Worship Song of the Month

Worship Song of the Month

April 15: King of Kings

At our church, we recently concluded a sermon series on the book of Matthew and are continuing the narrative with a series on The Acts of the Apostles. I’ve decided to focus our Worship Song of the Month devotionals on three blessings we see outlined in the third verse of King of Kings, as well as in the book of Acts: The Church, The Spirit, and Resurrection Life.

This week’s devotional on the blessing of CHURCH is published as a stand-alone post on my blog page, because I think viewing the Church as a blessing is an important topic. As a worship leader and worshipper, it concerns me to see the Church devalued, and sometimes replaced, by an emphasis on individual spirituality. I hope you’ll consider the wonderful gift that God has given us in the Church, through the eyes of the apostle Paul in Ephesians 1-3.

Worship Song of the Month

Worship Song of the Month

April 8: King of Kings

Last Sunday, we celebrated Easter—the day when churches around the world focus in a particular way on the joy and victory of Jesus rising from death to life.  At our church, this past Sunday also marked the final day of our sermon series on the book of Matthew, and we concluded our series by rejoicing in the events of the resurrection and hearing the words of Jesus calling the Church to action: 

“All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore, go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

In the coming months, we plan to continue the story with a series on the book of Acts—and see the Church, in the name of the Father and Son and Spirit, with the presence of the risen Christ, follow God’s mission to make disciples of all nations.

As we transition from the story of Jesus’ life on earth to the story of the Spirit giving life to the Church, we will also transition from singing an old (wonderful) song, “How Deep the Father’s Love to Us,” to a new song (published in 2019), “King of Kings.”   This song reviews the gospel narrative, then concludes in its final verse with a celebration of some of the gifts offered to us today—the Church, the Spirit, and Resurrection Life.    

I encourage you to read one of my favorite passages—Ephesians chapters 1 through 3—in preparation for our April “Worship Song of the Month” devotionals.  I have been looking for an opportunity to reflect on these chapters, which overflow with thanksgiving for the many “spiritual blessings” we have in Christ.  And the beautiful and joyful way in which Paul includes the Church, the Spirit, and Resurrection Life in his list of blessings is an encouragement and inspiration to me, a lifelong participant in the Mission/Commission of Christ’s Church.

As we celebrate God working in and through us, we as a Church can join together and say:

“Praise the Father, Praise the Son, Praise the Spirit, three in one.

God of Glory, majesty, praise forever to the King of kings!” 

Worship Song of the Month

Worship Song of the Month

March 25: How Deep the Father’s Love for Us

As we sang and studied the first two verses of How Deep the Father’s Love for Us, we focused on the great love the Father has for us in Christ Jesus.  “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16).

In the third verse of the song, our focus turns to me.  How do I respond to God’s deep love?

Because we were children of wrath (Ephesians 2:3) before God made us children of glory (Hebrews 2:10), my response can’t be to boast as if God saved me because of something I could offer him. We had “no gifts, no power, no wisdom” (1 Corinthians 1:20-31) that God should choose us. Nor is my “reward” from God given to me because the sum of my good works and righteous attitudes is greater than the balance of my mistakes and wrongdoings.  As we read in our last devotional, we all fall short of God’s standard (Romans 3:23, 1 John 1:8). 

It is only because of God’s great mercy and love that I have been given the reward that Jesus earned through his perfect life and sacrifice.  In Ephesians 2:1-22, the apostle Paul points out that we were dead—God has made us alive.    We were separated from Christ—God reconciled us to himself.  We were alienated from his people—we have been made citizens and saints and members of God’s family.  We were without hope and far away from God—we have been brought near by the blood of Christ.    We were followers of the spirit of disobedience—now we are a dwelling place for the Holy Spirit.

When I (and all of us) see the many spiritual blessings lavished on me in Christ (Ephesians 1) and recognize that my “reward” is due solely to his merits (his reward), when I see that nothing can separate me from the Father’s love (Romans 8:31-39) and that this love is a free gift by faith (Ephesians 2:8), I respond with gratitude, obedience, and praise:

I will not boast in anything, no gifts, no pow’r, no wisdom.  But I will boast in Jesus Christ, his death and resurrection.  Why should I gain from his reward?  I cannot give an answer.  But this I know with all my heart—his wounds have paid my ransom.

Worship Song of the Month

Worship Song of the Month

March 11: How Deep the Father’s Love for Us

In the second verse of How Deep the Father’s Love for Us, our focus turns to Jesus: Behold the Man upon a cross, my sin upon his shoulders. 

Have you ever heard the phrase, God hates the sin but loves the sinner? 

Technically this is true.  God does hate sin, and he loves us. And it is clear throughout Scripture that we are all sinners (Ecclesiastes 7:20, Psalm 14:1, Psalm 53:1-3, Romans 3:10).  In Romans 3:23, we are told that “all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.”  And 1 John 1:8 declares that “if we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us.” 

Jesus came to call sinners to himself (Mark 2:17, Luke 5:32). As we saw in our “Worship Song of the Month” devotional last week, “God demonstrates his own love for us in this:  While we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8). 

But notice that Romans 5:8 presumes that we are no longer sinners (“while we were still sinners”). When Jesus died on the cross, not only did he take our sin and receive the punishment for it, he also gave us his righteousness. His perfect obedience extends to us—so that we are now considered holy in God’s eyes.  Jesus’s righteousness is credited to us, by faith in his redemptive work for us on the cross (Romans 4:6-8, 2 Corinthians 5:21, Romans 5:19, Philippians 3:9, Titus 3:5, 1 Peter 3:18, 1 Corinthians 1:30). 

In last week’s devotional, we looked at Isaiah 53, in which it was prophecied that Jesus would receive our punishment for sin.  In the eleventh verse of this chapter, the prophet says about Jesus:  “Out of the anguish of his soul he shall see and be satisfied; by his knowledge shall the Righteous One, my servant, make many to be accounted righteous, and he shall bear their iniquities” (ESV, emphasis mine).

And Romans 3:23 and 1 John 1:8, which testify to our sinfulness?  Both passages continue in the very next verse by offering us the forgiveness and righteousness of Jesus:  “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.”  “If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us.  If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” 

So yes, God does hate sin and love sinners. But perhaps a stronger conclusion from Scripture would be:  God hates sin but loves the righteous (Psalm 11:5-7, Psalm 146:8, Proverbs 15:9, Matthew 5:8, Hebrews 1:9, 1 Peter 3:12).  And who are the righteous?  Only Jesus—and those who have been accounted righteous in him. 

Worship Song of the Month

Worship Song of the Month

March 4: How Deep the Father’s Love for Us

Many years ago, when I served as Director of Music at a church in Illinois, I shared my very first “Worship Song of the Month” article with our church family there.  I reached out to Stuart Townend for his thoughts on his hymn “How Deep the Father’s Love for Us,” and he graciously responded.  Of course, this was long before the proliferation of “stories-behind-the-songs” videos and blogs on church websites and YouTube.

As our church at Parkminster continues a Journey through Matthew’s Gospel, and as we approach our remembrance of Jesus’s death on Good Friday and our celebration of his resurrection on Easter, I think it’s appropriate for us to again sing this hymn—which is now more than 25 years old!  For our “Worship Song of the Month” devotionals, we will reflect together on Jesus’s death, with a focus on the Father, Jesus, and me.

When I sing the first verse of How Deep the Father’s Love for Us, several questions about the Father come to my mind. What was the Father feeling when Jesus was suffering on the cross? Did the Father experience loss when Jesus died?  Did he turn his face away from the Son?

What we do know is that the Father sent the Son to earth for the purpose of death on the cross.  This is a theme of John’s gospel, with Jesus repeatedly declaring that he had been sent by God (John 6:29, 8:42, 10:36, and 17:3).  Galatians 4:4-5 asserts that Jesus’s death was always part of the Father’s plan: “But when the set time had fully come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those under the law.” 

I can’t imagine what it must have been like for the Father to purposefully send his Son to his execution.  Jesus’s flogging and crucifixion were excruciating, and the Father knew it would be that way.   As his death drew agonizingly near, Jesus prayed, “My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me.  Yet not as I will, but as you will” (Matthew 26:39).  But the Father was not deterred in his purposes: “It was the LORD’s will to crush him and cause him to suffer” (Isaiah 53:10). Did the Father suffer as he saw his Son suffer, even as he was pleased with Jesus’s obedience and redemptive act?

I don’t know whether the Father turned his face away as Jesus suffered on the cross, as Stuart Townend’s lyrics poetically state.  I imagine these lyrics could express some of the suffering the Father may have experienced as he witnessed his suffering Son. Or the isolation Jesus might have felt on the cross. Or it’s possible that, when Jesus cried out from the cross, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” (Matthew 27:46), there was a physical separation—a distance between the holy Father and his Son, who, on the cross, had the sin of the entire world piled upon him (Isaiah 53:6, 1 John 2:2). Some people who are smarter and more qualified than I reject that idea, speaking about the eternal, unbroken relationship of the Trinity. But in any case, the Father certainly planned for, initiated, and brought to fulfillment his Son’s death.  He didn’t “rescue” Jesus from the cross. And, though much of the Psalm 22 that Jesus quoted in his tumultuous prayer proclaims trust in God’s ultimate deliverance, the suffering was immediate and real. “We considered [Jesus] punished by God, stricken by him, and afflicted” (Isaiah 53:4).

Of course, the Father did not abandon Jesus permanently (Acts 2:31-32). But unlike Jesus, who lived and died in perfect obedience to the Father, our sin has the potential to separate us fully and permanently from God. It is only because of Jesus’s sacrifice that the Father will no longer turn his face away from us (Isaiah 59:1-2) in our sinfulness.  Because of Jesus’s death on the cross, the Father’s wrath is satiated (Romans 5:8-9). The penalty for sin is death (Romans 6:23)—but Jesus has received our punishment.

Even as I try to imagine what the Father may have been feeling at the death of his Son, what is clear in Scripture is that he felt great love—love for us! “This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins” (1 John 4:10). The Father sent his one and only beloved Son to die, in order that many sons (and daughters) might be brought to glory (Hebrews 2:9-11). He sent his Son to his death to make wretches into treasures, slaves into sons. “See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are!” (1 John 3:1).

How great the Father’s love for us!

Worship Song of the Month

Worship Song of the Month

February 25: Hallelujah, Praise Jehovah

In The Book of Psalms for Worship, a recent (2010) Psalter created by a committee of the Reformed Presbyterian Church of North America, Colossians 2:10 is printed above its version of Psalm 146. This verse proclaims, “In Christ you have been brought to fullness. He is the head over every power and authority.” As we conclude our comparison of Psalm 146 with Hallelujah, Praise Jehovah, let’s remember that Jesus is the culmination and fulfillment of this Psalm.

Hallelujah, praise Jehovah.  O my soul, Jehovah praise.

I will sing the glorious praises of my God through all my days.

The Lord reigns forever; your God, O Zion, for all generations. 

Over all God reigns forever, through all ages he is King.

Unto him, your God, O Zion,

Praise the LORD.

Joyful hallelujahs sing.

We see Jesus displayed throughout Psalm 146. Fully God, Jesus was Lord at the beginning, involved in creation—“the Maker of heaven and earth” (John 1:1-18). He humbled himself to become fully human, but, unlike other “human beings who cannot save,” Jesus came to set prisoners free, to give sight to the blind, to care for the poor, and to release the oppressed (Luke 4:14-21). Jesus is the God of Zion, ruling forever (Isaiah 9:6-7).

In the final lyrics of “Hallelujah, Praise Jehovah,” we praise God for his eternal reign and ongoing faithfulness to his people. Jesus is our faithful, reigning King. Praise the LORD!

For Reflection: Read Philippians 2:5-11. What does this passage say about Jesus’s deity and humanity? What does it say about his reign as King? Praise Jesus for creating you, caring for you, and saving you. Praise him as King, and confess him as Lord.

Worship Song of the Month

Worship Song of the Month

February 11: Hallelujah, Praise Jehovah

Throughout the month of February, we are looking at Psalm 146 (NIV) side by side with its metered version from the Psalter. Today, let’s look at the first and second verses of Hallelujah, Praise Jehovah, starting in verse 5 of the Psalm.

Blessed are those whose help is the God of Jacob, whose hope is in the LORD their God.

Happy is the man that chooses Israel’s God to be his aid. He is blessed whose hope of blessing on the Lord his God is stayed.

He is the Maker of heaven and earth,

Heav’n and earth the Lord created,

the sea, and everything in them.

seas and all that they contain;

He remains faithful forever. He upholds the cause of the oppressed.

he delivers from oppression. Righteousness he will maintain.

He gives food to the hungry.

Food he daily gives the hungry,

The LORD sets prisoners free.

sets the mourning pris’ner free,

The LORD gives sight to the blind; the LORD lifts up those who are bowed down.

raises those bowed down with anguish, makes the sightless eye to see.

The LORD loves the righteous. The LORD watches over the foreigner

Well Jehovah loves the righteous, and the stranger he befriends,

and sustains the fatherless and the widow,

helps the fatherless and widow,

but he frustrates the ways of the wicked.

judgment on the wicked sends.

A friend recently asked me if I knew of any worship songs or hymns that speak to a Biblical approach to justice.  Since then, I have looked at the songs that we sing with new eyes, to see if they speak to God’s heart for justice and mercy.  Certainly, Scripture is full of the cries of the oppressed, and we see God working his justice for the downtrodden.   

Psalm 146 is one of those Scriptures. When we read and sing Psalm 146, we praise God for his justice.  We assert that those who follow God are blessed in the present and have hope for the future.  We state that we can be assured of this, because we know God to be faithful and powerful.  His steadfastness is demonstrated in creation and offered to the oppressed.  God gives food to the hungry, sets prisoners free, gives sight to the blind, and lifts up those who are bowed down.  He watches over immigrants, orphans, and widows.  His plans work together for the good of the upright—those who do what is right and have right standing before God, but he works against those who are wicked.

Perhaps we don’t have too many songs that speak to how we should approach justice from a Biblical perspective; maybe a few more of our songs praise God for his just character.  In praising God for his care for the oppressed and describing the kinds of justice God cares about, Hallelujah, Praise Jehovah” does both. 

For Reflection:  Read 1 John 4:19-5:5. Do you believe that Jesus is the Christ?  Do you love the Father?  Do you follow God’s commands and seek to do what is right?  If you are loving God and loving his children, you are counted among the “righteous in Psalm 146.  Ask God to help you trust his provision—that his plans for you will be good and right, and that you will overcome the world when he returns.  Ask God to help you to love his children and to be used as an instrument of his justice and mercy to the hungry, prisoners, disabled, oppressed, immigrants, orphans, and widows. 

Worship Song of the Month

Worship Song of the Month

February 4: Hallelujah, Praise Jehovah

This week, I invite you to read my blog post on Ephesians 5, which, for me, is a “life passage” for worship.  In Ephesians 5:19, we are instructed to “speak to one another with psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit.”  This directive has become a bit of a theme for me, as I try to include both hymns and songs in our worship repertoire on Sunday mornings and in our “Worship Song of the Month” devotionals, and also to choose some hymns and songs that are based on Psalms. 

This month, we will be singing a hymn that is even more directly tied to the Psalms. Hallelujah, Praise Jehovah is an example of what we call a metrical, versified, or rhymed Psalm. Throughout the month of February, we will look at Psalm 146 (NIV) side by side with the metered version, and enjoy singing what is essentially Scripture itself.

Today, let’s look at the first verse of “Hallelujah, Praise Jehovah.”

Praise the LORD. 

Hallelujah, praise Jehovah.

Praise the LORD, my soul.

O my soul, Jehovah praise.

I will praise the LORD all my life; I will sing praise to my God as long as I live.

I will sing the glorious praises of my God through all my days.

Do not put your trust in princes,

Put no confidence in princes,

in human beings, who cannot save.

nor for help on man depend.

When their spirit departs, they return to the ground;

He shall die, to dust returning,

on that very day their plans come to nothing.

and his purposes shall end.

In this part of the Psalm and song, we instruct our souls to praise the LORD (in all caps, meaning Jehovah or Yahweh or I AM). We call him by his most intimate and holy name, and then we commit to worship him our entire lives. We remind ourselves to put our trust only in God, not in earthly rulers or leaders or human helpers. Our plans and the plans of those on whom we would rely will ultimately end. Only God’s purposes extend beyond a lifetime, from generation to generation, throughout eternity.

For Reflection: Remind your “soul” of all that God has done for you. Remind yourself that, even when you fail, leaders fail, or the people around you fail, God never does. Commit to praising God for the rest of your life. Praise the Lord!

Worship Song of the Month

a “life passage” for worship

In seeking to worship God how he desires to be worshipped, Ephesians 5 has long been one of my guides.  In a chapter devoted to instructions on how to walk in love and light—not in hypocrisy or foolishness—comes this beautiful exhortation: “Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery.  Instead, be filled with the Spirit, speaking to one another with psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit.  Sing and make music from your heart to the Lord, always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ” (Eph. 5:18-20). 

Allow me to expound on what these verses mean to me.

First, when we come to worship, we are to be filled with the Spirit of God, who gives joy and purpose beyond what we can get from earthly stimulants (like alcohol), and who leads us to obedience and transformation (not debauchery).  In true worship, we are not just given a temporary “high” or a momentary “fix.”  Instead, through worship, we are renewed in our desire to, and given the means to, obey.  We exchange our foolishness for an understanding of what the Lord’s will is (verse 17).

In addition to the command to “be filled with the Spirit,” we are also commanded to sing!  Maybe you’re not a big singer.  Maybe you would rather just listen to the band or the choir and not ruin the beauty of the music.  In this time of covid precautions, maybe you are at home watching a live-stream and feel silly singing out loud.  Maybe it’s uncomfortable to sing in a mask.  Or maybe singing is discouraged by your church for safety purposes.  But to sing is one of the few commands for worship that is reiterated over and over again in Scripture.  If God has commanded you to sing, will you obey?

We are also told to sing and make music “from our hearts.”  As a worship leader, this one is tricky.  How many times have I had to focus on the notes or the tempo or the mix?  How many times have I simply tried to sing the right words, never mind understand what I’m singing?

For all of us, there can be distractions in worship.  Our minds wander, or we just don’t “feel it.”  I tend to think that this is okay; I tend to think that singing is a spiritual discipline, much like prayer or Bible study, something that we need to do (after all, it is a command) whether we feel like it or not.  My dad preached a sermon once that stuck with me, in which he drew out Jesus’s words in the Sermon on the Mount, “where your treasure is, there your heart will be also” (Matthew 6:21).  My dad said that we often mix up these two phrases and think that where we put our treasure demonstrates where our heart is.  Though that is likely true, my dad said that the exhortation in this verse is actually the other way around:  Put your treasure where it should be, and your heart will follow your treasure.  Scripture commands us to sing.  So sing, and your heart will follow. 

Of course, I also appreciate in Ephesians 5:19 the freedom that is given to us to sing a wide variety of songs in worship.  When I choose songs for worship services, I try to choose music that reflects this freedom—free poetry as well as poetry in stanzas; Scripture texts as well as songs written from the hearts of Christ-followers throughout history and today; teaching texts filled with deep truths as well as devotional lyrics meant to give us space to reflect; psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs. 

I also see in this passage the encouragement for our singing to be directed towards both God and each other (“sing and make music… to the Lord”, “speaking to one another.”)  This is one of the reasons why I feel that individual worship is not a substitute for our coming together on Sunday mornings to worship.  In our culture, we sometimes feel that having a personal relationship with Jesus is enough and we don’t need to go to church.  But our worship is meant to encourage, exhort, and build up Christ’s Church.  We are supposed to speak to one another through our worship.

Finally, in these verses we are told to “always give thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.”  Ephesians 5:18-20 beautifully sums up how our worship reflects the Trinity.  We are to sing by means of (“with,” “from”) the Spirit, to the Father, in the name of Christ.  To me, the communion of the Trinity when we sing brings such meaning and purpose to my worship!

As I mentioned before, these three little verses follow teachings on how to live godly and transparent lives; our worship should be a reflection of and impetus for how we live.  And what follows these verses is this: “Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ” (verse 21).  When we come together as a church to sing, we demonstrate submission to one another.  We demonstrate submission to one another when we sing a song that we may not like that much, but the person next to us loves.  We demonstrate submission when we sing loudly despite not enjoying the sound of our own singing voice.  Or, conversely, we demonstrate submission when we hear and enjoy the worship of the people around us, regardless of their musical capability. We demonstrate submission when we come together in a space with people of a variety of life experiences, economic statuses, ethnicities, and ages to sing in worship of our shared God.

I encourage you to make Ephesians 5 one of your “life passages” for worship.  This coming Sunday, when you join with God’s people in worship, do not be foolish but grow in your understanding and obedience.    Be filled with the Spirit.  Speak to one another with psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit.  Sing and make music from your heart to the Lord.  Give thanks to God the Father, in the name of Jesus.  And submit to one another out of reverence for Christ. 

Worship Song of the Month

Worship Song of the Month

January 28: Only a Holy God

In our first devotional on Only a Holy God, we focused on God’s sovereignty, beauty, and power.  In our second devotional—for kids too!—we were encouraged to get “up close and personal” to God, to see his character in focus. Today, I’d like put this into practice by looking a bit more closely at these three attributes of God’s, in the hope that we will respond with a renewed passion for worshipping our holy God.

In the first verse of “Only a Holy God,” we proclaim God’s sovereignty over creation, political rulers and situations, and darkness of all kinds—physical, emotional, and spiritual.  To some, the idea of God’s sovereignty and control negates personal responsibility or threatens autonomy.  But the Bible is clear that we will give an account to God for our individual actions (Romans 14:12).  Instead, God’s sovereignty—his vision to direct and his power to execute his plans—should bring us great comfort.  When we see God acting in Scripture for his glory and the good of his people, we are given confidence that God will complete the work he began (Philippians 1:6, Hebrews 10:23)—in us and in the world.  C.H. Spurgeon said, “The sovereignty of God is the pillow upon which the child of God rests his head.”  Do you believe that God is in control?  Does this truth comfort you?    

As we sing the second verse of “Only a Holy God,” we praise God for his beauty, with lyrics like splendor, majesty, and justice.  Scripture is full of glimpses into God’s beauty (I think of the story of Christ’s transfiguration in Matthew 17), and we also see reflections of God’s beauty in everything he has created—including the bodies and faces of people made in his image.  But now we see only incomplete images; how wonderful it will be to one day see him face to face!  King David, in Psalm 27:4, expresses his longing to seek God and gaze on his beauty.   And Corinthians 3:18 says that we who “contemplate the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory.”  Do you take the time to contemplate and gaze on God’s beauty?  Does God’s beauty amaze you?

In the third verse of “Only a Holy God,” we sing of God’s power, glory, and triumph.  Christ’s power to rise from the dead is the basis of our faith and the reason for our hope.  I’m reminded of the apostle Paul’s argument that, “if Christ has not been raised, [our] faith is futile; [we] are still in [our] sins” (1 Corinthians 15:18).  If Christ did not rise from the dead, conquering death and sin, we have hope only for this life.  “But Christ has indeed been raised from the dead!” (vs. 20), giving us hope that we too will live forever with him.  Do you believe that Jesus rose from the dead?  Does this truth fill you with hope?

In the fourth verse of “Only a Holy God” we respond to God’s sovereignty, beauty, and power with praise.  Only a God who is sovereign—working out a plan for our salvation—could rescue us from our failing.  Only a God who is beautiful would offer his only son to give us beauty instead of ashes, joy instead of mourning, praise instead of despair (Isaiah 61:3).  Only a God who is powerful to conquer death, could invite us to worship him for eternity.  Do you know this holy God?  Do you worship him?

For reflection:  Read Psalm 96.  Ask God to give you comfort, amazement, and hope in his sovereignty, beauty, and power expressed in the Psalm.  Worship God in the splendor of holiness.