Greeting in the Name of our Lord Jesus, who is the Author and Finisher of our Faith! (Heb 12:2)
"Shout with joy to the LORD, all the earth! Worship the LORD with gladness. Come before him, singing with joy. Acknowledge that the LORD is God! He made us, and we are his.We are his people, the sheep of his pasture. Enter his gates with thanksgiving; go into his courts with praise. Give thanks to him and praise his name. For the LORD is good. His unfailing love continues forever, and his faithfulness continues to each generation.” (Psalms 100 NLT)
The Test of Faith is Praise! It is the ability to sing to the Almighty Father and worship Him with Praises & Thanksgivings, even in the midst of challenges & dire circumstances. Even during the advent of the COVID-19 Circuit Breaker Measures and Lockdowns if it ever happens. Psalms 100 is one of the psalms that can trigger our spirit to praise God even right now. Can you just raise a Hallelujah with me now in the midst of your working from home, or doing your laundry or whipping up dishes for the family.
In a strange way, what caught my eyes as I read the 1st verse of Ps 100 is the Exclamation Mark! “!” represents favourable surprises, achievement, triumph or a signiﬁcant happenings. How we wish all our lives are ﬁlled with exclamation marks! However, we know in every page of a book, there are other punctuation marks. We have commas that would mean a brief break, question marks that refers to doubts and uncertainties, full stops that could signify stoppages or “ ….” that signals a long wait. The story in a story book will not be readable, neither will it make sense without punctuation marks. In a like manner, God places commas, question marks, full stops & exclamation marks in the story of our lives so that it becomes a wholistic piece of readable masterpiece. Only when you try to understand it from the perspective of the Author (God) will you be able to see diﬀerent purposes of these punctuation marks. A comma or semi colon may well mean God is introducing a brief interval of rest to help you tie over a short term restlessness. Question marks may lead you to build new levels of faith in God or it would lead to new revelations He is opening your mind & spirit to. Or it could be a full stop that portrays the total termination of a bad habit or unholy lifestyle. All in all, by putting punctuation marks into sentences, paragraphs, chapters & pages & then piece them together, a readable novel is born! The good news is that God the Author writes good books!
Verse 3 links up the point that God is the Author of our life. It says, “Acknowledge His positions as God & Maker & Owner.” Nothing less. When He is our God, He deserves all our worship and honour and giving Him priority over all other pursuits in life! When He is our Maker, we are to accept and thank Him the way He makes us and subject to His instruction manual (the Word) to live life and walk according to the paths He leads us to walk. When He is our Owner, it just means that we do not belong to ourselves but to Him. Gal 2:20 - “I am cruciﬁed with Christ, nevertheless I live, But yet not I …..” once you become a disciple of Christ, the notion of “I” gives way to the notion of “Christ”! You lose your identity of self & gain the identity in Christ! Amen!
“Who we are” is deﬁned so beautifully in verse 3 as “sheep of his pasture”. A fourth position of God is the Shepherd over our lives. That means He protects and provides. As our shepherd, He has prepared the best of pastures for us. Surrounding the pasture, there is likely also a boundary of fencing He builds to keep the sheep safe - from thieves, from intruders and from rodents that can spread diseases. Only stubborn sheep will stray & run out of God-given pastures to apparently “greener” pastures outside. If you are harbouring the “stubborn sheep” tendencies, please repent & run back to God’s pasture of provision and protection and stray no more!
The next thing we see in verse 4 onwards is an invitation to enter the Father’s Courtyard to attend a thanksgiving and praise party! The Gates are always open and His Courts so vast that it can holds many. Many people are just a stride away from God’s courtyard. It’s our role to get people in thru the gate of Jesus who is the way, the truth and the life. Once you are in the Courts, start praising God with other gathered there! It could be a physical gathering or a “zoom” meeting. The ﬁrst person to greet and pay respect to is the Host of the house. Don’t enjoy the party so much that you forget the Host. Don’t get “lost” in your worship such that the actions and activities of worship override the devotion to the One you worship. Every Spiritual experience that brings pride in your head that you feel more spiritual than others is a wrong experience. True spiritual experience always points to the praise and worship of Jesus & Jesus Alone!
The Scriptures always reiterates that the faithfulness of God continues into the generations! Our sons and daughters are also the recipients of His blessing because of His promise & faithfulness to fulﬁl that promise. God is interested to show His faithfulness to the next generations!
Dear Brothers and Sisters, Let’s cheer up even in this season of seeming doom, of the threat of COVID-19, of the failing economy, of fear of a ﬁnancial melt down and a host of other threats and instead raise a Hallelujah to our King, our God, our Maker, our Owner, our Shepherd and our Author of the story of our life, thanking Him for all the punctuation marks and surrender each of them to Him, and you will never know, the story book of your life and mine will turn out to be best sellers in the Kingdom of Heaven! But the glory will always go to the Author! Amen!
Bro Francis Leong
King's Scroll Editor in Chief