HOLY ART 

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MERRY MONDAY BY PARRIS

“The Kings daughter is all glorious within, her clothing is of wrought gold”

Psalm 45:13
Did you ever see a before and after picture of someone that has accepted Christ? Sometimes the contrast is unbelievable. Redemption has a way of making all things new. The old is gone the new has come. No scientist, doctor, research person can ever understand the work of redemption as it weaves itself in the DNA of man. The effects of sin and the sorrows of yesterday have a way of being erased!

I have had the privilege of seeing redemption up close and personal since I was 16. God working upon the soul of man is a mysterious work indeed. Then in 1994 during the years of revival at our church I saw redemption in a new way. God falling on the weary downcast and depressed Christian who seemed to have lost their way. By the time they came up off the floor being hit by the power of God you could see years of age come off their face. When the king steps into the room everything changes. He makes HOLY ART within us and that is the game changer in our life. When our world is dark how great is the darkness, Jesus said.

Spurgeon says, “Within her secret chambers her glory is great. Though unseen of men her Lord sees her, and commends her. “It doth not yet appear what we shall be.” Truth and wisdom in the hidden parts are what the Lord regards; mere skin-deep beauty is nothing in his eyes. The church is of royal extraction, of imperial dignity, for she is a king’s daughter; and she has been purified and renewed in nature, for she is glorious within. Note the word all. The Bridegroom was said to have all his garments perfumed, and now the bride is all glorious within – entireness and completeness are great points. There is no mixture of ill savor in Jesus, nor shall there be alloy of unholiness in his people, his church shall be presented without spot or wrinkle, or any such thing. “Her clothing is of wrought gold.” Best material and best workmanship. How laboriously did our Lord work out the precious material of his righteousness into a vesture for his people! No embroidery of golden threads can equal that master-piece of holy art. Such clothing becomes one so honored by relationship to the Great King. The Lord looks to it that nothing shall be wanting to the glory and beauty of his bride.”

And you thought you were just saying a little prayer didn’t you? Ahhhhhh redemption we will never come to the end of it.

SPILLING BEAUTY AND GOODNESS

Psa. 45:1 ¶ My heart bursts its banks, spilling beauty and goodness. I pour it out in a poem to the king, shaping the river into words:
I love the Psalms, they are literally infused with the fragrance of Christ. This Psalm says it all, “my heart burst its banks, spilling beauty and goodness”. How does someone get to a place like this in their experience? Actually, this is the results of a deep touch of the Holy Spirit upon your life. Once you see Him as He is you really have no other option, your heart is filled with beauty and goodness and it has to come out somehow. It comes out in a display of love that we call worship. This is the source of worship, seeing God and responding. Actually worship is our response, I say that worship is the act of enjoying God. David was really the prototype of Christian worship, from the day the anointing came upon him worship was part of who He was. Here is how John Gill describes this anointing on David.
“The Spirit of the Lord came upon David from that day forward (after Samuel anointed him with oil); not as a spirit of grace and holiness, which probably had come upon him before this time; but a spirit of prophecy, as did on Saul after his unction; and which particularly showed itself in music and poetry, in which he immediately became very eminent, and he was taken notice of for it, and which was the means of bringing him into Saul’s court; and a spirit of wisdom and prudence, in civil as well as in sacred things; and a spirit of fortitude, of strength of body, and courage and valor of mind; whereby he was enabled to encounter with the lion and bear, and get the mastery of them; which, with all other gifts of the spirit fitting him for government, he was now endowed with, and which continued with him.”
Have you connected the dots yet? Worship is supernatural by nature. Worship is birthed by the visitation of God. That’s why worship makes no sense to the carnal person. The natural man views it as singing songs about God, true worship is not that at all, it is interaction with the most incredible of all beings. Joyful singing is spontaneous, this is what the psalmist meant when he said, “My heart bursts its banks, spilling beauty and goodness”. Your view of worship really describes your spiritual condition, how is it with your soul?

SECRETARY OF THY PRAISE

Ps. 45:1 ¶ My heart is overflowing with a good theme;
I recite my composition concerning the King;

My tongue is the pen of a ready writer.
David is the epitome of being God’s secretary. What do I mean by that? Well anything that we have that is worth saying or writing comes from the Lord. David said that his tongue was God’s pen. His writings were like heavenly dictation. That is David’s description of prophesy. We are God’s secretaries, hearing from Him and responding accordingly. Recently I was reading a book written by John Piper called SEEING BEAUTY AND SAYING BEAUTIFULLY. In it, he spoke about the poetry of George Herbert, a country pastor from the 1500’s. Here is a short blurb from that book with one of Herbert’s poems. Enjoy!
“Poetry is one of those simple tasks of God’s servant that needs to be touched by the elixir, the tincture, the stone and turned into God’s praise. Herbert believed that since God ruled all things by his sacred providence, everything revealed God. Everything spoke of God. The role of the poet is to be God’s echo. Or God’s secretary. To me, Herbert’s is one of the best descriptions of the Christian poet:

“Secretarie of thy praise.”
O Sacred Providence, who from end to end

Strongly and sweetly movest! shall I write,

And not of thee, through whom my fingers bend

To hold my quill? shall they not do thee right?

Of all the creatures both in sea and land

Only to Man thou hast made known thy wayes,

And put the penne alone into his hand,

And made him Secretarie of thy praise.

Why do I languish thus, drooping and dull,

As if I were all earth?

O give me quicknesse,

that I may with mirth

Praise thee brim-full!”
I love this poem. What a great description of our lives, secretaries of His praise. We observe and listen and record and declare our observations. What have you observed recently worthy of His praise? Could it be a newborn hawk trying out his wings or maybe a young deer scampering through the woods? Or maybe a verse of scripture bursting with revelation light or the fresh touch of God while waiting in His presence. Once you have observed the greatness and beauty of our God you too will “praise Him brimful”. No other job could ever come close to the highest of all callings, “SECRETARY OF HIS PRAISE”.

SHAPING THE RIVER INTO WORDS

Psa. 45:1 ¶ My heart is overflowing with a good theme; I recite my composition concerning the King; my tongue is the pen of a ready writer.

David is trying to describe with words the prophetic anointing that would often come upon him. It wasn’t that David was a great songwriter, he was a supernatural songwriter. I guess you could say he was just a channel, or vehicle that God’s words and songs flowed through. Today’s verse in the Message reads like this, “My heart bursts its banks, spilling beauty and goodness. I pour it out in a poem to the king, shaping the river into words”. That is a great way to describe prophesy, we are shaping the River into words. For those they may not quite understand, the River is a picture of the incredible flowing presence coming out from the Father and the Son. Here is how Spurgeon describes this verse.

 

“The learned tell us that the word may be read overflows, or as others, boils or bubbles up, denoting the warmth of the writer’s love, the fulness of his heart, and the consequent richness and glow of his utterance, as though it were the ebullition of his inmost soul, when most full of affection. We have here no single cold expression; the writer is not one who frigidly studies the elegancies and proprieties of poetry, his stanzas are the natural outburst of his soul, comparable to the boiling jets of the geysers of Hecla. As the corn offered in sacrifice was parched in the pan, so is this tribute of love hot with sincere devotion.”
The amazing thing about this particular Psalm, Ps.45; it is a glimpse into the beginning of the heavenly ministry of Jesus Christ. Paul quotes some of this Psalm in Hebrews 1. In it Jesus is clearly addressed as God by God the Father. Paul also describes the anointing poured on Him to equip Him for His heavenly ministry as our High Priest. This is how the Message describes the scene.
Psa. 45:6 ¶ “Your throne is God’s throne,

ever and always;

The scepter of your royal rule

measures right living.
Psa. 45:7 You love the right

and hate the wrong.

And that is why God, your very own God,

poured fragrant oil on your head,

Marking you out as king

from among your dear companions.
Psa. 45:8 ¶ “Your ozone-drenched garments

are fragrant with mountain breeze.

Chamber music—from the throne room—

makes you want to dance.
So go ahead, step into the River. Allow the River to flow into you and then flow out of you. Don’t be surprised when you too start shaping the River into words.

LIPS OVERFLOWING WITH GRACE

Psa. 45:2 You are fairer than the sons of men;

Grace is poured upon Your lips;

Therefore God has blessed You forever.

Our ears are deaf to His lovely voice until they are kissed by His whispers of grace. Our souls are dark until the light of His grace comes streaming in. Our hearts are cold until they are strangely warmed by the words flowing from His lips of grace, as Solomon declared, ‘He is altogether lovely’. As the Psalmist sang He is ‘beautiful beautiful’. Today, it is the written word that is overflowing with grace. Every page, from Genesis to Revelation overflows with the grace and truth that are revealed in this beautiful person, Jesus Christ. To those who have never been born again, His words mean nothing, they appear as a yoke to be cast off. To those who are being saved, these are the very words of life. Here are some thoughts from Martin Luther on today’s verse.

“From His mouth, as from some overflowing fountain, the richest promises and teachings stem, and with these He strengthens and comforts souls. So the things you daily hear about this Christ are what the poet depicts, as you see, however briefly, yet with distinctive words and loveliest poetry; Grace is on the lips of this King, and not only that, it overflows, so that you may understand how abundantly this fountain of grace flows and gushes forth. As though He said; ‘Our King has wisdom such as no man has, namely the sweetest and loveliest wisdom; He helps the penitent, comforts the afflicted, recalls the despairing, raises up the fallen and humiliated, justifies sinners, gives life to the dying, and whatever there is in addition to this, that the Word of salvation accomplishes, that He does in rich abundance.’ It is, therefore, a sweet and delightful wisdom, worthy of such high praise.”

Do you feel forsaken and all alone? You will find acceptance and love in His Word. Are you being tempted and torn by the world? You will find help and moral courage in His Word. Are you sick and afraid? There is healing and reassurance in these words of grace. His lips are still overflowing with grace today, there is an abundant supply stored up for you. Don’t just read a good book, read THE BOOK. You too will say He is beautiful beautiful and grace is flowing from His lips.

GOD ANOINTED GOD

Psa. 45:7  you have loved righteousness and hated wickedness. Therefore God, your God, has anointed you with the oil of gladness beyond your companions;

One of the great mysteries of the Bible is that Jesus Christ is actually a man. In His earthly ministry He was totally dependent on the Holy Spirit. He actually ministered as a man anointed by the Holy Spirit. He was the carpenter from Nazareth until the day He visited John at the Jordan River. He was anointed with the Holy Spirit and power and went out healing the sick, casting out demons, and preaching the message of the kingdom. In today’s verse we see Jesus anointed by the Father after the resurrection and ascension. He was anointed with the oil of gladness in order to fulfill His heavenly ministry as our High Priest. He is still a man, the first fruits of a brand new race. Here are some thoughts from Augustine on today’s verse.

“Let the Jews tell us; these Scriptures are common to us and them. It was God, who was anointed by God: you hear of an ‘Anointed’ one; understand it to mean ‘Christ.’ For the name of ‘Christ’ comes from ‘chrism’; this name by which He is called ‘Christ’ expresses ‘unction’: nor were kings and prophets anointed in any kingdom, in any other place, save in that kingdom where Christ was prophesied of, where He was anointed, and from whence the Name of Christ was to come. It is found nowhere else at all: in no one nation or kingdom. God, then, was anointed by God; with what oil was He anointed, but a spiritual one? For the visible oil is in the sign, the invisible oil is in the mystery; the spiritual oil is within. ‘God’ then was ‘anointed’ for us, and sent unto us; and God Himself was man, in order that He might be ‘anointed:’”

It’s easy to recognize the need of Christ for an anointing when He was here on earth, but this is describing the work that Christ is performing right now in heaven. Today, He is at the right hand of the Father. He is interceding for me, praying on my behalf to the Father. He is also the heavenly Baptizer in the Spirit. As we acknowledge Christ as being Lord of all and then begin to worship Him, He begins to pour out His Spirit on us. Jesus is the Anointed One, He is pouring out His Spirit on all flesh.

SMELL OF YOUR GARMENTS

Psa. 45:8 All Your garments are scented with myrrh and aloes and cassia, out of the ivory palaces, by which they have made You glad.

What’s that smell? It is the fragrance of resurrection, it is the aroma of life that surrounds Jesus Christ. The natural man can’t relate to this beautiful scripture. All the natural man knows is natural things. He has never felt the presence of the Lord, never heard the voice of the Shepherd, nor ever experienced this spiritual aroma found in God’s presence. You see, the anointing is real. We are intended to experience His presence on a regular basis. Christianity is not just a creed or a philosophy. It is not just a road map directing us how to live our lives. The Holy Spirit is poured out on all mankind, we have access to a new way to live our lives. Here are some thoughts from Spurgeon on today’s verse.

The divine anointing causes fragrance to distill from the robes of the Mighty Hero. He is delightful to every sense, to the eyes most fair, to the ear most gracious, to the spiritual nostril most sweet. The excellences of Jesus are all most precious, comparable to the rarest spices; they are most varied, and to be likened not to myrrh alone, but to all the perfumes blended in due proportion. The Father always finds a pleasure in him, in him he is well pleased; and all regenerated spirits rejoice in him, for he is made of God unto us, “wisdom, righteousness, sanctification, and redemption.” Note that not only is Jesus most sweet, but even his garments are so; everything that he has to do with is perfumed by his person. All his garments are thus fragrant; not some of them, but all; we delight as much in his purple of dominion as in the white of his priesthood, his mantle as our prophet is as dear to us as his seamless coat as our friend. All his dress is fragrant with all sweetness. Oh, to behold him with his perfumed garments on!”

This is a beautiful description of awakened faith. The touch of God opens our ears so that we can hear the voice of the Lord, removes the scales from our eyes so we can see the Glory of the Lord, and gives us a scent of the sweetness of His love. Don’t be afraid, draw near, this is what you were born for.

GRACE POURED FROM YOUR LIPS

Psa. 45:2 You are fairer than the sons of men;

Grace is poured upon Your lips;

Therefore God has blessed You forever.

There was something different about the words Jesus spoke. Like the Psalm says, ‘grace is poured upon your lips’. It seems that people hung on his every word, His words were filled with life itself. Today, we have these same words in written form. The written word of God carries the exact same grace as the words that came from the mouth of Jesus when He was here on earth. It is this message of salvation that comes through faith that stops us in our tracks. The Christian never tires of that message because it is the very grace of God that is revealed in this awesome person, Jesus Christ. Here are some thoughts from Spurgeon’s ‘Treasury of David’ that describes this grace that flows like living water from His lips.

“Beauty and eloquence make a man majestic when they are united; they both dwell in perfection in the all fair, all eloquent Lord Jesus. Grace of person and grace of speech reach their highest point in him. Grace has in the most copious manner been poured upon Christ, for it pleased the Father that in him should all fulness dwell, and now grace is in superabundance, poured forth from his lips to cheer and enrich his people. The testimony, the promises, the invitations, the consolations of our King pour forth from him in such volumes of meaning that we cannot but contrast those cataracts of grace with the speech of Moses which did but drop as the rain, and distill as the dew. Whoever in personal communion with the Well-beloved has listened to his voice will feel that “never man spake like this man.” Well did the bride say of him, “his lips are like lilies dropping sweet smelling myrrh.” One word from himself dissolved the heart of Saul of Tarsus, and turned him into an apostle, another word raised up John the Divine when fainting in the Isle of Patmos. Oftentimes a sentence from his lips has turned our own midnight into morning, our winter into spring.”

It is the Word of God that raises people who are dead in their sins into life. It is God’s Word that comforts our hearts in the darkest of days. It is this grace that pours from His lips that strengthens us to live godly in this dark and sinful world. Grace is still pouring from His lips. Open your Bible, it is there that you will hear His sweet voice.

BEAUTIFUL, BEAUTIFUL

Psa. 45:2 You are fairer than the sons of men; Grace is poured upon Your lips; Therefore God has blessed You forever.

This is the heart of Davidic worship, he is lost in the beauty of the coming King. Of course he is not speaking of physical beauty. Isaiah said the coming messiah would not be physically attractive.

 

Isa. 53:2,3

For He shall grow up before Him as a tender plant, And as a root out of dry ground. He has no form or comeliness; And when we see Him, There is no beauty that we should desire Him.  He is despised and rejected by men, A Man of sorrows and acquainted with grief. And we hid, as it were, our faces from Him; He was despised, and we did not esteem Him.

It is a different, unseen spiritual beauty that attracts the elect to the Christ. Here is how Charles Spurgeon describes it.

“Jesus reveals himself when we are pouring forth our affections towards him. It is usually the case that when we are ready Christ appears. If our heart is warm it is an index that the sun is shining, and when we enjoy his heat we shall soon behold his light. In person, but especially in mind and character, the King of saints is peerless in beauty. The Hebrew word is doubled, “Beautiful, beautiful art thou.” Jesus is so emphatically lovely that words must be doubled, strained, yea, exhausted before he can be described. Among the children of men many have through grace been lovely in character, yet they have each had a flaw; but in Jesus we behold every feature of a perfect character in harmonious proportion. He is lovely everywhere, and from every point of view, but never more so than when we view him in conjugal union with his church; then love gives a ravishing flush of glory to his loveliness.”

 

Before conversion, spiritual things seem dull and unattractive. It is the influence of the Holy Spirit that gives us the perception of this secret beauty of the Lord. David sang about this beauty constantly, it was the “one thing” he loved to sing about. Just think about it; David spoke about uplifted hands in the sanctuary, dancing with all his might, his flesh crying out for the Lord, He even spoke about desiring one thing for the rest of his life. David was hopelessly smitten by the beauty of the Lord. The unanswered question have you been struck by His love?

SHAPING HIS LOVE INTO PRAYER

Psa. 45:1 ¶ My heart bursts its banks,

spilling beauty and goodness.

I pour it out in a poem to the king,

shaping the river into words:

Prayer is by nature supernatural. John Wesley said that God rules the world by the prayers of His children. How could that be? Actually, effective prayer originates with God, not with man. It is Spirit led, Spirit inspired, and Spirit empowered prayers that change the world. I learned about these kinds of prayers one night on a long ride in the back of a pickup truck in the mountains near Coos Bay, Oregon. I had an unusual compulsion to pray, to pray for my mom. I had no knowledge of anything going on in her life, but this sense of urgency to pray was on me. She had been in good health. I had a sudden, urgent sense of danger and an unusual anointing fell on me in that truck. After forty five minutes or so the urgency lifted. It wasn’t but a few days later that my mom had a life threatening stroke. I don’t know what was actually going on, somehow I know my prayers were God’s tool to visit my mom. Here is something Andrew Murray said about the power of prayer.

“When will Christians learn that prayer is an indispensable condition for what God wants to do on the earth? Intercession is the way by which people are converted. Without the power of the Holy Spirit given in answer to prayer, all our efforts are in vain. When spiritual leaders and believers unite in a covenant of prayer and testimony, the church will again flourish.

What can we do to stir up the spirit of intercession? Start praying for a few individuals. Pray for your children, for your relatives and friends, and for all with whom God brings you into contact. If you feel that you do not have the power to intercede, let the discovery humble you and drive you to the mercy seat. God wants every redeemed child of His to intercede for those who do not know Him. It is the vital breath of Christian life.”

So I wonder what God is doing today? Who does He want to visit? Maybe He is calling you to a time of prayer. The urgency I described when praying for my mom often comes in the form of compassion. At the end of the day, that’s all intercession is. It is the love of God directed at a specific person or group of persons. If you are a Christian, God’s love is shed abroad in your heart. Intercession is one of the reasons His love dwells in yo