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Hallelujah - Part A

Connect with Skip Heitzig / Skip Heitzig
The Truth Network Radio
November 20, 2020 2:00 am

Hallelujah - Part A

Connect with Skip Heitzig / Skip Heitzig

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November 20, 2020 2:00 am

Do you find yourself going through the motions of the Christian life but lacking the emotion? In the message "Hallelujah," Skip shares insight to help reenergize your worship.

This teaching is from the series Playlist.

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So I think it's safe to say, it's biblical to say, that God does not want angels worshipped, saints worshipped, preachers worshipped, and He certainly doesn't want you to worship yourself. He and He alone is the one to whom praise is directed. And this is such an ongoing theme in scripture, is it not? That's the first commandment, right? Many churches are well known for their beautiful architecture.

Just think of St. Peter's Basilica in Rome or Westminster Abbey in London. They're impressive, but sometimes we focus too much on where we praise the Lord and miss out on why we praise Him. Connect with Skip Heitzig today, as he shares how you can energize your spiritual life with genuine praise.

But before we begin, we want to let you know about a resource that will empower your life as you immerse yourself in God's truth. A recent study from the Cultural Research Center found that Christians are almost just as likely to reject the idea of absolute moral truth as they are to accept it. For American adults, belief in absolute moral truth is eroding across all age groups and political ideologies, whether they're churched or unchurched. What that means is that over 75 percent of Christ followers, or those who purport to be Christ followers, are saying that nothing can be known for certain. There is no absolute truth.

What about you? We want to help you understand the nature of truth so you can pursue God's truth and apply it in your life with two brand new booklets by Pastor Skip, Why Truth Matters and God and Suicide. If you fall into that category, what do you do with the claims of Christ? Jesus said, I am the way, the truth, the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. These booklets are our thanks for your gift of $35 or more today to help keep this ministry on the air, connecting more people to God's word.

To give, call 800-922-1888 or give online securely at connectwithskip.com slash offer. Okay, we'll be in Psalm 150 for today's study, so let's join Skip Heise. Praise is a universal language.

I've had the opportunity to be in cathedrals in Europe and thatched huts in Africa and windowless concrete buildings in India and open fields in Thailand, all gatherings of believers together. And even though when they sang, I couldn't tell you a word they said, it's as if praise bonded us together. It was a universal language.

We were praising the same one. Praise is universal, and in that universal praise, there is one word, however, that no matter where you're from, no matter what language you speak, you always recognize a single word. And it's a Hebrew word. It's not a German or American word. It's not a dialect in Africa or India. It's a Hebrew word, but we all recognize it, and it's the word hallelujah. And I've been in those places, and though I'm going, I don't know what they're saying, when they go hallelujah, I go, I know that word.

It's the only one that I can pick out. It's so universal a word that that Hebrew word has now become a part of our language. It's in the American dictionary.

It's in our lexicon, and in the lexicon of every language around the world. It means praise the Lord, but it's a Hebrew term, as I mentioned. Four times, 24 times in the Hebrew Old Testament, we find the word hallelujah, and four more times in a single New Testament chapter, Revelation chapter 19. Hallelujah.

Praise the Lord. One of my favorite stories has always been the story of the preacher who owned a horse, and he wanted to sell his horse, and he had it up for sale, and a guy was interested and came over to look at it, and he said, okay, I'll buy it. They negotiated the price, and the preacher said, you know, you need to know that this horse responds to different commands than what you're probably used to. I trained it to respond to God language, so if you want this horse to go, don't say giddy up. It doesn't even know what that means. You say praise the Lord, and this horse was off, and if you want this horse to stop, don't say whoa.

It doesn't understand that word. You need to say amen, and that horse will stop, so praise the Lord and amen. Those are the only commands you need to know, so the man paid the fee, mounted the horse, and just gently said praise the Lord, and the horse started walking, and he directed it happily toward his home, and as they were out across the field, suddenly a jackrabbit darted across the path and spooked the horse, and the horse took off into a full gallop toward a ravine with the 200-foot drop. The man panicked. He did not know what to do. He knew what this meant to him, and so just instinctively, he said, whoa, whoa, whoa.

The horse kept going, kept going, and he suddenly remembered the command. Oh, yeah, amen, and just at the edge of the cliff, the horse stopped, but this time the man just sweating, panting, and he went, oh, praise the Lord. I suppose that would be the only time it would be inappropriate to say praise the Lord.

All other times are quite appropriate. You know, when I first heard somebody say praise the Lord, I just felt a little awkward. I was a new believer, and I remember going to a church, and somebody's saying praise the Lord, and I wanted to praise the Lord.

Don't get me wrong. I love the whole idea of being a believer, but I don't know, just somebody saying praise the Lord. I did not want to be cliche, and some of the people that I knew that said praise the Lord a lot, they were just a little odd to me, and I just didn't want to do that. Well, as I started reading the Bible, though, I found it all over Scripture, and what's the first phrase in Psalm 150? Praise the Lord. The psalm begins with that phrase and ends with that phrase.

Not only this psalm, but Psalm 146, 147, 148, 149, and Psalm 150 all begin and end with that phrase. Praise the Lord. Praise the Lord. Ten times in those psalms. Thirteen times in Psalm 150, the word praise appears in virtually every line of the lyric. Praise, praise, praise. Praise is so much a central part of the life of the believer, it is mentioned in the Bible 307 times. Praise the Lord.

It comes from two Hebrew words put together. Hallelujah does. Halle, which means to boast or brag, and then the shortened form of Yahweh, Yah, the Lord. Brag about the Lord, or say something good about the Lord, or honor and admire the Lord, or express your approval of the Lord.

Now let me say this. We praise whatever it is we enjoy. If you enjoy the Lord, praising Him, bragging about Him, saying something good about Him will not be hard for you.

If you do not enjoy the Lord, it's going to be much more difficult. As Vance Hapner used to say, whatever's in the well will come up in the bucket. So if praise is in the bucket, it means it's in the wellspring of your life and your heart. What I'd like to do with you as we go through Psalm 150 and end our series, our playlist series, is give you a picture of praise. And I'm going to give you the frame, the framework of praise.

I'm going to give you four sides to that frame. There are four questions that this Psalm answers. It answers the who question, the where question, the why question, and the how question. And that provides a perfect frame to put praise right in the middle.

So let's ask and then answer the first question. To whom is praise conveyed? Well, you know the answer. It's the Lord. And it says, praise the Lord, followed by praise God, followed by praise Him, praise Him, praise Him, followed by praise Him, praise Him, praise Him, all through the Psalm.

Now that answers the who question. To whom is praise conveyed? To the Lord. God wants praise exclusively. You are to praise God without any rival, without any competition, solely, singularly to praise Him. When God gave the Ten Commandments, I think right around the middle of the Ten Commandments, He makes a statement that has bothered some people. He gives the commandments and then He says, for I, the Lord, am a jealous God. And some people think that I ought to make an apology on behalf of God, explaining why God would use such a term. I'm a jealous God.

I don't apologize for it. If you're married, you get it. Husbands, if you're married to a beautiful woman or a woman, your woman is beautiful because she's your wife and she should be called that by you. But you don't want to share her with anyone. There's a jealousy that comes over you at the thought of sharing her with another man, out of the question.

So jealousy relationally is a good thing. And the Bible says that we, the church, are the bride of Christ. And as the bride of Christ, He is to get our total admiration, our total adoration, our absolute devoted praise. In the book of Revelation, John was getting all of these messages and visions about the future, and it became so overwhelming at one point, he decided to actually get down and praise the angel, giving him the revelation. And when he started doing it, the angel said, now stop doing that.

See that you do this not. I am your fellow servant. Worship God. So I think it's safe to say, it's biblical to say, that God does not want angels worshiped, saints worshiped, preachers worshiped, and He certainly doesn't want you to worship yourself. He and He alone is the one to whom praise is directed. And this is such an ongoing theme in scripture, is it not? That's the first commandment, right? God said, I am the Lord, your God, who delivered you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. You shall have no other gods besides Me. In that one commandment, there's a lot of things going on.

A lot of things going on. God is saying, this is who I am to you. This is what I've done for you. And this is what I want from you. This is who I am to you. I am the Lord, your God. This is what I've done for you. I've delivered you out of bondage.

This is what I want from you. You will have no other gods besides Me. God wants and deserves your exclusive praise. Then in Isaiah, chapter 42, verse 8, He declares, I am the Lord, that is My name. I will not give My glory to another, nor will I share My praise. He wants it all. He deserves it all. So, that's the first part of the framework, the who question.

Who gets it, God gets it. Before we go on to the second one, though, I want to ask you three questions. I want to ask you three questions. I want you to take a little test. This test will help you evaluate how God-centered your life is, how much praise of the Lord is in your life. So, I'm going to ask you three simple questions. First is a question of your thoughts, second is a question of your motives, and third is a question of your actions. Okay, you ready? Now, you take this test internally.

You don't share with anyone. This is just you, your heart. First question, what do you think about? Well, I think about a lot of things. What do you think about when all the activity of the day is done and you settle? When you are alone with your thoughts, what do your thoughts gravitate to? Now, I understand that life can have ups and downs, and you can think about a lot of different things. It can be heartaches and troubles and relational issues and financial issues, but for the most part in your life, when your mind settles, what do you think about? You know, it's like a compass. You can take a compass and point it in a lot of different directions, but you just set it on the desk or table or pulpit, and the needle will point to north. And your mind, like a compass, thinks about a lot of things during the day, but once it just sets and settles, does it ever go to the Lord?

Does it ever just go, oh, Lord, praise you? And that's important because the Bible says in Proverbs, as a man thinks in his heart, so is he. So that's the first question.

What do you think about? Here's the second question. This is going to be a harder question to really answer, honestly. It's a question of your motives. Why do you do what you do? Why do you say what you say? Why do you text what you text? Why do you post what you post? Are any of the motives of any of those things having to do with trying to impress people or get people to like you, or is it more important to you to have God approve?

That's a harder thing to answer, quite honestly. But it was Paul who said, but it was Paul who said, thus we speak, not as pleasing men, but as pleasing God, who tests our hearts. So first, a question of thoughts. Second, a question of motives.

Here's a third question of activities. And it's of your service to the Lord. How are you presently serving the Lord? How do you serve him? Jesus said, no man can serve two masters.

He's going to love one and he's going to hate the other. Joshua to the people of Israel said, choose you this day whom you will serve because whatever it is you serve is what you praise. So that's then the first part of the framework. It's the who question. To whom is praise conveyed answer to God alone, exclusively.

Let's take the second part of this frame of the picture. The where question. Where does praise take place? Now, if I were just to ask you right now, randomly, hey, where should praise take place? I bet most of you would say anywhere, anytime. Anywhere, anytime by anyone, praise can happen.

And you'd be right. The psalmist says all of that. However, he mentions two places in particular, and I want you to notice them. In Psalm 1, praise God in his sanctuary. And then second, praise God in his mighty firmament. Now let me ask you the question, what do you think is the sanctuary he's referring to?

Anyone at all? Temple in Jerusalem. That would be his context. When he says praise God in the sanctuary, I'm sure he was thinking of the public feast, the daily sacrifices, the festivals of people gathering together in the sanctuary of God to worship him. Now we know there's no temple today and we know that we're the temple of the Holy Spirit, so we don't go to a specific place.

But needless to say, when we gather together corporately in what we call the sanctuary, the direction of it, the tone of it, the purpose of it is for praise. Now, some of you know, probably most of you know that this wasn't built to be a church. This was built as a sports complex. This was, this building, this room you're sitting in was a soccer field when we bought it. It had AstroTurf.

Where there is badly stained and poorly chosen carpet, there used to be AstroTurf. And we pulled it up and we sold it, but it was a sports arena. It wasn't a church, but when we bought it, we dedicated it and we said, from now on, it's a sanctuary. From now on, there'll be praises sung and there'll be the Bible taught, and we will direct our thoughts toward the Lord in this place. But then notice what else he says. He says, praise him in his mighty firmament, literally in the expanse of the heavens. So he's saying, praise God on earth and praise God in heaven.

That's sort of a way of saying everywhere. It's as if he's summoning all of the humans on earth and all of the angels in heaven to join corporately together in the singular anthem of praise. Just for a moment, I want to take your mind to the heavens. Would you not agree that in time, in terms of the size of the crowd and the beauty of the location, heaven is going to be the greatest praise event ever, right? When John in Revelation saw a little picture of it in Revelation 4 and 5, he said, I saw four living creatures and I saw 24 elders bow down. Then I looked out and I saw, gosh, as far as the eye can see, he said these words, I looked again and I heard the singing of thousands of millions of angels around the throne and the living beings and the 24 elders. So he saw this huge, momentous gathering in the heavens and listened to what they were doing. And I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and on the sea and all that is in them singing, to him who sits on the throne and to the lamb be praise forever and ever. So the thought here of this Psalm is this, let God be praised on earth as well as in heaven. It's the same thought that Jesus had when he taught us to pray and he said, when you pray, say, our father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. When you and I praise on earth, it's the one activity that is mirroring, matching what is going on in heaven.

His will is being done on earth as it is in heaven. So right now, right here on this earth in our lives, praise ought to fill our lives like praise fills the halls of heaven. I mean, think about it, it's going to be part of your eternal occupation. Don't you think you ought to get a little practice now? I've said it before and I've said it in this series and I'll just say it again because we're going to move on, but this is inappropriate when we gather to sing. I'm sorry, that doesn't work.

You can sit in front of your computer and do that. But when you're here in a place where God's people are gathered together and there are songs to be sung and a Lord who is alive to be praised, we engage in worship. We sing those anthems of praise to him. There was a man who was visiting a church and it was a little church in Connecticut and it was more of a formal church and a formal liturgy was given and there was a part in the service called the Eucharistic Liturgy. And at that point there were kneelers in the pews and the pews and people got on their knees and they sang hallelujah. And the word hallelujah was the was the words they were singing. And this visitor, this man, noticed one woman with her arms raised heavenward while she sang hallelujah. What caught his attention wasn't so much that she had her hands raised, it's that her hands were twisted, were gnarled, were diseased, crumpled up. Next to her were walking crutches. And he just looked at that picture of that woman like this with those hands raised and he thought, dear Lord, why? How could a woman like that with that kind of suffering lifting up those arms sing hallelujah? That's an important question.

And that brings us to the third part of the frame. That's the why question. Why should praise occur? That question is also answered. Verse two, praise him for his mighty acts, praise him according to his excellent greatness.

Two reasons are given. We praise God for what he does and we praise God for who he is no matter what he does. Okay, we praise God for what he does and we praise God for who he is no matter what he does. We praise him for his mighty acts. Every service when I ask people, I said, so can you think of one of the mighty acts of God?

The first answer that came out, that's why I didn't do it this time because now I can anticipate it, somebody said creation, which is a good answer. When we see creation, which is a mighty act, when we see the intricacies of God's creation, it should lead us to be amazed and to praise the Lord for the ingenuity of the creator, the immensity of the creator. The other night I was with my family, we were a little restaurant, we were eating outdoors and it was in the evening and the clouds were going by and they were changing color and my little grandson, Seth, kept pointing up saying, Papa, sunset. And just a little while later the clouds would change into a pink hue and he goes, Papa, sunset.

And then they get a little darker and more purple, Papa, sunset. And he was so enthralled by the change of the color and the sunset and it dawned on me, that's precisely how God intended creation. That's the kind of response God wants as we observe creation. We look at him and go, that's beautiful, that's amazing. Praise the Lord.

I appreciate that art and that beauty. So the intricacies of creation help us to appreciate the ingenuity and the immensity of the creator. That's what it says in the book of Psalms. We actually read Psalm 19. The heavens declare the glory of God.

The firmament shows his handiwork. So as we look upward, we should say, praise the Lord. That's a mighty act.

That's Skip Heiseck with a message from his series Playlist. Now, here's Skip to tell you how you can help keep these teachings coming your way as you help connect others to God's Word. Living as a citizen of heaven and earth can be tricky. That's why every single believer needs God's Word to guide them.

And that's why we make these Bible teachings available to you to connect you with the uplifting truths of Scripture. But your help is critical to keeping them on the air. And your generous support means that we can keep going strong for years to come. Here's how you can give right now. Give us a call at 800-922-1888 to give a gift, 800-922-1888. Or give online at connectwithskip.com slash donate. That's connectwithskip.com slash donate. Your support is vital to continue encouraging you and many others with these messages.

So thank you for giving generously. Did you know there's a great biblical resource available right at your fingertips through your mobile device? Skip has several Bible reading plans available in the YouVersion Bible app.

You can dive deeper into several books of the Bible to gain new insights. Just search Skip Heitzig in the YouVersion Bible app. And real quick, did you know you can catch Connect with Skip Heitzig on the Hillsong Channel on Saturdays at 4 30 p.m. Mountain or catch it on TBN on Sundays at 5 30 a.m. Eastern? Check your local listings and be sure to come back again next week as Skip Heitzig shares biblical truth to help you cultivate authentic and joyful praise to your Heavenly Father. You don't want to miss that. Connect with Skip Heitzig is a presentation of Connection Communications, connecting you to God's never changing truth in ever changing times.
Whisper: medium.en / 2024-01-26 06:54:34 / 2024-01-26 07:04:26 / 10

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