Journal Entry ~ 12/21/17

1 Oh come, let us sing to the LORD; let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation! 
2 Let us come into his presence with thanksgiving; let us make a joyful noise to him with songs of praise!  - Psalm 95:1-2

Psalm 95 is a beautiful reminder of how we are to worship with our whole heart. This reminder is important any time of the year, but especially relevant at Christmas. The week before Christmas can be taken over by our demanding schedules to create the perfect Christmas for our families, shifting our focus to cookie recipes, shopping lists, wrapping paper and off of Him. The focus of our worship can become so worldly amidst a celebration designed for Him. The enemy is sneaky, isn’t He?  But here, in the short Little Psalm, we are reminded of the purpose of worship. 

Psalm 95 begins by showing us what worship is ~ singing and making a beautiful noise to the Lord with songs of praise.  The psalmist invites us to come sing to the Lord, reminding us worship needs to be a regular part of our interaction with the Lord - not just once a week in church, but something we do as part of our daily devotion to Him. No matter how we may feel or what we may be dealing with, we are called to make a joyful noise to the Lord. 

The next few verses show us why we should worship Him. 3 For the LORD is a great God, and a great King above all gods. 4 In his hand are the depths of the earth; the heights of the mountains are his also. 5 The sea is his, for he made it, and his hands formed the dry land. 6 Oh come, let us worship and bow down; let us kneel before the LORD, our Maker!  - Psalm 95:3-6. Your heart should pause at the majesty of our King in these verses and the power of our Creator. Our God is above all rulers.  He not only reigns over, but He also chooses and places all the rulers of this earth - even those that take our focus as we struggle under their leadership. Beyond that, He holds in His hand everything He has created, from the mountains to the oceans, and every little thing that takes our attention away from Him. We are a people that worship the created over the Creator ~ just look where our focus is this week.  Is it in the things that need to be under our tree or on our tables?  Or is our focus on the One who created it all?  

If we read on verse further, we are reminded of our humble position in relationship to Him. For he is our God, and we are the people of his pasture, and the sheep of his hand.- Psalm 95:7. We are His people, He is our God. We are to submit and surrender under His power in our worship as sheep submit to their shepherd. 

We are compared to sheep often in Scripture - it’s an interesting and accurate description. Sheep like to herd as people like to herd. We have a tendency to be influenced by the crowd. Where people move, what they wear, how people feel all impact what we do. As a people, humans will follow just about anyone, making i s vulnerable to attacks from the enemy. There is no mistake in the comparison between an  animal who needs to be watched over by a shepherd for safety and us. Left alone, sheep get in trouble. They wander and get lost, they’re stubborn and refuse to move, they’re weak and require constant care. Yup. We’re a lot like sheep. 

But we are His sheep, we are in His protective hands. He is our shepherd. Despite our ridiculous and consistent wandering into paths of destruction, we have a Shepherd who continued to watch over us and loves us enough to rescue us. He deserves our worship. 

At Christmas time, our culture is set up so our families get our worship.  Be cautious. While it is true that our families are important, and the time together at Christmas is special, be sure your true worship is going to the One who deserves it. This is a unique Christmas for me. God has me sitting on the sidelines in many ways as I just don’t have the energy to participate in the typical frenzy this final week before Christmas. I have the distinct advantage of spending more time in quiet reflection of the coming King. What an incredibly beautiful gift. 

Press on ~ you are loved 💗

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