Palm Sunday Responsive Reading

2 Apr , 2020  

Palm Sunday Responsive Reading


Reader:    Jesus came to Jerusalem and the people waved Palm branched and laid their clothing in the road and cried

Congregation:    Hosanna; Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord:

Reader:    Blessed is the kingdom that cometh

Congregation:    The kingdom of our father David: Hosanna in the highest.

Reader:    Lift up your heads, O ye gates;

Congregation:    And be ye lifted up, ye everlasting doors: And the King of glory will come in.

Reader:    Who is the King of glory?

Congregation:    Jehovah strong and mighty, Jehovah mighty in battle.

Reader:    The children were crying in the temple and saying,

Congregation:    Blessed is the King that cometh in the name of the Lord: peace in heaven, and glory in the highest. 

Reader:    And some of the Pharisees said unto him, Teacher, rebuke thy disciples.

Congregation:    And he answered and said, I tell you that, if these shall hold their peace, the stones will cry out.

Reader:    I am the root and the offspring of David, the bright, the morning star.

Congregation:    And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And he that heareth, let him say, Come.

Reader:    And he that is athirst, let him come: he that will, let him take the water of life freely.

Congregation:    Henceforth there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give to me at that day; and not to me only, but also to all them that have loved his appearing.

                                                    Maranatha!  Come, Lord Jesus!  Hallelujah!



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Praise the Lord!

25 Mar , 2020

“Oh sing to the Lord a new song, for he has done marvelous things! His right hand and his holy arm have worked salvation for him. The Lord has made known his salvation; he has revealed his righteousness in the sight of the nations. He has remembered his steadfast love and faithfulness to the house of Israel. All the ends of the earth have seen the salvation of our God. Make a joyful noise to the Lord, all the earth; break forth into joyous song and sing praises! Sing praises to the Lord with the lyre, with the lyre and the sound of melody! With trumpets and the sound of the horn make a joyful noise before the King, the Lord! Let the sea roar, and all that fills it; the world and those who dwell in it! Let the rivers clap their hands; let the hills sing for joy together before the Lord, for he comes to judge the earth. He will judge the world with righteousness, and the peoples with equity.” (Psalm 98)

Praising God in Worship

The Pastor had been encouraging the congregation to let loose and shout their praises to God. After the service Aunt Deborah approached the Pastor with a frown.

“Pastor! Why are you encouraging the people to shout and sing so loudly? Do you think God is deaf?” she said disapprovingly.

“No,” he answered, “and I don’t think he is nervous, either.”

Praise and Not Ashamed

David Wilkerson, the author of The Cross and the Switchblade, had a suburban Pentecostal church. They loved the Lord. David’s father was a retired old time Pentecostal preacher. He was visiting, so David asked his father to preach. During the service his father noticed the subdued nature of the worship, because they did not want to offend the neighbors.

When the elder Wilkerson got up to preach, he stood beside the pulpit and took off his muddy shoes. He plunked them down on the pulpit. There was a gasp from the congregation.

He said, “This is not holy! It is a place for proclaiming God holy word, but this is material and temporal. It will get old and need to be replaced.

“You have fallen into complacency, since you moved into the suburbs. God called you to proclaim your love for Him and to worship Him exuberantly. Now we’re going to have a Jericho March, singing in triumph at the Lord’s victory in each of our hearts.

“You on both sides open all the windows, all the way. We’re going to notify the neighbors we are here and we are proud to declare God’s glory!”

What the Bible Says About Praise

Now let’s look at what the Psalmist and God are telling us.

Oh sing to the Lord a new song, for he has done marvelous things! His right hand and his holy arm have worked salvation for him.   (Psalm 98:1)

Psalms 96 also tells is to sing, to create a new song,

“Oh sing to the Lord a new song; Sing to the Lord, all the earth!

Sing to the Lord, bless his name; Tell of his salvation from day to day.

Declare his glory among the nations, His marvelous works among all the peoples!” (Psalms 96:1-3)

Marvelous works – these are not superior, natural things. They are miraculous, supernatural entrances of יהוה into the affairs of men.

His right hand, and his holy arm, hath wrought salvation – this indicates God has rolled up His sleeve to get us salvation – a real effort of love. It required a two-fold sacrifice;

  • First, God the Son had to sacrifice His position at the right hand of God the Father to be born the God-man, Jesus. Then it required Jesus to grow up into manhood and next, in the prime of life be not only crucified, but also become the sin-bearer for the Elect. Thus, because He bore our sin, Jesus, the Son of God experienced the rejection of His father. He suffered the punishment for our sin – rejection by God and death, once and for all!
  • The other sacrifice required the Father to send His Son into the certain danger of torture and death. But worse, once Jesus was on the cross, and became sin for us, His Righteous Father had to reject Him and turn His back on His Son,

“And about the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani? that is, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?” (Matthew 27:46)

Contrast the little effort God took to create all the stellar lights.

“When I consider thy heavens, the work of thy fingers, the moon and the stars, which thou hast ordained;” (Psalm 8:3)

Salvation and Praise

Creation itself was mere finger play.

The Lord has made known his salvation; he has revealed his righteousness in the sight of the nations. (Psalm 98:2)

God displayed His acts of salvation publicly for all the world to see, to note and to believe. Paul declared before King Agrippa

“That Christ should suffer, and that he should be the first that should rise from the dead, and should shew light unto the people, and to the Gentiles.”  (Acts 26:23)

“For the king knoweth of these things, before whom also I speak freely: for I am persuaded that none of these things are hidden from him; for this thing was not done in a corner.” (Acts 26:26)

“The Lord hath made bare his holy arm in the eyes of all the nations; and all the ends of the earth shall see the salvation of our God.” (Isaiah 52:10)

“And I will stretch out my hand, and smite Egypt with all my wonders which I will do in the midst thereof: and after that he will let you go.” (Exodus 3:20)

God’s Love and Praise

He has remembered his steadfast love and faithfulness to the house of Israel. All the ends of the earth have seen he salvation of our God.   (Psalm 98:3)

God has openly revealed His love for His Chosen People. He has made no secret of the way to participate in salvation.

“Shew thy marvelous loving-kindness, O thou that saves by thy right hand them which put their trust in thee from those that rise up against them.” (Psalm 17:7)

Praise with Singing

Make a joyful noise to the Lord, all the earth; break forth into joyous song and sing praises!   (Psalm 98:4)

“Make a joyful noise” this is a command to express your love for God exuberantly is declared seven times:

  1. Psalm 66:1 “Make a joyful noise unto God, all ye lands:”
  2. Psalm 81:1 “Sing aloud unto God our strength: make a joyful noise unto the God of Jacob.”
  3. Psalm 95:1 “O come, let us sing unto the Lord: let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation.”
  4. Psalm 95:2 Let us come before his presence with thanksgiving, and make a joyful noise unto him with psalms.”
  5. Psalm 98:4 (here) “Make a joyful noise unto the Lord, all the earth: make a loud noise, and rejoice, and sing praise.”
  6. Psalm 98:6 “With trumpets and sound of cornet, Make a joyful noise before the King, Jehovah.
  7. Psalm 100:1 “Make a joyful noise unto the Lord, all ye lands.”

Joyful–there are two Hebrew words used in these Psalms. In 66:1; 81:1; 95:1&2; and 100:1 they use רָנַן (raw-nan), which means to “emit a strident sound, shout aloud for joy, be greatly joyful, sing aloud for joy”. Psalms 98:4 & 6 use עׇלַז (aw-laz), which means “jump for joy, exult”.

Three Hebrew words are used for “noise”. Psalms 66:1; 81:1 שׇׁאוֹן (shaw-one) = from a root meaning “to rush”, thus “roar as a rushing sound) tumultuous’. Psalms 95:1 קוֹל (kole) = “call aloud, sing, thundering voice, yell”. Psalms 98:4& 6; 100:1 פׇּצַח (paw-tsakh) = “break out in joyful sound, break forth in joy, make a loud noise”.

Putting these words together multiplies their force. The Psalmists used different word combinations; nevertheless, the meanings of all are the same. When we worship יהוה, if we love Him, we should cast self-consciousness aside and shout for joy at the top of our lungs, we should sing His praises exuberantly.

Since the worship in the Temple involved not only music and singing, but also dancing. We must use our bodies to worship, jumping for joy, whirling in delight and any other appropriate movements that express our joy in worshiping our God.

When we worship with un-self-conscious exuberance, we glorify God and proclaim His majesty. Conversely when we are self-conscious, we are wrapped up in self and what people think of us. We are not freely worshiping God in spirit and in truth. A half-truth is a lie.

Praise with Music

5 Sing praises to the Lord with the lyre, with the lyre and the sound of melody!   (Psalm 98:5)

Music out of full hearts blesses God. He takes pleasure in exuberant, and Loud praise.

6 With trumpets and the sound of the horn make a joyful noise before the King, the Lord!   (Psalm 98:6)

יהוה is King of kings. We honor Him with boisterous fanfares and with loud cheers and shouted praise. He is not nervous when we boisterously and exuberantly sing at the top of our voices and shout for joy at His Presence.

When Queen Elizabeth goes out in state the people line the streets and cheer wildly, “Long Live the Queen!” A marching band accompanying her plays loudly, “God Save the Queen”, which is the same melody as our National Anthem.

We, in extolling the majesty of Almighty God, El Shaddai, should be as exuberant, or more so.

Praise All Over the Earth

Let the sea roar, and all that fills it; the world and those who dwell in it!   (Psalm 98:7)

This is not “respectful” and quiet, but resounding, even crashing praise! This is not disrespectful, but honoring the greatness of God! Consider what the sound will be when the voices of all the believers, billions of voices, are joined together in praise of their most loved God. That is what will occur around God’s throne, when we will all be standing in His Presence.

After these things I saw, and behold, a great multitude, which no man could number, out of every nation and of all tribes and peoples and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, arrayed in white robes, and palms in their hands; and they cry with a great voice, saying, Salvation unto our God who sits on the throne, and unto the Lamb. And all the angels were standing round about the throne, and about the elders and the four living creatures; and they fell before the throne on their faces, and worshiped God, saying, Amen: Blessing, and glory, and wisdom, and thanksgiving, and honor, and power, and might, be unto our God for ever and ever. Amen.   (The Revelation 7:9-12)

8 Let the rivers clap their hands; let the hills sing for joy together.   (Psalm 98:8)

Everything in the world praises their Creator.

Jesus is Coming!

9 before the Lord, for he comes to judge the earth. He will judge the world with righteousness, and the peoples with equity.   (Psalm 98:9)

When Christ comes again, he will come in glory. His purpose will be to bring everything to the culmination. He will judge impartially and righteously. All people throughout history will stand before Jesus, the perfectly righteous Judge. Each person will get their just deserts.

He will act with equity, but He will not be vindictive. Those who have believed, Jesus will own and acknowledge His blood covering their sins and His righteousness clothing them. He will embrace them and welcome them into His Presence. Those who have not believed, He will see their sin and see their nakedness. He will not acknowledge them, instead He will disown them and cast them out of His Presence.

After this I heard what seemed to be the loud voice of a great multitude in heaven, crying out,

“Hallelujah! Salvation and glory and power belong to our God, for his judgments are true and just; for he has judged the great prostitute who corrupted the earth with her immorality, and has avenged on her the blood of his servants.”

Once more they cried out, “Hallelujah! The smoke from her goes up forever and ever.”

And the twenty-four elders and the four living creatures fell down and worshiped God who was seated on the throne, saying, “Amen. Hallelujah!”

And from the throne came a voice saying, “Praise our God, all you his servants, you who fear him, small and great.”

Then I heard what seemed to be the voice of a great multitude, like the roar of many waters and like the sound of mighty peals of thunder, crying out, “Hallelujah! For the Lord our God the Almighty reigns. Let us rejoice and exult and give him the glory, for the marriage of the Lamb has come, and his Bride has made herself ready; it was granted her to clothe herself with fine linen, bright and pure”— for the fine linen is the righteous deeds of the saints.

And the angel said to me, “Write this: Blessed are those who are invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb.” And he said to me, “These are the true words of God.”   (The Revelation 19:1-9)

Praise With No End

Do you think the rejoicing in Heaven with all the Cherubim, Seraphim, Archangels, Angels, the patriarchs and the teeming billions of the redeemed in the Church Triumphant is going to be subdued? “Whew, I’m glad that’s over. Now we can rest in peace -z-z-z-z-z-z…” Of course not! The myriad of voices will be raised in glorious praise at the top of their voices. Hallelujah! Praise God! Praise the Father! Praise the Son! Praise the Holy Spirit! Hallelujah! Hallelujah! If the Earth, Sun, Moon and stars had not been rolled up, the resounding praise would have shaken them out of their orbits.

All this is to say exuberance in worship is a blessing to God. Never be inhibited in demonstrating your love for your Father, Your Savior, your Guide, Counselor and Truth Teacher!

Sing your praise! Shout your Praise! Declare your praise! But do not suppress your praise. You are addressing El Shaddai! You are praising Almighty God, Creator of all that exists, who is worthy of all your praise.

Sing Praise to God

Prayer of Praise

You are magnificent, Almighty Father. We worship you with all our hearts, souls, minds and spirits.

Free us from anything that binds us. Any infirmities of our flesh. Any reticence or inhibitions of soul. Free us to be exuberant in our worship and praise.

Let our voices rouse the neighborhood. Draw them in to see what the commotion is.


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Praying to Holy Spirit, Our Guide

27 Feb , 2020  

I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever; Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.   (John 14:16-17).

These prepositions, “in” and “with”, are significant. Jesus was not waxing poetic. He was being instructive.

  • In” means the Holy Spirit dwells in the spirits of all who believe in Jesus Christ. When we were born again, the Father sent the Holy Spirit to live in us as the earnest of our inheritance.
  • With” means that He is not a passive passenger through your life. He is engaged as much as we allow Him to be. He is the Power of God in residence. We can through our inhibitions restrict His activity in and through us. Conversely, through stepping aside we can watch his power manifest the ministry gifts and office He wants active in our lives.

That means we have to give over control and let Him do what He wants. That’s scary. He is like a powerful wild horse; He can run away with us. But he will never buck us off. He will do far more in and through us than we can imagine, more than we are comfortable with, but far more effective in glorifying God than we could ever do by our inhibited selves.

As we pray, lets tune in to the Holy Spirit, and allow Him to direct our prayers. Let’s release His power to make our prayers effectual and fervent, ascending to God and gladdening His Father’s heart.

Order of Prayers

First, share your concerns, prayer requests, praise reports and offerings of thanks for God’s blessings.

Next, we will pray to release the Holy Spirit, so each one will pray in the power and love of the Spirit for us and those we pray for.

Opening Prayer

Jesus, You taught us to pray. First You set the example of praying fervently to Your Father. You prayed often and long. You taught us that those who worship must worship in Spirit and in truth. So, now we open our hearts to the Holy Spirit, and release Him to pray through us.

Prayers of God’s People

Pray as you feel led by the Holy Spirit to pray

Concluding Prayer

Lord Jesus you sent the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of Truth, and we acknowledge His ministry among us. Lead us in our prayer life to acknowledge the blessing of the Holy Spirit assisting our prayers.

We offer the prayer that You taught us, Lord Jesus, saying:

The Lord’s Prayer

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