Summary: A Praise-Filled Heart is part of a sermon series looking at those heart qualities Christian's should possess. This sermon takes its content from Psalm 138 as we look at three aspects of a heart filled with praise: a whole, humble, and encouraged heart
A Christian’s Heart
“A Praise-Filled Heart”
The idea of praising God for who He is, the Almighty God, Creator, Deliverer, Redeemer, Restorer, and Savior should be tantamount for all Christians.
• We praise God for being our King, Judge, Warrior, and Shepherd.
• We praise Him for His goodness, grace, and mercy.
• We praise Him for His love, joy, and peace.
• We praise Him for His righteousness and holiness.
• We praise Him in the morning, evening, and all the time in between.
To praise the Lord is to call attention to His majesty and glory. As expressions of praise we bless, exalt, glorify, magnify, and oh, by the way, thanking Him as well.
In fact, it’s God’s breath in our lungs that gives us physical and spiritual life, so we should pour out our praise to God.
The prophet Isaiah said we are to come together in order to proclaim His praise amongst the congregation, Isaiah 43:21. And in the future this is exactly what we’ll be doing in heaven, singing praises to the Lord, Revelation 4:11; 5:12-14; 7:12.
Psalm 33:1 (NIV) says, “Sing joyfully to the LORD, you righteous; it is fitting for the upright to praise him.”
Praising God should actually be in everything we do. The Apostle Paul addresses this in his letter to the Corinthians church and their lack of understanding in the worship of the Lord.
“So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do,” Paul said, “Do it all for the glory of God.” (1 Corinthians 10:31)
But King David in Psalm 138 brings out the ultimate expression of praise. Let’s take a look at verses one and two.
“I will praise You with my whole heart; before the gods I will sing praises to You. I will worship toward Your holy temple, and praise Your name for Your lovingkindness and Your truth; for You have magnified Your word above all Your name.” (Psalm 138:1-2 NKJV)
There are three aspects of a praising heart that are found in Psalm 138.
1. A Whole Heart
“I will praise You with my whole heart.” (Psalm 138:1a NKJV)
Someone said, “Man worships his work, works at his play, and plays at his worship.”
This describes our worship more than many of us would like to admit. We come to a worship service, where the Lord is the one we have gathered to honor, only to half-heartedly sing of His worthiness. We then leave thinking we’ve done something great for God.
Jesus kind of nails this on the head when He said,
“These people draw near to Me with their mouth and honor Me with their lips, but their heart is far from Me. And in vain they worship Me.” (Matthew 15:8-9a NKJV)
King David learned that praise isn’t supposed to be half-hearted. Rather it is to be with one’s entire heart. He says it several times.
"I will praise You, O Lord, with my whole heart; I will tell of all Your marvelous works." (Psalm 9:1 NKJV)
"Praise the Lord! I will praise the Lord with my whole heart, in the assembly of the upright and in the congregation." (Psalm 111:1 NKJV)
Half-hearted praise, therefore, is insincere praise. It’s praise without worth, and not worthy of those who call themselves believers in Jesus Christ.
If this then is so important, to praise God with the whole of our heart, then what does a whole heart mean? It’s praising God with the entirely of who we are. It’s leaving nothing behind but unreservedly giving praise to God.
Unreservedly is an interesting word, because when we say that we are to praise the Lord with the entirely of who we are, that means we’re to praise the Lord the same way we are to love Him, that is, with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength, the first part of the Great Commandment.
Another way this could be described is that a whole heart is
A Heart that Praises God Alone
What this means is that there’s a readiness on our part to praise the one true God, thus making it contemptible to worship or praise anything or anybody else.
This is what King David means when he says he will praise the Lord God before all the other gods. Back in David’s time these false gods were idols that were made from wood, stone, and metal. People would bow down before them to honor and make sacrifices to them.
The prophet Isaiah says how ridiculous this really is to bow down and worship something made of wood, stone, and metal. He is basically saying, “Hey guys, would you just take a moment and think about it.”
“Half of the wood he burns in the fire; over it he prepares his meal, he roasts his meat and eats his fill. He also warms himself and says, ‘Ah! I am warm; I see the fire.’ From the rest he makes a god, his idol; he bows down to it and worships. He prays to it and says, ‘Save me! You are my god!’ They know nothing, they understand nothing; their eyes are plastered over so they cannot see, and their minds closed so they cannot understand. No one stops to think, no one has the knowledge or understanding to say, ‘Half of it I used for fuel; I even baked bread over its coals, I roasted meat and I ate. Shall I make a detestable thing from what is left? Shall I bow down to a block of wood?’” (Isaiah 44:16-19 NKJV)