Taking our Pulse: “Biblical and Relevant Worship”

I Chronicles 16:1-36

Based on the tenth characteristic of a healthy church in Take Your Church’s Pulse.

Theme: The LORD, the creator God, deserves the worship of His entire creation.
Goal: To worship God as He alone deserves.
Need: What is worship?

People of God, why are we here today? Why are we gathered all together in this one place at this particular moment in time? Are we here to be lifted up? Are we here to be encouraged? Are we here to see our friends and fellowship with other believers?

In other words, are we here for what we receive, or are we here for some other reason? Now I realize that I cannot answer this question for you. It is a subjective question, so each of us must answer for ourselves. Although I may not be able to answer the question for you, I can answer it for myself. I can tell you why I am here.

I do not come here because I am paid to be here, and I do not come here because I really enjoy the fellowship. No. I come here every Sunday for one reason and one reason alone. I come here to worship God. He is my focus. I want to lift His name high rather than be lifted up myself. I want to meet with Him, hear His words, believe Him and obey His voice in loving response to WHO He is and for WHAT He has done. The reason I come here each week is for God. God is my reason for being, and He is my reason for being here.

This is the last of our 10-week “Taking Our Pulse” series. And fittingly we end where we began. We end at worship. Remember “the joy” set before Jesus that enabled Him to endure the cross, scorn its shame, and sit down at the right hand of the throne of God? Jesus’ “joy” was us, people like you and me, who would worship at the foot of Jesus’ great throne in heaven. Worship was Jesus’ reason for being, and in the end worship is why we are here also. To quote the words of the opening question and answer of the Westminster Confession - “The chief end of man is to glorify God and enjoy Him forever.” It’s why we were created.

We see this purpose clearly in the person of King David. He is described by God as “a man after my own heart,” and this is the reason God chose David to be king. Many of David’s prayers are recorded in the book of Psalms. In fact, the prayer we are going to read today is also found in the beginning of Psalm 105, the whole of Psalm 96, and the beginning and end of Psalm 106. And the focus throughout is God. However, unlike in the book of the Psalms, in Chronicles we get to see the song in its context so that we can better understand what it says and what it teaches us about worship today.

(Read I Chronicles 16:1-36)

The LORD, the creator God, deserves the worship of His entire creation! God is the focus of our worship. (A Royal “Waste” of Time - Marva Dawn)

1) We worship the only true God who reveals Himself in His Word.

The God of Israel, the God who kept covenant with His people, and the God who appointed David as king is the same God we worship today. He is the LORD; the great I AM; the triune God; Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. He is the same God who became flesh and dwelt (literally “tented” or “tabernacled”) among us in the person of Jesus. He is the ONE the people were worshiping as Jesus rode on the donkey on Palm Sunday, and He is the ONE we still worship today. He has revealed Himself in His word. He is the only true God, and He alone deserves our worship (Only He’s “worthy” to receive it).

2) When we worship, we praise God for WHO He is.

Worship begins and ends with God. When we praise Him, we focus on WHO He is. As David says, “Glory in His holy name ... He is the LORD our God ... Declare His glory among the nations ... for great is the LORD and most ‘worthy’ of praise ... worship the LORD in the splendor of His holiness ... He is good ... Praise be to the LORD, the God of Israel, from everlasting to everlasting ... Praise the LORD.”

David praises the LORD for WHO He is ... glorious, great, worthy, holy, good, etc. These are the only true God’s attributes, and they are the reasons why He alone deserves our praise.

When we worship, we praise God for WHO He is. But that is not all. When we worship, we also thank God for WHAT He has done.

3) When we worship, we thank God for WHAT He has done.

David had lots of reasons to thank God for what God had done for David, but David does not restrict himself to only thanking God for what God had done for him. He also thanks God for WHAT God has done for His people throughout history.

“Give thanks to the LORD ... make known among the nations what He has done ... tell of all His wonderful acts ... proclaim His salvation day after day ... the LORD made the heavens and the earth ... ‘Save us!’ ... that we may give thanks to Your holy name ...”

In recounting WHAT God has done, David begins at creation, and carries it through to God’s covenant with Abraham and His faithfulness to that covenant through Isaac and Jacob and His fulfillment of that promise through Joshua and again through David to give His people “the land of Canaan.”

In fact, David calls all of God’s creation (all people and all created things) to worship God, to praise Him for WHO He is, and to thank Him for WHAT He has done.

And today we have an even greater reason to worship God. We praise Him for WHO He is. That does not change. His character and His being are unchanged from all eternity. He is the same yesterday, today, and forever. However, the reasons we thank Him for WHAT He has done have continued to develop.

We thank Him for sending His Son in the person of Jesus Christ to live, die, and rise again so that we might be saved! Hosanna means more today than most understood it to mean on that first Palm Sunday (see John 12:16). We now know that salvation comes through true faith in Jesus Christ.

We also thank Him for giving the Holy Spirit to unite His people to the person of Jesus Christ through true faith so that they might be free to serve (worship) God again.

Beyond this, we thank Him for choosing us for salvation. The fact that we receive the gift of the Holy Spirit and the gift of faith to unite us personally to the person of Jesus is our personal story about the goodness and greatness and grace of God. He has given us salvation by giving us true faith in Jesus.

Now of course there are also many other reasons why we praise and thank God. So many that if we were to try to say them all we would be here for all eternity. Our words cannot adequately describe the glory of God, and our words are not sufficient to recount all the good things He has done for us. So in worship we offer Him ourselves as a grateful response for His saving work! (See Romans 12:1-2) worship = serve; “spiritual” can also mean “reasonable”

So how are we doing?

(Take survey)

The LORD, the creator God, deserves the worship of His entire creation! He alone is worthy to receive our praise for WHO He is and our thanks for WHAT He has done. Our words are not adequate to describe His glory, and not sufficient to recount the good things He has done, so with joy and gratitude we obediently offer our whole selves to Him ... for God’s glory and Christ’s kingdom. Amen.