I’d like to start today’s message with a special congrats to our friends Bob and Brooke PRINCE who tied the knot tonight. What a wonderful couple. We are so blessed to have met them and wish them decades of joy as they walk out their relationship in Christ.
Happy Sunday everyone! We GET to go into the house of the Lord today. My pastor (www.bryanrosenbarger.wordpress.com) is delivering a the final installment of his series The Power of Praise and Worship. Those of you who know me well know that this is a special topic for me. Those of you who don’t, buckle up and I’ll tell you why.
I’ve been playing guitar since I was 12 years old. I started singing when I was very young. I remember a very awkward school play where I was granted a solo alongside another boy who was a year younger than me. At the time I was a soprano, since my voice hadn’t yet changed. This younger kid was a baritone! He sounded like he had just got done driving a big rig and cookin up some burgers in the backyard. I was so embarrassed because he was younger than me but had such a deeper voice. That was my first time on stage for anything – little did I know I would do it thousands upon thousand of times again in my life.
I dedicated my gift to God as a young teenager when I started playing at my youth group. I was green… really green. I learned a lot during those years. I had an itch to perform so I soon found myself starting bands. In the late 90s/early 2000’s I started what I would consider my first real band. We needed a singer… after all I was just a guitarist – the last time I sang it was so embarrassing I never thought I had a voice. Finally, after months of auditioning for singers I decided to do some recording of our music and sing it myself. Everyone loved it and my passion for singing was born.
I led a metal band for more than 5 years, all the while leading worship at our church. I remember people over the years telling me how anointed I was and that I should quit doing the hard rock and focus on leading worship. One time specifically I remember a young man telling me just that. I spoke words I’ll never forget, “If God wants me to lead worship, he’ll have to come down here and kick my butt. I can’t stand the music… I love worshiping but the music is so lame. Chris Tomlin is doing a good enough job by himself. We don’t need any more worship leaders.”
Years later, I continued to play in the church band, leading on occasion. During a special prophetic meeting, my wife and I were prayed over. God spoke through the prophet saying, “You will lead worship at a large church outside of Florida.” There it was – a new dream bursting in my heart. God didn’t have to come down and kick my butt. He just needed to speak a few simple words – outside of Florida! As much as I detest Florida, I’m joking – although I will admit that was a huge plus. Instantly when those words were spoken I felt a new call in my heart. My wife and I knew that our future was full of worship, leading people into worship.
What a great feeling knowing that God had a special purpose for us.
Did you know that God has a specific mandate on your life? He has, from the foundations of the earth, set aside an assignment for you. It may be something you currently love to do, or it may be more difficult. You may be like me, God may speak through someone, or directly to you, with a message at a timely moment that will completely shift your entire train of thought. I pray that God will release in you a new passion for His will in your life. I pray that each of you, if you haven’t already, hear clearly from God what He wants for this season of your life. May this Sunday be full of new words and encouragement for all of you!
1 Like snow in summer or rain in harvest,
honor is not fitting for a fool.
2 Like a fluttering sparrow or a darting swallow,
an undeserved curse does not come to rest.
3 A whip for the horse, a halter for the donkey,
and a rod for the backs of fools!
4 Do not answer a fool according to his folly,
or you will be like him yourself.
5 Answer a fool according to his folly,
or he will be wise in his own eyes.
6 Like cutting off one’s feet or drinking violence
is the sending of a message by the hand of a fool.
7 Like a lame man’s legs that hang limp
is a proverb in the mouth of a fool.
8 Like tying a stone in a sling
is the giving of honor to a fool.
9 Like a thornbush in a drunkard’s hand
is a proverb in the mouth of a fool.
10 Like an archer who wounds at random
is he who hires a fool or any passer-by.
11 As a dog returns to its vomit,
so a fool repeats his folly.
12 Do you see a man wise in his own eyes?
There is more hope for a fool than for him.
13 The sluggard says, “There is a lion in the road,
a fierce lion roaming the streets!”
14 As a door turns on its hinges,
so a sluggard turns on his bed.
15 The sluggard buries his hand in the dish;
he is too lazy to bring it back to his mouth.
16 The sluggard is wiser in his own eyes
than seven men who answer discreetly.
17 Like one who seizes a dog by the ears
is a passer-by who meddles in a quarrel not his own.
18 Like a madman shooting
firebrands or deadly arrows
19 is a man who deceives his neighbor
and says, “I was only joking!”
20 Without wood a fire goes out;
without gossip a quarrel dies down.
21 As charcoal to embers and as wood to fire,
so is a quarrelsome man for kindling strife.
22 The words of a gossip are like choice morsels;
they go down to a man’s inmost parts.
23 Like a coating of glaze [a] over earthenware
are fervent lips with an evil heart.
24 A malicious man disguises himself with his lips,
but in his heart he harbors deceit.
25 Though his speech is charming, do not believe him,
for seven abominations fill his heart.
26 His malice may be concealed by deception,
but his wickedness will be exposed in the assembly.
27 If a man digs a pit, he will fall into it;
if a man rolls a stone, it will roll back on him.
28 A lying tongue hates those it hurts,
and a flattering mouth works ruin.