JANUARY 26, 2022

Dear Friends,

This week, I got a sneak peek at the workbook the ladies will be using for the spring Women’s Bible Study from the book of Psalms. I’ll have information about the study for you here in a bit. But I’ve been thinking today about the title on the workbook. It’s “Glad Adoration.” The title brought to mind the great German hymn from the late 1600s “Praise To The Lord, The Almighty” which includes the line “All ye who hear, now to His temple draw near, join me in glad adoration.”

Interestingly, the word “adore” and “adoration” aren’t in your Bible – at least not in most translations. But anyone who reads the Book of Psalms see praise and worship ringing from the lips of God’s people over and over again. That’s what adoration is. The dictionary defines it as “deep love and respect; worship and veneration.” If you understand who God is and all He has done for us, to respond with anything less than adoration is to demonstrate that you didn’t see what you thought you saw. Adoration is the default response of anyone who sees God for who He really is.

But it’s not just adoration. It’s glad adoration. The word adore may not be in the Bible, but the words glad and gladness are. Look at just a few examples from the Psalms:

“I will be glad and exult in you; I will sing praise to your name, O Most High” (Psalm 9:2).

“I have set the LORD always before me; because he is at my right hand, I shall not be shaken. Therefore my heart is glad, and my whole being rejoices; my flesh also dwells secure” (Psalm 16:8-9).

“I will rejoice and be glad in your steadfast love, because you have seen my affliction; you have known the distress of my soul” (Psalm 31:7).

“Be glad in the LORD, and rejoice, O righteous, and shout for joy, all you upright in heart!” (Psalm 31:11).

“For our heart is glad in him, because we trust in his holy name” (Psalm 33:21)

There’s a scene early in my favorite movie of all time, It’s A Wonderful Life, when Violet Bick comes to see George Bailey. Violet has had a crush on George since they were kids. But then, Violet liked all the boys. In fact, while George had followed the straight and narrow in his life, Violet had swerved. In this particular scene, she comes to tell George that she’s decided to leave town, leave her soiled reputation and try to start life over with a clean slate in New York City.

“It takes a lot of character to leave your home town and start all over again,” George tells Violet. He reaches in his pocket and hands her some money. She protests, but he insists. “It’s a loan,” he tells her. “That’s my business. Building and Loan.”

With a look of admiration in her eyes, Violet says to George “I’m glad I know you George Bailey.” And she kisses him on the cheek.

Over and over again in the book of Psalms, the people of Israel lift up their voices to declare “We are glad we know you, God. And glad for all you’ve done for us.” The gladness comes as a response to their understanding of the attributes of God – His glory, His goodness, His greatness, His mercy, His justice and His lovingkindness.

Not only are we to worship and praise God with glad adoration, we are to serve the Lord with gladness (Psalm 100:2). God takes no delight in our grudging obedience. To be sure, grudging obedience to God is a better choice than cheerful disobedience. But God wants us not simply to obey Him, but to delight ourselves in Him. He wants our adoration to be glad adoration.

The Psalmist says that God has loosed our sackcloth and has clothed us with gladness. As you start your day today, is your heart a glad heart? A joyful heart? If not, stop for a minute and take another look at Jesus. Who He is. What He has done for you. Pause and adore.

And join with the Psalmist and say

“I will praise the name of God with a song;
I will magnify him with thanksgiving
This will please the LORD more than an ox
or a bull with horns and hoofs.
When the humble see it they will be glad;
you who seek God, let your hearts revive.
For the LORD hears the needy
and does not despise his own people who are prisoners.”
(Psalm 69:30–33)

Join me today in glad adoration of God. Let your heart be glad as you set your mind on Him.

Ladies, this Monday night (January 31) at 7:00 pm at the church, it’s Gathering time. Everyone is invited for a time of fellowship, encouragement, prayer and worship. We’ll also be laying out the plans for the 9-week Glad Adoration study in the book of Psalms happening between now and Easter. But the Monday evening Gathering is for everyone regardless of whether you’re able to be involved in the Psalm study this spring. Come and be refreshed!

And men, the next evening is our First Tuesday Men’s Gathering. Our guest speaker is Dennis Rainey, the co-founder and past President of FamilyLife, and my long time partner on the FamilyLife Today radio program.

We’ll have dinner for those who can make it at 6:15, and then we’ll kick off the evening at 7:00. If you haven’t downloaded the syllabus, here’s a link so you can start thinking about our topic, which is how a husband can do what he’s told to do in 1 Peter 3:7 – live with his wife in an understanding way.”

As always, think about guys from outside the church who you can invite to join us. And if you’ve never been to a First Tuesday men’s event, this is the perfect time to jump in and join us!

While we still have gatherings and events happening at the church, we’ve decided out of an abundance of caution to postpone our plans for the Love Like You Mean It marriage event we had planned for two weeks from now. Given that we were planning on a couple of meals together and two extended sessions in the worship center, we thought it would be best to wait until the Omicron variant has died down a bit (which it looks like it may be starting to do).

We’ll let you know when we have a new date set. Thanks for your understanding on this.

While we’re postponing one event, we do have an outing planned for Super Bowl weekend. It’s the Saturday afternoon Super Bowling party at Professor Bowl. This is a great “bring a friend” event, and it’s open to everyone. You can click here for details and to pay online for your two hours of bowling fun!

And if you haven’t signed up yet for the spring Men’s Retreat, now’s the time.
Click here to reserve your spot!Jesus knew that the news that He was going away was a source of great anxiety and turmoil for His disciples. That’s why one of the great promises He makes in John 14 is the promise that He would give them His peace. What kind of peace is He talking about? We’ll look closely at what He tells His disciples as our study of John’s gospel continues on Sunday.

See you in church.

Soli Deo Gloria!
Pastor Bob

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