THE WHOLE WORLD IS AN ANTHEM

MERRY TUESDAY BY PARRIS

“Those who dwell at the ends of the earth are in awe at your signs. You make the going out of the morning and the evening to shout for joy. You visit the earth and water it; you greatly enrich it; the river of God is full of water; you provide their grain, for so you have prepared it.” Psalms 65:8-9 ESV

Hey what does your morning look like? Do you check the latest story on instagram, or troll endlessly through Facebook? Worse yet turn on the tv and fill the house with news. I’m not here to get into your business by any means. Funny thing is while you were sleeping the God of creation had a busy night!

I may be guilty of all of the above too but I try to value God in my mornings and look for his handiwork and listen to the song. I find whatever transpired in my darkest night somehow looks brighter in the morning. Earth begins its sweet routine and life is good again. Some might find this brutal when they have lost so much but time, with its gentle hand, heals us through earth’s cycles. At some point in my morning I go lay down on the couch and read His glorious word, pray for my family and for the things that come up in my spirit and then head outside to reset my life. Our great manager had been circling the earth with his mercies. Martin Luther says, “God must be always attending to it with rain and heat, and must do everything to make it grow and prosper while the farmer lies at home and sleeps. God puts his crowning handiwork on everything”.

As we shuffle along through our lives we forget that the footsteps of God, who is the great fertilizer, may be traced by the abundance which he creates, he is all around us. His bounty makes the earth give vent to praise. The birds and the cows along with the grasses of the fields all respond back to his voice. The constant ripple of the waves and the hissing of the wind along with the cloud formations twirl and swirl according to his rhythm. The Treasury of David says “Nature has no discords. Her airs are melodious, her chorus is full of harmony. All, all is for the Lord; the world is a hymn to the Eternal. Blessed is he who, hearing, joins in it, and makes one singer in the mighty chorus.” Selah

NEW DAY – NEW SONG

Ps.96:1,2 – Sing to the LORD a new song; Sing to the LORD, all the earth.

Sing to the LORD, bless His name; Proclaim good tidings of His salvation from day to day.

“Joy to the world, the Lord is come, let earth receive her king”. The words penned by Isaac Watts almost 300 years ago still resound throughout the earth. Joy has come to fill the hearts of all who have opened up to Jesus Christ our King. His second Advent will overwhelm the earth with unspeakable joy. No wonder every picture of the angels is a picture of singing. In His joyous presence there is nothing left to do, “Ps.96:1,2 – Sing to the LORD a new song; Sing to the LORD, all the earth. Sing to the LORD, bless His name; Proclaim good tidings of His salvation from day to day.” As we prepare for Christmas this year our hearts are also bursting with songs of joy. Christ has come, death has been defeated, our sin has been washed away, and we have received a new life. Here is how Spurgeon describes today’s text.

“O sing unto the Lord a new song. New joys are filling the hearts of men, for the glad tidings of blessing to all people are proclaimed, therefore let them sing a new song. Angels inaugurated the new dispensation with new songs, and shall not we take up the strain? The song is for Jehovah alone, the hymns which chanted the praises of Jupiter and Neptune, Vishnoo and Siva are hushed for ever; Bacchanalian shouts are silenced, lascivious sonnets are no more. Unto the one only God all music is to be dedicated. Mourning is over, and the time of singing of hearts has come. No dismal rites are celebrated, no bloody sacrifices of human beings are presented, no cutting with knives, and outcries of lamentation are presented by deluded votaries. Joy is in the ascendant, and singing has become the universal expression of love, the fitting voice of reverent adoration. Men are made new creatures, and their song is new also.”

If you are a new creature in Christ you understand what the joyful singing is all about. If you have not made peace with God, I beg you, don’t let another Christmas pass in your present condition. Go ahead and sing some of the joyful Christmas songs. As you sing the songs of the “Silent Night”, open your heart. Before long you too will be shouting songs of joy to the Lord.

SINGING EVERY DAY

Ps.96:1,2 – Sing to the LORD a new song; Sing to the LORD, all the earth.

Sing to the LORD, bless His name; Proclaim good tidings of His salvation from day to day.

David was singing his “new song” every day. He had experienced more of God and His presence than just about anyone in history. Like he said in Psalm 23, “you anoint my head with oil, my cup is running over”. In another Psalm we hear, “my tongue is the pen of a ready writer”. Obviously, David’s joy was bubbling over. He loved what he had experienced of the goodness of God and wanted others to taste it too. What was the source of this overflowing joy? It is the river of the Spirit that flows out of the revelation of Christ. David had glimpses of His coming. He saw His birth, His eternal nature, His life and ministry, and His heavenly priesthood. What else could he do but lift up his voice and sing his new song. Here are some thoughts from Spurgeon on today’s passage.

“At the very mention of his name it is meet to say, “Let him be blessed for ever.” Shew forth his salvation from day to day. The gospel is the clearest revelation of himself, salvation, outshines creation and providence; therefore let our praises overflow in that direction. Let us proclaim the glad tidings, and do so continually, never ceasing the blissful testimony. It is ever new, ever suitable, ever sure, ever perfect; therefore let us show it forth continually until he come, both by words and deeds, by songs and sermons, by sacred Baptism and by the Holy Supper, by books and by speech, by Sabbath services and weekday worship. Each day brings us deeper experience of our saving God, each day shows us anew how deeply men need his salvation, each day reveals the power of the gospel, each day the Spirit strives with the sons of men; therefore, never pausing, be it ours to tell out the glorious message of free grace.”

Spurgeon obviously had drunk deeply of this revelation of God in Christ. He said every day, day by day, we are brought deeper into this experience of Christ. We meditate on His incarnation, His sinless life, His supernatural ministry, His unthinkable suffering and death, HIs power revealed in the resurrection, and His ascension to the place of glory at the Father’s right hand and we too will be singing this new song. “Sing to the Lord a new song, sing to the Lord all the earth.”

GIVE THANKS TO HIS NAME

Heb.13:15 – Through Him then, let us continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips that give thanks to His name.

I love the book of Hebrews. It is God’s final appeal to His chosen people just before the destruction of Jerusalem. Many of the the Christian Jews were being tempted to go back under the ceremonial law with all of its sacrifices, types, and shadows. Paul is begging them not to fall into that trap. He says all of the sacrifices have been fulfilled in Christ. There is only one sacrifice left; we are to give thanks offering the sacrifice of praise. Really, that is our Christian tradition. Christ has become everything for us. All that is left for us to do is offer thanks to His beautiful name. Here is how Adam Clarke describes today’s verse.

“By him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise. He has now fulfilled all vision and prophecy, has offered the last bloody sacrifice which God will ever accept; and as he is the gift of God’s love to the world, let us through him offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, this being the substitute for all the Levitical sacrifices. The Jews allowed that, in the time of the Messiah, all sacrifices, except the sacrifice of praise, should cease. To this maxim the apostle appears to allude; and, understood in this way, his words are much more forcible. In Vayikra Rabba, and Rabbi Tanchum, “Rabbi Phineas, Rabbi Levi, and Rabbi Jochanan, from the authority of Rabbi Menachem of Galilee, said, In the time of the Messiah all sacrifice shall cease, except the sacrifice of praise.” This was, in effect, quoting the authority of one of their own maxims, that now was the time of the Messiah; that Jesus was that Messiah; that the Jewish sacrificial system was now abolished; and that no sacrifice would now be accepted of God, except the sacrifice of praise for the gift of his Son.”

Thanksgiving Day provides us an opportunity to reflect on all the Lord has done for us. He has met us individually and corporately as a church in 2018. What else can we do but offer up a sacrifice of praise giving thanks to His Name? We have entered into a new season as a church, a new season of harvest is upon us. Together we can bring an offering into His house giving thanks for what He has done and worshipping in anticipation of great days ahead of us.

CHICKEN PIT

Ps.40:2,3 – He brought me up out of the pit of destruction, out of the miry clay, And He set my feet upon a rock making my footsteps firm. He put a new song in my mouth, a song of praise to our God; Many will see and fear And will trust in the LORD.

Did I ever tell you about the day I fell into the chicken pit? It had to be the most disgusting and stinky day of my life. It was a cold, rainy day in the San Joaquin Valley and I was rushing to work. It had been raining all night and was 40 something degrees outside. I got to work at the B and C Egg Ranch at 7 and the workers were in a panic. The pump that was used to pump the liquified chicken manure had shorted out and had been pumping liquid chicken mess all night. I went running to the scene of the disaster between two of the chicken houses and was shocked at what I saw. The whole area was flooded with liquid chicken mess at about a depth of one foot and the pump was still pumping into the army style water truck which had overflowed hours before. I took off running (I had my boots on) through the mess to turn off the pump. There was only one problem, I forgot about the fourteen foot deep pit that was next to the truck. Remember, the whole area was flooded and you couldn’t see where the pit started or finished. I’m sure you already guessed what happened next. That’s right, in I went into that pit of liquid 40 degree chicken mess. By the grace of God I kept my head from going under. I was able to get out and get a change of clothes ( the shower had to wait until after work). Ill never forget the smell that seemed to stick with me for days. I understand a little bit of David’s pit.

The point of this story is this, all of us have made bad mistakes in our lives. Often, the consequences are like that stinky pit of chicken poo. It’s what happens in those pits that can be life changing. We can get consumed by our horrible circumstances or we can allow the Lord to put a new song in our mouth. Maybe today finds you in one of those horrible, stinky pits of despair. Call on the Lord and before you know it you too will be singing His sweet, sweet song.

SMACK YOUR LIPS

Eph.1:14 – Amp. – That [Spirit] is the guarantee of our inheritance [the firstfruits, the pledge and foretaste, the down payment on our heritage], in anticipation of its full redemption and our acquiring [complete] possession of it—to the praise of His glory.

Nothing like some good home cooking. Last week there was an impromptu Mary’s Song Banquet for ladies involved with Rodan and Fields. There was several thousand women from Rodan and Fields in New Orleans for a convention. Because of a friend of a friend being in leadership with that company, a request was made for a banquet with the Mary’s Song girls to “give back” in light of all the Lord has given us. It was an awesome night of testimonies and giving but that is not why I brought this all up. The meal was cooked by the Mary’s Song girls under the direction of Tyren George.The ladies at my table were raving over the “home cooking”. They also said it was the best meal they had eaten all week; pretty good with the amazing restaurants they all went to in the French Quarter. I guess you just can’t beat home cooked meals.

Now this brings me to the whole point of all of this, today’s verse says that the Holy Spirit is the foretaste of all the Lord has prepared for us. That first taste, or sampling of the food before a meal, tastes awfully good. It actually increases our anticipation for the coming feast. In Psalm 63 David was enjoying feasting on the Lord. He was enjoying the feast of God’s presence, enjoying what he was receiving, but smacking his lips in anticipation of more. Here is how it reads in the Message Bible.

Psa.63:3-5 The Message

In your generous love I am really living at last!

My lips brim praises like fountains. I bless you every time I take a breath;

My arms wave like banners of praise to you.

I eat my fill of prime rib and gravy;

I smack my lips. It’s time to shout praises!

The good meal at our banquet for our out of town guests last week was really only the foretaste. The real meal was when Parris, Ali Spitsbergen (the lady with Rodan and Fields), and the girls from Mary’s Song began to share what the Lord had done in their lives. The testimony of Jesus was our taste of the coming heavenly banquet. So I think I’m going to join David and smack my lips, if this first taste is this good it’s hard to imagine what the whole meal will be like.

LOVE – VAST AS AN OCEAN

Eph.3:19 – and to know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled up to all the fullness of God.

It was as if fire was falling simultaneously all over Wales in the early 1900’s. Starting with the youth, thousands of people began to be swept into the love of God. It was as if God had come down again like the Day of Pentecost, all of Wales seemed to be being powerfully effected by the Holy Spirit. One of the main characteristics of the Welch Revival was singing. Time seemed to stand still or become insignificant as the multitudes began to worship the Lord spontaneously. Somehow the meetings seemed to be gloriously ordered by God even though no one seemed to be leading. Supernatural worship is like nothing else. It’s as if the music and the voices are somehow alive. The sound carries the life of God and everyone present is powerfully influenced by the atmosphere. Actually, true worship originates from above. We can sing songs and play instruments but it is the very life of God that turns a song into worship. Here are the words to “HERE IS LOVE VAST AS THE OCEAN” which became known as the love song of the revival and comments from the Truth in History publication.

Here is love, vast as the ocean, loving kindness as the flood,

When the Prince of Life my ransom shed for me His precious blood,

Who His love will not remember, who can cease to sing His praise?

He shall never be forgotten through Heaven’s everlasting days.

On the mount of crucifixion fountains opened deep and wide

Through the floodgates of God’s mercy flowed the vast and gracious tide,

Grace and love like mighty rivers poured incessant from above

Heaven’s peace and perfect justice kissed a guilty world in love.

INTRODUCTION

Just after eleven o’clock on a Wednesday evening a hundred years ago, a solo voice rang out with the beautiful Welsh hymn “Here Is Love Vast As The Ocean”. Maybe a thousand people were in the Chapel at the time, leaning over the galleries, packing every pew and squeezing into every spare corner. They’d been here for more than four hours, in a service of intense emotion.

All of our hearts long for this supernatural worship experience. Press in to the Lord. You too may be caught up in vastness of His love.

ROLLING BACK THE YEARS

MERRY MONDAY BY PARRIS-

“Rejoice in the Lord, O ye righteous: for praise is comely for the upright.” Ps.33:1

So many things have happened in the revival years of 1994 to present. One of the constant remarks people would say to me was how young I looked, like years rolled off of me. Joy does that don’t you know? Takes off the heavy burdens we have been unconsciously carrying over the years, the bitterness that seems to ebb away at our strength. I had no idea how much weight I had been carrying around! Then the mighty wind blows and our youth is returned like the eagles! Our marriages are restored, missionaries pour into the mission fields and joy becomes us! Learning to live daily in revival is our quest. In other words never letting go of our praise. It has been years since that first joy broke out in our church taking us all by surprise and ripping off the masks we try so hard to hold onto. Today while in worship with our precious church, I looked around and saw so many people deep in worship. Their facial expression changed from hardness to being softer. My heart goes out to so many that have resorted to the “church in their house mentality”. Somewhere in time they became offended and started their journey back into seclusion, carrying their bitterness and burden.

The Expositors Bible says, “Praise fits and adorns the lips of the upright. Praise gilds the gold of purity and adds grace even to the beauty of holiness. The psalm has no trace of special recent mercies, but to the devout soul the old deeds are never antiquated, and each new meditation on them breaks into new praise. So inexhaustible is the theme that all generations take it up in turn, and find “songs unheard” and “sweeter” with which to celebrate it. There is always room for a fresh voice to praise the old gospel the old creation, the old providence.This new song is saturated with reminiscences of old ones, and deals with familiar thoughts which have come to the psalmist with fresh power.”

How much praise you ask? Lets roll off the years of hurt, pain, and sorrow by allowing our praise to be vocal, mediative and habitual. It adorns us like priestly garments, like the wings of an angel, it becomes us like our kingly crowns for it is our highest honor. I believe it to be the best face lift ever! For to be without praise is to miss our comeliest adornment. I pray you too take up “the new song” while we in this generation take our place in the great hall of praise.

THE HEAVENLY SONG

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I’ll never forget the first time I heard someone singing the heavenly song. I later became friends with the young worshipper (Rick Amato who later went to Bible School with me). He was strumming his guitar, playing a spontaneous melody and singing in what I thought was Latin. I later heard others singing in different languages and was told that they were singing in their heavenly language. It was beautiful, terrifying, and had the sense of God’s glory on the singing. This was one of the signs that attracted me to the followers of Jesus, they had more than a creed, there was obviously a supernatural presence among them and that is what I was after. I needed something real and I had finally found it. This heavenly song was a big part of birthing the Pentecostal movement of the 1900’s. Here is a testimony from the Azusa Street Revival as witnessed by Frank Bartleman.

“Friday, June 15, at “Azusa,” the Spirit dropped the “heavenly chorus” into my soul. I found myself suddenly joining the rest who had received this supernatural “gift.” It was a spontaneous manifestation and rapture no earthly tongue can describe….No one could understand this “gift of song” but those who had it. It was indeed a “new song” in the Spirit. When I first heard it in the meetings, a great hunger entered my soul to receive it. I felt it would exactly express my pent-up feelings. I had not yet spoken in “tongues.” But the “new song” captured me. It was a gift from God of high order, and appeared among us soon after the “Azusa” work began. No one had preached it. The Lord had sovereignly bestowed it with the outpouring of the “residue of oil,” the “Latter Rain” baptism of the Spirit. It was exercised, as the Spirit moved the possessors either in solo fashion or by the company. It was sometimes without words, other times in “tongues.” The effect was wonderful on the people. It brought a heavenly atmosphere, as though the angels themselves were present and joining with us.”
I received this gift almost 44 years ago, since that time it has been a daily part of my life. Like Paul taught, we can sing with the Spirit and sing with our understanding. I like to go back and forth singing scriptures in English then singing in the beautiful heavenly tongue. Doing this keeps us built up in the faith and delivers us from the foolish attractions in the world.

MARY, MARY

And Mary said: “My soul glorifies the Lord and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, for he has been mindful of the humble state of his servant. From now on all generations will call me blessed.”Luke 1:46–48

Mary is an unusual character in the gospel story. Of all human beings she had the most unusual relationship with our Lord. Think about it! Mary carried Him in her womb for nine months, probably nursed Him at her breast for three years, and raised Him as her son. She taught Him the basic essentials of being a human, she had access to our Lord no one else ever enjoyed. It is even said by some from earliest accounts that He was a dead ringer for His mom, His face was her face. At the same time Mary walked in incredible humility. She disappeared in the background as her son became a man and began His ministry. She recognized at the end of the day that she was like all the rest of us, sinners in need of a Savior. Here are some powerful thoughts from Luther on Mary.
“Mary had total confidence that God was her Savior, even though she couldn’t tell that this was true by seeing or feeling it. Mary was able to fully trust God because the Lord had placed this faith inside of her. Mary put things in the right order in this verse (today’s scripture verse). First, she called God her Lord. Next, she called him her Savior. Then she proclaimed what God had done. By doing this, she teaches us to love and praise God for who he is. She shows us the right place to start. We shouldn’t begin our prayers by selfishly asking what God can do for us. Mary’s example teaches us to love and praise God for no other reason than his goodness. We should find joy and pleasure in who he is. This is an exalted, pure, and tender way of loving and praising God. It shows us Mary’s extraordinary and tender spirit.”
Mary is a picture of any of us who are ever privileged to be used by God. He chooses us, equips us, anoints us, and opens the opportunities for us to be used by God. Yet at the end of the day we have to quietly slip into the shadows like Mary. It wasn’t about her and it is certainly not about us, it is always about Jesus. Mary, Mary did you really know who He was and the great plan He had for you?