Summary: This great passage shows us HOW to praise God: Personally, Verbally, & Continually, and then we find ’5 Results of choosing to walk the Path of Praise.’ Link included to formatted text, audio & video, & PowerPoint Presentation.
The Path of Praise
We must choose whether we will walk the path of praise or just continue to follow the avenue of the average. But consider carefully, for the path of praise leads to bigger and better things that tower high above those who are satisfied on the streets of the status quo.
How should we praise God?
1. We should praise God personally.
Nobody can praise God for you. Don’t leave this place today saying ‘we praised God in church today’ if YOU didn’t praise Him. God isn’t looking at US, He’s looking at YOU. You can be surrounded by people who are praising God, but if you aren’t joining in the exaltation, He will be robbed by you of the glory He deserves.
This is because we all praise Him uniquely, with our own style and our own voice. Our praise is built on our own unique circumstances.
Ill.—I have several people in my life who love me deeply, and each one expresses their love in a different way. My mom and dad both love me, but both show it in very different ways. Mom is the nurturer, and the one I would go to when I had a ‘boo boo.’ Dad is the retired Marine who expressed his love by letting me be his friend, by letting me in on secrets of life, and sometimes just by letting me live when I had really messed up! My wife expresses great love to me in a unique way like none other. Even my mother in law shows me love in a clear way, and I’m happy to report it’s different than the way her daughter does it! Then there’s my precious children, and all 3 have their own particularly sweet flavor in how they love me.
All of these people are doing the same thing, they are showing me love, but if any of them stopped loving me there would be a hole in my heart! And so it is with praising God…He wants to hear from each of us regularly. Only YOU can praise Him in the way you do it!
v. 1 “I” will bless the Lord, His praise will be in “My” mouth. David is the king of Israel, who had a great choir and orchestra, but David didn’t leave the praising up to them, nor did he want them to praise himself, the king, as his predecessor Saul often had him do as a boy. David chose to walk the path of praise himself, and praise God personally.
Notice also the word ‘bless’ in v. 1. Why is it that most go to church these days seeking to BE blessed, rather than to bless? Did you come today looking for a blessing, or looking to be a blessing? I think you can have both, and will have both, but only if you focus on blessing the Lord, and being a blessing to others.
We are a consumer oriented society. Every restaurant in town is competing for our business by offering us better service. “Have it YOUR way!” Every bank says they will be a bigger blessing to you if only they can have your business. But we shouldn’t come to church with that same mindset of a consumer mentality, but we should have a contributor mentality, realizing you never receive more than when you give. [video: Me Church] Choose to walk the path of praise!
2. We should praise God verbally.
v. 1 says His praise shall be where? In my mouth!
Ever seen someone sit in church like a wooden Indian? They don’t sing, don’t clap even when asked to, and wouldn’t dream of saying Amen to a good point. Ask them why they don’t participate and they will say, “I praise God in my heart.” But the Bible teaches that if it’s truly in your heart, it will migrate to your mouth. The heart should affect the hand to do something!
By him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to his name.
My wife knows that I love her, but here’s where she’s weird: she wants me to say it and show it, even though she already knows I love her. When I proposed I told her I loved her, and then I said if I ever change my mind I’ll let you know. But that isn’t good enough for her, no…even tho’ I love her in my heart, she wants me to say it w/ my mouth, and show it by my life. That’s how it is w/ our God! Let’s choose to walk the path of praise.
3. We should praise God continually.
This is a secret that will transform your life. In good times and bad. When you are up and when you are down. “But I can’t praise God when I’m down, it’s not natural.” That may be when we need to praise Him the most. And no, it’s not natural, it’s supernatural, and God can help us rise above!