Summary: God's Word teaches us clearly we are to praise the Lord. God wants to hear our praise. But what is praise? Do we really understand what is involved in praising the Lord? How does praise effect God? What effect does praise have on us?
Praise the Lord
On the day we call Palm Sunday as Christ rode into Jerusalem fulfilling the prophecy of Zechariah 9:9, we read that "the whole multitude of his disciples began to rejoice and praise God with a loud voice for all the mighty works that they had seen, saying, "Blessed is the King who comes in the name of the Lord! Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!" And some of the Pharisees in the crowd said to him, "Teacher, rebuke your disciples." He answered, "I tell you, if these were silent, the very stones would cry out."
God's Word teaches us clearly we are to praise the Lord. God wants to hear our praise. But what is praise? Do we really understand what is involved in praising the Lord? How does praise effect God? What effect does praise have on us?
I. What Is Praise?
A. Webster's dictionary tells us that to Praise is 1. to express approval and commendation of; applaud, eulogize. 2. To express adoration of; glorify.
B. Wikipedia says, "Praise is the act of making positive statements about a person, object or idea, either in public or privately."
C. The English word "praise" is derived from the Old French word preisier meaning ‘ to prize, praise, attaching value to.
D. Synonyms for praise are to commend, express admiration for, applaud, pay tribute to, speak highly of, compliment, rave about, to laud, to brag on.
E. Psalm 9:1-2 "I will praise you, O LORD, with all my heart; I will tell of all your wonders. I will be glad and rejoice in you; I will sing praise to your name, O Most High."
F. Praise is a frequent theme in the Psalms. Actually the Hebrew title of Psalms is "Praises." Praise pervades the whole of Word of God from Genesis 1 where we have indirect praise all the way to the book of Revelation. Praising God is calling attention to his glory.
G. Also Praise not worship. It is a part of our worship of the Lord Almighty God. To worship God is to give God the respect and honor due to Him.
H. There are at least seven elements of worship. These elements of worship include:
1. Acknowledgment of His Lordship. Recognizing and respecting Who God is - your righteous Sovereign Lord.
2. Confession of sin. - As acknowledge His holiness we admit our sin, we humble ourselves and take responsibility for our actions. We agree with God that we’ve broken His commands. Confession is actually preparatory for worship as it cleanses us for service to God.
3. Prayer and Bible Reading - talking with God and seeking to know His will.
4. Obedience to God - living the way of life revealed by the Lord through His Word, the Bible
5. Giving - Time, talent, treasure, and self recognizing God's ownership of our lives.
6. Witnessing - telling others about God and the gospel
7. Praise - the expression of awe, respect and thankfulness for God with our lips.
I. God's word presents several beautiful pictures of worship in heaven before God's throne.
1. Isaiah 6:1-3 "In the year that King Uzziah died I saw the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up; and the train of his robe filled the temple. Above him stood the seraphim. Each had six wings: with two he covered his face, and with two he covered his feet, and with two he flew. And one called to another and said: “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts; the whole earth is full of his glory!”
2. Revelation 19:4-5 "And the twenty-four elders and the four living creatures fell down and worshiped God who sat on the throne, saying, 'Amen! Alleluia!' Then a voice came from the throne, saying, 'Praise our God, all you His servants and those who fear Him, both small and great!'"
J. True praise is not “merely” going through these motions. Jesus spoke about the hypocrisy of the Pharisees, whose worship was only an outward show and not from the heart. “This people draw nigh unto me with their mouth, and honor me with their lips; but their heart is far from me” (Matthew 15:8)
K. True worship comes from the heart. True praise is the outward expression of our heart by our lips.
II. What does Praise do for God?
A. What effect does worship have on God?
B. Praise gives God the glory and honor due unto Him.
1. 1 Chronicles 16:29 "Give to the Lord the glory due His name; bring an offering, and come before Him. Oh, worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness!"
2. Psalm 7:17 "I will give to the Lord the thanks due to his righteousness, and I will sing praise to the name of the Lord, the Most High."