What is Sunday morning like for you and your family, especially with getting ready for church? I would imagine it’s a bit of a mixed bag. Some mornings, things go smoothly and everyone seems locked in. Other mornings, the world has turned upside down and church becomes something to “get through”. And other mornings are somewhere in between.
Thankfully, the psalms beautifully capture the attitude with which we are to come before the Lord when we gather to worship. We specifically find this in Psalms 95-100, focusing in this devotion on Psalm 98. Imagine if we were to read any or all of these psalms in preparation for worship each Sunday, perhaps before we ever left the house or on the way to church. Would it change us as we head into the doors? Would it transform our congregational worship?
Take a moment to read Psalm 98. It begins by telling us to sing, and then letting us know why we should sing. God has done wonderful things. He is victorious. He has not only conquered death and achieved salvation for us, but He also has made that salvation known to us. Steadfast love and faithfulness are cornerstones of His character. The more we reflect on these truths and internalize them, the more ready we are to sing and to worship. This is true whether we are in a congregation or alone with the Lord.
The psalmist then tells us how to sing. We do it joyfully. We “break forth” in song. What might a worship service look like where God’s people were “breaking forth” joyfully? We use musical instruments, horns and strings. The key word, though, is joy. It occurs three times in verses four through six. As you come to church on Sunday, you may be ready to go to a service. But are you ready to sing joyfully? And have you ever taken the time to ask God for that blessing beforehand?
Finally, the psalmist informs us that worship continues on a grander scale. The sea roars. The rivers clap. The mountains sing. God’s creation testifies. As we explore this psalm, we are caught up in a magnificent truth. There is no greater thing than worshipping God. There is no greater blessing than being so caught up in God that all else fades to the background. We were made to worship.
This devotion will be posted on a Thursday. You might not read it until Friday or Saturday. But one thing’s for sure: Sunday is right around the corner. Are you ready?