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LOVE ROMANCES #4 AMLOVE ROMANCES

LIVING A LIFE OF PRAISE AND WORSHIP

RECAP:

YEAR LONG THEME IS LOVE. This year our church is focusing on Love for a whole year. Twelve different aspects of it.

This month’s them is Love Romances. It’s about loving God. We spoke about King David being a worshiper. His life was so powerfully successful. Why? He was a worshiper. He was called a man after God’s own Heart. He was a man’s man and he was a worshipper. Real men worship God!

Last week end we had one of the most successful inc movement Christian music ministry people (Ps. Aaron Lucas) speak to us about the War for your Worship and a Worship Encounter last Sunday night.

Living a life of praise and worship is what we call normal Christianity. Any person who has truly encountered God will be a worshipper. Look at Peter in Luke 5 – falls to his knees and says depart from me – I am a sinful man. To see God as He really is means we see ourselves in contrast and we are undone. What does worship mean? It’s used 15 times in Psalms alone. Here are some meanings translated as worship: Bow down, to stoop, to humbly beseech.

Church is not a spectator sport! We are here to praise and worship God, to enter in, to join with others in a meeting place with the creator of the universe! We can worship according to religious tradition or according to the bible. Many people have a deep love for tradition and it limits them to experience only part of what God has for them. So many Christians grew up without biblical praise and worship and are embarrassed by Christians who worship according to the scriptures. If we come together as a people and praise God and worship God together, great and awesome things will happen.

Remember the story of Jehoshaphat.(2 Chron 20:21-22) God inhabits the praises of His people. David Hogan, a pastor in Mexico has such incredible praise and worship that they sing nonstop for over eight hours, and then the presence and power of God falls so powerfully that every person in a half mile radius is laid out on the ground under the power of God.

In church I encourage you don’t come as a spectator but enter in. Don’t be afraid to be foolish in the presence of God. True passion and enthusiasm is not viewed as off putting by non-Christians but is a powerful witness of true believers.

Story: One of my sons at the age of about 7 began his basketball career standing just inside the sideline, fearful of venturing onto the court.

Our movement, inc/COC probably more than any other movement in the history of Australia was the most expressive in praise and worship. We were known for dancing in church, raising hands, shouting praise, falling down under the power of God etc. We were heavily criticised and vilified by most other denominations including other Pentecostal groups. Why were we extreme? Because we had a passion to obey the scripture.

Remember the definition of a fanatic is someone who loves Jesus more than you do.

This is what biblical praise and worship looks like:

Ps 100:4 Enter his gates with thanksgiving, and his courts with praise! Give thanks to him; bless his name! (ESV)

What Gates? The gates of heaven! The gates of righteousness. The gates are the outer area, the first place we approach God, we are not even in His throne room yet. Thanks is powerful. It’s for God and it’s for you. Jesus said – Rejoice that your names are written down in the book!

Thirty-Eight times the book of Psalms encourages us to give thanks!

Ps 118:19 Open to me the gates of righteousness, that I may enter through them and give thanks to the Lord. (ESV)

After we are in through the gates, now step two is praise.

Ps 100:4 Enter his gates with thanksgiving, and his courts with praise! Give thanks to him; bless his name! (ESV)

The outer courts are where the house of the Lord begins. The idea is we are coming closer to the ultimate destination – the holy of holies, the throne of God, the place of intimacy. Is that what you came to church for? If not why not? What did you come to church for?

Thanks, now Praise. Words for praise are meaning to: raise hands, play an instrument, to sing, to shine, to boast, to be clamorously foolish, to celebrate,

How do we express praise?

  • Come into the church – the house of the Lord –Ps 134 :1 Come, bless the Lord, all you servants of the Lord, who stand by night in the house of the Lord!
  • Clap hands: Ps 47:1 Clap your hands, all peoples! Shout to God with loud songs of joy!

Story – The objections of the Ukrainian church to clapping.

  • Raising of hands: Ps 134:2 Lift up your hands to the holy place and bless the Lord!
  • Sing a song to the Lord: Ps 84: 2 My soul longs, yes, faints for the courts of the Lord; my heart and flesh sing for joy to the living God. (150)
  • Sing a new song: Ps 40:3 And He has put a new song in my mouth, a song of praise to our God. Many shall see and fear (revere and worship) and put their trust and confident reliance in the Lord. (5)
  • Dance before the Lord: Ps 149:3 Let them praise His name in chorus and choir and with the [single or group] dance; let them sing praises to Him with the tambourine and lyre! (AMP) (2)

Praise and worship in your own personal life.

Isaiah 61:3 To console those who mourn in Zion, To give them beauty for ashes, The oil of joy for mourning, The garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; That they may be called trees of righteousness, The planting of the Lord, that He may be glorified.”

If you want to change your day from stress and anxiety to joy and refreshing, put on the garment of praise.

If you want to experience God’s presence and His life, enter into worship at home. Some people meditate at home, some people practice yoga, some people listen to classical music, BUT some people just choose to put up with worry, stress and negative thoughts!

For God’s own Valium; Listen to God; His remedy for stress, negativity and anxiety is this:

Isaiah 26:3 You will keep him in perfect peace, Whose mind is stayed on You, Because he trusts in You. AND

Philippians 4: 6 Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God;

You can live a lifestyle of stress and worry OR you can live a lifestyle of praise and worship. When you praise and worship you see God as He really is and you see you problems in comparison to Him and His resources then the problems seem small.

What now?

Will you choose to be a worshiper? Will you make room in your day to praise and worship God? Fill your house and your car with worship music. Sing along to the anointed songs of praise and worship. When trouble comes and stress arises, open the book of Psalms and pray those words of praise.

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS.

1. Do you think you live a life of praise?

2. What stops you from praising God?

3. Is self -consciousness a factor in how you express praise and worship?

4. Why was King David so free to dance before the Lord foolishly?

5. What can you do to enter into real biblical praise and worship?

 

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