Grace be to you and peace from God the Father, and from our Lord Jesus Christ, Who gave himself for our sins, that he might deliver us from this present evil world, according to the will of God and our Father: To whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen (Galatians 1: 3-5).
Words: Christian H. Bateman, Sacred Melodies for Children (Edinburgh, Scotland: 1843).
Music: MADRID (EVANS), traditional Spanish melody; arranged by David Evans, 1927
COME, CHRISTIAN, JOIN TO SING
Click here for tune.
Come, Christians, join to sing
Loud praise to Christ our King;
Let all, with heart and voice,
Before His throne rejoice;
Praise is His gracious choice.
Come, lift your hearts on high,
Let praises fill the sky;
He is our Guide and Friend;
To us He’ll condescend;
His love shall never end.
Praise yet our Christ again,
Life shall not end the strain;
On heaven’s blissful shore,
His goodness we’ll adore,
Since the days of Acts 2 the question has been asked, what is the purpose of the church and of individual Christians? A well-known Christian pastor and his church staff have published a series of books called The Purpose-Driven Church, The Purpose-Driven Youth Program, and now The Purpose-Driven Life. All have to do with Christians asking, what is the number one Biblical priority. Evangelism, social action, social interaction, teaching or some combination? The Psalmist makes it clear that all peoples’ first purpose is to worship and praise the one true God.
Not only does the Psalmist talk of our purpose being to worship God (verses 1-3), but he gives us four reasons to worship him:
* God created the heavens (verse 6), the seas and the abundance of the earth (verse 7). The creations of which we are part and live in are filled with evidence of God and his goodness. When we compare ourselves with a person who could create the universe ex nihlo we are humbled and that alone should compel us to revere God (verse 8).
* God’s purposes are sovereign and cannot be stopped or hindered by anyone or anything (verse 9). As much as we (all humankind) attempt to control our lives and circumstances, we can’t. God’s plans and purposes for our lives are set in stone (verses 10-11).
* God is loving to his people and saves them from their sins (verses 12-17). God’s sovereignty extends to the salvation of his people. His people are secure in their salvation (Romans 8:35).
* God is sovereign in the sanctification of his people (verses 15, 18-22). He is at work conforming his people to the image of Christ (Romans 8:29). As the Psalmist writes, “He fashioneth their hearts alike.”. Click here for Matthew Henrey’s Commentary
Truth in Practice
These four points are at the heart of why we worship God and why that worship is the heart of our relationship with God. He created us and this environment; His purposes for this world and each of us have occurred just as He has ordained; He has loved his people (us) and saved them (us) from before the beginnings of this world; He comes alongside us and orchestrates the changes in us that will ultimately conform us to the image of Christ. Let us use our times of personal, family and corporate worship to really reflect upon God’s attributes, actions, and promises to us. Let’s once more sing Isaac Watt’s great hymn “O God our Help in Ages Past” and reflect on God’s loving sovereignty and power.