Worship is about entering the courts of the Lord with praise and thanks. We follow after Him who worthy of praise and honor. All might and dominion is His. (Psalm 63; Psalm 100:1-4)
Speaker: Mark Miniciello, Thomas Schaller
6:30 PM on 09/3/2023
P. Schaller –
We have a special service tonight, a prayer and praise service. So, we really never done it like this before, but
tonight we will by God’s grace. We’ll have a good time. Praise the Lord.
The main theme is Psalm 100 and this is a kick-off message for us. Psalm 100. We spoke about,
taught praying through the tabernacle a week ago or two weeks ago if you remember. Going
before God in prayer and entering his gates with thanksgiving, vs. 4. Entering his courts, his
gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise. Wow! Look at that. Isn’t that amazing?
So, imagine what thanksgiving means to God and how it relates to us coming before God. If you
could think of the most important person in your life – just think of that person. Who’s the most
important? The one you respect the most? The person that you maybe love the most, you
respect the most in your life. And they are in a room across the street, and they want you to
come and see them. How would you come before them? Would you change your clothes?
Would you put some perfume on? Would you get real cleaned up? Would you check your
attitude? Would you think about what you’re going to say to them? Could be your mother or
father. Could be somebody, even somebody important.
Imagine coming before God, coming before the Almighty God. Wouldn’t it be amazing if God
said to us, you can come to me October 16th. And on that day, you can come to me, and what
that would mean. You can’t approach God any other time, only that day. Imagine. But to think
that we can come any time. Come boldly. And to think we can approach him.
Now, think about how we do it and what my attitude is. And what it means to worship and
respect him. And in the Scripture you see men and women come before God. And they came
different ways. Who will dwell in his holy hill? Psalm 15.
What it means to be thankful. Let’s go through our year. We had Convention a year ago. Remember covid times? Okay. So, Now, a year after, and Conventions, Eurocon, Women’s Seminar, holiday seasons. Answered prayers.
Emails. Phone calls. All kinds of things that have happened in our lives. The birth of children.
People passing on into eternity. What an amazing life we live, and to think we come before the
God of heaven and earth and the sea as worshippers and our focus.
When he spoke to the Jews, he did say, he said at different times. He said it in Exodus. He said
it in Joshua. When you come before me, clean your clothes. Clean your clothes. Come before
me as a people. Wash and clean yourself. And you think about worship and who is God and
how could we be clean? How could we be clean? What spirit do we have? And to think that we
can actually as we said this morning, search my heart, Lord, and see if there be any evil way in
me. And the spirit of thanksgiving. The spirit of responding to God is a big part of our worship
and our orientation.
So, we enter that way. Psalm 100:1, so during the evening here, we’ll do the offering. P. Mark will
share and then we’ll go into worship. We’ll ask one of the brothers to share a word. We’ll just do
this for an hour. And then, we’ll dismiss you. I think it’s beautiful. It’s just beautiful that we have
this approach to God.
vs. 1-2. Wow! It is a lot of fun to serve God. It is a lot of fun to do something in faith. It’s a lot of
fun to have joy in our service and come before his presence with singing like in Acts 16.
Sometimes, you might say I can’t sing or I’m not in the mood or I just can’t. Do it anyway and
see if the Holy Spirit is in it. You’ll find yourself rejoicing and this is approaching God and relating
to God in our singing.
“Know that the Lord he is God.” Of course, in heaven, they, heaven is – there’s like angels that
break down and they just are worshipping God. They can’t believe it. These are my words. It’s
just incredible to realize who is God. And then we have the church in chapter 7 breaking just like
seven words they say. I mean I don’t know, we know these words but it’s chapter 5:12. It’s a big
chorus of angels. Loud voice. It’s something we read in the book of Revelation quite often.
Loud voice. When you hear a loud, clear voice, it like resonates in you. This is what they say in vs. 12.
We are praising God. Jesus, the Lamb. We have the word “power” and “riches.” Then we have
the word “riches” and “strength.” We have the word “honor and glory and blessing.”
Is that seven? Why are there seven words? Seven words that are just, they’re just totally
overwhelmed with who he is. Just totally. They’re like it’s unbelievable when we realize who is
God. We just worship him. We are filled with the praise and the thanksgiving. We are just in
My word. We’re shocked. We’re like totally, unbelievable who he is. We are not
speechless. We’re filled with a loud voice. We are overwhelmed. He is amazing. That’s in
heaven. That’s what we realize. On the earth, we see through a glass darkly, but you must see.
We have to see and the Holy Spirit helps us because we live by faith.
So, the approach is an important one, because to be honest, we sometimes have a weird spirit.
Sometimes, we are depressed. Sometimes, we are just so negative. Sometimes, we just
complain about life and we are hurt and troubled in our soul. Sometimes in our church, the Holy
Spirit can give us a service or a time of worship where we just put everything like all of the
human, all of these things just set them aside for a while. Just leave them there. Let them be.
Just forget about it and come before his presence with singing and thanksgiving.
So, let’s see if I have a couple verses here. Psalm 35:18, Psalm 36:8, “one thing have I desired of the
Lord, that will I seek after.” One thing. This is a good word. One thing. I like that. One thing I
need. One thing I desire. One thing that is needful. And that is that focus on him that you, that I
will seek after. Psalm 27:4. The intelligent part of worship. The mind. The concentration. The
understanding. The ability to focus. To follow his thought. This is a great part of worship. We’ve
called it the highest form of worship is listening to his Word which shall not be taken away from
us in Luke 10:38. It will not be taken away from us. Wow! Worship.
Then, Psalm 55:14. Like a Bible school dormitory and the guys and the girls coming together,
coming to the house of God. Coming to the house. Being together and two or more gathered,
there he is. We are refreshed. We are ministered to.
Psalm 42:4, Psalm 63:1, and sometimes we seek answers. We see comfort. We seek maybe a friend
or we seek practical solutions. But here he said I will seek you, God. Early I will seek you. My
soul thirsts for you. vs. 1-2. Let’s finish here. Can you imagine the Jews coming through the Red
Sea and being on the other side? Days earlier, they were in Egypt as slaves. Now, they are out
and they just saw this amazing miracle. And they worshipped. They saw it. Never to leave their
mind. They saw it. It happened. Wow! It happened.
Our memory is frail. Sometimes, we forget what God has done for us. Sometimes, we forget we
were lost. Now, we are saved. We were without hope. Now, we have. We were without a
covenant. Now, we have. We were this way but now it is sometimes we don’t remember. But
let’s remember. And let’s be persistent in it. And let’s be thankful. And fill our hearts and minds
again. Put all the details in life as maybe you know it on one level, just kind of put it away a bit
and enter his courts with praise and gates with thanksgiving and rejoice in him in who he is and
what he’s done. And that’s a beautiful meditation.
Then, once we are like relating to God in that cleanliness and in that authority, then let’s be very
– when we come into the tabernacle, there is the furniture. There is the table of shewbread.
There is the incense. There is the menorah, the lampstand, and then realize there is a ministry
there. There’s a ministry that we have. We are ministering to God. We are made in his image,
indwelt by his Spirit. We have a ministry to God. And he will speak to us. And he will tell us and
he will teach us. Acts 13, when they ministered to the Lord, the Spirit said separate Barnabas or
Paul or Saul for the things that I have appointed. It’s like when we are ministering, God will be
speaking to us. He will. When we are ministering in the Body, God will be speaking to our hearts
and leading us and helping us in, you know, in ministry. We’ll be ministering to the Lord and be
built up in Him. And maybe the Lord will put it on somebody’s heart and they will, you know, do
something because the Holy Spirit is telling them and doing that work.
I have to finish, but I want to say it is such an honor to be in a Spirit-filled church. As a pastor.
I’ve said to people, I’ve said do you realize what the average pastor would love to have you in
their church? Cause you are such a servant. I’ve said that to many people. Thank you for being
here I’ve said to people. Thank you for being here. Do you know that the pastors would love to
have somebody like you in their church because of how much you love and serve people? And
what it means? Well, how can this happen? Being Spirit-filled. Being a worshipper of God.
Bringing our stuff before God and then leaving it at the cross. Coming into his tabernacle with
praise and thanksgiving. Okay. Amen.
Let’s give in the offering tonight. Thank you for those online. Give large amounts of money
tonight! Last week, we were minus $4,000 I think as we monitor it week by week. So, all of it is
important. We run behind. I mean we were behind $80,000. We don’t talk a lot about it. But we
just want to say to everybody tithing and offering is so important in the work of the ministry as
God blesses you and uses you in your life and we are for you and believe in it. I really believe in
tithing as much as possible and what it means. So, may the Lord bless our offering tonight. In
Jesus’s name. Amen.
P. Mark Miniciello –
Wasn’t that beautiful? Thank God for John Sabo’s hands. And his mind.
Every finger. Wow. Thank you, P. John. Let’s pray. Actually, as we begin in prayer, if Scott and
Laura Chattin and Pam Greaves if you could stand up. We’re going to pray for you as you go to
I’d like to pick up where P. Schaller left off somewhat in Psalm 63 with this theme of worship
tonight. For each one of us, something comes to mind when we hear the word “worship” or
when we consider it. If we’re born again, if there’s that connection to the Holy Spirit from the
Holy Spirit to our heart, it means something to us. Sometimes, when I think of worship, I think of
surrender. I think of many times in my life where that is exactly what worship was or is. It’s a
surrender. It’s another surrendering of something in my life. And I loved these words that P.
Schaller just mentioned. He talked about relating to God, to God’s authority from a place of
being clean. I thought that was so beautiful.
In Psalm 66, “if I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me. But truly you have heard
me.” And then he praises God at the end and says “blessed be the Lord who has not turned
away my prayer nor his mercy from me.” So, it all comes back to our merciful God. Psalm 63:1, I
was looking in my Holman Translation earlier. It was “eagerly will I seek you.” Then in the ESV, it
was the word “earnestly” which I thought was very beautiful. Earnest prayer.
I was sitting next to a young man at the 11:00 service, and I noticed that the time of prayer for
communion ended and his head was still bowed and his lips were moving. There was something
very precious about it. He was a teenager. And he said something to me afterwards. He said I
really like to pray. I sense that it purifies me, and I just want to be ready for school this year. It
touched my heart.
I thought when I was considering this psalm about the word “comfort,” worship in many ways not
necessarily a seeking of comfort as P. Schaller mentioned a moment ago. That’s not necessarily
what we are coming to God for. Although, we can and we often do. I know that’s often what I am
seeking in my heart when I’m weary. But the act of worshipping God. Oh, God. You’re mine.
You’re my God. I seek you earnestly. There is a comfort that comes from God. It’s this place for
which we were made, and it’s amazing.
When I think of comfort in my mind, I usually think of a lazy boy chair. A comfy chair. Comfort.
And if we spend too much time on a lazy boy chair, what happens? Our muscles – it’s like
atrophy. Anything that was hard, turns into flab. But it seems like it’s the opposite with God. The
more we find the comforts of God, the more our spiritual muscle and our spirit is hardened. It’s
like the opposite principle. There’s a passage about it at the end of 2 Thessalonians 2 where it talks
about the Lord comforting our hearts to establish us or to affirm us in every good word and work.
So, worship isn’t just for the people in the church that aren’t good at other things. But worship is
really the main thing. It’s the power and it’s the muscle. That exhortation about having a shape
or a form of worship but denying the power is a very chilling one. But it seems like if we can
somehow get the worship right, so much flows and springs from it. We know that out of the heart
are the issues of life. And worship really is the heart of our lives. It’s the heart of ministry.
vs. 1. How many of us can say that tonight? My very body longs for you. Every ache. Every
pain. All the tiredness. The migraine. It’s all waiting for that day for the glorious liberty of the
sons of God. Even in our affliction, even in our pain, we are worshipping God.
I loved that word this morning in P. Schaller’s message when he talked about that gentlemen
who is languishing in prison and had very, very little capacity. Very little spiritual capacity because he was just in the depths of darkness. But he turned. I think you said there was a one-
degree turn, P. Schaller. He just turned. And that can be worship in our physical suffering.
The slightest turning toward the light and there we find ourselves worshipping God.
vs. 1. In a dry and thirsty land where no water is. How many of our brothers and sisters who
have truly come to know Christ are living tonight in a dry and thirsty land where there is no
water. I know we find ourselves in a place of abundance with a lot of teaching and a lot of clarity
and a lot of truth. But we worship God in considering our brothers and sisters in a dry and thirsty
and desert land where there is no water.
vs. 2. How many of us have come into a service cold, dull, and weary and we’ve woken up?
Have you ever woken up in the middle of a sentence, in the middle of a service, in the middle of
a song, during a rap session? I see specific places on this campus where I have woken up at
times. Where I’ve really seen the power and glory of God and it has done good to my soul.
It’s the last verse in Psalm 73. “It is good for me to draw near to God.” Drawing near to God is my
good. Psalm 63:3-4. There’s one of these songs we hear on the radio a lot these days if you listen
to Christian radio. It talks about a lion in our arms. First time I heard that I thought that was an
interesting twist, but isn’t that what worship sometimes is? It’s sometimes a physical lifting of the
arms by faith despite a lack of feelings or the wrong feelings and then something happens.
Something mystical. Something in the hidden realm happens and we find ourselves face to face
with the living God and we’re worshipping him once again.
Psalm 143 says it a little differently. It says I stretch out or I spread out my hands to you. My soul
longs for you like a thirsty land. I lift up my hands. I spread out my hands. And in that physical
act of seeking or you could call it obedience, somehow the Lord meets me there and it’s
vs. 4-5. That’s worship. My soul will be satisfied. I remember taking a Greyhound bus. It was
probably my first year in Bible college. I was going home for Easter from the Berkshires to
Boston and I had just discovered Psalm 139 for the first time. I had never read it up until then to my
knowledge. I think Mary LaFlamme had sung “The King of Who I Am” the night before. And I
had that song in my mind. It was a new song and a new psalm. And I just kept falling asleep on
the bus and wake up and read a few more of those verses. O God, search me and know me.
You know my sitting down. You know my standing up. And I just remember the way the Lord
ministered to me. I don’t think I was worshipping in that moment. I think I thought I was dozing.
But I just remember delighting in those words and in that song. And that is worship. The
comforts that come from this meditation with the Lord in the Holy Spirit and we find ourselves in
a different place.
vs. 5. Marrow. It’s in the bone, isn’t it? Any nurses here in the audience? Marrow is in the bone.
Spare ribs. vs. 5. that’s gravy. Worshipping God is delightful. It’s delicious. It’s what we were
made for. It’s connection. It wakes us up. It strengthens us. It’s nutrition. It’s substance. It’s
power. It causes muscle. And we find ourselves face to face with the living God. vs. 6. Isn’t that one of the most vulnerable times in our day? Like everything’s over. Maybe the curtains are
drawn. It’s dark in our bed. It’s us and us and God. I remember before I got saved, that was kind
of the place where – I remember as a little kid having these thoughts like where does space end
and what is life anyway? That vulnerable place.
But here, here, we remember God on our bed. We meditate on him in the night watches. The
night watches. Those times where for whatever reason we can’t sleep. And we choose to voice
a prayer to the living God from that vulnerable place and the Lord meets us there.
vs. 6-7. Here’s why. Because you’ve been my help. Lord, you’ve been my help. I can recount
time after time after time. We could each say this in our own story, our own testimony. Time after
time, you have met me. Time after time, I should have had one consequence, but you and your
mercy and in your mercy you opened up this pinata of blessings and they all poured down and I
didn’t deserve a thing. You just like you sent from above. You swooped down. You grabbed me,
and once again instead of getting any kind of evil consequence, what did I get? Mercy. That’s
vs. 7. Because you’ve been my help. vs. 8. Or my soul follows close behind you. Isn’t that
beautiful? We can worship God from afar. We can worship God from afar or we can say my soul
follows hard after you. You know those times when you’re just at the edge of your seat because
you’ve been touched by truth. You sense anointing and what it means and the reason for which
you were created. You’re just kind of like there’s no day dreaming. There’s no dullness. It’s
reality. My soul follows hard after you and we don’t want to miss a thing. We fear missing a
thing. We’re not afraid of missing things, but we fear God.
Like the illustration about the train. There’s that high speed train in France, the TGB. It gets from
Paris to the south in three hours where normally it would take seven hours to drive. I’m not
afraid of the TGB, but I don’t want to get in its way. In that sense, I fear. And we – it’s like a holy
– Lord, I don’t want to miss a thing so I put this aside. And Lord, I don’t want to miss hearing
your voice, so I’m going to just forget this a while. And if I don’t even have a capacity to make
that request, I can at least lift my hands and say, O God, I sense there’s more. Lord, I sense
there’s more. Help my unbelief. Fill me. Flood me. Show me who you are. Show me who you
And just this last bit. Your right hand upholds me. Isn’t that rest? Your right hand upholds me.
And that’s beautiful with worship. The work is done. The work is finished, so all that’s left is us
with open face beholding as in the mirror the glory of God changed into his image even by the
Spirit of the Lord. (Prayer).
Please enjoy these sermon notes from the messages preached at Greater Grace Church in Baltimore. These notes are provided to aid in your study and understanding of the Word. Note that these notes do not represent complete, word-for-word transcriptions. Also, they may contain omissions as well as some errors in spelling and structure, etc., as we attempt to provide them as soon as possible. Our hope is that these notes serve as a way to help you search and connect with messages on related subjects and passages. Thank you for your interest in the ministry of Greater Grace.