Hey, church family Pastor Jason here, we've been praying for you all week long because I believe that God has something incredibly special for us today. Let's pray together and let's jump in to God's word. Jesus, we love you so much.
We worship and we adore you. And we thank you for this opportunity to spend time in your word. We thank you for this opportunity, God, to spend time in your presence. And Father, I pray wherever people are watching from, whether it's from a hospital bed or whether it's from their home or from work or from an airport
, wherever it is, I pray that you would speak to our hearts in such a real way today. God, would you fill our hearts and our lives with your presence of your Holy Spirit? We love you, Jesus. And it's in your name.
We pray. Amen. Good morning. Today, we are going to have a special day because we are kicking off. Twenty one days of prayer and praise, a unified season of prayer. As a church family every year for the past eight years, we have made prayer our priority as a church.
And one way that we have done that is by declaring and observing seasons of church wide prayer. So the next few weeks will be a little different, because we're not only going to spend time praying to God, but we want to spend time praising our way through the next twenty one days, the soul mass wrote in Psalm
150, verse six, Let everything that breathes, sing praises to the Lord. Praise the Lord. Everything that breathes, that is us. You see, friends, praise is a part of who we are. Now, I'm a pretty quiet parent at my kid's athletic events.
You're not going to hear me being negative. You're not going to hear me bad mouthing people. But when my kids are playing and Elijah makes a great pass, or Luke man handles a kid that's bigger than him or Tiguan would make a play on the softball field.
I'm going to get excited. I am going to shout. I'm going to jump up and clap. Why? Because praise is a part of who we are. Think about the roar of the crowd when your team wins the big game or the celebration rising up from your backyard.
When you take your family's cornhole tournament championship or the thunderous applause at the end of a concert, or parents cheering wildly as your child plays ball or dances or wins an award, or what about that family at high school graduation that has the air horns, you see?
Praise is something that we're born with. It is deep within our spirit. It's an integral part of life. We praise what we value. We praise what we support and we praise what we love. There are multiple words in Hebrew, in Greek that are translated as praise in our English Bibles.
But put simply, if you're taking notes to praise is to express admiration or approval. You see, we praise God for his traits. We praise God for his works. We praise God for his character. Praise includes acts of blessing, commending, honoring, thanking, celebrating our rejoicing.
We praise the Lord because he is worthy of praise. As I was sitting this week, I read a quote from C.S. Lewis, and I love this. C.S. Lewis wrote, Praise is inner health made audible. What I have found is for those with a healthy, growing walk with God, praise and Thanksgiving and adoration, it is natural.
It easily flows from the heart. But for some, maybe religion. Lack of understanding, fear of embarrassment. Ongoing sin or even pride has caused our praise to be silence or we have been distracted from the one that we need to praise.
It's also important to understand that praise is not one size fits all. There is not one way to praise. In fact, the Bible teaches us that praise is multifaceted. When we see this all throughout the scripture, let's look at some of the ways we can praise Psalm 150 verses one through six.
Praise the Lord. Praise God in his sanctuary. Praise him and his mighty heaven. Praise him for his mighty works. Praise his unequaled greatness. Praise him with a blast of the ram's horn. Praise him with the lyre and harp.
Praise him with the tambourine and dancing. Praise him with strings and flutes. Praise him with a clash of symbols. Praise him with loud clanging cymbals. Let everything that breathes. Sing praises to the Lord in some 150. We see that we can praise God.
Do our singing. We can praise God through shouting. We can praise God through clapping. We can praise God through playing musical instruments. We can praise God through uplifted hands. We can praise God through dancing. Some 51 15 helped me to speak, and I will praise you, Lord.
Psalm 51 says that we can praise God through our words. Remember, your words have power, and you can praise through your speech. You can praise through your testimony. You can praise the words of appreciation and through encouragement and blessing.
You can also praise God through an attitude of reverence and respect, remembering that he is God and I am not living with humility. And you can praise God with your habits and your actions. If we agree with him and hold deep reverence and respect for him, we naturally want to imitate him.
We usually want to be like those people that we admire, and if we respect Jesus, then we will hang on every word that he speaks. We will relish in the opportunity to study his word and spend time with him and seek him through prayer.
And we're going to try to do the things that Jesus did. And one of my favorite verses in scripture, John, 14, 12. I tell you the truth that Jesus said anyone who believes in me will do the same works that I have done in even greater works, because I'm going to be with the father.
Friends, I believe that praise is necessary. I believe that praise is our natural response to who Jesus is and what he has done. And I also believe. That our praise is powerful. I believe it is an integral part of the toolkit that God has given us so that we can live an extraordinary life.
And yes, I believe that praise is a weapon to help us win at spiritual warfare and defeat darkness in the schemes of the devil. You see, as a church family, rarely are we going to get together and not spend time praising God.
Why? Because we believe that authentic praise carry supernatural power. We believe that authentic praise opens the door to God's presence. It opens the door to the miraculous when we praise. We join in agreement together with other believers in Jesus.
We lift him up above every circumstance that tries to steal our joy or steal our faith and our hope. Prace prepares our hearts to hear the very word of God, and it takes our attention away from our problems and puts it back on Jesus.
The ultimate problem solver. Here's what I want to do today. I want to leave you with a few thoughts. On how powerful praise is, if you're taking notes first, we have to understand. That praise is the pathway to God's presence.
Praise is the pathway. It is the gateway into the presence of God. Listen to solve one hundred verse four, enter his gates with Thanksgiving, go into his courts with praise, give thanks to him and praise his name. Throughout the Bible, praise is seen as the gateway into the very presence of God because it changes our focus.
It changes our perspective. And it allows us to see him as number one, as the authority in our life in the Old Testament. People would offer physical sacrifices to God. But his believers in Jesus Christ, we understand that we don't offer physical sacrifices.
We offer the sacrifice of praise. Because our praises are connected to our very heart, because out of the heart, the mouth speaks and the praise flows. Because of the death and resurrection of Jesus, we can come into the very presence of God.
And it starts with praise. I cannot tell you in my life. How many times I have been beat up, how many times I have felt hopeless. How many times I felt defeated. And everything changed. When I chose to pray.
When I chose to thank him anyway. What I chose to push through. And shout and cheer and clap and sing. Because number two, we see that praise. Praises an act of faith. Not only does it get us into a presence of God, but is an act of faith.
You see, praise is about having faith in the character of God. Even when we are struggling with the challenges of life. It's when we choose to focus on God, when we choose to believe his promises, that my friends.
That is what our faith is exercised. That is when our faith is pushed into action, it is activated. Some 40 to five. The amplified version. Why are you in despair? Oh, my soul. Why have you become restless and disturbed within me?
Hope in God and wait expectantly for him, for I shall praise him again for the help of his presence. I love this. I love what the writer was doing there. He was speaking to his self. He was speaking to his own soul.
Oh. So why are you in despair? Why are you so disturbed? Why are you so confused? Why are you so upset? So you need to hope in God. You need to wait expectantly. You need to praise. It is an act of faith in Acts Chapter 16.
We see Paul and Silas demonstrate the power of praise. They were facing unimaginable conditions because they had been wrongly imprisoned for telling people about Jesus. But in that prison cell. They chose to stop focusing on their circumstances and they put their attention fully on God.
So powerful, was there praise that morning in that miserable prison that their environment suddenly changed when the prison doors flew open and they were set free at that moment? Heaven met earth, and not only did their praise set them free, but it set everybody in the prison free along with them.
We see another great example. A faith in the power of praise in Joshua, Chapter six. They were carefully obeying God's detailed instructions. Is the Israelites, the people of God marched obediently around the impossible walls of Jericho. And when that right moment arrived, they let out a shout of praise.
A shout of victory and moved by their faith. God burst into their circumstances, and the walls of Jericho collapsed, giving them an otherwise impossible victory. Church family, our praise is actually a weapon. One of the most powerful you could ever use.
But it is a weapon that can only be activated by our faith. And then third. We have to understand that prace is an act of thankfulness. Romans eight twenty eight says, and we know with great confidence that God, who is deeply concerned about us, causes all things to work together as a plan for the good of those
who love God. To those who are called according to his plan and purpose. I don't know if you realize it or not, but praise and Thanksgiving, they go hand in hand. Because we always have so much to be thankful for.
If we praise God all day, every day, we would never we would never finish thanking him for all of the scene. And more importantly, the unseen ways that he has cared for us and he has blessed us. We have to understand for everything we have seen God do in our life.
There are so many more things that we've never seen, so many more things that we just don't even understand, things that are happening in the spiritual. God is a good father, and we will never fully understand how he is consistently and constantly working behind the scenes of our lives to love and protect and nurture.
Favor has. And prace is our way to say thank you. Now. On Wednesday, September 1st, we're going to be throwing a praise party that evening. And my hope and my prayer is that you'll come and be a part.
We're going to praise Jesus as a church family. We're going to thank him for what he has done. Information is going to be sent out on our social media. It's going to be available through church wide email. And I'm asking you.
Calm and praise Jesus with us. Let's not only praise him, though, for what he has done. Church, namely, let's praise God for what he is going to do, because here's what I know about the New Testament scriptures. Here's what I know about Jesus is that many, many times before a miracle happened, Jesus would praise father God in
advance. God thank you in advance for what you're about to do. God, I praise you for what I know you're going to do. I am expected, and I don't know about you, but I'm expecting a church unexpected about, oh, God is going to do in the life of this church.
I thank him for you. I thank him for what he has done over the past eight years. But I know I know deep in my spirit that the best is yet to come, that God is not done with us.
It as a family, I just want to thank him. Maybe you were going through something tough right now. And you need to praise your way into breakthrough. You need to praise your way into healing. Praises it, saying that everything's just hunky dory and great praise is saying that even in the midst of the toughest circumstances of my
life, I'm going to choose to be thankful. Why do I praise Jesus? I praise Jesus. For what he's done in my life. I will never forget. As a young boy in the fifth grade. Hearing somebody share the gospel of Jesus Christ with me.
The Jesus loved me enough. That even though I was a sinner, that even though my relationship with God was broken, that Jesus would come out of heaven and he would live a perfect life and he would die on a cross.
He would rise again from the grave. And that if I would believe in him, if I would place my faith in him. I could have everlasting life. I can have a relationship with God. I can have a home in heaven.
I could be forgiven. And even though as a fifth grade boy, I didn't understand all of it. I believed it. And I still believe it today. And I have dedicated my life to telling people about that same Jesus because he has changed me.
He has transformed me. Jesus has made a difference in my life. He has given me purpose. He has given me peace. For that operator. Maybe you're watching or maybe you're listening and you say, Jason. I just. I just can't praise him.
Maybe just just stay with me, maybe you can't praise him. Because you know about him. But you don't know him. You see, the decision to follow Jesus is a decision that only you can make, no one can make it for you.
And if you're ready. To place your trust in Jesus, what he did for you on the cross, spilling his blood so that you could be forgiven and set free. So that you can have a fresh start, a second chance, a do over today.
If you believe that. Then you can have that. I just want to ask you if that's you. I invite you to pray a prayer with me, you can pray out loud if you want to, you can pray it to yourself, God can hear you either way.
But if you want to place your faith in Jesus, I invite you to pray this prayer with me. God, I've been going my own direction with my life. I've been making my own choices. God, I've been trying to be you.
But today, I realize I'm a sinner separated from you, and I need a savior. And that savior is your son, Jesus Christ. Got I believe that Jesus died on a cross for me in I believe he rose again from the grave so that I could be forgiven and set free so that I could have a second chance
. God, would you apply what Jesus did on the cross to my life today? Jesus, you are my Lord, and I'm going to follow you for the rest of my life. And Jesus, it's in your name, I pray, amen.
If that was you. Praise God. Praise God. I'm so thankful. That you would make the decision to follow Jesus. It's the greatest decision you could ever make. And the Bible is clear that all of heaven is celebrating the decision that you just made.
And here at church, we are celebrating along with heaven. But I want to ask you, please let me know. About the decision that you made. Let me know that you chose to follow Jesus today. You can go to our website and fill out a digital ComNet card if you're watching online, the digital connect car link is in
the post below. You can email us, we just want to reach out to you and pray for you by name and send you some resources. That will help you on this newfound journey with Jesus. Now, at the end of every service, we dedicate time to prayer.
You heard me say at the beginning, prayer is important and we believe it has power. So if you're watching right now and you say, Jason, I need somebody to pray for me, please, again, don't hesitate to let us know.
You could fill out our online prayer card. You can post your prayer requests in the comments below. But we have a team that is ready and willing to lift your name up to Jesus. So let's praise and worship together right now.
Pray with us. And if you need prayer specifically for something going on in your life, do not hesitate to let us know. Jesus, we love you, we praise you, we praise you, we praise you, and we thank you, God, not only for what you've done in our lives, but we thank you, Jesus, for who you are, your
traits, your character, your love for us. Yet I pray for those who are watching and listening right now. God, I know that I don't know everything going on their lives, but God, I acknowledge that you do. And Jesus that ask you, would you meet people right where they are?
Would you give peace and joy and provision and healing Occi? Jesus, we're going to give you the honor and the glory for what you do. And Jesus, it's in your name. We pray. Amen. I hope you have a great week.