Unity

People who are ready to die for others usually don’t fight among themselves.

—William McDonald

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Praise to Our Creator

PSALM 100 (ISAAC WATTS)
A plain translation. Praise to our Creator.
[You may sing this to DUKE STREET, “Jesus Shall Reign”.]

Ye nations round the earth, rejoice
Before the Lord, your sovereign King;
Serve Him with cheerful heart and voice,
With all your tongues His glory sing.

The Lord is God; ‘tis He alone
Doth life, and breath, and being give;
We are his work, and not our own,
The sheep that on His pastures live.

Enter His gates with songs of joy,
With praises to His courts repair;
And make it your divine employ
To pay your thanks and honors there.

The Lord is good, the Lord is kind,
Great is His grace, His mercy sure;
And the whole race of man shall find
His truth from age to age endure.

—Isaac Watts (1674-1748), The Psalms of David, 1719

God’s Priority: A Heart of Worship

For there were many in the assembly who had not consecrated themselves. Therefore the Levites had to slaughter the Passover lamb for everyone who was not clean, to consecrate it to the LORD. For a majority of the people, many of them from Ephraim, Manasseh, Issachar, and Zebulun, had not cleansed themselves, yet they ate the Passover otherwise than as prescribed. For Hezekiah had prayed for them, saying, “May the good LORD pardon everyone who sets his heart to seek God, the LORD, the God of his fathers, even though not according to the sanctuary’s rules of cleanness.” And the LORD heard Hezekiah and healed the people.

—2 Chronicles 30:17-20

Expecting God to Speak

Perhaps the question to ask is whether we actually expect God to speak. If we wish to invite worshipers into that expectation, then the opening words of the service are especially important. A blessing and invitation from God, in the words of Scripture, set the expectation that God is already speaking in this place, today. This prepares worshipers to hear God in any element of the service, even those not specifically thought of as God’s Word to us.

—Ron and Debra Rienstra, Worship Words: Discipling Language for Faithful Ministry, 48