Summary: Loving the Lord through our Praises
Loving the Lord, Part 5
Through our Praise
On Sunday we looked at loving the Lord through loving our nation; and this week I want to begin to turn the focus toward the Lord specifically, by looking at the need for His people to praise Him.
When we praise God, He is listening.
When we praise God, we are showing Him adoration.
When we praise God, we are practicing even what Jesus did as He prayed.
As an example of this praise – just before the calling of Lazarus from the tomb in John 11:41-42 Jesus said; "... Father, I thank you that you have heard me. I knew that you always hear me, but I said this for the benefit of the people standing here, that they may believe that you sent me."
Jesus knew how to praise the Father in order that He would be heard. He demonstrated this for our benefit!
When we praise God, Psalm 22 says that He “inhabits the praises of His people” – which means He literally dwells in those praises.
Tonight we will look at the importance of praise, and the need for the church; His people; to spend time praising Him in their lives.
Let tonight be an encouragement that the need to praise exists; and if you are not praising I want to challenge you to ponder, “What are you doing with your time?”
In your bibles go with me to Isaiah 43
Read Isaiah 43:19-21
“See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland. The wild animals honor me, the jackals and the owls, because I provide water in the desert and streams in the wasteland, to give drink to my people, my chosen, the people I formed for myself that they may proclaim my praise.”
Point 1 – The Importance of Praising God
When we praise the Lord, we are saying to Him what we think of Him.
It is important that when we focus our attention on praising the Lord, that we are always mindful of who He is – He is our creator – He is the revealer of our faith – and He is worthy of us to praise Him.
David writes in Psalm 18:3 that he “calls upon the name of the Lord, who is worthy of praise …”
Isaiah is declaring in 43:21 that we were formed with the purpose of praising the Lord!
No matter how busy we may get, no matter what is going on in your life, praising God is the reason you were created!
Paul later confirms this same verse in Hebrews 13:15 by saying, “Through Jesus, therefore, let us continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise - the fruit of lips that confess his name."
We are commanded from the very beginning of the bible to love the Lord.
Deuteronomy 6:5 says, "Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength."
When you love God so much that your heart overflows with it, you will praise the Lord.
As a believer, it is important to identify and understand that without the love God had for you first, our praises are empty and without meaning.
But you see, God first loved you so that you would love Him and praise Him in return.
God’s love for us is the purpose for our praise. Without God’s love, any praise you can offer is hollow.
Point 2 – What is possible when we praise God?
The short answer is: Everything!
However, let’s look at a specific New Testament example of what happens when a faith that is grounded in the Lord begins to pour out in the form of praise to Him.
“The crowd joined in the attack against Paul and Silas, and the magistrates ordered them to be stripped and beaten. After they had been severely flogged, they were thrown into prison, and the jailer was commanded to guard them carefully. Upon receiving such orders, he put them in the inner cell and fastened their feet in the stocks. About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening to them. Suddenly there was such a violent earthquake that the foundations of the prison were shaken. At once all the prison doors flew open, and everybody’s chains came loose. The jailer woke up, and when he saw the prison doors open, he drew his sword and was about to kill himself because he thought the prisoners had escaped. But Paul shouted, "Don’t harm yourself! We are all here!" The jailer called for lights, rushed in and fell trembling before Paul and Silas. He then brought them out and asked, "Sirs, what must I do to be saved?"