Oh sing to the LORD a new song; sing to the LORD, all the earth!
Sing to the LORD, bless his name; tell of his salvation from day to day.
- Psalm 96:1-2
What a joy it is to be here, gathered together for worship on this the first Lord’s Day!
On this day, I’d like to invite you to focus on just one thing as we journey into 2018 together. And perhaps, keep this focus for the rest of the year?
The thing I’d like for you to focus on is: Praise.
Samuel, the last of the Hebrew Judges and the first of the major prophets, tells us that “the LORD .. is worthy to be praised” (2 Sam 22:4).
He is right of course. Praising God isn’t just for God’s benefit, it’s for ours.
God doesn’t need praise because He’s insecure, we praise God because we are insecure.
There are benefits (to us) to praising God.
Praise changes the spiritual climate.
When you’re in a bad mood, begin praising God. You’ll be amazed at how the atmosphere changes. When Paul and Silas were in prison, they praised God and an earthquake freed them (Acts 16.25). A negative turned into deliverance.
Praise fulfills your primary purpose as a created being.
After Jesus performed miracles, the crowd began praising God. The Pharisees wanted to rebuke them, but Jesus said, “if these were silent, the very stones would cry out” (Luke 19:40). It is basic for creation to praise the Creator. If you don’t, you’re worshipping something else.
Praise empowers you to great deeds.
After the Apostle Peter named Jesus as the Son of God, Peter moved in astonishing power (Matthew 16.16). His great exploits began after his declaration of praise. Praise empowers you to do the same things Peter did.
Praise crucifies your pride.
We tend to think of ourselves more highly than we ought. But praise humbles us. Hebrews 13.15 calls it a “sacrifice of praise.” Sacrifice always costs us. The Apostle Paul said he died daily (1 Cor. 15.31). Praise helps you die daily so God is raised.
My prayers and good wishes to one and all for a blessed year of praise!
Pastor Robert Chew