Today, I would like us to focus on a topic we sing about perhaps more than talk about. It is something good that probably almost everyone listening does, but many of us could stand to do more of it. It is good sometimes for us to be reminded of what we already know so that it will stay at the forefront of our minds. Today I want us to look at what the Bible says about praise.
Heb 13:15 (KJV)15 By Him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to his name.
Usually we think of pain or suffering or giving something up when we hear the word sacrifice. In the case of praise to God, it is a sacrifice we can actually enjoy! How many times have you found it joyful to sing praise to The Lord, our God? Singing is not the only praise we give to God with the fruit of our lips. We also praise Him in prayer when we pray correctly and we should also remember to praise him more in our everyday life.
1 Peter 2:8-10 (KJV) 9 But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light: 10 Which in time past were not a people, but are now the people of God: which had not obtained mercy, but now have obtained mercy.
Here we see one of many reasons why we should praise God. We praise Him because He has done so much for us. God has given us mercy. He has chosen us to be His people. We were once in darkness and he has called us into His marvelous light. We owe him a debt of gratitude. Our thankfulness to him should make us want to praise His high and holy name. Sometimes we forget to be grateful to God, however in spite of all He has done for us. We donít have to look far to see an example of that. Weíre told a true story of gratitude and praise in Luke 17:
Luke 17:12-19 (KJV) 12 And as he entered into a certain village, there met him ten men that were lepers, which stood afar off: 13 And they lifted up their voices, and said, Jesus, Master, have mercy on us. 14 And when he saw them, he said unto them, Go shew yourselves unto the priests. And it came to pass, that, as they went, they were cleansed. 15 And one of them, when he saw that he was healed, turned back, and with a loud voice glorified God, 16 And fell down on his face at his feet, giving him thanks: and he was a Samaritan. 17 And Jesus answering said, Were there not ten cleansed? but where are the nine? 18 There are not found that returned to give glory to God, save this stranger. 19 And he said unto him, Arise, go thy way: thy faith hath made thee whole.
It is not easy being a leper today. It is a disfiguring disease that causes permanent problems in most cases. I have seen lepers in Africa who have lost part of their feet or wors, a good part of their nose. Itís impossible to hide a defect like having your nose eaten away. It was even harder in the time of Christ for lepers. There was no medicine for it then. Lepers were outcast. They could not live with healthy people. They couldnít even go near other people. These ten men knew what leprosy was like. They lived with it every day.
Jesus was a phenomenon in His time. He did miracles that everyone talked about and knew about. Even if you were a leper, you heard about Him. They knew who he was and they asked him for help. Even then, they stayed at a distance as the law required. Jesus healed them as he had healed so many others. As they went to show themselves to the priest, their leprosy left them. Only one stopped and went back to thank Jesus when he realized what had happened and it was a Samaritan.
Look at what he did. He glorified God with a loud voice and thanked the savior. Are we like him? Do we remember what God has done for us? Do we realize that he saved us from something worse than leprosy? Do we go back to Him and thank him? Or are we like the other nine?
Everyone should praise God:
Psalms 117:1-2 (KJV) 1 O praise the LORD, all ye nations: praise him, all ye people. 2 For his merciful kindness is great toward us: and the truth of the LORD endureth for ever. Praise ye the LORD.
God is a God of mercy, but He is also a God of Truth. Everyone owes Him praise whether they admit it or not. We see many examples of praise in the scripture:
Jude 1:25 (KJV) 25 To the only wise God our Saviour, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and ever. Amen.
One reason to praise God is simply because He is our God.
Psalms 100:1-5 (KJV)1 Make a joyful noise unto the LORD, all ye lands. 2 Serve the LORD with gladness: come before his presence with singing. 3 Know ye that the LORD he is God: it is he that hath made us, and not we ourselves; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture. 4 Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name. 5 For the LORD is good; his mercy is everlasting; and his truth endureth to all generations.
The Lord is God. He is the one who made us and He is the one who gave us the greatest gift the world has ever known when He gave His only begotten son so that we might have life.
Praise was a mark of the early church.
Acts 2:46-47 (KJV) 46 And they, continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart, 47 Praising God, and having favour with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved.
We need to be like the first century church we read about in Acts. We need to praise God as often as they did. Do we remember to praise Him every day like they did?
When we see the glory of the universe all around us it should remind us of Godís glory. When we look at creation -- the majestic beauty of great mountains, the awesome expanse of the seas and the more quiet beauty of the deserts, the woodlands and the plains, it should remind us to praise the creator of it all:
Psalms 8:1-9 (KJV) 1 O LORD our Lord, how excellent is thy name in all the earth! who hast set thy glory above the heavens. 2 Out of the mouth of babes and sucklings hast thou ordained strength because of thine enemies, that thou mightest still the enemy and the avenger.
We praise God, the father, because of His manifest excellence. Some look at the creation and only want to praise the creation itself. Thatís like looking at a magnificent building and forgetting that it had an architect and builders. The universe could not have made itself. In this universe you canít get something from nothing. Evolutionists think that if they start out saying the universe was very small and exploded into something big that we will not pay attention to the impossibility of that very small part having to come from somewhere. There is no way to prove that theory with science. They just accept the ridiculous conclusion on faith alone. It is much easier to believe that this complex creation was created than to believe it could just happen by random chance. We believe in the God of the Bible for whom there is ample evidence. The creation itself is part of that evidence.
Psalms 19:1 (UKJV) 1 The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament shows his handy-work.
It is appropriate and essential that we praise God because of His handy-work. When we see these things we are seeing just a small evidence of the glory of God. How can we refrain from His praise?
You might say, ďwell, not everyone wants me to praise God. It is not longer politically correct to do so. Perhaps it is better to keep silent rather than risk offense.Ē The apostles did not feel this way. It was even less accepted in their day to praise Christ and offer Him His just due from man. In fact they were threatened with harm if they continued:
Acts 4:17-31 (KJV)18 And they called them, and commanded them not to speak at all nor teach in the name of Jesus. 19 But Peter and John answered and said unto them, Whether it be right in the sight of God to hearken unto you more than unto God, judge ye. 20 For we cannot but speak the things which we have seen and heard. 21 So when they had further threatened them, they let them go, finding nothing how they might punish them, because of the people: for all men glorified God for that which was done. 22 For the man was above forty years old, on whom this miracle of healing was shewed.
The apostles had performed a miracle. People were praising God because of it and frankly the men in charge who claimed to work for God didnít like it. Perhaps they were afraid of losing some of there power and money. Look at Peter and Johnís reaction to the threats they received:
Acts 4:23 And being let go, they went to their own company, and reported all that the chief priests and elders had said unto them. 24 And when they heard that, they lifted up their voice to God with one accord, and said, Lord, thou art God, which hast made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and all that in them is: 25 Who by the mouth of thy servant David hast said, Why did the heathen rage, and the people imagine vain things?
The true believers responded to the threats by praising God and leaning on Him instead of their own understanding. Meditate on the reasons we should praise God. Christian meditation does not involve emptying the mind. It involves filling it with deep thought and consideration. Instead of an empty head a Christian ends up with a full heart. Listen to the Glory of God as revealed in His word:
Romans 11:33-36 (KJV) 33 O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out! 34 For who hath known the mind of the Lord? or who hath been his counsellor? 35 Or who hath first given to him, and it shall be recompensed unto him again? 36 For of him, and through him, and to him, are all things: to whom be glory for ever. Amen.
Do you know God? Have you explored His riches and depth? Have you read the words that come from His wisdom and knowledge? Are you praising Him with your life? We praise His wisdom:
Romans 16:27 (KJV) 27 To God only wise, be glory through Jesus Christ for ever. Amen.
We also praise God for his Kingship which is without end:
1 Tim 1:17 (KJV) 17 Now unto the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only wise God, be honour and glory for ever and ever. Amen.
Not only is He our King, but He also personifies power and He has given us the church by Christ Jesus:
Eph 3:20-21 (KJV) 20 Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us, 21 Unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen.
Are you giving God the sacrifice of the praise of your Lips? Are you praising God with your life?
Eph 1:3 (KJV) 3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ:
This verse was written to Christians who had already given their life to Christ. Have you given your life to Him? Are you following His word in the correct way that He desires? Have you allowed Him to bless you with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ? If so you need to praise Him for all He has done for you.
If you have not been praising Him with the words of your mouth and the actions of your life, I invite you to start today. Consider the following verse and this message will be closed.
Phil 4:20 (KJV) 20 Now unto God and our Father be glory for ever and ever. Amen.
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