On Loan

With Job facedown in worship to God, the only one cursing is Satan. He hated it! He resented Job’s response! Of all things, the man still worships his God—the One who would allow these catastrophes to happen.

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The Why, Where, and How of Worship

Some things just don’t mix! Oil and water always separate, no matter how much we shake them. An open fire and a can of gasoline don’t go together. And alcohol and driving should never coexist! There’s something else that doesn’t mix–the praise of almighty God and the promotion of self. You cannot blend them, nor […]

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Making Melody

God’s sharp sword stabbed me deeply recently as I was on a scriptural hunt in the Ephesian letter. I was searching for a verse totally unrelated to the one that sliced its way into me. It was another of those verses I feel sorry for (like John 3:17 and 1 John 1:10—look ’em up). This was Ephesians 5:19: “speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody with your heart to the Lord.”

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Praise at All Times

Psalm 149 encourages the people of God to praise Him at all times, regardless of circumstances. In times of blessing, praise Him! In times of suffering, praise Him! In times of warfare, praise Him! When we come to that enviable place in our Christian experience that we can honestly say, “Praise the Lord!” in every situation—and genuinely mean it—we will have assimilated the full thrust of this magnificent hymn of praise—and all the songs in Scripture. May that day come soon, and may it never end.

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In Times of Blessing

Psalm 149 is one of five “praise the Lord” psalms that conclude the Hebrews’ ancient hymnal. Like the other four, it begins with the command “Hallelujah!” leading to a time of exalting God’s goodness. In this case, the people of God are summoned to praise Him in response to three different situations: times of blessing, times of suffering, and times of warfare.

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The Meaning of Praise

There are times when the hardest words in the world to utter are “Praise the Lord!” (also translated “Hallelujah!”). These words just don’t flow from our lips. In fact, there are times we are turned off even when others use the words! Interestingly, each of the last five psalms in the Hebrews’ ancient songbook begins with that exclamation of praise.

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Live Beyond the Daily Grind

It isn’t pretty, but it’s here to stay. It occurs in every life and in every season of the year. I call it the “daily grind.” Homemakers face fourteen-hour days with ever-present children and an endless grind of responsibilities. Students endure the grind of assignments, classes, deadlines, and exams. Salespeople have quotas to meet. Musicians […]

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Worshipping with Spiritual Integrity

A cold war existed between the Jews and Samaritans when it came to the issue of worship. The woman at the well distinguished the dividing line in this worship war: “Our fathers worshiped in this mountain [Mount Gerizim], and you people say that in Jerusalem is the place where men ought to worship” (John 4:20). […]

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Mean What You Sing

Nothing touches the human heart deeper than music. This is never more true than when a group of Christians sings heartily unto their Lord. Many a cold heart on skid row has melted as the strains of some old hymn lingered in the steamy streets and sleazy alleys surrounding a gospel mission. When congregations sing […]

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Music’s Effective Ministry

God had His hand on this young man whose music not only would fill the heart of a depressed king overwhelmed by blackness, but also would someday fill His written Word. Thus, David, with his primitive stringed instrument, walked bravely into that dark place where Saul was living. Saul was willing to try anything. “Provide […]

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