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Football season is in full swing! The Jaguars are winning! Hopefully, your favorite team is doing well. It is only game…or is it? As one football coach said, “Winning isn’t everything, it’s the only thing!” This is fine for a football game but what about our lives? What is the “win” you are moving toward today? Our new sermon series “Moving the Chains Toward Gratitude” helps us to define an important “win” for our lives.  It seems that gratitude and thankfulness are increasingly difficult for us to find.  Yet, they have the power to transform our hearts, lift our burdens, and change our attitude. In our world, anger, division, pain, heartache, and fear are formidable obstacles to experiencing gratitude. God wants to share with us a deep sense of grace that enables our lives to flourish, even when it seems the world, or our world, is falling apart. Our first sermon in the series is “The Offense of Praise.”  Praising God is a powerful weapon to help us move past the obstacles to find an empowering sense of gratitude to God. Our scripture for this sermon is a song of praise used by King David to move the Ark of the Covenant from a temporary location to its permanent home in Jerusalem. We will focus on the last part of this song found in 1 Chronicles 16:27-36. David had tried to move the Ark before, and he found himself doing the right thing but in the wrong manner. This failed attempt only led to heartache and tragedy! These words were the center piece of praise that enabled the Ark to be moved in a manner that honored God and filled the city with joy and thanksgiving! This is our most sincere prayer for you that you will experience God’s goodness, praise, and power as you read 1 Chronicles 16:27-36.


1 Chronicles 16:27-36: Splendor and majesty are before him; strength and joy are in his dwelling place. 28 Ascribe to the LORD, all you families of nations, ascribe to the LORD glory and strength. 29 Ascribe to the LORD the glory due his name; bring an offering and come before him. Worship the LORD in the splendor of his holiness. 30 Tremble before him, all the earth! The world is firmly established; it cannot be moved. 31 Let the heavens rejoice, let the earth be glad; let them say among the nations, “The LORD reigns!” 32 Let the sea resound, and all that is in it; let the fields be jubilant, and everything in them! 33 Let the trees of the forest sing, let them sing for joy before the LORD, for he comes to judge the earth. 34 Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; his love endures forever. 35 Cry out, “Save us, God our Savior; gather us and deliver us from the nations, that we may give thanks to your holy name, and glory in your praise.” 36 Praise be to the LORD, the God of Israel, from everlasting to everlasting. Then all the people said “Amen” and “Praise the LORD.”  (NIV)