"We are chosen that we should show forth the Praises of Him Who has called us out of darkness into His marvelous light." (I Peter 2:9)
In the CHRISTmas greeting we sent out to friends and family, we told about a website that has touched our hearts.....and led us to Praise God anew. Since we've heard back from so many as to how it also blessed them, we would like to share it with you.
Hopefully you'll be able to view it if you cut and paste this into the browser address:
We feel like Praising the Lord and hope that you do, too.
But before we do, we must see what sin in our lives can do...
and what takes away Praise. (See Psalms 51....and the daily newspaper!)
1) Sin soils the soul (vs. 2 & 7)
2) Saturates the mind (vs.3)
3) Strickens the conscious (vs.4)
4) Saddens the heart (vs. 8 & 12)
5) Sickens the body (vs. 8)
6) Sours the spirit (vs. 10)
7) Seals the lips (vs. 15)
8) Separates from God - not from relationship, but from fellowship.
Sin separates the lost person farther from both relationship AND fellowship.
During David's sin, there was no song and there was no Praise.
However, in verses 12-19, he begins to experience forgiveness for sin and restoration...
to a life of Praise (many of the Psalms are his).
All of this came through repentance, confession and faith.
Now, let's see what Praising can do. The results are truly amazing!
In fact, Hebrews 13:15 calls it 'rendering unto God the sacrifice of Praise'.
The word 'sacrifice' conveys 'giving up something for something better'....
(and something more beneficial).
It may be hard to do, but well worth the results.
PSALM 51: 10-19 gives the results and benefits.
David's silence during sin, became JOY and PRAISE and restoration:
~Vs 8: Makes me to hear joy and gladness again
~Vs 9: The joy of forgiveness
(Truly, the Joy of the Lord is our strength...Nehemiah 8:10)
~Vs 10a: A clean heart - out of the heart are the issues of life (Proverbs 4:23)
~Vs 10b: A right spirit is renewed.
~Vs 11: Feel His Presence again.
~Vs 12: The joy of salvation is restored - free in the spirit and singing His songs.
~Vs 13-19: Witnessing to, and teaching others by walk...and by talk.
I believe that it was Ras Robinson who penned this acrostic on PRAISE.
Assures and affirms Hope
Summary statements about Praise:
1) Psalm 34:1
"I will bless the Lord at all times for His praise shall continually be in my mouth."
Try it...you'll like it!
Your life and others around you will benefit! Say Praise and Live Praise!
Praise God on principle...and not only on impulse, glands, emotion or circumstances.
For example, my wife of over 55 years has lived for 30 yrs. with Lupus and no adrenal gland function, yet her life and speech show forth much praise.
2) Praise increase Faith, Hope and Love.
3) Praise lifestyle needs 3 books:
Many churches no longer use hymnbooks in their worship services...
(and sometimes the other two are not in use much either).
If your life has no joy and praise, try these 3 books.
In fact, study Psalms 119 and see how much it praises the Bible.
4) With praise, worship can become private as well as public.
We miss so much if we only praise in a building, for praise is Life...and not locale!
5) Praise releases the Holy Spirit to do His work in you and through you.
Someone wrote a song entitled 'Channels Only' and another said,
"I can not hold much, but I can overflow a lot".
6) Praise helps to change life's disappointments into God's appointments...
and victims into victors!
Praise takes the long look and knows that God is in charge.
It gives to others a POSITIVE and not a negative witness.
7) Praise helps us to never lose the wonder of it all.
A lady said to the late tenor Pavarotti, "God has surely touched your voice".
He replied, "God has touched my soul".
8) Praise helps us to go deeper in life's happenings.
Hallelujahs without holiness won't work!
To praise the Lord outwardly and not be His inwardly, is hypocrisy.
While Praise is the highest of spiritual exercises, it is something we BECOME....
before something that we DO! (Attitude before actions)
9) People who think that Heaven will be dull because it will be a place of Praise and Worship, have never experienced the joy of REAL Praise and Worship down here on earth.
I remember two young people at Falls Creek Baptist Assembly near Davis, Oklahoma complaining about how "dull all of that Bible study and worship were". Later that week when they let Jesus into their hearts, their attitudes changed and the rest of the week was "great", they said.
10) Praise can begin with Thanksgiving because there is always more to be thankful for (than not) especially if you include the spiritual.
Stuart Briscoe said it well in his book, 'The Fullness of Christ':
"I remember some years ago, attending a performance of Tchaikovsky's Pathetique Symphony. At first I was completely unmoved and untouched by the music, even though the auditorium was filled with glorious harmony. Later in the program however, a remarkable change came over me, for I found my heart soaring with the music, my feet tapping to the rhythm and at the conclusion of the performance, my hands were clapping in appreciation. Heart, hands and feet were affected because the music invaded my soul. The difference in attitude and reaction came about when the music ceased to be all around me and managed to get right into me."
COME TO KNOW CHRIST AND LET HIM INVADE YOUR LIFE!
Fanny Crosby (1820-1925) wrote this beautiful song about Praise....
in spite of being blind most of her life.
Praise Him! praise Him! Jesus, our blessed Redeemer!
Sing, ye saints! His wonderful love proclaim!
Hail Him! hail Him! mightiest angels in glory;
Strength and honor give to His holy name!
Like a shepherd, Jesus will feed His people,
In His arms He carries them all day long;
O ye saints that live in the light of His presence,
Praise Him! praise Him! ever in joyful song!
Praise Him! praise Him! Jesus, our blessed Redeemer,
For our sins He suffered and bled and died;
He, our Rock, our Hope of eternal salvation,
Hail Him! hail Him! Jesus, the Crucified;
Loving Savior, meekly enduring sorrow,
Crowned with thorns that cruelly pierced His brow;
Once for us rejected, despised, and forsaken,
Prince of Glory, ever triumphant now.
Praise Him! praise Him! Jesus, our blessed Redeemer,
Heavenly portals, loud with hosannahs ring!
Jesus, Savior, reigneth for ever and ever;
Crown Him! crown Him! Prophet and Priest and King!
Death is vanquished! Tell it with joy, ye faithful,
Where is now thy victory, boasting grave?
Jesus lives! No longer thy portals are cheerless;
Jesus lives, the mighty and strong to save.
We pray that you will have a memorable CHRISTmas and a Blessed New Year.