Friday July 16, 2021

Today’s Reading: Psalm 81

Sing for joy to God our strength; shout in triumph to the God of Jacob.

Psalm 81:1

Reflection: To the LORD, the sweetest sound is that of His people giving Him glory. It is the sound of hands playing music to express their joy in Him. It is the sound of their voices praising Him and testifying to His greatness. It is a song of worship that overflows from their hearts. To the LORD, the most pleasing sight to behold is that of His people seeking after Him. It is the sight of His beloved giving Him praise and serving Him with gladness. It is a reflection of one’s love for God that resides within. It is possible to render unto the LORD worship which does not please Him. It is possible for one to mimic the true worshipper’s actions while not being of similar mind and heart. When a song given to the LORD does not come from the heart, it cannot bring God joy. Is it possible to do works in His Name without actually honoring Him.

Long ago, the covenant that the LORD established with His people would be kept if the people heard and obeyed Him. Their actions would stem out of love for God and would display that love that they had for Him. But Israel failed to keep their covenant with God. While they performed actions of worship, their hearts were far from the LORD. Imagine the LORD’s sorrow at seeing a people who would refuse to obey Him as He continued exhibiting His faithfulness. Just as Israel failed, believers today constantly struggle with offering pure worship in the way that God deserves. Praises from our lips and works of our hands are vulnerable to being driven by personal interests, self-service, greed, and more. This is not what the LORD deserves from us. What He seeks are actions, words and thoughts which reflect a true desire to bring Him glory.

So then, how should we serve the LORD? What things will suffice as true worship? Proper praise is centered around a love for God and a constant seeking to understand His Truth. Actions, words, moments great and small alike can please Him. Every lavish sacrifice, every fervent prayer, every bold declaration of His Truth please God. Likewise, every jingle of the tambourine and pluck of the harp, every strum of the lyre can bring God glory when it is done to give Him praise. What matters most is how all these reveal a true love for the LORD.

Prayer: Loving and everlasting God, You are wonderful. You are glorious in splendor. You are marvelous in all that You do. You are the One True God, the only One Who deserves to be worshipped, honored, exalted, and praised. All glory be to You, O LORD. I come before You humbled that You allow me to serve You. I am also humbled at Your patience with me, for I am not worthy to be called Yours. But I know that by Your grace You have called me Your own. In Your love, You have granted me salvation through Your Son. Therefore, help me to return to You the highest praise for all that You have done for me. Teach me and train me to do all that pleases You. Show me how to live a life that honors You and testifies to Your greatness. Thank You for Your faithfulness, LORD, in Jesus’ Name, AMEN.

Bible-in-a-Year Reading Plan (credit: Bible, John 16:4-33; 2 Chronicles 24; Psalm 81