A lesson for kids about worship

These are my notes for my talk at the Freedom School this morning.

I want to share a few bible verses from the book called Psalms which tell a story about what it means to worship God. This is a story was written by King David, (like David and Goliath) who was a strong warrior and also a harp player (which is kind-of like a guitar) who wrote hundreds of worship songs. David loved God so much, but he also made a lot of big mistakes in his life and did a lot of sins that would make you really ashamed. But even though David was a sinner, he knew that God was going to forgive his sin. That’s why David wrote this story in a song that we have here in the bible. Let’s read it one phrase at a time.

For the director of music. Of David. A psalm. I waited patiently for the Lord; he turned to me and heard my cry.

The first thing that David did was cry out to God for help. He knew that he was in big trouble. He was so scared but he waited for God to rescue him. What kind of waiting is this?

Is it like waiting to see the doctor?
Is like waiting for school to end?
Is it like waiting for Halloween or Christmas?

I think that this is like waiting for your ride home from school. There are a lot of cars that pull up to the school, but only one is going back to your house. You wait for just the right car to take you home. People might offer you a ride, but they might not be going to your home. Have you ever had to wait a long time for a ride home? Maybe you had to call someone and then wait for them. This is the kind of waiting that David is doing in this story. Let’s read some more:

He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire;

What’s mire? The definition is “wet spongy earth.” Yuck! Do you think that David was really in a slimy, muddy pit? He was describing how his sin made him feel. His big mistakes made him feel so stuck and so gross that he felt like he was trapped in a pit. No wonder he had to cry out to God for help. Have you ever been in big trouble, so much trouble that you felt like you were stuck in a slimy pit? That’s how David felt and that’s why he had to cry out to God for help and wait for him to come to his rescue. He was trapped in sin.

This is the first part of worshiping God: crying to God for help because our sin has left us in big trouble.

Let’s sing a song that cries out to God for help.

Search me and know my heart
Test me and know my thoughts
See into me; is there any sin?
And Lord, lead me in the everlasting way.

Where there is fear, make me courageous
Where there is doubt, give me faith
Where there is pride, Lord, make me humble
Where there is silence, give me praise

Jesus, your love has made me righteous
For by your wounds I am healed
Jesus your death has paid the ransom
Your resurrection gives me life

Let’s read some more from Psalm 40:

he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand.

In David’s story, he is stuck in a slimy, muddy pit of his sin, and then he cries out to God for help and God hears his cry and lifts him up out of the pit and sets his feet on a rock. What is it like to stand in mud?

What happens when you try to run?
What do you think it would feel like to be standing on wet, spongy earth?
Now, what would it feel like to go from that to standing on a rock?
How does it feel to run on a rock, or to jump, or to sit?

David was the great, great, great, great…granddad of Jesus. So David was not talking about Jesus in his story. However, God’s story of how he saved us is just like David’s story of being saved by God. In fact, many times, the Bible calls Jesus, “the Rock”. In fact, you could change his name to Jesus “The Rock” Christ. He was called, the Rock long before there was a wrestler called “The Rock”.

This is the next part of what it means to worship God: we can stand, or believe in, Jesus “the Rock” as our savior.

We sing a song in Swahili that says, “Jesus is the Rock”. There’s another Swahili song that talks about how things are so much better because Jesus is the king. Let’s sing those songs together:

Mwama ni Yesu, mwamba,
Mwama ni Yesu, mwamba

Mambo sawa sawa
Mambo sawa sawa
Yes’ akiwa ezini
Mambo sawa sawa
Mambo sawa sawa
Mambo sawa sawa

Things are already better
Things are already better
When the Lord is on the throne
Things are already better
Things are already better
Things are already better

Now, let’s read the last section:

He put a new song in my mouth a hymn of praise to our God. Many will see and fear and put their trust in the LORD.

David’s story tells about being stuck in sin, crying out, and then being saved. Now, he talks about having a new song put in his mouth. Did you get a song stuck in your head? My daughter always gets songs stuck in her head after church. She goes home from church singing the songs from worship over and over. David had the same experience. He has a song that gets stuck in his head that comes up, out of his mouth to praise God. Then people see and hear him praising and they get caught up in it and start to praise God too.

This is the third part of worshiping God: He is the one who puts a song into our mouth to praise Him.

Let’s sing a “hymn of praise”

Before I knew what freedom was
Jesus set me free
With no control, a slave to sin
God was my enemy
But then He broke my rusty chains
To share eternity
Before I knew what freedom was
Jesus set me free

Hallelujah,
Hallelujah,
Hallelujah,
Jesus set me free

2.Before I knew what loving was
He showed His love for me
He knew me in my mother’s womb
He knew my sinful tendencies
Adopted by His saving grace
Into His family
Before I knew what loving was
He showed His love for me

Hallelujah,
Hallelujah,
Hallelujah,
He showed His love for me

3.Before I knew what living was
He gave His life for me
I was defeated in my sins
Death had the victory
Then all my guilt was placed on Him
That day on Calvary
Before I knew what living was
He gave His life for me.

Hallelujah,
Hallelujah,
Hallelujah,
He gave His life for me.

“Search Me” and “Before I Knew” copyright 2003 Kirk Ward

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