Make a Joyful Noise to the Lord

Psalms 100 ESV

Make a joyful noise to the Lord, all the earth!
Serve the Lord with gladness!
Come into his presence with singing!

Know that the Lord, he is God!
It is he who made us, and we are his;
we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.

Enter his gates with thanksgiving,
and his courts with praise!
Give thanks to him; bless his name!

For the Lord is good;
his steadfast love endures forever,
and his faithfulness to all generations.

My parents were both singers. They had beautiful voices in their younger years. My mother played the piano beautifully. We used to sing the hymns all the time, at the gatherings of the church, at home, on car rides, and sitting on the porch with neighbor children singing together, etc. And I began singing solos when I was still a child. And I ended up majoring in music and in voice in college (first time). And so I sang much.

I met my husband singing together in University Singers and then we began singing together for he has a beautiful voice. And then we sang with another girl and guy who were our friends and we got invited to sing lots of different places in our city. And most all of my life I sang solos and duets and trios and quartets and in ensembles and praise bands and church choirs, etc. But as I aged, so did my voice, and then eventually it gave out on me.

So when I read this now about making a “joyful noise” to the Lord, I have a new appreciation for those words. And even as my voice was aging before it finally gave out, I was beginning to appreciate these words here. For not everyone has professional sounding voices. Not everyone can sing on pitch. I have a son who is tone deaf and I love to hear him sing. I think these modern market-driven churches really don’t get this.

For this is not about how good we sound. Even where it tells us to speak to one another in psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs, this is not about having the best singers performing in front of us. This is about us singing the truths of the Scriptures to one another for our mutual encouragement. It doesn’t matter what our voices sound like. What matters is what is in our hearts and if we are genuinely praising and worshiping the Lord in our singing.

For we are to be serving the Lord in our singing and not ourselves. And coming into his presence is not just about singing praise and worship songs. We can sing those songs and never enter into his presence if we don’t know him because our lives are not surrendered to him. For if we have not died with him to sin, and if we are not living to him and to his righteousness, then our praise is empty. For we come into his presence via repentance.

So if we want to be His in truth, and to be his true sheep, we need to be listening to him, and then we need to be obeying him. For we are not his sheep if all we do is just give lip service to him. Jesus’ sheep listen to him and we obey him, in practice. We are not perfect people, but sin is no longer our master. Jesus is our Lord and Master, and our desire is now for him and no longer to live according to the flesh.

So to enter into his gates we need to be those who have denied self and who have died with him to sin, and who are dying daily to sin and to self, and who are walking with him in obedience and in surrender to his will. And we must not be those who are still living in deliberate and habitual sin against God and against other humans. For Jesus said that not everyone who says, “Lord, Lord,” will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one DOING the will of God the Father who is in heaven (Luke 9:23-26; Matthew 7:21-23).

So, we don’t worship our Lord if all we do is open our mouths and sing songs. We worship him first by giving our lives to him as living sacrifices holy and pleasing to God. And holy means to be separate (unlike, different) from the world because we are being made in the likeness of character of Jesus Christ, by God’s grace. And so we are no longer to be conformed to the ways of this sinful world but we are to be transformed in heart and mind of the Spirit of God so we can live holy lives pleasing to God.

[Matt 7:21-23; Matt 24:9-14; Lu 9:23-26; Rom 1:18-32; Rom 2:6-8; Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-14,24; Rom 12:1-2; Rom 13:11; 1 Co 6:9-10,19-20; 2 Co 5:10,15,21; 1 Co 1:18; 1 Co 15:1-2; 2 Tim 1:8-9; Heb 9:28; 1 Pet 1:5; Gal 5:16-21; Gal 6:7-8; Eph 2:8-10; Eph 4:17-32; Eph 5:3-6; Col 1:21-23; Col 3:5-17; 1 Pet 2:24; Tit 2:11-14; 1 Jn 1:5-9; 1 Jn 2:3-6,24-25; 1 Jn 3:4-10; Heb 3:6,14-15; Heb 10:23-31; Heb 12:1-2; Rev 21:8,27; Rev 22:14-15]

Come Into His Presence

By Don Moen

Come into His presence with thanksgiving in your heart
And give Him praise, and give Him praise
Come into His presence with thanksgiving in your heart
Your voices raise, your voices raise

Give glory and honor and power unto Him
Jesus, the name above all names


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