“Oh come, let us worship and bow down; let us kneel before the LORD our Maker” (Psalm 95:6).
“Enter His gates with thanksgiving and His courts with praise” (Psalm 100:4).
Joyful, joyful, we adore Thee, God of glory, Lord of love—Henry van Dyke.
“Since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe” (Hebrews 12:28).
How can joy become characteristic of our lives? It grows out of true worship, which involves not only celebration but also confession. In Israel’s national holidays, the scales seemed to be heavily tipped in favor of celebration—5 joyous occasions to 2 serious ones (Leviticus. 23:1-44). Serious consideration and prompt confession of sin are essential, but God wants these balanced by celebrating who He is and what He has done for us.
A beautiful passage of Scripture is Mary’s Song, commonly referred to as “The Maginificat,” in the first chapter of Luke’s gospel. “My soul glorifies the Lord” (Luke 1:46 – “glorifies” is translated “exalts” – NAS; “magnifies” – ESV).
Michael Guido in his “Seeds from the Sower,” peers into Mary’s soul:
In the Hebrew and Greek languages the word “soul” is used to reveal or describe a person’s entire identity – their very essence, being or character. In this one word Mary reveals that “all” of her is committed to magnifying the Lord. The sum and substance of her being were to worship God in all of His majesty.
In her song she magnified the Lord, not her child . . . God entrusted her with the Messiah because He was the center of her life.
Our “spiritual act of worship” (Romans 12:1), in view of all the Lord Jesus Christ has done for us, is to dedicate our lives to Him. This goes beyond acts of devotion but a lifestyle of worship in His service.
If we let our hearts praise and worship Him, something will occur deep inside our emotional nature. Wouldn’t you rather give up life than be separated from His delightful love? “Because Your lovingkindness is better than life, my lips will praise You” (Psalm 63:3, NAS).
O come, let us adore Him, Christ the Lord.
We’ll praise His name forever, Christ the Lord.
We’ll give Him all the glory, Christ the Lord.
For He alone is worthy, Christ the Lord.—Traditional text