Today’s Scripture: Psalms 103:1-19

Introduction:

Wow.  I was about to post today’s scripture in the message, and I just sensed that the Holy Ghost wants YOU to read it in your Bibles.  So, I would suggest that you dust off that Bible of yours, get it off your nightstand or out from your bookshelf.  So, if you’re upset about not having the scripture posted…I suppose you’re why the Holy Ghost said not to post it…and instead tell you to look it up.

I love the Holy Ghost.  I’m so thankful that I can hear Him clearly, and therefore I suspect this message to be just as powerful as the last one.  He’s clearly interested in what we’re talking about through this series, and I’m glad because writing with His voice is so much better than trying to figure out what to say.

For today’s message, however, I’m going to consult the Matthew Henry Concise Commentary to help talk about what we need to with this message…and trust the Holy Ghost to continue to help me to write what He wants me to say…and nothing of what I want to say…Amen!?!

Today’s Message:

As I said in the introduction, some of what we’re going to use for this message is going to be from the Matthew Henry Concise Commentary.  I am not always going to consult outside resources, but some times…it’s a good thing to do…especially when the Holy Ghost says to use it.

For starters, let’s look at what the Matthew Henry Concise Commentary has to say about the entirety of this Psalm, and then we’ll break it down along with him, and with help from the Holy Ghost…I love help from the Holy Ghost…Amen!?!

Chapter 103

An exhortation to bless God for his mercy. (1-5) And to the church and to all men. (6-14) For the constancy of his mercy. (15-18) For the government of the world. (19-22)

I know.  What does this have to do with seeking God?  Part of seeking God is through praise and worship of Him for all He’s done, all He’s doing, and all He’s yet to do.  Blessing God for what He’s done, what He’s doing, and what He’s going to do…is exalting Him.  It’s about forgetting about all you are facing or going through, and putting all of your focus upon Him regardless of what’s going on in your life.

Can we stay on this point?  I feel like this is where we need to hang out for today, and that the Holy Spirit has some things to say about how and why we worship God, and perhaps this Psalms will give us some pointers or reasons.

It amazes me the number of people who when we’re worshiping God just kinda stand around with their arms crossed, hands in their pockets, or doing anything other than participating in worshipping our King of kings and Lord of lords.  I can’t worship God like that because I find like I said in the last message if I’m not there to worship and seek God…then I’m really wasting my time.  I mean that’s the whole point of assembling myself together with like-minded believers…we’re working to recreate the rushing of the mighty wind every time we gather…because if God’s truly no respecter of person…and He is.  If He’s willing to descend upon the disciples like that when they’re all gathered in the upper room praising and worshipping God in one accord…He’ll do the same with us.

Friends, I’ve been in services that were completely dead and without the presence of God, and I’ve been in services where the presence of the Lord was so awesome that we just stayed with praise and worship and never heard a message preached.  How many of you know that the best church services to have are the ones where the Lord shows up and does what He wants to do? Friends…that’s the point of whole-hearted praise and worship…that’s the point of seeking God with all of our hearts, with all of our souls, with all of our might, and with all our strength…with our whole being.  The reason we are seeking God that way is because we understand a church service without Him is empty…and pointless.

So, when I see people just standing around with their hands in their pockets, and arms crossed the first thing that comes to my mind is what are they here for?  Because those are the same people who I talked about in my last message.  They don’t experience God, and they’re angry at those of us who do because we drag the service out because we allow the Holy Ghost to move, and the Holy Ghost isn’t obligated to our time schedules.  So, they’re missing kick off for the football game or the drop of the green flag in the race or the first pitch of the ball game or whatever else is more important than seeking the face of God.

You know we kind of see that in the story of Martha and Mary.  Are you familiar with it?  If not…here it is:

38Now it came to pass, as they went, that he entered into a certain village: and a certain woman named Martha received him into her house.

39And she had a sister called Mary, which also sat at Jesus’ feet, and heard his word.

40But Martha was cumbered about much serving, and came to him, and said, Lord, dost thou not care that my sister hath left me to serve alone? bid her therefore that she help me.

41And Jesus answered and said unto her, Martha, Martha, thou art careful and troubled about many things:

42But one thing is needful: and Mary hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her.

Luke 10:38-42 KJV

Jesus’ words to Martha have always stuck out to me when I read this passage, and these days they stick out even more because I’ve discovered just as King David did that there’s one thing that really is needful, and that everything else is really not as important as the one thing that both Jesus and David describe.

David writes it this way:  “One thing have I desired of the Lord, that will I seek after; that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the Lord, and to enquire in his temple.” Psalms 27:4 (KJV), and then Jesus says it this way to Martha:  “But one thing is needful: and Mary hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her.”  Luke 10:42 (KJV)

What’s the “One Thing”?  It’s seeking to be at the feet, in the presence, and the face of the Lord all the days of our lives.  Mary sat at the feet of Jesus.  David’s one thing was to desire of the Lord.  I have come to find that in my life there’s one thing that stands out among everything else in my life…and what’s that one thing?  The presence of God.

Listen, whether I’m at home, at church or in my delivery van…I desire the presence of God there, and when I do…He’s there.  When I don’t seek His presence He’s still there, but that’s because my household’s desire is to choose to serve the Lord.  That’s our heart, that’s our desire, and we’re His children.  I can tell you that if you spend time in our home, and go into someone else’s there’s a difference in the atmosphere…and that difference is the presence of the Lord.

Maybe it’s just me.  Maybe I’m the only one who wonders how in the world someone can keep their hands in their pockets when it comes to worshipping God.  I mean, I know what He’s done in my life, and I know where He’s taken me from and where I am today…because of Him.  I know that His presence is the best place to be, and where transformation comes.  So…maybe it’s just me…but it seems to me that having any other agenda when it comes to church and corporate worship makes no sense…but to me it just seems like such a waste of time to go to church and not want to meet with God…again…maybe it’s just me.

When we worship God, what we’re doing is getting out of God’s way, and allowing Him to do what He wants to.  There are different ways God shows up, but rest assured if you’ll take to church a new attitude about worship…He will show up.

For example, in my church, New Life Christian Center some times when God’s presence falls it’s a healing anointing, some times it’s just a sweet peaceful presence, some times it’s when we’ll get a tongue and interpretation of that tongue, but the point of this whole message is that when we make the decision and choice to sincerely set aside all the distractions of life for the purpose of seeking the face and presence of God…He always shows up.

Why?  I touched on it a bit in the last message.  Because worship is an act of faith.  I know exactly what you’re thinking:  “Faith in what?”.  His Word.  Come on, friends, how many times do I have to post this verse in a message before we finally come to the understanding that this is what worshipping God is all about!?!  What verse?  This one:

“And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart.”  Jeremiah 29:13 (KJV)

Here’s the verse in my favorite other version of the Bible…the Amplified Version:

“Then you will seek Me, inquire for, and require Me [as a vital necessity] and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart.”  Jeremiah 29:13 (AMP)

Friend, no matter what version we read it in…the point is that if we make it a “vital necessity” to seek God with all of our hearts…the Bible is clear…we WILL find Him.  However, there’s a condition…and the condition is that we need to seek Him with ALL of our hearts.  Standing with your arms crossed or hands in your pockets while we’re worshipping God isn’t seeking God with ALL of your heart…and if you’re not experiencing God…then you shouldn’t be mad at those who are because it’s not God who’s choosing who to reveal Himself to or not to…it’s you who is choosing to not have His presence in your life.

I don’t know about you, but I cannot live without the presence of God.  I love being in the Lord’s presence.  There’s absolutely nothing like it.  It’s the single most wonderful feeling I have ever experienced in my life, and it’s the one thing in my life that I can never get enough of.  I can get to a place where I’ve had too much to eat or drink.  I can get to a place where I’m watching too much television or spending too much time on stupid internet games.  I can get to where I’m tired of being around people too much.  The only thing I find that I can’t ever get tired of or full enough of is the presence of God.

So…to me…seeking God with all of my heart IS a vital necessity because it’s the life blood to my life.  I need God’s presence.  I need to seek His face.  I need God in my life, and I’m not ashamed or embarrassed to say so.  I’ve lived enough of my life devoid of Him in it, and I can tell you that there’s no comparison to what life was like without His presence versus what my life is like in His presence because I’ve come to find out that it really is true that better is one day in the Lord’s courts, than a thousand elsewhere.

I’ve lived a thousand days elsewhere, and I’ve lived in His presence…and I can say without a doubt that my life is a thousand times better in His courts than outside of them.

How about you?  Are you one of those who stands with their arms crossed or hands in their pockets wishing the worship team would sit down so the pastor can get on with the service so that you can get back to your life?  Listen, if going to church is such an inconvenience than why do you go?  I mean if you have something better to do with your time than give praise and honor to God…then why waste your time at all?

Listen…if you think you’re going to Heaven because you’ve never missed a church service…it’s a pretty good sign that you’ve never listened to what was said in that church service…because most of them are going to tell you that going to church doesn’t save you…being a part of a particular denomination doesn’t save you…the only thing that does save you is having a relationship with God through Jesus Christ…and if you have one of those relationships with God…but it’s been years since you’ve felt His presence…it’s not His fault…it’s yours.

Look…I’m not going to be the one to not tell you the truth.  If you’re not experiencing God it’s not because He doesn’t desire to have you experience Him…it’s because you’ve made a conscious decision to not seek His face with your whole heart.  If you’re not having encountering God it’s not because He’s not available…He’s ALWAYS available…even when you’re not at church.  I know that because I can access the presence of God any time I want.

How?  By just having that desire to worship Him.  You can have the presence of God available to you any time you like too.

Be A Doer…Not Just A Reader:

Just like in yesterday’s message there’s an assignment here, but it’s just for you and God.  It’s going to be that way for all of our assignments.  After all, it’s not about us anyways…it’s never about Christlike Ministries NWA…it’s always about YOUR relationship with God…and if you desire to seek Him and have a deeper relationship with Him…you can…we’re just trying to give you ways to do that.  This assignment is one of those ways:

Make this psalm your prayer and heart’s desire. Memorize this scripture passage. Read it repeatedly until the words become deeply personal.

Conclusion:

Bless the Lord, O my soul: and all that is within me, bless his holy name.

The very first verse of this Psalms is something that I want in my heart.  All that is within me…I want to use to bless the Lord.  It’s why I write these messages, and why I have embraced the call that He’s given me.  In it’s own way, each and every message I write is a form of worship because I know without Him…I wouldn’t be doing this…and I wouldn’t be capable of doing this.

The whole heart of this ministry is to help you to develop and maintain your own personal, deep, and intimate relationship with God.  I know you can have that kind of relationship with God because King David had one, Jesus had one, Peter, James, John, and Paul all had one…and yep…here it comes again…if God is no respecter of person…and by now we know He isn’t…then I can have that kind of relationship with Him…and so can you.

What does it take?  One thing.  The desire to be at the Master’s feet.  There’s nothing wrong with serving and doing, but the only place where we’re given the ability to do what God wants us to do is by getting filled up with His presence and His word…and that only comes by sitting at the feet of the Master.

I don’t know about you, but that’s the one thing my heart seeks…to constantly be at the feet of Jesus.

Surrendering to God isn’t admitting weakness…it’s allowing ourselves to lay down all that we have so that we can seek all that He has.