August 13 | Daily Devotion

Lectio Continua: a continuous reading of every verse

Lectio Semi-continua: shorter reading selections from the passages

Lectio Divina

“Sing to the Lord a new song; sing to the Lord, all the earth. Sing to the Lord, praise his name; proclaim his salvation day after day.” ~Psalm 96:1-2

OLD TESTAMENT

Psalm 96

Psalm 96 begins with the call to “sing a new song” to the Lord. The concept of writing and singing new music shows up all over in Scripture (see Psalm 33:3, 40:3, 98:1, 144:9, 149:1; Isaiah 42:10; Revelation 5:9, 14:3). Yet, I occasionally hear Christians condemn new songs in the most thoughtless ways. God’s people must be very careful not to fall into the trap of “chronological snobbery,” a term C. S. Lewis coined to describe the view that one particular era is somehow superior to all other eras. Every song was, at one time, a new song. Each one was a fresh expression of praise to God when it was produced, as were the new poems, new books, and new art He inspired. New is not always better, of course, but then neither is old. However, new can help us see and experience God in fresh ways that bring delight to us and to the God we worship. Perhaps a new song or a new book or a new poem might bless you in fresh ways today and also bring glory to the God whose mercies are new every day.

Psalm 97

“The Lord reigns” is the theme of this song. He is sovereign over all creation—from distant shores to small towns. He is the Most High God, sovereign over all people, even the wicked. “Fire goes out before him and consumes his foes on every side” (v. 3). In His greatness, He watches over “the lives of his faithful ones” and blesses them with joy (v. 10). This God is worthy of our praise. “Rejoice in the Lord…and praise his holy name” (v. 12).

Psalm 98

A worship leader from Kenya visited our church recently and wondered aloud why Americans get so excited at sporting events but show very little emotion in worship. It was a fair question, and one that I honestly don’t think I answered very well.

In Psalm 98 is encouragement to get excited about God. There is the call to sing a new song, to shout out to God, to clap, to play all kinds of instruments—and to play them passionately (jubilantly). I’m not saying our worship should be chaotic (that’s why we have worship leaders!). But I am saying that worship should be filled with emotion and passion. God delights in His people when they delight in Him. He is so great, we should be moved in His presence!

NEW TESTAMENT

Because God has sacrificed so much for our salvation, we are called to live as sacrifices to Him. Paul devotes the rest of his letter to explaining how to live a life that pleases God. In Romans 12, he describes how members of the new church are to be transformed by the ongoing renewal of their minds. They are to live out their lives in the context of Christian community and to use the gifts God has given them to bless others. They are not to be bitter but are to trust God when they have been wronged, knowing that vengeance is His.


Lectio Divina is written by F. Lionel Young III, who serves as the senior pastor of Calvary Church in Valparaiso, Indiana. He is the author of A New Kind of Missionary, a popular introduction to global Christianity.