Wednesday, April 10, 2013

PRAISE IS AT THE HEART OF WORSHIP

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In Christ, Mark

The scriptures. May God bless the reading of His holy word.

Praise the Lord, all you servants of the Lord who minister by night in the house of the Lord. Lift up your hands in the sanctuary and praise the Lord. May the Lord bless you from Zion, He who is the Maker of heaven and earth.

Praise the Lord. Praise the name of the Lord; praise Him, you servants of the Lord, you who minister in the house of the Lord, in the courts of the house of our God.

Praise the Lord, for the Lord is good; sing praise to His name, for that is pleasant.

Psalm 134, 135:1-3

This ends this reading from God's holy word. Thanks be to God.

Traditionally, Sunday is the day of worship for people. It’s a day of rising and making time to go to church, seeking to grow stronger in our faith and relationship with the Lord. It’s a time of fellowship and an opportunity to come together as a body of believers, bound together by common beliefs and convictions.

But shouldn’t we seek to make every day a time of worship? Shouldn’t we be seeking to mature spiritually daily while paying homage to our Lord, the giver of every good and perfect gift from above?

I believe the Lord intends for us to worship Him with every breath, every heartbeat He provides. For if we do this, then we will gain the fullest appreciation for the Lord, an appreciation that leads us to enter into praise, what I see as the heart of worship.

I think the psalmist also saw praise as central to our worship as he wrote the following words:

Praise the Lord, all you servants of the Lord who minister by night in the house of the Lord. Lift up your hands in the sanctuary and praise the Lord. May the Lord bless you from Zion, He who is the Maker of heaven and earth.

Praise the Lord. Praise the name of the Lord; praise Him, you servants of the Lord, you who minister in the house of the Lord, in the courts of the house of our God.

Praise the Lord, for the Lord is good; sing praise to His name, for that is pleasant.

The psalmist places praise at the heart of his message as he speaks about worship. We are to praise the Lord all He is, all He has done, all He is doing, and for the eternal hope we have through Jesus Christ. For we have so much to be thankful for and we should always come before the Lord with an attitude of gratitude.

How are we to show our praise?

The scriptures exhort us to lift up your hands in the sanctuary. Maybe you have seen people do this during your church services. At times, traditional church goers frown on people openly expressing their praise this way but it’s completely appropriate and scriptural. It’s to be done as a sign of our praise.

We’re to also sing our praises to His holy name. Whether it’s a hymn or a contemporary/gospel song, we’re to sing out our praise for the One who gave us song and the ability to sing.

Why do we praise the Lord? Our psalm shares reasons with us.

We read where the Lord is good and indeed, He is so good. In fact, His goodness is indescribable.

We can’t fully quantify just how good the Lord is to us. He gives us every good and perfect thing in life, and His blessings are so abundant that they overflowing. When we fully realize and acknowledge this, then we will know that all glory, honor, and praise belong to Him and Him alone. For think about all the Lord does. He provides for us, He protects us, and ultimately He saves us. No one else does this for us. No one.  

Some of the most faithful believers in the Bible fully knew the importance of praise and openly declared it. Consider the following statements from Moses, David, and Daniel:

From the Song of Moses:

“I will proclaim the name of the Lord. Oh, praise the greatness of our God! He is the Rock, His works are perfect, and all His ways are just. A faithful God who does no wrong, upright and just is He.”  Deuteronomy 32:3-4

From David’s Song of Praise:

 “The Lord lives! Praise be to my Rock! Exalted be my God, the Rock, my Savior!” 2 Samuel 22:47

“Praise be to the name of God forever and ever; wisdom and power are His. He changes times and seasons; He deposes kings and raises up others. He gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to the discerning. He reveals deep and hidden things; He knows what lies in darkness, and light dwells with Him.”

Daniel after God revealed a mystery to him in a vision:

“I thank and praise You, God of my ancestors: You have given me wisdom and power, You have made known to me what we asked of You, You have made known to us the dream of the king.”  Daniel 2:20-23

Friends, the Lord has blessed us so very much and we should make time to worship Him daily, thanking Him for all He is and all He does. For now and forever, we, like the saints who have passed before us, will find that praise is at the heart of our worship.

Amen.

In Christ,

Mark

PS: Please share this with anyone you feel might be blessed by it.

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