Will We Worship? – Psalm 111
By Toby Crowder
Cash or credit… regular or decaf… early or late? These are only a few of the decisions that we may make daily. As a matter of fact, we probably make many more decisions in a normal day than we realize. Often, these decisions not only affect us, but they affect others. As parents, spouses, Pastors, and leaders we are constantly making decisions that affect our loved ones, families, and churches. Of all the decisions that we make in a day, how often do we consider the decision to worship and praise God?
The writer of Psalm 111:1 says “Praise ye the LORD. I will praise the LORD with my whole heart, in the assembly of the upright, and in the congregation.” This is the statement of a man who has decided to worship and praise God, both privately and corporately. This type of praise is a choice that we make, and it involves the whole heart.
Like many other decisions we make, smaller ones add up to a larger whole. This is true even in our church attendance. Many churches in our area offer three opportunities to come together for worship each week. In a year, that presents us with at least 156 opportunities to come together corporately with other Christians and praise God “in the assembly of the upright, and in the congregation.” But even if we were to ATTEND all 156 of these services… are we there to worship God? This, like many other decisions, is a matter of the heart.
The DECISION to worship is one that we make individually in our hearts. The psalmist begins with a statement of praise, but then also a statement of resolve. The phrase “I will” shows the intent of the Psalmist’s heart. He says “I will” praise the Lord… “I will” take advantage of the opportunity. This is a decision that we make every time that we come into the assembly of the congregation, but we can also worship God privately when we make it a matter of the heart.
Notice that this decision involves his WHOLE heart… How many of us could say that we worship with our whole hearts? Are our minds and heart set on worship when we come into the place of worship? If we are not worshipping individually and privately, then I believe that we will not worship collectively as a church. Every believer should worship God in their life daily. This is a decision that we must make as individuals… and when we come together, it positively affects the congregation.
A closer look at Psalm 111 reveals the motivation to worship and shows us why the Psalmist has a desire to praise God. I believe that he has considered the works of God and is overcome with this inward desire. If we ever fail to have a desire to worship, we should join the Psalmist and contemplate some of the things God has given us. In these verses, we will find:
(v.2) His works are great… (v.3) His righteousness…
(v.4) His graciousness and compassion… (v.5) His Provision…
(v.6) the power of His works … (v.7-8) the sure work of His hands and the uprightness of His judgments.
(v.9) Redemption… We are the redeemed!
When the writer considers all these things about His God, he is overwhelmed with the desire to worship! Do our hearts remember the overwhelming goodness of God, and lead us to a desire to be in His presence? Many have lost the desire for the presence of God. We are happy to visit the church on Sunday… and perhaps for the mid-week service, but many times we leave to continue our busy routines and go home knowing nothing about the presence of God.
Believers, if we are to worship Him, it will be in the Spirit of God and it will be a matter of the heart. Simply put, it will be a decision that we make individually. The writer of this Psalm made a decision and had a desire to worship God for all His works and His righteousness. Will we join him in reflecting upon this great God that we serve, and offering Him our praise and worship?
Toby Crowder serves as Pastor of Mt. Carmel Baptist Church in Spruce Pine. He and his wife Leslie have been married for 26 years and have two daughters, Emilee, and Katy. He can be contacted via the church’s website MCfamilyforChrist.org or firstname.lastname@example.org
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