Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Shepastor: Excerpts from a sermon series, “Seven Meanings of Praise: Barak"

Praise Term, Barak: “To kneel down, to bless God as an act of adoration”
Sermon Subject: “When God Speaks” Scripture: Psalm 29:1-22, Focus Verses, 29: 1-2
1Ascribe to the LORD, O mighty ones, ascribe to the LORD glory and strength. 2Ascribe to the LORD the glory due his name; worship the LORD in the splendor of his holiness.
This week, Shepastor highlights excerpts from a sermon series I gave a few years ago at my church, “The Seven Meanings of Praise.” The focus of this sermon was the praise word, “Barak.” Read on and be blessed… “Barak,” means, “To kneel down, to bless God as an act of adoration”
In most cultures, kneeling, and bowing is an act of humility, honor and adoration. In our text for today, the Psalmist is listing the reasons why we should kneel, bow, adore and worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness. The Psalmist repeatedly refers to the voice of the Lord – that when God speaks heaven and earth move to obey His dictates. When God speaks, heaven and earth listen. When God speaks, the winds and the waves obey. When God speaks, the planets align and orbit the sun. When God speaks, life begins and life ends. When God speaks, the whole of nature proclaims, “How Great Thou Art!”
Human beings are the only beings within creation that resist God’s voice, quench His Spirit and refrain from exuberantly giving Him the praise. We are the only beings in creation that have the audacity to think that we do what we do, have what we have, and are what we are because of our own will, strength and power. It seems that many lack the understanding that it is because of God and God alone that we live, move and have our being. Because of the fall, we have been enveloped by sin and engulfed by arrogance. We set the alarm clock and think that the loud buzz or the sweet music or the obnoxious clamor of a radio talk show awakens us – but it is God and God alone that allows us to wake up out of our slumber, sleep and rest.
If for physical reasons we are unable to literally get down on our knees and thank and praise God, then we need to bow the knee of our hearts, worship, thank and bless God for who He is. The other day I heard a powerful sermon by the late SM Lockridge, Pastor of the Calvary Baptist Church in San Diego, CA – a church of 100,000 members. He preached, “The Amen.” He declared that Amen is the conclusion of the matter, it is a declaration of affirmation.
In the book of Revelations, John referred to Jesus as, “The Amen,” and declared,
And unto the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write; These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God;
In other words, he is calling Jesus the ‘Amen.’ God spoke and caused His Son, Jesus to come down in human flesh to bring about the conclusion of the powers of sin, death, hell and the grave. When we consider all that God has done, we ought to give Him praise, bow down and worship Him for His grace, mercy and deliverance.
Every day is a day of thanksgiving. Every day is an opportunity to turn off complaining and turn on giving God the praise, glory and honor due His name. Everyday we ought to shout, “Barak,” God we worship you, God we adore you, God we praise you, God we bless your name because you’ve been so good, you’ve done so much, you’ve opened so many doors, you’ve healed our diseases, you’ve trampled under foot our enemies, you’ve made a way out of now way – we worship you today!
We need to cross over from complaint alley to “Thank you Jesus” boulevard! We like the psalmist must take time to look around at all of God’s creation, all that God has brought us through, all the promises that He has kept, all of the destruction He saved us from, all of the darts He shielded us from all the trials he has delivered us from and begin to worship and adore the LORD! Even in the midst of our darkest hour and our lowest valley’s God has been with us. Even when sickness and financial duress burdened us down, God has seen us through. God has kept us breathing, God has kept us eating, God has kept us moving, God has kept us and we ought to give Him praise. The Psalmist declared that when God speaks great things happen. I’m hear to tell you today that not only does nature respond when God speaks, but situations and circumstances respond when God speaks!
When God speaks on our behalf, things happen in the life of the child of God and for the life of the child of God. Things happen in our lives because God’s love and life changes, transforms and inspires us. When God speaks for our life, the devil has to get back. He has to get permission to try to “mess” with us. And even then God is only going to allow so much to go on before He declares – get back devil – that’s enough! When God speaks He doesn’t have to yell. All of creation knows His voice. And even those who choose to ignore Him know – one day, every knee is going to bow and every tongue is going to confess that He is Lord of all!
The psalmist concludes his admonition to God’s people to kneel down and worship God by declaring,
11The LORD gives strength to his people; the LORD blesses his people with peace.
When God speaks, He gives us strength. When God speaks, He gives us peace. Have you ever experienced feeling alone and afraid, but when you heard the voice of someone you trust, someone in whom you have confidence that they can make everything alright that fear began to leave and you felt a peace come over you?
That’s what God does for His children. When He speaks His Word gives us strength and peace. God’s Word is living and breathing and it speaks and gives us strength and peace. That’s why David could say with confidence, I will bless the Lord at all times His praise shall continually be in my mouth. That’s why the Psalmist could declare, ‘when I am afraid, I will trust in you,’ That’s why the Psalmist could declare “he will perfect that which concerneth me.” That’s why Isaiah could declare, “Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on Thee because he trusteth in Thee.”
God is a keeper, God is a sustainer, God is a way maker that’s why we ought to bow down, worship and adore Him. He is our deliverer, He is our salvation, He is our peace, our bread when we are hungry, our water when we are thirsty, our shelter when we are in the storm, our redeemer from destruction, our God in whom we trust - that is why we say, “Barak – God we praise you, God we worship you, God we love you!
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Until next Wednesday In Faith, Hope and Perseverance, Pastor Chris

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