Tuesday, January 08, 2013
Today’s Topic: Spontaneous Praise
Today’s Text: Psalm 119:108 (ESV) Accept my freewill offerings of praise, O LORD…
Something spontaneous happened during worship on Sunday. It brought great joy to my heart. It was a fulfillment of today’s Scripture verse. I wish it would happen more, not only in church, but in everyday life.
Our church is incredibly blessed with men and women who voluntarily lead us in worship every Sunday. They are truly gifts directly from God. Are they perfect? Of course not. Are their hearts right with the Lord, and are they filled with the Spirit of God? Absolutely. I thank God for them all!
Well, Sunday was exceptional. We started by singing a contemporary version of the great hymn To God Be the Glory. My childhood love of the classic hymns of the faith was revived as we loudly praised the Lord for the great things He has done. We were immediately taken to the greatest thing God ever did when the next several songs directed our attention to the cross where Jesus died for our sins. The power of sin has been broken because Jesus gave His life away. As we sang You gave, you gave your life away for me it brought tears to my eyes. With simple quietness the next song began.
In Christ alone my hope is found, He is my light, my strength, my song;
this Cornerstone, this solid Ground, firm through the fiercest drought and storm.
What heights of love, what depths of peace, when fears are stilled, when strivings cease!
My Comforter, my All in All, here in the love of Christ I stand.
As we sang the intensity increased. The power of the song began to move our hearts as we praised and worship the Lord Jesus Christ.
In Christ alone! who took on flesh Fulness of God in helpless babe!
This gift of love and righteousness Scorned by the ones he came to save:
Till on that cross as Jesus died, The wrath of God was satisfied –
For every sin on Him was laid; Here in the death of Christ I live.
By the time we got to the third verse, there was a growing sense of enthusiasm that permeated the air of the sanctuary. We had sung this song enough times that we knew the celebration that was about to break out. With quietness we sang There in the ground His body lay, Light of the world by darkness slain:
Then the cymbols started to build. The bass started to rumble. The guitar started to amplify. The keyboard pounded out the praise of the resurrection. And when we completed the next line – Then bursting forth in glorious Day, Up from the grave he rose again! – the congregation erupted in applause. It was spontaneous praise, and it wasn’t bad for a conservative Baptist church.
As we clapped, and some shouted, we completed the song.
And as He stands in victory Sin’s curse has lost its grip on me,
For I am His and He is mine – Bought with the precious blood of Christ.
No guilt in life, no fear in death, This is the power of Christ in me;
From life’s first cry to final breath. Jesus commands my destiny.
No power of hell, no scheme of man, Can ever pluck me from His hand;
Till He returns or calls me home, Here in the power of Christ I’ll stand
As the band played the final chord, and the voices of praise faded into silence before the throne of God, a spontaneous voice shouted from the front row of the congregation – “No Condemnation!”
It was our dear sister Cindy, seated in her wheel chair to which she is confined permanently unless she is sleeping in bed. This woman of God who despite all of her physical ailments continues to allow herself to be carried up the stairs of our current facility by several men and wheeled to the front row understands that in Christ alone she is eternal forgiven and free. And she’s not afraid to shout it.
In today’s Scripture verse, the word “Freewill” is defined in the original Hebrew as “Spontaneous”.
Oh how the Lord is ready to receive your spontaneous offerings of praise today!