Category Archives: Praise

-The Call of Thankfulness

Praise Dance

            (Image by bdec via Flickr)

This is a good time to look at the call of thankfulness in the life of the believer.

Throughout the scriptures in both the old and the new, believers are instructed to express praise and thankfulness to God as a part of their daily worship and devotion.

Here’s a few good ones to remember:

Ps 100:1-5

Make a joyful noise to the LORD, all the earth!
2 Serve the LORD with gladness!
Come into his presence with singing!

3 Know that the LORD, he is God!
It is he who made us, and we are his;
we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.

4 Enter his gates with thanksgiving,
and his courts with praise!
Give thanks to him; bless his name!

5 For the LORD is good;
his steadfast love endures forever,
and his faithfulness to all generations.
ESV

Col 3:15-17
15 And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful. 16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God. 17 And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.
ESV

Phil 4:4-7

4 Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice. 5 Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; 6 do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. 7 And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
ESV

 

In fact, thankfulness is the fruit and proof of one’s faith. According to Romans 1:21 the opposite is true for the ungodly who do not “honor him as God or give thanks to him.”

All believers are called to be thankful no matter what circumstances we may find ourselves in (See: I Thess. 5:18 below). In fact the very act of rejoicing, thanking, and praising God changes our very lives for the better. It also can open the door to miracles.

I am reminded of the occasion when Paul and Silas were beaten and thrown in prison. Most of us including myself would have probably complained about the situation and questioned God about why he allowed it to happen. But Paul and Silas gave thanks and sang praises and it changed everything (Acts 16:-40). I also know of one pastor who went through similar circumstances who sang praises and converted more than a few in prison in the process.

Even if our praises and thankfulness do not change the circumstances we find ourselves in, it does change us and open us up to greater intimacy with God. This is God’s will for our lives and real blessings follow.

1 Thess 5:16-18
16 Rejoice always, 17 pray without ceasing, 18 give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.
ESV

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-Tough Times? Time to Praise The Lord!

Symbol of Christianity, white version.

    (Image via Wikipedia)

Here’s a timely message from Habakkuk 3:17-19:

Though the fig tree should not blossom /
And there be no fruit on the vines /
Though the yield of the olive should fail /
And the fields produce no food /
Though the flock should be cut off from the fold /
And there be no cattle in the stalls /
Yet I will exult in the Lord /
I will rejoice in the God of my salvation.

The Sovereign Lord is my strength/
He makes my feet like the feet of a deer/
He enables me to go on the heights.

According to J. Lee Grady, this musical passage was meant to be performed in an upbeat enthusiastic manner. Grady expands on this scriptural message in a recent article: When Life Gets Tough, It’s Time for ‘Shigionoth’!

The passage reminds me of a book I read years ago and recommend highly: Prison To Praise by Merlin Carothers

Just like the Habakkuk passage, the book testifies about how we need to be praising God no matter what circumstances we find ourselves in. How praise can change the very dynamics of our living and bring us closer to our Father. Just like prayer changes things, so does praise.

The greatest example I can think of is Paul and Silas in prison singing praises after being beaten (Acts 16:-40). It was the very worst of circumstances, but praise changed everything. An incredible story that we should take to heart and never forget. Praise the Lord!

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TheCall-San Diego: Sights and Sounds

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According to the news reports, there were 33,000 at Qualcomm. Also, according to the paper, we were all bigoted anti-homosexuals there to spew out hate and to rant and rave for an entire day against same-sex marriage.

I guess that reporter phoned the story in without ever bothering to show up. If he did come, he must have been there between noon and 1 pm only when we were praying over Prop.8 on the California ballot—which would authorize marriage between a man and a woman only, and over-turn homosexual marriage in the state.

During that time we were joined by the Catholic Bishop of San Diego who had arranged for 1,500,000 Knights of Columbus who were committed to pray with us during that hour for California and Prop.8.

Those who showed up yesterday were an encouraging mixture of different kinds of churches and races.

The usual evangelical and Charismatic leaders were there taking turns leading us in prayer, including Dr. James Dobson and his wife Shirley.

The Black church was well represented in the stadium, with a number of pastors and worship leaders who lead us in prayer and some flat out wonderful/powerful worship music–including one group who did Christian Rap–the 10,000 or so kids on the field went crazy.

Also, there were tons of Latino Christians there –at least once an hour or so a Latino pastor would lead prayer in Spanish, also some of the worship music was in Spanish and along with some bi-lingual songs.

Everywhere I looked there were Asian Christians, Korean and Chinese pastors also lead in prayer along with a number of Asian worship leaders. A huge number of Asian kids were among the 10,000 or so down on the field.

Well that is an account of the sights and sounds, GodTV covered the event live and is planning on running replays so you might be able to catch some of it.

I found the day to be invigorating for my faith and encouraging for the future of the church in California. Stay tune, there is more–and it’s revival related!             *Top 

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TheCall -San Diego: My Experience

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I went to TheCall yesterday with the intention of only staying for part of it. Usually when I fast I get really sick but The Lord gave me incredible grace.

I didn’t feel hungry or weak nor did I get the hindering headache I usually do when I go without food for a day. Praise God, it was all grace cause it sure didn’t come by faith, I brought two sandwiches and two cans of Diet Coke along just in case–didn’t use them till on the way on the home.

I stayed for the entire 12 hours and came away invigorated. This morning I was ready to go and actually looking forward to church. I wouldn’t trade the day for anything! It was an unbelievable experience, 12 hours of prayer and worship with the Holy Spirit filling the entire stadium.             *Top

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