Bless the Lord

Psalm 103:1, “Bless the Lord, O my soul: and all that is within me, bless his holy name.”
 
What does “Bless the Lord” mean? It means to speak well of His greatness and goodness. It is synonymous with praise. Psalm 34:1 puts them together like this: “I will bless the LORD at all times: his praise shall continually be in my mouth.” Notice the word mouth. To “Bless the Lord” is to speak, sing, and live according to His goodness and greatness. Psalm 103 is a personal, public, and pervasive exhortation to bless God. The psalm is stuffed with reason after reason why God should be blessed, honored, praised, and treasured.

Call to and Inspiration for Praise!

Psalm 103 is the wellspring for so many hymns and songs of praise from far back in the past right up to the present because the psalm is pure praise and worship from start to finish. These twenty-two verses are focused on one person: Yahweh. That is the tetragrammaton, the covenant making and never breaking name of God. This is the only name of God used in the 103rd and it is not a descriptive name like Jehovah-jireh (Genesis 22:14) or Jehovah-shalom (Judges 6:23-24, “Peace be unto thee, fear not). Yahweh is His own name – the I AM. The One who eternally exists. No beginning. No ending. He is constant and independent and sovereign. God is truth, love, light, life, beauty, perfection, holiness, and joy. He is everything, and He alone is worthy of worship. All praise is riveted on the Eternal God and His gospel truth.

Together Again!

The 103rd Psalm will be our text this morning, our first one back since March 15. Follow this link for information about today’s service. We look forward to worshipping together, up on the hill once again. If you do not feel comfortable gathering, or if you do not feel well, please remain at home and follow along on the live-steam.
 
Following the time of worship we will honor our 2020 graduates: Bailee Allen, Kylee Fain, Jesse Eaton, and Will Isaacs. That will also be live-streamed.

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Would You Bow Down?

Everybody lives by faith in something or someone. The difference between a true believe and an unbeliever is not the presence of faith but the object of their faith. Daniel 3 is the text for today’s study and this evening’s sermon. There we find that leaders and influencers from across the great Babylonian Empire were assembled to worship the 90′ high and 9′ wide golden image that King Nebuchadnezzar had erected. He wanted to unify his diverse empire by means of religion and fear. The more things change, the more they stay the same.

Faith Tried by Fire

Trials are used by God to develop our faith. The same trials are used by the enemy to destroy us. During such times we will either be drawn closer to the Lord or further away from him. 
 
The Babylonian authorities showed up because of the King’s commands. They all stood up for the image’s dedication. When the music played they all bowed down. All except for three. Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego refused to break God’s Law. They had already proven a willingness to cooperate with their new pagan leaders, but they would not compromise the clear commands of scripture. Instead, they were willing to pay the price that comes with trusting God.
 
I wonder if the Apostle Peter had these three men in mind when he wrote 1 Peter 1:7; 4:12:
That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ: Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you:
Shadrach, Mechach, and Abednego were confident in the Lord’s control of  their situation. They stood tall when everyone else bowed low.
 
Would you bow down?
 
That is a question to ask and answer as we work through Daniel 3 tonight at 7pm. 

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Praise God!

Isaiah 12:2, “Behold, God is my salvation; I will trust, and not be afraid: for the LORD JEHOVAH is my strength and my song; he also is become my salvation.”

Here is a hymn of praise which all those who trust God and His salvation may joyfully sing. God always delivers, and He will deliver those who are faithful to Him. The text doubles the personal name of God as an emphatic reminder that He is the covenant-keeping God. This is why our salvation is certain, not because of our faithfulness but because of His. He is our strength. He has saved us from the penalty of our sins, is saving us from the power of sin in our day to day lives, and will save us from sin’s presence in the life to come (see also 2 Corinthians 1:9-10). Those who trust God have much about which to sing. Praise Him!


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