Sermons

Summary: Though we speak of worship, I suspect that few of us worship. Perhaps we are uncertain of Whom we should seek or what we should do when we have found Him. This Psalm addresses those issues.

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“Ascribe to the LORD, O heavenly beings,

ascribe to the LORD glory and strength.

Ascribe to the LORD the glory due his name;

worship the LORD in the splendor of holiness.

“The voice of the LORD is over the waters;

the God of glory thunders,

the LORD, over many waters.

The voice of the LORD is powerful;

the voice of the LORD is full of majesty.

“The voice of the LORD breaks the cedars;

the LORD breaks the cedars of Lebanon.

He makes Lebanon to skip like a calf,

and Sirion like a young wild ox.

“The voice of the LORD flashes forth flames of fire.

The voice of the LORD shakes the wilderness;

the LORD shakes the wilderness of Kadesh.

“The voice of the LORD makes the deer give birth

and strips the forests bare,

and in his temple all cry, ‘Glory!’

“The LORD sits enthroned over the flood;

the LORD sits enthroned as king forever.

May the LORD give strength to his people!

May the LORD bless his people with peace!” [1]

A tragedy of monstrous proportions has afflicted the churches of this day. A worship leader will stand with the worship team to lead the music. Almost inevitably that leader will say something like, “Let’s worship and then we’ll hear the sermon.” Without knowing that a transition has taken place, that worship leader has restricted worship to the singing of hymns. I am not disparaging singing, either congregationally or individually. However, when we attempt to define worship exclusively as singing, we do a grave disservice to the act of worship. It is not much different from a liturgical church that emphasises ritual to the exclusion of a message from the Lord. Both actions, whether singing or ritual, focuses on feeling rather than engaging the intellect. The Apostle Paul declared, “I will pray with my spirit, but I will pray with my mind also; I will sing praise with my spirit, but I will sing with my mind also” [1 CORINTHIANS 14:15].

I know that I speak of this often. The reason I do speak so frequently of worship, is that this life is the anteroom to Heaven. Here, we are preparing ourselves to worship. After this life, our worship will be perfected. However, as we worship now, we are permitted to catch a glimpse of God and the glory that He has promised we shall share with Him. We have trained ourselves to settle for a faux sense of ecstasy, so that we are kept from worshipping the True and Living God. When we do catch a momentary glimpse of Him, we are startled, left utterly astonished and awestruck—we hardly know what is happening.

Like John, when he encountered the Risen Son of God on Patmos, when we see Him, we fall at His feet as though dead [see REVELATION 1:17]. Like Saul of Tarsus as he travelled toward Damascus, we fall to the ground and cry out, “Who are you, Lord” [see ACTS 9:5]? What is marvellous and glorious is that when we do encounter the Living Saviour, though we are compelled to fall before Him, inevitably He touches us, raising us up and equipping us to serve Him with new energy, with new power. Having met Him, we find ourselves lost in wonder, in awe of His majesty, marvelling at His glory and stunned into silence before Him. Then, when He has raised us up, we find our voice and begin to praise Him, exalting Him in our hearts.


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