Read: Psalm 95:1; 1Corinthians 14:15; Ephesians 5:19; Colossians 3:16; James 5:13; Psalm 66:1, 100:1
Worship is one of the main themes of Scripture from Genesis to Revelation. God deserves and expects that we worship Him. Psalm 95:1 instructs us to worship by singing and making a joyful noise. No one type of music is mandated– “make a joyful noise all ye lands” (Psalm 100:1) suggests a multitude of cultural expressions, with the common thread of joyfulness. The music of worship expresses the spirit and the mind (1 Cor. 14:15) and the emotions (James 5:13). Worshipful singing is directed to the Lord (1 Chronicles 16:23); singing also is “teaching and admonishing one another“ (Eph 5:19, Col 3:16).
Think About It: Why is music so important in proper worship? Do I “make a joyful noise” when I worship? What have I been taught through the music of worship? How have I been admonished by the music of worship?
Prayer: Lord, help me to make a joyful noise in Your praise.
Read: Psalm 95:2, 114:7; Hebrews 12:18 – 25; Genesis 3:8, 4:16
Psalm 95:2 tells us to come before God’s presence in worship. Worship must take place with an awareness of God’s presence. Awareness of God’s presence produces a sense of reverence and awe (Psalm 114:7; Hebrews 12:18 – 25). Sin and disobedience disrupt our sense of God’s presence or create a desire to flee from it, for example Adam and Eve (Gen. 3:8), Cain (Gen. 4:16), and Jonah (Jonah 1:2 – 3).
Think About It: God is everywhere present (Acts 17:27 – 28; Psalm 139:7 – 12). What makes me uncomfortable about being in God’s presence? What detracts from my sense of God’s presence? What enhances my awareness of God’s presence?
Prayer: For grace to practice the presence of God.
Read: Psalm 95:2; Philippians 4:6; Colossians 2:7, 4:2; Ephesians 5:20;
1 Thessalonians 5:18
Psalm 95:2 instructs us to come into God’s presence with thanksgiving. Prayer and worship that pleases God is always offered with thanksgiving.
Think About It: What are some ways that I can thank God when I worship Him? For what am I thankful? What hinders me from having a thankful spirit?
Prayer: For a thankful heart.
Read: Psalm 95:3; Isaiah 45:23; Romans 14:11; Philippians 2:10
Psalm 95:3 invites us to worship, bow down, and kneel. The primary words for worship in both Hebrew and Greek refer to the act of prostrating oneself, or bending the knee, visible signs of reverence and respect that acknowledge the superiority and authority of the one before whom we bow. The most important essence of this “bowing the knee” in Christian worship is the recognition of the Lordship of Jesus Christ.
Think About It: How can I respond to the invitation to “kneel and bow down” in a Baptist-style worship setting and service?
Prayer: Jesus, I acknowledge you as Lord of Creation and Lord of my life.
Read: Psalm 95:7 – 8; 2 Timothy 4:2 – 3; Acts 6:2 – 4; 1 Corinthians 14:1 – 3
Psalm 95:7 – 8 remind us that worship involves listening for the voice of God. Worship must involve the Ministry of the Word in which we hear from God.
Think About It: What is the priority of the Ministry of the Word according to Acts 6:2 – 4 and 1 Corinthians 14:1 – 3? What must characterize the preaching of the Word according to
2 Timothy 4:2 – 3? How should the Ministry of the Word be prioritized in worship? What has God been saying to me lately through the ministry of His Word?
Prayer: Thank God that He still speaks through His Word.
Read: Psalm 95:1 – 11; Psalm 46:10
Psalm 95 deals with the “why” of worship as well as the “how.” Generally, the psalm tells us that we worship God for what He has done for us and for who He is, and in addition, so that we might enter into His rest (Ps. 95:12).
Think About It: What does Psalm 95 have to say about who God is? What does it say about what God has done for me? What does it mean to “enter into His rest”?
Prayer: Praise God for who He is and what He has done for me.
Read: Psalm 95:8 – 11; Isaiah 59:2; John 12:37 – 41; Hebrews 4:7 – 11
Psalm 95 identifies several problems that prevent a person from properly worshiping God: v. 8, the hardened heart, vs. the listening to what God has to say and submitting to God; vv. 8 – 9, provoking and testing God – grumbling, complaining, a critical spirit, vs. an attitude of gratitude and expressions of thanksgiving to God; v. 10, grieving God, erring in heart – sin grieves God and creates a situation where God will not hear prayer (Isaiah 59:2) – vs. confession, repentance, willingness to obey God and submit to God; v. 11, ignorance of God’s ways, self-centered worship, humanistic attitudes, and works–based salvation ideas, vs. exalting the Lordship of Christ and bowing the knee to Him; v. 11, not entering into God’s rest — striving, seeking salvation through works, and struggling to have one’s own way, vs. “Be still, and know that I am God.”
Think About It: Are any of these “anti-worship” attitudes and actions present in my life? What needs changing or altering in my thinking in light of Psalm 95?
Prayer: Lord, help me to worship You for the right reasons and in the right way.