Tag Archives: praise

Recognition


A person is praised according to their prudence,
and one with a warped mind is despised.
Proverbs 8:12

Here is an immediate return to the kind of life we are leading. Those who make their life a career to hurt others receive general contempt and when they try to fall in favor with others they never get a drop of sympathy. By contrast, to those who behave wisely there is an immediate reward of praise from the people. We are talking about genuine praise, popular gratitude for living an irreproachable life and for showing love and justice in all things that are undertaken. Many wicked men think they are doing very well because they confuse flattery with praise. They are the subject of deception on the part of those who stick to them in the interests of making a profit and at the same time they deceive themselves because they are quite desperate to receive an affection they never won and never will earn for they do everything wrong. Flattery is nothing but a lie dressed to pose as a compliment.

Seek, then, to live a life based on the heavenly wisdom that comes from God the Father, wisdom that grant us long life, which is more profitable than gold and silver, which is more valuable than rubies, which gives us honor, peace and joy. Want to enjoy this wisdom? She is at your fingertips. Just ask God and he will give it to you, for God gives generously to all without finding fault. In front of you there is a bifurcation: one road leads you down a path of justice that will bring you praise, the other road will take you down the path of evil which can only bring you pain and contempt. Which of the two roads will you choose? Look up to Jesus Christ, stick with him and he will help you stay faithful and on the right track. Only to God be the glory!

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Whatever comes our way


the taunts with which your enemies, LORD, have mocked,
with which they have mocked every step of your anointed one.
Praise be to the LORD forever! Amen and Amen.
Psalms 89:51-52

It is easy for some of us to be thankful to God when all is going well. Others cannot even raise a thankful glance to heaven or mutter a simple “thanks God.”  when everything is going superb. And there are those who, despite adversity, amid the most terrible storms, when everything falls apart and all hope is lost, can say “thank you Lord, for I know that whatever happens to me is for my own good.” The latter are those who have understood perfectly what the apostle Paul wrote in his letter to the Romans, “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” Not only are they have perfectly understood this principle but they have also taken ownership of this promise of God for His children. Be it storm or peace, they are always trusting that everything is under the absolute control of God.

The author of Psalm 89, Ethan, was one of these people because despite the wealth of aggression and adversity to which he was subjected he was able to send blessings to the Lord, knowing that everything that was happening in his life and also in relation the nation of Israel was part of the good, pleasing and perfect will of God. Do you understand this biblical principle? Can you thank God for all that you have received, whether good or bad, recognition or insults, blows or kindness, curses or blessings, hate or smiles, contempt or acceptance, health or sickness, scarcity or abundance, joy or pain, etc.? When you learn to maintain your spirits high despite the circumstances around you, you will fully understand what Ethan was thinking when he ended his long list of complaints and lamentations with a heartfelt blessing for God. So, the next time you complain, also give praise to God. Only to God be the glory!

To praise or not to praise? That is the question


Shout for joy to God, all the earth!
Sing the glory of his name;
make his praise glorious.
Psalm 66:1-2

People are most curious. Everybody wants salvation but nobody seeks God and if they seek at all, they seek for a god to suit their wishes. They want to believe that there is a god just as they imagine it to be, with the attributes that in their eyes make it a god and yes, it has to be a god who does not judge or rebuke them when they do something wrong. What they want is a self-serve god. Those who have become millionaires by selling books and duping half the world with these ideas suggest that God can be found in the depths of our being and that all we have to do is to focus by meditation within ourselves until a divine spark or something like that shows up. Any strange feeling associated with this process would demonstrate that we are on the right path to find God.

The world is full of tricksters and charlatans. If someone wants God to dwell within him, he must first invite God to come forward, enter and establish his dwelling in the inner being. Since the creation of the universe God has been knocking on the door of the every heart to ask them to let him come in and live with them. But they have ignored the call of God and have dedicated themselves to create their own philosophies and all kinds of religions to feel they are doing something about it. Some even have allowed God to enter but refuse to recognize and thank him for all that God has done for them. It’s like having a girlfriend to whom you never say she is very pretty and neither you mention to her that she makes you so very happy. I do not think such an engagement has a future at all. We were created for the praise of the glorious grace of God. Do you know what we’ll be doing when we are in the presence of God? We will be praising and worshiping God for eternity. Why wait? Let’s start at once! Only to God be the glory!

From grumbling to praise


Let the redeemed of the LORD tell their story—
those he redeemed from the hand of the foe,
those he gathered from the lands,
from east and west, from north and south.
Psalm 107:2-3

On the lips of the children of God there must always be a word of thanksgiving for all the good that God has bestowed upon us. The grace and mercy of God became effective in the life of each one of us and that’s more than enough reason to always be grateful and satisfied with what we are and have. If so, then why do we sometimes feel as if we had been dealt the worst hand? Why doesn’t our heart overflow with joy at all times because of the kindness and blessings that God has given us? Why our mood flags and sometimes we feel as if we were defeated and tired? There are two or three things that exert a strong influence on how we feel every day. One is our sinful nature that leads us to listen to the messages of the world and the tares of the enemy instead of awaiting the promises contained in the word of God. When we listen to what the world tells us we find that do not meet the criteria of what the world considers as successful and we are frustrated because our whole effort has been wasted.

On the other hand we have that we rely heavily on our own strength and therefore underestimate the power of God in our lives. When relying on our power we are heading quickly towards failure because the vast majority of problems and things cannot be solved by ourselves. Third is our limited attention span, which is the ability that we need to focus on a task without being distracted by the environment. This limited attention span reduces the time we need to devote to studying God’s word. With these three powerful influences acting negatively in our daily lives it should not be surprising then that joy and satisfaction are not part of our ongoing mood. Let us identify those negative forces that want to take away the joy and let us fight with persistence its influence on our lives by regularly immersing ourselves into the reading and study of the wonderful gift of God’s word. We’ll see how our mood changes from sadness to joy and from grumbling to praise. To God alone be the glory!

Gratitude


May my lips overflow with praise,
for you teach me your decrees.
May my tongue sing of your word,
for all your commands are righteous.
Psalm 119:171-172

If you want to know what a person really holds in his heart and what his true priorities are, ask him why he is grateful to God. If this person focuses on God and His Word, he will respond immediately to you and will mention the many things for which his heart overflows with gratitude. If he takes a bit to answer it may be for two reasons, one is that it has so many things for which to be full of gratitude that he needs a couple of seconds to rank them in order of importance from highest to lowest before stating them. The other possibility is that this person has never stopped to consider the many blessings God has granted him or simply he does not know who is the author of all things good and apparently bad that are part of his life.

Never forget that everything, absolutely everything we are, have and do we owe to our heavenly Father who gave us life, forgiveness of sins and salvation through His Son Jesus Christ. Consider the long list of daily blessings and benefits that our Father has bestowed upon us, which makes us the most privileged beings in the universe. Until we are totally clear about these things we will not know what it means to praise God. If you’ve never sat down to consider what God has given you, begin by investigating where your life comes from and who allows your heart to beat and lets you breathe. Soon you will realize that every aspect of your life, as insignificant as it may seem, you owe it to God. To him who is the Way, the Truth, and the Life give all thanks. To God alone be the glory!

Peace and Justice


I will perpetuate your memory through all generations;
therefore the nations will praise you for ever and ever.
Psalms 45:17

Everyone craves peace and justice. The only problem is that the peace and justice that we all crave is the one that concerns us exclusively. That is, while I have peace and satisfy my personal desire for justice I will be content and indifferent to whether others are enjoying the same privileges or not. The problem is not lack of peace or justice. The problem is the selfishness with which we treat everything around us and anything that has to do with our lives. That is reason we are always ready to claim our rights and feel very annoyed when an injustice is committed against us but we do look the other way when injustice is committed on somebody else, especially if that somebody is deprived and cannot defend himself. Our concept of justice is exclusivist and accommodating, totally adapted to our personal interests. That is why the world will never know peace or have full justice until the Lord Jesus Christ reigns over all the earth and anyone who opposes him is just eliminated.

It is our responsibility as children of God to promote the ethical and moral principles of the gospel message. The Kingdom of God has its charter and the text of this document we can find in the Sermon on the Mount. The word of God contains everything you need to establish, at least around us and within our sphere of influence, the justice and peace we all crave. All that is required is obedience to the word of God and placing our faith in Jesus Christ alone, the Author and Finisher of our faith. Do you want to see peace and justice in your life? Start at your intimate circle and expand the application of the principles available in God’s word to all your sphere of influence. This way you will be testifying to the presence of Christ in your heart and you’ll be announcing the name of God to all generations. To God alone be the glory!

Acknowledgment


You armed me with strength for battle;
You humbled my adversaries before me.
You made my enemies turn their backs in flight,
and I destroyed my foes.
Psalm 18:39-40

King David’s greatness was to recognize the limits on its own strength and lean on the strength of God. Moreover, the example of King David is valuable because it teaches us not just to rely on the strength of God but also that we must give him credit for the victories. Egocentrism, that element so prevalent in our sinful nature often causes us to attribute the successes to ourselves when in fact the glory belongs to God and to him only. This happens to us in everything we undertake. We are always leaning on our own knowledge and skills to carry out our dreams and plans and forget all about him who really has given us everything, starting with life.

When writing your curriculum vitae, Who do you attribute the authorship of the achievements that you want to highlight so those who read this document know how valuable you are? At the end of the day, Do you congratulate yourself or on the contrary you offer a prayer of thanksgiving to our Heavenly Father for all he did for you? When difficulties arise, Who you go for help if indeed seek outside help? Here is the instruction that King David gave his son Solomon: “And you, my son Solomon, acknowledge the God of your father, and serve him with wholehearted devotion and with a willing mind, for the LORD searches every heart and understands every desire and every thought. If you seek him, he will be found by you; but if you forsake him, he will reject you forever.” [1] Let us always acknowledge God in our path and give Him the glory that only he deserves. To God alone be the glory!

[1] 1 Chronicles 28:9

Sorrow


Praise be to the LORD God, the God of Israel,
who alone does marvelous deeds.
Praise be to his glorious name forever;
may the whole earth be filled with his glory. Amen and Amen.
Psalm 72:18-19

When adversity hits us we should bless the holy name of God. When the enemy attacks us without mercy we must praise the glorious name of God. When we encounter unexpected surprises we must find the holy face of God. When we are submerged in doubt and confusion we must get closer to our Lord Jesus. When fate toys with us we must humble ourselves under the mighty hand of God. When we do not understand what is happening around us we must turn our gaze to God. When pain takes hold of our hearts and refuses to leave us alone we must look to the throne of grace of our heavenly Father. When reality stuns us and numbs our thoughts we must cry to God for His help. When we can not find the words that can give us comfort we must seek the protection of Almighty God. When we do not know when will we be able to get out of a bitter moment we must cling to the feet of our Savior. When the answers do not appear and the questions accumulate we must raise our eyes to our Lord. When affliction destroys our hearts we must seek shelter in the holy place of his presence. When we run out of words and tears take their place we must surrender our will to God Almighty. When joy does not return to our lives we can only find peace and comfort in the loving arms of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. He alone has all the answers to all the concerns and questions of humanity. Only in Him we can find reasons and answers to our questions and direction for our lost ways. Only his loving hands can get us out of the deep quagmire that caught our feet and our hearts. Our beloved Jesus is the only solution! Only to God be the glory! Blessed be his holy name forever!

Love and justice


Be exalted in your strength, LORD;
we will sing and praise your might.
Psalm 21:13

As much as we may dislike the behavior of those who refuse to recognize the authority and power of God over the universe we have to understand that the judgement due to those who reject Christ belongs to God alone. Sometimes we despair because we want everyone to understand God’s plan as we know it, even though we know so little about it. God’s mysteries shall remain mysteries until the moment he decides to reveal them. We can only know what he has already shown us through his word. By sharing the message of God’s love for all we have to keep in mind that “God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.” [1] God wants all to be saved and we must act on that premise to avoid falling into judgments and developing critical attitudes of intolerance toward yhose who do not understand the message. Moreover, “Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son.” [2] Never think that when we are disdained or when we are despised and mocked for sharing the message of salvation that we are the ones being rejected. God is being rejected and he is the one in charge of administering justice to those who do not want to believe in Jesus Christ our Lord.

So with patience and certainty that what we are instructed to do is the right and necessary task, let us continue sharing the good news of salvation available to all through the marvelous work of Christ on Mount Calvary and his power to overcome death. Let us love and let us not make judgments, so God will be exalted. This is the love of God: “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have everlasting life.” [3] Only to God be the Glory!

[1] John 3:17
[2] John 3:18
[3] John 3:16

Today’s word for July 14, 2011


I will praise God’s name in song
and glorify him with thanksgiving.
This will please the LORD more than an ox,
more than a bull with its horns and hooves.
The poor will see and be glad—
you who seek God, may your hearts live!
The LORD hears the needy
and does not despise his captive people.
Psalm 69:30-33

People cry out to God for many reasons but most of these petitions are selfish desires that will never be supported by God because they have no purpose other than the satisfaction of those who raised their cry. Many of these petitions are expressed without regard for the will of God and that is the main reason why these prayers are never answered. The apostle John makes this clear: “This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us.” And to ask according to the will of God is not just saying “Thy will be done” although it has to be said. Remember that the Holy Spirit of God knows what is in our spirit: “We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans. And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for God’s people in accordance with the will of God.” When we turn to our heavenly Father in prayer asking for anything let us make sure we’re asking in accordance with his will. His will is not unknown nor is it something that we ask for but we are not sure what we’re looking for. God’s will is clearly defined in his word and the only way we can know it is by constant reading of the Bible.

Do you want to know what is God’s will for your life? Read the word of God. Do you want to pray to God according to his perfect will? Include in your request “Thy will be done.” Do you want to make sure that God will hear you? First let us make sure that our heart is aligned with his heart. Only then we can be sure we are praying to the Father for His perfect will in the name of his Son Jesus Christ. Remember that every day we must decrease so that he can increase and be in control of our lives. Remember that the will of God is good, pleasing and perfect. To God alone be the glory!