Wholehearted Worship 2024 Decision

Ps John Rhodes   -  

Wholehearted Worship in 2024–The Decision. Read Psalm 138:1-3

Jesus said at the end of the Bible, “I am the Root and the Offspring of David” (Rev. 22:16). Where was Moses? Why not, “Offspring of Abraham”? What was in David that touched the heart of God to give him this honour? One factor is his wholehearted worship. In Psalm 138, verse 1, we observe David’s decision– v1 I will praise you with all my heart! To worship is to humble yourself, elevate God, and be open to God’s guidance. Many years ago I heard a message about choosing to worship wholeheartedly and I took it to heart. It’s one thing we all can do in church, whatever role we have. Here are three characteristics of those who decide to worship God wholeheartedly.

1. They decide to worship in times of spiritual darkness

a) By faith despite the darkness. v1 before the “gods”. In many ways the world appears to be descending into darkness. Cursing and swearing are typical of false gods, invalid ideologies, fighting, or falling to temptation. “Satan laughs when people curse but flees when we praise the Lord.” Change your swearing into praise – defy the demons!
b) By faith with singing. v1 I will sing your praise! Have you favourite hymns, songs, or choruses? These can pull you out of depression. The first hymn I recall as a five-year-old boy in a small Methodist church in England is “Blessed Assurance”. The chorus goes, “This is my story, this is my song, praising my Saviour all the day long.”
c) By faith in God’s unseen presence – v2 I will bow down toward your holy temple. We can’t see God or always feel his presence. In OT, the temple (or tabernacle) pointed to the holy presence of God. Worship brings the felt presence of God down. Before this happens, tangible things, such as in a church setting, help in our conception of God.

2. They decide to worship because of God’s unfailing love and faithfulness–and promises. v2 I will … praise your name for your unfailing love and your faithfulness, for you have so exalted your solemn decree that it surpasses your fame.
There are two levels here, praising God for his character of love and faithfulness, and then praising for his express promises through Jesus. When David wanted to build a temple for God, God revealed, “the LORD himself will establish a house for you. …Your house and your kingdom will endure forever before me” (2 Sam.7:v11,16). This promise is about Jesus and the Gospel bringing eternal life, God’s exalted “solemn decree.”

3. They decide to worship because of answered prayer and receiving boldness. v3 When I called, you answered me; you greatly emboldened me.
A final level of reasons for wholehearted worship would be for answers to prayer. David was emboldened to face Goliath, and many other difficult situations, after experiencing God’s help in protecting sheep from wild animals.

At the start of 2024, I conclude with an encouraging poem read in 1939 by King George VI at the start of WWII. “I said to the man who stood at the gate of the year, “Give me a light that I may tread safely into the unknown.” And he replied: “Go out into the darkness and put your hand into the hand of God. That shall be to you better than light and safer than a known way.”