“Praise the Lord, the God of Israel, who lives from everlasting to everlasting. Amen and amen!”
Psalms 41:13 NLT
Praise is a powerful thing! The definition of Praise is: admire, commend, applaud, celebrate.
Certainly, God is worthy of utmost praise. To praise is to declare the character of God! There is a distinct difference between praise and thanksgiving. Praise declares who God is. Thanksgiving declares what He has done. These two things need to be distinguished from one another. Most Christians don't know the difference and it can be heard in the words we use in our "praise". I've heard some testify at church and say things like "I praise God for my house, my health, my good job, etc.". Now, I know that God knows our hearts motives and measures us accordingly. My point is simply this: We need to understand the distinctions between praise and thanksgiving because we often sell God short and we glamorize our own benefits. The focus of our words are on us, not Him. Rather than genuinely loving God for who He is, we simply flatter Him when we are recipients of something beneficial to us. Like most people, we only appreciate and value others when they do something for us. Imagine being married to someone who only praises you when you do their laundry, fix their meals, etc. Listen to this: "Honey, I love you because you do my laundry so well." I don't think that sparks a romance!! Now take a listen to this: "Honey, I love you just because you are you. You are beautiful (or handsome - if the wife is referring to her husband), faithful, hard working, thoughtful, etc. The proper perspective and response is critical. In marriage, a key element of relational health is appreciating and applauding each other's characteristics. Selfishness, criticism, and the lack of appreciation can result in relationship failure. God is worthy of worship and is qualified for praise simply because of who He is. Job displayed this very thing when he said: “... "I came naked from my mother’s womb, and I will be naked when I leave. The Lord gave me what I had, and the Lord has taken it away. Praise the name of the Lord!”” Job 1:21 NLT Do you actually praise God or do you call it praise when you are thankful for His benefits? He deserves our adoration just because He is Holy, righteous, sinless, perfect, all powerful, all knowing, ever present, eternal, faithful, true, lovely, pure, gentle, patient, unchanging, immutable, timeless, loving, kind, good, temperate, and all of the other attributes of His Holiness.
Too often, we qualify our praise upon the basis of our own selfish benefits. Our praise of God should come from a heart of love for Him and an appreciation for His character. A proper understanding of His nature will result in eruptive praise. His character commands our praise!!!
“Praise the Lord! Praise God in his sanctuary; praise him in his mighty heaven! Praise him for his mighty works; praise his unequaled greatness! Praise him with a blast of the ram’s horn; praise him with the lyre and harp! Praise him with the tambourine and dancing; praise him with strings and flutes! Praise him with a clash of cymbals; praise him with loud clanging cymbals. Let everything that breathes sing praises to the Lord! Praise the Lord!”
Psalms 150:1-6 NLT
Rev. Curtis Norris