Praising God

 

There is great joy in praising God ….Psalm 100: 1

1O come, let us sing for joy to the LORD, Let us shout joyfully to the rock of our salvation. 2Let us come before His presence with thanksgiving, Let us shout joyfully to Him with psalms.…  Psalm 95:1-2.

The Compelling Force of the Call

From: Utmost.org

Beware of refusing to hear the call of God. Everyone who is saved is called to testify to the fact of his salvation. That, however, is not the same as the call to preach, but is merely an illustration which can be used in preaching. In this verse, Paul was referring to the stinging pains produced in him by the compelling force of the call to preach the gospel. Never try to apply what Paul said regarding the call to preach to those souls who are being called to God for salvation. There is nothing easier than getting saved, because it is solely God’s sovereign work— “Look to Me, and be saved…” (Isaiah 45:22). Our Lord never requires the same conditions for discipleship that he requires for salvation. We are condemned to salvation through the Cross of Christ. But discipleship has an option with it— “If anyone…” (Luke 14:26).

Paul’s words have to do with our being made servants of Jesus Christ, and our permission is never asked as to what we will do or where we will go. God makes us as broken bread and poured-out wine to please Himself. To be “separated to the gospel” means being able to hear the call of God (Romans 1:1). Once someone begins to hear that call, a suffering worthy of the name of Christ is produced. Suddenly, every ambition, every desire of life, and every outlook is completely blotted out and extinguished. Only one thing remains— “…separated to the gospel…” Woe be to the soul who tries to head in any other direction once that call has come to him. The Bible Training College exists so that each of you may know whether or not God has a man or woman here who truly cares about proclaiming His gospel and to see if God grips you for this purpose. Beware of competing calls once the call of God grips you.

 

Cue Cards for Praise

From: Biblegateway.com

Psalm 95:1–11

Come, let us sing for joy to the LORD; let us shout aloud to the Rock of our salvation.
Psalm 95:1

Imagine meeting someone famous and having to keep that news to yourself. Or what if you had pictures of your first child and no one to show them to? Praise and thanksgiving beg for company; joining with other voices makes the worship so much sweeter!

Psalm 95 tells us to find companions as we praise: “Come, let us sing . . . let us shout . . . let us bow down . . . let us kneel before the LORD our Maker” (Psalm 95:1,6). Marriage gives us a companion in praise—someone to share all the exciting details, someone to cheer and sing and laugh with before the Lord.

Psalms is our songbook; the psalms, our cue cards for praising God. Psalm 95 puts words in our mouths to express the joy in our hearts. And if our songs have gone all mumbly and dull, this psalm helps us rejuvenate our singing together.

This song has four stanzas that give us a structure for our praise. Verses 1–2 have us on our feet, singing at the tops of our voices to our champion, the Lord. The reason for such exuberance is described in the second stanza, in verses 3–5. We worship by picturing great mountains, pounding seas and majestic sunsets. And we come away ready to trust our mountain-moving God, our sea-parting Savior, our world-holding King.

We can praise God in a similar way, but we sing this kind of praise best when we gather with God’s people in church. Don’t miss such celebrations!

The third stanza, verses 6–7a, is an entirely different kind of melody; it is soft and thoughtful. This music bows our heads and brings us to our knees. We sing softly that the great God who made us is the Good Shepherd who feeds and leads us, who guards and guides our lives.

Try worshiping by recounting God’s provision—your first apartment, for example, or unexpected money when things were very tight. Praising God for his “shepherd care” is important for our future, for it is how we learn to trust God to guide us through the next dark valley or be our protection in a troubled tomorrow.

Psalm 95 ends in a minor key (verses 7b–11), reminding us of what happens when we fail to let worship shape our will and our ways. Israel had sung songs about God’s greatness and care when he had miraculously delivered them from Egypt and provided for them in the desert. But later, when God didn’t come through for them as quickly as they wanted, the people lost faith in the God they had sung about, and they ended up being prohibited from entering the promised land, the place where God intended to give them “rest” (verse 11).

What a great reminder to be full of praise—praise that is both exuberant and humble. When we worship God in our times of triumph, it prepares us to trust God in our times of struggle and prevents us from hardening our hearts toward him.
Lee Eclov

Let’s Talk

  • How does worshiping God as a couple help us spiritually? How can worshiping together have the kind of variety and breadth that we see in this psalm?
  • How do we worship together with other believers? What could we do to worship more effectively with them?
  • When might we be most tempted to “harden [our] hearts” (Psalm 95:8) and not trust God? How can we use worship times to fortify ourselves against such temptations?

Laughter is The Best Medicine

From: Academic Tips

Many years ago, Norman Cousins was diagnosed as “terminally ill”. He was given six months to live. His chance for recovery was 1 in 500.

He could see the worry, depression and anger in his life contributed to, and perhaps helped cause, his disease. He wondered, “If illness can be caused by negativity, can wellness be created by positivity?”

He decided to make an experiment of himself. Laughter was one of the most positive activities he knew. He rented all the funny movies he could find – Keaton, Chaplin, Fields, the Marx Brothers. (This was before VCRs, so he had to rent the actual films.) He read funny stories. He asked his friends to call him whenever they said, heard or did something funny.

His pain was so great he could not sleep. Laughing for 10 solid minutes, he found, relieved the pain for several hours so he could sleep.

He fully recovered from his illness and lived another 20 happy, healthy and productive years. (His journey is detailed in his book, Anatomy of an Illness.) He credits visualization, the love of his family and friends, and laughter for his recovery.


Some people think laughter is a waste of time. It is a luxury, they say, a frivolity, something to indulge in only every so often.

Nothing could be further from the truth. Laughter is essential to our equilibrium, to our well-being, to our aliveness. If we’re not well, laughter helps us get well; if we are well, laughter helps us stay that way.

Since Cousins’ ground-breaking subjective work, scientific studies have shown that laughter has a curative effect on the body, the mind and the emotions.

So, if you like laughter, consider it sound medical advice to indulge in it as often as you can. If you don’t like laughter, then take your medicine – laugh anyway.

Use whatever makes you laugh – movies, sitcoms, Monty Python, records, books, New Yorker cartoons, jokes, friends.

Give yourself permission to laugh – long and loud and out loud – whenever anything strikes you as funny. The people around you may think you’re strange, but sooner or later they’ll join in even if they don’t know what you’re laughing about.

Some diseases may be contagious, but none is as contagious as the cure. . . laughter.

By Peter McWilliams
From “Chicken Soup for the Surviving Soul”

 

I have learned…

From: Academic Tips

I’ve learned-

that you cannot make someone love you. All you can do is be someone who can be loved. The rest is up to them.

I’ve learned-

that no matter how much I care, some people just don’t care back.

I’ve learned-

that it takes years to build up trust, and only seconds to destroy it.

I’ve learned-

that no matter how good a friend is, they’re going to hurt you every once in a while and you must forgive them for that.

I’ve learned-

that it’s not what you have in your life but who you have in your life that counts.

I’ve learned-

that you should never ruin an apology with an excuse.

I’ve learned-

that you can get by on charm for about fifteen minutes. After that, you’d better know something.

I’ve learned-

that you shouldn’t compare yourself to the best others can do.

I’ve learned-

that you can do something in an instant that will give you heartache for life.

I’ve learned-

that it’s taking me a long time to become the person I want to be.

I’ve learned-

that you should always leave loved ones with loving words. It may be the last time you see them.

I’ve learned-

that you can keep going long after you can’t.

I’ve learned-

that we are responsible for what we do, no matter how we feel.

I’ve learned-

that either you control your attitude or it controls you.

I’ve learned-

that regardless of how hot and steamy a relationship is at first, the passion fades and there had better be something else to take its place.

I’ve learned-

that heroes are the people who do what has to be done when it needs to be done, regardless of the consequences.

I’ve learned-

that money is a lousy way of keeping score.

I’ve learned-

that my best friend and I can do anything or nothing and have the best time.

I’ve learned-

that sometimes the people you expect to kick you when you’re down will be the ones to help you get back up.

I’ve learned-

that sometimes when I’m angry I have the right to be angry, but that doesn’t give me the right to be cruel.

I’ve learned-

that true friendship continues to grow, even over the longest distance. Same goes for true love.

I’ve learned-

that just because someone doesn’t love you the way you want them to doesn’t mean they don’t love you with all they have.

I’ve learned-

that maturity has more to do with what types of experiences you’ve had and what you’ve learned from them and less to do with how many birthdays you’ve celebrated.

I’ve learned-

that you should never tell a child their dreams are unlikely or outlandish. Few things are more humiliating, and what a tragedy it would be if they believed it.

I’ve learned-

that your family won’t always be there for you. It may seem funny, but people you aren’t related to can take care of you and love you and teach you to trust people again. Families aren’t biological.

I’ve learned-

that it isn’t always enough to be forgiven by others. Sometimes you are to learn to forgive yourself.

I’ve learned-

that no matter how bad your heart is broken the world doesn’t stop for your grief.

I’ve learned-

that our background and circumstances may have influenced who we are, but we are responsible for who we become.

I’ve learned-

that a rich person is not the one who has the most, but is one who needs the least.

I’ve learned-

that just because two people argue, it doesn’t mean they don’t love each other. And just because they don’t argue, it doesn’t mean they do.

I’ve learned-

that we don’t have to change friends if we understand that friends change.

I’ve learned-

that you shouldn’t be so eager to find out a secret. It could change your life forever.

I’ve learned-

that two people can look at the exact same thing and see something totally different.

I’ve learned-

that no matter how you try to protect your children, they will eventually get hurt and you will hurt in the process.

I’ve learned-

that even when you think you have no more to give, when a friend cries out to you, you will find the strength to help.

I’ve learned-

that credentials on the wall do not make you a decent human being.

I’ve learned-

that the people you care about most in life are taken from you too soon.

I’ve learned-

that it’s hard to determine where to draw the line between being nice and not hurting people’s feelings, and standing up for what you believe.

I’ve learned-

that people will forget what you said, and people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.

By Omer B. Washington

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