Great and Greatly

To Wise Up…Look Up!

This simple statement inspired by Proverbs 1:7 is the driving truth behind our summer series “Wise Up.”  We are preaching on Psalms and Proverbs all summer and we invite you to read through these two wisdom writings through this reading plan.

Psalm 96 teaches us some wonderfully wise truths about worship.

It is wise to praise what is praise-worthy.
Whether it is in our worship of the one True God or in our appreciation for one another praise that which is praise-worthy is simply wise.  The wise person speaks the praise of that which deserves to whom deserves it.

Psalm 96:4 makes this point abundantly clear.  “For great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised; he is to be feared above all gods.”

God is not great because he is greatly praised.  God is greatly praised because he is great.
The wise person greatly praises the Lord because it is simply the only right response to the greatness of God.  If there were no other reason than his greatness, we should still praise Him, but not only is he great, he is good.

This week there has been much online and on-air chatter about who is great.  The NBA Finals has sparked some odd and strange dialogue.  The defeat of Lebron James and his Cavaliers causes some to denounce his greatness as a player while others diminish the greatness of Steph Curry, Kevin Durant, and Klay Thompson because they all play on a team together.  The conversation about who is the greatest players will simply continue and the opinions will grow in number.  Why?  None of these players have a greatness that separates them in every way from everything else.  God is so great he is different.  He is unique.  There is literally none like him.   Not even close.

Yet, I would say the wise sportscaster or social media commentator would be willing to acknowledge each player for their individual talents.  Truthfully, they are all great basketball players.  The wise man is willing to praise what is praise-worthy.

God simply desires what God deserves.
God desires, and therefore demands, our praise.  Why?  He deserves it.  He desires it because it is right and he wants you to be right with Him.  He desires this so much that he gave his one and only son that if you would believe in Him you would not perish but have eternal life.

Praise that is honors what is praise-worthy includes works and words.
Psalm 96:6 instructs us to “Ascribe to the Lord glory and strength.”
This literally means give God glory and strength.  The issue is that God is already all-powerful and absolutely glorious.  He does not need your glory or your strength – but he deserves it.

We worship the Lord honorably when our worship with our words matches the worship with our works.  We serve the Lord with words by “declaring his glory among the nations” and “his marvelous work among all the peoples.”  We honor him with our words when we “tell of his salvation from day to day.”  (These are quotes from Psalm 96:1-3)

We give to him strength by serving him with all our of our life.  God rebukes His people in Isaiah by telling them you “honor me with your lips, but your hearts are far from me.”  The heart that is truly for God leads to words from our mouths and works from our hands and lives that bring God the glory he deserves.

I have a challenge for you.

Greatly praise the God that is great.  Read the Psalms and Proverbs with us this summer.  Write a psalm and share it with us.  Serve the Lord with your hands and your heart.  Speak his truth to those far from him and sing his truth among those who love him.

Click this link to check out the sermon from Sunday on this passage.

 

Opportunities to Worship with Words –
Sundays 9 & 10:45 every Sunday.
Students grade 6-12 – Wednesdays at 6 PM.  (Although not tonight due to VBS)
Kids – VBS today and tomorrow at both campuses – Airline 9-11:30 AM / Prairieville 6-8:30

Opportunities to Worship with Work –
Geaux Day – June 24

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