Summary: God wants the believers to have a celebration
31 May 2017
Key Scripture: Rev 19:7
“Let us be glad and rejoice and give Him glory, for the marriage of the Lamb has come, and His wife has made herself ready.”
At times, God’s people are prone to celebrate their faith for their own benefit. However, David tried to reach out to those who had been neglected or left out. By praising God, He recognised it as a way that everybody could be included.
The following groups of people had reason to celebrate God’s goodness (Psalm 68:5-6, 10, 12, 31)
• Orphans (fatherless)
• The poor
• Victims of war
• People from other nations
How do you recognise others in worship and in celebration of the Lord today? Who do you know that feels left out or left behind? Why don’t you provide a way for the person or group of people that feel left out to join the party?
1. Leaders celebrate often
Leaders that are effective appreciate celebrating the value of God doing great things in and through their lives. It is appropriate to take time to celebrate when the task is complete, results have been achieved, and when people have been served.
Nehemiah is an example of somebody who did this after the wall of Jerusalem had been rebuilt. (Nehemiah 8:1, 10). Ezra read from the law which is the reason Nehemiah was motivated to rebuild the wall in the first place. The words sparked a godly sorrow (9:1-3), but along with the godly sorrow there was a heartfelt joy. (8:10, 12). This joy was a cause for the people to celebrate the goodness of God because of the work that had been accomplished.
Something interesting to note that in the midst of this celebration Nehemiah gave instructions to send portions to those who had nothing or in other words bring the poor to the party! (Nehemiah 8:10). There shouldn’t be anyone deprived of celebrating on the grounds that they cannot contribute.
Celebration can be way of worshiping God because He is the source of all good gifts. We celebrate the fact that He has given us a task and He also has given us the means to accomplish it.
2. Let’s celebrate!
Does God forbid that Christians have fun and that non-believers have all the partying? No! We have more than enough reason to rejoice with those who rejoice and sing songs of praise with those who are happy. (James 5:13). Paul also encourages us to rejoice in the Lord (Philippians 3:1, 4:4). Jesus also challenged an attitude that was too sad. He enlivened a wedding feast with wine and even ate with tax collectors and his friends. (Luke 5:27-39, John 2:1-12). The Bible opens with celebration because God rested on the seventh day and looked at everything He had created and saw that it was good. (Gen 2:1-3) and sets a pattern for us to follow. (Exodus 20:8, Lev 23:1-44). At the end of the Bible there is a wedding like celebration in heaven, because the curse has been removed. (Rev 19:1-10).
How do we cultivate celebration and joy on earth, in the here and now? Scripture encourages us to be people of God who have joy and hope.
1. Weddings. Weddings are a cause for celebration because two people become one and a woman is a reflection of God’s image on earth. (Gen 2:24). The book of Song of Solomon is a poem of love in its entirety that celebrates this theme.
2. Harvest celebrations. Israel’s economy of agriculture centred around harvest time, where they celebrated God’s goodness with songs of praise. There were other feasts that they observed including unleavened bread, weeks and tabernacles. (Exodus 23:16, Leviticus 23, Numbers 28-29, Deuteronomy 16:9-17)
3. Sabbath. God rested on this day but established this day to remind us that we need to be dependent on Him, that there is no end to work and that everything belongs to Him. The Early Christians moved this day to the first day to commemorate the Lord’s resurrection from the dead. (Exodus 20:8-11, Revelation 1:10)
As believers in Jesus Christ, we have reason to celebrate. We celebrate the fact that Jesus is alive and that we have a hope of one day spending eternity with Him. Invite those who are not believers to Jesus so that they too can have a hope and celebrate eternity in God’s presence.