Sermon Illustrations

‘Tis the Season for Praise

Psalm 118:1-4 says, “Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good… Let Israel say… Let the house of Aaron say… Let those who fear the LORD say: ‘His love endures forever.’”

The writer of this psalm is very careful to give recognition to the Lord and it is right that the whole Body of Christ gathers in public worship and sing and give thanks unto the Lord. There should be no murmuring spirit and no forgetting to praise Him. All complaining should come to an immediate halt and all self-glorification be destroyed. The children of God should never tolerate one moment of unbelief, but rest upon what the Bible says about God, Christ and the Holy Spirit’s influence.

“Love” is better translated as “loving-kindness” in the New American Standard Bible. “Loving-kindness” (Hebrew - hesed) meaning to give acts of kindness and show mercy on the repentant. The application is that the Lord God made an everlasting covenant of “loving-kindness” through the forefathers of Israel and goes on down to those who are Abraham’s descendants by faith. (Ro. 4:11-12,16)

Israel sinned. This caused them to end up in Egypt and they sinned in Egypt. They provoked the Lord to anger in the wilderness, went astray again and again under the time of the judges, transgressed time and time again, and yet the Lord still regarded them as His people. He was faithful to chastise them to draw them to repentance. God put His rod away every time Israel repented and He showed His compassion and His favor toward them.

The Lord’s “loving-kindness” is the national hymn to all who know Jesus Christ as personal Savior and Lord. How many times has God looked upon your sin and still called you His child? How many times has the Lord laid upon you His chastisements, as a Father would discipline his son? (Hebrews 12:5-7) How many times have you been found walking in and enjoying the favor of God on your life when you really did not deserve it?

Psalm 118 teaches that just as the nation Israel was to praise God for His goodness so are Americans, whose motto is “In God we Trust.” It also teaches that just as the house of Aaron was to praise the Lord, those in the ministry are to praise God by teaching their congregations to worship in Spirit and truth. This song of praise also exhorts all who fear the Lord to praise God for His loving kindness because His love is promised to a thousand generations of those who love the Lord and keep His commandments. (Exodus 20:6)

Join the grateful. Bless the Lord this season with a life that expresses praise.

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