Summary: Ask the Lord to use your personal and group praise to refresh memories of the fullness of Christ’s attributes, His empowering and His promise to guide us through the dark valleys of life.
1. To praise God means to worship the Lord out of reverence, honor and the glory due to Him as our Creator. Praise should be prompted by love, gratitude and recognition of God’s holy attributes.
We praise the Lord with our thoughts, feelings and actions. Jesus said, "Those who worship Him should worship Him in Spirit and in truth." (Jn 4:24) Through the indwelling Holy Spirit we are able to more fully worship the Lord as God in us enables us to will and do of His good pleasure.
One who truly worships the Lord does so out of obedience, adoration and submissive service to our Savior and God. The word in the Old Testament for worship meant to prostrate, bow down or depress oneself before the Lord and His will. The elements of true praise include prayer, singing, and the study and obedience of the scriptures. Trust the Lord to help your praise to reflect the Biblical meaning in all aspects of your life and relationships.
Quote: Biblical praise precludes disobedience and energizes us for service.
2. The apostles praised God from house to house in order to help people see that worship is to be integrated into all aspects of our lives. The first century church was mindful of David’s word,
Quote: "O my Strength, I sing praise to you; You, O God, are my fortress, my loving God. (Psa. 59:17)
Growing believers find their all sufficiency through praise.
Benefits: Praise enables one to recognize the finite limits of our human strength and the infinite resources of our holy God. Ask the Lord to help your praise to be integrated in every aspect of your life, love, and liberties.
3. The early apostles knew that praise would serve as a reminder of their priority to give God glory in all things, in all places and in everything. When the early apostles became discouraged by their persecutions, hardships and adversities, praise lifted their thoughts to things above rather than the daily grind of things on earth. (Col. 3:1,2)
Application: Trust the Lord to use songs of praise throughout your day to lift your thoughts, feelings and actions to grander things above.
4. Praise help the apostles understand their new identity, privileges and responsibilities as children of God. When the apostles praised God they plugged into a greater power source that transformed them into people with eternal perspectives.
Application: Ask God to help your praise remind you of your new identity, privileges and responsibilities you enjoy in Christ.
5. Praise helped the disciples grow in wisdom, knowledge and understanding of all of God’s promises. Peter wrote, "Seeing that His divine power has granted to us everything pertaining to life and Godliness through the true knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and excellence." (2 Pet. 1:3,4)
Application: Ask the Lord to help you grow in wisdom, knowledge and understanding through greater praise to God.
6. Praise helped the early Christians gain a greater sense of hope, peace and power in the overcoming empowering given to them in the person of the Holy Spirit. Following Pentecost, the apostles wanted to find a way to continually renew believers’ awareness of the benefits given to them in the Spirit.