Clearly God wants this series to continue, because my notes are just full of sermons about praise, so I guess I’ll keep blogging sermons about praise until I run out of them!
Pastor Hunter, in his last sermon of the Worship Series, continued to preach out of the book of Psalms this past Sunday on the topic of “A Perfect Praise” based on the 100th Psalm.
Here are his sermon highlights:
– Praising God in “your own way” is not pleasing to God.
- God has already outlined the way He wants us to praise Him, so not following his outline is disobedience.
– How can you have a bad day when God’s still blessing you?
– How can you give God praise when praise is not in you? (What’s in you?)
– How to have a perfect praise:
- Your Praise Should be Audible
- What you say is a reflection of intimacy.
- Our expression is a reflection of what we have gone or are going through.
- We have to discontinue our membership to P.A. (Praise Anonymous).
- Your praise should not be a secret, especially to God!
- Your Attitude Should be Positive
- How can God bless you if people have to beg you to serve Him?
- Service is a privilege!
- You Must Acknowledge His Power
- Praise has a lot to do with what we know.
- Since God had the power to create us, He definitely has the power to sustain us.
- Stop worrying!
– We need to give thanks at the acknowledgment of His presence (all the time)!
– Praise is based on who He is and what He’s done!
- You Must be Assured of His Promises
- We will never understand how good He is until we learn the length and depth of His mercy.
So I’ve definitely enjoyed Pastor Hunter’s Worship series, and this sermon was definitely his most “real”. All of the sermons have been convicting, challenging and full of confirmations, but I felt like this was the most applicable sermon for our church. While the worshippers need to be equipped to properly worship God, prepared for the haters they’ll gain in the process, and be knowledgeable of the reasons to praise God, the biggest thing for us to realize is that praise is a privilege that’s supposed to be done a certain way. A lot of people struggle with this idea, because they blanket obedience under traditionalism or conservatism. Mature Christians realize that obedience is greater than sacrifice (thanks Veronica), and move beyond doing what they want to do in worship towards worshipping God obediently as outlined in Pastor Hunter’s sermon and throughout the entire Bible: audibly, with a positive attitude, in acknowledgement of His power and with assurance of His promises. Yes, God is glorified through creative praise, but we’re not talking about radical praise, we’re talking about people who don’t praise; those who use the excuse of being introverted to be lazy during worship. Whether you’re a social person or not, we need to give God a whole-hearted worship. This is not to say that you have to dance or lead praise in worship or even leap and shout for joy every Sunday, but you should be an active participant in worship through lifting your hands, encouraging the praise team, clapping your hands, stomping your feet, verbal encouragement of witnesses, encouraging the pastor, and having an overall positive attitude whenever you’re in God’s house (and anywhere else for that matter).
As Pastor Hunter said, praise has a lot to do with what we know. How can you praise someone you don’t know? It’s like giving a eulogy for a stranger…pretty difficult. If we’re not studying God’s word, praying to Him and seeking His guidance in our lives, we’re going to have a hard time worshipping Him. To worship, we have to know Him!
So, overall this sermon was the bomb! I felt like Pastor Hunter really called people out and really challenged us with his points. The most personal point for me was being assured of His promises. While I study His word just about daily, pray often and spend about as much time in His house as I do at home, I still find myself worrying and feeling unfit for His blessings. I’m learning daily how good God really is as He keeps blessing me when I haven’t earned it. The fact that I have what I have, work where I work, am married to who I’m married to and know who I know, is definitely not based on what I’ve done, but what He has for me. So no matter how much I’ve sinned, no matter who I’ve offended, no matter how unqualified I am, how unworthy I am, not matter who says I can’t…God’s still blessing me with promotions, increase, joy and fellowship. For that I’m thankful and wish the same for you. Remember God’s outline: audibly, with a positive attitude, in acknowledgement of His power and with assurance of His promises. Anything but this is not glorifying to Him.