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Summary: MEETING GOD’S STANDARDS.

A LESSON IN PRAISE AND WORSHIP

REV. 4:8-11

I. INTRODUCTION

AS WE PILGRIMAGE ON THIS PLANET, WE ARE SURE TO BE EXPOSED TO THE LESSONS THAT LIFE HAS TO OFFER. MANY LEARN THE PAINFUL LESSON OF GRIEF AND HEARTACHE ASSOCIATED WITH DEATH, OR RELATIONSHIPS; WHILE OTHERS LEARN LESSONS OF JOY AND ESSTACY OF JUST BEING ALIVE. WE LEARN HOW TO COPE WITH LOSES, WE LEARN HOW TO SHARE OUR BLESSINGS WITH OTHERS. YES, MY BROTHERS AND SISTERS, LIFE IS FULL OF LESSONS TO BE LEARNED, BUT ONE LESSON THAT HAS GONE NEGLECTED IS THE LESSON IN PRAISE AND WORSHIP. MANY PRAISE, BUT THEY PRAISE THE WRONG THING. MANY MAY WORSHIP, BUT OFTEN THEIR WORSHIP IS MISDIRECTED AND MISGUIDED. WE MUST LEARN TO PRAISE AND WORSHIP GOD IN THE MANNER THAT IS PLEASING AND ACCEPTABLE TO HIM. FAILURE TO PRAISE AND WORSHIP GOD IN THE APPROPRIATE MANNER LEAVES PRAISE AND WORSHIP VOID, VAGUE, AND VIRTUALLY USELESS. SO MY BROTHERS AND SISTERS, IF WE ARE GOING TO LEARN ANYTHING THIS DAY, WE MUST LEARN A LESSON IN PRAISE AND WORSHIP.

II. THE TEXT

CHAPTER FOUR OPENS WITH AN INVITATION FOR JOHN TO COME UP INTO HEAVEN TO SEE THINGS WHICH MUST COME TO PAST. HE IS CAUGHT UP IN THE SPIRIT INTO THE VERY PRESENCE AND THE THRONE ROOM OF GOD, WHERE HE SEES IN A VISION, THE MAJESTIC BEAUTY, AND SPLENDOR OF THE HOLY GOD AND HIS GOVERNMENT.

VERSE 8 PROVIDES A PARTIAL DESCRIPTION OF THE FOUR BEASTS AROUND AND IN THE MIDST OF THE THRONE OF GOD. OUR FOCUS IS NOT ON THEIR POSITION BUT, ON THEIR DISPOSITION. WE SHOULD NOT FOCUS ON WHO OR WHAT THEY ARE, BUT WHAT THEY WERE DOING. THEY WERE PRAISING AND WORSHIPPING HIM WHO IS WORTHY OF ALL PRAISE. AND MY BROTHERS AND MY SISTERS, WE MUST PRAISE AND WORSHIP GOD FOR WHO AND WHAT HE IS TO US.

NOTICE, THEY PRAISE HIM ON A CONTINUAL BASIS. THERE SHOULD NEVER BE A TIME WHEN WE DO NOT PRAISE THE LORD. IN SICKNESS, PRAISE HIM; IN TROUBLE, PRAISE HIM; IN DISTRESS, PRAISE HIM; IN JOY, PRAISE HIM. THE FOUR BEASTS TOOK JOY AND PLEASURE IN PRAISING AND WORSHIPPING GOD. IF THERE IS NO JOY IN PRAISING, THEN WE ARE NOT PRAISING.

THEY SING HOLY, HOLY, HOLY, LORD GOD ALMIGHTY. HE IS A THRICE HOLY GOD. IN THE HEBREW, WHEN THERE IS DOUBLE REPETITION IT EXPRESSES THE IMPORTANCE OF A MATTER. HOWEVER, WHEN IT IS SPOKEN THRICE, IT REVEALS DIVINE EXCELLENCE.

NOTICE VERSES 9 &10, WHEN THE FOUR BEASTS PRAISE AND WORSHIP GOD, THE TWENTY-FOUR ELDERS DO LIKE WISE.

III. AUTHENTIC WORSHIP

AUTHENTIC PRAISE AND WORSHIP RECOGNIZES THAT GOD IS THE CENTER OF OUR ADORATION. AUTHENTIC WORSHIP COMES FROM THE HEART AND NOT FROM THE LIPS. JOHN 4:24 PROCLAIMS, "GOD IS A SPIRIT: AND THEY THAT WORSHIP HIM MUST WORSHIP HIM IN SPIRIT AND IN TRUTH.¨ MATTHEW 15:8-9 REVEAL, "THIS PEOPLE DRAWETH NIGH UNTO ME WITH THEIR MOUTH, AND HONOURETH ME WITH THEIR LIPS; BUT THEIR HEART IS FAR FROM ME. BUT IN VAIN THEY DO WORSHIP ME.¨

THE TWENTY-FOUR ELDERS BOW DOWN TO PRAISE AND WORSHIP THE LORD. WE MUST HUMBLE OURSELVES TO THE POINT WHERE WE BOW BEFORE THE LORD. NOT ONLY MUST WE BOW PHYSICALLY, WE MUST BOW SPIRITUALLY. BOTH PRAISE AND WORSHIP ARE ACTION WORDS, AND WHENEVER OUR ACTIONS ARE IMPROPER, SO IS OUR WORSHIP.

PRAISE IS THE VERBAL ACKNOWLEDGMENT OF A PERSON, PLACE, OR THING. WHEN IT COMES TO GOD, WE ARE VERBALLY PROFESSING THAT HE IS GOD. WE GIVE GLORY AND HONOR TO HIS HOLY NAME. HE ALONE IS WORTHY OF ABSOLUTE PRAISE.

WORSHIP IS WHAT WE OWE GOD. WE ACKNOWLEDGE HIS WORTH. HE IS WORTH OUR WORSHIP. IT IS OUR FIRST PRIORITY TOWARDS HIM. HE IS THE ALL MIGHTY, ALL WISE, THE INFINITE, THE ALL PERFECT ONE, WHICH CAUSES US TO BOW BEFORE HIS PRESENCE, AND TO ENTER INTO HIS GATES WITH THANKSGIVING, AND INTO HIS COURTS WITH PRAISE: BEING THANKFUL UNTO HIM, BLESSING HIS NAME. I NEED TO ASK THIS QUESTION, HAVE YOU PRAISED AND WORSHIPPED GOD LATELY?

AS WE PRAISE AND WORSHIP HIM, WE BOW IN HUMBLE SUBMISSION, ASKING NOTHING FROM, SEEKING NOTHING FROM HIM, BUT BEING TOTALLY SATISFIED WITH HIM AND HIM ALONE.

AUTHENTIC PRAISE AND WORSHIP CAN TAKE PLACE ANYWHERE. IN THE CAR, ON THE JOB, IN THE HOSPITAL, ON THE STREET, AND EVEN IN THE STORE. YES, WE SHOULD PRAISE AND WORSHIP GOD AS A COLLECTIVE BODY, HOWEVER, WE SHOULD ALSO PRAISE AND WORSHIP HIM WHEN THE LOCAL CHURCH BODY IS NOT IN SESSION.

IV. THE BENEFITS OF PRAISE AND WORSHIP

THERE ARE A MULTITUDE OF BLESSINGS WITH AUTHENTIC PRAISE AND WORSHIP. ONE, OUR SOULS ARE SATISFIED BY REJOICING. PSALM 33:21 PROCLAIMS, "FOR OUR HEART SHALL REJOICE IN HIM, BECAUSE WE HAVE TRUSTED IN HIS HOLY NAME.¨ TWO, WE AFFIRM OUR ALLEGIANCE TO GOD AND GOD ALONE, WHICH QUALIFIES US TO BE THE RECIPIENTS OF HIS BLESSINGS. MATTHEW 4:10 REVEALS, "THEN SAITH JESUS UNTO HIM, GET THEE HENCE, SATAN: FOR IT IS WRITTEN, THOU SHALT WORSHIP THE LORD THY GOD, AND HIM ONLY SHALT THOU SERVE.¨ THREE, IT PLEASES GOD.

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