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Summary: This sermon introduces the series, "The Cry of My Heart," in which we invite the Psalms to teach us that genuine worship is honest before God and each other.

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Series on Psalms: Cry of My Heart: Finding Our Voice in the Psalms

A word on the Old Testament

We have been in the NT so far

Both are important, both tell us about God

A word on regular Bible reading & meditation

It will change your life

Let our Sunday mornings prompt and guide your reading

Let’s memorize a whole chapter of the Bible together!

PS 117:1 Praise the LORD, all you nations;

extol him, all you peoples.

PS 117:2 For great is his love toward us,

and the faithfulness of the LORD endures forever.

Praise the LORD.

If the Psalms are anything, they are Genuine. Honest before God.

[Scene about a man who’s a lawyer who can’t say anything but lies. His 5 yr. old son makes a birthday wish that his dad will only say the truth for one whole day. His wish came true, and it is ruining his father’s life. Now the dad is going to ask the son to take back his wish.]

Is that true? In your life? For lawyers? In the world? As adults? As believers? As worshippers? All “Handshakes and Hallelujahs?”

Psalms teach us to be honest in our songs and prayer to God. Honest worship.

If the psalms are anything, they are genuine. They are the real deal.

Psalms are the CRIES of our HEART.

Teach us to be honest with every emotion, face our brokenness, and bring all our thoughts and feelings to God. Not hide them or ignore them. Express them.

Strongest emotions: Fear, anger, joy, celebration, grief, depression, the worst and the best.

· Grief! Pain. Sadness. Depression. Doubt. Fear.

o Psalm 22 “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”

· Grrrrr! Anger. Hate.

o Psalm 140 “let burning coals fall on them”

· Give! Help. Rescue. Save.

o Psalm 107 four stories of how God rescues people.

· Guilty! Sorry. Repent. Forgive.

o Psalm 51 “Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me”

· Grateful! Thanks. Praise. Joy. Celebration.

o Psalm 45 “he hears their cry and saves them”

· Glory! Majesty. Wonder. Awe.

o Psalm 29 the “lightning and thunder” psalm

· God! I want you. Desperate.

o Psalm 42 “As the deer pants for water”

The psalms can’t say enough how important honesty is in worship:

PS 15:1 LORD, who may dwell in your sanctuary?

Who may live on your holy hill?

PS 15:2 He whose walk is blameless

and who does what is righteous,

who speaks the truth from his heart

PS 40:9 I proclaim righteousness in the great assembly;

I do not seal my lips,

as you know, O LORD.

PS 40:10 I do not hide your righteousness in my heart;

I speak of your faithfulness and salvation.

I do not conceal your love and your truth

from the great assembly.

PS 51:6 Surely you desire truth in the inner parts;

you teach me wisdom in the inmost place.

EPH 4:25 Therefore each of you must put off falsehood and speak truthfully to his neighbor, for we are all members of one body.

HONESTY is a crucial part of worship. If it’s not honest, and real, it’s not real worship.

I’m blessed in our church:

1. Thursday Night: Men’s group very honest

2. Wednesday: Shame & Grace. Jeff said, “What kind of testimony is that?”

3. BUT, not always sad. Scott’s example. Scott stood up and was feeling great, but told to give a cross talk, so he felt like he had to get sad & serious. Talk about Jesus being slaughtered.

4. Whatever is truly on your heart, you can share. I’ve asked several people to come and share their hearts, their prayer or songs or poems to God, in “Modern Psalms.” Summer Nesbitt’s example.

Invitation:

Now is the time to be honest.

It’s time to be honest to God in front of each other.

Honest with our feelings. Honest with our failures. Honest with our joy and love.

[[Ask yourself this question, personally. Don’t think about how someone else you know needs to be honest. Do you ever do that? Do you ever listen to a sermon and the whole time you’re thinking about how someone else needs to hear this? I do it all the time. Or I used to, before I started preaching every week. I’d sit there and think of how someone else is hearing it, or how someone else needs to hear it. That’s easier than applying it straight to me. ]]

Now is the time for you to find your voice. If you have anything to say, let’s do it now.

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