A WARM WELCOME

Praise is an important aspect of human relationships. It is natural to talk about what we admire in others to family and friends, but also we feel the need to express our appreciation to people directly. A genuine relationship with God also involves praise. From Genesis to Revelation praise is offered to God individually or by God’s people together.  

 

The bible book of Psalms (this title means ‘praises’) has been given to us by God to help us in our praise of Him. The last five Psalms powerfully call us to be people of praise. They all begin and end with the word ‘Hallelujah’ which comes from the words ‘Halal’ = PRAISE and the word ‘Jah’ – which is the shorthand for God’s revealed name ‘LORD’. These Psalms strongly urge us to PRAISE THE LORD. We praise God by speaking out about and giving thanks for who God is as revealed to us in his words and actions. Our praise of God is to be vigorous and heartfelt because the gospel of Jesus is such good news. These Psalms are full of noise and joy and rebuke ‘the grumpy churchgoer’. The last Psalm is a great example. The Psalms are best taken into our hearts and minds when they are said aloud. So why not join in now saying out loud Psalm 150.  

 

Hallelujah. 

Praise God in his sanctuary;
    praise him in his mighty heavens.
Praise him for his acts of power;
    praise him for his surpassing greatness.
Praise him with the sounding of the trumpet,
    praise him with the harp and lyre,
 praise him with tambourine and dancing,
    praise him with the strings and pipe,
praise him with the clash of cymbals,
    praise him with resounding cymbals.

Let everything that has breath praise the Lord.

Hallelujah.

 

Today we look at Psalm 148 which is one of these last five Psalms with its call to praise. But before we do let’s sing God’s praises together. We get this wonderful encouragement in Psalm 147 vs 1 and vs 7.

 

Praise the Lord. 

How good it is to sing praises to our God,
    how pleasant and fitting to praise him!

 

Sing to the Lord with grateful praise;
    make music to our God on the harp.

RESOURCES FOR OUR CHILDREN

Here are some great resources provided by Quiz Worx Puppets. They teach that JESUS IS THE REAL KING. The following resources are available for our use.

●      Activity Sheets (for ages 2-4, 5-8, 9-12);
●      Discussion Questions & Family Devotions;
●      Craft/Game Ideas;
●      Videos for the Kids' Talk, Memory Verse & Bonus material

BIBLE READING

A prayer of thanks as we come to hear God’s word read and taught

Almighty God and merciful Father,

we give you humble and hearty thanks

for all your goodness and loving kindness

to us and to all people.

We praise you for creating and sustaining us

and for all the blessings of this life;

but above all for your amazing love

in redeeming the world by our Lord Jesus Christ,

giving us grace and the hope of glory.

Give us such a sense of all your goodness,

that we may be truly thankful and may praise you

not only with our lips, but in our lives,

by serving you in holy and righteous ways;

through Jesus Christ our Lord,

to whom, with you and the Holy Spirit,

be all honour and glory, now and forever. Amen.

Psalm 148

1 Praise the Lord 
Praise the Lord from the heavens;
    praise him in the heights above.
2 Praise him, all his angels;
    praise him, all his heavenly hosts.
3 Praise him, sun and moon;
    praise him, all you shining stars.
4 Praise him, you highest heavens
    and you waters above the skies.
5 Let them praise the name of the Lord,
    for at his command they were created,
6 and he established them for ever and ever –
    he issued a decree that will never pass away.
7 Praise the Lord from the earth,
    you great sea creatures and all ocean depths,
8 lightning and hail, snow and clouds,
    stormy winds that do his bidding,
9 you mountains and all hills,
    fruit trees and all cedars,
10 wild animals and all cattle,
    small creatures and flying birds,
11 kings of the earth and all nations,
    you princes and all rulers on earth,
12 young men and women,
    old men and children.
13 Let them praise the name of the Lord,
    for his name alone is exalted;
    his splendour is above the earth and the heavens.
14 And he has raised up for his people a horn, 
    the praise of all his faithful servants,
    of Israel, the people close to his heart.
Praise the Lord.

SERMON

Discussion/Reflection Questions

1. What things in your live do you find you are passionate about and talk lots to others about in a praiseworthy way?   


2. How would you explain what ‘Praise of God’ is and how we go about it?  


3. What has been personally helpful for you from the Psalm series we have just finished in our bible teaching here at church? 

A TIME OF PRAISE

Here are some things to praise God for from Psalm 95-100 and from Ephesians 1:3-14. One simple way to praise God would be to say the things below to God, addressing him directly like this ‘You O God…

  • Are the great King above all gods for you are the maker and owner of all things (Psalm 95:3-4)

  • Are our maker, our God the one who feeds and cares for us like a good shepherd (Psalm 95:6-7)

  • Are holy, splendour and majesty, strength and glory are yours forever and ever (Psalm 96:6-9)

  • Are coming to judge the world in righteousness and truth (Psalm 96:13)

  • Reign on the throne and in awesome power come to save your people (Psalm 97:1-9)

  • Guard the lives of you faithful ones and deliver them from the hand of the wicked (Psalm 97:10)

  • Have made your salvation known to the ends of the earth (Psalm 98:2-3)

  • Are a mighty King, a holy God who loves justice and always does what is right (Psalm 99:4-5)

  • Are to your people a forgiving God you hear and answer their cries for mercy (Psalm 99:8)

  • Are good and your love endures forever, your faithfulness never stops (Psalm 100:5)

  • Are Father, Son and Holy Spirit and glorious in the grace you have freely given us in your Son. 

  • Have blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly realms (Eph 1:3)

  • Have forgiven us and redeemed us through the shed blood of the One you dearly love (Eph 1:7)

  • Are bringing all things in heaven and on earth together under the loving headship of Jesus Christ.

  • Work out everything in conformity with the purpose of your will (Eph 1:11)

  • Having given us hope in your Son Jesus Christ a future inheritance that is guaranteed (Eph 1:12, 14)

  • Have given us your Holy Spirit as seal that we belong to you and as a guarantee of the glorious future to which we belong (Eph 1:13-14)
     

What we lose when we fail to Praise God

Our praise provides us with the opportunity to confess together what we believe about God. It becomes a way of realigning ourselves with his character and will. Praise builds and strengthens God’s church and encourages faithfulness to God in everyday living. But it also challenges unbelievers about the need to glorify God and to give thanks to him.    
 
Our last song encourages us to take our praise of God to the nations. The lyrics are not included so listen and be stirred to live out the great vision of this song.   

Closing Words

Through Jesus, therefore, let us continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise – the fruit of lips that openly profess his name. And do not forget to do good and to share with others, for with such sacrifices God is pleased.

Hebrews 13:15-16

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