FIRST Thoughts

Most Christians overlook the opportunity of praising God for who He is as well as what He does.

We take for granted what often makes our lives so blessed as a child of God and citizen of the USA. More times than we might care to admit, we substitute our practice of religious exercise for the person of Christ Jesus who provides us life, both here and hereafter.

Psalm 113:1-3 says this, "Praise the LORD! Praise, O servants of the LORD, praise the name of the LORD! Blessed be the name of the LORD from this time forth and forevermore! From the rising of the sun to its going down the LORD'S name is to be praised."

Those words from God to us well covers every moment of every day for those who have a relationship with Jesus. When life throws you a hard ball, you can swing for the fences in your own strength or you can keep your eyes on the ball, make contact and advance to the next step in getting home safely.

Dr, Mike Whitson, First Baptist Church Indian Trail, Indian Trail, NC offers this wisdom on the purpose of praise from the people of God.

"What is praise? It is affording to God what is due His name. It is affixing our attention on God until we have given Him what is due Him." (Honestly, how long has it been since you looked at praise that way?)

He continues, "Have you ever heard people say when they left church, 'I never got anything out of it.'? Well, the overwhelming majority of those instances are because they never put anything into it.

The King of Egypt ransacked Jerusalem and carried away five-hundred golden shields from the temple that were meant to serve as a reflection of the glory of God. Rehoboam, the king of Judah, replaced them with shields---not of gold but of bronze (1 Kings 14:25-28). People today have replaced the splendor of praise with the bronze of activity, spectatorship, and performance.

God saved us for the explicit purpose of bringing glory, honor, and praises to His name. We will not gain many spiritual victories until Christians bombard the gates of hell and take back that which the enemy has pirated away. They must recapture the spirit of praise and adoration with their whole hearts and lives." end

Human beings are no strangers to praise and worship. The point of its practice is, what or who is at the center? Is it God? Is it a god of my own design or choosing?

O that we, who believe on His name might understand the power of praising God and begin with passion to carry it out publicly. It might not change the circumstances of life, but it would change dramatically how we look at those circumstances and live.

As critical as prayer is to a healthy spiritual life, so is praise!

Praise the LORD ALL you saints!

Be encouraged,

Pstr K

Psalm 27:1