I promise not to go on and on about The Message Bible and Mr. Eugene Peterson again this week. But, y’all…
I love, love, love the way he weaves today’s words with those Hebrew and Greek words from The Word. The other morning I was reading in Psalm 89 and out of the blue, this:
Blessed are the people who know the passwords of praise,
who shout on parade in the bright presence of God.
Delighted, they dance all day long; they know
who you are, what you do—they can’t keep it quiet!
Your vibrant beauty has gotten inside us—
you’ve been so good to us! We’re walking on air!
All we are and have we owe to God,
Holy God of Israel, our King!
It is no secret that I love praise and worship. Yes, I am a hand-lifting, feet-tapping, arms-spreading worshiper. I close my eyes and it’s just me and my good, good Father and His glorious Son – there’s no one else in the room when I praise my King. My hubs steps over a seat or two because he knows my arms will probably swat him at least once, if not twice. I get caught up in the music and the worship.
I know the passwords of PRAISE!
Have you gone through a season of thank you praying? You bow your grateful head and the only word that comes out is, “Thank You.” There have been times this past year of daily thank you prayers. There are no words. My co-worker and I pray every morning over the telephone, as we both work from our homes, we take turns. There are mornings he wonders if I’m going to form a sentence – because all I can say is, “Thank You.” An unknown writer had those moments too when he/she penned Psalm 100:
On your feet now—applaud God!
Bring a gift of laughter,
sing yourselves into his presence.
Know this: God is God, and God, God.
He made us; we didn’t make him.
We’re his people, his well-tended sheep.
Enter with the password: “Thank you!”
Make yourselves at home, talking praise.
Thank him. Worship him.
For God is sheer beauty,
all-generous in love,
loyal always and ever.
I’m at home in His presence. I’m comfortable there. I spend a lot of time there. Thanking Him. Praising Him. Loving Him.
I know the password to enter His presence.
What about the password to heaven? From Matthew 7:
“Knowing the correct password—saying ‘Master, Master,’ for instance—isn’t going to get you anywhere with me. What is required is serious obedience—doing what my Father wills. I can see it now—at the Final Judgment thousands strutting up to me and saying, ‘Master, we preached the Message, we bashed the demons, our God-sponsored projects had everyone talking.’ And do you know what I am going to say? ‘You missed the boat. All you did was use me to make yourselves important. You don’t impress me one bit. You’re out of here.’
This one is not as pleasant to read or think about. Jesus is speaking in the above verse and He’s pretty serious sounding. I think about this scripture … A LOT. In fact, since the new year it’s burned inside of me. I’ve had to take spiritual inventory. I’ve had to question my motives. I’ve heart-checked. I’ve soul-checked. I’ve checked my obedience meter.
I know the password to Heaven!
If you need to do a heart checkup, read 1 John 2. Meditate on it. Think about it. If you want to talk about it, email me. I want you to be certain…
of the PASSWORD!