Exuberant Worship

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Exuberant Worship 

Don Ruhl • Savage Street, Grants Pass, Oregon • August 10, In the year of our Lord, 2014


  1. What is the difference between a dull and a thrilling worship experience? 
    1. Upon whom does it depend?
    2. It depends on how the worshiper perceives the worship service:
      1. Is it a chore? Or
      2. Is it praise of the Creator of the Universe?
    3. We may think it depends upon the worship leaders, and
      1. I know the leaders have much influence,
      2. I am a Christian today partly because of the preaching of Paul Rogers, but
        1. truly it depends upon my heart,
        2. even as happiness
          1. does not depend upon outside circumstances,
          2. rather upon the state of your heart,
            1. regardless or even in spite of your outward circumstances.
    4. Do we view it as a passive time or active time?
  2. Whether the leaders make it dull or thrilling, here are some pointers. 


  1. Psalm 95.1–7a – See It as a Celebration [Notice the emphasis of this text]

    1 Oh come, let us sing to the Lord!
    Let us shout joyfully to the Rock of our salvation.
    2 Let us come before His presence with thanksgiving;
    Let us shout joyfully to Him with psalms.
    3 For the Lord is the great God,
    And the great King above all gods.
    4 In His hand are the deep places of the earth;
    The heights of the hills are His also.
    5 The sea is His, for He made it;
    And His hands formed the dry land.
    6 Oh come, let us worship and bow down;
    Let us kneel before the Lord our Maker.
    7 For He is our God,
    And we are the people of His pasture,
    And the sheep of His hand.
    (Psa 95.1–7a)

    1. Celebration, not of worship, but of God.
      1. In the assembly:
        1. We worship God
        2. We edify others
      2. Accomplishing these brings a blessing (Acts 20.35).
      3. Focus upon the Lord

        22 “You worship what you do not know; we know what we worship, for salvation is of the Jews. 23 But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him. 24 God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth” (John 4.22–24).
    2. Knowing God will make worship exuberant—then you will joyfully
      1. sing,
      2. pray,
      3. give,
      4. remember the Lord in the supper, and
      5. listen to preaching,
        1. even if they are not the best, or
        2. even if they are the best, but
          1. you will know that it was because of the Lord,
          2. not because of man.
    3. When my grandchildren come to my house,
      1. they do not notice all the things I do.
        1. I see weeds that need to be pulled,
        2. they see their grandpa that they just want to be with.
          1. I see grass that needs to be mowed, but
          2. they just want to have fun with grandpa (we ran through the sprinkler recently).
            1. I see a dozen projects that need to be done,
            2. they just follow me wherever I go.
      2. Why can’t we be that way with the Lord in our worship service.
        1. Do not focus on the faults of the leaders.
        2. Do not focus on what you think needs to be done.
          1. Just enjoy being in the presence of the Lord with your brethren.
          2. Be simple as a child.
  2. Psalm 122.1 – Anticipate It

    1 I was glad when they said to me,
    “Let us go into the house of the Lord.”
    (Psalm 122.1)

    1. Preparation increases anticipation.
      1. Thinking about what you will be doing will increase your anticipation.
      2. Having a relationship with God makes anticipation automatic,

        4 One thing I have desired of the Lord,
        That will I seek:
        That I may dwell in the house of the Lord
        All the days of my life,
        To behold the beauty of the Lord,
        And to inquire in His temple.
        (Psa 27.4)

        1. How does a teenage boy anticipate being with his girlfriend?
        2. How does a teenage girl anticipate being with her boyfriend?
    2. Therefore, give proper thought to preparation, like the Jews did (John 19.31).
      1. Live the previous week in anticipation of the following Sunday.
      2. Saturday night will affect your worship.
      3. Sunday morning before class will also set the tone of your heart.
    3. We anticipate worship
      1. when we know and love God, and
      2. when we are thankful for His providence.
    4. Your worship will then be natural and unforced.
  3. Be Intense 
    1. Unfortunately, in the past we have taught against being emotional.
      1. How can you not be emotional when you are worshiping the Creator?
      2. How can you not be emotional when you see your brethren?
    2. Intensity occurs when you know God.
      1. Biblical men and women of God were intense, but why?
      2. How do you picture Paul?
        1. Did he think worship was a chore?
        2. Did he think worship was a thrilling experience?

          12 For this reason I also suffer these things; nevertheless I am not ashamed, for I know whom I have believed and am persuaded that He is able to keep what I have committed to Him until that Day (2Ti 1.12).
    3. Intensity grows out of knowing heaven’s participation in our worship.
      1. Jesus is present,

        20 “For where two or three are gathered together in My name, I am there in the midst of them” (Matt 18.20).

        1. Do we get like Israel in the wilderness?
        2. They had the Lord in the wilderness, but
          1. they could think of more exciting things back in Egypt.
          2. Where is your mind during the worship?
      2. The Holy Spirit is involved in our worship,

        26 Likewise the Spirit also helps in our weaknesses. For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. 27 Now He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He makes intercession for the saints according to the will of God (Rom 8.26–27).
      3. Angels observe our worship,

        10 For this reason the woman ought to have a symbol of authority on her head, because of the angels (1Co 11.10).
    4. Intensify worship by making each action your own.
      1. Repeat the words of the prayer as it being prayed.
      2. Sing as though you wrote the words of the song.
        1. Therefore, you have to concentrate.
        2. You have to be active not passive.
    5. You intensify worship when it flows from an active Christian life.
      1. Some find worship a chore because it is the totality of their Christianity.
        1. They do not study and meditate upon Scripture;
          1. they do not consider the improvement of their character;
          2. they do not seek to improve their spirituality.
        2. They do not help other people for the sake of Christ.
        3. They rarely pray to God.
        4. Being a representative of Christ on Earth does not occur to them.
        5. Living like Jesus is a foreign concept to them.
      2. Make worship
        1. the climax of every week and
        2. the launching pad for the new week.
    6. Think of whom you stand before,
      1. regardless of the way the worship has been conducted.
      2. Just who is He?

        “If worship does not change us, it has not been worship. To stand before the Holy One of eternity is to change. Worship begins in holy expectancy; it ends in holy obedience” –Richard J. Foster

    7. See worship as part of being human,
      1. being a creature,
      2. as what you do to make you complete,

        “God does not need our worship! But we need to worship God! Our humanness depends on it. Not to worship God is to deny our essential humanity. It is of the very essence of authentic humanness to worship God. Made to worship, man becomes something less than human when he refuses to worship. It is not God who suffers when we do not worship—it is we who suffer!” –Richard C. Halverson


  1. Honor the Great King!