Sunday, October 12, 2008

A Day In Your Courts

For a day in your courts is better than a thousand elsewhere. I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God than dwell in the tents of wickedness. Psalm 84:10 (ESV)

Today at GSJ was yet another celebration honoring our Senior Ushers Ministry for faithful service to our church. The Lord blessed us with a rather jubilant worship experience during our 8am and 11am services. We have one of, if not the largest, group of ushers in our community and we work them very hard. Nevertheless, they always seem to step up to the plate and do us proud. To God be the glory for such an invaluable part of our overall church ministry. I solicit your continual prayers for them as they serve the Lord with gladness and stand for the Lord graciously in the sanctuary of our God.

I preached a message from Psalm 84 entitled “A Day in Your Courts.” Psalm 84 is a psalm of longing, longing for God's house, and it is by the Sons of Korah who were temple singers from the Tribe of Levi. Charles Haddon Spurgeon called Psalm 84 "one of the choicest of the collection." He wrote, "If the twenty-third be the most popular, the one-hundred-and-third the most joyful, the one-hundred-and-nineteenth the most deeply experimental, the fifty-first the most plaintive, this is one of the most sweet of the Psalms of Peace.”

I must confess this was not one of my easier attempts at exposition due to the many different interpretations of the text among several respected biblical theologians. Some believe this Psalm has a Davidic overtone even though there is no evidence to support it. Still others believe this Psalm highlights pilgrims making their way up to Jerusalem for one of the three annual feasts in the temple.

Although scholars do not all agree with respect to the origin of this beloved Psalm, the objective is abundantly clear, and that is, to emphasize the writer’s intense desire to worship God in the temple and the blessedness of dwelling in the House of God. If the sparrow can find a home there, and the swallow can make a nest for herself and her young, surely it will do us well to make our abode in His house a priority.

The congregation was challenged to not confuse the mere showing up for church with actual worship. Oftentimes we are guilty of coming to church for a couple of hours on Sunday, going through our regular routine without spending quality time worshipping God in the beauty of His holiness. We put so much emphasis on the place without regard to the very Person who makes the place special. I am so thankful the Lord led me to visit this passage and give Him glory for the fruit I’ve been able to witness already.

10 comments:

Pastor Lance A. Mann said...

Outstanding exposition of Psalms 84. Doctor McGhee I am convinced totally that the Greater St. John's Church has one of the greatest bible minds of our day. I am proud to know you and to receive the nuggets of wisdom that the Lord has given you.

Lance

Fitts said...

Pastor McGhee, it sounds like the Lord was gracious to the saints at Greater St. John MBC today! I am grateful to God for your commitment to teaching His people, His word. God bless you my brother.

By the way, I lean with those who say that Psalm 84 is highlighting pilgrims making their way up to Jerusalem to celebrate one of the three annual feasts.

Keith D. Witherspoon said...

hey Bro,

Great Post! If I knew you were going to dump like that, I would've come there!!

Pastor Kevin L. Pullam said...

Pardon the anology, but you "hit it out of the park." I have often looked at this passage and, before I started preaching, acutally had an opportunity to "explore the theme" from this passage. You have thoroughly dealt with the "tension of the text" and fleshed out a deeper thrust for me personally. I thank God for you and Pastor Mann daily. I have been helped by your sharing these thoughts today. I can't hardly imagine how those sitting in the sanctuary couldn't have been greatly increased in information and inspiration from this word.

Kevin

HALLELUJAH said...

Pastor: McGhee

Thank you for the message, you and your son presence at our senior usher’s brunch. After hearing today’s message, I witnessed a comment made by brother Faulkins concerning his new appreciation of church life, and I emphatically concur. May GOD continue to give you the wisdom to lead us.

GOD Bless you and yours!!!

Bother: Wilson

Vietta P's two cents said...

I thank God everyday for my blogging experience and allowing it to be that I linger with such devout Men of God. Thank you Pastor McGhee for the word and bringing forth unto me greater understanding.

God be Praised.
Mother

Anonymous said...

McGhee, once again sounds like you were on it Dr. I am sure the people really appreciate you taking the time to honor those who are the first greeters in the church and on top of that they are seniors too. We can't affirm them too much that mean so much to a flourishing ministry.

Keep up the good work McGhee, and send me a tape of the message, I would love to hear it.

Be Encouraged.

Tony R.

Reginald C. Payne said...

Great post sounds like a you all had a wonderful LORDS day service, and the God for doorkeepers/Ushers what a blessing asso many take them for granted indeed the help us with traffic and fires in the room, and thank you for the challenge to not just show up but come to worship.

Anonymous said...

Hello Pastor McGhee,

I thank you for Psalms 84. God speaks through you. I too would rather be a doorkeeper and servant then to dwell among evil. Job vv.1:6-8; One day the angels came to present themselves before the Lord, and Satan also came with them. v-7.; The Lord said to Satan, where have you come from? Satan answered the Lord, from roaming through the earth and going back and forth in it. v-8.; Then the Lord said to Satan, have you considered my servant Job? There is no one on earth like him; he is blameless and upright, a man who fears God and shuns evil.

Keep Preaching God's Word!
Evangelist

Ronald said...

Pastor McGhee thank you for this post. Good look at Psalms 84

Ron