Let everything that has breath praise the Lord.
Praise the Lord (Psalm 150:6).
Take a moment, before you embark on Friday, to imagine every living thing declaring its praise to God.
Everything that draws breath will use that breath to exalt the One who created
That’s some Hallelujah right there.
Happy Friday, Beloved.
…praise him with the clash of cymbals, praise him with resounding cymbals (Psalm 150:5).
OK, oddest worship memory…
Many moons ago, I was part of a church that was rather…demonstrative in its worship. It was commonplace to see people raising hands, dancing, calling out in various versions of prayer languages. No snake handling, but up to that pretty much anything went. I was a little, shall we say, conservative in my personal worship style, but I appreciated the freedom of my brothers and sisters and had no problems with their praise.
Until Flag Lady showed up.
You heard me.
She had these pennants…shiny gold pennants. They may have been silk, but I don’t know for sure.
I just know that they hurt.
You see, each of her two pennants was about three feet long and was attached to a twelve-inch stick. Each tapered to a point, as pennants are wont to do. She would dance up and down the aisle of the church, spinning and twirling and leaping and smacking folks in the head with these flags.
You think I’m joking
but I have scars.
Have you ever seen an expert lion tamer in action? Maybe an old Indiana Jones film?
Beloved, praise him loud and long and with everything you’ve got.
Just, you know, try not to leave a welt.
Happy Thursday, Beloved
Praise him with the sounding of the trumpet, praise him with the harp and lyre, praise him with tambourine and dancing, praise him with the strings and flute… (Psalm 150:3-4)
God is a music lover.
Now there’s all kinds of music, and all kinds of worship. Some of you go for the traditional, hymn-based-pipe-organ-eighteen-verse-four-part-harmony-gimme-my-choir-robe variety of worship.
Some of you need a little head-banging-base-thumping-electric-guitar-screeching-shout-to-the-Lord-and-give-me-an-Advil-for-my-migraine kind of worship.
Some of you go for the nose flute and hand ocarina.
Probably not many, though.
Guess what? God likes it all. If it’s done with all your heart, and it’s done for his glory, it’s worship. It may not be my style, but it’s his.
Because, in the end, you are the instrument of praise.
Happy Wednesday, Beloved.
Praise him for his acts of power; praise him for his surpassing greatness (Psalm 150:2).
Yesterday’s verse told us where to praise God–essentially everywhere. This verse tells us why to praise God.
And he does big things.
I apologize for getting all high-brow and exegetical on you, but we need to get the theology straight here.
God is greater than anything or anyone else you can think of.
Yes, even that.
And definitely them
He is Almighty God, creator of heaven and earth.
His very nature makes him worthy of your praise
But wait–there’s more! This God, this infinitely powerful, surpassingly awesome One,
calls you his own.
We have reason upon reason to praise his name.
Happy Tuesday, Beloved.
We’re taking a little break from 1 Corinthians this week. I’m feelin’ kinda Psalmy…
Praise the Lord.
Praise God in his sanctuary; praise him in his mighty heavens (Psalm 150:1).
Some rather random musings on this verse…
I praised God in church yesterday, so we could say I was in his sanctuary.
But aren’t we the temple of the Holy Spirit? Paul says so in 1 Corinthians. So, anywhere I praise him is his sanctuary, because I am his sanctuary.
We are his sanctuary.
Beloved, the Old Testament saints could only imagine what you and I take for granted.
So, maybe we should stop taking it for granted.
I can’t claim to have been to the heavens, but God is there, so if I praise him then I am praising him in his mighty heavens, yes? Besides, I will someday praise him from heaven, and God is not bound by time, so he already exists there, so he is experiencing me praising him in his mighty heavens.
I’m just not there yet.
Boy, you can say that about a lot of things.
Praise the Lord today, Beloved.
Flee from sexual immorality. (1 Corinthians 6:18a).
I actually had planned to cover a lot more ground today.
I was thinking I’d deal with the next few verses, maybe finish off the chapter.
But this word got me.
Beloved, don’t try to talk your way out of sin.
Don’t try to plan your way out, or figure out a path to gradually reduce the sin.
Get your hiney out of there.
So often we wish God would just speak clearly and tell us what to do.
Well…here you go.
Happy Friday, Beloved
Shall I then take the members of Christ and unite them with a prostitute? Never! Do you not know that he who unites himself with a prostitute is one with her in body? For it is said, “The two will become one flesh.” But he who unites himself with the Lord is one with him in spirit (1 Corinthians 6:15b-17).
To take one of God’s glorious gifts and buy or sell it as a commodity insults God and perverts the gift. It also degrades your body, which you use to serve God.
Paul is addressing literal prostitution here, but it’s worth noting that the image is used throughout the Bible to describe those who have abandoned God to serve others. Molech, Baal, Asherah–they all represent trading the beauty and fulfillment of God’s design for something cheap and petty and dangerous. So before you tsk tsk the Corinthians and cruise on past this verse, do a quick heart check: are you engaging in spiritual prostitiution? Is there any area of your life in which you are trading unity with the Lord for cheap thrills? If you’re not sure, ask him–he’ll let you know.
Do not stray from your Beloved, Beloved.
The consequences may be worse than an STD.
Happy Thursday, Beloved
Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ himself? (1 Corinthians 6:15a)
This is deep water, Beloved.
What does it mean, to be members of Christ?
I’m in way over my head here, but let me try…
Jesus is more than a man–far more than the best human to ever walk the planet. He is Emmanuel.
God with us
And when he returned to the Father’s side, he left the Holy Spirit
to carry on the work of loving and breaking and healing this world.
In Colossians 3:3, Paul said, “For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God.” Six chapters from now, in 1 Corinthians 12:12, we are told that as Christians we are all members of one body–the body of Christ. So we are a part of Jesus, and he of us, in ways that are far beyond my little brain’s attempt to comprehend or communicate. Which brings us back to Paul’s point this morning:
That body of yours is something special–treat it wisely.
Happy Wednesday, Beloved
By his power God raised the Lord from the dead, and he will raise us also (1 Corinthians 6:14).
That body of yours is eternal.
It will rise with you–perfected, but somehow still that body.
No, I don’t know how that works.
I don’t know how people who died 1000 years ago and whose bodies are dust
or people whose bodies have been cremated
or people who were blown up
or eaten by wild animals
or accidentally dissolved in acid
will be raised.
I don’t understand how all their various parts will reassemble.
But I’m not overly concerned, because we are talking about God here, and I’m pretty sure he is up to the task.
Paul’s point here, it seems to me, is to remind us that our bodies are not trash, but treasures, and should be treated that way.
Respect your body; it is a hand-crafted work of art.
Happy Tuesday, Beloved
The body is not meant for sexual immorality, but for the Lord, and the Lord for the body (1 Corinthians 6:13b).
Your body is not just your body.
It is the temple of the Holy Spirit.
Treat it that way.
Yes, God has given you pleasure, and he wants you to enjoy the gift he has given you. But he also wants you to treat his gift with respect.
Yes, you are more than your body, but you are your body, and you should afford it the dignity it deserves as his special creation.
There is nothing about you that God designed for evil. He has designed you to be his Beloved, and to reflect his glory to the world around you.
Keep that in mind as you head into your week.
Happy Monday, Beloved