Summary: Praising God brings God’s presence into the here and now. Find out how.
Title: The Power of Praise
Text: Acts 16:25-31
1. Last week we talked about preaching the Gospel. Today we want to talk about the third key where we can use our God-given authority to experience the reality of the kingdom of God – The Power of Praise!
2. Our text today shows us that there is a hidden power to praise. It’s unfortunate that many people today are ignorant of this spiritual reality. They think praise is just about singing songs as they wait for others to arrive or in preparation for the preaching of God’s word.
3. The purpose of the worship service is twofold. First, we want to see the revelation of God through His word and works. Second, we want to respond to that revelation through worship. Actually, when we take the time to listen to God’s word, we are actually worshiping already, because we are giving His word the importance it deserves. So worship is really what we do throughout this worship service.
4. But many people do not really come to worship. They come to learn. They come to listen. They come to be encouraged. But they do not come to worship. Everything that we do in this worship service is intended to help you respond to God in worship. If you’re not worshiping God, we’re not really serving God. And if you’re worship of God ends here in this worship sanctuary, then we have failed to really lead you into a lifestyle of worship (Rom 12:1). Worship is the third key to experiencing the reality of the kingdom of God in the here and now. LET’S WORSHIP HIM NOW!
5. So how do we worship God in such a way that we actually experience the reality of the kingdom of God in the here and now? There are four steps:
a. We need to focus on the One we are worshiping -- GOD.
b. We need to have a reason why we are worshiping Him -- REVELATION.
c. We need to engage our whole being in worship -- WORSHIP.
d. We need to wait upon his response – PRESENCE.
1. We need to focus on the One we are worshiping -- GOD.
a. God is not the only one who wants to be worshiped (Matt 4:810).
b. It’s in our nature to worship (Gen 4:4).
c. But because of the fall, we have started to worship idols rather than the one true God (Acts 17:22-23).
d. We have started to worship created things rather than the Creator (Rom 1:18-23).
e. Some have even started to worship themselves rather than God (Phil 3:18-19).
f. Some even worship their religious systems and traditions rather than God Himself (Col 2:20-23; Matt 15:7-9).
g. But the Lord has delivered us from all these. He has given us the privilege to worship the one true God (Phil 3:3; John 4:21-24). LET’S WORSHIP HIM NOW!
2. We need to have a reason why we are worshiping Him -- REVELATION.
a. We cannot worship God unless He first reveals Himself to us (John 9:35-38).
b. The very origin of the English word “worship” (“worthship” – to ascribe worth) demands that there is some prior revelation of who God is before we can worship Him.
c. God wants us to worship Him in spirit and truth (John 4:24).
d. He wants us to worship Him because we have understood some important “truth” about Him. Illus. The apostle Paul in Rom 11:33-36.
e. God reveals himself through his word and works (Psalm 19). So we need to open our ears to his voice at all times!
f. Singing songs to God without understanding his revelation is like praising someone you don’t really know. It always comes out as fake praise! Illus. Praising a new acquaintance. LET’S WORSHIP HIM NOW!
3. We need to engage our whole being to respond to His revelation -- WORSHIP.
a. When we have focused on God and have understood his revelation about himself, we are now ready to really worship him with our whole being.
b. How we respond to a person when we meet him/her shows how much we know that person. Illus. Seeing an old friend in the mall
c. Our excitement affects our whole being! Psalm 150 shows us that praising God ought to be characterized by joy and excitement in his presence!
d. But responding to him does not end with mere singing or clapping our hands! Our whole life is affected and changed by the realizing some important truth about God. Illus. God is good and his love endures forever!
e. Worship is the response of a grateful and humble people to the living God where submission, sacrificial service, praise, profession, testimony and gratitude are freely expressed in innumerable ways.
f. We bow, kneel, lift up our hands, sing, shout, dance, etc. out of our sincere reverence to God. We are excited about him! LET’S WORSHIP HIM NOW!