Wednesday, April 27, 2022

             Is praising the Lord a part of your daily life?  Do you look for and find reasons to praise God each day?  Praise is an important part of our faith and life as disciples and followers of Jesus.  We have been blessed.  We are blessed.  And we will be blessed.  These blessings are occasions to praise God.  After all, He is the maker and giver of every good and perfect gift (James 1:17).  Praise is an important and appropriate response to what God has given to us and done for us.  One lesson we learn from Easter is singing and declaring our praise to the Lord—for His victory at the Cross and the Empty Tomb.  Incidentally, there is an event just before Easter, at the beginning of the first Holy Week, that shows us the importance of praising the Lord.
            As Jesus entered Jerusalem on what we call Palm Sunday, the crowds praised Jesus and celebrated His entry.  The Pharisees were angry and called upon Jesus to silence or rebuke his disciples.  Jesus replied, “I tell you, if they keep quiet, the stones will cry out” (Luke 18:40).  And nature would cry out in praise to the Lord.  Nature recognizes and responds to its creator.  The Bible says that the heavens declare the glory of the Lord (Psalm 19:1).  Nature instinctively and intrinsically knows that God deserves our finest praise and tribute. 
            Humans are the highest order of God’s creation.  We are made in His image and likeness.  If nature is willing to cry out in praise and to declare His glory, we certainly should.  Make praising God part of your prayer time.  Set aside time to praise God when you pray.  Rather than rushing into petitions and pleas, begin with a few moments of simply praising God and acknowledging what He has done for you.  Set aside a few moments to praise God when you read the Bible.  The Bible is God’s Word and reveals to us precious information about His ways and character.  As you read the Bible, look for reasons to praise Him.  What does His Word say to you that would give occasion or rise to praising Him?
            God made your eyes and ears.  You are fearfully and wonderfully made by Him.  He also made your nose, mouth and hands.  We were blessed with five functioning senses.  Praise God when your senses reveal something to you about Him or when your senses bring a blessing into your life.  When you see, hear, taste, smell and touch, praise God for what your senses are drawing into your life.  Give praise to God when you hear someone share a faith story or where God may be at work in his or her life.  God is always at work and faithfully working out His plans and purposes for good.  Give praise when you see God working in the life of someone else.
            We have plenty of occasions to praise God.  The only limitation is our own willingness to do so.  But we can teach ourselves to praise God.  We can learn to develop this important discipline if we are so inclined.  We can praise the Lord as we give Him our tithes and offerings.  He is the One who has given us the benefits and blessings that we enjoy.  As we return to Him some of what He has given to us, we have an occasion to praise Him.  Some people are known as whiners and complainers.  Maybe you have encountered people like that.  May we be known as praisers!  We want to be people looking for reasons and times to praise the Lord.  No time is ever wrong.  And no reason is too small. 
            Please pray for our team leaving for Poland on Sunday, May 2 at 6:30pm.  The team will return on Monday afternoon, May 9.  Pray for them as they serve among Ukrainian refugees and share the good news of Jesus in actions and hopefully with translated and understood words as well.  Have a great Wednesday!  
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