Yesterday, God showed me an area of sin in my life. It’s not something I’ve been doing. It’s something I’ve failed to do enough. I’ve neglected praise.
Our church small group is working through Rick Warren’s “Bible Study Methods.” This past week we did a thematic study on praising God in the Psalms. After pouring over dozens of passages in the book of Psalms, I realized I have fallen far short of giving God the praise He deserves. And that is sin.
I have purposefully practiced praise for years. And the more I’ve learned about the character and nature of God, the more my praise of Him has grown. Yet He still deserves more.
Here are a few things I learned from my study this week:
- God “ordained” praise (Psalm 8:2) – God Himself determined that we should praise Him. He established praise as the proper response of the “created” to the Creator. Praise is right, good, and expected. After all, He created us for His glory (Isaiah 43:7).
- God deserves our praise – The psalms gives us hundreds of reasons to praise God. For instance, we should praise God for His great power, miraculous works, unfailing love, righteous laws, faithfulness, and abundant goodness. We should glorify His name because He heals, forgives, satisfies, and strengthens. Basically, we praise God for who He is and what He does.
- Praise should flow constantly – I saw many references in the Psalms as to “when” we should praise God. We should praise Him morning and night, through the night, as long as we live, now and forevermore, from the rising to the setting of the sun, day after day, at midnight, 7 times a day, and forever. I understood all that to mean I should continuously praise God with my words, thoughts, and deeds. Everything I say and do should bring honor and glory to God (1 Corinthians 10:31).
- Praise should be public – Yes, there should be private moments of praise. Daily times when I’m alone with God. But praise must also be public. I must purposefully praise Him in public for who He is and what He’s done so that others will “know of His mighty acts” (Psalm 145:12). We must commend His works to the next generation (Psalm 145:4). We must declare His glory among the nations and His marvelous deeds among all peoples (Psalm 96:3).
God created me so I would praise and glorify Him. I allow too many things to distract me from my primary purpose. I intend to be more purposeful in praising God throughout the day. I commit to declaring His praise to other people.
I will exalt you, my God the King; I will praise Your name for ever and ever. Every day I will praise You and extol Your name for ever and ever. Great is the LORD and most worthy of praise; His greatness no one can fathom. Psalm 145:1-3, NIV
How are you doing? Have you “fallen short” in praising God? What are some ways you can purposefully praise Him today?