INTRO.- Shouting can be good but it also be bad. It depends on where you are shouting and to whom.
ILL.- JACKIE KLEIN is a devoted mother of two little boys in the suburbs of Portland, Ore. She spends hours taking them to soccer and Cub Scouts. She reads child-development books. And she is calm 90 percent of the time. Then there is the other 10 percent, when, she admits, “I have become totally frustrated and lost control of myself.” And then she yells.
Amy McCready, the founder of Positive Parenting Solutions said, “I’ve worked with thousands of parents and I can tell you, without question, that screaming is the new spanking... Parents resort to reminding, nagging, timeout, counting 1-2-3 and quickly realize that those strategies don’t work to change behavior. In the absence of tools that really work, they feel frustrated and angry and raise their voice. They feel guilty afterward, and the whole cycle begins again.”
Is shouting or yelling the answer for parenting? I don’t think so, but I also know that most parents have done this at some time or other. We get frustrated because the kids aren’t behaving so we yell at them.
Proverbs 15:23 “A man finds joy in giving an apt reply—and how good is a timely word!”
Shouting at children is not giving an apt reply for their disobedience or bad behavior. We may think it’s timely, but it isn’t the answer to correcting a child.
Proverbs 13:24 “He who spares the rod hates his son, but he who loves him is careful to discipline him.”
Proverbs 22:15 “Folly is bound up in the heart of a child, but the rod of discipline will drive it far from him.”
Even though shouting at kids may not be the right and appropriate thing to do, there may be a time for shouting.Shouting for your favorite team at a ball game may be a good thing, unless you are not sitting in the grandstands of the opposing team!
Beyond shouting at ball games for your favorite team is there a good time to shout? Yes, according to our text, there is.
1 Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth. It sounds like there is a time and place for shouting. We are to shout for joy about God! Or perhaps shout in joy to the Lord. Our text is telling how we should respond to God if we know Him and walk with Him in life. We should have an ongoing relationship to Him, an ongoing relationship of joy.
PROP.- How should we respond to our great God?
1- We shout for joy
2- We worship with gladness
3- We know (or recognize) He is God
I. WE SHOUT FOR JOY
1 Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth.
Job 8:20-21 “Surely God does not reject a blameless man or strengthen the hands of evildoers. He will yet fill your mouth with laughter and your lips with shouts of joy.”God can fill us with joy and the Holy Spirit. Acts 13:52, Gal. 5:22
Job 33:26 “He prays to God and finds favor with him, he sees God’s face and shouts for joy; he is restored by God to his righteous state.” If you see God in scripture how can you not get excited and express joyous praise to Him?
Psalm 42:4 “These things I remember as I pour out my soul: how I used to go with the multitude, leading the procession to the house of God, with shouts of joy and thanksgiving among the festive throng.”
How do you go to the house of God? Have you ever shouted for joy to the Lord? Honestly, I’m not sure that I have. Of course, that depends on how you define shouting for joy to the Lord.
ILL.- Old preacher Vance Havner used to say, “The same church members who yell like Commanche Indians at a ball game on Saturday, sit like wooden Indians in church on Sunday.”
We need to get serious about our faith in Christ. I’m not saying that we all have to yell and scream, whistle and shout, etc. but there should be some sign of seriousness to our Christianity.
Someone once said, “If there’s a throb in the heart there should be a thrill in the step.” Or I would say, at least a smile on the face and a song in the heart.
I don’t know about shouting for joy in the church but I do think an occasional “Amen” to God’s Word might be in order. I’ve heard it said and believe that whenever say “Amen” to God’s Word it says that we agree with God and that’s always a smart thing to do!
ILL.- Walter Scott was a preacher in the early 1800’s. He didn’t try to reform anything, but he did want to help restore the New Testament church as she was in the beginning. His slogan was “Back to the N.T.” This story is told about Walter Scott. One day Scott rode into a schoolyard on his horse. The children gathered around him and he told him to hold up their left hand. When they did, he said, “Put faith on your thumb, repentance on your forefinger, baptism on your middle figure, remission of sins on your ring finger, and the gift of the Holy Spirit on your little finger.” THEN HE HAD THEM REPEAT THOSE WORDS. Faith, repentance, baptism, remission of sins, and the gift of the Holy Spirit. Over and over, they repeated those words. Then he told him to go home and tell their parents that a man would be down at the schoolhouse to speak on that subject that night. They all went home and told their parents about the strange man who would tell them about faith, repentance, baptism, remission of sins, and the gift of the Holy Spirit.
In those days, people didn’t have cars, TV, etc. to keep them away from church so they went to the schoolhouse that night to hear Walter Scott preach. This was one of those nights, however, when Scott was not up to par. It was said that Scott could be boring as they come at times, and at other times, he was one of the best preachers there was. But this was not one of those times.
The children began to fidget and the adults acted bored. Scott saw that he would have to change his tactics. He abruptly announced, “HOW MANY OF YOU CHILDREN EVER PLAYED THE GAME ‘TOAD SKY HIGH’? Suddenly, everyone woke up. There was nothing like a game to stir up people’s interest.
Scott said, “To play TOAD SKY HIGH, you get a plank (a board) and put it on the ground on a rock like a see-saw. Get yourself a toad and put it on one end and then get the biggest kid you can find to hit the other end of the board as hard as he can. Then you can see how high the toad will fly. MAYBE HE WILL FLY, SKY HIGH.”
Then Walter Scott told how one kid hit the board so hard that the toad went up in the air about 50 or 60 feet. When the toad landed, he went “kerplop” and split wide open. He was bloody and his eyes were bulging out even more than usual. He was in agony.
At that moment, Scott saw that he had their complete attention. He said, “I come here tonight and tell you of the suffering of the Lord and how He was beaten and crucified and you go to sleep. But I tell you about the death of a toad and you are all ears. WHAT MUST YOU THINK OF YOURSELVES?!”
Brethren, can you imagine how those people must have felt? And is there an application for us today? Where is our joy and excitement?
II. WE WORSHIP WITH GLADNESS
2 Worship the Lord with gladness; come before him with joyful songs.
4 Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name.
ILL.- Someone wrote: Last Sunday, I voted to close the church. Not intentionally, not maliciously, perhaps, but carelessly, thoughtlessly, lazily, indifferently, I voted. I voted to close its doors that its witness and its testimony might be stopped. I voted to close the open Bible on its pulpit. For, you see, I could have gone and I should have gone, but I didn’t. I stayed away from church last Sunday.
Some people don’t worship with gladness because they don’t worship at all! And some people do vote to close the church by lack of attendance and by their lack of attention. The lack of attention means that some may occupy a pew but that’s about all.
James 1:22 “Be ye doers of the Word and not hearers only.”
Matthew 7:21 “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.”
It should be obvious that we need to be doers, that we need to respond to God’s Word. We must obey God’s Word.
It may be like reading a magazine on how to catch bass. What good does it do to read about it if you never do it. And so with God’s Word. God gave us His Word not just to make us smart about life, but to make us live a better life, a life of doing.
Jesus was characterized by Peter as a man who went about doing good and healing all who were under the power of the devil. Acts 10:38 We, too, are to be like Jesus and do good in this world. And we heal people who are under the power of the devil by witnessing to them and leading them to Christ. Whenever you get someone to give their life to Christ, confess and be baptized into Him, you will release that person from the power of the devil.
2 Worship the Lord with gladness; come before him with joyful songs. 4 Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name.
We need to worship the Lord gladly. We should be glad about enter His courts or His church with praise. Or do we even come with the idea of praising Him? Why do we come to church?
ILL.- One cartoon shows a little boy sitting beside his father and mother at church. The little boy said to his father: “Mom wants to be home cooking dinner, you want to play golf, I want to play football. So why are we here?”
This could really be true for some people. They don’t really want to be in church to worship the Lord. They’d rather be elsewhere, doing their own thing whatever it is. I still believe that you will be excited about worshiping the Lord on the Lord’s Day if you are faithful at worshiping Him at home every day! People who are faithful to worship at home will be faithful to worship at church. If you are excited about your relationship to the Lord, finding peace in Him and joy, knowing that you are heading to heaven, then how can you not find joy in worship in the Lord’s day?
It’s bubbling, It’s bubbling,
It’s bubbling in my soul.
There’s singing, and laughing,
Since Jesus made me whole.
Folks don’t understand it, Nor can I keep it quiet
It’s bubbling, bubbling, bubbling, bubbling,
Bubbling, day and night.
III. WE KNOW HE IS GOD
3 Know that the Lord is God. It is he who made us, and we are his; we are his people, the sheep of his pasture.
We know that God is truly God and that is there no other God. And we also know our own position in life.
ILL.- The new preacher was coming to call, and the mother gave Emma some instructions: "If he asks your name, say Emma Jane; if he asks how old you are, say you are eight years old; if he asks who made you, say God made me."
Sure enough, that preached asked Emma those three questions and in that order. Emma answered the first two questions correctly but when it came to the third question about who made you, Emma hesitated and said, "Mama did tell me the man's name, but I've gone and forgotten it."
How could anyone forget who God is? A child might if they’ve never been taught and were not raised in Sunday School and a church home. But any thinking adult person should know that God is God! He made us. God created us in our mother’s womb. We are the product of His inventive mind.
ILL.- As a child I would often draw pictures. I decided one day to enter one of those "Draw me" contests. I didn't win but I did win a knock at the door by a salesman who wanted my mother to enroll me in their art course. Mother thought I had some talent and paid for the course. After a period of time I discovered I was no real artist but I know who is a real artist!
Romans 1:19-20 “What may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse.”
There is only one artist of the universe and it’s not man and it’s not science! It is the God who is from everlasting to everlasting! Have you seen God’s artistry? Yes, we see it every day whether we pay attention to it or not. We know that God is God by looking at everything He has created or painted.
And God’s greatest creation or painting is the picture that He is painting in our lives. The problem is that we must let Him have the brush. We often take the brush from His hands and try painting the picture of our own lives and He does a much better job than we do. But when He paints the picture of our lives, He does a fantastic job with us!
Philippians 2:12-13 “Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed—not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence—continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose.”
God is at work in us! He wants to paint a beautiful in us, and He can, but only if we let Him!
I Peter 2:9-10 “But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. Once you were not a people, but now you are the people of God; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.”
Because we know God and we know that we belong to Him, we are different people. We are different than most people in the world. We don’t live for self, play and pleasure, WE LIVE FOR HIS PLEASURE AND GLORY! We live to please Him, knowing that He will give us eternal life.
It’s just plain common sense that we live for Him since He’s saved us in Christ and promised an eternal home without any pain or sorrow or death!
5 For the Lord is good and his love endures forever; his faithfulness continues through all generations.
Because we recognize God as God and that He is good to us, far better than we deserve. And we recognize that He is faithful to all people in all generations. How do we respond to Him? We shout for joy! We praise Him! We worship gladly, willingly, quickly, and often!