Friday, February 4, 2011

"A CONTINUATION OF PRAISE"




Good Evening to All!

As I said in my last post, I would like to continue with my topic of "Praise".

Praise can do many things. In the natural world, it can raise self-esteem, and it can increase the level of achievement or production done in a person's school world, or employment world. Praise can make or break a person's physical spirit. I say physical spirit because I don't know how else to describe it. I don't think that praise has much if anything to do with our spirit of God. I may not be looking at this correctly, and if not, please someone explain it to me. I say that because we should love God whether "He" praises us or not. although, I don't think we should expect praise from Him after what He has done for us and what "little we have done for Him in comparison. I don't know if I'm wording this right. I know what I feel in my heart, but I can't seem to put in on here the way I'm feeling.

If we are true Christians, then God's spirit is within us. Therefore, that to me is praise in itself. He thought enough of us to in-fill us with His Holy Spirit to guide us into All Truths and to keep us on the path of righteousness headed to heaven (if we will let Him).

For this, HE ALONE IS WORTHY OF OUR PRAISES. I wish I knew how to do the Music player on here. Now would be a great time to play "He Alone is Worthy". Anyway, on with the study of Praise. We left off with #4.

5. Praise and the Presence of God Bring Victory.
(2 Chronicles 20:15-22)
This is a great lesson on the power of praise and the resulting presence of God. When Judah's mortal enemies threatened it with annihilation, the people sought out God in prayer and with faith in His Word. They were encouraged by the prophet of Asaph not to be afraid, and told them that the "battle was not their's it was God's". The Levites responded by praising God with strong voices, and singers started singing praises (tehillah) which enthroned God (in which God inhabited) and which brought them into God's presence. It invites His ruling presence. The results were profound. His presence confounds three enemy armies. If praising Him can do this, just think what it can do for our problems.

6. Singing in Praise Is to Be Continual (Psalm 34:1). The word "praise" here (Hebrew tehillah) refers to a hymn of praise, or the singing spontaneous praise to God (Psalm 40:3). It is again mentioned in the New Testament in Ephesians 5:19). When the heart is full of praise, it will find expression--songs and words being spoken, overflowing from our mouths Matthew 12:34. We are always to sing praise according to Psalm 35:28; and this psalm elaborates the theme verses (1-7) giving this instruction: (1) sing to prompt others to do the same, (2)sing as a transforming remedy for fear, bringing boldness and (3) sing as an exercise of faith, invoking deliverance.

7. Praise Brings God's Help (Psalm 42:5)When depressed, desperate and down, we are encouraged. "Why are you cast down, O my soul? And why are you disquieted within me? Hope in God, for I shall yet praise Him For the help of His countenance. Which is the evidence of the feeling or attitude of the person mentioned as well as their personal appearance. God's caring countenance turns toward the one who praises, and the praiser's countenance (spirit, attitude) is lifted by His present love.

8. Private and Public Praise. This is the heading which I may closer to because I love to praise Him no matter where I'm at or what I'm doing. I'm not saying that I jump up and down or sing at the top of my lungs when I'm in the grocery store, but if I see something that God has done, or helped me with, I'm not above say Hallelujah! or Praise the Lord in an audible voice. I sing to Him in my car all the time. I do not hide my feelings for my God. (Psalm 149:5) Here is instruction to sing praise in the privacy of one's home, not only in public gatherings but to sing in private worship as well. This Old Testament call reminds us of the New Testament revelation that we are temples, or sanctuaries, of the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 6:19; Ephesians 2:20-22). Not only that, but we see this praising in marching armies, confronting foes ( not human, but hellish powers) with praises brandished like a sword (Psalm 149:6-8) The "written judgment" in the NT terms, reminds us how praise not only honors the victory of Calvary, but applies the triumph of the Cross to real life struggles anywhere.

9. Extreme Praise (Psalm 150:2) The Hebrew word here for "praise" is halal, meaning "to shine, boast, rave and to celebrate clamorously." To some this may seem extreme, but that is the directive here. "Boast of the Lord! Rave of Him in His sanctuary," (remember, we are His temples). My book goes on to explain this in a way that I don't quite understand, but from what I gather, it's talking about really raising our praise up and stepping out of our comfort zones to really make notice of His greatness. In other words, if our usual manner of praise is lifting our hands, then step out and clap for Him. If we already lift hands and clap, then shout "praise the Lord or Hallelujah. Take baby steps if you must, just show God that you care enough to step out of what is comfortable to you for Him. After all, How comfortable do you (we) think He was on the Cross for you? (us)? Other scriptures directing us to extreme praise are Psalm 47:1,
2 Corinthians. 2:14, Colossians 2:13-15. The thing is think about how excited we get at football games when our team makes a touch down, or how excited would we get if we won the lottery? We should show God NO LESS excitement for "who He is, or What He's done for us. He deserves all our praise.

There are so many more aspects of praise! I wish I could go into them all, but it would take several more posts. I'm hoping that these two posts will have peaked your interest into doing some research on it for yourselves. There is the Glorious Garment of Praise which is discussed in Isaiah 61:3, To console those who mourn in Zion, To give them beauty for ashes, The oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness;That they may be called trees of righteousness, The planting of the LORD, that He may be glorified." Which comes from the Hebrew root word for garment (atah) which shows praise more as a piece of clothing to wrap ourselves or cover us so the hostile elements cannot penetrate.This garment of praise repels and replaces the heavy spirit. This special message of instruction and hope is for those oppressed by fear or doubt.

Another is Honest Worship (John 4:23, 24) This says it is the believer's responsibility to discover how the LORD wants to be worshiped and to explore and cultivate a relationship with Him out of which sincere, Holy Spirit-enabled worship will flow. Jesus instructs it; Worship in "spirit"--alive through new birth (John 1:12, 13; 3:6, 7) and understanding with the help of the Holy Spirit. This praise is not mechanical, rote, or merely human activity, but comes from deep within our spirits truly revering God. In other words not going through the motions because others are doing it, or because that is what we are supposed to do, but because we honestly love and appreciate God and want our focus to be on Him alone.

There are three more aspects which I would like to cover, so I will have the Topic of Praise for one more post. As I said the other night, I hope that you are getting as much information and enjoyment out of this topic as I am. Hopefully, come Sunday, when you walk into church, you will think of these posts and maybe even feel a bit closer or maybe even try some of these ways to praise Him, if you don't do them already.

References : Hayford Bible Handbook, Holy Bibles, KJV and NKJV

Good Night to All and May God Bless!


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2 comments:

Lori said...

What a great informative and inspirational post. I'm glad I stopped by today. I always 'try' to make a negative into a positive when at all possible. I too think that praise can raise self-esteem and is it's important to keep our spirits high and keep confident and happy. It's good for the soul.

settledinheaven said...

PJ,

I am really enjoying your praise series...

I am especially glad you mentioned "halal". It is a great word that is used many times in the Psalms ansd other books to describe our praise to God.

As you say, one of the meanings for this word is "to make shine". We truly should make our Lord shine in the eyes of others. Our speech, conduct and teachings should point a big spotlight to Him!

Thanks again for a great series, I hope you guys are starting to get things back in shape after all this ice and snow.

May the Lord bless you.

Rob

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