All your works shall give thanks to you, O LORD, and all your saints shall bless you! They shall speak of the glory of your kingdom and tell of your power, to make known to the children of man your mighty deeds, and the glorious splendor of your kingdom. (Psalm 145:10-12)
We Serve No Sovereign Here
This weekend we will celebrate the independence of our nation. Ours is a country that was founded upon the premise that we will appoint no kings to rule over us. In fact, there used to be a saying among the earliest Americans that went, “We serve no sovereign here.” In other words, we are passionate about forging our own paths and determining our own destinies. And this is essential to our way of life. From the founding of our nation, we have greatly prized our freedom.
While our national heritage of personal liberty is something for which we ought to be deeply grateful, it also has the potential to make us spiritually allergic to the central premise of the Bible—that the God we worship has a Kingdom and it has been inaugurated through the life, death and resurrection of His Son, Jesus Christ.
In stark contrast to the attitude our national identity has been predicated upon, we actually do serve a Sovereign. And His Kingdom is at hand, demanding a response of repentance of sin and belief in the Gospel (Mark 1:15).
The Reality of The Kingdom
The arrival of this Kingdom is the defining reality of our new identity in Jesus Christ. And therefore, it must be at the center of our worship when we gather in His name on the Lord’s Day. This is precisely why we are going to introduce a new song this Sunday at LifePoint called “Nothing Less”.
Based on Psalm 145, this song highlights the power of God’s Kingdom, and its effects on those who are located within it. As citizens of the new world God is creating, our worship of Him must never become watered down. No, our King deserves to be honored and extolled for all He’s worth. So we ought to make our worship loud. It should shake the earth with His praise, because that’s what His unsearchable glory demands.
But we are forgetful creatures, aren’t we? All too often, life in this world gets the best of us and we put up barricades around our hearts, keeping us from the full impact of God’s Kingdom. We get cynical and sullen as we lose sight of that which matters most, thinking, what’s the use of staying optimistic when things are so messed up?
But it’s high-time we get out of our funk by allowing God’s Kingdom to disrupt our status quo. Yes, our consciences and attitudes are being assaulted by the sleaziness of this present evil age. From Charleston to SCOTUS, there is much to be cynical about. But that’s not God’s best for us. Our sullenness won’t do anyone a lick of good.
Instead, God wants the reality of His Kingdom to land on us with ever-increasing obviousness. He wants all His mighty acts throughout history to be remembered, commemorated, and acclaimed with Spirit-filled gusto. Only then will we come to realize that the world and its problems don’t have the last word. They will never defeat God’s everlasting Kingdom. When we come alive to that reality, we can face the future with confidence, knowing that Jesus is alive and well, seated on His throne. That gives us an unshakable optimism that nothing will ever spoil.
So let’s get with His program. After all, our ultimate freedom isn’t located in our nationalistic identity, nor in a sense of personal autonomy. Rather, freedom is only experienced when we joyfully submit to the cosmic Christ—to His rule, power and authority as our only Sovereign. And one of the most effective ways we submit to Him is by singing to fill the atmosphere with His praise. Therefore, that’s exactly what we’re going to do this Lord’s Day. We’re going to let the reality of Psalm 145 sink into our hearts by letting its words resound from our lips. So without further ado, I introduce to you the song, “Nothing Less”.
We extol our God and King and His name we ever bless
He is greatly to be praised for His works of righteousness
O, His steadfast love abounds and His anger tarries long
So we declare His fame And thank Him with a song
O, resound ye saints with a royal theme
And don’t hold back at all, just let it ring
Shake the earth with praise; make it deafening
For nothing less is fitting for our King
Down through generations came all the wonders of our God
And to our children we commend every act of His great love
O, His Kingdom has no end; it endures through every age
He is near to all who call upon His name
Fulfilling the desires of all who fear His name,
He hears our cry and comes to save us
Liturgy for Sunday, July 05, 2015:
Call to Worship:
Oh, taste and see that the LORD is good! Blessed is the man who takes refuge in him! Oh, fear the LORD, you his saints, for those who fear him have no lack! The young lions suffer want and hunger; but those who seek the LORD lack no good thing. (Psalm 34:8-10)
Confession & Assurance/Pastoral Prayer:
For we ourselves were once foolish, disobedient, led astray, slaves to various passions and pleasures, passing our days in malice and envy, hated by others and hating one another. But when the goodness and loving kindness of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that being justified by his grace we might become heirs according to the hope of eternal life. (Titus 3:3-7)
The LORD our God be with us, as he was with our fathers. May he not leave us or forsake us, that he may incline our hearts to him, to walk in all his ways and to keep his commandments. (1 Kings 8:57-58a)
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