Declare

Declarations are usually made by officials.
The mayor of a city will declare a day to honor a visiting dignitary or an outstanding citizen.  The leader of a country can declare a day for prayer, or a moratorium on some unwanted behavior.  Upon reentry into one country, when going through customs, a traveler to some other country will have to declare the goods he or she purchased.

We may not see ourselves as leaders or dignitaries or outstanding citizens and we haven’t been anywhere or bought anything to demand a trip through customs.  Why are we commanded to declare something?  What power do we possess to seize a day in honor of someone we love?  Who will listen if we declare a day of prayer?  What foreign goods do we have in our possession?

Commanded to Declare
In the most unlikely of circumstances, we are invited, really we are commanded, to declare the glory of the Lord!  The first day of the week has been declared to be the Lord’s Day, an accumulated day of Rest and Worship (Old Covenant) and a day to Celebrate the Resurrection of Jesus (New Covenant. )  When we declare His glory, we are choosing to share in the joy of the church and in the faithfulness of God to His people through His covenants.

It is important that we open our mouths to make this declaration.

  • There is a time for silent meditation; this is not that time.
  • Some moments call for inner contemplation; these are not those moments.

The Lord’s day is a day to declare with a loud voice in the company of the saints the wonders of God for all to hear.

We do this best with songs.
Songs of declaration are not songs about us; they are about the Lord.  The words are filled with truth about who God is and what He has done.  We proclaim His excellence, integrity, holiness, mercy, faithfulness, truth, power, and His love.  We must lift our voices over the noise of a fallen creation.  Our unison song must penetrate the din of lies all around us.  Our soaring harmonies must stretch from low bass to highest soprano to dominate the sound spectrum, allowing no other melodies and chords and cadences to be heard.

The Song of the Heart
Before our song can overcome the cacophony of sin, it must originate in the deepest part of us—our hearts where Jesus lives by the power of the Spirit.

  • When our hearts have seen the King, we can witness to His glory with our voices.
  • When our minds are filled with Him, our mouths will be filled with His praise.

Those who do not know Him simply cannot declare His glory the way those who know God in their hearts can.  It is as if the Holy Spirit amplifies the song of the redeemed so that all can hear, from the enemies of God to the friends of God.

Seek His glory in your heart.  Declare His glory with your lips.  Make the joyful noise that only you can make.  Use the voice He has given you and use it to the full.  There will be time to contemplate.  There will be moments of meditation.  But find a time early on this Lord’s Day to declare His glory!

Scriptures:
Ephesians 3:10-12
His intent was that now, through the church, the manifold wisdom of God should be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly realms, according to his eternal purpose which he accomplished in Christ Jesus our Lord. In him and through faith in him we may approach God with freedom and confidence.
1 Peter 2:4-6; 9-10
As you come to him, the living Stone-rejected by men but chosen by God and precious to him- you also, like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.
But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. Once you were not a people, but now you are the people of God; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.
Psalm 96 NKJV
Oh, sing to the LORD a new song! Sing to the LORD, all the earth. Sing to the LORD, bless His name; Proclaim the good news of His salvation from day to day. Declare His glory among the nations, His wonders among all peoples. For the LORD is great and greatly to be praised; He is to be feared above all gods. For all the gods of the peoples are idols, But the LORD made the heavens. Honor and majesty are before Him; Strength and beauty are in His sanctuary. Give to the LORD, O families of the peoples, Give to the LORD glory and strength. Give to the LORD the glory due His name; Bring an offering, and come into His courts. Oh, worship the LORD in the beauty of holiness! Tremble before Him, all the earth. Say among the nations, “The LORD reigns; The world also is firmly established, It shall not be moved; He shall judge the peoples righteously.” Let the heavens rejoice, and let the earth be glad; Let the sea roar, and all its fullness; Let the field be joyful, and all that is in it.
Psalm 33:1-3
Sing joyfully to the LORD, you righteous; it is fitting for the upright to praise him. Praise the LORD with the harp; make music to him on the ten-stringed lyre. Sing to him a new song; play skillfully, and shout for joy.
Psalm 47:1-2
Clap your hands, all you nations; shout to God with cries of joy. How awesome is the LORD Most High, the great King over all the earth!

Prayer:
Glory to God
From the Book of Common Prayer
Glory to God in the highest, and peace to His people on earth. Lord God, heavenly King, almighty God and Father, we worship You, we give You thanks, we praise You for Your glory. Lord Jesus Christ, only Son of the Father, Lord God, Lamb of God, You take away the sin of the world: have mercy on us; You are seated at the right hand of the Father: receive our prayer. For You alone are the Holy One, You alone are the Lord, You alone are the Most High, Jesus Christ, with the Holy Spirit, in the glory of God the Father. Amen.

Songs of Declaration:
We Declare That the Kingdom of God Is Here
Words and Music: Bob Fitts

We declare that the Kingdom of God is here
We declare that the Kingdom of God is here
Among you! Among you !

The blind see! The deaf hear!
The lame men are walking!
Sicknesses flee at His voice
The dead live again And the poor hear
The good news!
Jesus is King so rejoice!

We declare that the Kingdom of God is here
We declare that the Kingdom of God is here
Among you! Among you !

We Declare Your Majesty
Words and Music: Joseph Garlington

We declare your majesty!
We proclaim that your name is exalted;
For You reign magnificently, rule victoriously,
And Your power is shown throughout the earth.

And we exclaim, our God is mighty!
Lift up your name, for you are holy.
Sing it again, all honour and glory,
In adoration we bow before your throne.

Semper Reformanda!
Stephen Phifer

© 2017 Stephen R. Phifer All Rights Reserved

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