Dear CSOPC brothers and sisters,
- JOINT EVENING WORSHIP SERVICE – on May 15th, we will have a join worship service with Providence OPC. We will be meeting at Birkes for worship; and will have Rev. Ben Hopp preaching. Rev. Hopp is an OPC missionary in Haiti. Please plan to join us for this evening of worship!
- Men’s Retreat – we are looking forward to a men’s retreat the night of Friday, May 13th. More details to come!
- Devotion – this week’s devotion is a reflection from Psalm 40 on the theme of ‘salvation unto worship.’
From the Pastor’s Desk
“Redeemed to Worship”
Psalm 40:2, “He drew me up from the pit of destruction, out of the miry bog, and set my feet upon a rock, making my steps secure.”
The Lord sovereignly and graciously delivers us, and we in turn worship him. God saves, we worship. That is, we are ‘saved to serve’ – we are ‘redeemed to worship.’ This theme is perhaps most clearly seen in the book of Exodus where the LORD through Moses repeatedly calls to Pharaoh, “Let my people go that they may serve me in the wilderness” (e.g. Ex 7:16). When we turn to the New Testament we see the same theme of redemption unto worship. For example, Peter states: “… that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light” (2:9b). We have been called from darkness to light; and thus we are to proclaim the excellencies of the ‘Divine Caller’ – our gracious Heavenly Father. We see this same idea at a personal, experiential level, however, when we turn to the Psalms. As we consider David’s words in Psalm 40 we note the twin ideas of deliverance and worship.
In vv. 1-4 David speaks of the Lord’s deliverance. Likely David is not referring to his initial ‘conversion’ – although the language he uses could absolutely fit one’s initial conversion unto the Lord; rather David likely is describing a time of extremity in his life. In a particular time of crisis and need, David cries to the Lord who hears the prayer of his child (v. 1). Then what a glorious description he gives of the Lord’s deliverance: “He drew me up from the pit of destruction, out of the miry bog, and set my feet upon a rock, making my steps secure” (v.2). What a picture! Indeed this is what the Lord does for his people in their initial conversion; but also this is what the Lord does for his people throughout their lives. He delivers us. He sets our feet upon the firm rock of the gospel. Apart from his sustaining and delivering hand, we fall, we stumble, we wander, and we forget his ways, mercies, and truth.
And what does David do in light of the Lord’s deliverance? Several things are mentioned in vv. 5-17 (including calling on the Lord’s help in future times of need, vv. 13-17), but for our purposes we note David’s worship. Again and again in the Psalm, David ‘proclaims and tells of God’s wonderful deeds.’ For example, David tells the glad news of deliverance in the great congregation – he has not restrained his lips – he has not hidden his deliverance in his heart – he has spoken of the Lord’s faithfulness and salvation – and he has not concealed God’s steadfast love and faithfulness from the great congregation (vv. 9-10). David worships! He praises the Lord! He cannot but worship! He tells! He speaks! He does not stay quiet!
Brothers and sisters, may this be true of as well. May we pause to reflect on God’s unceasing mercies and his continual deliverances in our lives! And may we worship! May we praise our Lord! May we sing of the goodness, perfections, and wonderful deeds of the Lord! As the Apostle Paul closes the doctrinal section of the great epistle to the Romans in which he has expounded the salvation purchased by Christ, he cannot but explode his worship. Listen to his words, “Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments and how inscrutable his ways! ‘For who has known the mind of the Lord, or who has been his counselor? Or who has given a gift to him that he might be repaid?’ For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be glory forever. Amen” (Rom 11:33-36).
Rev. Robert Arendale, Pastor of Cornerstone Presbyterian Church (OPC), www.csopc.org