Moments in the life of a Pastor

Walking with God

Pandemic Perspective – Part 41 Making Praise a Priority – Part 1

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Psalm 150 

1 Praise the Lord! Praise God in his sanctuary; praise him in his mighty heaven! 2 Praise him for his mighty works; praise his unequaled greatness! 3 Praise him with a blast of the ram’s horn; praise him with the lyre and harp! 4 Praise him with the tambourine and dancing; praise him with strings and flutes! 5 Praise him with a clash of cymbals; praise him with loud clanging cymbals. 6 Let everything that breathes sing praises to the Lord! Praise the Lord!

During difficult times it’s easy to get caught up in worry, anxiety and anger, but God’s Word reminds us to focus on our Savior not our situation. The book of Psalms is a holy hymnbook of praise and as it concludes we see the priority of praise as the last five Psalms all begin with, “Praise the Lord.” For the psalmist, “praise the Lord” was an ecstatic expression of unbridled joy. In Psalm 150, in just six short verses, we see the phrase of praise 13 times, Praise is what starts every sentence. Is your perspective driven by your praise or your problems? The word, “praise” is derived from a Latin word which means to prize. When we praise, we are expressing our approval by valuing that which has worth and merit. The word also means to “shine” or “make a show by celebrating.” To praise the Lord is to prize Him and celebrate Him as the only one worthy of glory and honor. Worship reveals our want for God, it is the act of offering ourselves over to Him. Worship is about we not me. It is an essential aspect of being a Christian, because it is more than just offering our praise and love it is offering our lives to God. Worship is a lifestyle that drives us to desire Jesus and Psalms 150 is not the drawing to a close of Psalms but the:

  • Call to Praise – Verse 1

Worship is about ascribing worth and we have been called to lift up the name of God, to humble ourselves and adore Him. The problem is our preferences, we make it about what we like and become centered on our selfishness. Today worship has become focused on what we like or what we want from worship. In our self-satisfying society it’s easy to fall into the “what’s in it for me worship” where we come to worship with our concerns and our cares. But the Psalmist reminds us that our focus should not be on our situation but His sanctuary. To praise means to applaud and lift up the name of God in His sanctuary, which means the scope of praise is more than a few songs on Sunday. Praise means recognizing God is present even in our problems because every place that we are is His sanctuary, we are never out of the presence of God. We are also called to praise Him in His mighty heaven, some translations interchange two other words for heavens, firmament and expanse. In essence, all three are attempting to describe the foundational formation of the universe the firmament. The firmament that great expanse holding the fabric of the heavens together, it is the power that stretches across the entire universe. The psalmist is not just saying that God is to be praised in heaven but in all of the cosmos. Every square inch of the universe has reason to resound with the praise of our almighty God.

  • Cause of Praise – Verse 2

God has proven Himself over and over that He is worthy of our praise. Throughout history we see the evidence that God is worthy because He is faithful in His actions. He was the One who rescued and redeemed His people from bondage in Egypt. Who proved Himself when He poured out ten plagues on Egypt and parted the waters of the Red Sea. He supplied manna and separated the Jordan River. He caused the walls of Jericho to fall with a shout and came with salvation. Today would you take a moment to reflect and remember something that God has blessed you with over this last week. You do have cause to praise Him for the blessings in your life, your family, your forgiveness and the faithfulness of a loving heavenly Father. We are to praise Him for His unequaled greatness, a greatness that can’t be surpassed. The psalmist is literally saying that we need to praise God because even His greatness is great. His greatness is something so far above and beyond anything that we can comprehend that we simply cannot grasp it. My life is no more valuable than anyone else’s yet God brings His touch, His grace, His mercy, His love into my life daily. The problem with God’s generous gift of grace is that we are people who take Him for granted. If we stop to think about our salvation and all that God has done for us would we surrender to the song of praise? Are you living a lifestyle of praise?

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