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Worship Sermon Series (part three)


Working Toward
Worthwhile Worship

Part Three


Text: Lamentations 3:19-31 (MSG)
“I’ll never forget the trouble, the utter lostness, the taste of ashes, the poison I’ve swallowed. I remember it all—oh, how well I remember— the feeling of hitting the bottom. But there’s one other thing I remember, and remembering, I keep a grip on hope:

GOD ’s loyal love couldn’t have run out, his merciful love couldn’t have dried up. They’re created new every morning. How great your faithfulness! I’m sticking with GOD
(I say it over and over). He’s all I’ve got left.

GOD proves to be good to the man who passionately waits, to the woman who diligently seeks. It’s a good thing to quietly hope, quietly hope for help from GOD. It’s a good thing when you’re young to stick it out through the hard times.

When life is heavy and hard to take, go off by yourself. Enter the silence. Bow in prayer. Don’t ask questions: Wait for hope to appear. Don’t run from trouble. Take it full-face. The “worst” is never the worst.

Why? Because the Master won’t ever walk out and fail to return.


1. Today we continue to talk about worship. I'm really enjoying the practical teaching this month and just being reminded that worship is about keeping the main thing the main thing.

2. Let me be transparent with you.

A) My journey from a teenager receiving Jesus until now.

B) True worship was about the event on Sunday or the special service or the concert.

C) Worship was about the emotional moments in a service (explain).

D) Then life happened, plans interrupted, difficult times, poor decisions, missed opportunities, difficult people, death of church members who became family, then the deaths of my dad, my mom, my father-in-law.

Life happens and continues to happen. It's as if the wise man Solomon knew what he was talking about in Ecclesiastes 3:1-8:
"For everything there is a season, a time for every activity under heaven. A time to be born and a time to die. A time to plant and a time to harvest. A time to kill and a time to heal. A time to tear down and a time to build up. A time to cry and a time to laugh. A time to grieve and a time to dance. A time to scatter stones and a time to gather stones. A time to embrace and a time to turn away. A time to search and a time to quit searching. A time to keep and a time to throw away. A time to tear and a time to mend. A time to be quiet and a time to speak. A time to love and a time to hate. A time for war and a time for peace.”

So with life happening, something else is happening to those of us who follow Jesus. I would suggest to you that what's happening is we are learning to worship. Because here's the "so what" of this sermon today. Here's the take away:


Worship is practicing the continual Presence of God. The truest - highest form of worship is continual, not event driven, not a Sunday thing, not a special mood set or environment. Worship is born out of a heart of trust and devotion.

Here are some principles:

1. Worship is enhanced by an understanding of our past.

a. “I’ll never forget the trouble, the utter lostness, the taste of ashes, the poison I’ve swallowed. I remember it all—oh, how well I remember— the feeling of hitting the bottom. But there’s one other thing I remember, and remembering, I keep a grip on hope..."

b. I've said many times to move forward you've got to forget the past, but let me shed a little more of my own growth in this. To appreciate God's grace it helps to remember where we came from. I don't mean relive and rehash all the details of your sordid past. But never get so far that you don't remember that but for the grace of God you'd be hopelessly lost forever!

c. Sometimes I get in His Presence out there or in here singing a worship song and I remember I'm here not because I'm good or I've done something deserving of this, but because His grace tracked me down and never let go!

Oh yes, this one thing I remember and remembering I have hope...I hit the bottom. I lost my way. But He never gave up on me.

He's never given up on you! He has not turned His back on you. But like David of old you too can sing:

“He lifted me out of the pit of despair, out of the mud and the mire. He set my feet on solid ground and steadied me as I walked along. He has given me a new song to sing, a hymn of praise to our God. Many will see what he has done and be amazed. They will put their trust in the LORD.”

Psalms 40:2-3 NLT


2. Worship is anchored in the realization of our present.

"GOD ’s loyal love couldn’t have run out, his merciful love couldn’t have dried up. They’re created new every morning. How great your faithfulness! I’m sticking with GOD (I say it over and over). He’s all I’ve got left.

GOD proves to be good to the man who passionately waits, to the woman who diligently seeks. It’s a good thing to quietly hope, quietly hope for help from GOD. It’s a good thing when you’re young to stick it out through the hard times."

a. Isn't this amazing Scripture?

b. Talk about God's mercies new and fresh every day.

c. The Hebrew word there for mercies or merciful love is "hesed."

It literally means a sticky kind of love. You know, one that just won't let go. It sticks to you. No matter what, He loves you and He's just not going to quit loving you. Of course, He doesn't love your sin or sinful lifestyles, but He loves you.

d. Jim Wilder, in the book, “Rare Leadership,” tells this story:

As a young man, I (Jim) spent one summer working at a camp that often saw people from the inner city of Chicago come to the country to gain a different perspective on life. One inner-city group that came there was composed entirely of senior citizens. What happened that week taught me a life lesson about emotional maturity and the biblical idea of hesed.

One older lady came to my attention when we took the campers for meals. It was the practice at this camp to have two lines at mealtime. Those seniors who needed a walker to get around got the short line by the door. Everyone else was in the other line. Our first meal of the week the lady I noticed rushed ahead, knocking over people with walkers until she reached the front of the line, where she pushed at the door. I reprimanded her. She obviously could walk fine and should be in the other line.

But it was as though I, and my words to her, did not exist. She stared ahead demanding food and rushed through the door the second the staff opened the lunch line. The surprised staff jumped out of the way while she grabbed food and devoured it before anyone else could eat. This happened at every meal and the only way to manage the situation was for counselors to form a human shield in front of the walker brigade before she could knock them over.

To make matters worse, this human stunk and could be smelled for quite a distance. She absolutely refused to take a shower. Within a few days the female counselors could take the stench no longer, so a group of them forcibly dragged her into one of the shower stalls. The fight and noise could be heard all around, but the campers and the staff were grateful for the result.

Another camper who drew my attention was an elderly man who was poised, dapper, and highly educated. He spoke at least seventeen languages and spoke to me thoughtfully and intelligently about many subjects. One evening I sat down with him on a hilltop at the camp as he explained the differences between Hungarian and other languages. As we spoke, the annoying woman walked by, and I mentally noticed I could not smell her this time. I took the opportunity to comment on how she had become the bane of the camp and had been wreaking havoc all week.

“That’s my wife,” he said quietly.

I was shocked and speechless. This was beyond belief, and I was as embarrassed as I could be for my comments. The old man looked at me a moment; then, turning his arm, held out his left hand. I stared a few moments until he pointed to a long number tattoo there.

“We were both held in Nazi concentration camps,” he explained. “She was once a concert pianist. She toured Europe – a lovely, talented, caring woman. But in the camp [Ravensbruck, I think he said] they cut away her brain a piece at a time without anesthesia. I was in Auschwitz. When I found her after the war she was like this.”

We sat in silence and I stared at his arm. After a bit he said, “People say I should put her in a home, but I just can’t do it. I remember her.”

Almost thirty years had passed with no improvement. As I sat thinking, my mind flashed on the camp showers in a large room with showerheads all around. They looked like the pictures I had seen of the so-called “showers” where Jews were gassed. I thought about the lines for meals. I thought about the glazed look in her eye and her constant panic. Then there was this quiet man, sitting by me on the hill.

You know, I believe God looks at you and me and the lost and the wandering, and He sees us as He has known us from the beginning – born to serve Him – to be light – salt – talented – gifted – misfits that can be loved into miracles of His grace.

That’s the message we peddle and the hope of the world.

The old gentleman knew the talented pianist. He loved her with that enduring, “sticky” love the Bible calls hesed.


3. Worship is enriched by our future hope.

a. Here it is. Listen to this in closing:

“GOD proves to be good to the man who passionately waits, to the woman who diligently seeks. It’s a good thing to quietly hope, quietly hope for help from GOD. It’s a good thing when you’re young to stick it out through the hard times.

When life is heavy and hard to take, go off by yourself. Enter the silence. Bow in prayer. Don’t ask questions: Wait for hope to appear. Don’t run from trouble. Take it full-face. The “worst” is never the worst.

Why? Because the Master won’t ever walk out and fail to return.”




Worship Set



Open Up The Heavens 

- Meredith Andrews, Stuart Garrard, James McDonald, and Andi Rozier 

Verse 1 

We've waited for this day
We're gathered in Your Name
Calling out to You
Your glory like a fire awakening desire
Will burn our hearts with truth 

Misc 1 
(Pre-Chorus) 

You're the reason we're here
You're the reason we're singing 

Chorus 1 

Open up the heavens we want to see You
Open up the floodgates a mighty river
Flowing from Your heart
Filling every part of our praise 

Misc 2 
(Interlude) 

Oo oo oo oo oo 

Verse 2 

Your presence in this place
Your glory on our face
We're looking to the sky
Descending like a cloud
You're standing with us now
Lord unveil our eyes 

Misc 3 
(Bridge) 

Show us show us Your glory
Show us show us Your power
Show us show us Your glory Lord 

Misc 4 
(Ending) 

Oo oo oo oo


In Christ Alone (with The Solid Rock) 

- Dan Galbraith

In Christ alone, my hope is found;
He is my light, my strength, my song;
This cornerstone, this solid ground,
Firm through the fiercest drought and storm;
What heights of love, what depths of peace,
When fears are stilled, when strivings cease;
My comforter, my All in all,
 Here in the love of Christ I stand. 

In Christ alone, Who took on flesh,
Fullness of God in helpless Babe;
This gift of love and righteousness,
Scorned by the ones He came to save;
‘Til on that cross, as Jesus died,
The wrath of God was satisfied,
For ev’ry sin on Him was laid;
Here in the death of Christ I live. 

There in the ground His body lay,
Light of the world by darkness slain;
Then bursting forth in glorious day,
Up from the grave He rose again;
And as He stands in victory,
Sin’s curse has lost its grip on me;
For I am His and He is mine,
Bought with the precious blood of Christ. 

On Christ, the Solid Rock, I stand;
All other ground is sinking sand,
All other ground is sinking sand. (Repeat) 

No guilt in life, no fear in death,
This is the pow’r of Christ in me;
From life’s first cry to final breath,
Jesus commands my destiny;
No pow’r of hell, no scheme of man
Can ever pluck me from His hand;
‘Til He returns or calls me home,
Here in the pow’r of Christ I’ll stand.


Come To Me

- John Hendrickson and Jenn Johnson 

Verse 1 

I am the Lord your God I go before you now
I stand beside you I'm all around you
Though you feel I'm far away
I'm closer than your breath
I am with you more than you know 

Verse 2 

I am the Lord your peace no evil will conquer you
Steady now your heart and mind come into My rest
Oh let your faith arise
lift up your weary head
I am with you wherever you go 

Chorus 1 

Come to Me I'm all you need
Come to Me I'm (your) everything
Come to Me I'm all you need
Come to Me I'm your everything 

Misc 1 
(Bridge) 

I am your anchor in the wind and the waves
I am your steadfast so don't be afraid
Though your heart and flesh may fail you
I'm your faithful strength
I am with you wherever you go


My Jesus, I love Thee

- William R. Featherston

My Jesus, I love Thee, I know Thou art mine;
For Thee all the follies of sin I resign;
My gracious Redeemer, my Savior art Thou;
If ever I loved Thee, my Jesus, ’tis now.

I love Thee because Thou hast first loved me,
And purchased my pardon on Calvary’s tree;
I love Thee for wearing the thorns on Thy brow;
If ever I loved Thee, my Jesus, ’tis now.

I’ll love Thee in life, I will love Thee in death,
And praise Thee as long as Thou lendest me breath;
And say when the death dew lies cold on my brow,
If ever I loved Thee, my Jesus, ’tis now.

In mansions of glory and endless delight,
I’ll ever adore Thee in heaven so bright;
I’ll sing with the glittering crown on my brow,
If ever I loved Thee, my Jesus, ’tis now.

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