April 13, 2014

If you can breathe . . .

Praise means “to speak well of, exalt, honor” using words with music, singing, even dancing.

Thanksgiving is telling God how much we appreciate all that He does for us. If I begin a “thankful” list, there could be no end to it!

Adoration means to bend the knee and look up to God in worship. No words, no asking, just loving Him and being in His presence.

Of course all of these are directed toward God, but at the same time, praise blesses me too. “It is good to give thanks to the Lord, to sing praises to your name, O Most High; to declare your steadfast love in the morning, and your faithfulness by night” (Psalm 92:1–2) for He “inhabits the praises of His people” (Psalm 22:3). Sometimes when I praise God, the sense of His nearness is delightfully and totally overwhelming.

I can praise God for the way He made me: “I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well.” (Psalm 139:14)

I can praise God for calling me to be His child, changing my life and blessing me with Jesus Christ: “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love he predestined us for adoption as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved.” (Ephesians 1:3–6)

On that day when I pass from this world into His glory, He will have fully prepared me for an eternal feast in His presence. At that time, I may hear these same words that John heard as he wrote the last book of the Bible:

And from the throne came a voice saying, “Praise our God, all you his servants, you who fear him, small and great.” Then I heard what seemed to be the voice of a great multitude, like the roar of many waters and like the sound of mighty peals of thunder, crying out, “Hallelujah! For the Lord our God the Almighty reigns. Let us rejoice and exult and give him the glory, for the marriage of the Lamb has come, and his Bride has made herself ready. (Revelation 19:5–7)

Today is Palm Sunday, a special day when God’s people remember and celebrate this event in the last week before Jesus died for our sins:

As he was drawing near—already on the way down the Mount of Olives—the whole multitude of his disciples began to rejoice and praise God with a loud voice for all the mighty works that they had seen, saying, “Blessed is the King who comes in the name of the Lord! Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!” And some of the Pharisees in the crowd said to him, “Teacher, rebuke your disciples.” He answered, “I tell you, if these were silent, the very stones would cry out.” (Luke 19:37–40)

Today, I am excited as I look forward to praising God with His people . . .  

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! (Psalm 150:1–6)

My voice is far from perfect, and I’m not able to play a trumpet, but I do breathe – and that qualifies me to be in a choir of praise!

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