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Public Worship

Psalm 5:7


David, the man after God’s own heart, found great pleasure and satisfaction in daily prayer and meditation. Daily, private, personal worship was a characteristic of his life. With the rising of the morning sun, his heart was lifted up to God. Every morning he directed his prayer to the throne of grace and looked to his Lord with a heart of faith. Every evening he gave thanks to God and laid his head upon his pillow in the sweet rest of faith. That is the way to begin and end every day! Blessed are they who worship God in private. Let all who know and trust the living God worship him daily. Let all who follow Christ in the path of faith and obedience follow him also to the solitary place of private prayer. I would do everything within my power to promote and encourage private worship among the saints of God. Let every priest of God offer the daily sacrifices of prayer and praise to the Lord. But there is something even more important than private worship.


More Important

Does that last statement surprise you? I know that most people who are genuinely concerned for the glory of God and the worship of God rank personal, private worship above all things in the life of faith. But I am convinced that public worship, if it is true worship, is even more important than private worship.

David, the sweet singer of Israel, gave the highest possible regard to the matter of public worship. Without neglecting private worship, he said, “As for me, I will come into thy house in the multitude of thy mercy: and in thy fear will I worship toward thy holy temple.” He could not force others to worship God, and would not if he could. “But,” he says, “as for me, I will come into thy house.” That is to say, “I will come into the place of public worship in the assembly of God’s saints, to worship the Lord my God.”


Fear of Faith

And when he came into the place of worship with the saints of God, David was determined truly to worship the Lord. He says, “In thy fear will I worship toward thy holy temple.” David was resolved in his heart, at every appointed time, to come with God’s saints into the place of public worship, so that he might worship God in heaven, in the temple of his holiness, in the sweet fear of faith.


Multitude of Mercies

I will come into thy house.The house of God is the congregation of the saints, wherever they gather in public assembly to worship God. “I will come into thy house in the multitude of thy mercy.” — It is not enough merely to “go to church.” We must come into the house of God in faith, trusting the Lord’s mercy. And there are a multitude of mercies with God in Christ. Sinners need mercy. We must come to the place of public worship as sinners trusting God’s abundant mercy in Christ. If we do not come as sinners seeking mercy, we will not worship. But sinners looking to Christ for mercy always find a multitude of mercy in him (Luke 18:13-14). In him we find…


  • Everlasting, Covenant Mercy (Jeremiah 31:31-34)
  • Sin-Atoning, Redeeming Mercy (Romans 3:24-26)
  • Effectual, Saving Mercy (Micah 7:18-20)
  • Immutable, Preserving Mercy (Malachi 3:6)
  • Daily, Providential Mercy (Romans 8:28)

Truly, “It is of the Lord’s mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not” (Lamentations 3:22), and every worshipper in God’s house finds it to be so.

And in thy fear will I worship toward thy holy temple.” — We must come to the house of God with reverence and godly fear to worship him; that is, to see him, to hear him, to adore him, to praise him, and to obey him. This was David’s resolve. May it ever be yours and mine. May God our Savor give us grace to make public worship our delight and to truly worship him in the assembly of his saints.




Don Fortner








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