Summary: We should continually resolve, or purpose in our hearts, to magnify God in our lives by praising and giving thanks to Him without ceasing.
ONE RESOLUTION EVERY CHRISTIAN SHOULD MAKE (and keep)
“Oh, that men would give thanks to the LORD for His goodness, And for His wonderful works to the children of men! For He satisfies the longing soul, and fills the hungry soul with goodness.” Psalms 107:8-9
It is customary at the beginning of a new year to make resolutions in an effort to reach a desired goal. Certainly there is nothing wrong in making resolutions although most resolutions we make are soon abandoned because we do not have the commitment to carry them out to a successful conclusion.
There is one resolution that the child of God should make and, equally important, keep. We should continually resolve, or purpose in our hearts, to magnify God in our lives by praising and giving thanks to Him without ceasing. In our worship of God, praise and thanksgiving are Siamese twins joined together at the hip! Where you find one of these, you find the other!
I. BARNABAS ENCOURAGED THE CHURCH AT ANTIOCH TO RESOLVE (“WITH PURPOSE OF HEART’) TO CONTINUE WITH THE LORD.
“When he came and had seen the grace of God, he was glad, and encouraged them all that with purpose of heart they should continue with the Lord.” Acts 11:23 (NKJV)
As Barnabas knew then, and we know now, that it is easy to start off our Christian experience with great zeal, commitment and enthusiasm. But to continue on this plane requires sincere resolution, “purposing in our heart”. It is so in the matter of praising and thanking God. We need to resolve “with purpose of heart” to praise Him and give thanks to Him always. Here are some of the reasons why we should make this commitment. Consider:
II. GOD IS WORTHY OF OUR PRAISE!
God is worthy of our praise because of who He is: Almighty God!
God is worthy of our praise because of what He has done!
God is worthy of our praise because of what He is doing now!
God is worthy of our praise because of what He will do in the future!
“Let everything that has breath praise the LORD. Praise the LORD!” Psalms 150:6 (NKJV)
III. PRAISE IS THE VERY HEART OF OUR WORSHIP OF GOD!
Both the Old Testament and the New Testament witness of this truth.
Jeremiah proclaimed it:
"And they shall come from the cities of Judah and from the places around Jerusalem, from the land of Benjamin and from the lowland, from the mountains and from the South, bringing burnt offerings and sacrifices, grain offerings and incense, bringing sacrifices of praise to the house of the LORD.” Jeremiah 17:26 (NKJV)
The book of Hebrews instructs it:
“Therefore by Him let us continually offer the sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of our lips, giving thanks to His name.” Hebrews 13:15 (NKJV)
The early church practiced it:
“So continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, they ate their food with gladness and simplicity of heart, praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily those who were being saved.” Acts 2:46-47 (NKJV)
IV. HEARTFELT PRAISE OPENS THE DOOR TO GOD’S CHOICEST BLESSINGS!
The blessings God bestows upon His people is because He is pleased with the praise and the thanks-giving we give Him. Make certain you understand this! The giving of casual or half-hearted praise and thanksgiving in hope of receiving a blessing in return makes a mockery of your devotion and is the height of folly. GIVE THANKS AND PRAISE TO GOD FROM A HEART THAT IS OVERFLOWING WITH LOVE AND GRATITUDE AND FOR NO OTHER REASON! This level of praise and thanksgiving goes far beyond mere ritual or routine.
Now the question: “Does heartfelt praise and thanksgiving really open the door to God’s choicest blessings?” Let us consider the testimony of the Word of God.
Witness the testimony of David:
“Praise the LORD, O Jerusalem! Praise your God, O Zion! For He has strengthened the bars of your gates; He has blessed your children within you. He makes peace in your borders, and fills you with the finest wheat.” Psalms 147:12-14 (NKJV)
Witness the testimony of Moses:
"He is your praise and He is your God, who has done these great and awesome things for you which your eyes have seen.” Deuteronomy 10:21 (NASB)
Witness the testimony of Jeremiah:
“I will cleanse them from all their iniquity by which they have sinned against Me, and I will pardon all their iniquities by which they have sinned and by which they have transgressed against Me. Then it shall be to Me a name of joy, a praise, and an honor before all nations of the earth, who shall hear all the good that I do to them; they shall fear and tremble for all the goodness and all the prosperity that I provide for it.” Jeremiah 33:8-9 (NKJV)