Pleasing God, Making Disciples of Jesus Christ

The Priority and Privilege of Praise

PSALM 150 – Praise the Lord! Praise God in his sanctuary; praise him in his mighty heavens! Praise him for his mighty deeds; praise him according to his excellent greatness! Praise him with trumpet sound; praise him with lute and harp! Praise him with tambourine and dance; praise him with strings and pipe! Praise him with sounding cymbals; praise him with loud clashing cymbals! Let everything that has breath praise the Lord! Praise the Lord! “

How often do we intentionally praise the Lord? Are our first thoughts in the morning toward Him and praise? What about throughout the day when we take time to see the Hand of God in creation and providing our necessities in life, does praise flow from us? Or is praise a “Sunday morning switch” we hit in our church?

A life of praise is essential for healthy Christian living and maintaining a proper walk with the Lord Jesus. Why? Two reasons. First the purpose for our existence and salvation is praise. Read the first chapter of the Apostle Paul’s letter to the Ephesians and notice the repeated theme of praise associated with our redemption, forgiveness and salvation. We simply were created and saved to praise the Lord. Another reason why praise is critical to being and living a spiritually healthy Christian life is because of its nature. It is a command. To praise is to obey. Notice in today’s scripture how many times the word “praise” appears. I count thirteen and every occurrence is in the form of an imperative which is a command. The only healthy Christians are obedient Christians and that includes the command to praise. But there is something else to note about praise. Yes, it is directed to the Lord, however, there are great benefits for us. Here are four . . .

First, praise to the Lord draws our attention away from ourselves. When it comes to the chief problem in the world and what hinders Christians from the abundant life Jesus came to give, it is the sin of selfishness (John 10:10). Learning to praise the Lord kills self-centeredness because our focus is off ourselves.

Next, we are reminded of our dependency on God when we praise Him. We see Him as our protector, provider, and sustainer in the process of praising. We understand with more clarity His independence from us and our dependence on Him.

A third benefit found in a life of praise is we are quick to recognize God’s goodness to us. Again, when we are focused away from ourselves, we see more and more the character of our God. His goodness in all things shines brighter when His people are lost in holy praise of His holy being.

Finally as we live out a life of praise, we enter into the greatest joy-producing experience we may have–lives pleasing to the Lord. He delights in our praise. He finds pleasure in our praise. Let that sink in. As we learn to consistently praise the Lord we not only find pleasure in doing so but He takes great pleasure in those who praise Him. And really is there anything more thrilling in life than to know we may be pleasing to the Lord by a life of praise?

PRAYER: “Father, forgive me for the way too many times I neglect praising You each day of my life.”

QUOTE: “Praise to the Lord is not only our reason for existing but the high privilege and responsibility as God’s children.”

Because of Him,

Pastor Jim