Emotion Sermon

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Parents Night Out Volunteers - Head that Ministry Up
I want to push the pause button on progressing through 1 Timothy . . .
Lift Hands Review
1 Timothy 2:8 ESV
I desire then that in every place the men should pray, lifting holy hands without anger or quarreling;
Unlike dancing, or shouting, or flag waving or backflipping or whatever else we may fear will come in if we let em lift their hands, lifting hands is tied to prayer and worship throughout the Bible.
Psalm 141:2 ESV
Let my prayer be counted as incense before you, and the lifting up of my hands as the evening sacrifice!
Lamentations 3:41, Lamentations 2:19, Psalm 63:4, Psalm 134:2, 1 Kings 8:22, Ezra 9:5, Psalm 28:2, Leviticus 9:22, Deuteronomy 32:40 , Daniel 12:7, 1 Kings 8:54
What I am NOT saying and what I AM saying
I am emphatically NOT saying that you must lift your hands
You dont have to lift your hands, its not sinful not to unless you are refusing to worship by not doing so, but it may be sinful how you respond to seeing someone else do it
The practice is clearly biblical.
but I AM emphatically saying that your Christian life and your worship should affect your emotions
Let me make 2 Clear Positive Statements
Then I will give 1 Fence that we must keep as a Boundary
CHRISTIANITY IS INESCAPABLY EMOTIONAL (affecting your emotions - not in the pejorative modern sense)
Scripture portrays both human beings and God as having emotions. Your emotions are part of God’s GOOD creation, like anything else they can and often do succumb to sin and lead us astray, but they were meant for GOOD.
When Adam finished looking through the animals for a partner for himself, and then God took Adam’s rib and formed woman for him, do you remember what Adam said? (Monotone. . . )
Genesis 2:23 ESV
Then the man said, “This at last is bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.”
Your heart was created to FEEL, and ultimately to FEEL in response to knowing and seeing God.
Christianity is not a dry religion, it is not stoicism, it is not just your reason, your mind, it is your heart, it demands your emotions as well
You may have heard it said before that the Bible doesn’t command emotions . . .
Philippians 4:4 ESV
Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice.
Romans 12:15 ESV
Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep.
Hebrews 12:28 ESV
Therefore let us be grateful for receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, and thus let us offer to God acceptable worship, with reverence and awe,
1 Peter 1:13 ESV
Therefore, preparing your minds for action, and being sober-minded, set your hope fully on the grace that will be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ.
Romans 12:12 ESV
Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer.
Psalm 33:1–2 ESV
Shout for joy in the Lord, O you righteous! Praise befits the upright. Give thanks to the Lord with the lyre; make melody to him with the harp of ten strings!
Psalm 33:8 ESV
Let all the earth fear the Lord; let all the inhabitants of the world stand in awe of him!
Psalm 64:10 ESV
Let the righteous one rejoice in the Lord and take refuge in him! Let all the upright in heart exult!
Psalm 37:4 ESV
Delight yourself in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart.
Psalm 32:11 ESV
Be glad in the Lord, and rejoice, O righteous, and shout for joy, all you upright in heart!
God commands you to Rejoice, Mourn, Be Grateful, Weep, Feel reverence and Awe, to Hope, Be Patient, Shout for Joy, Fear the Lord, Exult in the Lord, Delight yourself in the Lord
Perhaps chiefly
Matthew 22:37 (ESV)
And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.
Love is more than emotion, it’s not even primarily emotion, but love is not love if there is no emotion, at least not love at its best.
If you dont believe me. . . imagine last week on Feb 14, I brought my wife flowers and took her out to her favorite restaurant, and when she asked why I was doing that, I said, well its what I was told I’m supposed to do on Valentines Day, so I’m fulfilling what I owe. . .
Psalm 73:24–26 (ESV)
Whom have I in heaven but you?
And there is nothing on earth that I desire besides you.
My flesh and my heart may fail,
but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.
Matthew 13:44 ESV
“The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field, which a man found and covered up. Then in his joy he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field.
IN HIS JOY!!!! - doesnt need those words
Christian Singing/Worship is Inescapably Emotional
James 5:13 ESV
Is anyone among you suffering? Let him pray. Is anyone cheerful? Let him sing praise.
Matthew 11:17 ESV
“ ‘We played the flute for you, and you did not dance; we sang a dirge, and you did not mourn.’
When they were happy they sang, when they mourned they sang. Why do we sing?
Its an odd thing isn’t it, that God commands us to get together to sing. Why not just gather to hear the Word preached, why does it also need to be sung?
Thats a powerful question. Why does God have us sing, every week instead of just hearing the Word preached? What makes singing special and needed in its own way? (All of these answers deserve their own sermon, but that isnt today)
To Remember
To Encourage One Another (Me Too - that guy up there isnt the only one preaching and praying - TO GOD FOR ONE ANOTHER)
Unite Us to One Another
Psychologists could talk for hours about how songs function as a “hive switch,” turning us from self-absorbed individuals into a self-denying collective. If multiple people talk at once, the meaning of each individual is lost, BUT when multiple people sing at once (and especially when they sing in harmony) the meaning of each individual line is heightened and strengthened by being united with others. It is a glorious picture of what the church is intended to be
To Stir our Emotions
Singing throughout the Bible is talked about alongside emotions, singing and rejoicing, singing and being filled with the Spirit, singing and thankfulness, singing and peace, singing and cheerfulness, singing and mourning - singing is tied to our emotions.
We know this to be scientifically true of our physiology, while the majority of the sensorimotor processes for singing and speaking are the same, singing engages part of our brain that speaking alone does not. So if you speak “Rock of Ages Cleft for Me . . .” one part of your brain lights up active, but if you sing the exact same words, an extra part of your brain that has to do with emotions is activated.
This is why singing is useful not just to affect and express our emotions, its also especially useful to help us process the emotional dimensions of cognitive thought - to feel the emotions of Rock of Ages cleft for me more than you do when you speak them.
Yip Harburg, the man who wrote the lyrics for all the songs in the Wizard of Oz, famously said, “Words make you think a thought, music makes you feel a feeling, a song makes you feel a thought.”
I work hard to try and help you FEEL the truth when I preach and not just understand it, but that is very hard to do with rhetoric, but singing does that work naturally
Puritan and brilliant man Johnathon Edwards wrote “The duty of singing praises to God seems to be appointed wholly to excite and express religious affections. No other reason can be assigned, why we should express ourselves to God in verse, rather than in prose, but only that such is our nature and frame, that these things have a tendency to move our affections.”
Now, here is where we come to our caution, because emotions are very powerful, so we must take great care.
One of the unfortunate heritages, pendulum swings of us and churches like us is a fear of emotion because of how powerful we know emotions are, and how it has often gotten out of hand, taken control itself, and emotion becomes the thing we come for.
You must fight against the tendency to let emotion drive, let emotion call the shots, instead of what you know to be true.
Emotionalism - Desire to feel something without caring how the feeling got there - the idea that heightened emotions are the infallible sign of God’s presense. . . which isnt true
Emotions are not your boss, and often your emotions will run against your boss, and then you must mortify them.
Your emotion in worship should be in response to truth. Your heart on its own is deceitful and desperately wicked, the worst thing you could do is follow your heart when the heart is not simply repeating TRUTH.
Not looking for is a certain feeling, mystical unable to be described sort of response to singing or music - if you get emotional, in general, you should be able to explain why
This is not a call to bypass the mind, it is a call to not force the words to stop at the mind,
Paul says I will sing with my Spirit but I will sing with my mind also!
This is a call for the songs and words but to be filtered through the mind and sink into the heart if they are TRUE
This is why we work so hard to make sure we are singing theologically rich and true and gospel words, so that that which sinks into your heart is TRUE
Andrew Fletcher famously said, “Let me write the songs of a nation, and I care not who writes its laws.”
Show me the songs you sing and I can tell you what kind of church you are
Listen to these words we sang
Not the Labors of my hands can fulfill the laws demands. Could my zeal no respite know, Could my tears forever flow, all for sin could not atone, Thou must save and Thou alone.
Nothing in my hand I bring, simply to the cross I cling, naked come to Thee for dress, helpless look to Thee for grace. Vile, I to the fountain fly, wash me Savior or I die.
if you can sing those words and it doesn’t move your emotions, you either aren’t paying attention to what you’re singing or you are not a healthy Christian. Why? Because that is TRUTH! And that Truth has changed your entire life and entire eternity!
It is dangerous to pursue the emotional effect of music without rooting it in the content of God’s Word. But it’s also dangerous to pretend that music’s emotional effects are unimportant or dangerous in themselves, or not one of the main reasons that God has us sing. To be stirred by singing is to be human, and it’s a means of grace to God’s church that such a gift is so easily accessible. You don’t even need rock band, or a pipe organ, or a guy with a faux hawk and an acoustic guitar. You just need a song and a reason to sing.
Hebrews 13:15 ESV
Through him then let us continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips that acknowledge his name.
Psalm 100:2 ESV
Serve the Lord with gladness! Come into his presence with singing!
You dont have to lift your hands, you dont have to close your eyes, but you can. Whether you do or don’t doesnt really matter, what does matter is that you allow yourself to feel the Truth of the words we sing, and respond with the appropriate response, both intellectual and emotional, when confronted with the Almighty.
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