Psalm 96 calls us to “Sing to the Lord” (Ps.96:1a). Regardless of our present pains or disappointments, the Bible assumes that if we are recipients of his grace and mercy, we have a lot to sing about. And the focus should not only be historical (i.e. what God did for us in years past), but our attention should also be on God’s merciful involvement which is observed to be “new every morning” (Lam.3:23). That is why the psalmist calls us to sing to him “a new song” (Ps.96:1b). The “newness” in view is not the modernity of the melody (necessarily), but it clearly has to do with the recent awareness of God’s “marvelous deeds” and manifestations of his “glory” among his people and in our lives (Ps.96:3). We could consume all of our time and attention focusing on the difficulties of the Christian life, but the Bible says that would be a mistake. Because God “is great” and “most worthy of praise” (Ps.96:4), there are many good and awesome things of which we should take note, and then, in obedience to God’s word, we must turn our hearts and our voices to him in joyful song. Psalm 96 ends as we might expect, looking forward to the day when God makes everything right (Ps.96:13), but in the meantime we should never fail to find the “right” that he is doing right now and celebrate it with glad and sincere hearts.
-- Pastor Mike
The Christmas season is in full swing, and before we know it, 2015 will be upon us. For some, this flip of the calendar goes by without much thought. Others make big commitments for personal change, only to abandon them a few weeks down the road. Whatever your goals for the New Year, it’s wise for followers of Jesus to use this natural transition in the calendar to remember our God-given calling. Why are we here? What is our purpose? Those are big questions, and knowing the answer will set us up for success, no matter what the future holds.
Beyond any other goal, make 2015 a year where you grow to know Christ better. In the coming weeks, think about specific ways you can accomplish this goal. How will you be intentional about running hard after your calling in the coming year? When you give a gift of any amount we would like to send you a book by John MacArthur called A Year of Prayer: Approaching God with an Open Heart Week After Week. This book provides an excellent opportunity to grow in your relationship with God in 2015! It provides a prayer for each week that is thoughtfully and scripturally crafted to express adoration, confession, thanksgiving, and petitions to our Heavenly Father.
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