Worship Matters Part 4
Dr. Michael Gossett


“Worship is more than a song.” Many of us have heard this truth, but at times, it is difficult to understand.  A song for worship or a hymn of praise is only as good as the motivation from which it derives.

Psalm 40:1-3, “I waited patiently for the Lord, and he turned to me and heard my cry for help.  He brought me up from a desolate pit, out of the muddy clay, and set my feet on a rock, making my steps secure.  He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God.  Many will see and fear, and they will trust in the Lord.”

David gave a new song and a hymn of praise that was simply an overflow of God’s work in his own life.  The Lord brought David up from a desolate pit and out of the miry clay.  The Lord set David’s feet on solid ground rather than a slippery place.  The Lord’s work in David’s life caused a new song to develop.  King Nebuchadnezzar, who was responsible for pillaging Israel and taking the Israelites captive, had to learn this lesson of worship the hard way.  During this time of Babylonian captivity, the land was strengthened, and Nebuchadnezzar’s reign flourished.  One night, the king had a dream that only Daniel could interpret.  The interpretation was not favorable news to the king, and Daniel’s interpretation, that came from the Lord, proved true.  Nebuchadnezzar would not place himself under the authority of the Lord and would not humble himself before God.  In Nebuchadnezzar’s mind, he built Babylon, and it was all for his glory.  However, as the dream came true, the king lost his mind, began acting like an animal, and the dew of the earth covered him.  But then, the Lord restored his sanity.  Daniel 4:34 says, “But at the end of those days, I, Nebuchadnezzar, looked up to heaven, and my sanity returned to me.  Then I praised the Most High and honored and glorified him who lives forever.” Nebuchadnezzar looking to heaven was only an indication of what God had done within him.  He gazed at the Lord, and worship followed.  Fixing our eyes on the Lord seems like an easy task at times and impossible at others.  The author of Hebrews tells us in Hebrews 12:2, “keeping our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer, and perfecter of our faith.  For the joy that lay before him, he endured the cross, despising the shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.”

If we fix our eyes upon the Lord, then worship follows.  It was true of their lives, and it is true of ours.  As our church family gathers together for worship, our eyes can be fixed on many things other than Jesus.  Psalm 40:1 says, “I waited patiently for the LORD, and he turned to me and heard my cry for help.” David would not know of the Lord’s turning, had his eyes not been fixed on the Lord.  As a church family, let us hold our gaze on the One who is worthy.  As we walk through Advent together, let us keep our eyes on the King of Kings and Lord of Lords.

Remember, on December 4, we will have our annual city-wide event to light up the Christmas Tree!  This is more than just a Christmas tree lighting; this is an opportunity for us to reach into the community with the hope of Jesus Christ.  Come and join us as we kick-off this Christmas season by showing East Texas the reason why we celebrate Christmas.

Christmas Eve Candlelight Service: I cannot wait for our annual Christmas Eve service!  It will be packed with great worship from our Worship Ministry, including full choir and full orchestra!  We will also have a great kids’ element that will make it fun for the whole family!  We will take the opportunity to partake in the Lord’s Supper and will be reminded of the Light of World that came to earth with Candlelight.  You do not want to miss, so plan to join us at 4:00 pm or 6:00 pm on Christmas Eve, December 24th.

On Christmas Day, December 25th, we want to invite you to join us for worship at 10:00am!  We will only have one service that day, and we look forward to worshipping together on Christmas Day as a church family.

CHURCH-WIDE BIBLE READING PLAN!  Psalm 119:25-28 says, “My life is down in the dust; give me life through your word.  I told you about my life, and you answered me; teach me your statutes.  Help me understand the meaning of your precepts so that I can meditate on your wonders.  I am weary from grief; strengthen me through your word.” It is no secret to anyone that if you want to understand the true value of God’s Word, look no further than Psalm 119.  It is filled with verse after verse on the importance of keeping and hiding God’s Word in our hearts.  I invite you to join our entire church family on a two-year Bible reading plan.  The plan will be emailed to you weekly and will be available on the GABC App, or you can pick up a printed copy of the 2-year plan.  Come and dig into God’s Word with us.  We will begin on January 1st of 2023.  There is nothing greater than a church praying together, worshipping together, and reading God’s Word together.  Join in!

I cannot wait to preach this Sunday as we start our brand-new series, “The King has Come.” We will look at Isaiah chapter 9 over the next four weeks with other supplemental verses to help us understand the significance of Christ dwelling among man.  This week we will study “The Hope of Christ in Desperation.”  It seemed as if the Lord was completely silent and had forgotten Israel, and Israel was desperate.  They were longing to hear from the Lord, and suddenly the Word they needed finally appeared.  The Messiah that was promised and the Messiah they had long hoped for was finally here.  Come and celebrate the birth of Christ with us as we start this brand-new Christmas series together.  Thanksgiving and Christmas are joyous occasions for many people.  However, for some, this season can be challenging and difficult.  We want you to know that as a church family, we are here to help and serve you in any way we can.


You are loved and prayed for!

Michael Gossett