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INTRODUCTION
Everyone loves a good story about people starting out in humble beginnings and then going off and doing something great. Doing something that makes an impact on the very culture in which they live.
In 1971, three friends who met while they were students at the University of San Francisco: English teacher Jerry Baldwin, history teacher Zev Siegl, and writer Gordon Bowker were inspired to sell high-quality coffee beans and equipment by coffee roasting entrepreneur Alfred Peet, of Peet's coffee, after he taught them his style of roasting beans. They set up shop in Pike's Place Seattle, Washington... They weren't brewing coffee or making pastries... they just loved roasting coffee beans and selling their product to the public. They took the name of the first-mate in Moby Dick Starbuck as the name for their coffee company and went on selling their beans and at first the only coffee they brewed was for free samples.
It wasn't until the early 80's that these original owners sold the company to a former employee of theirs by the name of Howard Shultz and from there the company grew rapidly. Old Howie visited Italy and became inspired by the coffeehouses there and wanted to bring that to his home. In 2016 there was close to 240,000 employees and in 2017 there were almost 27,000 storefronts. Starbucks has gone from  turned into a worldwide phenomenon that many of us frequent multiple times every week... and if you're like me multiple times a day... but you know, I drink there for free.
This idea of creating a place for community centered around a beverage grew into something far greater than these three college buddies could have ever imagined.
In the same way... God has given us a vision and a purpose that is far greater than we could ever imagine. A vision and a purpose that is meant to be worldwide... for the nations.  And if we aren't careful we will settle for a lesser vision and purpose.
If you have your Bibles go ahead and grab those and turn them with me to . Today we are continuing our sermon series entitled The Head and the Heart. And today I am totally pumped to be opening up this particular Psalm with you today because it points at our global purpose to reach the nations... to proclaim both the greatness of our God and to warn of the coming judgement to all the peoples of the world.
So if you have your Bibles opened to with me go ahead and look at verse 1 and we will read the entire Psalm. If you wouldn't mind and are able stand with me in honor and reverence to the Word of God...
BIBLE VERSEPsalms 96:1-13 (CSB)
1Sing a new song to the Lord ; let the whole earth sing to the Lord .
2Sing to the Lord , bless his name; proclaim his salvation from day to day.
3Declare his glory among the nations, his wondrous works among all peoples.
4For the Lord is great and is highly praised; he is feared above all gods.
5For all the gods of the peoples are idols, but the Lord made the heavens.
6Splendor and majesty are before him; strength and beauty are in his sanctuary.
7Ascribe to the Lord , you families of the peoples, ascribe to the Lord glory and strength.
8Ascribe to the Lord the glory of his name; bring an offering and enter his courts.
9Worship the Lord in the splendor of his holiness; let the whole earth tremble before him.
10Say among the nations: “The Lord reigns. The world is firmly established; it cannot be shaken. He judges the peoples fairly.”
11Let the heavens be glad and the earth rejoice; let the sea and all that fills it resound.
12Let the fields and everything in them celebrate. Then all the trees of the forest will shout for joy
13before the Lord , for he is coming — for he is coming to judge the earth. He will judge the world with righteousness and the peoples with his faithfulness.
PRAYER AND TRANSITION TO POINT I.
This is the World of the Lord... Let's pray...
Lord, I thank you that this missional heartbeat is a defining characteristic of our church. It is our desire that you continue to cultivate that in each of us. Bless our time together this morning and we ask that your Spirit comes now and makes us sensitive to what you have for us today. We love you and we thank you for Jesus who makes it possible for us to worship you... and it's in his name we pray... Amen...
Alright you may be seated.
If you are taking notes this is the first thing that I want us to see together this morning...
Point I: Declaring the Glory of our God
EXPLANATION
Verse 1 and verse 2…
BIBLE VERSE
Psalms 96:1-3 (CSB)
1Sing a new song to the Lord ; let the whole earth sing to the Lord .
2Sing to the Lord , bless his name; proclaim his salvation from day to day.
3Declare his glory among the nations, his wondrous works among all peoples.
EXPLANATION
Sing to the Lord is an imperative that is repeated three times for the purpose of emphasis. In other words, singing is really important in worshipping the Lord. So important that we are commanded to do this.
There is a mandate from God to worship him. Not just singing songs to and about Jesus although that is a huge part of it that is addressed here… but worshipping with our lives. This is our purpose… the very reason that we were created… is to worship and declare the glory of God.
And it’s not an empty, vain worship like you would see in many religions around the world… it’s a worship that is really characterized by celebration.
In verse 1 he says to sing a new song. This phrase is used many times in the Bible. Isaiah 42:10 says,
“Sing a new song to the LORD; sing his praise from the ends of the earth…”
In Revelation 5:9, the twenty-four elders in heaven sing to Jesus. John says,
“And they sang a new song: You are worthy to take the scroll. And to open it’s seals because you were slaughtered and you purchased people for God by your blood.”
So what does the Bible mean when it says sing a new song? Well here in Psalm 96, I think that it means that God is always doing a redemptive work… new redemptive things for his creation. And as we will see a little later on in this Psalm… this new thing that we are celebrating is the nations hearing and responding to the gospel.
We should celebrate the fact that the gospel is going out to unreached people groups around the world. We should celebrate the fact that people are getting saved in a place where it is hard to be a Christian.
We should celebrate things like the IMB engaging with 872 people groups in 2016… or that there were 6,138 new churches planted by international missionaries. It should make us excited when we see people on this college campus respond in faith to the message of Jesus!
I love that when we baptize people right outside here we clap and celebrate because this is something that is worth celebrating.
It’s like the feeling you get when your team wins… like last season when the Jaguars made it to the playoffs but a thousand times greater! I mean, God really changes lives everyday and it is a great thing!
There are stories of Muslims in the Middle East seeing visions of Jesus and coming to faith…
If you have ever read Nik Ripken’s books or seen the Insanity of God movie than you have heard some crazy stories of the crazy things that God does around the world… but here’s the thing… The folks here… in the United States… on the UNF campus… who are believing in Jesus… it may seem ordinary and boring but it is just as worthy of celebrating!
It is an absolute miracle that any of us are Christians! Do you remember what the Apostle Paul said in Ephesians chapter 2? Listen to this…
Ephesians 2:1-3 CSB
[1] … And you were dead in your trespasses and sins [2] in which you previously lived according to the ways of this world, according to the ruler of the power of the air, the spirit now working in the disobedient. [3] We too all previously lived among them in our fleshly desires, carrying out the inclinations of our flesh and thoughts, and we were by nature children under wrath as the others were also. …
We were dead in our sins before Jesus! All we knew was our fleshly desires and because of this Paul says that we were under wrath! We were deserving of judgement and condemnation! This isn’t just those guys over across the world performing human sacrifices or eating enemy tribes! It’s us too. But this is what is worth celebrating! Listen to what Paul says next…
Ephesians 2:4-10 CSB
[4] But God, who is rich in mercy, because of his great love that he had for us, b [5] made us alive with Christ even though we were dead in trespasses. You are saved by grace! [6] He also raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavens in Christ Jesus, [7] so that in the coming ages he might display the immeasurable riches of his grace through his kindness to us in Christ Jesus. [8] For you are saved by grace through faith, and this is not from yourselves; it is God’s gift- [9] not from works, so that no one can boast. [10] For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared ahead of time for us to do. …
Glory! Let’s celebrate the grace and the glory of our God day by day! Because if it wasn’t for him we would be left in our sins… dead and under wrath. This will lead us to worship him joyfully… We sing praises to him triumphantly and joyfully because he has done a great work in our lives and he is doing a great work around the world!
Verse 2 says to bless the name of the Lord and do it day to day! Celebrating Jesus never gets old. And in verse three he says that God‘s glory is to be proclaimed to all of the world. To all peoples.
TRANSITION TO POINT II
Singing and celebrating is commanded by the Lord in this Psalm. And he gives us plenty to sing and celebrate about! Next the Psalmist gives us some more reasons for us to sing and celebrate and then he shows us what happens to us when we do worship and celebrate the Lord.. And this is the second thing we’ll see this morning…
2 Point II: Declaring the Glory of God to the Nations.
BIBLE VERSE
Psalms 96:4-6 (CSB)
4For the Lord is great and is highly praised; he is feared above all gods.
5For all the gods of the peoples are idols, but the Lord made the heavens.
6Splendor and majesty are before him; strength and beauty are in his sanctuary.
EXPLANATION
He said sing to the Lord because he is great and because he is worthy of being praised. He is feared above all gods! Do you know how many different religions and different gods there are in this world? A lot. But they are all nothing but idols. Blind and deaf… lifeless idols who can do nothing.
Hideyoshi was a Japanese warlord who ruled over Japan in the late 1500s. He commissioned a colossal statue of Buddha for a shrine in Kyoto. It took 50,000 men five years to build, but the work had scarcely been completed when the earthquake of 1596 brought the roof of the shrine crashing down and wrecked the statue. In a rage Hideyoshi shot an arrow at the fallen colossus. “I put you here at great expense,” he shouted, “and you can’t even look after your own temple.”
We worship a God who is powerful and living and active.
You know, it’s interesting… a lot of people think that all religions are the same and that it really doesn’t matter what you believe as long as your sincere. But what makes Christianity and the God of the Bible different from all other religions is the doctrine of Justification by faith alone.
Every religion emphasizes works as the means to gain god’s favor. That if we want to make it to heaven or paradise or nirvana then we have to work our way there. Or if we want to be reincarnated as a dragon as opposed to a cockroach then we need to adhere to the laws of Kharma and live good lives.
But the Bible teaches that there is absolutely nothing that we can do… no work that can be done by us in order to gain favor with God. It is because the mind of man has come up with these idols and this is how our minds work… we want our fate to be in our own hands. We couldn’t have come up with something like the gospel that Jesus did all the work for us and it is credited to us through faith.
This is why the Psalmist says in verse 5 that all the gods of the peoples are idols but the Lord our God made the heavens. He is truly God. And his supremacy is made evident in his creation!
In verses 7-10, we see that yes God is worth worshipping because he is really great but he is also worth inviting the world to worship. Look at verse 7…
BIBLE VERSE
Psalms 96:7-10 (CSB)
7Ascribe to the Lord , you families of the peoples, ascribe to the Lord glory and strength.
8Ascribe to the Lord the glory of his name; bring an offering and enter his courts.
9Worship the Lord in the splendor of his holiness; let the whole earth tremble before him.
10Say among the nations: “The Lord reigns. The world is firmly established; it cannot be shaken. He judges the peoples fairly.”
EXPLANATION
The Psalmist issues an invitation for the peoples of the world to worship the Lord because he sees that the worship of the Lord is not just meant for the Jews but all peoples were created to worship Yahweh. He says to ascribe to the Lord glory and strength. In other words…all peoples should worship the Lord because of his glory and his strength.
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