Worship Pastor / Composer Travis L. Boyd and his wife, Cynthia, provide inspiration and resources for the worship community and all believers through sharing the blessings of worship, faith, family, ministry, music, love, & life. We also share information about Worship Sounds Music, which can be found on our Worship Sounds website at worshipsounds.com ~ Downloadable Choral Anthems * Solos * Orchestrations * Worship Songs * Accompaniment Trax

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Psalm 100: A Prescription for Praise!

“Make a joyful noise unto the Lord, all ye lands.
Serve the Lord with gladness; come before His presence with singing.
Know that the Lord is God; it is He that has made us and not we ourselves; we are His people and the sheep of His pasture.
Enter into His gates with thanksgiving and into His courts with praise; be thankful unto Him, and bless His name.
For the Lord is good: His mercy is everlasting, and his truth endures to all generations.”

~   Psalm 100 (all verses, 1 – 5)

Make a joyful noiseI love Psalm 100!

These 5 short verses are a prescription for a life of thanksgiving and praise!

Within these verses, we find the “why” of praise.

Why do we praise God?

* 1 *  Because He is good  (verse 5)

* 2 *  Because His mercy is everlasting   (verse 5 ~ some translations use “steadfast love”)

* 3 *  Because His truth endures to all generations   (v. 5 ~ some versions say “faithfulness”)

* 4 *  Because we are His people   (v. 3)

* 5 *  Because He is like a Shepherd to us   (v. 3 ~ He cares for our needs since we are the sheep of His pasture.)

* 6 *  Because the pasture is His   (v. 3 ~ We dwell within His creation, another provision.)

* 7 *  Because He is God   (v.3)

* 8 *  Because He made us   (v. 3)

* 9 *  Because anything we have as far as abilities and gifts (anything good within us) came from Him  (v. 3 ~ We didn’t make ourselves.)

* 10 *  Because He allows us to come into His presence   (v. 4 ~ We can enter His gates, His courts.)

* 11 *  Because He wants to be in relationship and fellowship with us, He gives us the keys to His presence.   (v. 4 He tells us that thanksgiving and praise are the outer and inner gateways to communion with Him.)

* 12 *  Because He wants us to be glad and to be joyful, to have hearts that sing.   (v. 1 & 2 ~ He even wants to hear and share in our joy!)

Did you see those 12 reasons for praise in the 5 verses of Psalm 100 before?  I have read this Psalm hundreds of times in the 35 years since I became a Christian, but I don’t think I saw all of the reasons for praise until I started looking for them.

Isn’t it amazing that our God is so good that we can find 12 reasons for praising Him in only 5 short verses of scripture.  He is amazing!  THAT’S WHY WE PRAISE HIM!

The Lord is great, He is Sovereign, He is personal, He is a loving and caring Shepherd, He claims us as His own, He wants us to know Him, He is a God of truth, He is merciful (FULL of mercy), He is a giver, He is generous (desiring our joy!), He has our best interests at heart, and He is powerful.

He is God.

Knowing the 5 verses of Psalm 100 can be a lifelong reminder of the reasons to praise Him. There’s something else in these verses as well. We not only have the “why” of praise in Psalm 100. We also have the “how”.

So, how are we to praise the Lord?

Praise God as the Source of all blessings* with a joyful noise (v. 1)
* with glad hearts as we serve Him (v. 2)
* with singing (v. 2)
* with the reverent recognition of who He is (v. 3)
* with thanksgiving (v. 4)
* with blessing for His name (v. 4)
* with knowledge that praise is the password to His presence (v. 4)
* with the desire to go deeper in seeking and knowing Him (also v. 4, drawing near as we come into his courts)

Finally, we find that remembering the how and why of praise found in Psalm 100 can help us to live in fellowship with the Lord as we continually look for more reasons to give Him praise and seek to live our lives for His glory.  

There are many benefits to living a life of praise, because praise is good medicine!

Unlike prescriptions for medication, praise has no harmful side effects. The benefits of praise are spiritual, emotional, mental, and even physical.

Here are 10 of the benefits of praise:

Praise   Lets just praise the Lord* Praise focuses our attention on the eternal and causes us to let go of our earthly concerns for a while.

* Praise reminds us why we love and trust our great God. It reminds us who He is.

* Praise helps us to remember that God’s salvation goes beyond meeting our greatest need (for Jesus as our personal Lord and Savior) to meeting our everyday needs through all of the ways that God shepherds and cares for us and helps us to grow in grace.

* When we praise the Lord specifically for all that He is and all that He has done, we are confronted with God’s sovereignty, Jesus’ glory as the only begotten of the Father, and the Holy Spirit’s comfort and guidance.

* Praise brings peace to our hearts because it reminds us that He is our peace.

* Praise makes us glad as we remember that He is the joy of every longing heart.

* Praise gives us eternal perspective and helps us hold on to faith in God, even when things don’t seem to make sense.

* Praise allows God to meet us where we are and minister to us at the point of our deepest need.

* Praise takes our eyes off of ourselves and focuses them on Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith.

* Praise allows us to give something of eternal value to the Giver of all things. We can give something of eternal value only because God invested Himself in us when He chose to die for us. He can redeem us through the power of His great love and make us into eternal beings who will see His glory and become worthy of His presence through the shedding of His own blood. He gives value to our weakest effort. His strength is perfected in our human weakness. As we praise Him, we recognize and affirm His infinite worth and supreme glory as the God of all creation. He, in turn, lifts us up with the knowledge that He cares for us and values our lives, our souls, and even our human efforts to live in such a way that our lives bring Him glory.

With results like that, this prescription for praise should be administered daily!

See the information below about our most often read blog post, 31 Days of Praise, to give you a full month of praise scripture devotions.

Below, you will find a memorization helper photo for Psalm 100.  Print it in whatever size works for you, and use it as a memory aide to help you learn the 5 incredible verses of Psalm 100.

Use this scripture memory photo for the 5 verses of Psalm 100 to read it aloud each day and memorize this passage by Day 17.

Use this scripture memory photo for the 5 verses of Psalm 100 to read it aloud each day and memorize this passage

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31  DAYS OF PRAISE  

This blog post originally was (and still is) the praise devotion for day 17 in our “31 Days of Praise” blog post (see link below).

Most of the devotions consist of a praise verse, a truth about praise drawn from that verse, and a short, devotional paragraph with thoughts about praise inspired by that verse.  However, this particular devotion is longer…quite a bit longer.  It is the only long-ish devotion in “31 Days of Praise” because there’s just so much in Psalm 100.  The more I looked, the more I found, and the more there was to share about this passage of scripture and our great God.  With this much to share, I decided after I published the 31 devotions that this particular devotion needed to become a separate post as well.  Psalm 100 is even more special to me now that the Lord has revealed so much about it and about Himself through it.  We hope that this post will be a blessing.  Don’t forget to check out “31 Days of Praise” for 30 short devotions about praise + one that is a little long-ish.

Here’s the link to   31 Days of Praise

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This post was written by Cynthia A. Boyd.
This post can be reprinted in an unpaid church publication as long as the author’s name and blog URL are included.  It does need to be printed in its entirety.  We stand by each post on our blog, so we require that no edits be made.  Even the tiniest edit might alter the meaning or original intent of a post.  For a paid publication, obtaining permission is required.

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Do you know someone who is looking for answers?

Thank you for spending your valuable time reading the contents of this page.  We hope that it has been helpful to you.   If you or someone that you know is looking for answers about life, we hope that you will visit our page called “Do You Know Jesus?”.   The links provided on this page will help to answer life’s deepest questions.   Here is the link to “Do You Know Jesus?”:  http://www.worshipsounds.wordpress.com/do-you-know-jesus/

Please feel free to share this URL with anyone who is looking for answers about life and eternity.

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31 Days of Praise (Scripture Devotions)

In this blog post, you will find 31 short devotions, one for every day of any month.  Each one is based upon a scripture about praise and a truth about praise drawn from that scripture, with some thoughts about praise for each day.

We hope that this post will be a blessing to you in your times of private worship as well as in your daily life.

FOREWORD to the daily devotions:  Thoughts about praise

Praise in General 

praise  good job  excellentPraise is an expression of something good.  When we praise another person, we tell them something good that we have observed about them or something good that we have experienced as a result of our relationship to them.  Sometimes people we’ve never personally met inspire us with stories of strength and courage; and we could choose to respond to that with praise, sharing our good thoughts in some way (telling others, writing a letter to the person, etc.)  Sometimes, our praise takes the form of saying something good about someone to others, even though the person we are praising is not present to hear our words.  I can praise my husband or children even when they are not around by sharing something good about them verbally or in writing.

Praise has an object.  There is something or someone that we are praising.

Praise also has an audience.  We either speak or write our praise directly to the person or group or family or organization we are praising, or we speak or write to others about them.

When we praise someone directly, that person is the object of our praise and also is the audience (if no one else is present) or a part of the audience (if others also hear our praise for them).  Praise for others is at its best when the motivation for it comes out of the overflow of our love and/or respect, resulting from the impact a person has made upon our lives.  Sometimes people have other motives, and praise can be meaningless or empty or even a part of a personal betrayal or an attempt to influence the actions of another person.  However, even though, as with every other human behavior, there is the potential for harm when praise is done for the wrong reasons, praise is still generally a beneficial expression that can be very meaningful and can even change someone’s life.

Praising God

Praise God   colorful lettersWhen we praise God, He is both the object and the audience (or part of the audience) for our praises.  He hears our praise, even though we don’t see Him visually.  We are speaking or singing directly to God as well as about Him.  Because of this fact, words of praise to God are some of the most important words that will ever come out of our mouths.  Praise is not something to ever take lightly.  When our praise for God is genuine, we are expressing the overflow of our hearts and sharing good things about our God.  We are telling or writing or in some other way (music, dance, art) expressing a clear message about who God is and/or what He has done.  Our praise can be part of a testimony of what God has done and is doing in our lives.  Praise can be one brief statement, or it can be a more lengthy expression.  We are sharing with others the news that God is good and at the same time telling Him that we know He is good We do need to be careful about expressing praise only when something happens that we are happy about.  God is good all the time.  He is worthy of our praise. 

All of us have to be intentional about praise.  We have to choose to become people who make a commitment to express praise to God and to others about God.  We have to choose to be both vulnerable and strong in expressing praise to God within the congregation.  We lay aside any concerns about what other people are thinking or doing, and we simply focus on praising God with all of our hearts.  Praise opens our hearts to God as we focus on Him alone.  He inhabits (dwells within or manifests His presence within) the praise of His people.  It’s so amazing that God chooses to meet us and transform us with His presence when we make the choice to praise Him!

Praise is also necessary for the heart of every Christian even when we are feeling down, disappointed, or crushed by grief.  In the midst of our deepest valleys, we still recognize that God’s goodness and faithfulness are praiseworthy.  Because our praise opens the courts of the Lord, He will meet us there.  When we are willing to give to God the sacrifice of praise, knowing that He is good and merciful even in the midst of our trials or suffering, we give Him an opportunity to minister peace and comfort to our hurting hearts.  No matter what is happening in our lives, our God is worthy of praise.

Have a beautiful month as you praise Him each day!

Memory Challenge: 

As part of this month of praise, I hope that you will commit to memorize 2 short Psalms.

*  If you read through and speak out loud the 5 verses of Psalm 100 each day as part of your devotion time, you should have it memorized very well by day 17.

*  On day 18, begin to do the same thing with the 6 (shorter) verses of Psalm 150.

You’ll be surprised how many of the verses you already know.  You will always be glad that you memorized these 2 Psalms of praise, and they will be a blessing to you throughout your life.

Memorization helps:  In order to make the memorization easier for you, we have included printable versions of Psalm 100 and Psalm 150 in this post.

*  Just right click on the photo to choose the print option and then the size that will work best for you.

*  Place your memory photo page in a place where you will see it and work on learning it each day, or place it with your Bible for your devotional time.

*  Below, you will find the Psalm 100 printable.

*  The one for Psalm 150 is located between the devotions for Day 17 and Day 18.

*  You could also choose to simply stop at the photo verse each time to work on memorizing the verse (either before or after scrolling down to read the day’s praise devotional).

May God bless you as you praise Him and memorize His word.

Use this scripture memory photo for the 5 verses of Psalm 100 to read it aloud each day and memorize this passage by Day 17.

Use this scripture memory photo for the 5 verses of Psalm 100, to read it aloud each day and memorize this passage by Day 17.  You can also print it to use as a memory helper.  (Photograph of beach by Carol Roberts)

THIRTY ONE DAYS OF PRAISE

1*  Day One  *

Praise truth #1:  Praise takes determination and commitment.

“I will give to the Lord the thanks due to His righteousness, and I will sing praise to the name of the Lord, the Most High.”   — Psalm 7:17

Notice that the Psalmist makes a statement of his intention and his commitment to thank and praise the Lord.  He says “will give thanks” and “will sing praise.”  He also shares the reason for his thanksgiving, the Lord’s righteousness.  Our God loves goodness and justice, righteousness and truth.  We can trust that He will ultimately make everything right.  (Romans 8:28)  Praise Him today for His righteousness, and determine that you will make every day be a day of thanksgiving and praise to the Lord.

Memory Challenge:  Remember your memory challenge with the reading of Psalm 100 (just above this devotional).

2*  Day Two  *

Praise truth #2:  Praise is job #1 for the Saints!

“Sing praises to the Lord, O you His saints, and give thanks to His holy name.”   — Psalm 30:4

As those who have believed in Jesus and experienced salvation, His saints, it is our duty as well as our joy and privelege to sing praises to the Lord and give thanks to Him.  Praise God today for His salvation and for giving you so many reasons to be thankful.  Bless His name today.  Speak aloud of the goodness of our God.  Sing praises to His holy name.

Memory Challenge:  Don’t forget to speak the verses of Psalm 100 aloud each day!

3*  Day Three  *

Praise truth #3:  There is no doubt that God wants us to sing His praises and delights in the praises of His people.

“Sing praises to God, sing praises! Sing praises to our King, sing praises! For God is the King of all the earth; sing praises with a Psalm.”   — Psalm 47:6 & 7

How many times are we told to sing praises to the Lord in these two verses?  Five times!   He is the King of all the earth!  Sometimes we praise people more than we praise God.  Would we be more excited to meet an earthly King than to be in the presence of the King of all the earth?  Would we spend more time getting ready to appear before someone who is an earthly leader for a few years than we do in praising the King of all eternity?  When we begin to truly understand who God is and the incredible truth that He loves us and knows us and wants us to know Him, how can we keep from singing His praise?  Praise God today for His sovereignty over all of Creation.  Praise him specifically for all that He is and all He has done.

Memory Challenge:  How many verses of Psalm 100 can you say without looking?

4*  Day Four  *

Praise truth #4:  Praise is far-reaching.

“We have thought of Thy steadfast love, O God, in the midst of Thy temple. As Thy name, O God, so Thy praise reaches to the ends of the earth.”   — Psalm 48:9 & 10

When we spend some time thinking of the steadfast love of God, right in the middle of our lives of busy-ness and inconstancy, our natural response to His faithfulness and unchanging love is praise!  Praise reaches to the ends of the earth.  It reaches the heart of God.  It reaches inside our own hearts and changes our perspective.  As important and as supreme as the name of God is, praise reaches just as far!  Praise accompanies God’s name.  We will never run out of reasons to praise Him, and He will never tire of hearing our praises, dwelling within them, and using the praises of His people to speak to the hearts of men. Praise God today for His steadfast love, and spend some time remembering His faithfulness in your life.

Memory Challenge:  Praise him with the Psaltery as you speak Psalm 100 aloud.

5*  Day Five  *

Praise truth #5:  Praise is expressed verbally.

“O Lord, open Thou my lips, and my mouth shall show forth Thy praise.”   — Psalm 51:15

The Psalmist prays to God and asks that his mouth be made a vessel of praise.  He surrenders himself and his lips to the Lord and asks that God will allow them to be open for the purpose of praise.  What do I need to surrender in order that I may show forth His praise?  Clearly, I need to be willing to praise God verbally and openly.  I need to be committed to bringing God glory through my life.  I need to be passionate about sharing His praise verbally and through singing, and I need to be asking God to help me praise Him all the more. Pray the prayer of abundant praise today, asking God to take control of your heart and mind and lips and cause you to praise Him all day long.

Memory Challenge:  Psalm 100 time!

6*  Day Six  *

Praise truth #6:  Praise can be joyful and glorious.

“Make a joyful noise to God, all the earth; sing the glory of His name; give to Him glorious praise!”   — Psalm 66:1

What constitutes a joyful noise to God?  Singing of His glory!  When we sing of the majesty and splendor and glory of God and praise Him with our whole heart, we are bringing Joy to the very heart of God.  Knowing that we can give something in return to the One who has given us everything we have ever had and ever will have is a joy for us as well.

Make a joyful noiseJoy in Heaven and Joy on earth,

Songs of His glory and His infinite worth.

This is the way we should spend all our days,

Making joyful noise in glorious praise.

–  Cynthia A. Boyd

Memory Challenge:  The words of Psalm 100 make a joyful noise, too!  Speak them as to the Lord.

7*  Day Seven  *

Praise truth #7:  Praising God is for all nations and all peoples.

“Let the peoples praise Thee, O God; let all the peoples praise Thee! Let the nations be glad and sing for joy, for Thou dost judge the peoples with equity and guide the nations upon the earth. Let the peoples praise Thee, O God; let all the peoples praise Thee!”   — Psalm 67:3 – 5

Although God has chosen the people of Israel to be the ones that would proclaim His salvation through their history and through the coming of Jesus, He is at work within all peoples and nations.  He deals fairly and judges equitably.  He guides the nations in ways that we can’t fully understand.  This verse is a call to praise for people from all nations, tribes, and tongues.  We have reason to be glad and to sing for joy.  Our God is the righteous judge who loves the world and sent His Son to serve the sentence of death for all of mankind.  (John 3:16-17)  Praise God today for His work among the nations and for the fact that there are people in every country in the world who know Him, as well as those who will come to know Him.

Memory Challenge:  Can you say all 5 verses of Psalm 100 from memory yet?  Speak them out loud.  Saying them at the same time you are hearing yourself say them helps you to memorize them.

8*  Day Eight  *

Praise truth #8:  It is important that we set aside the concerns of the day when we choose to joyfully praise the Lord.

“Let the righteous be joyful; let them exult before God; let them be jubilant with joy! Sing to God, sing praises to His name; lift up a song to him who rides upon the clouds; His name is the Lord, exult before Him.”    — Psalm 68:3 & 4

Remember who God is.  He is the Lord who rides upon the clouds.  We have read that we must enter His gates with thanksgiving and His courts with praise.  If we desire to commune with God, we must begin with thanksgiving and praise.  We must set aside the burdens and worries of the day as we give thanks and joyfully sing praise to Him.  Yes, He cares about every part of your life and about your heart and every concern that you have.  Since the Bible makes it clear that He cares for us and about us, we can lay our burdens down.  Think of your time with God as though you are visiting a friend (What a friend!).  You would not rush into your friend’s home and immediately begin listing all of your troubles and your requests for help.  Instead, you would greet your friend joyfully and let them know you are glad to be in their presence.  Later in your conversation, there will be time for deeper sharing.  When you choose to express thanksgiving and joyful praise first, you demonstrate that you trust the heart of God and know that He is already aware of everything in your life.  You are deliberately coming into God’s presence as someone who loves and cares for Him and is mindful of His infinite love and care for you.

[Be sure to notice all of the “joy words” in these 2 verses for day 8:  joyful, exult (definition:  show or feel elation or jubilation), be jubilant with joy, exult (again).  Place a joy reminder in a place where you will see it each day.]

NOTE:  Sometimes an immediate crisis in our lives allows for only a one word plea for “Help!” or a short phrase or sentence spoken as a prayer,  God hears all of our prayers and knows the cries of our hearts.  He knows each situation.  He desires that His children seek Him with all of our needs, and He places His love for us above any formula for prayer.  Just as a small child would do when afraid, sometimes all we need to do is run to the Lord (in prayer) and call out His name (just as the frightened child would call out, “Daddy!”).  The Bible tells us that the Holy Spirit helps us in our prayers, giving voice to the deepest “groanings” of our soul that are so profound we cannot even put them into words.  (Romans 8:26)  We also read that Jesus is right beside the throne of God, interceding (making requests on our behalf, praying for us).  (Hebrews 7:25)  So, when we are too exhausted with grief or pain to seek God with clarity, He knows, He helps, and He prays for us.

However, any time that it is possible for you to seek God in prayer and come to Him first with thanksgiving and praise, do so.  When you thank Him (knowing that He is good and that He cares for you) and praise Him (knowing that He is the Source and Sustainer of everything good and the Redeemer of your soul), your heart becomes open to His presence and aware of our loving Father God who is always there.  God can then manifest His love for you, His comfort, and His presence (His very “being there” for and with you) in heart to heart communication that is pure peace.

Memory Challenge:  Share Psalm 100 with your family today.

9*  Day Nine  *

Praise truth #9:  The heart attitude is most important in praising God.

“I will praise the name of God with a song; I will magnify Him with thanksgiving.”   — Psalm 69:30

Singing a song of praise doen’t necessarily  mean that you are praising God as you sing.  The attitude of your heart determines whether the words you are singing match your audible expression of a praise song.  If the intention and commitment of your heart is to give God praise and thank Him wholeheartedly, then you are truly praising God when you sing.  Here, the Psalmist states his intention to praise the Lord and magnify His name through thanksgiving.  To magnify means to make something appear bigger.  God’s name is already supreme, so  how does our thanksgiving make His name appear larger?  In our own hearts, thanksgiving reveals God’s true nature and His goodness.  His name is always big, but we are more aware of who He is when we are thanking and praising Him.  Our sincere praise and thanksgiving can also impact the hearts of others and allow them to have a bigger picture of who God is as well.  So, intentionally express your praise to God with words and with song, and cause His name to be revealed as BIG with your thanksgiving.

Memory Challenge:  Repeat the words of Psalm 100 as you do something good today.  Whether you are are exercising or wrapping a gift for a friend, do a pleasant task with praise.

10*  Day Ten  *

Praise truth # 10:  Praise is our heartfelt and intentional response to the revelation of who God is.

“I will praise Thee with the psaltery, even Thy truth, O my God. Unto Thee will I sing with the harp, O Thou Holy One of Israel. My lips shall greatly rejoice when I sing unto thee; and my soul, which Thou has redeemed.”   — Psalm 71:22 & 23

The Psalmist reveals his thoughts about who God is as he declares his intention to praise God in response.  He mentions God’s truth, God’s commitment to personal relationship with us (“O, my God”), God’s holiness, God’s commitment to the nation of Israel (as keeper of promises and covenant, redeemer, refuge, sustainer); and, most importantly, he mentions God’s salvation (“my soul, which thou has redeemed”).  In response to the revelation of who God is in character and who God is to him personally, the Psalmist declares his intention to respond by using the Psalms (psaltery) to praise God verbally.  He also states that he will sing praise with the harp and that he will do so while greatly rejoicing.  The Psalmist realized that he had been greatly blessed and given grace, mercy, and salvation by a personal, holy, true God who is a keeper of promises and who has become his Redeemer.  His response is declaring God’s praise with his whole heart.

Memory Challenge:  Declare the praise of the Lord with Psalm 100!  You are doing exactly what the Psalmist did.

11*  Day Eleven  *

Praise truth # 11:  Praise comes with blessings!

“Blessed are those who dwell in Thy house, ever singing Thy praise!  Selah.”   — Psalm 84:4

Notice that the Psalmist speaks of dwelling in God’s house and singing God’s praise continually.  For us today, I believe that this would refer to those who seek to stay in fellowship with God and who guard their thoughts and try to focus on thanksgiving and praise.  Blessings are many for us when we choose to allow God to work in our lives as we surrender our fears along with our hopes and our failures along with our strengths.   Singing God’s praise reveals the truth of His goodness and our need for Him.  When we allow Him to become our sufficiency, we do not lack any good thing.  We are living under the sheltering roof of God’s provision for our emotional, spiritual, mental, and physical needs.  As we continue to praise Him, our eyes are opened to more and more of what He has done and is doing in our lives.  The Amplified Bible translates the word ‘selah’ as “pause…and think of that”.   So, abide in His presence, rest in His provision, praise His faithfulness, and see that the Lord is good.  Now, pause and think of that.

Memory Challenge:  Psalm 100!

12* Day Twelve * 

Praise truth #12:  When we praise God wholeheartedly, we bring glory to His name.

“I will praise Thee, O Lord my God, with all my heart; and I will glorify Thy name forevermore.”   — Psalm 86:12

Once again, the Psalmist declares his intention to praise the Lord.  He addresses God personally (O Lord my God) and commits himself to hold back nothing and praise God with his whole heart.  The promise of forever is as real as the present moment to him as the Psalmist makes his own promise to God.  He promises to glorify God’s name forevermore.  His life has become a testament to God’s glory as he pours himself fully into an offering of praise.  This well of praise will not run dry thoughout all eternity because the Psalmist knows that he could never out-give God.  There will always be a reason to thank and praise God, because God will continue to give and bless and love as only He can.  It will be so exciting that we will know the blessings and love of God fully, with complete understanding.  We will no longer need to walk by faith and trust God even in what seems to be a time of darkness.  Faith and trust will be replaced by complete knowledge when we know Him even as we are known.  Glory to God forever!

Memory Challenge:  Praise Him with Psalm 100.

13* Day Thirteen *

Praise truth #13:   When we praise God for His faithfulness and His wonders, we are joining the heavens in congregational praise.

“The heavens shall praise Thy wonders, O Lord; Thy faithfulness also in the congregation of the saints.”   — Psalm 89:5

As we meet together for the purpose of worship, we enter into a praise party that is already happening.  The heavens are already praising God.  In ways that we can’t fully fathom, His wonders and His faithfulness are being praised in our midst by the hosts of Heaven and even by His creation.  What a tragedy it is when we fail to join this chorus of praise.  Like the Psalmist, we must choose to joyfully commit ourselves to praise, knowing that God is so good that the Heavenly realms are spilling their praise all over, even as we are meeting together.  Praise the Lord, Saints!

Memory Challenge:  Psalm 100!

14* Day Fourteen * 

Praise truth # 14:  Praise is a good thing… all day long!

“It is a good thing to give thanks unto the Lord, and to sing praises unto Thy name, O Most High; To show forth Thy lovingkindness in the morning, and Thy faithfulness every night.”   — Psalm 92:1 & 2

Oh, yes!  We trust God to get us through the day with His strength and His lovingkindness as we thank and praise Him in the morning and throughout the day.

Then, we thank and praise Him every night because He was faithful to do just that (get us through the day)!  Once again, His lovingkindness guided and comforted us all day long.  What better equation could describe our day?

_      God’s  lovingkindness______     —-    the foundation for praise!

undergirded by His faithfulness

Memory Challenge:  You ought to really know Psalm 100 by now!  As you have continued to speak these words in praise to God, you are taking the time to commit them to your life-long memory.  You’ve learned these 5 verses to the extent that they have become part of you.  Praise the Lord!

15* Day Fifteen *

Praise truth #15:  Because God is great, He should be praised greatly.

“O sing unto the Lord a new song; sing unto the Lord all the earth. Sing unto the Lord, bless His name; show forth His salvation from day to day. Declare His glory among the heathen, His wonders among all people. For the Lord is great, and greatly to be praised.”   — Psalm 96:1 – 4a

God is great.  He is greater than we can imagine.  He is worthy of our songs.  He is so great that His name should be blessed.  He is so great that His glory should be declared to those who do not know Him.  He is so great that those who have experienced His salvation should live in such a way that their lives “show forth” from day to day.  (Some days may be easier than others, but the clear implication is a daily testimony of a transformed life!)

God…is…GREAT.  And, in every way that we can, His people should declare His greatness:  verbally, through songs, through our lives, and through praising Him for who He is and for all that He has done.  Praise the Lord greatly today!

Memory Challenge:  You are declaring His greatness by hiding His word in your heart.  You have treasured it enough to learn it.  Speak Psalm 100.

16* Day Sixteen *

Praise truth # 16:  Praise for the Lord is celebrated joyfully with music.

(Note:  He also sings joyfully over us.  See Zephaniah 3:17)

“Make a joyful noise unto the Lord, all the earth; make a loud noise, and rejoice, and sing praise. Sing unto the Lord with a harp, with a harp and the voice of a psalm.”   — Psalm 98:4 & 5

How important is it that we should use music in praising the Lord?  Notice that these 2 verses mention musical praise in several different ways:  a joyful noise, a loud noise, rejoicing, singing praise, singing with a harp, and singing with the voice of a Psalm.  God made us, and He knows that there is something about music that speaks to our hearts like nothing else.   He also knows that music can express deep emotion and help us to remember and to celebrate.  Music can unite our hearts in an expression of team loyalty or holiday wishes or patriotism.  Music can have special meaning within relationships of friends or loved ones.  The combination of poetry and melody can be very powerful as a means of expression.  The highest use of this powerful expressive tool that we call music is to use it in praise to the Lord (genuine, heart-felt praise).  The style of music you prefer does not matter to God.  It’s your heart and the expression of your true praise that He values.  So, make a joyful noise in praise to the Lord.  It’s music to His ears.

Memory Challenge:  Really look at Psalm 100.  What do you see?  Tomorrow, you may see more in these verses than ever before.

17* Day Seventeen * 

Praise truth # 17:  Praise opens the “courts” of intimacy in our relationship with God.

“Make a joyful moise unto the Lord, all ye lands. Serve the Lord with gladness; come before His presence with singing. Know that the Lord is God; it is He that has made us and not we ourselves; we are His people and the sheep of His pasture. Enter into His gates with thanksgiving and into His courts with praise; be thankful unto Him, and bless His name. For the Lord is good: His mercy is everlasting, and his truth endures to all generations.”   — Psalm 100 (all verses, 1 – 5)

I love Psalm 100!  These 5 short verses are a prescription for a life of thanksgiving and praise!  Here we have the “why” of praise.  Why do we praise God?  Because He is good…   Because His mercy is everlasting…   Because His truth endures to all generations…   Because we are His people…   Because He is like a Shepherd to us…   Because the pasture is His (we dwell within His creation)…   Because He is God…   Because He made us…   Because anything we have as far as abilities and gifts came from Him (we didn’t make ourselves)…   Because He allows us to come into His presence…   Because He wants to be in relationship and fellowship with us, so He tells us that thanksgiving and praise are the outer and inner gateways to communion with Him…   Because He wants us to be glad and to be joyful.

Did you see those 12 reasons for praise in the 5 verses of Psalm 100 before?  I have read this Psalm hundreds of times in the 35 years since I became a Christian, but I don’t think I saw all of the reasons for praise until I started looking for them.  Do you see them now?  THAT’S WHY WE PRAISE HIM!   He is great, He is Sovereign, He is personal, He is a loving and caring Shepherd, He claims us as His own, He wants us to know Him, He is a God of truth, He is merciful (FULL of mercy), He is a giver, He is generous (desiring our joy!), He has our best interests at heart, and He is powerful.  He is God

Knowing the 5 verses of Psalm 100 can be a lifelong reminder of the reasons to praise Him.  There’s something else in these verses as well.  We not only have the “why” of praise in Psalm 100.  We also have the “how”.  So, how are we to praise the Lord?

Praise God as the Source of all blessingsWith a joyful noise,

*  with glad hearts as we serve Him,

*  with singing,

*  with the reverent recognition of who He is

*  with thanksgiving,

*  with blessing for His name

*  with knowledge that praise is the password to His presence

*  with the desire to go deeper in seeking and knowing Him

Good medicine!

One other thing to consider about the prescription for praise found in Psalm 100 is the benefits of praise.  Unlike prescriptions for medication, praise has no harmful side effects.  The benefits of praise are spiritual, emotional, mental, and even physical.  Here are 10 of the benefits of praise.

*  Praise focuses our attention on the eternal and causes us to let go of our earthly concerns for a while.

Praise reminds us why we love and trust our great God.  It reminds us who He is.

*  Praise helps us to remember that God’s salvation goes beyond meeting our greatest need (for Jesus as our personal Lord and Savior) to meeting our everyday needs through all of the ways that God shepherds and cares for us and helps us to grow in grace.

*  When we praise the Lord specifically for all that He is and all that He has done, we are confronted  with God’s sovereignty, Jesus’ glory as the only begotten of the Father, and the Holy Spirit’s comfort and guidance.

*  Praise brings peace to our hearts because it reminds us that He is our peace.

*  Praise makes us glad as we remember that He is the joy of every longing heart.

*  Praise gives us eternal perspective and helps us hold on to faith in God, even when things don’t seem to make sense.

Praise allows God to meet us where we are and minister to us at the point of our deepest need.  

*  Praise takes our eyes off of ourselves and focuses them on Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith.

Praise allows us to give something of eternal value to the Giver of all things.  We can give something of eternal value only because God invested Himself in us when He chose to die for us.  He can redeem us through the power of His great love and make us into eternal beings who will see His glory and become worthy of His presence through the shedding of His own blood.  He gives value to our weakest effort.  His strength is perfected in our human weakness.  As we praise Him, we recognize and affirm His infinite worth and supreme glory as the God of all creation.  He, in turn, lifts us up with the knowledge that He cares for us and values our lives, our souls, and even our human efforts to live in such a way that our lives bring Him glory.

With results like that, this prescription for praise should be administered daily!

Memory Challenge:  If you have memorized Psalm 100, continue to say it out loud every day during your private time of worship and praise.  Then, begin learning the 6 short verses of Psalm 150.  Here is a memory verse photo for Psalm 150 to help you learn the passage.  This can be printed or used as a reference when you are learning the verses before or after each day of praise devotion.

NOW,  IT’S  TIME  TO  BEGIN  MEMORIZING  PSALM 150.   HERE  IS  YOUR  MEMORY  HELPER  PHOTO.

Use this Psalm 150 memory photo to help you the 6 verses of Psalm 150 by saying it aloud each day, days 18 through 31. The photo can also be printed in the size that works best for you.  (Photograph of an Oklahoma sunset by Belinda Graham)

Use this Psalm 150 memory photo to help you memorize the 6 verses of Psalm 150 by saying it aloud each day, days 18 through 31. The photo can also be printed in the size that works best for you. (Photograph of an Oklahoma sunset by Belinda Graham)

18* Day Eighteen *

Praise truth # 18:  God was thinking of us long before our generation, longing for us to know His compassion and mercy for us so that we might be set free and be given new hearts of praise.

“Let this be recorded for a generation to come, so that a people yet unborn* may praise the Lord:
That He looked down from His Holy height, from heaven the Lord looked at the earth, To hear the groans of the prisoners, To set free those who were doomed to die: That men may declare in Zion the name of the Lord, and in Jerusalem, His praise; when peoples and kingdoms gather together to worship the Lord.“   — Psalm 102:18 – 22

* (or, “yet to be created” in some translations;  in other words, these truths were recorded for us!)

It is important for every generation to take responsibility for sharing the truth of God’s love and mercy with future generations.  Knowing what God has done and that he is a God who looks upon us with compassion and mercy allows future generations to choose to accept God’s mercy and His invitation to be free from the condemnation and the prison of sin.  People need to know that God has the power and mercy and love and grace needed to transform our lives from the inside out.  He will create within us hearts that long to praise and worship Him… because His goodness to us is so great and His life within us is a beautiful promise of the eternal life to come.  People need to know.

Memory Challenge:  Praise God today with the words of Psalm 150.

19* Day Nineteen *

Praise truth # 19:  It is impossible to reach the limit for praise.  There is no limit.

“Praise ye the Lord; O give thanks unto the Lord, for He is good; for His mercy endures forever. Who can utter the mighty acts of the Lord? Who can show forth all His praise?”   — Psalm 106:1 & 2

Who, indeed, can utter the mighty acts of the Lord?  He is constantly acting on our behalf in ways that we don’t even know.  There is no way for us to speak praises for all that God has done because He is constantly doing more.  There is no end to His goodness and mercy, and there is no end to praise.  Though our praises may be incomplete, they are sweet gifts to our Lord.  So, praise ye the Lord!  Keep giving him thanks and showing forth His praise.  He’ll be showing us His love and mercy for all of eternity, and we will respond with praise.  Why wait?  Praise Him right now!

Memory Challenge:  Today, read Psalm 150 aloud twice as you praise the Lord.

20* Day Twenty *

Praise truth # 20:  We fail to praise God as often as we should and as publically as we should.

“Oh, that men would praise the Lord for His goodness, and for his wonderful works to the children of men!  Let them exalt Him also in the congregation of the people, and praise Him in the assembly of the elders.”   — Psalm 107:31 & 32

These verses are a lament and a plea for praise.  Here’s a paraphrase:  “Oh, wouldn’t it be wonderful if we would praise the Lord for His goodness and for His care (wonderful works!) in our lives!”  How would our perspective change?  How would the hearts of others be affected?  How would God use our praises to draw others to Himself.  Jesus said, “And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me.”  (John 12:32)  How much would our praises free the Lord to act in our lives and in the lives of others?  Let’s find out, people!  Let’s exalt (hold in high regard, elevate, raise, glorify, praise, honor) Him in the congregation!  Let’s praise Him anytime that we assemble to worship, to fellowship, or to serve Him in any way.

Memory Challenge:  Have some fun with praise!  As you speak the words of Psalm 150, beat a rhythm on a makeshift cymbal.  A pot lid and wooden spoon will do just fine.  Hold the pot lid by it’s handle and have some sounding cymbals to accompany the words of the Psalm.  If you have children, get them involved, too.  Give them each a line to say and something to make noise with as they speak their line (to the rhythm of the words, though…not with such wild abandon that they can’t even hear the words).  Everytime you do this, you add to your memory (and theirs).

21* Day Twenty One * 

Praise truth #21:  Living an intentional life of praise takes a steadfast heart.

“My heart is steadfast, O God, my heart is steadfast! I will sing and make melody!  Awake, my soul! Awake, O harp and lyre!  I will awaken the dawn!  I will give thanks to You, O Lord, among the peoples, I will sing praises to You among the nations.  For Your steadfast love is great above the heavens,  Your faithfulness reaches to the clouds.  Be exalted, O God, above the heavens!  Let Your glory be over all the earth.”   — Psalm 108:1 – 5

Notice that the word “steadfast is used three times in these 5 verses.  The first two times, the Psalmist is referring to his own heart commitment to God.  The second time, the Psalmist refers to the steadfast love of God himself.  Notice also that even though the Psalmist has stated his clear intentions to live a life characterized by steadfastness and praise, the actions that follow his commitment are not always easy.  He tells his soul to wake up!  He wants to awaken his instruments of praise.  Then, the Psalmist reminds himself why it is so important to continue singing praises among the peoples and among the nations:  He is secure in the steadfast love of God.  His own resolve may waver, but he knows that God’s love for him is unwavering.  When he remembers God’s love and faithfulness, the Psalmist is ready to exalt and praise the Lord.  He is ready to see God’s glory spread over all the earth.  He wants other people to be secure in the love of God, too.  Praise God today for his steadfast love and far reaching faithfulness, which are greater than all of the incredible expanse of space and time and heavenly realms of which we are now aware and greater still than that which we will only know in eternity.

Memory Challenge:  Speak the words of Psalm 150 without looking, and see how much you have already learned.  Read the part that you haven’t learned yet at least twice.  Praise the Lord!

22* Day Twenty Two *

Praise truth # 22:  Thanks and praise always seem to go hand in hand.

“With my mouth I will give great thanks to the Lord; I will praise Him in the midst of the throng.”   — Psalm 109:30

Praise  Stand every morning to thank and praiseThe Psalmists repeatedly talk about thankfulness and praise together.  Usually, thankfulness is mentioned first.  When we begin to count our blessings and say thank you to the Giver of them all, the next step is naturally going to be praise to God as the Source of all blessings.  Because God is good and because, as Jesus said, God loves to give good gifts (Matthew 7:11), we have much to be thankful for and plenty of reasons to praise God (in the midst of the throng and anywhere else we may happen to be).  Enter His gates with thanksgiving and His courts with praise today, as you worship the Giver and Source of all blessings.

Memory Challenge:  Praise God with the words of both Psalm 100 and Psalm 150 today.

23* Day Twenty Three *

Praise truth # 23:  As we grow in our Christian life, we begin to discover that we no longer think of praise in terms of an obligation.  It is pure privelege.

“Praise the Lord. I will give thanks to the Lord with my whole heart, in the company of the upright, in the congregation.”   — Psalm 111:1

The Psalmist knows that praising God is not just something that we do.  Praise flows out of who we are becoming.  Notice that the congregation is referred to as “the company of the upright”.  Because God is at work in the hearts and lives of His people, transforming us from the inside out into a reflection of God’s own righteousness and making us more like Jesus, the Psalmist expresses his praise as an outflow of what is in his own heart.  The Psalmist’s gratitude for God’s salvation and his knowledge that God is good and that He is at work for our good produces a whole-hearted response of praise.  What does that mean for today?  Because we have been deeply and infinitely loved by God, because He has provided a way of salvation, and because our hearts are becoming more and more aware of God’s mercy and His transforming power, we have the privelege of expressing our love and gratitude to Him through praise.  Praise the Lord!

Memory Challenge:  Praise God with the words of Psalm 100 and Psalm 150, and then praise Him for everything else that comes to mind.

24* Day Twenty Four *

Praise truth # 24:  Genuine praise flows from a heart that knows and fears the Lord and takes delight in knowing and obeying God’s word.

“Praise the Lord. Blessed is the man who fears the Lord, who greatly delights in His commandments!”   — Psalm 112:1

Do you remember the hymn, “Trust and Obey”?  Here are some lyrics (by James H. Sammis) from that great testimony of faith:

“When we walk with the Lord, in the light of His word,

What a glory He sheds on our way.

While we do His good will, He abides with us still;

And with all who will trust and obey.

(Refrain)

Trust and obey, for there’s no other way to be happy in Jesus…

but to trust and obey.”

We do not have to be perfect in order to genuinely praise the Lord, but we need to be in the process of becoming more like Christ through walking in fellowship with the Lord.  Blessing comes from walking with Him, and then thanksgiving and praise naturally follow.

Memory Challenge:  Praise the Lord with the words of Psalm 100.  What gives us the confidence to trust Him and obey?  “For the Lord is good: His mercy is everlasting, and his truth endures to all generations.”

Praise the Lord with the words of Psalm 150.  What reflects His glory?  His mighty deeds, His excellent greatness.

* Day Twenty Five *

25Praise truth # 25:  Intentional and heartfelt praise should characterize our daily lives from sunrise to sunset.

“Praise the Lord! Praise, O servants of the Lord, praise the name of the Lord! Blessed be the name of the Lord from this time forth and forever more! From the rising of the sun to its setting, the name of the Lord is to be praised! The Lord is high above all nations, and His glory is above the heavens.”   — Psalm 113:1 – 4

The servants of the Lord should live in an attitude of worship (intentionally giving glory to God in all of life) that creates a constant awareness of all that God has done and who He is.  In these 4 verses, the Psalmist mentions several characteristics of God.  His name is blessed, he is high above all nations, and His glory is above the heavens.  God is held in supreme regard because He is supreme over all.  Because of who He is (His character, His person) and because of who He is to us (Father, Creator, Savior, Redeemer, Shepherd,…), we praise Him at the beginning of each day and all the way through until the end.

Memory Challenge:  Try to say the words of Psalm 150 without looking.  If the Psalm is not yet memorized, take some time to work on that, visualizing the instruments and forms of praise that are mentioned (as an aid to memory).  If you can already quote Psalm 150, praise God with the words of Psalm 100 as well.

26* Day Twenty Six *

Praise truth # 26:  The best time to praise the Lord is:  every moment that you can!

“Praise the Lord! Praise the Lord, O my soul! I will praise the Lord as long as I live; I will sing praises to my God while I have being.”   – Psalm 146:1 & 2

Again we see that the Psalmist speaks of praise in terms of the depth of his being (O my soul).  His praise is whole-hearted and soul deep.  The Psalmist intentionally expresses his praise to the Lord every day, and he is determined to continue to do so for the rest of his life.  He commits himself to praise.  He sings the praises of the Lord with the very breath that God has given.  He has decided to live a life of praise as long as God allows him to live on the earth, and he makes no mention of circumstance.  He does not say that he will praise the Lord only on the good days or when things go his way.  He does not say that he will praise God while he is feeling good.  He says that he will choose to praise God as long as he is alive.  Sometimes, we don’t feel well; and sometimes life is tough.  Still, we can choose, as the Psalmist did, to be alive in Christ and alive in praise….as long as we have being.

Memory Challenge:  Look once again at both Psalm 100 and Psalm 150 in print.  Notice all of the truths about God and his deeds that are praiseworthy.  Praise Him for all of these things.

27Praise   Lets just praise the Lord* Day Twenty Seven *

Praise truth # 27:  A song of praise is pleasing to God.

“Praise the Lord! For it is good to sing praises to our God; for He is gracious, and a song of praise is comely.”   — Psalm 147:1

The Psalmist uses the word “comely” in describing a song of praise.  The definitions that I found for this word were:  pleasing, attractive, appropriate, and suitable.  Certainly it is appropriate and suitable to praise our God.  He is worthy of praise.  But singing praise goes beyond appropriate.  I believe that it is pleasing to God.  The phrase “sing praise” is found 129 times in the Bible, and “sing praises” is found 104 times.  I will say it again.  I believe that it is pleasing to God when we sing praises to Him.  Singing praises would be good (pleasing), as this scripture says, for that reason alone.  However, there are other benefits as well.  Singing praises to God can encourage and strengthen us.  Singing praises to God causes us to focus on Him rather than on problems.  Singing praises to God brings us into His presence.  Singing praises unites the hearts of a congregation in one common focus (the Lord) and intention (bringing Him glory).  So, why should we sing praises to our God?   Because He is gracious, as the verse says; because it is pleasing to God, and because singing praises strengthens, encourages, and unites us as a congregation. with Christ in our midst as we gather in His name.  It is good to sing praises to our God!

Note:  “The adjective “gracious” is applied in the Old Testament to Yahweh, as indicative of His favor and mercy, His long-suffering and ageneral inclination of favor, compassion, and kindness.”  (Bible dictionary definition by Walter G. Clippinger at this link:  http://classic.net.bible.org/dictionary.php?word=Gracious )

Memory Challenge:  Try something new with the verses of Psalm 100 and Psalm 150.  Reading from the text, alternate saying one verse of each Psalm in the manner shown below.  You may want to have a family member or friend read the verses of one Psalm while you read the other, alternating like this:

(Psalm 150, verse one)  – “Praise the Lord! Praise God in His sanctuary; praise Him for His mighty deeds; praise Him in His mighty firmament!”

(Psalm 100, verse one)  – “Make a joyful moise unto the Lord, all ye lands.

(Psalm 150, verse two)  – “Praise Him according to His excellent greatness!”

(Psalm 100, verse two)  – “Serve the Lord with gladness; come before His presence with singing.”

(Psalm 150 verse three)  – “Praise Him with trumpet sound; praise Him with lute and harp!”

(Psalm 100, verse three)  – “Know that the Lord is God; it is He that has made us and not we ourselves; we are His people and the sheep of His pasture.

(Psalm 150, verse four)  –  “Praise Him with timbrel and dance;  Praise Him with strings and pipe!”

(Psalm 100, verse four)  –  “Enter into His gates with thanksgiving and into His courts with praise; be thankful unto Him, and bless His name.”

(Psalm 150, verse five)  – “Praise Him with sounding cymbals; praise Him with loud clashing cymbals!”

(Psalm 100, verse five)  – “For the Lord is good: His mercy is everlasting, and his truth endures to all generations.”

(Psalm 150, verse six)  – “Let everything that breathes praise the Lord! Praise the Lord!”

Note:  Now that you have read the Psalms in the intermingled form, recite them both separately so that they don’t get mixed up in your memory.

28* Day Twenty Eight *

Praise truth # 28:  A new song of praise can give us a fresh revelation of who God is and how much He loves us.

“Praise the Lord! Sing to the Lord a new song, His praise in the assembly of the faithful!”   — Psalm 149:1

As the wife of a songwriter and someone who has occasionally been given a melody and some words of praise, I am very aware of one way that writng a Christian song of praise differs from writing any other kind of song.  It is very apparent to me that the writing of a song of praise to God flows out of our relationship to God and what we are learning in fellowship with him,   In other words, a song often comes when there has been a new revelation of truth or a new perspective that we have seen concerning a truth that we already knew.  As long as God is active within the hearts and lives of His people, new songs of praise will continue to be written.  Any time that you hear a new song, remember that it is a result of God seeking fellowship with man and His desire to reveal Himself to us.  Now that is another reason to praise Him!  Sing a new song in the assembly of the faithful, and declare His praise with the breath of a fresh revelation of His love for you!

Memory Challenge:  If you haven’t yet shared Psalm 100 and Psalm 150 with a friend or family member, do that through recitation, e-mail, or a note to encourage someone with God’s faithfulness (Especially with the message of Psalm 100).

29* Day Twenty Nine *

Praise truth # 29:  “Praise the Lord!”  is not a suggestion.  It is a command.

The message of Psalm 150:  Praise the Lord!

“Praise the Lord! Praise God in His sanctuary; praise Him in His mighty firmament; praise Him for His mighty deeds!  Praise Him according to His excellent greatness!  Praise Him with trumpet sound; praise Him with lute and harp!  Praise Him with timbrel and dance; praise Him with strings and pipe!  Praise Him with sounding cymbals; praise Him with loud clashing cymbals! Let everything that breathes praise the Lord! Praise the Lord!”   — Psalm 150:1 – 6  (all verses)

Ten times in the six verses that make up Psalm 150, we are told to “praise God”, “praise Him”, or “praise the Lord”.

The “why” of praise that is mentioned here (for His mighty deeds) is certainly reason enough to praise God with all that we are.

We are told how to praise Him:  “according to His excellent greatness” and with all of the instruments and the implied exuberance that are mentioned in the Psalm.

We are told where to praise Him:  “in His sanctuary” and “in His mighty firmament”.

The two locations that are mentioned for praise to God are interesing because I believe that these locations represent the dwelling place of God.  When it comes to our own praise, the physical location for our praise could certainly be inside a house or center of worship  (church), which would correspond to one interpretation of  the word “sanctuary”.  The playing of all of the instruments mentioned here may also indicate that the Psalmist is talking about praising God in a corporate worship time, which we certainly need to do as well.  However, since God is everywhere and is, at the same time, on His throne, the location of His presence is a rather mysterious concept.   Most importantly, our praises should be genuine and thereby reach the heart of God no matter where we are.

Whether you are in a workplace, your home, in a public gathering place, or in a place of worship, your genuine praise glorifies the Lord.  His presence is with you in that place, and His presence also fills the mighty firmament.  God can remain on His throne while also fulfilling His promise to be in our midst any time that we gather in His name.  The heart of our praise is always most important and matters much more than our physical location or our understanding of where God is.  Like a parent who is pleased when His child expresses appreciation for parental love and care, God is pleased when we praise Him more for what our genuine praise says about who we are becoming than for any other reason.  When our understanding of God’s loving heart allows us to genuinely praise Him, we become more like Christ, whose most important task was to bring glory to God through fulfilling the divine purpose for His earthly life.

4  “I glorified You on the earth, having accomplished the work which You have given Me to do. 5  “Now, Father, glorify Me together with Yourself, with the glory which I had with You before the world was.”  – John 17:4-5

The Psalmist also speaks of playing instruments and even dancing for joy as well.  If there are instruments that you can play in genuine praise, do so.  My husband often plays guitar and sings praise songs in our home.  Others may want to sit at the piano and play a hymn or sing along with Christian radio in their car or with a CD at home.  Whether an individual is praising the Lord in any location or whether we are meeting together for the purpose of corporate worship and praise, we obviously are supposed to praise God with enthusiasm.  We should not be more excited about a win by our favorite team than we are by thinking about God’s power and mercy and grace and patience (long-suffering) and His infinite love, so freely given.  So, praise Him with joy and abandon (even dancing with joy!… you know, your happy dance!).  Praise him with your whole heart and being.  Make some noise!  Praise Him because He is great and because He does great things.  Praise Him in congregational worship and family worship and private worship.  As long as you are breathing, praise the Lord!

Memory Challenge:  How are you doing on memorizing Psalm 150?  Are you still saying both Psalm 100 and Psalm 150 every day?  Put in a little extra time, and make sure that you have both Psalms (all 11 verses) memorized by the end of the month.  You can do it!  When you have them memorized, begin working on Psalm 100 in your family worship times so that your children can learn it, too!

30* Day Thirty *

Praise truth # 30:  Praise is happening all around the world at all times!

“They lift up their voices, they sing for joy; over the majesty of the Lord they shout from the west. Therefore in the east give glory to the Lord: in the coastlands of the sea, to the name of the Lord, the God of Israel. From the ends of the earth we hear songs of praise, of glory to the Righteous One.”   — Isaiah 24:14 – 16a\

Do you hear it?  The praises of the saints are being sung and shouted and expressed by people all over the world who love the Lord and have experienced His salvation.  They are lifting up their voices, singing for joy, and shouting over God’s majesty,  Our awareness of this worldwide symphony of praise in countless languages comes with a condition.  “Therefore”… our response should be…to “give glory to the Lord, to the name of the Lord”.  Join in the song of Heaven’s choirs.  Join with the voices of people all over the world, from the ends of the earth.  Sing songs of praise and of glory to the Righteous One.  Praise Him for His majesty today.  Praise Him for the people He has redeemed.  Praise Him for his goodness.  Praise the Righteous One.  Praise the Lord!

Memory Challenge:  Recite Psalm 100 and Psalm 150 as you praise the Lord today.  Think about what your praise Psalm would say if you were to write a personal prescription for praise for yourself or for your family.

My family’s praise Psalm might go something like this:

“Praise the Lord!  Praise Him wherever you are.

Praise God when you get up in the morning to get ready for the day.

Praise Him when you go to school or when you run to play.

Praise God when you are with your brothers and when you are alone.

Praise God at church; Praise God at home.

Think of God and praise him all day long.

Praise Him with a thank you song.

Praise God when it is time for slumber;

Count your blessings…what a number!

Praise the Lord!  Praise Him everywhere you go,

Praise Him for all of the love that you know.

For our God is so good.

His promises are true.

His love lasts forever.  His mercies are new.

Praise Him with your family.

Praise Him with your friends.

His love lasts forever.  His grace never ends.

Praise the Lord!”

(Your Praise Psalm doesn’t have to be poetic.  Mine just came out that way.  Just make sure that it reflects your personal opportunities to Praise the Lord, some reasons to praise Him, and your intention to do just that.)

31* Day Thirty One *

Praise truth # 31:  When we praise the Lord for what He has done, we are also praising Him for His promises and plans that are yet to be fulfilled on earth, knowing that they are already settled in Heaven.

“O Lord, You are my God; I will exalt You, I will praise Your name; for You have done wonderful things, plans formed of old, faithful and true.”   — Isaiah 2

It is such an incredible privelege to know the God of all creation.  He is our God.  He has given Himself to us in the person of Jesus and in His Word and His promises, which will all be fulfilled.  He has given Himself for us as Christ emptied Himself of His majesty to come to earth as a baby and live a sinless life, finally laying down His life as a sacrifice for the sins of all.  He continues to give all that He is through the indwelling of His Holy Spirit in our hearts and through the fulfillment of every promise of and plan of old, faithful and true.  Unchanging in His love for us, He has continued to do wonderful things in the world and in our hearts and lives.  The scope of His care for us and for all of creation will be fully revealed when we see all of those plans and promises fulfilled.  In Christ, all of the promises of God are already “yes”and “amen” (2nd Corinthians 1:20).   The resurrection of Christ is the guarantee of fulfillment for every promise of God.  Only when we see all of God’s promises fulsilled will we fully know all of the “wonderful things” for which we praise God even now.  We praise Him for the past, for the present moment, and for the certain promise of an eternal life that is beyond human imagination.  He holds all of time in His hands, just as He holds you and me.  Exalt Him, and praise His name!

“For as many as are the promises of God, they all find their Yes in Him [Christ]. For this reason we also utter the Amen (so be it) to God through Him [in His Person and by His agency] to the glory of God.”  – 2nd Corinthians 1:20, Amplified Bible

Memory Challenge:  Praise the Lord with the words of Psalm 100 and Psalm 150.  Praise the Lord!

Note from the author of the 31 devotions:  Bless you for your commitment to praise!  I hope you have a clearer picture of how much you are loved and of how much our love and praise, returned to God, means to Him.  Continue in praise from day to day.  The Lord will bless your commitment to Him and meet you there.

Praise   sing praises bird header

PRAISE  AND  AMEN… let it be so!

“Blessed be the Lord God of Israel from everlasting to everlasting; and let all the people say, “Amen.”  Praise the Lord!”   — Psalm 106:48

Thank you for your faithfulness in choosing to worship the Lord and seek Him through these 31 days of praise.  Let praise continue!

“Through Jesus, therefore, let us continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise—the fruit of lips that openly profess his name.”   – Hebrews 13:15

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The devotions for “31 Days of Praise” were written by Cynthia A. Boyd

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Note:  You can use these praise scriptures and devotions as part of your personal worship at any time.  The devotions were completed in time for use in October of 2013, but they can be used in any month.  Just double up a couple of devotions in the shorter months.  Make every month a month of praise!

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You can also use any of our other resources for praise, thanksgiving, and worship.  God bless you!  Praise the Lord!

*  Our “30 Thankful Verses” post has 30 days of brief devotions based upon 30 scriptures about giving thanks.

30 Thankful Verses

*  Our “Lift Your Voice” page has an extensive collection of worship scriptures from both the Old and New Testaments, in chronological order.

https://worshipsounds.wordpress.com/lift-your-voice/

*  Our “Old Testament Worship Scriptures” post contains the same worship scriptures for the Old Testament found in “Lift Your Voice”.  (We added them as a post also so that we could tag the post and make it easier for people to locate these resources.

Old Testament Worship Scriptures

*  Our “New Testament Worship Scriptures” post contains the same worship scriptures for the New Testament found in “Lift Your Voice”.

New Testament Worship Scriptures

One benefit to having the New Testament scriptures posted by themselves is that there is no need to scroll through all of the Old Testament worship scriptures to get to them.  In addition, we posted these scriptures as separate pages so that we could tag them and make it easier for people to find these separate resources in their search results.

*  Our “WORSHIP…with wonder!”  category of posts

https://worshipsounds.wordpress.com/category/worship-with-wonder/

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This post, including the devotions for each day of praise, was written by Cynthia A. Boyd

The daily devotions can be reprinted (one at a time) in your weekly worship e-mail to team members if the author’s name and blog URL are included.  The entire post may not be published or reprinted without permission.

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Do you know someone who is looking for answers?

Thank you for spending your valuable time reading the contents of this page.  We hope that it has been helpful to you.   If you or someone that you know is looking for answers about life, we hope that you will visit our page called “Do You Know Jesus?”.   The links provided on this page will help to answer life’s deepest questions.   Here is the link to “Do You Know Jesus?”:  http://www.worshipsounds.wordpress.com/do-you-know-jesus/

Please feel free to share this URL with anyone who is looking for answers about life and eternity.

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The Choir in Praise

 Sing praise to the Lord  sunrise“Sing praises to the Lord, O you His saints, and give thanks to His holy name.”   Psalm 30:4

As Choir members (soloists, vocalists in ensembles or Praise Teams), we are in a position of leadership in Worship Ministry every time that we are in the loft or on the platform. 

Sing praises with understandingWe need to have a clear understanding of praise and worship in order to both personally worship the Lord and to lead others in worship.  First, we must understand the difference between praise and worship.

Consider this fact:  the Bible speaks about praise and worship in distinctive ways, sometimes using both words in the same passage of scripture.

*  “O Lord, open Thou my lips, and my mouth shall show forth Thy praise.”   Psalm 51:15

*  “Make a joyful noise to God, all the earth; sing the glory of His name; give to Him glorious praise!”   Psalm 66:1

I will sing praise*  “I will praise the name of God with a song; I will magnify Him with thanksgiving.”   Psalm 69:30

*  “Praise ye the Lord; O give thanks unto the Lord, for He is good; for His mercy endures forever.  Who can utter the mighty acts of the Lord?  Who can show forth all His praise?”   Psalm 106:1 & 2

In the verses above, certain facts about praise begin to emerge.

1.  Praise is outward.  It is sung or spoken; it is uttered; it is shown forth.

2.  Praise focuses on the attributes of God and what He has done.

3.  Praise is obviously important, for we are told repeatedly to do it.

Now, lets look at some verses that talk about worship.

*  “Honor and majesty are before Him, strength and beauty are in His sanctuary.  Give unto the Lord, O ye kindreds of the people, give unto the Lord glory and strength.  Give unto the Lord the glory due unto His name; bring an offering, and come into His courts.  O worship the Lord in the beauty of Holiness; fear before Him, all the earth.”‘   Psalm 96:6 – 9

*  (Jesus speaking)  “The hour is coming, and now is, when true worshippers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father seeks such people to worship Him.  God is spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.”  John 4:23 & 24

Worship the Lord with gladness*  “I appeal to you therfore, brethren, by the mercies of God , to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship.”  Romans 12:1

*  “Therefore let us be grateful for receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, and thus let us offer to God acceptable worship, with reverence and awe; for our God is a consuming fire.”  Hebrews 12:28

From these scriptures, we see several truths about worship.

1.  Worship is our response to who God is and what He has done, as we lovingly and reverently choose to acknowledge God’s supremacy over all of Creation and his ultimate worth as Creator, Sustainer, Savior, Comforter, and the Author and Finisher of our faith.

2.  Worship must be done in honesty, knowing that God sees our hearts.  We worship Him truthfully as we come to Him in a spirit of humility and acknowledge our own faults and even our struggles with faith and doubt.  Truthful worship honors God because we are trusting our weaknesses to Him, knowing that He is good.

Worship by giving God all of you3.  Worship that is acceptable and holy to God involves a commitment of all our our lives, choosing to live in a way that honors God and give Him glory.  He has sacrificed His all for us; and we, in turn, become living sacrifices to Him as we commit ourselves to living reverently.  Notice that the physical (presenting of our bodies and our lives as an offering to the Lord) becomes spiritual (our spiritual worship) as we respond to God’s mercies by lovingly giving ourselves.

4.  No matter what has happened in our lives, true worship involves choosing gratitude to God as we recognize that what is temporary is only part of reality.   We look forward in faith, with the assurance that the eternal reality we will someday experience in full will replace all sorrow and pain with joy and the complete knowledge of how much we are loved.

With the fundamental understanding that praise is choosing to express our acknowledgement of who God is and what He has done and that worship is our loving and reverent response to God’s goodness and love in every area of our lives, let us continue to focus on the role of God’s singers in praise and worship.  Although we are always concerned with musical excellence, that concern is secondary to the intentional commitment of our voices in praise and our hearts and lives in worship.

“As a worship pastor and a choir leader, I am constantly desiring to walk the line where authenticity and excellence meet, ministering deeply to the hearts of people, and, more importantly to the heart of God.”

–  Travis Cottrell, Christian Artist, worship pastor, songwriter

Let’s look at a Psalm that puts our lives and God’s supremacy into perspective.

Psalm 103

English Standard Version (ESV)

Bless the Lord, O My Soul

A Psalm of David.

Bless the Lord O my soul103 Bless the Lord, O my soul; and all that is within me,  bless his holy name!  2 Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits;  3   who forgives all your iniquity,  who heals all your diseases, 4 who redeems your life from the pit,  who crowns you with steadfast love and mercy, 5 who satisfies you with good so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.

6 The Lord works righteousness and justice for all who are oppressed. 7 He made known His ways to Moses, His acts to the people of Israel. 8 The Lord is merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love. 9 He will not always chide, nor will he keep his anger forever. 10 He does not deal with us according to our sins, nor repay us according to our iniquities. 11 For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his steadfast love toward those who fear him; 12 as far as the east is from the west, so far does he remove our transgressions from us. 13 As a father shows compassion to his children, so the Lord shows compassion to those who fear Him. 14 For He knows our frame;  He remembers that we are dust.

15 As for man, his days are like grass;  he flourishes like a flower of the field; 16 for the wind passes over it, and it is gone,  and its place knows it no more. 17 But the steadfast love of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting on those who fear him, and his righteousness to children’s children, 18 to those who keep his covenant and remember to do his commandments. 19 The Lord has established his throne in the heavens, and his kingdom rules over all.

20 Bless the Lord, O you his angels, you mighty ones who do his word, obeying the voice of his word! 21 Bless the Lord, all his hosts, his ministers, who do his will! 22 Bless the Lord, all his works, in all places of his dominion. Bless the Lord, O my soul!

So, WHY DO WE PRAISE THE LORD?

I sing praise to You1) Because the very greatness of God demands it.

2) Because we have been very blessed.

3) Because it helps us to focus on God and not on ourselves.

4) Because praise helps to prepare our hearts for God to do a work in them.

WHY DO WE SING PRAISES TO GOD AS A CHOIR?

1) Because it is Biblical.

2) Because it is a powerful way to express praise to God

3) Because it adds energy and life to the times of focused, congregational worship

4) Because a choir is able to prepare expressions of praise that a congregation can not.

WHAT ARE SOME THINGS WE MUST ALWAYS REMEMBER WHEN SINGING IN CHOIR?

1)  We are a singing group, not a group of singers.  We are joining our voices together in praise, with the ultimate goal of bringing glory to God.

What a difference!  This choir is aware that part of communicating the message effectively is eye contact and facial expression.  They are visually engaged in worship when they sing.

This choir is aware that part of communicating the message effectively is eye contact and facial expression. They are visually engaged in worship when they sing.

2)  We must do all we can do to help further an atmosphere conducive to leading God’s people in worship each week.

a. We must have invested the time to be prepared (musically and spiritually).

b. We must be ready to serve the Lord through worship ministry, bringing a servant’s attitude.

c. Our countenance (facial expression and radiance) should be a reflection of worship and praise as well.

d. We must be authentic worshippers who seek to live a lifestyle of worship throughout the week.

3)  The reason that we have come together is not to sing.  It is to worship.  Singing is a part of our worship as we seek to bring glory to God and to express our praise to Him, but the heart of worship is our desire to intentionally express God’s ultimate worth through all that we are.

WORSHIP SCRIPTURES

“But I, through the abundance of Your steadfast love, will enter Your house, I will worship toward Your holy temple in reverence, and awe of You.”  Psalm 5:7

“Exalt the Lord our God, and worship at His footstool; for He is Holy.”   Psalm 99:5

beauty of holiness“Honor and majesty are before Him, strength and beauty are in His sanctuary.  Give unto the Lord, O ye kindreds of the people, give unto the Lord glory and strength.  Give unto the Lord the glory due unto His name; bring an offering, and come into His courts.  O worship the Lord in the beauty of Holiness; fear before Him, all the earth.”‘   Psalm 96:6 – 9

“And Jesus answered him, ‘It is written, you shall worship the Lord your God, and Him only shall you serve.”‘  Luke 4:7

(Jesus speaking)  “The hour is coming, and now is, when true worshippers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father seeks such people to worship Him.  God is spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.”  John 4:23 & 24

“I appeal to you therfore, brethren, by the mercies of God , to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship.”  Romans 12:1

“Therefore let us be grateful for receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, and thus let us offer to God acceptable worship, with reverence and awe; for our God is a consuming fire.”  Hebrews 12:28

“And they sing the song of Moses, the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb, saying, ‘Great and wonderful are Thy deeds, O Lord God the Almighty!  Just and true are Thy ways, O King of the ages!  Who shall not fear and glorify Thy name, O Lord?  For Thou alone art Holy.  All nations shall come and worship Thee, for Thy judgements have been revealed.”  Revelation 15:3 & 4

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The above post includes teaching about worship and praise shared with our Adult Choir by Travis L. Boyd

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FOR FURTHER STUDY ON WORSHIP AND PRAISE

(Below, you will find information about praise and worship from a leadership course about what it means to praise God and what it means to worship God.  The information has been slightly and condensed and edited.)   The web address for the resource found below is http://leresources.com/praise_and_worship.html

Praise and worship are distinct, yet closely related activities. 

A.  Praise is an outward expression of your love for God.  It is a natural and very important part of worship, which is our loving response to the presence of God in our lives.

1.   Praise is a choice.  You can choose to express your love for God at any time, and in any situation.  You can praise Him for who He is, for what He has done, and for what He has promised to do.

2.   Your praise can be addressed directly to God, but it is often directed to others around us, proclaiming His greatness and encouraging others to praise Him.  Praise can even be directed to the spiritual forces in the heavenlies, proclaiming the greatness of the true God.

3.  Though God certainly knows when we are in an attitude of praise and hears the praises of our hearts, we must remember that, by definition, praise must be expressed.  If you have thought about something nice regarding someone you know but have not expressed those thoughts verbally, you have not praised him or her.  Within gatherings such as the congregation and within relationships, praise is expressed by voicing our love and admiration, often specifically mentioning the attributes or actions of the person being praised.  Praise can be written, spoken or sung; but it must be expressed.

4.  When you praise God, He will respond by manifesting His presence to you.  When you experience God’s presence, you are able to respond directly to Him, and tell Him how much you love Him.  That response is called worship.  In worship, you experience intimacy with God, and express your adoration to Him.

B.   Praise is the gateway through which we must pass to enter into the presence of God and worship Him. 

1.  Praise and worship are the activities of heaven and are also very important for the Body of Christ on Earth.

2.  If you do not learn to praise God as He wants to be praised, you will fail to experience His presence, and your worship will be lacking.

3.  You were created to praise and worship God.  (See Romans 12:1)  When you give yourself to the activity of praise and worship, you are fulfilling the purpose for which you are made.  Because of this, the praise and worship of God brings a fulfillment and satisfaction that nothing else in the universe can bring.             

C.  It pleases God when we praise Him.

1.   The Psalms tell us that God comes and manifests His presence in our midst when we praise Him. He inhabits the praises of His people!

2.   The importance that God places on praise is revealed by the frequency of scriptural exhortations about it.  The most frequent exhortation in all of the Bible is to PRAISE THE LORD!  (It is also interesting to note that the longest book in the Bible is the book of Psalms — a book of praise songs!)

D.  It is important to God how you praise and worship Him. 

1.  The example of the tabernacle of Moses in the Old Testament shows us that God has the right to be praised and worshipped as HE desires.  When the people chose to disregard His instructions and follow their own ideas and traditions, He was displeased!

2.   If we are to praise and worship God, we must look to His Word to understand how He desires to be praised and worshipped.  We must allow God to instruct us about how we are to offer up our praise and commit to doing so!

What is Praise?

A    Remember the definition of praise:  Biblical praise is the free expression of love and appreciation to God.

1.    It is important that you love God.  Jesus said that the greatest commandment is that you love the Lord your God.  It is also important, however, for that love to be expressed outwardly.

2 .   A husband and wife may love each other; but if that love is never expressed, if there are no loving words or actions exchanged, their relationship is not good.  A general principle is:  When love is not expressed, it shrivels up and dies.  When love is expressed, it grows.

3.    It is important for your love of God to be expressed outwardly.  That outward expression of your love for Him is PRAISE.

B.  How can we express our love for God in a way that pleases Him?

“You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength.” — Mk 12:30

1.  We must open our hearts to God and not attempt to withhold any part of our lives and hearts from Him.  He knows all about us, anyway.

2.  Because we are emotional beings, we must not suppress genuine emotion in expressing our praise.

3.  Praise must come from our innermost being (our soul), which involves choosing to surrender our will.  The decision to praise is a decision of the will.

4.  Even though we are emotional beings, our decision to praise the Lord must not be based upon feelings or circumstances.  In the Psalms, we can see that David spoke to his soul even in the midst of despair and commanded it, “Praise the Lord, O my soul!”   David made a decision, an act of the will, that he would praise the Lord even if he did not feel like it.  Psalm 146 says, “I will praise the Lord all my life, I will sing praise to Him as long as I live!”  That is a choice!  Very often, the times when we do not feel like praising are the very times we need to praise God most.  We need to decide to praise Him because He is worthy of praise, even when we do not feel like it!  When we make that choice, we are expressing love for God from our very souls.

5.   Our minds must be fixed upon God, and our praise must be more than simple repetition.  This involves our intellect.  This is important!  Some people express praise to God that has no meaning.  They just say, over and over, “Praise the Lord.  Praise the Lord.”  God wants your love to be expressed with your minds.  To praise God deeply, you need to express a real understanding of who God is.

4    Our strength is also to be employed in expressing our love for God through praise.  Praise involves physical activity.  The Bible talks of David “praising God with all of his might.” (2 Sam 6:14).  That is expressing love with your strength.

C.   Why is Praise Important?

Eph 1:6,12,14 and 1 Pet 2:9 state that one of God’s purposes for saving us is to be a people who would show forth His praises in the earth.

1.  Praise aligns our hearts to God. 

2.  Praise opens our hearts to receive from Him.

3.  Praise clears away distractions.  Only when we choose to focus on praising the Lord can we clear our minds of other concerns.

4.  Praise builds faith.  As we choose to focus on praising God rather than upon our problems, faith rises within us.

5.  Praise brings His presence.  When we truly praise God, His presence is manifested in your midst, often in a very tangible way.  We know that God is present everywhere, at all times and that there is nothing that is out of His control (His omipresence).  We also know that, for every person who is a true believer in Jesus Christ, God lives within that individual in a special way.  (When you trusted in Jesus as Savior, the Holy Spirit of God took up residence in your heart.  He is always with you to comfort, to enlighten, and to teach you as you read His Word.  You may not feel His presence, but by faith you can know that He is there.  This is God’s indwelling presence.)  What the Bible speaks of when scripture says that God inhabits the praise of His people (Psalm 22:3) is His manifest presence.

a)   God’s presence is manifest when He chooses to make His presence known.  It is when He makes Himself tangible to you.  You experience Him and enter into a spiritual intimacy with Him.  This is also when His power is revealed.  (Power is an outflow of communion with Him.)

b)   When we experience the manifest presence of God, He is there to heal, to comfort, to energize His gifts, or to manifest His power.  If you want to experience God’s presence, and see God work in power in your life, the solution is to learn to praise Him.

6.   Praise defeats the enemy.  See Psalm 149:   The first six verses give us a beautiful description of praise, but in verse 7 and following, it changes to a description of warfare.   There are times when you know you are under attack.  Everything seems to go wrong.  Many times, it is just after you have made a step forward in your spiritual life.  Sometimes it is when you are just getting ready to begin a new area of ministrWhat do you do when the enemy attacks?  One solution is to praise God.

How is Praise Expressed?

In the Old Testament, there are seven Hebrew words used for praise.  Each one of these describes a specific way of expressing your love to God.

A.   The Physical Expression of Praise.

1.  Yadah and Towdah (to praise with lifted hands).

a)   The first two words for praise are very similar in meaning.  They are Yadah and Towdah.  They both come from the Hebrew word that means “to extend the hand”.  These two describe an expression of praise by extending the hands upward to God in adoration.

b)  Yadah” is the most frequently used word for praise in the Bible.  Most of the exhortations to praise use this word.

c)   The lifting of hands is an outward expression of love, dependency, submission, and appreciation.

d)   When you raise your hands to God, it tells your mind that you are dealing with someone greater than you are.

2.   Barak (To bend the knee in praise, to bow down before).

a)   Barak” describes an expression of praise that uses not just the hands, but the whole body.  It is the expression of praise by kneeling or bowing down to God.

b)   When we bow down before God, we are acknowledging Him as our Lord, the King of the universe.  It is very appropriate to express our praise to Him in this way.

c)   Your bodies were designed by God to be instruments to express His praise.  It is valid to stand, kneel, lift your hands, or fall down on your face before Him.  God wants you to be free to express your praise to him with your bodies.

B.  The Musical Expression of Praise.

Music is spiritually significant for a number of reasons.  Music makes you sensitive to hear God (2 Kings 3:14-16), it communicates spiritual truth (Col 3:16), and (if played under the anointing of God) it can drive away spiritual enemies (1 Sam 16:14-23).

1.   Zamar (to praise God with a musical instrument).

a)   Zamar comes from a root word that means “to pluck strings of a musical instrument.”  This word is used in several passages, including Psalm 135:3 and Psalm 147:7.  (This is the Hebrew word we get the word “Psalms” from.  The Psalms were songs to be sung together with instruments.)

b)   The Bible indicates that the instrumental part of the music is important.  Psalm 150 exhorts us to praise God on string, wind, and percussion instruments.  The Israelites used all the instruments they had as instruments for praising God.

2.  Tehillah (to express praise in song).

a)  The word “tehillah comes from a root word that means “to sing.”

b)   It is used in such passages as Psalm 34:1-2.  “His praise (tehillah) shall continually be in my mouth” and Psalm 100:4, “Enter His courts with praise (tehillah).”

c)  Not all singing is praise, even if you are singing hymns or praise songs.  Singing songs of praise becomes praise when you are singing to the Lord as an expression of love to Him.

d)   In Eph 5:19 and Col 3:16, Paul describes three categories of songs to sing to the Lord.

       Psalms – The Psalms are Biblical songs.  Even though we do not know the original tunes to the Psalms, we can take the words of the Psalms and set them to music and sing these inspired songs to God.

       Hymns – Hymns are songs of praise to God that are not part of the Bible.  The modern expressions of praise we sing today, as well as the hymns written through the history of the church, would all be included in the category of hymns.

       Spiritual Songs – Spiritual songs are songs given by the Spirit, for a particular moment.  They are a spontaneous expression of love for God.  There are two categories of spiritual songs:

C.   The Free Expression of Joy

Sometimes God wants you to be deep and thoughtful in your expression of love, but at other times the love inside of you wants to burst forth in free expression.  There are times when you want to shout it from the rooftops!  There are two words that describe this kind of praise:

1.    Halal (to celebrate)

a)    halal” is a Hebrew word that means to celebrate. 

b)   Halal means to express your love for God by joyously and freely celebrating before Him.

c)   Biblical descriptions of Halal involve clapping hands, dancing, shouting, and rejoicing before the Lord.  This word is used in such passages as Psalm 47:1-6 and Psalm 150.

d)  It is from the word “halal” that we get the word “hallelujah”.  (Hallelujah is an exhortation to have a halal for Yahweh).

In 2nd Samuel 6, when the ark was brought into Jerusalem, David took off his robe and danced before the Lord.  (That was halal.)  His wife, Michal, watched David dance and despised him for it.  When he returned, she criticized him and accused him of making a fool of himself by dancing before the Lord.

David responded to Michal by saying that it was all right to look foolish for God.  He told her that he would continue to be foolish for God, because everything he had was given to him by God.

The passage concludes by mentioning God’s judgment on Michal for criticizing David’s dancing.  Because she despised David’s joyful praise, God made Michal barren for the rest of her life.  The lesson here is to be careful of criticizing other people’s praise.

2.  Shabach (to shout).

a)  Shabach” means to praise in a loud tone, to shout, or to shout in triumph.  It is used in such passages as Ps 117:1 and Ps 147:12.  This form of praise is common in the Bible.

b)  In Nehemiah, the people rejoiced before the Lord; and the noise of their celebration was so loud that it could be heard a long way off.  They were shouting before the Lord.

c)   Rev 19:1, 4-6:  In this description of heavenly praise, the roar of all the heavenly hosts shouting their praises is so loud that it sounds like thunder.

If your praise is weak, your worship will be shallow.  If you enter into the high praises of God and praise Him with all of your might, you will find that your high praise will be followed by a time of deep worship.

Note:  The worship resource above, copied and edited here, can be found in its entirety at http://leresources.com/praise_and_worship.html

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More about praise from http://www.allaboutprayer.org/how-to-praise-and-worship-god-faq.htm

When we worship, we are expressing our reverent love and devotion to God. Worship is the act of doing something like reading the Bible, praying, or singing. However, worship is not limited to only to these things. When we praise, we are expressing our admiration for God; we are lifting Him up in exaltation. Praise is the act of celebrating or boasting about the Lord. Praise can be done through song, poems, or confessing the goodness of God to others. We should be giving God our praise and worship through our daily lives. We can do this at home, in our work place, on the bus – wherever we are! Praise and worship is a way of life, the very heartbeat of our relationship with God.

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Praise To God – The Importance of Praise

Praise to God is what we offer in acknowledgement of God’s excellent being. You might think that praise is the same as saying “thank you,” but there is a difference. Thanksgiving describes our attitude toward what God has done, while praise is offered for who God is. Psalm 18:3 says “I call to the LORD, who is worthy of praise…”

All believers are commanded to praise God! In fact, Isaiah 43:21 explains that praise is one reason we were created, “This people I have formed for Myself; they shall declare My praise.” Hebrews 13:15 confirms this: “Through Jesus, therefore, let us continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise – the fruit of lips that confess his name.”

Praise originates in a heart full of love toward God. Deuteronomy 6:5 says, “Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength.” Are you a Christian today? If so, you know that you love God because He first loved you! Without God’s love, any praise you can offer is hollow. Love, born from a relationship with God through Jesus Christ, is an essential part of your praise.

Praise To God – How to Praise God

How can you bring praise to God? What can you do to make it an integral part of your life? Praise can be expressed in song, in verse, or in prayer and it is to be done continuously! Psalm 34:1 instructs, “I will extol the LORD at all times; his praise will always be on my lips.” Psalm 71:6 says, “From birth I have relied on you; you brought me forth from my mother’s womb. I will ever praise you.”

Praise to God is expressed outwardly through our everyday actions, as well as inwardly in our thoughts. Praise is an act of Christian worship.

“Where do I begin?” you may ask. “How do I start praising God?” If praising God is new to you, try praising God for who He is to you, personally. Proclaim that God’s goodness is without measure; it is abundant and overflowing! Here are some ways to get started:

• Praise God for His holiness, mercy, and justice (2 Chronicles 20:21, Psalm 99:3-4).

• Praise God for His grace (Ephesians 1:6).

• Praise Him for His goodness (Psalm 135:3).

• Praise God for His kindness (Psalm 117).

• Praise God for His salvation (Ephesians 2:8-9)

Praise to God can be offered anywhere! In time, it will become as normal as taking a breath. Sometimes we praise God inwardly as in Psalm 9:2, “I will be glad and rejoice in you; I will sing praise to your name, O Most High.” Other times we have opportunity to give glory and praise to our God publicly. Psalm 22:22 says, “I will declare your name to my brothers; in the congregation I will praise you.” Search out opportunities to bring praise to God!

Praise To God – Who Praises God?

Praise to God, while offered particularly by His children as the freewill expression of grateful hearts, will one day be offered by everyone! The Bible says that when He comes again, all mankind will praise Him and acknowledge Him as Lord. He is King over all the earth. When we know Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, our hearts long to praise His name. Philippians 2:9-11 tells us His name represents His being, describing who He is, “Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”

The Bible also records:

• All nature praises God (Psalm 148:7-10).

• The sun, moon, and stars praise Him (Psalm 19:1 and 148:3).

• The angels praise Him (Psalm 148:2).

• Even the wrath of men is used by God to praise Himself (Psalm 76:10).

• Children are to be taught to praise God (Psalm 78:4).

Praise To God – Do You Proclaim His Praise?

Your praise to God is evidenced through your salvation. 1 Peter 2:9 says, “But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.”

NOTE:  The above can be found at http://www.allaboutprayer.org/how-to-praise-and-worship-god-faq.htm

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Read more!

The book “God’s Singers”, by Dave Williamson, is a great resource for Worship Leaders and Choir Directors.  Singers would enjoy the special Singer’s edition of the book.  Here  is a review of the book, from Worship Leader online magazine.

God’s Singers

By | Categories: In Review
Author: Warren Anderson
Every so often a worship music book is published that becomes recognizable as the definitive, go-to reference for its particular genre in its particular generation.  In our time, if you wish to talk about the history of music in the Church, go to Paul Westermeyer’s Te Deum.  If building a case for congregational song is your desire, your first stop should be John Bell’s A Case for Congregational Song.  Want a grad-school-level analysis of how contemporary worship music is used these days?  The Message in the Music (Robert Woods and Brian Walrath) is your best bet.Dave Williamson’s God Singers joins these other must-haves where the specific subject of worship-leading choirs is concerned.  Every possible topic that should be covered in a book of this nature is here.  Biblical support for the use of choirs in worship?  Check.  Lots and lots of practical how-to’s for getting the best sound out of your singers?  Got it.  Sociological discussions of issues inherent in corporate ministry, even ones peculiar to choral singing?  Yep.  Stylistic techniques for transforming your choristers into a black-gospel choir, a rock choir, or a modern-worship choir—i.e., what to do with vibrato, vocal licks, and syncopation?  They’re here.  Helpful appendices from Williamson’s 40 years in the biz?  Nine of them.  Consider purchasing the (condensed) singer’s edition for your choir members and the (expanded) director’s edition, which includes a CD-ROM of ancillaries, for yourself.  Highly recommended. Title: God’s Singers Author: Dave Williamson Publisher: In:cite Media
Here’s a link to the Singer’s Edition of the book on ChristianBook.com:  http://www.christianbook.com/gods-singers-singers-edition-dave-willimason/9780615406312/pd/406312
NOTE:  The quotation by Travis Cottrell found in this blog post came from his online recommendation for this book.
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Looking for answers for yourself or for a friend?

Thank you for spending your valuable time reading the contents of this page.  We hope that it has been helpful to you.   If you or someone that you know is looking for answers about life, we hope that you will visit our page called “Do You Know Jesus?”.   The links provided on this page will help to answer life’s deepest questions.   Here is the link to “Do You Know Jesus?”:  http://www.worshipsounds.wordpress.com/do-you-know-jesus/

Please feel free to share this URL with anyone who is looking for answers about life and eternity.

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Why I Love to Sing in the Choir

I have always loved music, and I love to sing; but the reasons that I love to sing in my church choir are are so much deeper than that.  Here are the top ten reasons why I love to sing in the choir at my church:

MY  TOP  TEN  REASONS
FOR  JOYFULLY  SINGING  IN  THE  CHURCH  CHOIR

choir smiling1.  Singing in my church choir gives me an opportunity to express my love for the Lord.

I am so thankful for God’s love and mercy and for the sacrificial life and death of Jesus and the victory of His resurrection.  How else could I express the profound spiritual understanding of the goodness of God that goes beyond words and is only revealed in my heart through the work of God’s Holy Spirit?  Someimes, within the congregation, it is only through musical praise that I feel I have done all that I can do, with God’s help, to share the message of God’s salvation and His incredible love for me and for all of mankind.  

“O give thanks unto the Lord; call upon His name; make known His deeds among the people.  Sing unto Him, sing psalms unto Him; talk of all His wondrous works.  Glory in His holy name; let the heart of those who seek the Lord rejoice.”   Psalm 105:1 – 3 sing a new song to the Lord

2.  Singing in my church choir is more than a hobby or an activity.  It is a calling.

What an incredible privilege it is to know that God has allowed me to have the ability to participate in something that brings Him glory as those who love the Lord assemble together for worship!  He has made each of us with particular gifts and talents.  I believe that the calling to minister through these gifts is what gives faithful choir members the passion to continue their service and to strive for excellence in expressing their praise to the Lord.

There is a lot of  * JOY  * in fulfilling your calling and in giving praise to the Lord, who has given us everything we’ve ever had and all that we ever will have!

My heart is steadfast, O God, my heart is steadfast!  I will sing and make melody!  Awake, my soul!  Awake, O harp and lyre!  I will awaken the dawn!  I will give thanks to You, O Lord, among the peoples, I will sing praises to You among the nations.  For Your steadfast love is great above the heavens, Your faithfulness reaches to the clouds.  Be exalted, O God, above the heavens!  Let Your glory be over all the earth.”  Psalm 108:1 – 5

Lift up His name!

Lift up His name!

3.  Singing in my church choir allows for a type of expression of praise to the Lord that could not be accomplished in any other way.

Although I love all kinds of music and all kinds of arrangements, there are some songs, some lyrics, and some messages that just would not have the same intensity of expression if they were shared in any other way than through choral singing.  The Hallelujah Chorus is one such example.  Can you imagine it as a solo?  It just would not have the same impact.  There is something about voices joined together as a choir to share a message for God’s glory that is just a very unique means of expression.  Although Tom Fettke’s “The Majesty and Glory of Your Name” or Heather Sorenson’s “God of Heaven” would still have a beautiful melody when sung as a solo, the impact would not be as great as if a choir were singing these worshipful anthems and joining their hearts and souls to bring glory to God in a soaring or contemplative or victorious or joyous choral arrangement.

“Let them thank the Lord for His steadfast love, for His wonderful works to the sons of men!  And let them offer sacrifices of thanksgiving, and tell of His deeds in songs of joy!”   Psalm 107:21 & 22

Serve Him with gladness4.  Singing in my church choir allows me to participate in the overall ministry of leading in worship, which is a joy and a privilege.

As long as I have a voice, I want to use it to praise God.  I don’t want to miss an opportunity to use my voice and even the expression on my face to proclaim God’s goodness through all of the musical praise during congregational worship.  I realize that the choir is not just there to sing an anthem or to perform.  We are there to worship and to lead in worship.  Whether we are singing a new song or an old song, a hymn, a worship song, a choral anthem, or a musical benediction, it is a joy to share these messages of hope and faith with the people of God and to gather in God’s name for the purpose of bringing Him glory.  

“Oh, that men would praise the Lord for His goodness, and for his wonderful works to the children of men!  Let them exalt Him also in the congregation of the people, and praise Him in the assembly of the elders.”   Psalm 107:31 & 32 Sing to the Lord a new song all the earth

5.  Singing in my church choir and in other Christian choirs has given me many opportunities to share the good news of Jesus Christ in many settings, throughout my home country and in other countries as well.

Whether a choir is singing in an outdoor setting, a shopping mall, a small church, a prison, a nursing home or assisted living center, a juvenile detention center, a community center, a state capitol building, on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington D. C., or in a great concert hall in Australia or a public school in Russia, the opportunity to bring glory to God and to share the message of His love and mercy is a blessing and an incredibly humbling miracle of God’s grace!  If God had not saved a wretch like me, I would have no message to share anywhere!  

“Make a joyful noise unto the Lord, all ye lands.  Serve the Lord with gladness; come before His presence with singing.  Know that the Lord is God; it is He that has made us and not we ourselves; we are His people and the sheep of His pasture.  Enter into His gates with thanksgiving and into His courts with praise; be thankful unto Him, and bless His name.  For the Lord is good:  His mercy is everlasting, and his truth endures to all generations.”   Psalm 100 (all verses, 1 – 5)

Psalm 107:8

Psalm 107:8

6.  Singing in my church choir and in other Christian choirs has implanted incredibly profound messages within my heart and soul through the lyrics of the songs that I have been able to sing.

I have been incredibly blessed to invest time in learning these wonderful words and then have had the blessing of remembering them so often as the Lord uses them to speak to my heart over and over again.  Often, the words of sacred choral anthems are either entirely scripture, based upon scripture, are paraphrases of scripture, or contain some scriptural content.  Singing them helps me to learn and to remember scripture passages and spiritual truths.  As a choir member, I am not just singing these songs once a week on Sunday morning.  Because of the work aspect that goes into preparation for sharing these messages in worship, we really live with these incredible words, and they have a deep impact in our lives.  What a joy it is to sing these messages, live these truths, and share these words of truth and hope, faith and love, blessing and victory, challenge and mercy, and ministry and grace!

“O sing unto the Lord a new song; sing unto the Lord all the earth.  Sing unto the Lord, bless His name; show forth His salvation from day to day.  Declare His glory among the heathen, His wonders among all people.  For the Lord is great, and greatly to be praised.”   Psalm 96:1 – 4a Bless the Lord O my soul

7.  Singing in my church choir and in other Christian choirs has allowed me to get to know so many wonderful people who love the Lord and have a heart of service.

A choir becomes a family as we serve together and care for one another.  We pray for one another.  We love each other and share God’s love with each other.  There is an incredible bond when you have worshiped and cried and smiled and laughed and worked and learned and prayed together.  I can sing a wrong note or sing in the wrong place, and my choir family just considers such things to be part of the process of learning the music and growing in faith and in musical expression together.  I have never heard anyone groan or complain about singing the same portion of a song over and over in order to get it right.  We embrace our humanity as we strive to sing beyond our own abilities in order to bring God glory.

“Blessed are those who dwell in Thy house, ever singing Thy praise!   Selah”    Psalm 84:4

8.  Singing in my church choir allows me to participate in something that is so much bigger than my self.to God all praise and glory

The spiritual and emotional and mental messages that flow out of the marriage of music and lyrics in each song become so much more meaningful as I sing with my brothers and sisters in Christ.  I know something of their stories and their lives.  I know when someone is singing about God’s healing for broken hearts with deep emotion that flows from their own fountain of personal pain.  I know when someone is singing of the joy of the Lord even when they have just experienced a personal loss.  I know when the message of Christ’s victory over death has very personal meaning to one of my dear sisters or brothers.  I know when the hearts of all of us are touched with God’s mercy and when the joy is so real that I am amazed that it is not visible in the air around us.  So, not only is the sound and the arrangement something that I could never accomplish on my own.  The collective testimony of this group and the way that God is ministering to our individual hearts as we sing (and to us and through us as a choir) create an impact through the very real and heartfelt sharing of musical testimony that extends far beyond myself or any one individual.

“O come, let us sing unto the Lord; let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation.  Let us come before His presence with thanksgiving, and make a joyful noise unto Him with psalms.  For the Lord is a great God, and a great King above all gods.  In His hand are the deep places of the earth; the strength of the hills is His also.  The sea is His, and He made it; and His hands formed the dry land.  O come, let us worship and bow down; let us kneel before the Lord our Maker.  For He is our God, and we are the people of His pasture, and the sheep of His hand.”   Psalm 95:1 – 7a give God the glory

9.  I believe that singing praise to God is the closest thing to Heaven that I can experience on this earth.

What could be better than the times when I have the blessing of joining my own voice and heart with the voices and hearts of a group of people whose desire is to praise God, encourage God’s people, share the story of who God is and what He has done, tell the good news of Jesus, and bring blessing and honor and glory to God?  The Bible speaks of the singers and the musicians and of choirs.  The scriptures talk about the voice of God and how He rejoices over us with singing.  There is something special about the way that God created us to use music as a form of expression that goes far beyond words.  If is much more that the music itself.  It is about how God Himself speaks through the music and then allows us to speak to Him and about Him through the music.  

“And they sing the song of Moses, the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb, saying, ‘Great and wonderful are Thy deeds, O Lord God the Almighty!  Just and true are Thy ways, O King of the ages!  Who shall not fear and glorify Thy name, O Lord?  For Thou alone art Holy.  All nations shall come and worship Thee, for Thy judgements have been revealed.”  Revelation 15:3 & 4 Praise continually

10.  I love to sing in my church choir and in other Christian choirs because of the incredible songs that God has inspired men and women to write, which then become part of my own spiritual journey.

I believe that before a spiritual song can touch the hearts of people, God must first touch the heart of the song-writer (composer) of the song.  I believe (and know!) that every song begins with a revelation of truth from God or a new way of looking at or expressing a truth already known.  It is like experiencing my own spiritual journey as I try, then make mistakes, and then try again in rehearsal, while simultaneously experiencing the revelations that flow from the spiritual journeys of others.  I have learned so much, and my own journey has been blessed beyond words by the profound spiritual truth that I have learned through the songs I’ve been priveleged to sing with my brothers and sisters in Christ.  To me, a choir rehearsal is not just working on music.  It is a time of worship.  I have wept as my heart has been moved by the message of a song.  I have reached out to grab the hand of a friend.  I have felt my heart swell until I thought I might burst.  I have experienced joy so great that I was amazed to find my feet still on the floor.  My soul has been convicted and stirred.  My heart has been broken and mended and strengthened and challenged.  My faith has grown.  I have walked through deep valleys and enjoyed the view from some mountaintops… all while praising the Lord through the songs that he has inspired men and women to write and then to arrange for choir, for the blending and unity of hearts and minds and souls as we learn and grow and rejoice together in this lovely, human expression of the eternal and divine that we call choir.

“The Levites stood with the instruments of David, and the priests with the trumpets.  Then Hezekiah commanded that the burnt offering be offered on the altar.  And when the burnt offering began, the song to the Lord began also, and the trumpets, accompanied by the instruments of David king of Israel.  The whole assembly worshipped, and the singers sang, and the trumpeters sounded; all this continued until the burnt offering was finished.  When the burnt offering was finished, the king and all who were present with him bowed themselves and worshipped.  And Hezekiah the king and the princes commanded the Levites to sing praises to the Lord with the words of David and of Asaph the seer.  And they sang praises with gladness, and they bowed down and worshipped.”  II Chronicles 29:26 – 30

What a blessing a joy it has been to sing in church choirs and in other choirs made up of my brothers and sisters in Christ!  I will continue to praise the Lord through choral music for as long as I have the opportunity.  I am so thankful to God for my salvation and for His presence in my life.  I cannot help but sing.

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This post was written by Cynthia A. Boyd, with thanksgiving to God for giving me something of eternal meaning and worth to sing about, and with love and appreciation for my favorite Choral Director, Travis L. Boyd, for giving me a love song in this life.

I am also thankful for all of the wonderful choral and band directors and voice and piano teachers who have taught me so much about music and then about singing and playing music for more than the here and now.  They include:  Dr. Jon Duncan, Dr. Bill Green, Dr. Terry Segress, Eugene Beck, Steve Westmoreland, Dr. Charles Jurrens, Mrs. Betty Westomoreland, Dr. Robert Reynolds, Faye Casey, John Robinson, Steve Smith, John Casey, Dr. Charles Chapman, Dr. Merle Taff, Lillian Loe-Stoddard, Eugene Butler, Dr. Irving Bunton, Lloyd Pfautsch, Wynn Anne Hook, Ron Stanton, Eph Ely, and John Gerber, who was directing the invitation hymn when I laid down my music and left the choir loft to say “yes” to Jesus.

Sharing this post:  In order to share this blog post with your choir, congregation, or worship team, a link to this post may appear in a newsletter, bulletin, or e-mail.  In addition, reprint information is provided below (as a result of the volume of inquiries). Link to the post:  https://worshipsounds.wordpress.com/2013/04/29/why-i-love-to-sing-in-the-choir/

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REPRINT INFORMATION FOR THIS ARTICLE

Non-paid publications:   This article may be re-printed in non-paid publications (church newsletters, bulletins) without further permisson, provided that the author’s name is posted at the end of the article, along with the link to our blog:  http://www.worshipsounds.wordpress.com

Paid publications:  To reprint all (or a portion) of the article in a paid publication, permission must be obtained.  You may comment on this post in order to request permission, stating the type of publication (and terms) plus providing a return e-mail address for a reply from us.  Your comment will not be seen by others since comments to our blog are not seen publically unless we approve them, and we will reply within 48 hours (unless providentially hindered).

Internet postings:  In order to post this article online on your own site (other worship blogs, music ministry or church websites), you must have a working link back to our blog, with a notation that states: This article, and many others, can be found on the Worship Sounds blog at http://www.worshipsounds.wordpress.com  In addition, the article must be posted in its entirely.  If it is going to be online, we prefer that the original wording stays intact.  An edited version might read differently from our intent.

So, online postings must:

1.  Contain the statement previously mentioned.
2.  Be un-edited, posted as written.
3.  Contain the author’s name at the end of the article, as it appears in the blog post.

We will stand by our words and prefer to have the opportunity to answer any inquiries about the content of the article ourselves. Let us hear from you! We would love to hear about how the Lord has used the message of this article to encourage and inspire your choir, worship team, or congregation.  If you can do a follow-up comment after sharing it, that would be a real blessing to us. Thank you so much for your interest in spreading the word about the very vital and incredible experince of being a part of a worshipping choir and worship ministry in general.  It is an indescribable blessing.

…And we all thank You, Lord, for allowing us to have a part in leading others to worship You!!”

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Here are two of my favorite choral anthems, written by my husband, Worship Minister and Composer Travis L. Boyd.

For more information about this anthem, with purchasing links, click on the title to go to our Sound Cloud page for “Jesus, My Redeemer”.  There is also a set of other Publishers’ demos on our Sound Cloud.

For more information about this anthem, with purchasing links, click on the title to go to our Sound Cloud page for “Praise God”. There is also a set of other Publishers’ demos on our Sound Cloud.

Information about additional Choral Anthems, Orchestrations, Vocal Solos, and Congregational worship music by Travis L. Boyd, which can be found on our Worship Sounds Music website, is below.

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Click this image to go to our WorshipSounds website.

Click this image to go to our WorshipSounds website.

Find Worshipful  CHORAL  MUSIC  for your Choir at  WORSHIP  SOUNDS  MUSIC! Worship Sounds music offers downloadable Choral Anthems for Adult Choirs, Senior Adult Choirs, and Student Choirs in several voicings (SATB, SAB, SSATB, 2-Part, SSAA, and TTBB).  Many of our anthems also have Full Orchestrations available, and some also have downloadable Mp3 Accompaniment Tracks.  In addition, we offer Vocal Solos, with most available in 3 keys, Solo Accompaniment Tracks, and Congregational worship music. You can find all of this at http://www.worshipsounds.com

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Looking for answers for yourself or for a friend? Thank you for spending your valuable time reading the contents of this page.  We hope that it has been helpful to you.   If you or someone that you know is looking for answers about life, we hope that you will visit our page called “Do You Know Jesus?”.   The links provided on this page will help to answer life’s deepest questions.   Here is the link to “Do You Know Jesus?”:  http://www.worshipsounds.wordpress.com/do-you-know-jesus/ Please feel free to share this URL with anyone who is looking for answers about life and eternity.

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The Reality of the Resurrection of Jesus Christ

He is Risen tombRESURRECTION  SCRIPTURES

If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit who dwells in you.    Romans 8:11

Who is to condemn? Christ Jesus is the one who died—more than that, who was raised— who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us.    Romans 8:34

If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.    Romans 10:9

He will swallow up death in victory; and the Lord GOD will wipe away tears from off all faces.    Isaiah 25:8

But he was wounded for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities; on him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and by his stripes we are healed.   Isaiah 53:5

“As for me, I know that my Redeemer lives, and at the last He will take His stand on the earth.”    Job 19:25

God raised the Lord and will also raise us up by his power.    1 Corinthians 6:14

…who through him are believers in God, who raised him from the dead and gave him glory, so that your faith and hope are in God.    1 Peter 1:21

“If Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile and you are still in your sins.”   1 Corinthians 15:17

Easter  He is not here for He is risen

Resurrection Quotes

The tomb of Christ is famous because of what it DOES NOT CONTAIN.  —  Sam Morris

We live and die; Christ died and lived!  —  John Stott

The resurrection of Jesus changes the face of death for all His people. Death is no longer a prison, but a passage into God’s presence.  Easter says you can put truth in a grave, but it won’t stay there.  —  Clarence W. Hall

Jesus - In front of tomb 1The primary source of the appeal of Christianity is Jesus – His incarnation, His life, His crucifixion, and His resurrection.  —  K. Latourette

…Luke associates John with Peter in Acts, when, after the Resurrection, that strange boldness had come upon the disciples.  —  Alfred Noyes

“The cross is a one time visual representation of God’s grief over sin.”  —  Dean L. Harvey

“Live in the awareness that Christ lives and that He lives in His people.”  —  Julien B. Weil

“The cross is the victory, the resurrection is the triumph…The resurrection is the public display of the victory, the triumph of the crucified one.”  —  Leon Morris

“The best proof that Christ has risen is that He is still alive. And for the immense majority of our contemporaries, the only way of seeing Him alive is for us Christians to love one another.”   —  Louis Evely

♪ ♫  “Christ the Lord is risen today, sons of men and angels say. Raise your joys and triumphs high; Sing ye heavens, and earth reply.”   —  Charles Wesley (from the Hymn “Christ the Lord is Risen Today”)

All of heaven is interested in the cross of Christ, hell afraid of it, while men are the only ones to ignore its meaning.   —  Oswald Chambers

According to the laws of legal evidence used in courts of law, there is more evidence for the historical fact of the resurrection of Jesus Christ than for just about any other event in history.  —  Harvard Law Professor Dr. Simon Greenleaf

Easter greeting card with bells♪ ♫ “Hear the bells ringing!
They’re singing that we can be born again!
Hear the bells ringing!
They’re singing, ‘Christ is risen from the dead!’

The angel up on the tombstone said, He is risen just as he said!
Quickly now, go tell His disciples that Jesus Christ is no longer dead

Joy to the world!  He is risen!  Alleluia!”

—  Keith Green, The Easter Song

There is no historic incident better or more variously supported than the resurrection of Christ.  —  Brooke Foss Wescott

The Gospels do not explain the Resurrection; the Resurrection explains the Gospels. Belief in the Resurrection is not an appendage to the Christian faith; it is the Christian faith.   —  John S. Whale

♪ ♫  “Up from the grave he arose; with a mighty triumph o’er his foes!
He arose a victor from the dark domain,
and He lives forever with His saints to reign!
He arose!  He arose!  Hallelujah!  Christ arose!

—  from ‘Up from the Grave He Arose’

Our Lord has written the promise of resurrection, not in books alone, but in every leaf in springtime.   —  Martin Luther

The resurrection power of Jesus broke Satan’s captive power. When He led the Old Testament saints from paradise to heaven, He led captivity captive!   — Leon Morris

Our justification hinges on a risen life, present in us now because Christ is present with us now.   —  Paul F.M. Zaul

Our old history ends with the cross; our new history begins with the resurrection.   —  Watchman Nee

The entire plan for the future has its key in the resurrection.   – – Billy Graham

Easter morning discovery at tomb

There is more evidence that Jesus rose from the dead than there is that Julius Caesar ever lived or that Alexander the Great died at the age of thirty-three.  – – Billy Graham

Note:  The quotations and scriptures above were found at  http://www.unlockingthebible.org/resurrection-easter-quotes-bible-verses/

Francine Rivers

“It was no accident, no coincidence, that the seasons came round and round year after year. It was the Lord speaking to us all and showing us over and over again the birth, life, death, and resurrection of his only begotten Son, our Savior, Jesus Christ, our Lord. It was like a best-loved story being told day after day with each sunrise and sunset, year after year with the seasons, down through the ages since time began.”  ―   Francine Rivers  The Last Sin Eater

N.T. Wright

“…left to ourselves we lapse into a kind of collusion with entrophy, acquiescing in the general belief that things may be getting worse but that there’s nothing much we can do about them. And we are wrong. Our task in the present…is to live as resurrection people in between Easter and the final day, with our Christian life, corporate and individual, in both worship and mission, as a sign of the first and a foretaste of the second.”  ―   N. T. Wright   Surprised by Hope:  Rethinking Heaven, the Resurrection, and the Mission of the Church

Eugene H. Peterson

“It is not easy to convey a sense of wonder, let alone resurrection wonder, to another.  It’s the very nature of wonder to catch us off guard, to circumvent expectations and assumptions.  Wonder can’t be packaged, and it can’t be worked up.  It requires some sense of being there and some sense of engagement.”  ―   Eugene H. Peterson

Charles Colson

“I know the resurrection is a fact, and Watergate proved it to me. How? Because 12 men testified they had seen Jesus raised from the dead, then they proclaimed that truth for 40 years, never once denying it. Every one was beaten, tortured, stoned and put in prison. They would not have endured that if it weren’t true. Watergate embroiled 12 of the most powerful men in the world-and they couldn’t keep a lie for three weeks. You’re telling me 12 apostles could keep a lie for 40 years? Absolutely impossible.”
―   Charles Colson

Charles R. Swindoll

“The devil, darkness, and death may swagger and boast, the pangs of life will sting for a while longer, but don’t worry; the forces of evil are breathing their last. Not to worry…He’s risen!”  ―   Charles R. Swindoll

St. Athanasius of Alexandria

“He, the Life of all, our Lord and Saviour, did not arrange the manner of his own death lest He should seem to be afraid of some other kind. No. He accepted and bore upon the cross a death inflicted by others, and those other His special enemies, a death which to them was supremely terrible and by no means to be faced; and He did this in order that, by destroying even this death, He might Himself be believed to be the Life, and the power of death be recognised as finally annulled. A marvellous and mighty paradox has thus occurred, for the death which they thought to inflict on Him as dishonour and disgrace has become the glorious monument to death’s defeat.”  ―   Saint Athanasius of Alexandria   On the Incarnation

Fulton J. Sheen

“Christianity, unlike any other religion in the world, begins with catastrophe and defeat. Sunshine religions and psychological inspirations collapse in calamity and wither in adversity. But the Life of the Founder of Christianity, having begun with the Cross, ends with the empty tomb and victory.”  ―   Fulton J. Sheen   Life of Christ
“No tabloid will ever print the startling news that the mummified body of Jesus of Nazareth has been discovered in old Jerusalem. Christians have no carefully embalmed body enclosed in a glass case to worship. Thank God, we have an empty tomb. The glorious fact that the empty tomb proclaims to us is that life for us does not stop when death comes. Death is not a wall, but a door.”
―    Peter Marshall  (Congressional Chaplain)

John Piper

“The Bible says He was raised not just after the blood-shedding, but by it. This means that what the death of Christ accomplished was so full and so prefect that the resurrection was the reward and vindication of Christ’s achievement in death.”  ―   John Piper   Passion of Jesus Christ
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Note:  The quotations above were found at  http://www.goodreads.com/quotes/tag/resurrection?page=1
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MORE  RESURRECTION  SCRIPTURES

jesus welcomesJohn 11:25-26 Jesus  said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though  he die, yet shall he live, 26 and everyone who lives and believes in me shall  never die. Do you believe this?”

Romans 6:4 We were buried  therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was  raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of  life.

Romans 6:5 For if we have  been united with him in a death like his, we shall certainly be united with him  in a resurrection like his.

Romans 6:9 We know that  Christ, being raised from the dead, will never die again; death no longer has  dominion over him.

1 Corinthians 15:3-5 For I  delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died  for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures,  that he was buried, that  he was raised on the third day pin accordance with the Scriptures,  and  that he appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve.

Read more: http://www.whatchristianswanttoknow.com/quotes-about-the-resurrection-23-good-sayings/#ixzz2PBXHkv6X

Our old history ends with the cross; our new history begins with the resurrection.     Author: Watchman Nee
The Word of truth teaches in the clearest and most positive terms that all of the
dead will be raised.  No doctrine of the faith rests upon a more literal and emphatic
body of Scripture authority than this, nor is any more vital to Christianity.
Author: C.I. Scofield
The first thing that stuck in the minds of the disciples was not the empty tomb, but
rather the empty grave clothes – undisturbed in form and position.
Author: Josh McDowellOn what does the Christian argument for Immortality really rest?  It stands upon
the pedestal on which the theologian rests the whole of historical Christianity — the
Resurrection of Jesus Christ.
Author: Henry Drummond
He is risen CrossI went to a psychologist friend and said if 500
people claimed to see Jesus after he died, it was
just a hallucination. He said hallucinations are an
individual event. If 500 people have the same
hallucination, that’s a bigger miracle than the
resurrection.
Author: Lee StrobelThe truth of the resurrection gives life to every
other area of gospel truth. The resurrection is the
pivot on which all of Christianity turns and without
which none of the other truths would much matter.
Without the resurrection, Christianity would be so
much wishful thinking, taking its place alongside
all other human philosophy and religious speculation.
Author: John MacArthurNote:  The quotations above were found at
http://christian-quotes.ochristian.com/Resurrection-Quotes/page-3.shtml

Here (below) is an article about proof for the resurrection of Jesus Christ
from  http://christianity.about.com/od/easter/a/7-Proofs-Of-The-Resurrection.htm

Is the resurrection of Jesus Christ an historical event that really happened, or is it
only a myth, as many atheists claim? While no one witnessed the actual resurrection,
many people swore they saw the risen Christ after his death, and their lives were never
the same.

Archaeological discoveries continue to support the Bible’s historical accuracy. We tend
to forget that the Gospels and book of Acts are eyewitness accounts of the life and death
of Jesus.  Further nonbiblical evidence for Jesus’ existence comes from the writings of
Flavius Josephus, Cornelius Tacitus, Lucian of Samosata, and the Jewish Sanhedrin.
The following seven proofs of the resurrection show that Christ did, indeed, rise from the
dead.

The Resurrection Proof #1: The Empty Tomb of Jesus

The empty tomb may be the strongest proof Jesus Christ rose from the dead. Two major
theories have been advanced by unbelievers: someone stole Jesus’ body or the women
and disciples went to the wrong tomb. The Jews and Romans had no motive to steal the
body. Christ’s apostles were too cowardly and would have had to overcome the Roman
guards. The women who found the tomb empty had earlier watched Jesus being laid away;
they knew where the correct tomb was. Even if they had gone to the wrong tomb, the
Sanhedrin could have produced the body from the right tomb to stop the resurrection
stories. Jesus’ burial cloths were left neatly folded inside, hardly the act of hurrying grave
robbers. Angels said Jesus had risen from the dead.

The Resurrection Proof #2: The Women who were
Eyewitnesses

The women who were eyewitnesses are further proof that the Gospels are accurate
historical records. If the accounts had been made up, no ancient author would have used
women for witnesses to Christ’s resurrection. Women were second class citizens in Bible
times; their testimony was not even allowed in court. Yet the Bible says the risen Christ
first appeared to Mary Magdalene and other women. Even the apostles did not believe
Mary when she told them the tomb was empty. Jesus, who always had special respect
for these women, honored them as the first eyewitnesses to his resurrection. The male
Gospel writers had no choice but to report this embarrassing act of God’s favor, because
that was how it happened.

The Resurrection Proof #3: Jesus’ Apostles’ New-Found
Courage

After the crucifixion, Jesus’ apostles hid behind locked doors, terrified they would be
executed next. But something changed them from cowards to bold preachers. Anyone
who understands human character knows people do not change that much without
some major influence. That influence was seeing their Master, bodily risen from the
dead. Christ appeared to them in the locked room, on the shore of the Sea of Galilee,
and on the Mount of Olives.  After seeing Jesus alive, Peter and the others left the
locked room and preached the risen Christ, unafraid of what would happen to them.
They quit hiding because they knew the truth. They finally understood that Jesus is
God incarnate
, who saves people from sin.

The Resurrection Proof #4: Changed Lives of James and
Others

Changed lives are yet another proof of the resurrection. James, the brother of Jesus,
was openly skeptical that Jesus was the Messiah.  After the death and resurrection
of Jesus, James became a courageous leader of the church at Jerusalem, even being
stoned to death for his faith. Why? The Bible says the risen Christ appeared to him.
What a shock to see your own brother, alive again, after you knew he was dead.
James and the apostles became effective missionaries because people could tell these
men had touched and seen the risen Christ. With such zealous eyewitnesses, the early
church exploded in growth, spreading west from Jerusalem to Rome and beyond.
For 2,000 years, encounters with the resurrected Jesus have changed lives.

The Resurrection Proof #5: Large Crowd of Eyewitnesses

A large crowd of more than 500 eyewitnesses saw the risen Jesus Christ at the same
time. The Apostle Paul records this event in 1 Corinthians 15:6. He states that most
of these men and women were still alive when he wrote this letter, about 55 A.D.
Undoubtedly they told others about this miracle. Today, psychologists say it would
be impossible for a large crowd of people to have had the same hallucination at once.
Smaller groups also saw the risen Christ, such as the apostles, and Cleopas and his
companion. They all saw the same thing, and in the case of the apostles, they touched
Jesus and watched him eat food. The hallucination theory is further debunked because
after the ascension of Jesus into heaven, sightings of him stopped.

The Resurrection Proof #6: Conversion of Paul

The account of the conversion of Paul records the most drastically changed life in the
Bible.  As Saul of Tarsus, he was an aggressive persecutor of the early church. When
the risen Christ appeared to Paul on the Damascus Road, Paul became Christianity’s
most determined missionary. He endured 5 floggings, 3 beatings, 3 shipwrecks, a
stoning, poverty, and years of ridicule. Finally the Roman emperor Nero had Paul
beheaded because the apostle refused to deny his faith in Jesus.  What could make a
person willingly accept—even welcome—such hardships? Christians believe that the
conversion of Paul came about because he encountered Jesus Christ who had risen
from the dead.

The Resurrection Proof #7: They Died for Jesus

Countless people have died as martyrs for their faith in Jesus, absolutely certain that
the resurrection of Christ is an historical fact. Tradition says 10 of the original apostles
died as martyrs
for Christ, as did the Apostle Paul. Hundreds, perhaps thousands of
early Christians died in the Roman arena and in prisons for their faith. Down through
the centuries, thousands more have died for Jesus because they believed that the
resurrection is true. Even today, people suffer persecution because they have faith that
Christ rose from the dead. An isolated group may give up their lives for a cult leader,
but Christian martyrs have died in many lands, for nearly 2,000 years, believing Jesus
conquered death to give them eternal life.

(Information in this article was compiled and summarized from the following sources:
gotquestions.org, xenos.org, faithfacts.org, newadvent.org, tektonics.org,
biblicalstudies.info, garyhabermas.com, and ntwrightpage.com)

READ MORE!

Here are links to two excellent articles
about proof of the resurrection of
Christ:

http://www.peterkreeft.com/topics-more/resurrection-evidence.htm

http://www.desiringgod.org/resource-library/articles/historical-evidence-for-the-resurrection

Here are links to some wonderful articles
about the resurrection of Christ and what it means:

http://www.jesus.org/death-and-resurrection/resurrection/what-does-the-resurrection-mean-
for-us.html

http://www.cru.org/how-to-know-god/did-jesus-christ-really-rise-from-the-dead/

http://www.beliefnet.com/Inspiration/Articles/What-the-Resurrection-Means-for-You.aspx

http://www.gotquestions.org/resurrection-and-life.html

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The information in this post was compiled from the sources noted by Cynthia A. Boyd

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Looking for answers for yourself or for a friend?

Thank you for spending your valuable time reading the contents of this page.  We hope
that it has been helpful to you.   If you or someone that you know is looking for answers
about life, we hope that you will visit our page called “Do You Know Jesus?”.   The links
provided on this page will help to answer life’s deepest questions.   Here is the link to
“Do You Know Jesus?”:  http://www.worshipsounds.wordpress.com/do-you-know-jesus/

Please feel free to share this URL with anyone who is looking for answers about life and
eternity and salvation found in Jesus Christ.

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Songs of the Cross

Cross at sunrise

“God proved His love on the Cross.  When Christ hung, and bled, and died, it  was God saying to the world, ‘I love you.'”

— Billy Graham

Read more at http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/b/billygraha150661.html#rQXbTKzmRxUdLX4C.99

Below you will find 5 songs with messages about the cross.  The music players take a moment to load.  If you wait a moment to click “play” until  the music players are completely loaded, they will work.

“In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace.”

Ephesians 1:7

clip art crosses

“This is how God’s love was revealed among us: God sent His only Son into the world so that we might live through Him.  This is love: not that we have loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the atoning sacrifice for our sins.”

I John 4:9 – 10

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“He himself bore our sins in His body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. By His wounds you have been healed.”

I Peter 2:24

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“For Christ also died for sins once for all, the just for the unjust, so that He might bring us to God, having been put to death in the flesh, but made alive in the spirit.”

I Peter 3:18

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“For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.  For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through Him.”

John 3:16 – 17

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* INFORMATION  ABOUT  THE  MUSIC *

Song 1:  “Jesus, My Redeemer” was written by Travis L. Boyd and published as an SATB Choral Anthem by Shawnee Press / Hal Leonard.
(more complete information, including purchasing links, can be found at this link:  https://soundcloud.com/#travis-l-boyd/jesus-my-redeemer )

Song 2:  “More Than a Cross” was written by Travis L. Boyd and published by Lifeway.
(more complete information, including purchasing info, can be found at this link:  https://soundcloud.com/#travis-l-boyd/more-than-a-cross )

Song 3:  “He Took Up A Cross”  was written by Travis L. Boyd and recorded by The Singing Churchwomen of Oklahoma, then under the direction of Dr. Bill Green, on their CD entitled, “The Lord is My Light”.  (The SATB Choral Anthem for “He Took Up a Cross” is available on the Adult Choir page of our Worship Sounds Music website at http://www.worshipsounds.com )

Song 4:  “For the Sins of All” was written by Travis L. Boyd and is available as a Vocal Solo and as an SATB Choral Anthem on our Worship Sounds Music website at http://www.worshipsounds.com  )

Song 5:  “Amazing Grace!  Eternal Life!”  was written by Travis L. Boyd and published as an SATB Choral  Anthem with Full Orchestration available by the Lorenz Corporation.
(More information, including purchasing links, is available at this link:  https://soundcloud.com/#travis-l-boyd/amazing-grace-eternal-life )

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Do you know Jesus?

The decision to ask Jesus to come into your heart and life as your Lord and Savior is the best decision you could ever make!  The one true God is ready to give you forgiveness and eternal life as soon as you understand your need for Him and believe on the name of His only Son, Jesus, for your salvation.  Here’s a blog page link to help you find the answers to your questions about Jesus.  http://www.worshipsounds.wordpress.com/do-you-know-jesus/

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Singing a New Song

Sing to the LordWhat does the Bible have to say about new songs or new music, and what can new songs mean for us?

Here are some scripture verses about a having a new song and some thoughts about how new songs can bring new life.

A new song, wherever you are!

Sing a new song to the LORD.  Sing His praise from the ends of the earth, you people who sail on the seas and all the creatures that live in them, you coastlands and all who live on them.

–  Isaiah 42:10

God has given us the gift of music so that we might creatively express thoughts and feelings with a depth of emotional and spiritual meaning that goes beyond what mere words can convey.  He has given music as a tool whereby we might respond and communicate with each other and with Him.  He has given us the ability to appreciate and enjoy music.  And, He has given us the ability to create music.

When we return a new song to God in praise, we have completed a circle of giving.  He gives the capabilities to hear various pitches, to internalize rhythms, and to understand the meaning of lyrics.  He has created, and He gives us the ability to create.  God has given to us a revelation of truth or a new way to express truth that becomes the message and style, melody and rhythm, harmony and expression of the new song.  Together, these elements form the whole of a gift that we can then give back to our Father God as we worship Him.

No matter where we are, we can live in relationship with God in a way that allows Him to give us a song.  Whether your song is one you recently discovered, written by someone else, which expresses exactly where you are on your spiritual journey or whether God used your gifts to write the song 6 minutes ago, He knows when our hearts are pouring out a new message of love and thankfulness to HIm.

Sing to the Lord a new song all the earthA new song as a personal expression of worship

I will sing a new song to You, O God; Upon a harp of ten strings I will sing praises to You.

–  Psalm 144:9

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At its highest and noblest purpose, music can be a vehicle whereby we communicate the truths of God’s word or His character and lift that message up to God in worship, with the purpose of bringing glory to Him, encouraging the body of Christ, and sharing a message of testimony and truth that God’s Spirit can use to draw hearts to the Lord.

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A new song as congregational praise

Praise the LORD!  Sing to the LORD a new song.  Sing his praises in the assembly of the faithful.  

–  Psalm 149:1

sing a new song to the LordThere are times when we need a new song.  Perhaps the songs we already know don’t say exactly what we want to say.  Perhaps God has given inspiration for both melody and words to say something new or to share a well-loved truth in a new way.  Every song begins with an idea, whether that idea is a musical idea or a lyrical one.  However, songs that are written to bring glory to God begin with something more profound:  a revelation.  God speaks to the heart of the songwriter or lyric writer through His Spirit, through the Word, through something that someone says, or a book or article, or even through His creation.  A revelation of spiritual truth can also come through the lessons in a time of trial or even in a time of victory as we learn to trust God in all of life.  All of these kinds of experiences can be used by God to inspire someone that He has gifted with songwriting abilities in the creation of a new song.  This song in turn can become a vehicle for the writer and sometimes for the praise of the congregation or for multititudes of congregations.

A new song as a hymn of praise and a powerful testimony that draws others to the Lord

He has given me a new song to sing, a hymn of praise to our God.  Many will see what he has done and be amazed.  They will put their trust in the LORD. 

–  Psalm 40:3

Sing_to_the_Lord_a_New_Song  header

In our experience, the music that Travis has been inspired to write has been a chronicle of our spiritual journey and what the Lord has been doing in our hearts along the way.  Many of these songs were born out of a moment of recognition or revelation when a spiritual lesson was beginning to become a clear guiding light of recognizable truth that God would use to move us further along down the road to becoming more like Jesus.   Many of these spiritual life lessons are truths that we thought we already knew.  However, God has allowed us to experience them in a deeper or more profound way that has changed our perspective, focused our efforts, and refined our character.   For example, we had always heard and read and known intellectually that God is faithful.  However, through some rocky experiences over a long period of time and the simple fact that we were able to hang in there and keep hoping until we saw the faithfulness of God manifested in various situations, God taught us again to trust His faithfulness.  We learned once more that we could choose to trust Him even when we had no understanding of why things happened as they did and even when every fiber of our being was desperately crying out for resolution to pain and crisis NOW!  We learned that we have the easy part (if you could call waiting in desperation easy) of just holding on, while God is not only working throughout the situation but also working in the hearts of we who are struggling to believe while knowing that we must believe even when belief seems contrary to every indicator of reality.  How patient He is with us as we learn the same lessons over and over again, hopefully at a deeper level of spiritual understanding and growth.  Out of such experiences came songs like Travis’ “God is Faithful,” “I Am Here,” (the assurance of God’s presence) and “Much More Than a Song” (the recognition of the fact that God is worthy of praise in any circumstance).

Sing a new songA new song as a Psalm of thanks for what God has done.

Sing a new song to the LORD, for he has done wonderful deeds.  His right hand has won a mighty victory; His holy arm has shown his saving power!

–  Psalm 98:1

The fact that God continues to give “a new song” is an encouragement for individual Christians and for the people of God.  It means that God is still at work in the hearts of His people.  It means that God is still “with us” and is striving to complete His work in our lives, as He has promised.  It means that God’s patience (long-suffering) is still delaying His judgement of this world because of His mercy and grace and His great love.  Like a sermon or a book that someone has been inspired to write and to proclaim, a new song means that there are still lessons to learn and souls that need to be saved.  As long as God continues to inspire new songs as messages of His love, His faithfulness, His mercy and grace, His plan for our lives and for all of creation, God’s people are reminded through another means that God is still working to accomplish His purposes.  His Spirit is working in our hearts, His Word is instructing us in righteousness, and the messages that God inspires men to write or speak or act or paint or sing or sculpt (and, especially, to live!) for His glory are testimonies of God’s faithfulness in all of these things.

A new song for everyone!

Oh sing to the LORD a new song; sing to the LORD, all the earth! 

–  Psalm 96:1

sing of the mercies of the LordSome of the songs that individuals feel inspired to write may never be heard by many people.  The purpose of a song may be as an individual expression of praise to God.  This kind of new song is very personal to the writer as a part of their spiritual journey and may exist only to serve as a vehicle of praise for that person.  Someone who has never thought of themselves as a song writer may even find themselves singing to the Lord in worship with lyrics that are uniquely their own.  A song does not have to be sung by millions in order to be a valid expression of praise to God.  He knows when your “new song” expresses the praises of your heart or speaks of a lesson learned or a truth that has been understood in a new way.  In essence, every time we sing any song of praise to God, it can be a “new song” of praise to Him when it becomes the very real and sincere praise of the present moment, when our hearts cry out anew in thankfulness and awe.

A new song in Heaven

And they sang a new song, saying, “Worthy are you to take the scroll and to open its seals, for you were slain; and by your blood you ransomed people for God from every tribe and language and people and nation. 

–  Revelation 5:9

Our God is the same, yesterday, today, and forever.  But His creation continues to change even as He creates newness in hearts and lives.  The heartbreak of pain and loss will not always be with us.  All of the trials of this world are temporary.  Someday, He will make all things new, just as He is now making our hearts new.  The process of His work on our spiritual creation gives us some new songs to sing along the way.  Is is a joy to know that someday we will sing of His victory in a place where there is no more to overcome.  We will have overcome all things through the blood of the Lamb, through the giving of our lives to Him, through the Word of truth, and through the word of our testimony.  Our songs of trusting God when we don’t understand will become obsolete.  Finally, we will know Him even as we are known, and God will give us a new song of thanksgiving and praise for all of eternity.

Sing HallelujahA new song of joy

Sing a new song of praise to Him; play skillfully on the harp, and sing with joy. 

–  Psalm 33:3

For now, we will continue our songs, both old and new.  We will sing of God’s salvation and power.  We will sing of His faithfulness and love.  We will sing of God’s mercy and His amazing grace.  We will sing with joy, for we know that we are not the only ones who are singing.  Our God rejoices over us as his dearly beloved children, and He sings over us as well.  He is with us.  He is mighty in power and yet tender and gentle in His patience, renewing us with His love until that day when we will dwell with Him and the former things will all pass away.

His song for you and me

The LORD your God is with you. He is a hero who saves you. He happily rejoices over you, renews you with his love, and celebrates over you with shouts of joy. 

–  Zephaniah 3:17

My husband, singing his song, “Much More Than a Song” (available as a Vocal Solo or Choral Anthem on http//:www.worshipsounds.com )

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