Oct 4, 2009                               "Pray Praise and Worship!"  To listen to this Great Message Click "Here"

Sun Am Worship                                       P.P.W 

Text:  Luke 9:28-36 (King James Version) THEME: Fireproof your Future -!

Subject:  Equipping the Church for the Harvest"

"Father, I am your servant, willing and desiring to be used to bless your people."

It was Easter morning, 1799, and the people of Feldkirch, Austria, were terrified. they believed this Easter would probably be the very worst day of their lives. Outside the gates stood the army of Napoleon, and he wanted in. The citizens were ready to raise the white flag of surrender.

But the bishop of the church had another agenda. In a voice trembling with emotion, he said to the townspeople, "This is Easter Day. This is the day of our Kings resurrection. We must have one moment of triumph. Let us at least ring all the bells of Easter." Fearfully, the people agreed. Soon the sound of church bells pealing out a celebration of victory filled the air.

Napoleons army was astounded. What could it mean? It didn't take long for the generals to conclude that only one possible explanation could account for such celebration: the Austrian army had arrived during the night to help defend the town. The bells had not yet stopped ringing when the French army broke ranks and fled.

Like the story of Jehoshaphat's army, the story of Feldkirch is a powerful reminder of the power of Praise. Praise as a weapon of warfare--wielding not our own power but the power of the risen Lord to defeat the enemy.

 

There are some in the congregation who never enters into worship. I'm sure there are others that enter in out of routine

 

If you don't know how to praise, Then begin from the book Psalms. It is a book telling us how to praise God.


The Bible encourages us, and exhorts us, and even COMMANDS us to "PRAISE" the Lord. What is praise? "Oh, that's easy. Praise is the three fast choruses we sing to start the meeting, and then worship is the three slow ones we sing after that!" Is that right? No its not. Did you realize that in the New Testament the words praise, worship, glory, and honour are ALL translated from the same one Greek word?! Its true; the word is "doxa", and its base meaning is GLORY. How it is translated depends solely on the context.

If there is any difference between praise and worship it is simply that,

 WORSHIP is how we esteem God - its the attitude of adoration in the heart. You can worship God without a sound.

PRAISE, however, is the articulation of that adoring heart. When we praise God we give vent and voice to our heart of worship.

So, worship has to do with ESTIMATION. Praise has to do with ARTICULATION. But both mean to give God esteem - to commend Him highly.

3. Worship changes us.
in Jer 2:5 you will find They followed worthless idols and became worthless themselves.

You become like what you worship.
If you worship superficial things, your life becomes superficial.
If you worship perverted things your life becomes perverted.
If you worship evil things your life becomes evil.
If your worship the one true God you become godly.

2 Cor 3:18 TLB And as the Spirit of the Lord works within us, we become more and more like him.

So, when the Bible tells us to "PRAISE" Him, its calling us to give vent to our adoring heart. Worship can be silent, but praise NEVER is. Whether the song is slow or fast, or even if its not a song at all but perhaps a shout or an applause, its irrelevant, but we are called to ARTICULATE the adoration of our hearts.

                         Put an exhaust pipe on that adoring Heart
So don't say: "I'm praising silently". You cant "praise" silently. No more than I can Start my Harley up and you not hear it.  You may be worshipful - you may be adoring - but "PRAISE" ALWAYS requires action or voice!

2. We are called to praise and worship God.
1 Peter 2:5, 9 You also, as living stones, are being built up a spiritual house, a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light.

"MAKE A JOYFUL NOISE TO THE LORD!"

Psalms 66:1   To the chief Musician, A Song or Psalm. Make a joyful noise unto God, all ye lands:

Psalms 66:2   Sing forth the honour of his name: make his praise glorious.

Psalms 66:3   Say unto God, How terrible art thou in thy works! Through the greatness of thy power shall thine enemies submit themselves unto thee.

Psalms 66:4   All the earth shall worship thee, and shall sing unto thee; they shall sing to thy name. Selah.


Psalms 22:3   But thou art holy, O thou that inhabitest the praises of Israel.

 

Psalms 78:4   We will not hide them from their children, showing to the generation to come the praises of the LORD, and his strength, and his wonderful works that he hath done.

 

Ps 150:6 Let everything that has breath praise the LORD


what I am telling you today is that there is power in praise. There is power in lifting your voice in a song or a shout or a prayer of praise. Something happens when we applaud, lift up our voices and magnify God. God Clothes us with the  Garment of Praise


Isa 61:3 The garment of praise will remove the spirit of heaviness.

READ: ISAIAH 61:3.
Isaiah 61:3   To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, that he might be glorified.

. PRAISE SECURES AN UNBURDENING
There's people here this morning carrying a burden. Weighed down by a crushing load. You're living with a "spirit of heaviness".

 (I'm not talking about some demonic spirit - that's not what this verse means. Its YOUR spirit that is heavy. Its a disposition of heaviness.)

Did you ever see that cartoon character (The Pink Panther)  everywhere he went there was a rain cloud over him. You know WE can get into a defeated attitude that causes us to feel like that.

The Bible tells us, "put on the garment of PRAISE for the spirit of heaviness". OR, in other words, "EXCHANGE THAT SPIRIT OF HEAVINESS FOR PRAISES!" "I don't know about you but this sounds like a good trade to me!



Oh, I've had times when I've felt heavy - downcast - had that "gnawing"  in the pit of my stomach because of fear, worry, stress, anxiety. But I have come to know and understand what it is to have it LIFT as I've begun to PRAISE!

1) Tired in Body,  Lift it in Praise

2) Bondage in Debt,  Lift it in Praise

3) Sick of Being Sick,  Lift it in Praise

Psalms 107:8   Oh that men would praise the LORD for his goodness, and for his wonderful works to the children of men!

Psalms 107:9   For he satisfieth the longing soul, and filleth the hungry soul with goodness.

Psalms 107:10   Such as sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, being bound in affliction and iron;


Sometimes, in those difficult hours of being burdened with something, praise feels like its just a sheer act of the will in determination. David knew that experience - he had to stir himself: "Bless the Lord oh my soul, and all that is within me bless His Holy Name."

But once you start to do it, PRAISE SECURES AN UNBURDENING. You exchange that heavy spirit for a garment of praise!


4. READ: Psalm 149:6-9.

Psalms 149:6   Let the high praises of God be in their mouth, and a two edged sword in their hand;

Psalms 149:7   To execute vengeance upon the heathen, and punishments upon the people;

Psalms 149:8   To bind their kings with chains, and their nobles with fetters of iron;

Psalms 149:9   To execute upon them the judgment written: this honour have all his saints. Praise ye the LORD.

 

 Here we see the PRAISE, coupled with the declaration of God's Word, binds the enemy in chains.

Did you know that PRAISE is a very good way to resist the devil?! (The Bible says, "Resist the devil and he will flee from you!") The devils most common methods of attack are to bring discouragement, negativity, hopelessness, despair into our lives - to paralyze us from within - to get our eyes off God. If that's what he's about in your life, then the best way to deal with him is to START PRAISING THE LORD. Get your eyes back on the greatness of God and declare His praises. Sing and shout of His love, and His faithfulness, and His goodness, and His mighty power. And you watch the enemy flee. His power of discouragement - HIS LIES - will be broken! Hallelujah Anyhow!

Praise Always Produces victory!

5. Praise defeats our enemy.
Ps 8:2 NIV From the lips of children and infants you have ordained praise because of your enemies, to silence the foe and the avenger.

Ps 149:5-6 Let the saints be joyful in glory; Let them sing aloud on their beds. Let the high praises of God be in their mouth, And a two-edged sword in their hand.

Our praise will put evil to flight

Praise and worship ushers in the manifested presence of God.
Praise will open Doors

Acts 16:22   And the multitude rose up together against them: and the magistrates rent off their clothes, and commanded to beat them.

Acts 16:23   And when they had laid many stripes upon them, they cast them into prison, charging the jailor to keep them safely:

Acts 16:24   Who, having received such a charge, thrust them into the inner prison, and made their feet fast in the stocks.

Acts 16:25   And at midnight Paul and Silas prayed, and sang praises unto God: and the prisoners heard them.

Acts 16:26   And suddenly there was a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison were shaken: and immediately all the doors were opened, and every one's bands were loosed.

Ps 22:3 (KJV) But thou art holy, O thou that inhabitest the praises of Israel

 

Look at  Rev 4:1-4:11
Revelation 4:1   After this I looked, and, behold, a door was opened in heaven: and the first voice which I heard was as it were of a trumpet talking with me; which said, Come up hither, and I will show thee things which must be hereafter.

Revelation 4:2   And immediately I was in the spirit; and, behold, a throne was set in heaven, and one sat on the throne.

Revelation 4:3   And he that sat was to look upon like a jasper and a sardine stone: and there was a rainbow round about the throne, in sight like unto an emerald.

Revelation 4:4   And round about the throne were four and twenty seats: and upon the seats I saw four and twenty elders sitting, clothed in white raiment; and they had on their heads crowns of gold.

Revelation 4:5   And out of the throne proceeded lightning's and thundering's and voices: and there were seven lamps of fire burning before the throne, which are the seven Spirits of God.

Revelation 4:6   And before the throne there was a sea of glass like unto crystal: and in the midst of the throne, and round about the throne, were four beasts full of eyes before and behind.

Revelation 4:7   And the first beast was like a lion, and the second beast like a calf, and the third beast had a face as a man, and the fourth beast was like a flying eagle.
Revelation 4:8   And the four beasts had each of them six wings about him; and they were full of eyes within: and they rest not day and night, saying, Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty, which was, and is, and is to come.

Revelation 4:9   And when those beasts give glory and honour and thanks to him that sat on the throne, who liveth for ever and ever,

Revelation 4:10   The four and twenty elders fall down before him that sat on the throne, and worship him that liveth for ever and ever, and cast their crowns before the throne, saying,

Revelation 4:11   Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created.

I. Its interesting - that when Revelation begins talking about future things, the lst thing it focuses on – is the Father
Look at Revelation 4:1-4 "After this I looked, and there before me was a door standing open in heaven. And the voice I had first heard speaking to me like a trumpet said, "Come up here, and I will show you what must take place after this. At once I was in the Spirit, and there before me was a throne in heaven with someone sitting on it.
And the one who sat there had the appearance of jasper and carnelian. A rainbow, resembling an emerald, encircled the throne. Surrounding the throne were twenty-four other thrones, and seated on them were twenty-four elders. They were dressed in white and had crowns of gold on their heads."

So, Jesus tells John he's about to see "what must take place after this…"
BUT, instead of the horrendous pictures of War and Famine and Pestilence that people often associate with Revelation.instead, we find ourselves in God's throne room witnessing an awesome worship service - filled with strange sights and sounds
* lightning and thunder and rumblings in the distance
* beautiful colors
* unusual creatures
* And an inspiring example of how to praise God
(pause…)

As I looked at this passage I suddenly thought."What's going on here? If Jesus has told John that he's about to see "what must take place after this…" why would the lst thing Jesus take John to be a "church service"? Why visit this beautiful BUT seemingly irrelevant ceremony. Why not just get right down to the nitty gritty of it all and tell us all about what we really want to know about: the conflict between the forces of good and evil, between the forces of Satan and the angels of God? But instead we find ourselves being led into God's throne room.

Why start here? Why? Because that's where God KNEW we had to begin.

Thus, Revelation 4 is (not only) telling you how you that you will overcome. I believe it is telling you HOW we can overcome! I believe we will overcome by following the example of those in the throne room.

Look at what they're doing: (Revelation 4:10-11)
Ø They're singing praises to God
Ø They're worshipping the Father
Ø They're focusing all of their attention on Him
Ø Everything is centered on - throne in the midst of the room
Ø Why?
BECAUSE, when we do that - when we praise and worship God, focus our attention solely on Him and His throne of power - were focusing our attention:
NOT on our circumstances and difficulties
NOT on our failures and tragedies

No. When we learn to worship and praise God as these in the throne room do, we are focusing upon the God who has the power and the majesty and the desire to lift us up out of our despair and hopelessness.

That's why the 4 living creatures cry out:
"Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty, who was, and is, and is to come."
God has always been there in the past, He's here in the present, and He'll be there in the future when we need Him. He'll never leave us of forsake us, even in our darkest moments.

That's why the 24 elders cast their crowns before His throne and sing this praise:
"You are worthy, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things, and by your will they were created and have their being."
This is the God who created everything that has ever existed simply by the words from His lips. Those who stand against you don't stand a chance. We overcome, because we have the power of God in our corner.

ILLUS: In 1607, a German named Martin Reinkardht wrote…"Now Thank We All Our God"
Down thru the centuries it has been one of the great hymns of praise.


"Now thank we all our God with heart and hands and voices
Who wondrous things has done, in whom His world rejoices
Who, from our mothers arms has blest us on our way
With countless gifts of love, and still is ours today

All praise and thanks to God the Father now be given
The Son, and Him who reigns with them in highest heaven
The one eternal God whom earth and heaven adore
For thus it was, is now, and shall be evermore."

BUT in the year that Reinkardht wrote that hymn, over 6000 people in his German village, including his wife and his children, died of pestilence. In the midst of that great catastrophic social and personal loss, Reinkardht wrote one of the most lasting hymns of praise.

Note the words of that last verse:
"All praise and thanks to God the Father now be given
The one eternal God whom earth and heaven adore
For thus it was, is now, and shall be evermore."

In the midst of his tragic loss, Reinkardht must have been reading from Revelation 4. He literally quoted directly from its words. Why? Why did he write that hymn?

 

Because he understood what Revelation is trying to tell us: "In this world you will have trouble.but take heart…" Focus on God's throne. Set your eyes and your heart and your soul on HIM who has the power to help you face & overcome your tragedies and heart aches.

CLOSE: That's what worship is all about. That's the reason for our gathering to sing songs of praise and glory to God.
to train us
to prepare us
to drive home into our hearts…
that the only sure power we have to face the fears and anxieties of this world is to focus on the Father and upon His throne.

An elementary teacher by the name of Phyllis I. Martin, teacher told this story. She said: Storm clouds and strong gusts of wind had come up suddenly over Columbus, Ohio. The Alpine Elementary School radio blared tornado warnings. It was too dangerous to send the children home. Instead, they were taken to the basement, where the children huddled together in fear. We teachers were worried too. To help ease the tension, the principal suggested a sing-along. But the voices were weak and unenthusiastic. Child after child began to cry – we could not calm them.
Then a teacher, whose faith seemed equal to any emergency, whispered to the child closest to her, "Aren't you forgetting something Kathie? There is a power greater than the storm that will protect us. Just say to yourself, ‘God is with us.' Then pass the words on to the child next to you."
As the words were whispered from child to child, a sense of peace settled over the group. I could hear the wind outside still blowing with the same ferocity of the moment before, but it didn't seem to matter now. Inside, fear subsided and tears faded away.

When the all clear signal came over the radio sometime later, students and staff returned to the classrooms without the usual jostling and talking.
Through the years I have remembered those calming words. In times of stress and trouble, I have again been able to find release from the tension by repeating,

"God is with us."

Is God with you?
Have you learned to look to Him in your times of deepest troubles?
Do you have the assurance of His promises. Even Christians struggle with this when they face times of hardship and difficulty. But for those without Christ, there's not even the promise of God's intervention and care. That's why we offer an invitation at the end of every service. If God has spoken to you of your need for His love and care in your life, won't you please come forward as we sing our invitation hymn…