Tag Archives: praise

Ten Stringed Praise

Upon a psaltery and an instrument of ten strings will I sing praises unto thee. —Psalm 144:9

An elderly gentleman at a midweek meeting offered this prayer: “O Lord, we will praise Thee; we will praise Thee with an instrument of ten strings!”

People wondered what he meant, but understood when he continued, “We will praise Thee with our two eyes by looking only unto Thee. We will exalt Thee with our two ears by listening only to Thy voice. We will extol Thee with our two hands by working in Thy service. We will honor Thee with our own two feet by walking in the way of Thy statutes. We will magnify Thee with our tongue by bearing testimony to Thy loving kindness. We will worship Thee with our heart by loving only Thee. We thank Thee for this instrument, Lord; keep it in tune. Play upon it as Thou wilt and ring out the melodies of Thy grace! May its harmonies always express Thy glory!”

Take a few moments to praise God today for His manifold blessings in your life!

Great, But with Whom?

Naaman… was a great man with his master…” —2 Kings 5:1

“…he [John the Baptist] shall be great in the sight of the Lord…” —Luke 1:15

Naaman was “a great man WITH HIS MASTER…”  A person’s so-called “greatness” depends on the company he keeps.  For example: There are those who are “great” with the world, but don’t amount to anything with the Lord—in reality they are “a leper.”    It is one thing to be “great” with your peers, and another thing to be great with the Lord.

If you only keep company with one particular crowd, you will only hear what that crowd says about you.  Birds of a feather flock together.  If you only surround yourself with people who think you’re special, how will you know if you may not be as great as people think you are?  The danger in only hearing people’s accolades is you may actually start to believe it!

Beware of the praises of people. Be content with rejoicing in yourself alone, and not in another (Gal. 6:4). It doesn’t matter how great people think you are. All that really counts is the praise that comes from God (1 Cor. 4:5). Jesus asked, “How can ye believe, which receive honour one of another, and seek not the honour that cometh from God only?” (John 5:44).  Read Romans 2:29.

I heard someone offer this advice:  Spend some time in the company of people who don’t particularly like you.  It will be good for you and will help you to have a balanced view of yourself.  It will keep you from having illusions of grandeur (Rom. 12:3; Gal. 6:3).

SHOUT!

All the people shouted with a great shout, when they praised the Lord —Ezra 3:11

I have a pastor friend in California whose church motto is: “Where The Shout Has Not Died Out.” I like that. Unfortunately, the shout has died out in the lives of many Christians, if was ever there in the first place. They look like they live on the dark side of the moon—There is no joy in their countenance, no gleam in their eyes, no smile on their lips. Sad.

Last week I visited my friend Pastor Ken Blue. He is in the late stages of ALS. He must be fed with a feeding tube, breathes with great difficulty, can hardly speak, and is confined to a motorized wheel chair. YET, he still beams with a smile when I visit him. The joy of the Lord is still reflected on his face! What a blessing to be with him. But, then I look at some Christians who are healthy, but they seldom crack a smile, much less give a shout of joy. It makes me wonder what Pastor Blue has that they don’t have (besides ALS)? Strange.

I love this story of a preacher named William Sangster.  While he was still in his fifties, he was diagnosed with the terminal illness that would take his life. When he was forced to give up his pulpit, he threw himself into writing books and organizing prayer groups for missions. Eventually, he was completely bedridden and his voice was gone. He could still grasp a pen enough to write. In a letter to his daughter penned just weeks before his death Sangster wrote, “It is terrible to wake up on Easter morning and have no voice to shout, ‘He is risen!’—but it would be still more terrible to have a voice and not want to shout.”

Do you still have a voice? Are you using it to praise the Lord?

 

Praise the Lord, Anyhow!

Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why art thou disquieted in me? Hope thou in God: for I shall YET praise him for the help of his countenance. —Psalm 42:5

A man was shipwrecked on a deserted island. Every day he prayed that he would be rescued.  He build himself a hut for a shelter from the rain and cold.  But one day his hut caught fire and burned to the ground. He got angry and in frustration he shook his fist at God and said, “Isn’t it bad enough that I’m deserted on this island and now You take away my hut too?”

A few hours later a ship arrived and rescued the man. The captain of the ship told the man, “When we saw your smoke signal we stopped to rescue you!”

It is hard to praise God when your hut is on fire.  However, we need to praise God in all circumstances, because He is working it out for your good if you love God (Rom. 8:28).

YET I will rejoice in the LORD, I will joy in the God of my salvation. —Habakkuk 3:18

DEFLECTING PRAISE

Deflecting Praise

Not unto us, O LORD, not unto us, but unto thy name give glory, for thy mercy, and for thy truth’s sake. —Psalms 115:1

On Easter Sunday in 1993, Bernhard Langer won the Master’s Golf Tournament—One of golf’s most prestigious awards.  A reporter approached Langer and said, “This must be the greatest day of your life!” Without hesitating, Langer answered, “It’s wonderful to win the greatest tournament in the world, but it means more to win on Easter Sunday—to celebrate the resurrection of my Lord and Savior.”

As Paul wrote, “God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ” (Gal. 6:14), Langer refused to glory in himself. Instead, he deflected the glory to his Savior—The Lord Jesus Christ.

Pride looks for ways to draw attention to our accomplishments. Humility looks for ways to deflect the praise back to God and others who are actually responsible for any success in our lives.  For example, someone says, “I really liked the special you sang at church this morning.” A good response would be, “It’s easy to sing well when you are singing about Jesus.” Or, “Our pianist makes any singer sound good.”

You can’t glory in Jesus when you are preoccupied with yourself. Therefore, look for opportunities to deflect the praise to Him who made your success possible. As James M. Gray wrote in that blessed hymn…

Naught have I gotten but what I received,

Grace hath bestowed it since I have believed;

Boasting excluded, pride I abase

I’m only a sinner saved by grace!

    Don’t forget what happened to Herod— “And immediately the angel of the Lord smote him, because he gave not God the glory (Acts 12:23).