I will sing of the Lord’s great love forever; with my mouth I will make your faithfulness known through all generations. Psalm 89:1 (NIV)
Picture this … a bedroom with pink walls … frilly bedspread … Barbie dolls and accessories spread across the floor … a five-year-old girl busy playing in her imaginary world. As I approach the door, I hear the familiar voice of Papa, my father-in-law, coming from the Princess CD player in the corner. Papa is telling stories about his childhood on the prairies of central Canada, and my daughter, Jaimie, is soaking in his colorful adventures even though she appears to be focused on her toys.
Papa had gone on to be with the Lord several years before, but left this recording for his grandchildren and eventually great-grandchildren. Though just a CD, it was, and still is, a priceless treasure because of its contents—a connection to the patriarch of our family for generations to come.
Marker moments are important. Photos, journals, letters and keepsakes of every imaginable sort trigger memories of where we came from, of significant people, places and events in our lives.
Worship is the same way. For millennia, we’ve been recounting the story of God—His matchless character, His great works, His awesome power, His infinite love, His unfathomable mercy and grace. Every generation has declared in their own way the praises of God (Psalm 71:18).
Abraham, Isaac and Jacob built altars to mark life-changing encounters with the Lord (Genesis 12:8; 26:25; 35:1). After the miraculous parting of the Jordan River, Joshua selected a representative from each tribe of Israel to carry a stone from the riverbed so they could build a monument to remind future generations of God’s faithfulness (Joshua 4:1–9). From the time he was young, David, the shepherd-boy-turned-king, sang and poured out his heart to God in songs that now make up the book of Psalms. From faith-filled declarations of God’s character to passionate cries to be saved from his enemies, the psalms are the spiritual journal of an ordinary guy who struggled in life and yet found hope, peace and forgiveness in the Lord.
In the New Testament, we see Paul instructing the Ephesian church (and all of us) to “remember that time you were separate from Christ” (Ephesians 2:12). To young Timothy, he wrote: “Remember Jesus Christ, raised from the dead, descended from David. This is my gospel” (2 Timothy 2:8–10).
And, of course, there is Jesus’ instruction to “remember Me” as He broke the bread and offered the cup to His disciples just before giving His body and blood as a sacrifice for all mankind. Communion at the Lord’s table has been central to our worship ever since.
To this brief sampling of worship marker moments in Scripture, you can also add the testimony of believers throughout history and quickly you realize we’re surrounded by “a great cloud of witnesses” whose lives encourage us to “run with perseverance the race marked out for us” (Hebrews 12:1).
Wherever you are in your spiritual journey—whether newly born in Christ or seasoned by years of walking with Him—draw strength from the fact that you are not alone. Whatever you’re facing today—a challenge in your family, a season of dryness in your spirit, the crisis of a negative doctor’s report, the struggle with an area of sin or brokenness from the past—know that others have faced it too … and their lives prove God is more than faithful!
Today, take some time to revisit a marker moment from your past in order to gain strength for today and hope for tomorrow. Then add your worship to the neverending praise symphony of the One who created the universe yet knows the most intimate details of your life, loves you unconditionally and calls you His child.
Take all of my life, all of my life and make something beautiful
I open my hand, trusting Your plan to make something beautiful
So all will see Your work in me as You make something beautiful ~ LAURA STORY & ED CASH
Father, thank You for the way You have worked in my life. It’s so easy to forget and lose perspective, especially in the tough times. Today, I’m reminded of how much You love me and how much You care for me. I draw strength not only from my past experience, but also from You—my source of strength. In my circumstance today [name what those circumstances are], I have faith to again believe You will make a difference. Thank You for Your faithfulness! In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Read about someone from a previous generation whose life is a testimony of God’s work.
Sing a new song (or an old one), compose a poem, paint a picture or write a letter about a time when God did something life-changing.
FOR FURTHER STUDY
by David Schubert
Taken from Love Expressed, a Gateway devotion.
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