Psalm 34

Psalm 34 NKJV

I will extol the Lord at all times;
his praise will always be on my lips.
I will glory in the Lord;
let the afflicted hear and rejoice.
Glorify the Lord with me;
let us exalt his name together.

I sought the Lord, and he answered me;
he delivered me from all my fears.
Those who look to him are radiant;
their faces are never covered with shame.
This poor man called, and the Lord heard him;
he saved him out of all his troubles.
The angel of the Lord encamps around those who fear him,
and he delivers them.

Taste and see that the Lord is good;
blessed is the one who takes refuge in him.
Fear the Lord, you his holy people,
for those who fear him lack nothing.
10 The lions may grow weak and hungry,
but those who seek the Lord lack no good thing.
11 Come, my children, listen to me;
I will teach you the fear of the Lord.
12 Whoever of you loves life
and desires to see many good days,
13 keep your tongue from evil
and your lips from telling lies.
14 Turn from evil and do good;
seek peace and pursue it.

15 The eyes of the Lord are on the righteous,
and his ears are attentive to their cry;
16 but the face of the Lord is against those who do evil,
to blot out their name from the earth.

17 The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears them;
he delivers them from all their troubles.
18 The Lord is close to the brokenhearted
and saves those who are crushed in spirit.

19 The righteous person may have many troubles,
but the Lord delivers him from them all;
20 he protects all his bones,
not one of them will be broken.

21 Evil will slay the wicked;
the foes of the righteous will be condemned.
22 The Lord will rescue his servants;
no one who takes refuge in him will be condemned.

Imputed Righteousness

Happy souls, whoe’er believe
The embassy of peace!
Who at Jesus’ hand receive
The gift of righteousness:
God is their salvation’s God,
The Lord is their almighty shield;
They with grace shall be endu’d,
And then with glory fill’d.

Did the sin of Adam slay
And ruin all his race?
Jesus takes our sins away,
By suffering in our place;
He fulfill’s what God requir’d,
And answered all the laws demands:
In righteousness attir’d,
The true believer stands.

Moses, at a distance, saw
This righteousness divine:
In the volume of the law,
How clearly doth it shine!
Holy men, and prophets old,
Beheld from far the bleeding Lamb;
Of His righteousness foretold,
And trusted in the same.

What a mystery of love
In God’s design appears!
Jesus, coming from above,
Our sin and torment bears;
God imputes our sins to Him,
Imputes to us His righteousness:
Guilty He doth Christ esteem,
And guiltless us confess.

Jesus, I desire to go
Depending on Thy grace;
Nothing would I wish to know,
Beside Thy righteousness:
Christ for sinners liv’d and died;
His life, His death, is all our own:
What shall soon be glorified,
And with our Lord sit down.

-Augustus Toplady, Psalms and Hymns for Public and Private Worship, 6

When Noah With His Favored Few

When Noah, with his favored few,
Was ordered to embark,
Eight human souls, a little crew,
Entered on board his ark.
Though every part he might secure
With bar, or bolt, or pin.
To make the preservation sure,
Jehovah shut him in.
The waters then might swell their tides,
The billows rage and roar,
They could not stave the assaulted sides,
Nor burst the battered door.
So souls that into Christ believe,
Quickened by vital faith,
Eternal life at once receive,
And never shall see death.
In his own heart the Christian puts
No trust, but builds his hopes
On Him that ope’s, no man shuts;
And shuts, and no man ope’s.
In Christ, his Ark, he safely rides,
Not wrecked by death or sin.
How is it he so safe abides?
The Lord has shut him in.


-J. Hart, Gadsby’s Hymns, 685.

Rock of Ages

Rock of Ages, cleft for me,
let me hide myself in thee;
let the water and the blood,
from thy wounded side which flowed,
be of sin the double cure;
save from wrath and make me pure.

Not the labors of my hands
can fulfill thy law’s commands;
could my zeal no respite know,
could my tears forever flow,
all for sin could not atone;
thou must save, and thou alone.

Nothing in my hand I bring,
simply to the cross I cling;
naked, come to thee for dress;
helpless, look to thee for grace;
foul, I to the fountain fly;
wash me, Savior, or I die.

While I draw this fleeting breath,
when mine eyes shall close in death,
when I soar to worlds unknown,
see thee on thy judgment throne,
Rock of Ages, cleft for me,
let me hide myself in thee.

-Augustus Toplady, 1775

Rejoice Ye Pure in Heart

Rejoice ye pure in heart;
Rejoice, give thanks, and sing;
Your glorious banner wave on high,
The cross of Christ your King.

Rejoice, rejoice, rejoice,
Give thanks and sing.

Bright youth and snow crowned age,
Strong men and maidens meek,
Raise high your free, exultant song,
God’s wondrous praises speak.

Yes onward, onward still
With hymn, and chant and song,
Through gate, and porch and columned aisle,
The hallowed pathways throng.

With all the angel choirs,
With all the saints of earth,
Pour out the strains of joy and bliss,
True rapture, noblest mirth.

Your clear hosannas raise;
And alleluias loud;
Whilst answering echoes upward float,
Like wreaths of incense cloud.

With voice as full and strong
As ocean’s surging praise,
Send forth the hymns our fathers loved,
The psalms of ancient days.

Yes, on through life’s long path,
Still chanting as ye go;
From youth to age, by night and day,
In gladness and in woe.

Still lift your standard high,
Still march in firm array,
As warriors through the darkness toil,
Till dawns the golden day.

At last the march shall end;
The wearied ones shall rest;
The pilgrims find their heavenly home,
Jerusalem the blessed.

Then on, ye pure in heart!
Rejoice, give thanks and sing!
Your glorious banner wave on high,
The cross of Christ your King.

Praise Him Who reigns on high,
The Lord Whom we adore,
The Father, Son and Holy Ghost,
One God forevermore.

-Edward H. Plumptre, 1865.

Here Is Love

Here is love, vast as the ocean,
Lovingkindness as the flood,
When the Prince of Life, our Ransom,
Shed for us His precious blood.
Who His love will not remember?
Who can cease to sing His praise?
He can never be forgotten,
Throughout Heav’n’s eternal days.

On the mount of crucifixion,
Fountains opened deep and wide;
Through the floodgates of God’s mercy
Flowed a vast and gracious tide.
Grace and love, like mighty rivers,
Poured incessant from above,
And Heav’n’s peace and perfect justice
Kissed a guilty world in love.

Let me all Thy love accepting,
Love Thee, ever all my days;
Let me seek Thy kingdom only
And my life be to Thy praise;
Thou alone shalt be my glory,
Nothing in the world I see.
Thou hast cleansed and sanctified me,
Thou Thyself hast set me free.

In Thy truth Thou dost direct me
By Thy Spirit through Thy Word;
And Thy grace my need is meeting,
As I trust in Thee, my Lord.
Of Thy fullness Thou art pouring
Thy great love and power on me,
Without measure, full and boundless,
Drawing out my heart to Thee.

-Words: William Rees (1802-1883), vers­es 1-2 (Dyma gar­iad fel y mor­oedd); 
Will­iam Will­iams pos­sib­ly wrote vers­es 3-4; trans­lat­ed from Welsh to Eng­lish
by Wil­liam Ed­wards in The Bap­tist Book of Praise, 1900.

The Heavens Declare Your Glory, Lord

The heav’ns declare Thy glory, Lord,
In every star Thy wisdom shines
But when our eyes behold Thy Word,
We read Thy Name in fairer lines.

The rolling sun, the changing light,
And nights and days, Thy power confess
But the blest volume Thou hast writ
Reveals Thy justice and Thy grace.

Sun, moon, and stars convey Thy praise
Round the whole earth, and never stand:
So when Thy truth begun its race,
It touched and glanced on every land.

Nor shall Thy spreading Gospel rest
Till through the world Thy truth has run,
Till Christ has all the nations blest
That see the light or feel the sun.

Great Sun of Righteousness, arise,
Bless the dark world with heav’nly light;
Thy Gospel makes the simple wise,
Thy laws are pure, Thy judgments right.

Thy noblest wonders here we view
In souls renewed and sins forgiv’n;
Lord, cleanse my sins, my soul renew,
And make Thy Word my guide to Heaven.

-Isaac Watts, The Psalms of David, 1719.

Worship in Three Dimensions: Part 3

The Upward Dimension.

This third category, which marvelously suns up worship, is described in Hebrews 13:15-16. Verse 15 says, “Through Him then, let us continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips that give thanks to His name.” As we look at worship in its Godward focus, we discover that its distilled essence is simply thanksgiving and praise. With verse 16, the passage brings together all three categories of worship: “And do not neglect doing good and sharing, for with such sacrifices God is pleased.”

Praising God, doing good, and sharing with others—all legitimate, scriptural acts of worship. That draws into the concept of worship every activity and relationship of human living. The implication is that just as the Scriptures are dedicated to the subject of worship from cover to cover, so the believer should be dedicated to the activity of worship, consumed with a desire to use every moment of his life to devote himself to doing good to all, sharing our blessings with our neighbors, and praising God, who is the source of all goodness and every blessing.

-John MacArthur, Worship: The Ultimate Priority, 46.

Worship in Three Dimensions: Part 2

The Inward Dimension.

A second category of worship involves our personal behavior. Ephesians 5:8-10 says, “Walk as children of Light (for the fruit of the Light consists in all goodness and righteousness and truth), trying to learn what is pleasing to the Lord.” The word “pleasing” is from a Greek word that means “acceptable.” In this context, he is referring to goodness, righteousness, and truth, saying clearly that to do good is an acceptable act of worship toward God.

Paul begins 1 Timothy 2 by urging Christians to pray for those in authority in order that believers may live tranquil, quiet lives “in all godliness and dignity” (v.2). Note carefully those final three words: “godliness and dignity.” Verse 3 goes on to say, “This is good and acceptable in  the sight of God our Savior.”

So sharing is an act of worship, and that is the effect of worship on others. Doing good is also an act of worship, and that is its effect in our own lives. There is one other relationship that is affected by our worship—our relationship with God.

-John MacArthur, Worship: The Ultimate Priority, 45-46.

Worship in Three Dimensions: Part 1

The Outward Dimension.

“First, worship can be reflected in how we behave toward others. Romans 14:18 says, ” For he who in this way serves [latreuo] Christ is acceptable to God.” What is this acceptable offering given to God? The context reveals that it is being sensitive to a weaker brother. Verse 13 says, “Therefore do not let us judge one another anymore, but rather determine this—not to put an obstacle or stumbling block in a brother’s way.” In other words, when we treat fellow Christians with the proper kind of sensitivity, that is an acceptable act of worship. It honors God, who created and loves that person, and it reflects God’s compassion and care.

Romans 15:16 furthermore implies that evangelism is a form of acceptable worship. Paul writes that special grace was given to him “to be a minister of Christ Jesus to the Gentiles, ministering as a priest the gospel of God, so that my offering of the Gentiles might become acceptable.” The Gentiles who were won to Jesus Christ by his ministry became an offering of worship to God. In addition, they who were won became worshippers themselves.

In Philippians 4:18, Paul thanks the Philippians for a gift of money to help him in his ministry: “I have received everything in full and have an abundance; I am amply supplied, having received from Epaphroditus what you have sent, a fragrant aroma, an acceptable sacrifice, well-pleasing to God.” Here, acceptable worship is described as giving to those in need. That glorifies God by demonstrating His love.

So worship can be expressed by sharing love with fellow believers, sharing the gospel with unbelievers, and meeting the needs of people on a very physical level. We can sum it up in a single word: acceptable worship is giving. It is a love that shares.”


-John MacArthur, Worship: The Ultimate Priority, 45.