Friday, July 22, 2011

Praise With One Another

One of my cousins and me at Cracker Barrel

“I will extol the Lord at all times;

His praise will always be on my lips.

My soul will boast in the Lord;

Let the afflicted hear and rejoice.

Glorify the Lord with me;

Let us exalt his name together.” Psalm 34:1-3

God deserves our highest praise. We can praise him for the tiniest thing in our lives. For some of us, we can praise Him for the ability to get out of bed in the morning. I praise God whenever I can hold a small child.

Sometimes our praise is about the work God is doing although we can’t see it yet. Yes, we can give thanks for work He is yet to do.

In conversation with friends, we can praise the Lord with them when God blesses them. When we realize He has bestowed a gift upon us, we can share that kindness to others and give praise with our friends.

When we take the time to praise God, we magnify what the Lord has done for His children. Those who are ill or spiritually impoverished will hear and learn of His goodness. Then, they will join us in rejoicing.

Let us all honor God by raising Him up before our nations as one people-His people.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

We Praise Him

“Now, our God, we give you thanks, and praise your glorious name.

O Lord our God, as for all this abundance you have provided for

building you a temple for your Holy Name, it comes from your hand

and all of it belongs to you.”

1 Chronicles 29:13, 16 (NIV)

King David prayed to God, giving thanks for what He gave to build the Temple. He led those in attendance in praising God for His abundantly providing the needed supplies and furnishings for the edifice for worshipping Him. He verbalizes that all the things the people have given have come from God.

In my living room sits a wooden bookcase with doors. Our brother-in-law told me I could have it when he found out we planned to move into our home. When hubby refinished it, he chose to put Plexiglas instead of glass like it had originally. He didn’t want our son to fall into it and get hurt. I don’t believe anyone would know the ‘glass’ was a man-made product. As I wrote this, I realized that glass, while being fashioned by man, has natural elements from the earth in its makeup. I’m not sure of the ingredients in Plexiglas but, I believe, there could be some natural ingredients in it.

When we start up our computers, do we think of the elements of nature that man has harnessed in order for us to use our modern wonders?

Do we praise Him for the knowledge He has given our doctors and nurses, our pastors, our missionaries?

Can we think of anything in our lives that doesn’t ultimately come from God? Please think on this question for a minute or two before you answer.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Praise in Tough Times

Do we have times when we find we have to praise God although the times are tough? I received a phone call from my friend who lives in Virginia; she has lost a nephew to Cancer. She also has a brother who, depending on the state of his lungs, may be having open heart surgery this week.

“Though the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines,

though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food,

though there be no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls,

yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will be joyful in God my Savior.”

Habakkuk 3:17-18 (NIV)

Habakkuk prayed that he would rejoice in the Lord under the most devastating times. How many of us could pray that prayer? I know my friend would have a hard time with it.

Could we imagine what our land would look like if we had no fruit trees budding? In the Midwest we would have no cherries, apples, or peaches.

My husband grew up in a farming community. What would it look like if the soy beans, wheat, and corn didn’t germinate? I believe it would look pretty bleak-for the farmers and for the consumers.

We know some young people who have raised sheep as a part of their 4H projects. Every year the county fair has an auction of the animals the youth have tended. But what if there were no animals- sheep, cows, swine or chickens?

Habakkuk painted a bleak forlorn picture of Judah. His thinking is that if all the things deemed vital to their well being no longer existed, he would still feel bound to give thanks to God.

Under those circumstances what would Habakkuk, or even we, find in our lives under for which we could praise God?

1.) God is present with us in such difficult times.

2.) He will guide us through travails such as drought and loss of income.

3.) He will fellowship with us as we pray to Him.

4.) Our Lord will encourage us as we worship Him.

Dear God:

Please allow us to praise You whatever our circumstances in life. We ask You to accept our thanks for Your presence as we go through tough times. Please show us how to continue to praise You in the hard times. We will give You thanks for everything You have done for us. In the name of Jesus, we pray. AMEN.

Fear, Courage: God Is With Us  Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the LORD ...