My sermon words this week: “Remember=worship=joy”. The context is the Israelites complaining in the desert, and the title was “I’m sick of this!” They had just been rescued from slavery, for heaven’s sake–only a few days beforehand. Like the little boy the pastor mentioned, who was having a meltdown in Disneyland and said to his dad “Why did you bring me here?!”
We just need to remember: where we’ve come from, how God has been with us, how he is with us now, how mighty and amazing he is, how much he loves us, how many times in scripture the situation seemed so dark–but worked out for something wonderful (Joseph’s story, Ruth, Lazarus, the disciples at the Last Supper, etc.). When we remember, we can’t help but worship, and how often have I said that worship is so important!
Everyone uses different things to help them worship (to help the remembering), like music for example. Scripture is another good thing to use to spur you to worship, especially the Psalms. Which is what I’ve been up to with these number-title posts–making prayers from scripture, to read over again. This morning, I just feel like copying the verses right out.
WORSHIP (Psalm 66:1-6):
- “All together now–applause for God!
- Sing songs to the tune of his glory,
- set glory to the rhythms of his praise.
- Say of God, ‘We’ve never seen anything like him!’
- When your enemies see you in action, [enemies could be bad habits, temptation]
- they slink off like scolded dogs.
- The whole earth falls to its knees–
- it worships you, sings to you,
- can’t stop enjoying your name and fame.
- Take a good look at God’s wonders–
- they’ll take your breath away.
- He converted sea to dry land; [now here’s the remembering]
- travelers crossed the river on foot.
- Now isn’t that cause for a song?”
Help us to realize quickly when we are under your “heavy hand of discipline”, when our body is wasting away and we are groaning all day and weak. The sooner we confess, the sooner we can receive your forgiveness, and experience freedom! May we not need that “bit and bridle” to follow your advice, remembering that you take us on the pathway that is best for our lives. Thank you that you not only advise, but watch over us! (from Psalm 32)