Justin Tucker, LHBC Worship Pastor
Let everything that breathes sing praises to the Lord! Praise the Lord!
Praise You in the heavens, joining with the angels
Praising You forever and a day
Praise You on the earth now, joining with creation
Calling all the nations to Your praise
Praise is defined as an expression of approval or admiration. We praise God, but we also praise our spouses, our kids, the people that we work with and I’ve even been known to praise our dog. God isn’t looking for our approval of the incredible things He does every day but He does deserve our admiration for all He does. He is literally the most admirable being in the entire universe, that He spoke into existence by the way, so we praise Him for who He is and what He has done.
So often we think that praise and worship are exclusive of one another when in reality praise is birthed out of our worship. Worship begins with the motivation of loving and honoring God and praise is the expression of that motivation. Think about it this way, if I only tell my wife and kids that I love them but if I never express my love to them through my actions…how do they know that my love and admiration for them is real? We do that very thing to God in corporate worship gatherings because of either bad theology or denominational culture. When we come in with our arms crossed, our mouths shut, and our laundry list of expectations we aren’t expressing an admiration or love towards God, we aren’t “declaring the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His wonderful light” (1Peter 2:9).
Praise isn’t a feeling, it’s an expression. First, our praises must be expressed to God so that He receives the honor and glory He deserves and has earned. Psalm 22:3 says that the Lord is “holy and enthroned on the praises of His people”. Our praise builds a seat of honor for our King to come and rest His glory on. We have a big God, we had better be preparing a big throne. Second, we express our praises so that the world may witness it. Psalm 40:3 says, “He has given me a new song to sing, a hymn of praise to our God. Many will see what he has done and be amazed. They will put their trust in the Lord”. You may be feeling admiration in your heart but how are you expressing it to God and the world? How are you declaring it? Lastly, we express our praise because it is how we do battle with the enemy. In Joshua 6…Jericho fell. In 2 Chronicles 20…the army of Judah was victorious. In Acts 16…Paul and Silas were set free. All of these examples are products of God’s people being obedient and praising Him. God does big things when we are obedient and give Him praise.
Sometimes the obedience of praise is difficult. Some days are just hard. I read a Chris Tomlin quote one time that said, “Praising when you don’t feel like it isn’t faking it, it’s faithing it.” This week I needed that reminder of that. Let’s commit together this week to give God the praise He deserves whether it’s easy or not because He is worthy!
PRAYER FOR TODAY:
Heavenly Father, help me to walk in faith and obedience and give you the praise that you deserve. Deepen my faith on the days that are difficult and I don’t feel like praising you. Grow me and stretch me to give you praise simply because you are worthy. Grow me in my expression of praise so that others may see it and come to know you. I love you. In Jesus’ name, amen.
MEMORY VERSE FOR THE WEEK:
Ah, Lord God! It is you who have made the heavens and the earth by your great power and by your outstretched arm! Nothing is too hard for you.