Psalm 98

Sing a song of praise everyone for the King of Heaven has conquered death!
Shout praise to the God who created the world, then saved it!

Never before has anyone conquered death for the sake of His murderers.  Shout praise to the God whose infinite love has saved you from hell!

No other man or god has made such a sacrifice that ended in such victory – Jesus Christ willingly subjected Himself to torture and death, never even opening His mouth in protest, so those dead in sin could live forever in God’s light and love!

And then!  And then!
Victory!  Death vanquished by Life!
Our risen Savior is King in Heaven so Praise!
Lift up your hands and shout!  Throw back your heads and sing!

Musicians at attention!  Trumpets, trombones, tubas and cornets
Blare a fanfare for the God of Heaven!
Violins, cellos, fiddles, and violas
Bow your strings in a sweeping welcome to God Almighty.
Flutes, clarinets, saxophones, oboes, bassoons, and piccolos join in.
Now percussion lend us your beat and let’s bring the house down!
Everyone giving all they’ve got to praise their creator!

But why stop with people and instruments?
Birds, soar in formation before your King!
Fish, dance your fishy dance for the One who made you.
All animals everywhere – you’ve been waiting for this day – make the best noise you’ve got in honor of your King!
Everything on earth that’s been created by God, let’s hear it for your King!
Welcome your risen King as He comes to put everything right.
At last!  His Kingdom has come!

Psalm 97

God is King over everything for all eternity; everyone hear and rejoice!
At the end of this world God will be sitting on His throne, surrounded by roiling clouds, while the Earth self-destructs before Him.  Earthquakes, volcanoes, tsunamis, lightning, thunder, meteor showers, supernovae, all of creation will tremble before Him.

Here is the true King; the good, right, and perfect King.  Justice is His guarantee.

Bow in awe as the heavens reveal the One who makes things right.  Watch as He ushers in a new Heaven and a new Earth.  It will be plain then that there is – and always has been – only one King.  Everything else we worshiped will be gone; lost forever with all that causes sin.

Children of God rejoice and sing praise!  You have reason to celebrate.  God, the One who created the Universe in six days, has been preparing a place for us since the beginning of time.  Everything is perfect!  He has done it!  Sing, sing, sing!  Radiate the light and joy of your Creator because He has kept you safe — snatched you from the grip of the evil one so you could spend eternity with Him.  So let’s get started!  We have eternity to get better acquainted with our Creator; to love Him more and praise Him better.  We have eternity to go farther up, deeper in!

Psalm 96

All the worship songs in the world – from the dawn of time until now – don’t adequately tell of God’s power and glory.  They aren’t enough to praise Him as He deserves to be praised!  So everybody get out your pens and tune your guitars; dust off your tambourines, we’re writing a new song to sing to God today!

Who is God?
What is He like?
What has He done?
Who should know about this?

Stand up and sing!  Tweet the Good News and post it on your blog and Facebook: Jesus has conquered death!  King Jesus is victorious over sin and death and He wants to bring everyone into His Kingdom where there is no sin, no pain, no suffering! #redemption. Everyone needs to hear this!  Email everyone you know and send snail mail to everyone else!  Salvation for all!  Freedom from sin and death.  Put on your shoes and go outside – shout it out to everyone you see: Jesus is alive!  The Creator of the Universe loves you and wants a relationship with you!

This is a good start, but it’s not enough.  God is indescribable and is worthy of constant devotion – praise 24/7 – from dawn to dusk and even in your dreams!  Praise Him!  His terrifying beauty makes everything else that vies for our attention look like 10¢ trinkets.  There is nothing and no one that can compare with our God!

Only God could open His mouth and speak the sun into place, brilliance pouring out from Him like rays from the sun.  Only God could conceive of all the details that hold the earth and its inhabitants together – how to keep the galaxies from colliding in the sky!

Well done, God!  You thought of everything!  Well done!
Everyone join me in a round of applause!  We’re in awe of Your goodness, in awe of Your power.  Bring the best of your best as a gift to God.  Offer it to Him gratefully and gladly because You know He deserves it.  Bow down in worship before the King of Heaven.  His sheer majesty knocks us to our knees!

Don’t forget to spread the news!  Creator God is waiting to get intimate with you.  Shout it out everyone.  You’re joining a choir of people and angels, of sky, earth, and sea.  God made it all, so it all brings Him glory.  Ocean’s roaring “Praise Him!”  Sky throws its arms wide to welcome Him.  Earth and planets spinning in a dance of praise.  Everyone join in!  It’s a praise extravaganza before God.  We’re ready for You God.  Ready for You to come set everything right.

Psalm 95

Come on everybody, raise your voices!
Shout praises as loud as You can to the Savior of our souls!  Let all of St. Johns hear us in here praising the One who saved us from hell.
All together now, we’re in the presence of God Himself!  Join the choir of angels and lift your voices in praise!

Why does He deserve this kind of adoration?  Because He’s God – the One and Only, that’s why!  He carved out the Grand Canyon and sent Mt. Everest soaring into the clouds in a day.  Have you ever seen a picture of our galaxy?  You can barely see our entire solar system and yet there are billions of galaxies in the universe!  Our God spoke all that into being.
So yeah, He deserves our praise.

Stand and sing and shout before God.  And when the magnitude of His greatness hits you – when you are struck by His intimate love – fall to your knees in worship.  Bow before the God who is infinite and intimate.  He made each one of us.  He knows everything about us.  We’re the children in His family; the kids gathered around His generous table at dinnertime.

Seriously people, there is nothing more important than this!  Drop everything you’re doing and listen  Let yourself be changed by Him.  There are plenty of examples of what has happened when people didn’t listen to God – when they refused to obey Him or be moved by His love and provision.
Trust me, it’s not in our best interests to test God’s patience.  His Will will be done on Earth as it is in Heaven.  Walk on His road to enjoy the life He’s created for you.

Psalm 94

Evil and evil-doers, the end is near!
Trouble and trouble-makers your hey-day is coming to a close.

Our God is good, right, and perfect and He sees what is going on.  You wicked rebels won’t get away with your rebellion forever, you know.  Don’t think that if you abuse God’s children you’ll get off scot-free.  Don’t pretend that there are no consequences for your actions.   Do you really think the One who sees all won’t see you?  Are you so naive as to imagine that the source of Wisdom doesn’t know what you’re doing; so hare-brained as to thing that God Love doesn’t care?!

Of course He cares!  And the people He instructs and trains have their eyes opened to the benefits of that care.  He puts them in a protective bubble of peace while they’re in the midst of chaos.  God doesn’t leave His people high and dry, He walks with them every step of the way.

When I was overwhelmed by the wickedness within my own home, who held me up, protected my heart, and gave me strength?  God did!  If it wasn’t for God, I never would have made it through the week.  I can always count on Him to give me strength and peace.  When I feel my sanity slipping away, He calms me down and gives me vision.

God is my strong fort.  I can run to Him any time of the day.  And one day soon He will wipe away all evil.  What paradise it will be then!

Psalm 93

Make way for King God!
Bow before God whose strength is measured in universes.

What is Earth, a tiny pin-prick in a galaxy?  A galaxy a grain of sand in a universe?  This is Your creation God of Heaven.  All this is here to bring You glory!

Hurricane Isaac sweeps the South.  People tremble at its mighty strength and power.  They cower in fear before it.  Hurricane Isaac is but a butterfly’s breath to You magnificent God – powerful God in Heaven.  Whom should we really fear?!

You are Commander-in-Chief.  You hold everything in Your control.  Even nature must obey You.  But Your power becomes You – You’re no tyrant.  Your Kingdom is defined by beauty, holiness, and a sense of unshakable security.  It always has been and You always will be.

Psalm 92

God, You fill my heart with joy until it is bubbling over with thanks and praise.  I’m moved to weeping by Your beauty, Your love, Your grace.

In the morning my eyes pop open and my heart gushes with praise.  I’m so happy!  Happy to be Your child!  Happy You’re my King.  I look out the window and laugh with joy at the beauty of Your creation.  I open Your Word and sigh with delight at the wisdom You’ve put at my fingertips.  Incredible!  You’re simply astounding!

I know some people don’t “get” You, profound God, but I beg You to peel the blinders off their eyes so they can revel in Your majesty too.  Wouldn’t it be wonderful to add their voices to Your choir of praise?!

I don’t deserve my spot in Your choir, perfect Father, but I’m so glad You’ve given my the chance to sing.  In spite of my weakness, You’ve made me a strong, confident woman because I am confident of Your power in me.  In spite of my stupidity You have filled my head with Your wisdom.   Praise You God in Heaven!  I don’t have to pass my sinful misconceptions on to my children!  You have saved this wreck of a girl and redeemed me so I can advance Your Kingdom as a servant, wife, and mother.  I never thought it could be so wonderful.  I am witness to God’s saving grace!  God my King!  King of my heart!

Psalm 91

Those of us who live in God’s house don’t have a thing to worry about.
When your bed is made by God you can rest assured that you’ll sleep safe and sound.

God protects His children from evil.  When you are on God’s mission no one can touch a hair on your head without God’s permission.  He keeps His strong arm wrapped securely around you.  You have nothing to fear – not a car accident or cancer.

But wait!  Sometimes these trials are part of His plan for us.  Does that mean He doesn’t love us?  Oh no!
After all, His Son, whom He loves dearest and best, had to walk a very hard road of suffering.  Are we better than the Son?!  No, the suffering and trials are meant to draw us closer to God, just as His protection is also meant to draw us nearer to Him.  God’s glory and our relationship with Him is the ultimate goal, remember?  So what if we lose our life on earth?  Is life on earth better than eternity with our King?  By no means!  Death is a gift to those who serve God.  Life is a gift as well.

Psalm 90

God, You have always been God!
Long before I was born, long before this nation was born, long before the mountains became mountains and the canyons became canyons, You were God.  Why, You sang the universe itself into being!  There is nothing that did not have its beginning in You.  And You will be there for the grand finale and beyond.  Time is nothing to You.  A thousand years is but a blink of Your eye.

People, on the other hand, now we’re another matter.  Compared to You we last as long as dew on a hot August morning.  We’re like a sneeze or a hiccup on the timeline of eternity.  And yet, this hiccup is all we have here on earth (75 years, 90 if we’re lucky) so don’t hold our sins against us for all of it.

Teach us to seek first Your Kingdom.  Remind us that eternity with You is what matters; everything we strive for on earth apart from You and Your Kingdom is like an ice cream house – fun for about five minutes, but in the face of eternity, completely pointless.  So Father, open our eyes to Your Kingdom on earth.  Teach us to participate and delight in advancing Your Kingdom.  Let Your blessing rest on all we do for the sake of Your Kingdom to confirm that we have the right focus.

All for Your Kingdom Eternal King!

Psalm 89

God in Heaven, Your love is in my heart and it bubbles out in joyful song!
You have filled me with Your love and goodness since I was a baby.  I have so many stories to tell of Your kindness and provision, Your faithfulness and love.
You have wrapped Your strong arms around me and protected me from evil.
Without You, I would be dead.  Without You, I am nothing – less than nothing – and so I’ll spend my life praising You.

After all, You deserve my praise and so much more!  Creator of the Universe, You have authority over life and death, nature and science, physics and the elements.  With one word You can speak a galaxy into being.  With another word You can implode the stars leaving nothing but a black hole.  Despite Your infinite enormousness, You are the intricate designer of all my inner workings.  There is nothing too small to escape Your notice.

So now here we are, surrounded by reminders of Your majesty.  Mt. Hood, Mt. St. Helens, and Mt. Jefferson sing a towering chorus of praise to You.  The Willamette and the Columbia throw themselves at Your feet, two silver carpets for Your majestic stride.  And we, we Your people stand tall to sing Your praises.  When we remember the work You’ve done in our lives, the words fly out of our mouths, we can’t hold them in.  All we have and are we owe to God, our Holy and majestic King!

A long time ago You made a promise to Your family.  You said You would pour out Your Spirit on those who followed You.  The Spirit of the God who has done these mighty things would be available to Your creation!  Your Son came and showed us in person what kind of authority we would be given through You Spirit.
And then! — And then You Spirit came!  Wind!  Tongues of fire!  Buildings shook, Your people praised, You Kingdom here on earth!  Most importantly, hearts were changed; people began to understand and came running to You, ready to be made whole both in body and in Spirit.

But now, what?  Have You taken Your Spirit from us or are our hearts so numb, our ears so waxy, our eyes so crusty that we can no longer hear Your voice, see opportunities presented to us or be moved to quick obedience by Your Spirit’s prompting?  You have given us power and authority through Your Spirit, Father, teach us how to use it so we can bring You glory.

Here we are, ready to serve You God.  Look at us, look at our neighbors.  So much brokenness, so little compassion.  St. Johns needs You, fulfilling God!  They are like wandering sheep without You!  Where is the power and authority You are famous for?  Send Your Spirit on us Father!  Unlock our tongues, open our eyes, clean out our ears, unbind our hands!  May Your Spirit work through us to reveal Your majesty to our neighbors.  Give us the authority to heal their diseases so they may see You.  Give us the discernment to speak into their brokenness so they can be made whole in You.  Give us the compassion to invite them into Your family so they can experience Your love: true love!

Take a good look at us God.  We’re standing here among thousands who would write You off.  We’re ready to serve You, now equip us with the authority of Your Spirit and teach us to use it well.  We don’t want to just read about and remember the days when Your Spirit worked mightily in Your people, we want to be a part of that.

Because You are King and we will be Your servants forever.