Glory and Majesty

Jude 1: 24 – 25

Now to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling, and to make you stand in the presence of His glory blameless with great joy, to the only God our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion and authority before all time and now and forever. Amen.

To God be glory, majesty, dominion and authority. Amen. That is enough of a prayer on its own, a really great prayer in fact. Still, Jude paired it with other concepts. He gives us reasons to praise God and exalt Him because of the miracle of these gifts. Significantly, that we might be able to stand in His presence, in His glory, and though that would be enough, there is still more. Because of the great miracle of substitutionary redemption, we can stand in the Lord’s presence perfectly blameless. That’s amazing! Thank you, Jesus,!

So let us meditate on standing in the presence of our beloved savior and our Father seeing ourselves clean and pure, standing there with them in the fullness of joy. Lord, may your kingdom here on earth reflect the glory and majesty of your kingdom in the New Jerusalem and thank you for allowing us to be citizens therein. Amen!

Abundant Thanks Lord

Psalm 109: 30 – 31

With my mouth I will give thanks abundantly to the Lord; And in the midst of many I will praise Him. For He stands at the right hand of the needy, to save him from those who judge his soul.

This verse is for me today. I would like to be this person. Of all the things I think I could change about me, this is one I would like to succeed at. I doubt I am the only person who feels they do not praise the Lord enough or give Him enough thanks. But then, how could we ever give Him enough thanks. We set aside a day a year but how much do we even thank Him on Thanksgiving Day?

I have known people who praise God in the midst of others. They lived in an attitude of praise. I want to be like that.

God stands at the right hand of the needy. Who is that? I figure that is each one of us. He stands ready to save us from those who judge us and from every situation which plagues us.

Laud

Psalm 117

Praise the Lord, all nations; laud Him, all peoples! For His lovingkindness is great toward us, and the truth of the Lord is everlasting. Praise the Lord!

This was an easy Psalm Monday. The entire psalm is two verses and every word is wonderful. Two things struck me, though. First, this psalm is directed towards all nations and all people. Think of that. Imagine all the people of the world praising Yahweh, lauding Him with praise. Is that not a beautiful image? That day will come. We can meditate on it now, rolling that image around in our minds. All the peoples of the world will sing praises to the Lord, our God and we will praise Him in unison, many languages in harmony. Wow!

The other part of this psalm that spoke to me was, “the truth of the Lord is everlasting.” I was thinking, “All the people of the earth will know His truth, the fullness of truth.” We will have our questions answered and see truths we never perceived before. His truths are unchanging but still being revealed. Every day we can bask in more and more of His truth. We may find we didn’t have everything right but that is okay too. Our egos do not need to be right in the light of His revealed truth. It will be a joy just seeing more and more of His everlasting truth.

Of course, it is great news that His thoughts are loving and kind towards us. This is an important meditation. It might be the most important part of the psalm. We need this revelation of a God who is always loving and kind towards us. He is not hateful, angry, vengeful, or spiteful. He isn’t trying to kill us. He is salvation and grace. Hallelujah! Surely that is good news to a world struggling with any number of challenges. The ultimate answer is that God’s lovingkindness is great toward us, towards all of us; all people, all nations. That’s beyond good news. That’s great news and He is worthy of much praise. Praise the Lord, all you people. Shower Him, right now, with your message of thanksgiving. Worthy is the Lord!

Praise

Psalm 113: 1 – 3              The Message Bible

Hallelujah! You who serve God, praise God! Just to speak his name is praise! Just to remember God is a blessing – now and tomorrow and always. From east to west, from dawn to dusk, keep lifting all your praises to God!

This is one of those verses which has different readings in different translations. There are varying nuances on the theme, and you might be interested in reading it in different Bibles. One of the easy ways to do that is to go to Bible Gateway. You can bring up this, or any other passage, in multiple translations at once. I landed here for one simple reason. The idea that simply remembering God is a blessing provoked my thinking. Having read that I backed up a sentence and thought, “Just to speak His name is a blessing.” It reminded me of a chat I had with the Father yesterday. I was about to pray for some people and began my prayer with, “Father.” I was struck by what an amazing blessing and privilege it is to get to call Him “Father.” I almost wanted to whisper so He wouldn’t figure out what a bad deal He got when He got me. There is no way I am worthy to be His own child. In fact, that is crazy to me.

I don’t praise Him nearly as often as I should. I don’t sing to Him as often as I should. I remember singing for my grandmothers and how much they enjoyed that. Maybe He loves that simple time together. And I believe when I breathe His name it blesses Him simply because I am thinking about Him. It is a blessing to me, and I believe blessing flows down that connection I have established with Him when I call His name.

From the rising of the sun, until its setting, God’s children should speak His name and lift praises. That praise gives us strength and establishes us in the way we should go. It aids us in integration and walking hand in hand with Him. Praise the Lord, all His people. Sing your gratitude. Let the air be saturated with praises to the King.

Enthroned

Psalm 102: 12 – 22

But you, Lord, sit enthroned forever; your renown endures through all generations. You will arise and have compassion on Zion, for it is time to show favor to her; the appointed time has come. For her stones are dear to your servants; her very dust moves them to pity. The nations will fear the name of the Lord, all the kings of the earth will revere your glory. For the Lord will rebuild Zion and appear in his glory. He will respond to the prayer of the destitute; he will not despise their plea. Let this be written for a future generation, that a people not yet created may praise the Lord: “The Lord looked down from his sanctuary on high, from heaven he viewed the earth, to hear the groans of the prisoners and release those condemned to death.” So the name of the Lord will be declared in Zion and his praise in Jerusalem when the peoples and the kingdoms assemble to worship the Lord.

This is a large selection of text today, but hopefully it reveals a central truth and comfort. You might be interested to know that the title of today’s psalm is, “A prayer of an afflicted person who has grown weak and pours out a lament before the Lord.” What a title! However, this segment of the psalm does not sound like it is written by a person in despair and that is the key lesson. From despair, we lift our heads and see God’s glory.

The author may have wondered, like many other saints, “Where is God?” In times of trouble, it may seem God has abandoned us. However, as the psalmist indicates, our God is still on the throne and He reigns. He will save Zion, and your town, and rain down upon it His compassion and favor. Though the author was afflicted and had grown weak, yet he says of God, “He will respond to the prayer of the destitute; he will not despise their plea.” Then he tells us that this is recorded for a future generation, i.e. for us, that we might have courage and confidence in our time of need.

We are not abandoned, and God is not ignoring our plight. He attends to the prayer of the destitute, the needy. We will not ignore our cry for help. God will save us. He is with us and we will yet praise His name as we assemble to worship His name. His love surrounds and keeps us. He is Lord Protector and Father. Let us leave a testimony for a future generation too, that our Father lifted us and showed us His favor in our time of need.

Glory to God! Let the earth sing. Praises be to Yahweh; Father, Lord and Savior. Come Lord Jesus, show us your grace; shower us in your mercy and favor. Lift our heads that we might praise you with a joyful voice. Let the world see the beauty of your countenance as you touch and bless through your presence, your glorious, shining presence with your people. Amen.

Shout Happily

Psalm 100      GW

Shout happily to the Lord, all the earth.

Serve the Lord cheerfully.
Come into his presence with a joyful song.

Realize that the Lord alone is God.
He made us, and we are his.
We are his people and the sheep in his care.

Enter his gates with a song of thanksgiving.
Come into his courtyards with a song of praise.
Give thanks to him; praise his name.

The Lord is good.
His mercy endures forever.
His faithfulness endures throughout every generation.

Here is an admonition to praise God, sing to Him, serve Him, and thank Him. My question is, “Why?”  Why does this author exhort us to enter into the gates with thanksgiving and the courtyards with a song of praise?

This song is an expression of His joy and thanksgiving for who God is. He had a revelation in his spirit or an experience which caused his heart to move to praise. Finally, at the end of the song he resorts to reasoning. God is worthy of praise because He is good, merciful and faithful to every generation.

Sometimes we need to convince our minds that God is worthy of praise, but I like the notion that we do not need to be persuaded to praise the Lord. We might praise Him just because He is. It sounds like that is the psalmist’s sentiment. Praise the Lord because He is God. He is the Lord and He alone is the great shepherd and our maker. Praise the Lord and glory in that praise. Enter into His presence with joy which erupts in gratitude and praise. Praise the Lord with a happy shout!

Seas Roar; Rivers Clap

Psalm 98: 7 – 9

Let the sea, everything in it, the world, and those who live in it roar like thunder. Let the rivers clap their hands and the mountains sing joyfully in the Lord’s presence.

Do you ever wonder what happened the day the Lord died? I mean, if he is the life (John 14: 6) what happened to the world when the life died? And then, did the earth rejoice when he came back to life? Did the animals feel something happening in the earth? Did they hide in their burrows when Jesus died? What about the grass? Did it begin to wither and die?

I have a creation theory which may be a bit different from others you’ve heard. This began forming in mind in the sixth grade, so I’ve had a bit of time to think about it. Scientists have been on the hunt for the smallest particle in the natural universe. Everything they find is made of something else, but what? Electrons? Protons? Quarks? What is a quark composed of?

Well, ultimately, I believe that answer is, “God.” This actually goes along with the big bang theory and you will see why. Genesis 1: 3 is where we find the well-known language, “Let there be light.” It’s not until verse 16 that God made the sun, moon and stars, so what was the light that He released? John 8: 12 records Jesus saying, “I am the light of the world.” So that makes me think that he was the light in verse three. We know that Jesus was with God at the foundation of the world, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was in the beginning with God. 3 All things came into being through Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being. 4 In Him was life, and the life was the Light of men,” (John 1: 1- 4.) And there is the reference, again, to him being both the life and the light.

So here is my theory, I believe when God made the earth, he did so by releasing a part of Himself. We see that Jesus was an integral part of the creation process. Perhaps when God said, “Let there be light” He was releasing that part of Himself which is Jesus into the universe and earth. There wasn’t a sun and moon, so it wasn’t that kind of light that he released. What if it was energy, the force of life, that God released. Now, if this is, in fact, a part of Him, one can easily imagine a BIG bang. There is room to think about what that might have looked like and a great opportunity for God to reveal the truth of it to someone. Imagine God releasing a part of Himself.

Now if we are on the trail of creation revelation here, that would mean that everything you see, touch, feel or perceive is made from the most basic, but most essential element of all, God’s living energy. God made everything from the only thing that existed at the time, Himself. Isn’t that amazing? That would mean that even the grass and trees get their life from Him. Well, that really isn’t that large a leap. Intuitively it seems to make sense. And when He formed the animals, did they have a sense of Him? Animals have an inner knowing of things. You can see it when storms approach. Did they recognize that something was amiss the day Jesus died? And did they leap for joy when he arose?

It would be something to see the sea teaming with life and praising God with such exhalation that the sea roars. One gets the sense that the mountains would bow down before our Lord. The Lord’s presence is reason for celebration, not for what He will do but just His presence. In His presence is fullness of joy; joy so profound and prolific that even seas will leap, and rivers clap their hands.