THE REASON WE ARE CALLED TO PRAISE THE LORD
THE REASON WE ARE CALLED TO PRAISE THE LORD
A SERMON ORIGINALLY DELIVERED AT
THE FEDERATED CHURCH OF ATHENS
MOTHER’S DAY, 8 MAY 1994
By Frank L. Hoffman, Pastor
There is a very interesting correlation between the way we view our relationship with God and our relationship with our parents.
And the reverse is also true: that a parent's relationship with their children is to be very similar to God's relationship with us.
Our relationships are to be based on love and mutual respect.
Without understanding the long reaching effect of God's love in our lives, we all too often give up before the changes begin to happen; and this I believe is the major cause of the problems we have in the world today.
When God is first in our lives, our family life is not far behind.
Let's use Psalm 98 as the guidepost to our journey today.
1. O Sing to the Lord a new song,
For He has done wonderful things,
His right hand and His holy arm have gained the victory for Him.
Why a new song, and why are we told to sing a new song in six of the Psalms, in Isaiah, and in Revelation?
It's because we gain, or should be gaining, new insights into the kingdom of heaven every day of our lives; that in everything we do, we would bring some of that heavenly abode to this earth, beginning with our families.
And from there we move out into the community and beyond, even to the whole of creation.
Note what we are told in Revelation 5:9:
9. And they sang a new song, saying,
"Worthy art Thou to take the book, and to break its seals; for Thou wast slain, and didst purchase for God with Thy blood men from every tribe and tongue and people and nation.
If we know this as a fact, then we can teach it to our children, that they will never lose their hope, and will extend their love to peoples of different color and language.
As they grow older, and begin to understand these things on their own, they will also teach them to others, including their children.
Thus we spread this message of love well beyond ourselves; not necessarily today in every place, but with time it really spreads far and wide, even to people who were not brought up to know Jesus Christ.
In the process of spreading our love and respect to our fellow human beings, we'll be spreading it to the whole of creation.
And it is when we come to realize these truths on our own, that we really begin to praise God and our parents for leading us to this place.
Hymn: Thine Is The Glory
There are times, however, when some people refuse to listen to the unction of the Holy Spirit, and they drop the ball. Then the next generation doesn't receive the message from their parents.
But God, as our ultimate parent, still lets us come to know the truth: that we are without excuse, just as we are told in verses 2 and 3 of Psalm 98.
2. The Lord has made known His salvation;
He has revealed His righteousness in the sight of the nations.
3. He has remembered His lovingkindness and His faithfulness to the house of Israel;
All the ends of the earth have seen the salvation of our God.
If we have “seen the salvation of our God,” then why are we, as a society, not listening to what the Lord is telling us to do, as in Deuteronomy 6:5-9?
5. "And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might.
6. "And these words, which I am commanding you today, shall be on your heart;
7. and you shall teach them diligently to your sons and shall talk of them when you sit in your house and when you walk by the way and when you lie down and when you rise up.
8. "And you shall bind them as a sign on your hand and they shall be as frontals on your forehead.
9. "And you shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.
According to this passage, most people haven't listened to God's instructions.
As a society, our problem is that we have allowed our family life to break down, and with it, our expression of the true meaning of love - real Godly love.
And with this breakdown, we look only to the physical part of life, and not the spiritual part.
It is our understanding of the spiritual world that allows us to retain our love and hope when conditions in this physical world break down.
It is God's love that gives us this hope.
Hymn: To God Be the Glory
Our hope for today and for all our tomorrows is in our call to praise and worship God.
For it is only in our personal relationship with God, that we can perfect God's love within us, as we're told in Psalm 98.
4. Shout joyfully to the Lord, all the earth;
Break forth and sing for joy and sing praises.
5. Sing praises to the Lord with the lyre;
With the lyre and the sound of melody.
6. With trumpets and the sound of the horn
Shout joyfully before the King, the Lord.
If Mom is joyful, because the love of God is in her heart, so usually are Dad and the kids; and the same goes for the rest of us, for each of us has an effect on those with whom we associate.
We're called to praise God, that we get our focus on life back into the heavenly abode above that of the physical world around us.
We are called to praise God, that our tensions leave us, and that we become filled with a peace that surpasses all earthly understanding.
Hymn: Rejoice, The Lord Is King
One of our problems is that we all too often think we have to be responsible for the outcome of every event and situation in our lives, or even in the world.
And in this mind-set, we get frustrated when things don't work out the way we want.
The ultimate control is not in our hands, but in the Lord's.
If someone else doesn't understand this, or won't listen to the things of God, it is their problem, and not ours.
We have to do what we know is right in the sight of the Lord, and not worry because we can't change the actions of others.
Irresponsible people corrupt the environment, and do horrible things to humans and animals; and other people get frustrated and angry because they can't seem to prevent this from happening.
We must do what we can, but we also must remember that God made everything, and He is capable of protecting them, even when He doesn't seem to.
And under His protection,
7. Let the sea roar and all it contains,
The world and those who dwell in it.
8. Let the rivers clap their hands;
Let the mountains sing together for joy
9. Before the Lord; for He is coming to judge the earth;
He will judge the world with righteousness,
And the peoples with equity.
Our job as parents and children is not necessarily to take the responsibility for everything that occurs around us, but to always be the Lord's ambassador, doing what we can, that the generation that follows us will know the truth, even if they don't follow it.
And we are to continue to do this until the Lord returns.
So, as we are called upon to praise the Lord, that we not forget Him, or his statutes and promises, so also remember who first told us about the Lord our God.
Thank you, Mom.
Happy Mother’s Day!
Hymn: Lo, He Comes With Clouds Descending
Your Comments are welcome
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