“Sing to the LORD . . . Shout for joy to the LORD . . . Make music to the LORD . . . ” (NIV). The psalmist implores us to celebrate the wonderful works of God, for the Lord has brought salvation to the world and has revealed it to the nations. This loving and faithful God is worthy of our praise!
It would be neither appropriate nor possible to contain such praise as we worship the One who has made and redeemed us. Yet even if we were to remain silent, the rest of creation would still worship the Creator. The sea and all that is in it would “resound.” The rivers would “clap” their proverbial hands. The mountains would join together in song. Silent indifference is never an option.
Many years following the writing of the Psalms, Jesus would ride into the city of Jerusalem seated on a lowly donkey. The crowds, mistaking him for a conquering king who had come to save them from their Roman oppressors, failed to understand that Jesus had come to do much more. A humble servant-Savior, Jesus would conquer death and Hell and save the people from their sins. Jesus’ followers announced his triumphal entry into Jerusalem shouting, “Blessed is the king who comes in the name of the Lord!” (Luke 19:38, NIV). The Pharisees commanded Jesus to chastise his disciples for their shouts of praise. It is in this context that Jesus states, "If they keep quiet, the stones will cry out” (Luke 19:40, NIV).
What an incredible statement! Only the Creator can elicit such praise from the creation. May we join with all of creation in crying out in worship to the One who is worthy!
Creator and Redeemer God, may I never cease to worship you. You are worthy of all my praise. Amen.
The Acts passage continues to tell the story of the advance of the gospel. The Holy Spirit falls on a group of Gentiles. They believe and are baptized, thus showing God’s inclusion of all peoples in the plan of salvation. Psalm 98 is a simple declaration of praise. All creation will sing to and rejoice in the Lord. The two passages from John are linked by their emphasis on the relationship between love and obedience. We do not follow God’s commandments in order to make God love us. On the contrary, because God has first loved us and we love God in return, we follow God’s teachings. Jesus provides the model for us, being obedient to his Father out of love.
Read Acts 10:44-48. When has the Spirit of God brought you to a new understanding?
Read Psalm 98. Where have you encountered “a joyful noise” in creation? How do you make a joyful noise in praise of God?
Read 1 John 5:1-6. When have you considered God’s commands as burdensome? When have you found them freeing?
Read John 15:9-17. Are you accustomed to thinking of your relationship with Jesus as a mutual friendship? If so, what does it mean to you to be Jesus’ friend?
Respond by posting a prayer.
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