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Living in Freedom: Cultivate a Life of Praise


Recorded on October 11th, 2020

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  • Sunday Full Service

Are you constant and consistent in prayer? What about just everyday talking with God?

Transcript of Sermon:

Today we continue our journey of seeking how to live into the freedom that we have as children of god by looking at psalm 145 verses 1 through 8. you can read along with me on your screen i will exalt you my god the king i will praise your name forever and ever every day i will praise you and extol your name forever and ever great is the lord and most worthy of praise his greatness no one can fathom one generation commends your works to another they tell of your mighty acts they speak of the glorious splendor of your majesty and i will meditate on your wonderful works they tell of the power of your awesome works and i will proclaim your great deeds they celebrate your abundant goodness and joyfully sing of your righteousness the lord is gracious and compassionate slow to anger and rich in love this is the word of god for the people of god thanks be to god it was around christmas time many years ago i had a six month old and a slightly older than two-year-old both boys and if you’ve ever had children that age that close together you know that life can get a little bit crazy you know that it can be hard to maintain sanity during that season of life i was a stay-at-home mom at the time that makes it a little bit difficult to get some peace to get some alone time and there was this one day in particular where i was just hanging on by a thread i didn’t have much left to give i didn’t know where i was going to get any more energy and i didn’t know where my help was going to come from because joe my really only helped me because all of our family lives in california he was at work and work was far away and it was hours before he was going to come home i remember in those days i used to count down the minutes until joe would get home in fact poor joe if he was even two minutes later than i expected him i would have a sour face if he was five minutes later than i would expect him um boy yeah i probably didn’t talk to him for a few minutes because i was that desperate for his presence on time because having kids that young needed required his presence i needed his presence in my life on that day i couldn’t have it on that day it wasn’t available to me in the moment i needed it and on that particular day both boys were crying they were upset about something i don’t know what they were babies basically i had the six month old on my hip i had the two-year-old literally you’ve seen the picture clinging onto my leg crying they both wanted me to be holding them i couldn’t hold them both or couldn’t hold them both well i couldn’t give either of them what they really needed and i couldn’t give myself what i really needed which was i don’t know to sit in a dark closet by myself for a few minutes and i was at my wit’s end and i just didn’t know what to do but what i knew i needed so that i didn’t lose my mind was to make it so that nobody could touch me just for a few minutes i just have this thing sometimes where i just need to not be touched just for a few minutes so i thought well if i put them in my car seats in their car seats nobody can touch me sure they’ll still be crying but they’re crying right now so let’s give it a try so i i put them in their car seats we got in the minivan which you know everybody needs at some stage of their life we got in the minivan everybody’s buckled up they’re still crying i want to cry but i’m holding it together and i put in a charlie brown christmas now if you’ve heard not the movie the soundtrack my minivan wasn’t that cool we didn’t have the movie things i was put in the soundtrack and the charlie brown christmas is the most mellow the most chill soundtrack of all time and when i hear that music particularly when i hear it my entire body goes from 180 to just 90 in a minute flat i can breathe again sometimes it just takes me to a whole other place and that’s exactly what happened within 10 minutes nobody was crying and we were just driving circles around loganville listening to a charlie graham christmas now i wish i could say we were looking at christmas lights because it was christmas time but it was in the middle of the day so there really were no christmas lights we were simply driving hour after hour i think we did it for two hours many loops of the charlie brown christmas soundtrack going on in the background but it was what i needed it gave us space and it and it allowed me a moment of peace that’s something about music i don’t know if music does that for you i don’t know what kind of music might do that for you but there’s something about music that allows us to breathe sometimes or that allows us to feel like we’re seen or hurt or gives us a space to just be responded to and that’s not accidental you and i are created with this piece inside of us that responds to the rhythm of words to the rhythm of music maybe it’s poetry for you or maybe it’s country music or rock music for some people for me charlie brown christmas if it hadn’t been christmas time but still would have done it for me and today as we look at psalm 145 we’re going to be looking at king david and the psalm that king david wrote a psalm is a hymn it’s a song it’s poetry it’s words put together that say something important that pull at those same strings inside of us now as we are searching for a way to live into our freedom as children of god we’re going to be looking at this psalm that david wrote for ways that we can better live as children of god and what i think we’re going to find what i hope we find what i hope we see by the end of this is that what david did in his life is that david cultivated a life of praise and that allowed him at any time at any moment to get through whether it was getting through and celebrating or whether it was getting through one of those dark moments where he didn’t know where his next breath was going to come from because he cultivated a life of praise and what does that look like for you and i how do we take what david’s done here in psalm 145 and make that real in our life the first thing i want to talk about is king david himself because what you need to know about king david is that he’s very relatable to you and i yes he was a king he was the second king of the israelite nation so you might think that that makes him above us or that he didn’t live the same kind of difficult life that we lived but that’s not true at all david went through highs and lows beyond what i think you and i might ever experience david was anointed as king at a very young age but didn’t get to live into that anointing until much later in fact he had to serve under the first king who hated him who was afraid of him who was jealous of him who in fact tried to murder him many times you and i have had a difficult life you and i have often probably felt on edge felt like life was against us but never probably really had somebody after our actual lies david is the david who went up against goliath and fought that giant literally the little david and the big goliath that is this david david was not perfect sir though he was a man after god’s own heart he did make mistakes he was human like you and i he was a sinner like you and i he had an affair he had the husband of the wife that he had affair with murdered killed but david was also forgiven but david had to live with the consequences every day the fallout of his sins just like you and i do you and i do things that are against what god has for us and though we may be forgiven we still have to live with those consequences we have to see the the ripple effect of the way that we’ve lived our lives and david had to do that too so when we look at these psalms when we look at psalm 145 in particular know that this isn’t a person who’s lived a perfect life this isn’t a person who’s had everything be rosy for them this is a person much like you and i who’s had things be very difficult who’s had things be really great at times but regardless of the season what david has done in order to live into his position as child of god david has cultivated a life of praise when you turn to the section of psalms in the bible there’s 176 of them and a lot of them most of them are attributed to david as their author this one in particular though psalm 145 says a praise david’s psalm of praise now other ones may say um a psalm of praise or of david but none of them say david’s psalm of praise as if this is david’s most precious psalm of praise as if this is the psalm that david’s saying the most this is the one that he carried with him wherever he went this is the one that he put on in the car when his kids were screaming and he needed an escape this is david’s psalm of praise and what i want us to see from this is the way that david structured his world the way that he cultivated his life so that his life was centered around praise because i think it’s this centering of life around praise that allowed him to maintain his status allowed him to move through the ins and outs the ups and downs of life with as much grace as he did by staying close to god so let’s look at psalm 145 and let’s see what we can learn from the way that david praised god in david’s psalm of praise he begins by saying i will exalt you my god the king i will praise your name forever and ever so a few things happen in this very first few first verse that i want you to notice the first thing is is that david is recognizing that god is the king of all things in this world of all things in his life god is king nothing else is king in david’s life besides god and we need to do some daily recognizing of that in our lives it’s hard to continue to put god as king in our life to reorient our life so that god is king we can say that and we often do say that but it’s a whole other thing entirely to live as though god is our king one of the ways that we can orient our life so that god is actually keen one of the ways that we can live that out is saying it regularly daily reminding ourselves that our king is not this world that our king is not our jobs that our king is not our children that our king is not our income our king is god so david says that god is the king then david says i will exalt you it’s as if david is saying no matter what anybody else is doing no matter what anybody else is figuring out in this world right now in this season i’m going to exalt you i’m going to praise you no matter if my life is low no matter if my life is high no matter if it’s the hardest thing i’ve ever been through or the most joyous thing i’ve ever experienced i am going to praise you and in the world that we’re living in right now we tend to do everything but praise or we let have praise be last or we have it just be a beginning sentence in a prayer or an ending sentence in a prayer instead of a whole attitude of life see for david praise was an entire attitude of life it was a way of living through every season of life and david says i’m going to praise you not just in this moment but i’m going to praise you today and tomorrow and every day forever and ever and i believe that david’s not just saying forever and ever until i die david’s saying i’m going to praise you now today tomorrow for every day until i make it to the heavens and then when i make it to the heavens with you god i’m going to praise you every day there also and it is going to be the greatest joy of my life to praise you my king so the first step in cultivating a life of praise is committing to being constant to being consistent in everyday praise and worship of our king the one who created us the one who made us the one who saved us then david says in verse 2 every day i will praise you i will extort extol your name forever and ever so basically he’s saying the same thing twice and when we say the same thing twice we’re emphasizing what we’re trying to say when we say the same thing twice we’re emphasizing what we’re trying to say just like i did there when a mom says you’re first in your second name she’s emphasizing how much trouble you’re in right the same thing here david is emphasizing what he means he’s not just saying it to be flipped he really honestly is going to be praising god making praise the center of who he is every day from this life until eternity because god is king and then the next line says that god great is the lord and most worthy of praise his greatness no one can fathom now in this statement david’s explaining the why of all of this he’s reminding himself because this is a song that david sings to himself this is a song that david sings to others it’s a song a psalm of praise it’s one that’s going to be sung over and over again so as david sings it he’s reminding himself how he praises which is every day and then he reminds himself why he praises because god is great his greatness is so great in fact that not anybody can fathom it completely so we do it consistently and then we remind ourselves that we do this because god is good the world might be broken i may feel far from god today but god is still good so when we cultivate a life of praise we do it consistently we do it daily and we remind ourselves that god is good god is great and god is beyond anything that we could understand on our own the next thing that david says is so important he says one generation commends your works to another they tell of your mighty acts they speak of your glorious splendor and your majesty see david says that it’s not just enough for me to praise you i need to also tell my children and my children’s children’s and my nieces and my nephews and all of those who work for me and all of those who work with me and all of those who i come in contact with i need to tell them about you every generation tells the next generation about the greatness of god because that is how good god is and that is how we make the light shine that is part of my job as a child of god is to proclaim the goodness of god and because when i proclaim the goodness of god the glorious splendor of your majesty is known you know you and i in this world today i see a lot of people trying to make the goodness of god known by putting words in god’s mouth by saying well god would believe this or jesus would do that or such and such would do this or he’d be republican or jesus would be democrat or he would believe this or he would and none of that we know to be true but what we do know to be true is what god has already done in our lives what we do know to be true is the work that god has always already proven in this world we know that god sent jesus we know that jesus stood on the cross for us we know those things we stand firm on them and we proclaim them we sit and rest in their truth when those are the words that we speak about god there can be light and there can be joy this is what we share from one generation to the next david continues on saying that the next part of cultivating what i see is cultivating a life of praise is that david’s going to meditate on the wonderful works of god because the wonderful works of god tell the power of your awesome works now think about this for a minute we think of meditation being some eastern philosophy but meditation is all over scripture and when we meditate we’re taking intentional time to be still to be quiet to think about the works of god in this specific example david’s saying that daily part of his praise is going to be just sitting and knowing what god has done in david’s life remembering all the ways that god has been there remembering all the ways that god has been present remembering forgiveness remembering provision remembering greatness it’s hard to speak about the goodness of god when we forget to remember the greatness of god you know so often in our lives in the middle of what’s happening or right after we see the goodness of god and we tell people about it but as we grow further along from those events they become less clear and we become less able to speak clearly about the work of god in our lives but if we’re meditating on it regularly the character of god stays true to us so that we’re in we’re in the midst of something that’s confusing when we’re in the midst of a world that’s chaotic or when we feel far from god when we sit and meditate on those things that god has already done for us already done in us the wholeness and truth of who god is resounds in our souls and we find peace and joy and comfort so david continues saying not only is david going to meditate on god’s word that david’s going to tell of the power he’s going to proclaim god’s great deeds he’s going to celebrate god’s abundant goodness see here’s the thing david’s not just going to tell the next generation david’s going to tell all those that he comes into contact with about the great deeds of god again this is not supposed to be a division creating experience david’s not going into conversation saying my god is this or my god would do that david’s saying god king [Music] is the one who did this in my life is the one who forgave me when i did this is the one who comforted me when this happened in my life is the one who provided for me when i had nothing is the one who kept me safe when i felt like there was no safety to be had the way we speak of god in this world is supposed to celebrate god’s abundant goodness it’s a it’s supposed to speak of righteousness like it says here it’s supposed to joyfully sing and bring unity and togetherness but too much in the world that we’re living in today the way that we’re speaking of god is bringing division it’s hurting people instead of bringing us together we’re not supposed to put words in god’s mouth we’re supposed to celebrate what god is who god is what god has done who jesus is what jesus has done for us the life that we can now live because of jesus in our lives that is our job as children of god and then david closes this section verse 8 by saying the lord is gracious and compassionate slow to anger rich in love when life gets difficult when you feel like you’re all alone when you don’t have the answer to the problem that you are experiencing right now it can be hard to remember that it can be hard to feel the experience of god right there with you because you need a very practical answer to a very practical problem but what david says about praise here what david experiences and prays is that as we make a daily habit of praising god of remembering god’s great works of remembering the character of god of meditating on the character of god and the great works of god when life gets difficult it is so much easier to rest in the knowledge that our god is good that our god is compassionate that our god is kind that our god has the answer that we need my friends songs of praise like this are the comfort that our hearts are crying out for when we are broken and hurting and so as we try to live out into the freedom that we have been created for that christ bought for us on the cross what we need to learn to do is to cultivate that life of praise not just a heart of praise but a life of praise a rhythm of praise a daily constant rhythm of praise that includes talking about god that includes meditating on god and one of the ways i might encourage you to do that is to read psalm 145 every day for the next week read it let it wash over you don’t just read the words rest in the words let them wash over you let them sink into your skin like that music does whatever the music that you listen to that rests that causes you to take a sigh of relief let the psalms do that for you and then when you’re ready try speaking a psalm into existence yourself saying out loud what it is you know to be true about god what it is you want to praise god for what it is that god is in your life it’s amazingly empowering when you do that but until you have those words for yourselves take these psalms and live them cultivate this life of praise into your world when we were in the middle of our adoption process actually not the middle at the very end of our adoption process just weeks away from going to china to get mainly we got word from our adoption counselor that our adoption had stopped dead stopped and that chances were we were not going to get to bring our little girl home and let me be clear she was our little girl by then we had been years in the process we had been praying for her we had fallen in love with her everything about her her face her everything we had memorized about her we loved this girl and this came out of the blue all of the paperwork had been signed china had signed off on everything and we had no idea where this was coming from but our adoption counselor said make no mistake about it this is huge there’s probably very little chance we’re gonna get over this hump there is a chance but it’s she said i’m gonna tell you it’s small and i remember in that moment feeling every feeling i’ve ever felt i remember thinking about god and saying to god god i didn’t ask for this journey we didn’t ask for this journey we’ve never thought about adoption you asked us to begin this journey of adoption why is this happening right now and as soon as i thought those words something came over me and i put on my sneakers and i got on the um treadmill weirdest of places i know but it’s just what i thought i had to do and i put on my worship music and i lifted literally lifted my arms in the air and i just started praising god not praying not supplicating not asking but praising god and saying god you are good god you are mighty god i know that you are bigger than this god whatever your plan is whatever your plan is you are good and you are mighty you are my king over and over again just praising god and the goodness of god it’s the first time in my life i’d ever done anything like that and i can only attribute it to the spirit moving in me but it was the first time i felt the power of a cultivated life of praise because up until that point i had been practicing a life of praise that was new to me and i’m not perfect and i’ve had plenty of times before that and since then where something’s gone wrong and i’ve just flat out prayed or been mad whatever it is but in that moment experiencing full-on praise constant committed praise to god it was the best song i’d ever heard in my life it was the best comfort i’d ever experienced in my life and what i know to be true what david knew to be true is that if we cultivate a life of praise we can live out our lives of children of god in peace knowing deep in our souls the character of god carrying that character with us everywhere we go and being able to live through anything and i don’t know what it is you’re trying to live through today but i know there’s a god who wants to live through it with you i pray that you know that too let us pray god we thank you so much for being our god for being our king god help us to cultivate a life of praise help us to learn to be constant and consistent every day not just praying to you but praising you god thank you for the psalms and what they can be for us help us to incorporate them into our lives so that we can move and live and breathe knowing without question your character and your place in our lives it’s in the name of jesus we pray amen

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