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Monday, August 8, 2016

PRAISING GOD

Psalm 150 New Living Translation
“Praise the Lord! Praise God in his sanctuary; praise him in his mighty heaven!
Praise him for his mighty works; praise his unequaled greatness!
Praise him with a blast of the ram’s horn; praise him with the lyre and harp!
Praise him with the tambourine and dancing; praise him with strings and flutes!
Praise him with a clash of cymbals; praise him with loud clanging cymbals.
Let everything that breathes sing praises to the Lord!  Praise the Lord!”
       This is something believers in Christ should be doing, praising God.  Why should we praise God?  Verse 2 gives us the ‘why’.  His “mighty works” and “unequaled greatness” are the reasons.  Notice that each verse ends in an exclamation point.  Praise for God is to be cried out aloud.  It doesn’t have to be, but it is a joyous thing, not a morose or sorrowful thing.  Knowing the Lord in a personal way shouldn’t be a private thing, although it is a very intimate thing.      
       Lifting up the name of the Lord is a very liberating exercise.  It frees your spirit to soar into the heavenlies.  You may never feel the presence of God more than we you utter his name in praise.  It’s a very spiritual endeavor, one that is highly personal, even when done in a congregational setting.  When you venture into the waters of praise, you not only receive a blessing, you will become an encouragement to those around you who may be reluctant to lift their hands high and worship their Lord. It isn’t for show. It isn’t so people think we’re spiritual.  It needs to come from the deepest part of your heart where your truest feelings and motivations reside. 
    If there were any doubt that praising God was limited to the Old Testament, look at this one example from Paul’s letter to the church in Colossae: “Sing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs to God with thankful hearts.” (Colossians 3:16)  Praising God is spoken of and practiced all throughout scripture.  It is something that God likes to hear and we benefit from proclaiming. Even the doxology that is sung during service in many churches speaks of praising God: “Praise God, from Whom all blessings flow; Praise Him, all creatures here below; Praise Him above, ye heavenly host; Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.”(1) Praise God not as something you must do, but as something you feel compelled to do out of love, reverence and admiration.  You will reap the reward of such an exercise if you commit to doing it.  Until next time, walk with the King and be a blessing!
Resources: The Life Application Study Bible; published by Tyndale House. The Reformation Study Bible; published by Reformation Trust Publishing.

(1) Thomas Ken, 1674. These lyrics, sung as the Doxology in many churches, are actually the last verse of a longer hymn, Awake, My Soul, and with the Sun.

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