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Summary: The Psalmist shows us how it is that we grow in our knowledge of God through the act of worship.

Knowing God Through Worship - Psalm 146 - June 5, 2016

Worship is an important word. It’s in a sense a universal word, because everyone worships something.

For Christ followers, it is the primary activity of our life - the most important thing we do, I believe, that prepares us to be salt and light in this broken world that God loves so much.

We’re talking about worship today, and hopefully we understand that worship isn’t just singing songs to God. It is the hearing of the Word of God, the prayers, the passing of the peace, the offering - every aspect of the worship service.

And when we come to worship on a Sunday, we come to do and be part of an important thing that can, if we are really paying attention and participating, be quite transformational in our lives.

If we’re going through the motions and not actually entering in, we are, of course, not really doing anything other than using up some time on a Sunday afternoon. If we’re here seeking God together, boy. That’s when big things can start in our lives.

1 Praise the Lord. Praise the Lord, my soul. 2 I will praise the Lord all my life; I will sing praise to my God as long as I live.

The Psalm we are looking at today begins with 2 exhortations. One is general, to the gathered congregation so to speak. We are here, people, to praise the Lord.

To lift our voices in exaltation to Him. We’re here for Him, not for us. It’s His glory we seek first, not us being uplifted. We and our needs are always secondary to true worship. God is the reason and focus of our worship.

And then we read: “Praise the Lord, my soul”. The Psalmist is telling himself to be a part of that praising of the living God going on in the congregation.

That’s a good word for worship leaders and pastors. While we’re leading others, don’t forget to worship the Lord! Weirdly, that can happen.

For the rest of us, we are exhorted to praise the Lord, O my soul. It’s a call to step out of ourselves, out of the condition of our lives, be it good or rough at the moment,

and enter instead into a laser focus on the living God.

If you have ever thought that you have nothing to give to God, you need to know that the thing he wants most from you is not your activity, not your good works. He wants your faith in Him to be expressed in worship.

This has nothing to do with his needs, or his ego or anything like that. Sometimes people make that serious mistake.

Instead, it has everything to do with you aligning yourself with the truth, aligning yourself with what is true, aligning yourself with the person of God, your Creator.

As we continue to be involved week after week, participating actively in worship, again with a laser focus on God, and hopefully as worship and prayer come to be normal activities in our day-to-day lives, something marvelous begins to happen.

In fact, all the time we spend in God's presence, whether by yourselves, which we need to do or together with the body of Christ…

All the time we spend in God's presence has the impact on us of changing us, transforming us…more and more to be like Jesus, God's son.

The Psalmist says to give give praise to Him.

What do you praise God for? When does worship well up in you? When you see His creation? When you see a life transformed?

When you sense Him in your pain? When you feel His pleasure in your obedience?

Or is worship a strange concept for you. Coming from an atheist background, it sure was for me.

But I learned that it starts with gratitude - thankfulness for Who God is, for what He has done for us through Jesus

Pastor Charles Spurgeon once said “Praise is the honey of life which a devoted heart extracts from every bloom of providence and grace”.

The Psalm points to a decision to live in praise of God throughout our whole lives - as long as we live. That means a great deal.

At the very least, it means that I make a decision to never shift my perspective, my vantage point from being a person who will praise God…

Who will have my eyes open to the reasons to praise God, and who will never allow ANYTHING to alter my course from being a person who lives in praise of the Almighty living God.

There is an important corollary to worshipping God, something that flows naturally out of genuinely worshipping the living God. What is that?

3 Do not put your trust in princes, in human beings, who cannot save. 4 When their spirit departs, they return to the ground; on that very day their plans come to nothing. 5 Blessed are those whose help is the God of Jacob, whose hope is in the Lord their God.

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