Worship Matters Part 3
A Note from Michael Gossett
WORSHIP MATTERS PART 3
This past week, Rowan, our 6-year-old daughter, has been memorizing Psalm 100. We would read it together, she would repeat the verses, and we continued this for the entirety of the Psalm. Rowan stopped me and asked this question: “What does acknowledge mean?” I thought it was an interesting question; little did she know it was vital to the understanding of the entire Psalm. Psalm 100:1-5 says:
“Let the whole earth shout triumphantly to the Lord! Serve the Lord with gladness; come before him with joyful songs. Acknowledge that the Lord is God. He made us, and we are his—his people, the sheep of his pasture. Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise. Give thanks to him and bless his name. For the Lord is good, and his faithful love endures forever; his faithfulness, through all generations.”
Did you catch Rowan’s question? Understanding acknowledge is vital to our understanding of worship. Other translations say, “Know that the Lord is God.” To know the Lord is speaking to a level of intimacy – to know him in a personal way. This is not only to know him in an intellectual way, but to also know him spiritually. Those who shout triumphantly to the Lord shout with thanksgiving. This thankfulness springs from knowing the Lord by faith in a salvific sense, not just as a distant ruler over the earth. This drives our worship. Worship is an overflow of knowing Christ as Savior. So often, our worship is dependent on external factors. These external factors are not invalid, but they are factors that hinder worship rather than encourage worship. Personal knowledge of the Lord gives you and I a greater confidence and ability to worship the Lord no matter the external factors. It also means that you and I can worship with confidence because we know the one thing that doesn’t change: Jesus Christ and his saving power and grace. This should flow in us, through us, and out of us as worshippers of the Lord. “He made us, and we are his!” The Creator of the universe who made all things is the same God who made you and is the same God who chose to save you…. This is a God who is worthy of worship.
When we find ourselves “unable” to worship because of external factors, let us draw our attention to this Psalm and remind ourselves of the reason why we worship. Our knowledge of God drives our worship and our generosity.
I want to thank you for your outstanding participation in our Going Beyond Sunday on November 6th. It was a special day for many reasons, but it was also special because as a church family, we were able to reduce our budget deficit by 25%! This is incredible! However, as you know, we are still looking at a $750,000 deficit. I want to encourage you this week to bring an offering of Thanksgiving. This is seen as an act of worship from the people of God. Psalm 116:17-19 says, “I will offer you a thanksgiving sacrifice and call on the name of the Lord. I will fulfill my vows to the Lord in the presence of all his people, in the courts of the Lord’s house—within you, Jerusalem. Hallelujah!” The people were bringing their offering to the house of the Lord as an overflow of their thanksgiving to the Lord. Thankfulness, generosity, and worship all collide in Scripture as fuel for one another. What are you grateful for?
For some of you, the thought of the holidays brings great joy; for others, it brings much heartache. I want to invite you to GriefShare on November 20 at 5:30pm in Lighthouse 353 for a one evening seminar that will help build you up in Christ and give you the tools necessary for surviving the holidays in a Christ-honoring way. Register here.
Don’t miss our 8th Annual Grace EmBEDded Bed Build in the parking garage on November 23, 2022 at 5:30PM to assemble 100 beds for children facing placement into the foster system. Sign up today!
Do not forget on December 4, we will have our annual Christmas Tree Lighting! Invite your friends and neighbors to this community event as we start off this season showing East Texas the reason why we celebrate Christmas. You can view our Christmas schedule gabc.org/Christmas.
I cannot wait to preach this Sunday as we study Acts 20:17-24 and look at the mission of Paul and how it went from House to House. Come and join us this Sunday at 8:30am or 11:00am.
You are loved and prayed for!