I was glad when they said to me, “Let us go to the house of the Lord.”
~Psalm 122:1, NLT
There is nothing more unchristian than a solitary Christian.
This is the third of 15 Ascent Psalms and the first of three that David wrote. The first Ascent Psalm  pictured the Jews beginning their pilgrimage to the temple from distant lands but this Psalm begins with the Pilgrims being within the gates of Jerusalem. It was David himself who captured Jerusalem and made it the epicenter of government and worship. Obviously, David is not referring to his past, a time before he was king because these trips to Jerusalem did not take place until he moved the Ark to Jerusalem and set up the Tabernacle. David was far from perfect but he did have a passion for worship. He was thrilled when worshipers invited him to go with them into the place of worship. David loved music and he loved praise: I can see him joining the pilgrims as they got near the Tabernacle. He probably lead them with singing and dancing. Attending worship was not a burden to David, it was a blessing. When like minded believers get together and begin praising the LORD, it elevates the spirits of those who are gathered to worship. It is an atmosphere that no single individual can create. Corporate worship is not a drudgery. You would not know this by the way we act. We go to worship and our main consideration is when we are going to get out. I heard a preacher say once, “The only reason Baptist go to church is to go home.” I don’t know about you, but the last few nights has been a foretaste of glory divine for me. This world is filled with hell, I need a little heaven from time to time. Heaven came down Sunday night and glory filled my soul. I didn’t want to go home. I got excited about those 10 professions of faith last night.
It is vitally important for all Christians to regularly attend public worship. The writer of Hebrews said, “Let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but let us encourage one another.” Worship is not about YOU or ME. This is what I heard the LORD say to me clearly Sunday night: “Jack, it is not about you. Be an encouragement to someone else. You are here to encourage one another.” I repented and promised to help whoever I could: within the next 30 minutes, God sent me some people who needed encouragement. I was as high as a kite. By the way, my sweet and precious daughter-in-law, who is so sensitive to the Spirit, came to me while I was kneeling and confirmed what God had just spoken to me. God used her to encourage me and then I was able to encourage others. Some of you have sinned against me this week: you haven’t been there to encourage me. I miss you and there is no way that I can be all that Christ wants me to be without your encouragement. When David prayed for the peace of Jerusalem, I think he was talking about inside the walls. He knew there was strife in the world and there will be until Jesus returns and sits things right but there is no reason we cannot have peace within the walls of our church fellowship. The only thing that hinders us is our refusal to make Jesus LORD. We are selfishly motivated instead of divinely inspired. Jewish worship was dependent upon the willingness of the people to GATHER. We need Jesus obviously but we also need each other. Your presence matters, your absence is discouraging.
VETERAN OF THE DAY
When the U.S. entered World War II, Stewart was drafted into the Army but was rejected because he was underweight for his height. He worked with colleagues to put on the necessary pounds, and successfully enlisted with the Air Corps. He was stationed at Moffett Field, California as an enlisted man. During his nine months of training at that base, he also took extension courses with the idea of obtaining a commission.
His college degree and extensive flight time played to his favor, and he received his commission after the attack on Pearl Harbor. Because he had logged over 400 hours as a civilian, he was permitted to take basic flight training at Moffett and earned his pilot wings. During the next nine months, he instructed in AT-6, AT-9, and B-17 aircraft and flew bombardiers in the training school at Albuquerque, N.M. In the fall of 1943, Stewart went to England as Commanding Officer of the 703d Bomb Squadron, equipped with B-24s.
He began flying combat missions and on March 31, 1944, was appointed Operations Officer of the 453rd Bomb Group and, subsequently, Chief of Staff of the 2nd Combat wing, 2nd Air Division of the 8th Air Force. Stewart ended the war with 20 combat missions. He remained in the USAF Reserve and was promoted to brigadier general on July 23, 1959. He retired on May 31, 1968. The pic above is not from a movie: Stewart was being awarded a medal. I might also mention that he was a graduate of Princeton University.
- Wow, what a service: ten professions of faith. What a meeting we have had. I think 15 POF’s total and the Spirit moving in every service. Thank You Jesus. We give HIM all the praise! Isn’t it wonderful to see HIM work and then to give HIM all the praise.
- It’s great to have a good staff: Sylaina and Noah were a lot of help and I want to thank them. Those two are on the ball.
- Tonight is our last service: you don’t want to miss it.