1 Praise the LORD! I will praise the LORD with [my] whole heart, In the assembly of the upright and [in] the congregation. 2 The works of the LORD [are] great, Studied by all who have pleasure in them. 3 His work [is] honorable and glorious, And His righteousness endures forever. 4 He has made His wonderful works to be remembered; The LORD [is] gracious and full of compassion. 5 He has given food to those who fear Him; He will ever be mindful of His covenant. 6 He has declared to His people the power of His works, In giving them the heritage of the nations. 7 The works of His hands [are] verity and justice; All His precepts [are] sure. 8 They stand fast forever and ever, [And are] done in truth and uprightness. 9 He has sent redemption to His people; He has commanded His covenant forever: Holy and awesome [is] His name. 10 The fear of the LORD [is] the beginning of wisdom; A good understanding have all those who do [His commandments]. His praise endures forever.PSALM 111:1-10
IN THE CONGREGATION
This psalm is written as an acrostic of the Hebrew Alphabet. Each line starts with a different letter like A, B, C, D, E, and so forth. The idea is to state explicitly the totality of God’s goodness. He is good from A to Z and every way in between.
We are called on to praise GOD! The one true God. Maker of Heaven and Earth! The one who created us from dust and made us in His image! The author of Grace and Mercy! We are to praise Him not merely with just our lips, not merely with just our hands, not merely with just our ears, not with just our feet, not merely with our voices… but our WHOLE HEART! All that we are is to be thrown into worship!
Do we worship like this? Do we worship with our whole heart or do we hold some back? Do we keep a quiet corner of our lives for ourselves? Do we worship other things that are less deserving of our praise? Do we give ourselves over to anything inferior? For the psalmist nothing else will do but our whole hearts! We must give God our whole hearts!
But see where we are when we worship God in this way… We are gathered with others! We are in the assembly of the righteous. That means the company we keep. The counselors we listen to.
My Daughter sneezed the other day and someone said something other than “God bless you.” It stuck out to her because I always say “God bless you!” The kind of atmosphere she lives in at home makes it easy for her to talk about God and to pray. It stuck out to her for the first time that people in this world don’t always operate like that.
Do we walk among those who make it easy to worship God with our whole heart? Do we make it easy for others with our bold example? Do we surround ourselves with folks who encourage us to praise God with our whole heart? This is why Sunday school and small groups are so important!
There is also the large congregation. I may not know everyone’s testimony but when we gather in each week from all over this community we gather in the name of Jesus and to celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead! We gather to praise Him and I’m encouraged in a positive way when I see everyone sing His praise! We have a positive peer pressure on one another to give God our whole heart! That is the best peer pressure there is!
Father, Thank you for for calling us to faith. You are worthy of praise from our whole heart. Let us not keep anything back from you. Thank you for the greater church body who gathers to worship you. May we never be slack in assembling together. You are worthy of all our worship! Let us encourage one another and challenge one another all the more. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
I’m reading and blogging the Psalms Through The Summer. I’d love for you to join me. You can find out a little more here.