This is the sermon for Sunday morning, October 12th, 2008.
Heart filled worship.
The other day I read this statement that though it is rather short, it is filled with truth: “At the heart of worship is worship from the heart.” For me, this statement can be rather convicting. You see, there are times when my worship of the Lord hasn’t come from my heart. Instead of my heart focusing on Him, I have at times focused on other things: my plans, my fears, my worries, my hopes, my dreams, whatever they may be. My God is worthy of my complete attention, not just my giving Him a little attention.
How many of you can honestly say that your time of praise and worship before the Lord has always been full of Him? How many of you can say that at times you have lost focus and really haven’t worshipped Him with your whole heart? How many of you would be honest with yourself and God and admit to Him that at times you’ve just gone through the motions?
Does God have anything to say about heart filled worship? Well, I believe He says it in a number of places, but this morning, we are going to look at what He has to say concerning heart filled worship in Psalm 9.
Before we begin looking into Psalm 9, let’s invite the Holy Spirit to bless the preaching of His Word.
This morning, I find the title of Psalm 9 just as interesting as the Psalm itself. In the TNIV it states in the title of the Psalm, “To the tune of the death of the son.” In the ESV title it states it was originally a lament. So if my understanding is correct, David took a song of lament, of sadness, and created this song of joy and praise to the Lord. Praise poured forth from His heart, just like the young man in the video we watched.
Well, maybe you have been living lives of lament, of sorrow, of worry, of fear, of sadness.
God wants to take our daily, ordinary lives and make them lives of heart-filled worship.
Let’s look into Psalm 9 for how to live a heart-filled worshiping life.
1. Proclaim all the wonderful things He has done for you.
Psalm 9:1 ESV – I will give thanks to the LORD with my whole heart; I will recount all of your wonderful deeds.
A. The Psalmist starts this Psalm by stating that He will tell of all God’s wonderful deeds.
He has rescued Israel from Egypt, and their enemies, and has been there for them throughout their history.
B. Well, if you were to think about it, God has done some amazing things for each believer here.
He saved you, lavished His love on you, He’s been there through the good times and the bad. As you begin to declare His wonderful deeds, then your heart becomes filled with His praise. Thankful people are people of heart-filled praise. Those who live a heart-filled worshiping life, this next step comes quite naturally too.
2. Sing songs of rejoicing and praise.
Psalm 9:2 ESV – I will be glad and exult in you; I will sing praise to your name, O Most High.
A. You notice in the video as the young man began listening to the song, how it really started touching him.
He went from listening, to humming a little, to singing a little with his hands slightly raised, to stopping right in the intersection with hands raised, worshipping the Lord at the top of his lungs.
B. A song can do for us what other things cannot.
If you can’t get focused on the Lord, begin to sing to Him. Either a song from your own mind, or maybe a CD, or from the radio, or whatever, just begin to sing to the Lord. I’ve even have done like David. I’ve taken songs meant to for something else, and I’ve changed a word or too and just sang it to Him as worship. Example, James Taylor’s “How sweet it is to be loved by You.” Let’s look at our third point.
3. Remind yourself of the times He has defended you in the past.
Psalm 9:3-5 ESV – 3When my enemies turn back, they stumble and perish before your presence. 4For you have maintained my just cause; you have sat on the throne, giving righteous judgment. 5You have rebuked the nations; you have made the wicked perish; you have blotted out their name forever and ever.
A. Has there been times in your past that God has defended you?
That you know things would be different if it hadn’t been for the Lord rising up and fighting your battles for you? Then recall those things and remind yourself of them.
4. Thank Him for being a stronghold you can run too.
Psalm 9:9 ESV – The LORD is a stronghold for the oppressed, a stronghold in times of trouble.
A. Thank Him that during times of oppression and trouble, He is always waiting with open arms to receive you and protect you.
5. Walk in His grace and rejoice in His salvation.
Psalm 9:13-14 ESV – 13 Be gracious to me, O LORD! See my affliction from those who hate me,O you who lift me up from the gates of death, 14that I may recount all your praises, that in the gates of the daughter of Zion I may rejoice in your salvation.
A. For the believer, God’s full of grace and mercy
So accept the fact that no matter what comes your way, God is going to be merciful and gracious to you.
B. Just rejoice in the fact that He loved you enough to save you.
Our praise to God is not based on our feelings and emotions, but on who He is and what He has done for us. We have limitless reasons to lift up our Savior in praise and adoration.
What would happen to us as a body of we start giving God our heart-filled praise? Well, for one thing I feel that it would close the door on many footholds the enemy is trying to plant amongst us, but just like the video, it could be an outreach as well. You see, those whose praise is heart-filled will also be those who can’t help but tell others about Him. Let’s be a people of heart-filled praise to the God who is worthy of all our praises.