From the Pastor’s Desk (10/21/2015)

Dear CSOPC brothers and sisters,

In 1 Timothy 6:12 the Apostle Paul calls the young Timothy to ‘fight the good fight of the faith.’  And this same call applies to us today.  Indeed the Christian life is a daily battle against the enemies of sin, the flesh, and the devil.  But this is not a fight we engage in in our own strength; rather we do battle in the strength of the risen Lord.  Also, note Paul refers to this battle as ‘the good fight.’  It is a good fight to fight against sin.  It is a good fight to fight against the flesh.  And it is a good fight to fight against Satan.  Striving in the strength of Christ for greater holiness is the greatest battle we can be engaged in!  Today may we fight the good fight of the faith.
  • BIBLE STUDY TONIGHT at the VanTubergens at 7:00PM.  Their address is 8803 Catawissa Drive, Houston, 77095.
  • BE ON THE lookout for our next men’s breakfast in the coming weeks!
  • Today’s devotion (attached) is a reflection from Psalm 150 on the praising God.
God bless and I look forward to seeing you soon!

From the Pastor’s Desk

Mid-week Devotional

“Let Everything that Has Breath”

Psalm 150:6, “Let everything that has breath praise the LORD!  Praise the LORD!”

The book of Psalms was the hymn-book of the early church.  It gave ‘divine language’ to the worshipping saint.  The Psalter has traditionally been divided into 5 separate books (perhaps reflecting the 5 books of the Pentateuch), each with unique themes and emphases (the 5 books are Psalms 1-41, 42-72, 73-89, 90-106, 107-150). Also, each of the 5 books closes with a doxology (41:13; 72:18-19; 89:52; 106:48).  And significantly, book 5 concludes the Psalter with an explosion of praise in Ps 146-150.  For example, we note each of the 5 Psalms, 146-150, begins and ends with ‘Hallelujah,’ ‘Praise the Lord’ (e.g. Ps 146:1, 10; 147:1, 20).  And Psalm 150 closes the Psalter with a magnificent call to praise.  There are three brief points to make regarding the call to praise in Psalm 150.

First, where do we praise the Lord?  We praise him ‘in his sanctuary.’  The sanctuary is the temple of God – the place of God’s covenantal presence – the place where the covenant Lord met with his covenant people.  Worship is a covenantal activity between the one, true, and living God, and his people.  Also, the psalmist calls for the praise of God ‘in his mighty heavens.’  That is, saints on earth and in heaven praise the Lord.  There is a sense in which Lord’s Day worship (i.e. worship in the sanctuary on the Lord’s Day) is a ‘heavenly exercise’ in which the church is summoned to participate in the eternal worship of heaven (Heb 12:22-24).

Second, why are we to praise the Lord?  Verse 2 gives the reason … “Praise him for his mighty deeds; praise him according to his excellent greatness.”  We are to praise him for his glorious works on behalf of his people; and for his majestic character.  Simply put, we are to praise him for his person and his work – for who He is and what He has done for us.  Throughout the Psalms, both God’s acts of creation and salvation (work), and his attributes (person) are highlighted as motivations for worship (e.g. Psalm 104, 103:6-13; 105, 89).

Third, how are we to praise the Lord?  We are to praise him with all that we are.  Verses 3-5 speak to the vibrancy of true worship, “Praise him with the trumpet sound; praise him with lute and harp … Praise him with sounding cymbals; praise him with loud crashing cymbals!”  Worship is to engage the whole congregation and the whole person.  Worship takes energy and effort.  We are not called into the presence of God as mere spectators.  Rather we are to be active and engaged in the worship of the God who made us and redeems us.

And finally, who is to praise the Lord?  “Let everything that has breath praise the Lord” (v. 6).  All creation is summoned to worship its Creator (cf. Rev 5:13-14).

Brothers and sisters, the application of this text is quite simple and straightforward.  What does it mean to us?  The call to us in Psalm 150 is the same as the call to the original audience … to worship our God and king with all that we are.  As the people of God we are to worship him!  We are to worship the triune God because of who he is and because of what he has done for us.  And specifically, we praise him because of the glorious salvation he has accomplished in Christ Jesus.  And finally, we are to worship – not as mere spectators (for that is not worship at all) – but as active participants offering to the Lord our sacrifices of praise (1 Pet 2:5; Heb 13:15).  May we worship Christ the King in Spirit and in truth – may we worship Him in his house with his people – and may we worship him with our whole being!  Indeed, “let everything that has breath praise the Lord.”        

Rev. Robert Arendale, Pastor of Cornerstone Presbyterian Church (OPC),