A Call to Worship
return to the main player
Return to the Main Player
return to the main player
Return to the Main Player

A Call to Worship

Psalm 100:1–5  (ID: 2821)

When we gather and sing God’s praise, our worship sends a signal to the watching world. Unpacking Psalm 100, Alistair Begg helps us consider what we are called to do in worship and what we need to accomplish this. Our focus on God is essential, as is the joyful, thankful exuberance of our devotion. The scope of God’s praise, meanwhile, is limitless, as He calls the nations to worship Him. Having saved us, He moves us to worship—so let’s praise Him!

Sermon Transcript: Print

We’re going to read once again from the Old Testament, from Psalm 100. Psalm 100, page 427:

Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth.
 Worship the Lord with gladness;
 come before him with joyful songs.
Know that the Lord is God.
 It is he who made us, and we are his;
 we are his people, the sheep of his pasture.
Enter his gates with thanksgiving
 and his courts with praise;
 give thanks to him and praise his name.
For the Lord is good and his love endures forever;
 his faithfulness continues through all generations.


Father God, as we open our Bibles and as we turn to them, our conviction is that when your Word is faithfully taught and explained, that your voice is really heard. And it is for your voice we listen. It is to the truth of your Word we turn in our need, in our expectation, in our frailty. Meet with us, O God, we pray. For your Son’s sake. Amen.

Well, our text this morning is one of the most familiar psalms in all of the book of Psalms. The Psalms are essentially the church’s hymnbook throughout the years. And from the time of the Israelites in the temple all the way though the medieval church and right into today, God’s people have been employing these poems, many of them set to music, in order to give voice to their laments, to their concerns, and also to their praise and to their adoration. The Hundredth Psalm, I think, became famous when in the sixteenth century, a Scotsman who was a friend and contemporary of the Reformer John Knox wrote the Hundredth Psalm in its metrical form; and throughout at least the English-speaking world from the sixteenth century on, men and women have rejoiced to stand and sing with the opening phrase, “All people that on earth do dwell.”[1]

This psalm has been upon my mind for a month now. Four weeks ago today, I was worshipping in a congregation in a small coastal town in the east of Scotland, and the opening praise that was given out was the Hundredth Psalm. I was standing on the front row and was quite unprepared for the volume and for the fervency of the praise that then emerged from the lips of the congregation behind me. It was scarcely two hundred people, and yet it seemed as if every one of them, from the opening note, immediately sang with great conviction the words of the Hundredth Psalm.

And that notion, that experience, has stayed with me in the past month. As I’ve been in other places of worship, I’ve found myself wondering whether I could explain what happened in that morning simply in terms of the cultural impact of a Scottish congregation singing the metrical Psalms, or whether in actual fact, and far more likely, the fervency of the praise of that congregation was giving a signal of the depth of their understanding of the truth of who God is and what God has done—in other words, that what was taking place was not a cultural expression, but it was, if you like, a spiritual or a theological expression that gave an indication, sent a signal, of what was going on in the heart of the congregation.

Psalm 100 provides the direction that is necessary for the people of God gathering in the house of God to seek the face of God by turning together to the Word of God.

That idea, that concept, was crystallized for me when this week I received a telephone call from the car dealership from where I purchased my car, and a lady said to me, “Your car has sent us a signal.” “Well,” I said, “I didn’t ask it to or tell it to.” “No,” she said, “you don’t have to. It just does it on its own. And it has sent us a signal indicating that it is in need. And if you will bring it to us, we will meet that need.” Well, I argued with her a little bit about that, only to discover that what she told me was accurate. I found it quite alarming, quite intriguing. And I thought, “It’s strange to have a car that’s smarter than yourself.” And then I thought, “No, it’s not so strange. The congregation won’t think that’s strange at all—not in reference to me.”

But then I thought about how we do send signals, and how a congregation such as our own sends a signal that is happening, if you like, internally, that is then picked up externally, that will be expressive of something that is going on unseen and yet something that is of significance. And I said, “I wonder what kind of signal the congregation at Parkside is sending to the watching world, sending to itself—what are we sending, if you like, to God—when it comes to this issue of the gathering of God’s people for the singing of God’s praise?”

And so, with that in mind, I want to look with you at this Hundredth Psalm as a means of helping us consider just what that signal is. This psalm, along with the other psalms, does a number of things. It, for example, provides an answer to those who ask us—usually our children—why it is that we attend on an occasion like this, why is it that we sing when we attend, and what it is that we sing, and how it is that we sing. The psalmist helps us to answer that. The psalmist also, in this psalm, challenges the preoccupations of the self-absorbed, challenges the notions that each of us is tempted to live with: that what’s going on in the world is directly related to who I am, to what I am, to what I hope, what I dream, what I desire, and that when I come, for example, into a context such as this, then my absorption with myself will take everything that transpires and analyze it, absorb it, adopt it, provided it fits in with my expectations. Because after all, the whole world is about me. And thirdly, the psalm provides the direction that is necessary for the people of God gathering in the house of God to seek the face of God by turning together to the Word of God.

Now, I mention that by way of introduction not because those are my points for this morning—because they’re not—but I leave them for your further consideration. I just have two main headings, and I want us to consider first of all what it is that we are called to do, and then, secondly, what it is that we need to know if we’re going to do what we’re called to do. You will notice that the balance of the psalm opens in that way, doesn’t it? First of all, in verses 1 and 2, “This is what you need to do”; verse 3, “This is what you need to know”; verse 4, “Here is something else that you need to do”; and verse 5, “Here is why it is that you need to do it.”

What We’re Called to Do

So let’s look at verses at 1, 2, and 4 under the heading “What We’re Called to Do.”

Psalm 100 is very similar to Psalm 95. And if you turn to Psalm 95—it’s just a couple of pages back in your Bible—you will notice the direct parallels that exist. The psalmist there writes, “Come, let us sing for joy to the Lord; let us shout aloud to the Rock of our salvation.”[2] And it would appear that this psalm would have provided the proclamation for the festival gatherings of the people of God—their routine gatherings, but also their special gatherings. And as I looked at verses 1 and 2, it was almost as if the people of God were being assembled. The congregation, if you like, was being gathered as they were making their way, and not in cars, as we do now, but by means of foot, and perhaps calling out to one another as they anticipated their arrival at the sanctuary, at the place of God, at the place of his appointing. And if verses 1 and 2 would represent the procession, then verse 4 would be representative of the arrival. Once they had arrived, the invitation was then given to enter the gates in a particular way and to secure the opportunity provided to give thanks to God.

Now, under that first heading of “What We’re Called to Do,” let us just notice first of all that we need be in no doubt concerning the focus—where it is, if you like, the emphasis lies or to whom we are looking. You will notice that God, “the Lord,” predominates throughout the entire psalm. “Shout for joy…” Focus: “to the Lord.” “Worship the Lord.” “Come before him.” “Know that the Lord…” “It is he…” “His gates.” “Thanks to him.” “His name.” So it is impossible to read these simple five verses without acknowledging the fact that the focus—if you like, the preoccupation—of the people of God when they gather is to be to him. And we used to sing years ago as a congregation a little repetitive song: “We are gathering together unto him.” And it is unto him that the gathering of the people must be. This, of course, is very, very important, isn’t it? Because if our focus is off, everything is off.

When we conduct weddings as pastors, I think we always give the same instruction to the congregation, and particularly to the wedding party. The girls—the bridesmaids—and the groomsmen, they’re always asking, “Where should my hands be? And where am I supposed to be looking?” And I always say the same thing: “The rule of thumb is simple: if you don’t know where to look, look at the bride. And if you’re not looking at the bride, look at the person who’s speaking.” So, look at the bride, and look at the one who’s speaking. The only distinction in that is for the bride. She’s allowed to look at the bridegroom.

And when you think in terms of the gathering of God’s people—if you like, if the sight lines of the people of God were to be drawn, the sight lines would be drawn away from ourselves, away from any human preoccupation, and we’d be drawn up to God. How would we meet God? Where would we meet God? Well, we meet him as he reveals himself to us. How does he reveal himself to us? In the wonders of creation. In the person of his Son. In the truth of the Bible. But our focus is there.

Or to change the picture, go to the golf tee, where you’re taking a lesson. And as you hit golf balls and your teacher comes alongside you, one of the questions they will inevitably ask you is this: “What’s your target?” “What’s your target?” They want to know where you’re aiming. They’ll be able to tell, then, when you tell them where you’re aiming, whether your alignment is on or it is off. And when we come to an event such as this, when we gather among the people of God, our alignment, our focus, is absolutely essential. And loved ones, when my focus is on me, and my needs, and my emotions, and how I’m doing, and what I’m afraid of, and what’s happening in my finances, and where I’m going in my life, there’s not a song written that will be able to shake us from those inevitable preoccupations. The only way is for our focus, then, to be aligned in God himself. Focus.

Secondly, exuberance. Exuberance. “Shout for joy.” Psalm 95, the same thing: “Shout to the Lord.”[3] Now, you may say, “Well, we don’t want any shouting in here!” Well, look, we don’t want any strange shouting. But a little exuberance wouldn’t be too bad, would it? A little sense of excitement. A little sense of anticipation. A little buzz amongst the congregation, the way that you might have before attendance upon a Shakespeare play or a Hollywood musical or the arrival of one of your favorite singers. Or the anticipation that is represented in arriving at a golf course a solid one hour before you play because you simply want to luxuriate in the anticipation of what is represented in that moment when you begin those eighteen holes. Oh, sure, you can show up late if you choose. You can arrive with a moment to go if you want. But I wager that if you love the game and everything else is equal, you will be there in very good time. And you will not simply be talking to yourself and drinking tea. You will be already getting in the groove so that when play begins, we are already warmed up to go.

“Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth.” Actually, the word that is used here in Latin, jubilate Deo, is found in the Anglican prayer book. The Hundredth Psalm was included in the Anglican prayer book in the sixteenth century. And it is the word that would be used for the celebration of the arrival of a sovereign, of a king, who takes his place in the capital of the nation or who sits upon his throne. And the people, in acknowledgment of his arrival, would shout out in extolation and in praise. It is, if you like, the British “Three cheers!” It is the “Hip, hip, hooray!” that is represented in the gathering of the people of God.

And this exuberance is marked, you will notice, by joy. By joy. By joyfulness, by gladness. Not by gloom! Reverence is not gloom. Reverence and joy and thankfulness are not opposites. There is that which is flippant and superficial and exuberant and largely irrelevant, and there is that which is reverential and awesome and joyful and thankful, which is the enthusiastic expression of a life in touch with God. And the psalmist says, “As you come to the place of God,” he says, “when you gather in the sanctuary of God, make sure that you do so in such a way that there is an exuberance about your approach.”

Now, again, we need to acknowledge that unless this begins with God and who he is, we have no hope here. That’s why sometimes we sing this song: “When the cares of life seem overwhelming”—because they do, don’t they?—“And my heart is sinking down, I’m gonna…” (“Gonna.” Going to.) “I’m gonna lift my hands to the one [who] help[s] me, to the one who [bears] my crown.”[4]

So this is not some sort of emotional hype. This is actually a progression of thought which acknowledges who I am and where I am and sets the circumstances of my life and experience within the far greater context of who God is and what he has done. And the people of God have been confronted with this throughout all of the ages. Remember in Nehemiah—some of you’ve been around long enough to remember our studies in Nehemiah—and in chapter 8, when they bring out the book of the law, and the teaching comes from the book of the law, and the people began to weep under the instruction of the Bible. The leader says to the people, “Don’t go home crying,” he says. “Go home and enjoy choice food and choice drink, because, remember, the joy of the Lord is your strength.”[5] The joy of the Lord. When Paul writes to the Philippians in the context of Roman persecution, in the tyranny of all of the onslaught against them, he says to them, “Rejoice in the Lord …: and again I say, Rejoice.”[6] You see how vastly different this is from that which just starts with ourselves. It is to be found in the nature of this joyful expression.

Not only joyful but thankful. Thankful. “Enter his gates with thanksgiving.” God loves it when we say thank you. You say, “Well, I don’t have much to say thank you for.” Pardon? I didn’t hear that, did I? Well,

When upon life’s billows I am tempest tossed,
When I am discouraged, thinking all is lost,
Then I’ll count my many blessings, I’ll name them one by one,
And then it will surprise me what the Lord has done.[7]

Thankful for the gift of this day. Thankful for the gift of this place. Thankful for the gift of these people. Thankful for the provision of God’s Word. That’s just a start. “Come, ye thankful people, come, raise the song.”[8]

And then thirdly under this first heading, you will notice the extent of this praise. Its focus is in the Lord, its exuberance is undeniable, and it is not somehow or another limited. It is not simply joyful and thankful, but you will note it is universal: “Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth!” “All the earth!” So it’s never an isolated thing. And this is very important for us to remind ourselves of in these days, when increasingly, the experience of the people of God is marginalized. And no matter about our pride blustering nonsenses that intrude upon the political machinations of our world. Right at the very heart of things in this nation today, the people of God are marginalized. Therefore, to the marginalized people of God, the danger comes to say, “Well, at least we can retreat. At least we can circle the wagons. At least we can gather and have our own little services. Nobody else really seems to be interested in it. We’re increasingly antagonized,” and so on. No, we can’t do that. No, because there is no nation in the world that is exempt from this. There is no nation in the world that is excluded from this. Jehovah, Yahweh, is not a tribal deity of Israel, but he is the sovereign ruler over the whole earth.

If you turn back just one page, you see that in Psalm 98. He draws this out in terms of the doctrine of creation—verse 7. Says the psalmist,

Let the sea resound, and everything in it,
 the world, and all who live in it.
Let the rivers clap their hands,
 let the mountains sing … for joy;
let them sing before the Lord,
 for he comes to judge the earth.

“He comes to judge the earth.”

Yahweh is not a tribal deity of Israel, but he is the sovereign ruler over the whole earth.

No, you see, this is why it is vitally important that we are students of the Bible, that we submit to the instruction of the Bible: so that we get our heads and our hearts recalibrated on a daily basis because of so much that comes against us that is actually countermanding, undermining, these essential biblical truths. And the extent to which this is happening is quite undeniable. Therefore, what I have to do, what we have to do, is make sure that our minds are brought under the tutelage of the Bible.

“Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth.” The nations of the world are the inheritance of Christ the Son. “Ask me, and I will give you the nations as your inheritance,” says the Father to the Son.[9] That is why the promise that God made to Abraham was that through his seed all the nations of the earth would be blessed.[10] That is why when Jesus gathered with his disciples before his ascension, he said to them, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and you will be my witnesses not only here, locally, and there, extensively, but to the ends of the earth.”[11] And that is why when you read the book of Revelation, as John looks over the horizon into the fulfilled picture, he sees a company that no one can number from every tribe, people, nation, tongue and language.[12] “The earth is the Lord’s, and the fulness thereof.”[13] This praise—focused in God, exuberant in expression—is universal in its application.

What We Need to Know

But finally—and secondly and finally—not only are we told what we should be doing, but we’re also told what we need to know. And I love the fact that verse 3 begins with the verb to know—“Know”—reminding us immediately, as I’ve said, that the foundation of this exhortation is not in our emotions, our feelings, but it is in our knowledge; it is in our understanding. And that is why, you see, the Evil One has gotten a great gain when the people of God convince themselves that they’re going to actually be able to manage their way through life by listening to one sermon a week and splitting for the rest of the time. It isn’t going to happen! You will never be able to sustain your Christian life on thirty minutes a week from one sermon. You will never be able to convey the truth to someone else unless you know it. And knowing it demands learning it, and learning it demands diligence, and diligence demands time. And that is why he begins, “Know … that the Lord he is God.”[14]

In other words, he says, “You need to know God.” God brings himself within the realm of our perception. There is no intellectual road to God. We can’t be argued to God. God has shown enough of himself in creation and in conscience to leave us accountable to him, but it is only in the special revelation of his Son and of his Word that we may actually come to know him. Philip, remember, says to Jesus, “Show us the Father, and that will suffice.” And Jesus says, “Have I been so long with you, Philip, and still you don’t get it? He who has seen me has seen the Father.”[15] And “in Christ all the fullness of the [Godhead dwells] in bodily form.”[16]

“So,” says the psalmist, “I’m encouraging you to make sure this, this, this is happening. But I want you to understand that the foundation upon which those expressions are built are not on the flimsy circumstantial bits and pieces of life, nor on the ebb and flow of our emotions, but are grounded in a knowledge of God himself”—so that this worship is not only joyful and thankful and universal, but it is reasonable. It is reasonable. And the Christian faith is an appeal to the mind—not absent the heart, but still it is an appeal to the mind. Romans 12—remember, we saw it not so long ago: “I beseech you brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is the only reasonable”—reasonable—“worship.”[17] Logikos is the word. It’s logical! It’s logical!

You see, it’s not an impertinence to go around the world and tell people about Jesus. It’s not an impertinence to go into your office and affirm the fact that “the earth is the Lord’s, and the fulness thereof.” It is a logical deduction from the fact that he is the creator of the ends of the earth.[18] But if we do not have that as a deep-seated conviction and understanding, then we will be pushed around and back into the corner to every pillar and post, thinking somehow or another that it is legitimate for us to imbibe the contemporary notion that “this is just my view, this is just my idea; it shouldn’t really involve anyone else, and I shouldn’t be interfering with anyone else at all.” The Evil One has gotten a great gain when we even move into the proximity of that kind of thinking.

Loved ones, it is imperative that you know God—that you know God, and you know him as the God who has made us. Look at that: “It is he who made us.” He made us. Do you want to challenge contemporary Western thought? There it is: he made us! We are not a collocation of atoms! We’re not molecules held in suspension! We are not the product of chance evolutionary forces! Evolution came along at the right time to combine with German liberal theology to explain the absence of a God who is real. And to the extent that contemporary Christianity plays footsy with those godless notions, we jeopardize, in human terms, the generations that follow us.

Let us be in no doubt that the Bible begins, “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth,”[19] and we are his. He is the Potter, and we are clay.[20] He is the Shepherd, and we are the sheep. We have nothing in ourselves as a basis of pride. All that we know of God is the foundation of our praise.

That is why… And we’re going to be talking about this with the praise team in a few nights from now, I think; I can’t remember when it is. But they always come to me and say, “Well, why can’t we sing more of those songs about how we’re feeling?” Well, the answer is, it’s fine for you to sing songs about how you’re feeling. But most of the time, if I sang a song this morning about how I’m feeling, it would not be what you expect. Therefore, the only hope that I have is that I don’t tell you about how I’m feeling, but I remind myself of who God is. Right?

So, we’re not going to start with “I just want to praise you, lift my hands and say ‘I love you,’”[21] because I’m not sure that I do. Well, you say, “Well, that’s not good. You’re the pastor. You’re supposed to.” That’s fine. I’m just telling you straight up. I maybe want to sing a song that says, “I don’t want to be here. I want to crawl under the blankets. I’m frightened to be here. I want to go…” It could be anything, couldn’t it? That’s why we have to start where we started. We start with God and his glory, not us. What I need to know today: that he’s the Potter. He’s the Potter; he made me. Yeah, funny me, funny you—he made you. He created you. And he re-created you if you’re in Christ. Ephesians 2:10: “We are [his] workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works.”

You see, when I bring my knowledge of God in all of his greatness—and then, finally, verse 5, in all of his goodness—to bear upon things, then I realize this is the foundation of genuine praise. God is great. God is good. And, you will notice, “his love endures forever.” Forever. In other words, this doesn’t come just with a lifetime guarantee; this comes with an eternal guarantee. And “his faithfulness continues through all generations.”

Every experience of our life brings us to new places, doesn’t it? And now you’re getting already bored with me, as if I was somehow a great, tremendous grandfather. I’m a novice at the thing; I don’t know what I’m doing. But nevertheless, I know I now am one. If I were in any doubt, I’m married to a grandmother, so it has to be the case. But now I find myself saying the same things that grandparents have always been saying, except they were my grandparents: “Oh, I don’t know how my children are going to manage. I don’t know what will happen to our grandchildren. Oh, this world has become so wicked. Oh, what are we going to do next?”

Psalm 71:17:

Since my youth, O God, you have taught me,
 and to this day I declare your marvelous deeds.
Even when I[’m] old and gray,
 do not forsake me, O God,
till I declare your power to the next generation,
 your might to all who are to come.

You see, loved ones, our responsibility extends far and beyond whatever this means to us in the moment. Our responsibility has to do with the place that we take in the continuum of God’s unfolding drama of redemption. And that, you see, is why the gathering of God’s people matters. There is a direct correlation between the absence of teenagers in the gathered worship of the congregation and their ultimate departure from any kind of engagement with the church in their university and post-university experience. The statistics do not lie. It is a mythology that our children will suddenly wake up one morning and determine that of themselves, they’ve all decided that this is a great idea, when for the last five years of life they have resisted us at every single point along the way: “Do I have to go? Why do we have to go? What are we doing? What are we getting? It doesn’t mean… I can’t listen. I don’t hear. He’s not clear.” Every excuse in the book! And the temptation is to go, “Oh, forget it! I’m not even going to put up with this anymore. Go and do what you want.”

You can’t do it. You can’t do it. Why? Because from your youth he has sustained you. To this very day, you are aware that he is Potter and Creator. And we have a responsibility, now, to ensure that the generations beneath us are brought under the tutelage of these truths. “Oh, it can’t happen in the gathered praise of God’s people.” I’m not suggesting that this is the agency of it in its totality—not for a moment. But it is a vital aspect of it. A vital aspect of it.

Do You Know Him?

Let me finish in this way—first of all, with a word of encouragement to us. And that is that when we think in terms of the faithfulness of God, about which we’ve been singing, and a love that endures forever, it’s a reminder that the Potter is not going to discard his work. He may crush it, he may break it, but only to remake it. Some of us may be going through an experience of that in our lives. Circumstances are such that we feel as though we’re under the crushing hand of God. But be confident in this: that there’s nothing vindictive in it. He may discipline us, the way a good father will discipline his children, but always with the purpose of fashioning us according to his plan. He will not discard his work, and the Shepherd will not abandon his sheep. We may be confident in that.

But here’s my final thought. And it emerged, actually, this week, when I had the privilege of playing in the Cleveland Indians charity golf tournament. I was there as a guest of someone. And I enjoyed it immensely, although it took forever, and it was great. But I have to be honest and say that I didn’t know any Indians, and so it wasn’t really that exciting to be around them. When the people gathered to take photographs and sign things, I was like, “Who’s he?” The only person I recognized was Kenny Lofton, which is an indication of how old I am. I don’t say that to the detriment of those people. I say it because I hadn’t a clue. And so all of the excitement was strange to me. Somebody could legitimately have turned round and said, “The only reason you’re not excited is ’cause you don’t who this is. You don’t know who this is. If you knew who this was, you’d get an autograph, you’d get your photograph taken, you would want this on your wall! You just don’t know who it is!”

And loved ones, the reason for the absence of Spirit-filled praise from the lips of the assembled congregation at Parkside Church in some measure is directly explicable there. The reason that you are not involved in bellowing out the praise of God, sir, is because you don’t know who he is. And I want to invite you to get to know him. And when you get to know him, then you will understand what’s happening in the people around you. To quote my old favorite Black singer, whose name I’m just forgetting—Andraé Crouch!—“They say I’m a holy roller, and what they say is true. And if you knew why I’m rollin’, you’d be rollin’ too.”

And that is at the very heart of it. Either we are not alive, or we are inactive. In other words, we’ve gone to sleep. That which once filled our thoughts no longer fills our thoughts—that our expression of God as a creator and as a potter, as a faithful God, has been dimmed because, in terms of the parable of the sower, the pride of life, materialism, affections of other people, illicit notions have squeezed the very issue out of us, so all that is left now is the shell.[22] All that is left is the kernel. Now we are simply going through the motions. We’re alive, but we’re half dead. We are no longer active.

When God brings life to people, when he sets their feet upon a rock, when he establishes their going,[23] he puts a song of praise upon their lips. And loved ones, I need you to understand this (and there is no condemnation in it; I am we): we are sending a signal. We are sending a signal. The question is: What’s the signal? Is it the joyful, audible, thankful, universal, exuberant praise that God deserves? Or is it “Well, there we go. Yeah, I went to second service. Yeah. Yeah, it was okay; I don’t know. He was back, and I don’t know. It was all right.” Or, for me: “Oh, yeah, I did the services. I went home.”

The routine services of Parkside Church—the routine services of Parkside Church, morning and evening—provide one of the greatest evangelistic opportunities that exist for us as a people. But the enthusiastic participation of the congregation is a prerequisite for the welcoming of those who are wondering about these things. And believe us: when they show up, they get the signal. And so does our heavenly Father. May he help us.

Father, help us in these things, we pray. We’re not talking now about style. We’re not talking about some format or some formula. We just want to be reminded again that out of the fullness of our hearts, our mouths and our lips declare your praise; that you’ve created us to praise you; that the nations—the Muslim nations of the world—need to hear from Jesus. Indonesia needs Jesus. India, Pakistan, the continent of Africa, all the Uzbekistans of the Eastern Bloc countries of old, Cleveland, me. Hear our prayers, for Christ’s sake. Amen.

[1] William Kethe, “All People That on Earth Do Dwell” (1650).

[2] Psalm 95:1 (NIV 1984).

[3] Psalm 95:1 (paraphrased).

[4] Steve Earl, “Gonna Trust in God” (1997).

[5] Nehemiah 8:10 (paraphrased).

[6] Philippians 4:4 (KJV).

[7] Johnson Oatman, “Count Your Blessings” (1897). Lyrics lightly altered.

[8] Henry Alford, “Come, Ye Thankful People, Come” (1844).

[9] Psalm 2:8 (paraphrased).

[10] See Genesis 12:3; 22:18; 26:4.

[11] Acts 1:8 (paraphrased).

[12] See Revelation 7:9.

[13] Psalm 24:1 (KJV).

[14] Psalm 100:3 (KJV).

[15] John 14:8–9 (paraphrased).

[16] Colossians 2:9 (NIV 1984).

[17] Romans 12:1 (paraphrased).

[18] See Isaiah 40:28.

[19] Genesis 1:1 (NIV 1984).

[20] See Isaiah 64:8.

[21] Arthur Tannous, “I Just Want to Praise You” (1984).

[22] See Matthew 13:22; Mark 4:19; Luke 8:14.

[23] See Psalm 40:2.

Copyright © 2024, Alistair Begg. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Unless otherwise indicated, all Scripture quotations for sermons preached on or after November 6, 2011 are taken from The ESV® Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

For sermons preached before November 6, 2011, unless otherwise indicated, all Scripture quotations are taken from The Holy Bible, New International Version® (NIV®), copyright © 1973 1978 1984 by Biblica, Inc.TM Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

Alistair Begg
Alistair Begg is Senior Pastor at Parkside Church in Cleveland, Ohio, and the Bible teacher on Truth For Life, which is heard on the radio and online around the world.