Summary: If we are praised like this for what we do, how much more should the Heavenly Father be praised for who he is.
Sermon by CH(CPT) Keith J. Andrews
All scripture marked ESV: The Holy Bible : English standard version. 2001 Wheaton: Standard Bible Society.
During my last deployment, my family was in South Carolina. On my mid-tour or EML leave, I went through Atlanta to Greenville Spartanburg Airport, saw my family, and two weeks later was headed back.
As hard as this was, I got into the car with my Dad and went to the airport. When I arrived, I grabbed my bag to go inside. An older man stopped me and said; “Thank you for serving”.
When I got on the plane getting ready to take off, the Pilot came over the loud speaker and said; “I noticed that we have some Soldiers on this flight and would like to take a moment to thank you for your service.”
Later that day, after spending the day at the USO, all of us going back to Kuwait lined up to get back on the plane. As we crossed the lobby area the people in this area all began to clap and cheer. It meant the world to me.
Praise. We know what it feels like to receive praise. All of those people where praising me for doing my job. This, in some way, blows me a way, because the praise was for just doing what I do everyday.
If we are praised like this for what we do, how much more should the Heavenly Father be praised for who he is.
He is the creator of heaven and Earth.
He is the Master of all that is Good.
He is the wealth of knowledge over all things.
He is the all-knowing, all seeing, and all powerful God.
We should be a people that praise God. We love to hear the praises of men, how much more does God long to hear our praises?
Psalm 34:1-3 reads:
1 I will bless the Lord at all times;
his praise shall continually be in my mouth.
2 My soul makes its boast in the Lord;
let the humble hear and be glad.
3 Oh, magnify the Lord with me,
and let us exalt his name together! (Ps 34:1-3, ESV)
This Psalm teaches us that praise should not be a simple, show up for church sing a couple hymns type of praise. This psalm shows us that praise should be an integral part of everyone’s life.
The psalm shows us how to make praise a part of our lives in three ways.
Praise needs to be a part of our lives
Verse one says;
I will bless the Lord at all times;
his praise shall continually be in my mouth. (Ps 34:1, ESV).
The writer of Hebrews echoes this statement in Hebrews 13:15, when he says;
15 Through him then let us continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips that acknowledge his name. (Heb 13:15, ESV)
This is one of those mysteries of the Bible. How do you praise God continually?
The key to this is acknowledge in both passages. It is a state of mind that you are continually placing in your mouth praise to God. Hebrews says “the fruit of lips that acknowledge his name”.
Jesus frequently used the illustration of fruit, when he was discussing the Christian life. He uses this illustration at different times through each of the four gospels. The principles apply here.
In Matthew 7:17-20, Jesus says;
17 So, every healthy tree bears good fruit, but the diseased tree bears bad fruit. 18 A healthy tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a diseased tree bear good fruit. 19 Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 20 Thus you will recognize them by their fruits. (Mt 7:15-20, ESV)
In John 15:4, Jesus teaches us how to produce good fruit.
4 Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me. (Jn 15:4, ESV)
The point is this, if we are abiding in Christ the fruit of our lips will acknowledge his name.
When we are abiding in Christ, completely connecting to the source of life—that is Jesus Christ, we will not be able to keep silent. We will continually praise God.
Ephesians 4:29 says,
29 Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear. (Eph 4:29, ESV)
Why is it so important that we keep our language clean? Not necessarily so others won’t be offended—but that we will not be praising God. “A healthy tree cannot bear bad fruit!” You can not speak curses and praise out of the same mouth.