Lord, I am truly blessed. Through Jesus Christ, I am Your child, and Your presence goes with me.
Read PSALM 122
A song of ascents. Of David.
1 I rejoiced with those who said to me,
“Let us go to the house of the Lord.”
2 Our feet are standing
in your gates, Jerusalem.
3 Jerusalem is built like a city
that is closely compacted together.
4 That is where the tribes go up—
the tribes of the Lord—
to praise the name of the Lord
according to the statute given to Israel.
5 There stand the thrones for judgment,
the thrones of the house of David.
6 Pray for the peace of Jerusalem:
“May those who love you be secure.
7 May there be peace within your walls
and security within your citadels.”
8 For the sake of my family and friends,
I will say, “Peace be within you.”
9 For the sake of the house of the Lord our God,
I will seek your prosperity.
New International Version (NIV)Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
‘Come near to God and He will come near to you.’1
There is a book called How to Walk into Church.2 It is likely – this being a Sunday – that you will be going to church today. How will you walk into church? Expectantly? Wearily? Unthinkingly? Psalm 122 offers some encouragement to walk into church well.
First, let us go joyfully (1). David is joyful at the prospect of going up to the house of the Lord. Depending on circumstances and disposition, joy understandably comes more easily to some of us than others. Yet, as Christians, we know that joy in the Lord is always possible – indeed commanded!3 As we walk into church this Sunday, let us fix our minds upon Jesus and all He has done for us; let us ask the Holy Spirit to grant us the gift of joy; and let us resolve to walk in that joy today.
Second, let us go to worship God (4). There may be many reasons behind why we go to church – some helpful, others not – but the primary reason must be ‘to praise the name of the Lord’; and, indeed, to do that in community (4). Third, let us go with others. David rejoices with those who encouraged him to come along with them to Jerusalem, the place of worship (1,2). Psalm 122 teaches us that there is joy to be found in worshipping God with others; that we can be a source of joy by asking people to join with us in worship. Let us be thankful for people who encourage us to go to church, who ask us to pray with them, who invite us to fellowship; people who encourage us to draw near to God. Let us be people who invite others into this joy; people who say to others, ‘let’s go!’ (see 1).
Ask God to help you walk into church well. Pray for those who walk into your church. Who can you encourage to worship God this week?
On this Your day, Loving Lord I go to worship You above all else, and pray for the spirit of joy to be in my heart. I also pray for the peace of Jerusalem.
1 James 4:8 2 Tony Payne, How to Walk into Church, Matthias Media, 2015 3 Phil 4:4