Summary: Praise can be given in several forms; Telling, Doing, and Sharing.
With Jesus’ help, let us continually offer our sacrifice of praise to God by proclaiming the glory of His name. 16 Don’t forget to do good and to share what you have with those in need, for such sacrifices are very pleasing to God. (NLT)
The title of my sermon is "Continuous Praise."
In the Old Testament the fire was never to go out on the Lord’s altar. The lamp was never to be allowed to go out in the Temple. These were the signs of worship and presence and our attentiveness to those things. Here in the New Testament prayer and praise are the prevalent methods to worship and acknowledge His presence. In the New Testament we are told to pray without ceasing (1 Th. 5:17), and to continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise. (Heb. 13:15)
Praise is a form of thanksgiving. It is the way we thank the Lord for the good things He does for us.
These verses outline for us various ways we can praise the Lord and how we can offer praise continuously.
With Jesus’ Help
Continually means a steady, never ending stream. That’s the descriptive word used for our praise. It is like the Niagra. Millions of gallons rush over those cataracts. Yet for every drop that falls another is waiting to take its’ place. But with our praise instead of water falling down, it is our praises rising up. We are to continually yield up an offering of praise.
It doesn’t take too much thought to see how difficult that task could be. Giving praise when you don’t feel like it: when you’re sick, when you’re temper flares up, when you’re feeling gloomy.
The first thing that comes to my mind is that this is an impossible assignment. That’s why those first words are so important: ‘With Jesus’ help’ (NLT), ‘Through Jesus’ (NIV), ‘through Him.’ (KJV) It is an impossible task. No one can render up praise without ever ceasing for even a moment. That is, no one can do that in themselves, but anyone can with the help of Christ.
Proclaiming has to do with the things we say. Declaring. Testifying. (I like the song, "Testify, testify, all creation testifies...") It is like the seemingly rhetorical question so often asked in many black churches, "Can I get a witness?" We do a similar thing when preachers ask "Amen?!"
Proclaiming the glory of His name is ‘preaching’ the goodness of God. It is telling others about how good God has been to us. That’s why we often make room for testimonies in our services. Publicly acknowledging God’s blessings is an important part of our worship.
This is something awesome to me. God knows our thoughts, so He knows when we appreciate something He has done for us without us ever saying a word. But He still wants our verbal praise! You think about that. He commands praise, ordains praise, teaches us how to praise - and He doesn’t need to hear it. he reads it in our hearts.
I think there are several reasons for this. I’m not crazy enough to suppose I have stumbled upon the whole purpose of praise, but I think I’ve figured out part of it’s role in our worship.
First, I think we need to praise. We need to be grateful for the good things we enjoy and we need to express our gratitude. From their formative years we teach our children to say "thank you" when someone does something nice for them. That’s not all for the sake of those who did the nice thing. It’s not just that person did something nice and needs to be thanked for it. It is also that we need to appreciate the kindness of others and develop an appreciative heart. If we don’t we could begin to assume the world owes us something. People like that never appreciate anything. They are ungrateful and selfish. So it is for our own good. We need to praise.
Another thing is others need to hear our praise reports. Others need to hear about the things God has done for us. 1) So they can rejoice with us in His blessings in our life. And 2) so they can have hope that he will do similar things in their lives. We all like to hear about good news for those we love. And we all need to believe the same sort of good news is available for us should we need it.
Another good purpose for praising the Lord with our testimonies is it is a witness to unbelievers. They hear of the great things God has done and it creates a longing in their heart to be blessed by such a loving and good God who cares for His own.