Taste and See That the Lord is Good! Psalm 34:8

My grandmother passed away five years ago. I remember the sad task of cleaning out her home. After all the big pieces had been removed we focused on the last thing, the refrigerator. In the freezer were two pies. These were not just any kind of pie, these were chess pies. Grandmothers chess pie has always been my favorite pie. I ate on that pie slowly for a week. I remember the last bite well, because I knew it was the absolute last bite of Grandmother’s pie I would have the privilege to taste.

God has created us with the privilege to taste the things He has created (Genesis 1:29). Our taste buds help us in our worship toward a holy and righteous God (Psalm 34:8). When I taste things I enjoy I am overcome with a thankful heart. If I taste something bitter I am also reminded of the bitter cup our Lord drank on crucifixion day (Matthew 26:39 & Matthew 27:34). When I taste other things such as bread I am reminded of the promises God made and kept with His people in the Old Testament. In the Old Testament Israel held feasts to remember the things God had done (Leviticus 23:33-44).

God gives us an infinite supply of opportunities to taste and see that He is good. He is good in that He supplies us with sustaining provisions. God is good in that Christ tasted a bitter cup so those who trust in Him will not have to taste such bitterness. God also promises us an eternal supply of fruit in Heaven (Revelation 22:2).

Maybe the next time you partake of the Lord’s Supper you might consider the bitter drink and what it means to drink it. We should worship God when we taste the bitter drink knowing our Lord drank the bitter cup of God’s wrath, and He did so on our behalf. We can even worship God in our church fellowship. The next time you attend a church fellowship and taste the wonderful food remember the Lord Himself has created such good taste. In tasting anything let us do so and see that the Lord is good! Lastly let us not forget the promised fruit in Heaven. May we gather together beside the river and taste God’s goodness.

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Sights for Worship. Proverbs 20:12

Proverbs 20:12 The hearing ear, and the seeing eye, the LORD hath made even both of them.

God has created all of us with five senses. We are created with these senses for the purpose of worship and fellowship with God. I wonder if we consider the privilidge of seeing the beauty in worship? In an effort to explain how we can better enjoy the priviledge of sight and use it in our worship let me give you some testimony. In our church we have some things that are always in place. Often times we can walk into the House of the Lord and overlook the things that if we look at them in context we might enter into a heart of worship. I try to look at these things when I enter the church with expectations of being inspired and directed to worship and praise God.

Our church has a foyer area for information papers for ministries, tapes of sermons and gospel tracts. In this foyer area two wooden doors are pulled back. Wome people see two wooden doors. When I look at these doors I see the formal opening leading into the room where God’s people are going to worship the true and living God. When I look at these doors I see an opening leading to a place where a lost sinner can come and witness God’s people in worship. Inside the two doors waits a place God will speak to us through His word.

After walking into the sanctuary the first thing my eye is attracted to is the pulpit. For some the pulpit is a wooden book board that sits on the platform and nothing else. After realizing the proper perspective on the sights of worship I now see a sacred desk. On this sacred desk lies a copy of God’s holy, inspired, infallible and in inerrant word. This brings my heart into a state of worship. Looking at the copy of God’s word humbles me and makes me wait with real expectations knowing God will speak to the congregation in order to call sinners to repentance, saints to service and will make disciples of those who are comitted to the faith.

After ascending the pulpit I look out over the congregation and view the pews. For some these are merely seats for sitting. My eyes see the seats where God’s very own will be seated for worship. I also see fellowship of the saved. In these very pews God has convicted hearts, changed lives and taught disciples. Knowing this turns my heart toward God for worship. While on the platform my eye is captured by something else. It is the beautiful stained glass windows. The particular one I am drawn to has a picture of Jesus Christ. In the picture our Savior has outstrected open arms. As I gaze at this work of art I think of a Savior who says, “come unto me all you that labor and are heavy laden and I will give you rest”, (Matthew 11:28).I also see a Savior saying to lost sinners, “Repent for the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand” (Matthew 4:17).

Lastly I view the congregation while worship takes place. We know the church is a place for the saved to come and worship God The church is also a place for lost sinners to witness (see) the worship taking place. When this happens God works in the hearts of lost sinners. Many have come to know Christ as savior when the word was preached and Christians worshipped.

What do you see when you enter the House of the Lord? Maybe the next Lord’s Day you will ask God to use your sense of sight to help you better worship Him. after all He is worthy of our full attention. He is worthy of our worship. He is worthy of our praise. And may we not forget He is worthy of our repentance.

The Sound of Worship, Ezra chapter 3

We are commanded in scripture to worship God (1 Chronicles 16:29). When God’s people come together to worship there are some distinct sounds heard. Looking into the scriptures will give us a foundation for understanding how we use our sense of hearing in worship. To give you an example to introduce this topic I will share with you an unforgettable experience I had while on vacation a few years back.

My family decided to go to Savannah, Ga. to view the historic district and visit the beach on Tybee Island. We left on the weekend and that naturally meant we would be visiting a church. On Sunday morning my wife, daughter and I along with my parents walked into Wesley Memorial United Methodist Church. What my eyes beheld will be with me forever. What a beautiful santuary we saw. Along with the stunning sanctuary we were looking at a large pipe organ. This was new to me. As a Baptist pastor I am used to small electric organs and maybe a Baby Grand piano, but my eyes have never  witnessed such a magnificent musical instrament. Already in awe what happened next really sent my heart into a state of worship toward our mighty God. The musician began to play the pipe organ while the choir sang. It was on this day that I began to have a new respect for the sounds of worship.

Though I returned to our small town Baptist church to hear our small electric organ I listened with a fresh desire. I now desired to worship God with my sense of hearing. God gave specific musical duties to those priests He set aside to play. We can find these examples throughout scripture (Psalm 150, 1 Chronicles 6:31). Maybe this Lord’s Day we might all lesten to the music and song with a new desire to worship God with our sense of hearing.

We will look at other areas in which we worship God through our sense of hearing later.