Reignite Your Passion for Worship
Shout for joy to God, all the earth; – Psalm 66:1 (ESV)
After going on a diet, a woman was really feeling good about herself, especially when she could fit into a pair of jeans she had outgrown long ago. “Look, look!” she shouted while running downstairs to show her husband. “I can wear my old jeans again!” Her husband looked at her for a long time, obviously struggling with knowing what to say. Finally, he just had to say it: “Darling, I love you, but those are my jeans.”
It’s human nature to shout when we get excited. In Psalm 66, the psalmist is inviting the entire world to shout for joy to God. The Israelites would “shout” about a king when exulting in victory. The Psalm will, in fact, lift up the victorious and divine King and demonstrate that He is worth shouting about. The psalmist wants shouting to be joined by singing, so he envisions all this praise focusing on the “glory,” or royal essence, of God to the extent that even such praise is “glorious”—meaning, it reveals His worth.
Sometimes we act as if praise is tedious. Sometimes we praise Him in a tired fashion. But the psalmist asks for joyful praise. In the sermon, Pastor Jim challenged us to reignite our passion for worship. Has there been a time in your life when you were more passionate about worship than you are now? What has changed?
List a few reasons God is worth praising. Take some time and praise Him out loud for the reasons you listed.
Reignite Your Passion for Worship: His Name
…sing the glory of His name; give to Him glorious praise!.. All the earth worships You and sings praises to You; they sing praises to Your name. Selah – Psalm 66: 2, 4
Dr. Tony Evans shares in his work, Who is this King of Glory: Over the years, many celebrities have knelt on the sidewalk outside the Grumman’s Chinese restaurant in Los Angeles to leave their hand and footprints in the cement on the Hollywood walk of fame. Fans always gather to applaud their favorite stars as they leave their imprints. Those who qualify for a place on the walk of fame must have made a name for themselves —one that is recognized, respected, and even revered. If that is the criterion, Jesus Christ would win hands down as deserving the top spot not just on some sidewalk, but the top spot in the universe.
In Scripture, “name” isn’t just a person’s title, but it represents a person’s total being. Someone’s entire character is summed up in their name. So when the psalmist invites us to sing praises to the name of God, he is inviting us to praise all of God’s nature, His greatness, and His goodness. In Philippians 2:9, we learn that Jesus has the “name that is above every name.”
Not everyone recognizes who Jesus is or the worth of His name. However, one day all of the earth will praise the name of Jesus and understand that He is God and He is worthy.
List as many names of God as you can remember. Praise Him for the meaning behind those names.
Reignite Your Passion for Worship: He’s Awesome
Say to God, How awesome are your deeds! So great is your power that your enemies come cringing to you. – Psalm 66:3 (CSB)
One evening a man and his wife called another couple to see what they were doing. “Oh,” said the other wife, “we’re just drinking coffee and talking.” As she hung up the phone, she demanded, “Why don’t we ever do that? They’re just drinking coffee and talking.” Her husband said, “So make a pot of coffee.” They sat with their freshly brewed coffee, just staring at each other in silence. “Well, call them back,” he directed, “and find out what they’re talking about.”
The word “awesome” can be described as: “that which inspires reverence and wonder; that which evokes an emotion mingled with respect and fear; that which leaves one temporarily speechless.” The psalmist was anything but speechless when it came to worshipping God. The second invitation to praise, in Psalm 66, is to come and see the awesome works of God. Today people call the works of God natural law or scientific law. We try to explain everything, but we can’t. The works of God are what happens in the heavens, what happens in your body, and what happens in history.
The word awesome is tossed around a lot these days. When we talk about cars, movies, songs, or food, somebody might say, “That’s awesome!” What separates the awesomeness of God from things we routinely call awesome in our everyday life?
Reflect on the works of God in heaven, in your body, and in history. Praise Him for the works that inspire you.
Reignite Your Passion for Worship: Deliverance
Come and see what God has done: He is awesome in His deeds toward the children of man. He turned the sea into dry land; they passed through the river on foot. There did we rejoice in Him, who rules by His might forever, whose eyes keep watch on the nations—let not the rebellious exalt themselves. Selah – Psalm 66:5-7 (ESV)
A father asked his little boy what he learned in Sunday School that morning. The son said, “We learned about the children of Israel crossing the Red Sea.” The father smiled and asked the boy to tell him about it. “Well,” his son said, “the Israelites left Egypt, but Pharaoh and his army chased after them. So the Jews ran as fast as they could until they got to the Red Sea. The Egyptian army was getting closer and closer. So Moses sent the Israeli Air Force to bomb the Egyptians. While that was happening, they built a bridge across the Red Sea. When all the Jews were safely across, Moses told the Air Force to let the Egyptians through. Then Moses sent Israeli Navy Seals to wire explosives to the bridge. As the Egyptians were crossing the bridge, Moses detonated the explosives and blew the Egyptian Army to smithereens!”
By now, the father was shocked. He looked at his son and asked, “Is that the way your Sunday School teacher taught you the story?” The boy responded, “Well, no, not exactly. But if I told you what they told me, you’d never believe it!” And that little boy was right! The Lord did something unbelievable.
God’s specific works mentioned in Psalm 66:5-7 concern God’s deliverance of Israel from Egypt across the Red Sea. At the time of the Exodus, the Red Sea passage was one of the most wonderful of God’s works. To the Israelites, it was altogether a matter of joy and rejoicing (see Exodus 15:1-21). This was just one of many praiseworthy acts of deliverance.
God’s deliverance of Israel is good news for the world. God called Israel to bless the nations. Our ultimate deliverance was made possible by Jesus’ death and resurrection. What are some ways God has delivered you?
Praise God for the ways He has delivered you in the past and the ways you know He will deliver you in the future.
Reignite Your Passion for Worship: Tell Others
Bless our God, O peoples; let the sound of His praise be heard, who has kept our soul among the living and has not let our feet slip. -Psalm 66:8-9 (ESV)
Bruce Larson shared about a conference at a Presbyterian church in Omaha. People were given helium-filled balloons and told to release them at some point in the service when they felt like expressing the joy in their hearts. Since they were Presbyterians, they weren’t free to say “Hallelujah, Praise the Lord.” Balloons ascended all through the service, but 1/3 of the balloons were unreleased when it was over. Let your balloon go!
The psalmist continues (66:8,9) by inviting all people to “release their balloons” and “bless our God,” and “let the sound of His praise be heard.” God is at all times the Sovereign Creator and Lord of all the earth. Therefore, all the earth should praise Him. His chosen people—Israel in that day and now the church—have the privilege and responsibility of spreading His praise to every corner of the earth.
The book “Out of the Saltshaker” addresses how to be an effective evangelist in people’s lives. The author discusses how we Christians often don’t tell non-believers about the things we do in our lives or what God does in our lives because we are afraid that they will think we are weird or our stories are weird. The result is that Christians seem to live very odd, secretive, and boring lives. Then, she states that what we ought to do is just naturally tell non-believers in simple terms the things that God has done in our lives or that we have done.
Ask God to lead you to someone today who you can share how God has worked in your life lately.