April 18, 2004 Psalm 100
“He is God, and He is good”
I saw an article this week on the internet listing some details about President Bush’s tax return. (How would you like it if the details of your tax return were made available for everyone to see!) It showed his income, how much taxes he paid over the year, and what charities he had given money to. President Bush has obviously attended three different churches over the past year because he gave money to all three. As I read that, I started to wonder what it would be like to have the President of the United States as a part of the congregation each Sunday morning. Is it appropriate to ask the President to take up the offering? What would he say if you asked him to serve in the nursery? It would probably draw a lot of people to the church each Sunday morning. But I would probably always be wondering how many of those people came to be in the presence of the President and how many of them came to be in the presence of God.
That leads me to a question for each of us this morning. Why did you come? Did you come out of guilt? Did you come to be entertained? Did you come because it is what is expected of you? One elderly gentleman who was totally deaf faithfully went to church every Sunday morning. He couldn’t hear the music or the sermon, and he couldn’t carry on a conversation with any of the people. When he was asked why he continued to come, he said, “I come so that my neighbors will know what side I’m on.” That’s a pretty good reason. But let me suggest an even better one.
Ted Malone had a radio talk show. He told of the Idaho shepherd who wrote: "Will you, on your broadcast, strike the note ’A’ on the piano? I’m a sheepherder way out here on a ranch, far away from a piano. The only comfort I have is my old violin. It’s all out of tune. Would you strike ’A’ so that I might get in tune?"
Malone honored the request. Later he received a "thank you" note from the distant shepherd saying, "Now I’m in tune."
Can I suggest to you that the greatest reason for coming to church on Sunday morning is to get our spirits in tune? We come here to see God for who He really is. We come here to worship Him. We come here to allow God to strike a perfect pitch which allows us to see how far off we are and then adjust our lives so that we are in tune with Him.
This morning, we come to Psalm 100. As we look at this Psalm, I want us to see some things about true worship and give you some ways that you can get your spirit in tune with Him.
1. Worship is everyone’s responsibility. “all the earth”
“In every land Jehovah’s goodness is seen, therefore in every land should He be praised.” – p. 233, Spurgeon
Worship is for everyone – not just the Jewish people and not just for those who are going through good times.
“Maybe God had us in mind, too, when this Psalm was written. Did you notice to whom it is addressed? The first verse says that it is addressed to "all the earth," & the last verse says that it is includes "all generations." This message of [worship] is so deep & wide that it applies to every person in every era in every stage of life. I think also that there is a real danger in this season of determining our [worship] on the basis of how much we have. "Do I have enough turkey to gorge myself sufficiently? Is my money in the bank secure? Am I healthy?" And we let these things determine whether we are or aren’t [going to worship]. The Psalmist says that all of these things may change at any time. They may drift away, or burn up, or someone may steal them. The only thing we have for sure is our relationship with the Lord.” – Melvin Newland