Tag Archives: praising God

Goodness of God

The Bible says that we are “a chosen people,” and “royal priests.” It also says that we are “God’s very own possession.” But the verse continues. We read AS A RESULT. This means because we are a chosen people, there’s something that we should be doing. We are “God’s instruments to do His work and speak out for Him (MSG).

We are supposed to be telling people about the goodness of God. The ESV says, “Proclaim the excellencies.” The NET says, “Proclaim the virtues.” The NIV says, “Declare the praises.” Do you get the picture?

If you are a believer in Jesus Christ, the result should be a shining light pointing others to the goodness of God. You should be praising the Lord. You should be pointing to God in everything you do. Today, consider if you are sharing the goodness of God. Be intentional to share His goodness. You may have come out of the darkness into His wonderful light, but there are others still in the darkness.

“But you are not like that, for you are a chosen people. You are royal priests, a holy nation, God’s very own possession. As a result, you can show others the goodness of God, for He called you out of the darkness into His wonderful light.” – 1 Peter 2:9 [NLT]

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Burst Out in Songs

I love music and I love to sing. The problem is no one really enjoys hearing the sweet melodies I sing. I haven’t figured out how to sing in the right keys. Even so, God loves to hear me sing. He loves to hear you sing too!

The Psalms reference singing and praising God often. In Psalm 28:7, the Psalmist writes that his “heart is filled with joy,” so much joy that he “burst out in songs of thanksgiving.” In Psalm 30:12, the Psalmist talks about giving thanks forever—singing praises and not being silent.

How often do you burst out in songs for God? How often do you praise Him and thank Him for what He is doing in your life? He alone deserves all honor, glory, and praise. Often we are quick to thank someone who hands us a cup of coffee, but we don’t thank God for that same cup of coffee, or for something so much greater than that one, temporary cup of coffee. Today, I pray your heart is filled with joy that overflows and you burst out in songs of thanksgiving.

“The LORD is my strength and shield. I trust Him with all my heart. He helps me, and my heart is filled with joy. I burst out in songs of thanksgiving.” – Psalm 28:7 [NLT]

“That I might sing praises to You and not be silent. O LORD my God, I will give You thanks forever!” – Psalm 30:12 [NLT]

Leap Like a Deer

I am not too keen on waking up early for the Cross Country season. As I get older, I appreciate extra sleep. Even so, I love the drives to school for practice. I especially enjoy the moment alone when I’m driving the back road and witnessing all of the beauty around me. God never ceases to amaze me.

This morning, as I drove home, I looked before me and praised God for the beautiful farmland. I rejoiced in the amazing sunrise I was experiencing as I sang along to a praise song on the radio. Before I knew it, I was even more amazed. Three deer were prancing along. I slowed down the van as they crossed the road. They continued to leap through the corn field, and then they crossed the road again. For a moment, everything around me stopped. All the noise. All the busyness. All eyes focused on God’s creation doing the simplest of things—leaping along through the corn field.

I was reminded this morning of the great promise written in Isaiah, the promise that “the lame will leap like a deer.” God heals. God restores. God alone qualifies us. He is our strength. Praise Him and Him alone. Continue to press forward and tread on the heights He places before you. Leap like a deer today!

“The Sovereign LORD is my strength; He makes my feet like the feet of a deer, He enables me to tread on the heights.” – Habakkuk 3:19a [NIV]

“The lame will leap like a deer, and those who cannot speak will sing for joy! Springs will gush forth in the wilderness, and streams will water the wasteland.” – Isaiah 35:6 [NLT]

My Song

The song of Moses and Miriam is great. The Israelites were in awe over what the Lord did to lead them out of Egyptian slavery. This song was sung by Moses and the Israelites as an offering of praise and a declaration of the greatness of God.

The song is a holy song, one to honor God and lift up His great name. Verse 2 speaks of the Lord as one’s strength and song. In this verse, the Israelites declare that God is their strength and their song. The strength is easy to understand. We are weak; He is strong. They couldn’t escape the slavery of the Egyptians; however, God could lead them to freedom by His strength.

But what about the song? How is God our song? God is only your song is He is on your lips. This means you are forever praising Him. You are forever signing His praises and pointing to Him. Has He been your strength and your song? Have you praised His great name today?

“The LORD is my strength and my song; He has given me victory. This is my God, and I will praise Him–my father’s God, and I will exalt Him!” – Exodus 15:2 [NLT]

Filled and Forget

In Hosea 13, we read that the people of God were fed and satisfied, but it doesn’t stop there.  When they were satisfied, they became proud and forgot all about God.

This verse reminds me of something that has happened in my own life, and something that I’ve seen all around me. We are blessed by God. We are satisfied. We become proud. It’s a sad progression, but it often happens. We are called to be humble, but pride often gets the best of us. We get puffed up and start to believe we are the ones responsible for what we’ve received. We start to be less useful to God because we are so full of ourselves.

Truth be told, God is the Provider. He is the One Who blesses. He is the One Who satisfies. We are reminded again and again of the need to be humble people. Jesus Christ was the perfect humble servant—oh what an example for each of us! To keep yourself grounded when you get satisfied by the blessings of God, remind yourself of the Source of the blessings. Continue to praise Him for all that He has done and continues to do in your life. If you keep the focus on God, it will help to keep pride away. I pray you may never forget the great I AM.

“When I fed them, they were satisfied; when they were satisfied, they became proud; then they forgot me.” – Hosea 13:6 [NIV]

Wrong Side of the Bed

Sometimes the day does not start out “right.” Many people call this “waking up on the wrong side of the bed.” We have all heard the phrase, “I wish I could just go back to bed and start the day over.” But once God blesses us with a morning, we have to live out the day until a next one comes (God willing). For me, this morning did not start right. Poor Max had some ear issues. Then I started working while still at home and I found more issues. My drive into the office wasn’t filled with the usual praise and worship session. Instead, there was silent contemplation.

I continued along with my day, but I didn’t have the same “bounce in my step.” All of the sudden, while running an errand, I drove right into a traffic jam caused by a road construction. A complete stand still. The cars were not moving. As I sat waiting for a hint of movement ahead, I was singing along to the worship music on the radio. As I sang, I focused on the lyrics. In the midst of day that did not start well, traffic had stopped to bless me with this special moment to praise the Lord—something I did not do during the morning drive.

Yes, the construction did not happen simply for me to have this jam session Jesus encounter. Even so, it was just what I needed. Each day is a new day. What a blessing! When a day seems to not start out the way you intended, do not count the day over. There’s no need to go back to bed and have a do-over. Instead, shift your eyes to God, realign yourself with Him, and meditate on His Word. Lift Your voice to Him. Thank Him. Praise His great name! As you are doing what you were made to do, you will live more expectantly, more joyful, more excited to share His love with a world desperate for Him.

“Serve the LORD with gladness! Come into his presence with singing! Know that the LORD, he is God! It is he who made us, and we are his; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.” – Psalm 100:2-3 [ESV]

“Bring all who claim me as their God, for I have made them for my glory. It was I who created them.” – Isaiah 43:7 [NLT]

 

Shoulder Pain

I’ve been having a lot of shoulder pain for the past few months. It started to be very bothersome and interrupt my activities of daily living. Someone who knows a thing or two about shoulders has told me I have a weak shoulder. Yes, a weak shoulder. I never thought it could be possible—that I could have a weak shoulder—as I am always active. The problem is the particular area doesn’t do the work as other muscles and it has become too weak to support itself.

So now I am in a lot of pain and lately I find myself with eyes filled with tears as I try to sleep. I find myself having to do exercises to work out the weak area. This therapy is painful. This therapy can be draining or overwhelming. This therapy is necessary.

As God chips away at us, helping to mold us into we are meant to be, we might feel some pain. Change requires loss. We grieve. We drag our feet. We don’t understand. To move along with God and walk alongside Him doing our part, we find ourselves making adjustments to our lives to make room for Him and that can appear overwhelming. We say things like, “I have to wake up earlier so I can get my morning devotion read or it won’t get done” We find ourselves stepping out in faith in small and big ways. Turning down jobs. Traveling to unfamiliar areas. Changing direction. But just as I need this therapy to strengthen my muscle again, so we need God’s Word, His direction, His prodding. I pray today you allow yourself to be molded by our Maker, rejoicing as you trust His perfect plan. Praise Him. Trust Him. Embrace Him. Dig into His Word—not just here and there, but every day. Take it with you. Write it down. Remember it. Cherish it. Eat it. Speak it. Love it. No one who trust God like this – heart and soul – will ever regret it.

“With your whole being you embrace God setting things right, and then you say it, right out loud: ‘God has set everything right between him and me!’ Scripture reassures us, ‘No one who trusts God like this – heart and soul – will ever regret it.’” – Romans 10:10-11 [MSG]

Grim Strength and Glory Strength

We have the option of doing things using our own strength or doing things with God strengthening us “with all power, according to His glorious might” (Colossians 1:11b ESV). I have tried both ways and I know which way is best. Time and time again, using my own strength was like running a race without eating breakfast first. You might finish what you meant to finish, but it’s not fun, not easily accomplished, and it really beats you up.

In the Message there are two strengths mentioned: Grim Strength and Glory Strength. Grim strength is when you are gritting your teeth just to get something done. It’s almost as if you have to force it to be completed, giving it every ounce of what you have to make it work. It’s a bad struggle. It’s not how God intended things to work. The Glory Strength is when you allow God to strengthen you to accomplish His will. You might have a great struggle before you but with His strength it is never grim. People see you overcome, people see your achievements, and God gets so much glory. When you live with God’s Glory Strength, you do great things through Him and cannot help but have this outpouring of praise for what He’s done through you. You realize that you could have struggled alone and barely scraped by but with Him you were able to soar to great heights for His glory. He qualified you. He did the work. You simply were the vessel through which He worked.

Life is rough. Life is hard. Life is filled with struggles and obstacles. You have two options: Grim Strength or Glory Strength. You can do life alone and try to make it through to the end or you can do life with God and allow Him to provide you the strength you need to get things accomplished. You can focus on a life that is lived for you, where your plans are the goals to be reached, or you can focus on God’s will for your life and realize that you have put great limits on your life. For God wants you to soar; God wants you to be a great bright light in a world of darkness. When you walk with grim strength, you miss out on the great plan He has for your life. In the end, a life lived with that strength causes you a lot more than just gritting teeth. May you learn how God works and how to live with Glory Strength so that you may endure and praise God with all you have as you see Him move and work through your life.

“Be assured that from the first day we heard of you, we haven’t stopped praying for you, asking God to give you wise minds and spirits attuned to his will, and so acquire a thorough understanding of the ways in which God works. We pray that you’ll live well for the Master, making him proud of you as you work hard in his orchard. As you learn more and more how God works, you will learn how to do your work. We pray that you’ll have the strength to stick it out over the long haul—not the grim strength of gritting your teeth but the glory-strength God gives. It is strength that endures the unendurable and spills over into joy, thanking the Father who makes us strong enough to take part in everything bright and beautiful that he has for us.” – Colossians 1:9-12 [MSG]

A Cheerful Heart

This morning I walked into work and stood at the time clock. Around the corner someone was in their office; however, they knew it was me standing outside their door. Why? Because I’m “always humming.” Why do I hum? Well I don’t want to scare people away with my singing. Seriously though, I am humming praise music. All day long I am humming praise music at work. It certainly keeps me upbeat through the day as I continue to worship Him, switching from song to song, reminding myself of His greatness, of His Word, of His love.

Proverbs 15 speaks about “a cheerful heart (that) fills the day with song.” People can tell that I am cheerful when I am humming. Trust me, when I’m not humming I get asked “what is wrong.” It is very true that when I am not humming, I am not feeling very well, whether it be pain, depression, sadness, etc. It usually doesn’t take me long to get back to the humming when I realize I have stopped.

Do you really have something to be cheerful about? If you know Jesus, I would definitely say you do. Perhaps you aren’t a hummer, but can people tell that you are cheerful by your actions or would people probably say you are miserable? There’s this person I know who always is smiling, always upbeat, always shining with each person she meets. It doesn’t matter if she is in pain, if things are not going her way, etc. She always is cheerful. I can see it. I can feel it. Everyone around her can. Why? Jesus. Every day she wakes up and thanks the good Lord for another day. A cheerful heart fills the day with song.

“A miserable heart means a miserable life;
a cheerful heart fills the day with song.”

-Proverbs 15:15 [MSG]

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A Banquet of Praise

I’ve been to many banquets over the years; each one is a great celebration. In today’s verse, it speaks about “a banquet of praise.” The NIV says, “Sacrifice thank offerings to God.”

Now today we do not sacrifice thank offerings like they once did; however, we still should offer praise to God. He alone deserves praise. In verse 15, God says, “Call on me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you, and you will honor me.” Call on Him. He will help. We will honor Him. It seems so simple but yet it gets neglected again and again.

We can never praise God enough. We can never offer Him enough thanks for what He has done for us, what He has given us. When I think of spreading out a banquet feast, I think of the big table of food at a wedding celebration or birthday dinner. I think of a Christmas family dinner or a picnic spread on a beautiful summer day. Those feasts we give a lot to make happen. We prepare. We spend. We plan. We pour a lot out for those banquets. A banquet is elaborate. A banquet is large. So when we think of a banquet of praise, it should never be only a “thank you for my food” before your meal and nothing more for the rest of the day. Imagine tomorrow morning, waking up and only having what you thanked God for today. Wow! There’s so much more to be thankful for, so much more opportunity to praise Him. Start spreading out that banquet. Honor Him.

“Spread for me a banquet of praise,
serve High God a feast of kept promises,
And call for help when you’re in trouble—
I’ll help you, and you’ll honor me.”

-Psalm 50:14-15 [MSG]

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