PRAISE INVOKES THE LORD’S PRESENCE AND POWER
The Bible says that God inhabits the praises of His people (Psalm 22:3). God “dwells” in the atmosphere of praise. Praise is actually a vehicle of faith that brings us into the presence of God! We can enter the “gate” which brings us into the Holiness of His glory. The psalmist writes, “Enter into His gates with thanksgiving, and into His courts with praise; be thankful unto Him, and bless His name” (Psalm 100:4).
This also corresponds with Jesus’ teaching that His presence will inhabit even two or three believers gathered together in His name. The Bible says, “For where two or three are gathered in My name, there I am in the midst of them” (Matthew 18:20). Jesus must be the one that is preached about, the one who is praised and worshiped, and sung about. Lifting up Jesus through praise and worship invokes the Lord’s presence and power.
WHAT IS PRAISE?
Praise means “to commend, to applaud or magnify.” Praise is an expression of worship for the believer. We humble ourselves and focus our attention on the one true and living God with heart-felt expressions of adoration, love, and thanksgiving. Praise transports us into the realm of the supernatural and into the power of God. Praise exhibits honor and respect to God and miracles begin to happen.
“Blessed is the people that know the joyful sound; they shall walk, O LORD, in the light of they countenance” (Psalm 89:15).
Depending on your background and how you were raised, you may find various types of praise in different churches. There are many ways to praise God: Singing, playing instruments, dancing before the Lord in adoration, lifting your hands in worship, clapping, and verbal expressions of adoration.
God delights in our heart-felt adoration for Him (Psalm 149:4). Our worship pleases Him as we come like little children to our Heavenly Father. The Bible says, “….the true worshipers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth; for the Father seeketh such to worship him” (John 4:23).
PRAISE IS A LIFESTYLE
Praise is not just for a church service. It is a lifestyle. As we get up each morning till the end of the day, our attitude should be a heart of worship in all things. Whether it is in the middle of the night and you get a class of water to riding in your car, the Bible tells us “…I will bless the LORD at all times; his praise shall continually be in my mouth”
Praise is an outward sign of our inward condition. It is an expression of faith and victory. Praise is also a sacrifice. This means we choose to give God praise even in the midst of trying circumstances, trusting Him with the outcome (Romans 8:28).
PRAISE OPENS DOORS
The Bible tells us an interesting story of a time when Paul and Silas were unjustly arrested and put in jail. They were in a depressing place but chose to believe God and offered up a sacrifice of praise. Can you imagine with me for a minute what the other prisoners were thinking while they were listening to these two praising God? They were probably used to listening to other prisoners groaning and cursing. Suddenly, there was an earthquake that shook the prison doors open. Not only were Paul and Silas released from their chains but all the other prisoners were as well. (Read the story in Acts 16:23-26).
Paul and Silas knew the intimate secret through fellowship with God of how praise lifts the heart above troubles to the secret place of praise with God where all your troubles seem to fade away. Their praises lifted them into God’s presence and power which showed their faith in God. God provided a way of escape.
As we praise God in adversity, in the place of need and plenty, keep an attitude of gratitude. Praise Him in the small things each day. Expect God to give you the victory as you continually offer up a praise of thanksgiving and adoration in your daily life. Expect God to bless you as you praise Him.
As we praise God, we bring glory and honor to Him (Psalm 50:23).
The woman with the alabaster bottle that knelt at Jesus feet was worshiping the Lord. First, let me point out that she was never mentioned by name. When a person does something great in the Bible but their name is not mentioned, it is intended to be an example for us to be repeated throughout the ages. What she did was prophetic; God would not allow this act of worship to be affiliated with just one person.
Next, the Bible tells us she was a sinner. A woman in biblical times was pretty much considered a second-class citizen. Many suppose this woman was Mary Magdalene, but the Bible does not reveal that to us.
When the woman knew Jesus was in the house, she made a decision to go into His presence. This was a divine appointment. When she came to Jesus, she brought something of great value. She brought an alabaster box of ointment (Luke 7:37). Are you willing to give it all like this woman did in the Bible?
This bottle of perfume was not like bottles today. In order to get anything out of the alabaster box or bottle, a person had to break the entire box. Once it was broken, ALL of the fragrant oil would pour out. Beloved, God does not want just a portion of your heart – He wants it all.
She approached Jesus with humility. The Bible teaches that she knelt behind Jesus at His feet (Luke 7:38). This was the position of a maid servant to wash the feet of the guest. Even though the Bible tells us we are to come boldly before the throne of God (Hebrews 4:16), the Bible still says that God resists the proud but gives grace to the humble (James 4:6). Humility is a key to experiencing the presence of Christ. We must come before the Lord in humility and adoration.
She also had a heart of repentance. The Bible teaches that she wept (Luke 7:38). Her tears were an expression of her brokenness and repentance. The fact that Jesus received this woman’s worship shows us that she was repentant. Without true repentance, it is impossible to worship God wholeheartedly.
This woman openly expressed her gratefulness to the Lord. She kissed the feet of Jesus (Luke 7:38). Are you still grateful that Christ saved your soul?
This woman also publicly acknowledged Christ as the Messiah. The Bible teaches us that this woman anointed the feet of Christ with the ointment (Luke 7:38). She was acknowledging Jesus as Christ the Messiah. The Father had already anointed the head of Christ with the oil of gladness (Luke 4:18, Hebrews 1:9).
As we publicly acknowledge Christ through our praise and worship, some may not understand. Many do not understand our devotion to Christ. The Bible tells us that all who live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution (2 Timothy 3:12). God will give you the grace needed to stand and be faithful even in the midst of misunderstanding and persecution. Remember to meditate upon the words of Christ in Mark 8:38 “If anyone is ashamed of me and my message in these adulterous and sinful days, the Son of Man will be ashamed of that person when he returns in the glory of his Father with the holy angels” (NLT).
“Far be it from Me; for those who honor Me I will honor….” (1 Samuel 2:30b).
“But You are holy, who inhabit (is enthroned by) the praises of Israel” (Psalm 22:3).
“And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose” (Romans 8:38).
“Giving thanks always for all things to God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ” (Ephesians 5:20).
“In everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you” (1 Thess. 5:18).
“Therefore by Him let us continually offer the sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to His name” (Heb. 13:15).
Some Scriptures confirming expressions of Praise
Bowing & Kneeling (Psalm 95:6; Ephesians 3:14)
By being loud (Psalm 33:3; 95:1-6)
By being still (Psalm 4:3-5; 46:10)
By lifting hands (Psalm 134:2; 141:2; 47:1; 63:4)
Clapping hands & Shouting (Psalm 47:1)
Declaring thanks (Hebrews 13:15)
Dancing & Musical Instruments (Psalm 150:4; 2 Samuel 6:14)
Making a joyful Noise (Psalm 98:4)
Psalms, hymns, & Spiritual songs (Ephesians 5:19-20)
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