Skip Heitzig

If you compiled a music playlist to describe your life, what songs would you choose?

Music reflects life's journey: the moments we question God, struggle with pain, celebrate the deepest joys, and search for fulfillment and happiness. Using lyrics to explore the human experience has always been significant and powerful--even thousands of years ago in a playlist we now know as the book of Psalms.

In this series, Pastor Skip Heitzig scrolls through the Psalms, tapping into a number of songs that wrestle with and relish in the very nature of God and His relationship with humankind.


Table of Contents

1 Psalm 1 Happy
2 Psalm 19 Say Something
3 Psalm 23 Safe and Sound
4 Psalms 42-43 Radioactive
5 Psalm 100 All of Me
6 Psalm 127 Home
7 Psalms 140-141 Roar
8 Psalm 150 Hallelujah



SERIES: Playlist
SPEAKER: Skip Heitzig

Are you happy? Do you want to be? We all do. In this message, Skip Heitzig reveals what it takes to experience true happiness.


  1. Introduction
    1. Seventy percent of Americans are unhappy with their jobs, and most Americans are unhappy with their lives
    2. People have a picture of what would bring them happiness
    3. God has a lot to say about happiness
    4. Blessed (v. 1) is the Hebrew word esher
      1. Literally means happy
      2. It's written in the plural: the joys or the happinesses
    5. Happiness is never found by direct pursuit; happiness is a by-product of another pursuit
      1. When you pursue God and holiness, happiness tags along
      2. Matthew 6:33
    6. The happy person is described...
  2. By What He Declines (v. 1)
    1. Happy is the person who is marked by what he does not do, the people he does not hang out with, and the places he does not go
    2. The positive comes after the negative
      1. There's a lot of power in negative thinking
      2. Happy is the person who understands that "no" is the first step to "yes"
    3. Bad advice
      1. Be careful who and what you listen to
      2. Two quick ways to disaster
        1. Take no one's advice
        2. Take everyone's advice
      3. Danish proverb: he who builds according to every man's advice will have a crooked house
    4. Bad associations
      1. Stand means to linger, to loiter
      2. If you walk in the footsteps of bad advice, you will soon stand among those who give it
      3. 1 Corinthians 15:33
      4. It is not bad to make friends with unbelievers
        1. Jesus was called the friend of sinners (see Matthew 11:19)
        2. But He hung out with them in hopes that He could raise them up by His life and example
        3. Christians who move the world are those who don't let the world move them
    5. Bad actions
      1. The seat of the scornful or the mocker is very popular today
      2. Notice the slowing movement: walking, standing, sitting
        1. Peter denied Jesus
        2. Matthew 26:69-75; Mark 14:66-72; Luke 22:54-62; John 18:15-27
  3. In What He Delights (v. 2)
    1. The psalmist moved from all the don'ts to all the dos
    2. A lot of people have enough of God to make them decent but not enough to make them dynamic
    3. It doesn't say his duty or his drudgery—his delight
    4. He finds his greatest pleasure in the law of the Lord
    5. I want to know the Word of God so that I can get to know the God of the Word
    6. When David wrote this Psalm, the only Bible he had was the first five books of Moses
      1. We have the whole Bible, a treasure trove of truth
      2. Psalm 19:10
    7. Biblical meditation
      1. Consciously engage your mind and focus it upon Scripture
      2. Hebrew word yehgeh, which means to coo, mutter, moan, read in an undertone, or talk to one's self about
      3. Root meaning is the low moaning of an animal, especially when it chews its cud
      4. You don't just read the Scripture; you feed on the Scripture
      5. Slow down and consider it carefully
      6. Meditation is the link between theory and action
  4. By What He Depicts (v. 3)
    1. A tree depicts progress
      1. A tree is something alive and flourishing
      2. You expect growth to happen in a living thing
      3. Christianity is more than obstetrics; it includes pediatrics, some emergency room visits, and should go all the way through geriatrics
    2. A tree depicts permanence
      1. Planted, not potted
      2. John 15:4
      3. Abide means remain
      4. Psalm 51:10
    3. A tree depicts productivity
      1. Fruit is a picture of results—of spiritual activity
      2. Matthew 7:15-20
      3. Fruit is also a picture of refreshment
      4. Genesis 12:2
      5. Sea of Galilee has an inlet and an outlet; the Dead Sea has only an inlet
      6. The happy person will be productive and refreshing
    4. A tree depicts perseverance
    5. A tree depicts prosperity
      1. Prosper means full-grown or mature
      2. A person aligned with God with the rest of life in balance
  5. By How He Differs (vv. 4-6)
    1. This Psalm is structured antithetically
      1. First three verses describe one person
      2. The last three describe another person
    2. Septuagint: "Not so, the ungodly; not so" (v. 4)
    3. Blessed (v. 1) versus perish (v. 6)
    4. Chaff is the husk of the wheat
    5. The unsaved person does not believe there is a Devil, and yet they are driven and controlled by the very Devil they do not believe in
    6. Ephesians 2:1-2
    7. Does your life resemble a tree or a pile of husks?

Hebrew words: esher, yehgeh

Cross references: Genesis 12:2; Psalm 1; 19:10; 51:10; Matthew 6:33; 7:15-20; 11:19; 26:69-75; Mark 14:66-72; Luke 22:54-62; John 15:4; 18:15-27; 1 Corinthians 15:33; Ephesians 2:1-2

Topic: Happiness

Keywords: blessed, happy, happiness, bad advice, unbelievers, Word of God, the Bible, God's Word, meditation, Scripture, growth, Christian living, fruit, spiritual growth



SERIES: Playlist
MESSAGE: Say Something
SPEAKER: Skip Heitzig

Do you ever feel like God isn't speaking to you? Do you wish he would just say something? If He did, would you listen? In this message, Skip Heitzig explains how God speaks and how you can hear His voice.


  1. Introduction
    1. A lot of people echo the sentiment of the song "Say Something" when it comes to God
    2. Isaiah 64:1; how many of us have felt this at some point in our Christian lives?
    3. In Psalm 19, David said God has spoken and still speaks
    4. David looked upward at nature, downward at Scripture, and inward at his soul
    5. Sometimes we say, "Say something"; God would say, "Hear something"
      1. In the skies, God reveals His glory
      2. In the Scriptures, God reveals His greatness
      3. In our soul, God reveals His grace
  2. God Speaks in the Skies (vv. 1-6)
    1. David was a shepherd; he spent a lot of time outside
    2. He said the heavens are preaching a sermon
    3. The sermon is a special sermon
      1. The heavens don't tell you of the grace, love, mercy, or judgment of God
      2. But they do tell you of the glory of God
    4. The glorious design of the universe speaks of the glorious designer behind it
      1. The teleological argument
      2. When you see something designed, you expect that there was a designer
      3. When you look at the art that's hanging in the skies, you're forced to say how much more glorious is the artist Himself
      4. Glorious art speaks of the glorious artist
    5. The sermon is continual
      1. We're able to observe rotations, movements, and patterns
      2. We could say that all of it is a marvelous accident that just happened
      3. But there is design built into it, therefore there must be a designer behind it all
    6. The probability of spontaneous generation of a single bacterium is the same probability that a "tornado sweeping through a junkyard could assemble a 747 from the contents therein" (Sir Fred Hoyle)
    7. The sermon is universal
    8. Romans 1:20
    9. We can say, "Say something!" but God would say, "I did, but evidently you're not listening"
  3. God Speaks in the Scriptures (vv. 7-11)
    1. The universe speaks, but it doesn't tell you the whole story; there are certain things the universe can't tell you about God
    2. Scripture is special revelation, specific speech
    3. Six lines with three parts each
      1. Title for God's truth in Scripture
      2. Attribute for that truth
      3. Result
    4. This is a high view of Scripture
      1. God speaks through His Word very specifically to hearts
      2. The Bible is the very Word of God
      3. What Jesus said about the Scripture
        1. John 10:35
        2. Matthew 5:17-18
        3. Matthew 24:35; Luke 21:33
    5. It will refresh your soul (see v. 7a)
      1. The word convert means to turn back to something, restore, refresh, or revive
      2. Scripture will turn you back to God, and in turning back to your God, you will be refreshed
      3. The Bible is like an unending well that refreshes and realigns your life with God's purposes
      4. You can go to a doctor for the needs of your body; you can go to college for the needs of your mind; but you can only go to Scripture for the needs of your soul
    6. It will challenge your mind (see v. 7b)
      1. Simple means open-minded, open to instruction
      2. People don't reject the Bible because it contradicts itself; people reject the Bible because it contradicts them
    7. It will delight the heart (see v. 8a)
      1. Psalm 1:2
      2. Conform yourself to it—don't turn away from it; allow it to shape you
      3. The result of all that will be a delightful result
      4. Jeremiah 15:16
    8. It will clarify your vision (see v. 8b)
      1. NLT: "giving insight for living"
      2. The Bible throws light on life
    9. It will stabilize your future (see v. 9a)
      1. "The fear of the Lord" is a synonym for Scripture
      2. David was describing the affect that Scripture has on you
      3. Exposure to God's truth produces within you a respect for God
      4. The truth that got you through yesterday is the same truth that will be available tomorrow
    10. It will benefit your whole life (see v. 9b-11)
      1. It tells the truth that the world hides from you
      2. "This Book will keep you from sin, or sin will keep you from this Book" —John Bunyan
      3. Psalm 119:11
  4. God Speaks in the Soul (vv. 12-14)
    1. The first thing David realized was his need for forgiveness from sin, error, and faults; that's what looking up at the skies will do
      1. "That's a glorious God; I, on the other hand, am an inglorious being"
      2. Psalm 8:3-4
      3. The revelation of the glory of God means that I see myself as I really am
    2. As I realize the glory of God in the skies and the greatness of God in the Scriptures, I now see a need for the grace of God in my soul
      1. We should give God unfettered access to our conscience
      2. What the skies proclaim and the Scriptures pronounce is what the soul should process
    3. Closing prayer (see v. 14)
  5. Closing
    1. You might say, "God doesn't speak to me!"; God can say, "He doesn't listen to Me!"
    2. The further you drift from God, the weaker the sound
      1. The old saying: "If you feel far from God, guess who moved?"
      2. Turn around and drive back to the signal
      3. James 4:8
    3. What God is telling you is all-important; what is He saying to you?

Figures referenced: Sir Fred Hoyle, John Bunyan

Cross references: Psalm 1:2; 8:3-4; 19; 119:11; Isaiah 64:1; Jeremiah 15:16; Matthew 5:17-18; 24:35; Luke 21:33; John 10:35; Romans 1:20; James 4:8

Topic: Revelation

Keywords: nature, Scripture, revelation, God's Word, heavens, universe, creation, glory, design, designer, Word of God, the Bible, God's voice, truth, the soul, sin, grace, general revelation, special revelation



SERIES: Playlist
MESSAGE: Safe and Sound
SPEAKER: Skip Heitzig

Life is full of peaks and valleys, calm streams and roaring rapids. At times, it feels like there's nowhere to go. Though you may not know what will follow, you can know whom to follow. In this study of Psalm 23, Skip Heitzig points out that no matter what circumstances you face, when you follow God, you are safe and sound.


  1. Introduction
    1. Of all the 150 Psalms, there is no Psalm that is more quoted, recited, memorized, and inscribed on cards than Psalm 23
      1. It is the most famous Old Testament passage
      2. Even unbelievers know it
    2. Augustine called it the martyr's hymn
      1. Abraham Lincoln referred to it during the Civil War
      2. George W. Bush recited it to our nation after September 11, 2001
    3. Psalm 23 was written 3,000 years ago
      1. A child can grasp it
      2. A theologian can drown in it
    4. "The world could spare many a large book better than this sunny little Psalm. It has dried many tears and supplied the mold into which many hearts have poured their peaceful faith" —Alexander Maclaren
    5. Psalm 23 is misunderstood—or at least misapplied
      1. Typically heard at funerals because of verse 4
      2. This Psalm has way more to do with life than it does with death
      3. "The twenty-third Psalm has been enshrined on a marble pedestal for far too long. We need to take it down and break it up and use it" —Miami doctor
      4. It's time for us to take these truths off of sympathy cards and inscribe them in our own hearts
    6. Psalm 23 is not just about sheep and a shepherd
      1. Verse 1 speaks about the Lord in the third person—the field
      2. Verse 4 changes to the first person—the valley
      3. Verse 5 changes from outside to inside—the tent
  2. As a Shepherd, God gives us direction (vv. 1-3)
    1. David was a shepherd; see 1 Samuel 16:11
    2. The idea of God being our Shepherd is one of the most beautiful and comforting metaphors in all of the Bible
      1. Isaiah 40:11
      2. The picture is of the care a shepherd gives to his sheep
    3. Sheep do not take care of themselves very well; they will die unless they have a shepherd
      1. They require more care and attention than any other form of livestock
      2. The Bible refers to us as sheep over 200 times; see Isaiah 53:6
      3. The only time in the Bible that sheep are ever seen in a favorable light is when they are under the care of a good shepherd
    4. David was not writing this as an insult to himself or his readers, but in elation that God was his Shepherd
    5. God as a Shepherd also implies guidance
      1. Sheep do not navigate very well
      2. The nature of a shepherd is to guide
      3. Lead (vv. 2, 3)
      4. If there's one thing in this Psalm that ought to set your mind at ease, it's this; you have a personal guide
      5. We can be so hung up with guidance that we forget we have the guide living in us
      6. John 16:13
      7. Relax a little bit—you're just a sheep; leave it all to the guide
    6. Not everyone who says the first part of verse 1 can actually say with honesty the second part
      1. We live in a society filled with discontentment
      2. A Shepherd Looks at Psalm 23 by W. Phillip Keller
      3. A complaining sheep is a disgrace to the Shepherd
        1. Unbelievers will look at that and say, "I don't want to follow your Shepherd"
        2. Contentment does not come from what we have; contentment comes from whom we have
        3. If the Lord is your Shepherd, you ought to be able to declare firmly and confidently, "I shall not want"
  3. As a friend, God gives us protection (v. 4)
    1. Life isn't always going to be about green pastures and still waters
    2. We hate valleys
    3. In the Middle East, shepherds will lead their sheep down into ravines (wadis)
      1. Sheep don't have good eyesight and hate walking down into dark ravines
      2. But it's cooler and there are streams of water down there
      3. Sometimes the darkest valleys are pathways to the greenest pastures
    4. You'll have some dark valleys: "valley of the shadow of death"
      1. This is why it's recited at funerals
      2. Doesn't necessarily refer to physical dying
      3. Hebrew word is figurative, meaning gloom or calamity
      4. Even when you do come to the end of your life, it's going to be okay
        1. Death is sort of like going into a valley; you'll come out of it
        2. "Death is not the house, but the porch" —C.H. Spurgeon
      5. Shadow
        1. Can a shadow hurt you?
        2. The valley of the shadow of death cannot destroy you
        3. The substance, or sting, of death has been removed; see 1 Corinthians 15:55-57
    5. You can find comfort in the valleys
      1. Every shepherd carried two pieces of equipment:
        1. Staff: the crook; for directing sheep
        2. Rod: the club; for protecting sheep
      2. 1 Peter 5:8; that lion cannot get to you until he goes through your Shepherd
      3. John 10:11, 27
      4. John 10:7—a shepherd would lie across the opening of the sheep pen to protect his sheep
  4. As a host, God gives us provision (vv. 5-6)
    1. Verse 5 is a change of metaphor: inside the tent; being the guest to a lavish host
    2. The Middle East is famous for hospitality
      1. In ancient times, there was protocol for when someone entered your tent
      2. Lavish provision: "my cup runs over"
    3. Verse 6 is a declaration of the future based on the past
      1. This is a statement of choice, a statement of faith
      2. Based upon who God is, what He has promised, and where He has taken you
    4. Our trouble is that so often we write our sorrows in the marble and our mercies in the dust
  5. Closing
    1. We all know the Psalm, but do you know the Shepherd?
    2. Do you know His direction, protection, and provision in your life?
    3. Can you say, "The Lord is my personal Shepherd; I shall not want"?
    4. Cast sheep
      1. Wanders from the fold and gets stuck on its back
      2. Will die unless the shepherd finds it and restores it (see v. 3)—brings it back
    5. All the things about God as a Shepherd will not be true unless you let Him be the Shepherd of your life

Figures referenced: Augustine, Abraham Lincoln, George W. Bush, Alexander Maclaren, W. Phillip Keller, C.H. Spurgeon

Foreign words: wadi

Cross references: 1 Samuel 16:11; Psalm 23; Isaiah 40:11; 53:6; John 10:7, 11, 27; 16:13; 1 Corinthians 15:55-57; 1 Peter 5:8

Topic: Shepherd

Keywords: psalm, life, death, sheep, shepherd, guide, guidance, complaining, discontentment, contentment, valleys, trials, suffering, comfort, protection, provision, hospitality



SERIES: Playlist
MESSAGE: Radioactive
SPEAKER: Skip Heitzig
SCRIPTURE: Psalms 42-43

When suffering strikes, it may feel like a nuclear bomb just hit your life. The question is: How do you deal with the fallout? In the message "Radioactive," Skip Heitzig explains how to deal with difficult circumstances and the spiritual depression that can follow.


  1. Introduction
    1. The lyrics of an ancient worship song
    2. The theme of these two Psalms is depression
    3. Spiritual depression
      1. Phrase coined by Dr. D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones
      2. In his book Spiritual Depression
    4. Psalms 42-43 were originally the same song
      1. Or Psalm 43 was the appendix to Psalm 42
      2. Same chorus
      3. Different verses: dryness, drowning, dejected
    5. Sons of Korah
      1. Numbers 16; 26:11
      2. Descendants of those sons conducted the public worship in Israel
      3. Eleven Psalms ascribed to them
    6. The background of these Psalms
      1. David fled Jerusalem because of Absalom's rebellion (2 Samuel 15) and brought with him one of the sons of Korah, a Levite, who wrote these Psalms in longing
      2. A person struggling with God to make sense of the experience they're going through
    7. The ancients called this the dark night of the soul
    8. In a word, you are radioactive
  2. Reality of Spiritual Depression
    1. There are three spiritual flaws when it comes to depression
    2. "It's all in your head"
      1. Center for Disease Control in Atlanta
        1. 9 percent of adults have depression
        2. 3 percent have major depression
      2. Psalm 139:14 implies that we're complex beings, held together in a delicate balance
      3. A lot can go wrong
        1. Including imbalance in brain chemistry
        2. To deny the possibility of clinical depression is flat out wrong and unhelpful
    3. "Christians should never be depressed"
      1. The book of Psalms is all over the emotional map
      2. Some people will paint a false picture about coming to Christ
      3. In some cases, coming to Christ makes the road rougher
    4. "If you are depressed, it means you are unspiritual or immature"
      1. David (see Psalm 6:3, 6)
      2. Elijah (see 1 Kings 19:4)
      3. Job (see Job 1:8; 3:1)
      4. Paul (see 2 Corinthians 1:8)
      5. "I have been in depths of which I hope none of you ever go" —Charles Haddon Spurgeon
      6. "There are dungeons beneath the castles of despair" —C.H. Spurgeon
      7. And yet we feel like we need to add stigma to people who are low
  3. Reasons for Spiritual Depression
    1. Unfulfilled expectations (see Psalm 42:1-4)
      1. This person felt cut off from spiritual life
      2. Proverbs 13:12
      3. The sons of Korah's whole purpose in life was the public worship of Israel
      4. Whenever our purpose or usefulness is challenged, we become susceptible to spiritual depression
      5. The more unrealistic your expectations are, the more severe the depression will be
    2. Criticism (see Psalm 42:3, 10; 43:2)
      1. Whenever you suffer for doing right, but you're mocked because of it, it produces anxiety
      2. Proverbs 12:25
      3. When we preach the gospel to every creature (see Mark 16:15), not every creature likes it, and you get caught in the crossfire
    3. Accumulation—one struggle after another (see Psalm 42:7)
      1. 2 Corinthians 11:27-28
      2. Daily pressure that adds up
    4. Recollection—the wrong use of your past (see Psalm 42:4)
      1. Memories of better days, what it used to be like
      2. The past will either become a rudder to guide you or an anchor to hold you back
      3. Huge attraction to the "good old days"
    5. Preoccupation with yourself
      1. When you are preoccupied with yourself, you are in the swirls of a depressive behavior pattern
      2. Fifty-one personal pronouns (I, me, my) in these two Psalms
      3. Twenty mentions of God; one mention of the Lord
      4. One basic problem that leads to depression is self-centeredness
  4. Remedies for Spiritual Depression
    1. There are lots of remedies; many of them are not good
    2. Three remedies summed up in one word: replace
    3. Replace your thoughts with His truth
      1. The psalmist talked to himself (see Psalm 42:5, 11; 43:5)
      2. "We must talk to ourselves instead of allowing 'ourselves' to talk to us!... Most of your unhappiness in life is due to the fact that you are listening to yourself instead of talking to yourself" —Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones
      3. 2 Corinthians 10:5
    4. Replace yourself with your God
      1. The nature of suffering is to be self-absorbed, but at some point you need to bring God into the picture (see Psalm 42:8-9)
      2. Focus goes from inward to upward
      3. "Look around and be distressed. Look within and be depressed. Look to Jesus and be at rest" —Corrie ten Boom
      4. Your outlook is determined by your uplook
      5. Others can help you do this; Martin Luther and his wife, Katie
    5. Replace your past with your future
      1. Hope appears three times in these Psalms
      2. Psalm 43:1-4 forgets the past and looks ahead toward the future
      3. Philippians 3:13
      4. Revelation 21-22 is your future
  5. Closing
    1. If you are experiencing depression, you are not a failure—you are a fellow member of the human race
    2. "I am now the most miserable man living.... Whether I shall ever be better I cannot tell; I awfully forebode I shall not" —Abraham Lincoln

Figures referenced: Dr. D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones, Charles Haddon Spurgeon, Corrie ten Boom, Martin and Katie Luther, Abraham Lincoln

Cross references: Numbers 16; 26:11; 2 Samuel 15; 1 Kings 19:4; Job 1:8; 3:1; Psalm 6:3, 6; 42-43; 139:14; Proverbs 12:25; 13:12; Mark 16:15; 2 Corinthians 1:8; 10:5; 11:27-28; Philippians 3:13; Revelation 21-22

Topic: Depression

Keywords: depression, spiritual depression, song, Psalms, suffering, pain, trials, emotions, sadness, purpose, criticism, the past, self-centered, self-absorbed, self, truth, God's Word, the Bible, hope, future



SERIES: Playlist
MESSAGE: All of Me
SPEAKER: Skip Heitzig
SCRIPTURE: Psalm 100

How should we treat the One who loves us consistently and provides for us faithfully? In the message "All of Me," Skip Heitzig explains that the only appropriate response to the One who has given us everything is to give ourselves to Him.


  1. Introduction
    1. If you had to live your life over again, what would you do differently?
    2. As a believer, what would you do differently?
    3. Let's plan what our response to God is going to be from this day forward
    4. Everybody on earth has some response to God
      1. Some ignore Him
      2. Some abhor Him
      3. Some adore Him
    5. But, some who claim to adore God really ignore Him
      1. They live their daily lives as though He doesn't exist
      2. "A Christian is someone who feels sorry on Sunday for what he did on Saturday and will do again on Monday"
    6. Out of Psalm 100, there are four appropriate responses that every follower of God should have
  2. Worship God Joyfully (vv. 1, 2)
    1. We believe this psalm was used in the temple
      1. A formal call to worship
      2. Still used in synagogues
    2. Seventeen to eighteen times, we are told to make a shout or noise of joy unto the Lord
    3. In ancient times, it was customary to let out a shout of victory when your king was near
      1. Numbers 23:21
      2. Joshua 6:16
      3. 1 Samuel 4:5-6
      4. Ezra 3:11
    4. "Our happy God should be worshiped by a happy people; a cheerful spirit is in keeping with His nature, His acts" —C. H. Spurgeon
    5. The Bible does not tell us how we are to sing to the Lord, but it does say we are to sing, shout, and be joyful
    6. Excuses
      1. "I don't have a good voice"
        1. The Lord has given you an adequate enough voice to make a joyful noise
        2. "If God has given you a bad voice, give it back to Him"
        3. To you non-musical people: the voice you have is the voice God has given to you
        4. Mark 12:30
      2. "I don't feel like it"
        1. This is an act of will
        2. You will often do what you don't feel like doing because you have to do it; it doesn't make it less real when you do it
      3. "I'm not the emotional type"
        1. People get excited over things that are real to them
        2. If the Lord is real to you, you will engage Him on some level of worship
        3. Why is it that Christians think that enthusiasm for the most worthy thing in all the universe must somehow be carefully contained?
        4. God is not too excited about secret admirers
      4. Some folks will complain in heaven
        1. It'll be too loud—Isaiah 6:4; Revelation 5:11-12
        2. Because of the lights—Revelation 21:23; 1:16
        3. Because of the haze—Isaiah 6:4
  3. Serve God Gladly (v. 2)
    1. God wants more than fans; God wants followers
    2. We should respond to God on some level of emotion, but we should also respond with motion—obeying what He says
    3. "It's not how high you jump; it's how straight you walk once you hit the ground"
    4. Spiritual maturity isn't measured by glorious singing as much as by glad serving
    5. Some serve the Lord while moaning
      1. Luke 10:38-42
      2. Worshiping is a lot better than whining
      3. Jonah
      4. If you're going to serve the Lord at all, do it with gladness—not with sadness, complaining, or moaning
    6. "I might have entered the ministry if certain clergymen I knew had not looked and acted so much like undertakers" —Oliver Wendell Holmes
    7. You do not have to be sad in order to be sanctified; you do not have to be gloomy in order to be holy
    8. God wants whatever is done for Him to be done with gladness
      1. 2 Corinthians 9:7; in Greek, a hilarious giver
      2. God loves a cheerful giver; God also loves a cheerful liver
    9. Serving the Lord gladly is great advertising; there's nothing more infectious and inspiring than genuine joy
  4. Love God Intelligently (v. 3)
    1. Know means to perceive something with understanding
    2. Christians should be great thinkers
      1. Romans 12:2
      2. Hosea 4:6
      3. 2 Peter 3:18
    3. It's imperative to think and be a Christian
    4. What are we to know?
      1. His lordship
        1. He's God, and you're not
        2. Exodus 20:2-3
        3. There's only one God and there's only one way to Him, and that's through Jesus Christ
      2. His craftsmanship
        1. You are a special creation of God
        2. You are not a human accident; you are a divine incident
      3. His ownership
        1. You are His by creation
        2. If you're a believer, you are His by redemption; Revelation 5:9
        3. Ownership implies care
        4. Romans 8:38-39
  5. Thank God Consistently (vv. 4-5)
    1. Three reasons to thank God
      1. He is good
      2. He is merciful
      3. He is honest
    2. 1 Thessalonians 5:18
    3. It's more fun to complain and enjoyable to whine, but it is more fitting and honorable to God to give Him thanks
    4. Use your acts of service, your raised hands, your joyful tasks to say thank You
  6. Closing
    1. If you had to live your life all over again, what would you do differently?
    2. What do you give to the God who has everything?
      1. He only wants you
      2. But He wants all of you, and He will not settle for anything less

Figures referenced: C. H. Spurgeon, Oliver Wendell Holmes

Cross references: Exodus 20:2-3; Numbers 23:21; Joshua 6:16; 1 Samuel 4:5-6; Ezra 3:11; Psalm 100; Isaiah 6:4; Hosea 4:6; Jonah; Mark 12:30; Luke 10:38-42; Romans 8:38-39; 12:2; 2 Corinthians 9:7; 1 Thessalonians 5:18; 2 Peter 3:18; Revelation 1:16; 5:9, 11-12; 21:23

Topic: Christian Living

Keywords: Christian living, life, daily living, worship, shout, praise, king, sing, serve, service, obedience, gladness, glad, cheerful, mind, intelligence, thinking, think, lordship, craftsmanship, creation, ownership, thankful, thankfulness, thanks



SERIES: Playlist
SPEAKER: Skip Heitzig
SCRIPTURE: Psalm 127

You do not need to be a builder to know the difference between a house and a home: a house is built with materials; a home is built with love. How much time and energy do you spend managing your house as compared to building up your home? In this message, Skip Heitzig challenges you to consider what is more important: Projects or people?


  1. Introduction
    1. For decades, the American dream has included owning your own home; today, the American dream is more like being able to keep the home you're in
    2. Psalms is essentially a list of worship songs sung in or on the way to the ancient temple
    3. You shouldn't let the lyrics of songs govern your life
      1. But we are in God's playlist
      2. These lyrics have good advice
    4. Psalm 127 tells us what is not important and what is important—that no matter what kind of house you live in, you can have a great home
    5. Song of Ascents: sung as people would ascend up toward Jerusalem
    6. There are two parts to Psalm 127
      1. The first strophe (vv. 1-2) deals with things that are vain
      2. The second strophe (vv. 3-5) deals with things that are valuable
      3. A house built on vanity versus a home built on value
    7. The author, Solomon, was uniquely qualified to write about these matters
      1. He was very wise; 1 Kings 4:29-30
      2. He failed to heed the wisdom God gave him
        1. Though a great builder, he was a failure relationally
        2. He had 1,000 women in his life
        3. "By all means, get married. If you find a good wife, you'll be extremely happy; if you find a bad wife, you'll become a philosopher" —Socrates
    8. There are four decisions you should make, four values that will turn any house into a home
    9. Wherever you're at, these are values for every one of us
  2. Reject Empty Activities (vv. 1-2)
    1. We need to learn the difference between what is vain and what is valuable
    2. Two structures mentioned
      1. A house needs building
      2. A city needs to be guarded
    3. Solomon mentioned the basic drive that all of us have for fulfillment: many people strive to attain fulfillment by building things
    4. Solomon's twenty-year building spree
      1. 1 Kings 5; 9:10; 2 Chronicles 8:1
      2. God's warning: 1 Kings 9:6-8
      3. Archaeological discovery: in all the cities Solomon built, there's a special gate called Solomon's Gate
      4. He wanted to guard the cities that he built
    5. Solomon and the kings after him turned away from following the Lord
      1. Everything he built was left in ruins
      2. It was all vain
    6. Vain repeated three times
      1. This word is specific to Solomon
      2. Book of Ecclesiastes
      3. Vain means empty, fruitless, vapid, nothingness
    7. Do you ever slow down long enough to evaluate yourself and the activities you're doing?
    8. Three questions to ask yourself to help with self evaluation
      1. How has God most gifted me to meet the needs of others?
      2. How am I exercising and honing those gifts according to God's plan for my life?
      3. Am I trying to build something God doesn't want me to have?
  3. Avoid Unnecessary Anxieties (v. 2)
    1. Describes the artificial lengthening of the day and adding worry on top of that
    2. "Eat the bread of sorrows" = anxiety, worry
    3. "It is senseless for you to work so hard from early morning until late at night, fearing you will starve to death" (v. 2, The Living Bible)
    4. Anxiety is a tireless tyrant
    5. Worry is spending so much mental energy and accomplishing nothing
    6. Anxiety is:
      1. Unproductive
      2. Unhealthy
        1. The "bread of sorrows" is a pretty poor diet
        2. Medical science proves that anxiety and worry is bad for your health
      3. Unbecoming of a child of God: worry shows a lack of trust in the wisdom and provision of the God you say you trust in
  4. Cultivate Relational Priorities (v. 3)
    1. A turn from building a house to shaping a home
      1. Lord—mentioned three times; implied three times
      2. Womb—can only refer to the wife, mother
      3. Children—mentioned two times
      4. Not a house built on vanity, but a home built on value
    2. If you boil life down to its irreducible minimum, you have relationships
    3. God never created anyone to be independent; He created us all to be interdependent
      1. The first time God ever said something was not good: Genesis 2:18
      2. Genesis 3:8 implies God walked with His creation day by day
    4. Our spiritual commitment should affect our relational activities
      1. Our vertical relationship with God should affect our horizontal relationships in all areas
      2. "If your father and mother, sister and brother, if the very cat and dog in your house are not happier for you being a Christian, then it's a question whether you really are" —Hudson Taylor
    5. We struggle in this area; this is where we spend our lives
    6. Godly relationships are what turn a house into a home
    7. Professor Nick Stinnett: six main qualities in strong families
      1. Committed to the family
      2. Spend time together
      3. Have good family communication
      4. Express appreciation to each other about each other
      5. Have a spiritual commitment
      6. Able to solve problems in a crisis
    8. Want to turn a house into a home? Get better at relationships
      1. Listen more
      2. Ask better questions when settling a dispute
      3. Encourage people more frequently
      4. Smile more
      5. Pray and read Scripture together
  5. Shape Future Destinies (vv. 4-5)
    1. It's all about the launch of an arrow; so it is with children
    2. "[Don't you see that] children are God's best gift?" (v. 3, The Message)
    3. Children are on loan from God for you to shape their destiny and launch them correctly
    4. Home is where life makes up its mind
      1. Where our convictions are hammered out
      2. The greatest influence is the home
    5. 1 Samuel 1:28
    6. If you're going to spend energy, make sure it's people you're building up, not just projects
    7. Your kids are the only earthly possession you can take with you to heaven
  6. Closing
    1. If you're trying to build your life apart from God, that is vanity
    2. If you're adding worry on top of that vanity, that's insanity
    3. But if you're building upward to God and outward to people, building up those relationships, that's a valuable commodity
    4. Which will it be: a life of vanity or a life of value?

Figures referenced: Socrates, Hudson Taylor, Professor Nick Stinnett

Cross references: Genesis 2:18; 3:8; 1 Samuel 1:28; 1 Kings 4:29-30; 5; 9:6-8, 10; 2 Chronicles 8:1; Psalm 127

Topic: Relationships

Keywords: song, house, home, vain, vanity, value, valuable, wisdom, activities, building, anxiety, worry, relationships, family, children



SERIES: Playlist
SPEAKER: Skip Heitzig
SCRIPTURE: Psalms 140-141

Words can bless, or they can bite. Some people whisper, and some people roar. In this study, Skip Heitzig examines both the troubles and triumphs of the tongue.


  1. Introduction
    1. Your tongue is one of the most important parts of your body
    2. It's also one of the dirtiest parts of your body
    3. It's not about oral care as much as it's about verbal care
      1. Your tongue—the words you speak—are one of the most dangerous parts about you
      2. James 3:5-8
      3. Proverbs 18:21
    4. Words are very powerful
    5. Psalms 140-141 are companion psalms
      1. Both deal with the subject of speech
      2. Hebrew scholars say nearly every verse in Psalm 141 contains words from Psalm 140
      3. Psalm 140 is an imprecatory psalm; an imprecation is a call for vengeance or payback
      4. Psalm 141 is an imploratory psalm; David recognized he had a problem with his own speech and asked God for help
    6. The average person will open their mouth 700 times a day to speak
    7. Three guidelines on using your words
  2. Some Words Are Hurtful
    1. Sharp words
      1. Psalm 140:3
      2. An asp is an Egyptian snake, one of the most dangerous and venomous on the planet
      3. Some people just know how to inject venom into a conversation
      4. The closer you are to a person, the greater the capacity for mutual pain; you know what buttons to push and when to do it
      5. Proverbs 12:18
    2. Spiteful words
      1. Psalm 140:9
        1. Evil means malicious, spiteful, threatening
        2. Hebrew word amal literally means troublesome, filled with anxiety, laborious, toilsome, having a wearing effect
      2. Vulgarity and profanity
    3. Slanderous words
      1. Psalm 140:11
      2. A talebearer; one who roams around looking for a person to tell something to
      3. Proverbs 18:8
      4. The problem of gossip is not just in the telling of it; it's in the hearing of it
      5. There wouldn't be so many open mouths if there weren't so many open ears
      6. Before you entertain the hearing of a bad report about somebody else, ask five questions:
        1. Why are you giving me this information?
        2. Where did you get your information?
        3. Have you gone directly to those involved? Matthew 18:15-17
        4. Have you personally checked out all the facts? Proverbs 18:13
        5. Can I quote you on this?
  3. Other Words Are Helpful
    1. Colossians 4:6
    2. Children of the King should use language of the court
    3. Real prayer
      1. Psalms 140-141 are a prayer
      2. If you're going to open your mouth 700 times a day, it only makes sense that some of those times should be directed upward
      3. Psalm 140:9-10—why do we gloss over this?
      4. Pray honest prayers; God can handle your gnarly prayers
      5. Honest prayer is better than dishonest piety
      6. God is able to sift through the rubble of even the gnarliest prayer and pick out the gems
    4. Regular petition
      1. Psalm 140:13; 141:2
      2. This is the highest use of the tongue
      3. When you feel the urge to use sharp words, replace it with praise
        1. Instead of sharp words, use sanctified words
        2. Rather than take God's name in vain, make God's name of value
        3. What you are doing is retraining your mind
          1. Romans 12:2
          2. Ephesians 5:18-19
      4. If you have an issue, pray about it; Psalm 141:3-4
        1. It takes two years for a person to learn how to talk and the rest of their life to learn how to keep their mouth shut
        2. Picture a guard at the gate of your mouth
        3. Speaking without thinking is like shooting without aiming
      5. Who's the only one who can tame the tongue? God
        1. If that's true, then ask God to help you THINK before you speak
        2. T: Is it true?
        3. H: Is it helpful?
        4. I: Is it inspiring?
        5. N: Is it necessary?
        6. K: Is it kind?
      6. A closed mouth gathers no feet
    5. Righteous rebuke
      1. Psalm 141:5
      2. The ability to express love through tactful criticism; to warn someone
      3. Proverbs 27:5-6
      4. David and Nathan; 2 Samuel 12:1-7
      5. "A true friend stabs you in the front" —Oscar Wilde
      6. Accountability is the rubbing together of two personalities
      7. Your words can either be a balm or a bomb
  4. All Words Are Consequential
    1. Words stem from or originate from something else
    2. Psalm 140:2
    3. More than the tongue, the problem is the heart
    4. Luke 6:45
    5. Words are like an outward gauge to tell what's going on inside of you
      1. Whatever is inside will eventually come out
      2. Job 32:18-20
    6. "Garbage in, garbage out"
    7. Philippians 4:8; if you do that, you will bless far more than you will bite

Figures referenced: Oscar Wilde

Greek/Hebrew words: amal

Cross references: 2 Samuel 12:1-7; Job 32:18-20; Psalm 140-141; Proverbs 12:18; 18:8, 13, 21; 27:5-6; Matthew 18:15-17; Luke 6:45; Romans 12:2; Ephesians 5:18-19; Philippians 4:8; Colossians 4:6; James 3:5-8

Topic: The Tongue

Keywords: tongue, speech, words, hurtful, slander, gossip, language, prayer, vulgarity, profanity, praise, rebuke, accountability, heart



SERIES: Playlist
MESSAGE: Hallelujah
SPEAKER: Skip Heitzig
SCRIPTURE: Psalm 150

Is your worship life dull and drab? Do you find yourself going through the motions but lacking the emotion? In this final psalm, Skip Heitzig explains how genuine praise generates a powerful life.


  1. Introduction
    1. Praise is a universal language
    2. Hebrew word hallelujah
      1. It's in the lexicon of every language around the world
      2. It means praise the Lord
      3. Used twenty-four times in the Old Testament and four times in Revelation 19
    3. The phrase praise the Lord is all over Scripture
      1. Psalms 146-150 all begin and end with that phrase
      2. The word praise appears thirteen times in Psalm 150, in virtually every line
      3. Praise is so much a central part in the life of a believer that it is mentioned in the Bible 307 times
    4. Hallelujah is two Hebrew words put together
      1. Halal, which means to boast or brag
      2. Shortened form of Yahweh, yah, which means the Lord
      3. Also to say something good about the Lord, honor and admire the Lord, express your approval of the Lord
    5. We praise whatever it is we enjoy
      1. If you enjoy the Lord, praising Him will not be hard
      2. "What's down in the well comes up in the bucket" —Vance Havner
    6. Four sides of a framework of praise; four questions this psalm answers
  2. To Whom Is Praise Conveyed?
    1. To the Lord
    2. God wants praise exclusively
      1. Exodus 20:5
      2. We are the bride of Christ (see Revelation 19:7-9); He is to get our total admiration
    3. Revelation 19:10; it's biblical to say that God does not want you to worship angels, saints, preachers, or yourself
    4. It's an ongoing theme in Scripture
      1. Exodus 20:2-3
        1. Who God is, what He did for Israel, and what He wanted from them
        2. God wants and deserves your exclusive praise
      2. Isaiah 42:8
    5. Evaluate how God-centered your life is
      1. Thoughts: What do you think about?
        1. When you are alone with your thoughts, where do they gravitate?
        2. Proverbs 23:7
      2. Motives: Why do you do what you do?
        1. Why do you say, text, post what you do?
        2. Do your motives have to do with trying to get people to like you, or is it more important to you to have God approve?
        3. 1 Thessalonians 2:4
      3. Actions: How are you presently serving the Lord?
        1. Matthew 6:24; Luke 16:13
        2. Joshua 24:15
        3. Whatever you serve is what you praise
  3. Where Does Praise Take Place?
    1. In God's sanctuary
      1. The temple in Jerusalem
      2. When we gather together corporately, our purpose is to praise
    2. In God's mighty firmament
      1. Literally in the expanse of the heavens
      2. Praise God on earth and in heaven—everywhere
      3. Heaven is going to be the greatest praise event ever
        1. Revelation 4-5
        2. Revelation 5:11, 13
      4. Let God be praised on earth as well as in heaven
        1. Matthew 6:9-10
        2. Praise ought to fill our lives like praise fills the halls of heaven
  4. Why Should Praise Occur?
    1. For what He does
      1. "His mighty acts" (v. 2)
      2. Creation should lead us to praise the Lord
        1. The intricacies of creation help us appreciate the ingenuity and the immensity of the Creator
        2. Psalm 19:1
      3. Look upward and inward; Psalm 139:14
      4. The mightiest act of all isn't creation—it's redemption
      5. 2 Corinthians 9:15
    2. For who He is no matter what He does
      1. Sometimes you can't readily think of what God does
      2. At that moment, praise Him just for who He is
      3. Praise comes from a Latin and French word that means price
      4. When you declare praise, you are declaring the value of God, irrespective of what you are experiencing
      5. We don't praise God for what we can get out of Him, but just for who He is
      6. Praise is the taste berry of the Christian life
      7. When you make a declaration of praise no matter how you feel or what you're going through, it takes the sorrow and even makes it pleasant
  5. How Is Praise Expressed?
    1. With instruments man has made (see vv. 3-5)
      1. Eight instruments listed
      2. Music was always important to God's people in the proclamation of praise
        1. 2 Chronicles 20:21
        2. Ephesians 5:19
        3. Colossians 3:16
      3. Martin Luther
        1. "Next to theology I give to music the highest place and honor. Music is the art of the prophets, the only art that can calm the agitations of the soul; it is one of the most magnificent and delightful presents God has given us"
        2. "If any man despises music, as all fanatics do, for him I have no liking. For music is a gift and grace of God, not an invention of men. Thus it drives out the devil and makes people cheerful. Then one forgets all wrath, impurity, and other devices"
      4. There's power in music
    2. With breath God has given (see v. 6)
      1. Praise God by any and all means possible
      2. The highest way to use your breath is praise
      3. The goal of all creation is that "at the name of Jesus every knee should bow...and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord" (Philippians 2:10-11)
  6. Closing
    1. Many people come to church for the parade of worship songs, prayers, and instruction
    2. They go home missing the main event, which is an encounter with the living God
    3. Praise will transform you; it is a declaration based not only on what He does but who He is
    4. Who is He to you?

Figures referenced: Vance Havner, Martin Luther

Greek/Hebrew words: hallelujah, halal, yah

Cross references: Exodus 20:2-3, 5; Joshua 24:15; 2 Chronicles 20:21; Psalm 19:1; 139:14; 146-150; Proverbs 23:7; Isaiah 42:8; Matthew 6:9-10, 24; Luke 16:13; 2 Corinthians 9:15; Ephesians 5:19; Philippians 2:10-11; Colossians 3:16; 1 Thessalonians 2:4; Revelation 4-5; 19

Topic: Worship

Keywords: praise, psalms, hallelujah, thoughts, motives, actions, worship, church, creation, heaven, music, songs, singing, instruments

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