Worship - Psalm 17

1) Worship with sincerity (Psalm 17:1-5).
2) Worship the Saviour (Psalm 17:6-9).
3) Worship despite setbacks (Psalm 17:10-14).
4) Worship with satisfaction (Psalm 17:15).
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1) Worship with sincerity (Psalm 17:1-5).
God calls us to be sincere. Without sincerity, we can never offer true worship to the Lord. We are not, however, at liberty to decide for ourselves what "sincerity" means. Sincerity isn't everything. You can be sincere - and wrong. God is looking for more than sincerity. We need truth as well as sincerity.  Our worship is to be grounded in God's Word. We are to build upon truth with sincerity. Our faith is to be grounded in the "Scriptures" (2 Timothy 3:14-15). Our faith is to be "a sincere faith" (2 Timothy 1:15). This sincerity is to be grounded in the Scriptures. We come to the Scriptures, ready to hear what the Lord has to say to us. We come to the Scriptures, ready to be changed by what the Lord has to say to us (2 Timothy 3:16-17).
2) Worship the Saviour (Psalm 17:6-9).
Our faith is to be centred on the Saviour. A faith which is centred on "my sincerity" is very different from a faith that is centred on "my Saviour." True worship Him is more about Him than it is about me. We can make our faith up as we go along - and still say, "This is what sincerely believe." Our sincerity doesn't amount to very much if we find ourselves being "tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine" (Ephesians 4:14). What will it mean to have a faith that is centred on the Saviour? It will mean this. Our faith is grounded in "the Scriptures" (1 Corinthians 15:3-4).  We do not come to the Scriptures with our minds already made up about Jesus. A "faith" that is centred upon Jesus, the teacher and example, needs to be challenged. Does your "faith" come from your own sincerity? We can make a "god" of our own sincerity. Even God is not permitted to shake our confidence in our own sincerity. What kind of worship can we offer to the Lord our God if our "faith" is full of the self-righteousness, which makes much of Jesus, the teacher and example, while refusing to trust Him as Saviour? The answer is simple and straightforward. There is a form of "worship", which says more about ourselves than it says about our Saviour. True worship does not begin and end with a commitment to following Jesus' teaching and example. True worship begins with being saved by our Lord Jesus Christ. "Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved" (Acts 16:31). Saved by Christ, let us follow Him. In the life of discipleship, we are "kept by the power of God through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time" (1 Peter 1:5). With such a great Saviour, leading us on to eternal life, why should we be content with a "Jesus", who is no more than a great teacher and a great example?
3) Worship despite setbacks (Psalm 17:10-14).
Where do our setbacks come from? They come from Satan. Many people profess their faith in God. They do not, however, take Satan seriously. Don't take Satan seriously - and he won't take you seriously! You will be an irrelevance! We take Satan seriously. We take Christ even more seriously! "Greater is he that is in you than he that is in the world" (1 John 4:4). In our worship, we will not hesitate to speak of spiritual warfare. There is an enemy. His name is Satan. We will speak, even more emphatically, of the victory of Christ. God's people need to hear the warning - "Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking some one to devour" (1 Peter 5:9). More than the warning, we need to hear of Christ's triumph - "The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the works of the devil" (1 John 3:8). When Satan, our determined enemy, comes to us with many powerful temptations, let's remind him that he's a defeated enemy. Christ has won the victory for us. Let us take our stand on his victory - "this is the victory that overcomes the world, our faith."  Satan will dispute God's verdict - "Did God say ... ?" (Genesis 3:1). We throw another question back at him - "Who is it that overcomes the world but he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?" (1 John 5:5). Satan knows the answer to that question. That won't stop him coming back at us again and again - "the devil has come down to you in great wrath, because he knows that his time is short!" (Revelation 12:12). Let's keep on reminding him of this - "the great dragon was thrown down, that ancient serpent, who is called the Devil and Satan, the deceiver of the whole world - he was thrown down ... into the lake of fire ... " (Revelation 12:9; 20:10). In our worship, may we have many reminders of Christ's great triumph over Satan: "Now the salvation and the power and the Kingdom of our God anf the authority of His Christ have come, for the accuser of our brethren has been thrown down" (Revelation 12:10).
4) Worship with satisfaction (Psalm 17:15).
Where does our satisfaction come from? Satan promises much - but the end result will be "I can't get no satisfaction." Satan will "transform himself into an angel of light" (2 Corinthians 11:14). Jesus tells us the truth about Satan - "The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy." Satan will promise us everything - and give us nothing! Where does our satisfation come from? It comes from Jesus. He gives us His promises - and He keeps His Word,. He does what He said He would do for us: "I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly" (John 10:10). With Jesus as our Saviour, we have a better life than we could ever have with Satan as our master. It's a better life. It's eternal life. Jesus, our Good Shepherd says to us: "My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me, and I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish, and no one shall snatch them out of My hand" (John 10:27-28).

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