READ: Psalms 94–97
THINK: What comes to mind when you think of worship? Too often, worship is reduced to a certain setting, a distinct mood or familiar songs. But true worship cannot be confined to a specific time, place, process or posture. The psalms speak of praising God at all times and in all situations. God's praise should always be on our minds and lips, bringing a perpetual sense of His presence. That in turn will inspire a more praiseworthy lifestyle, which is crucial since our outward expressions of God's worthiness must come from pure hearts and obedient lives. When your praise is backed by your practice, you can worship sincerely, regardless of where you are or how you feel.
RESPOND: In what ways are those who defy and reject God arrogant (94:1-4)? How should God's followers respond when they see injustice and cruelty? (See 94:1-23 note.) How is God personified (described with humanlike traits) in 94:9-11, and what does this indicate about God's judgment and people's accountability to Him? In what ways is it a blessing to be disciplined by God (94:12)? What are some forms, postures and themes of worship mentioned in Psalm 95 (vv. 1-2,6ff)? Why is it absolutely vital that our worship to God be sincerely motivated, and how can you ensure that this is the case in your life? (See 95:1-11 note.) What does it mean to "harden your hearts" (95:8), and what can you do to resist this tendency? (See 95:8 note.) In what ways can you "proclaim his salvation day after day"? (See 96:2-3 note.) How will God judge the world and all it's people (96:13)? What four aspects of God's character and kingdom are described in Psalm 97? (See 97:1-12 note.) According to 97:8-12, what benefits do God's followers enjoy? In what way is Psalm 97 prophetic-pointing to future times and events? (See 97:1-12 note.)
PRAY: Give thanks for God's discipline, what it teaches you and how it causes you to depend on Him. Pray that your heart will never become hard toward God and that your praise will always be sincere
ACT: Do something to help someone who has been treated unfairly or to improve an unfair situation. Worship God today in a new way-perhaps in a different form, place or posture than usual-something that causes you to focus more on what you're thinking and saying and, most of all, on God himself.
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