There are at least seven reasons that life is worth living. The second of these reasons is that GOD LOVES TO RECEIVE OUR PRAISE AND WORSHIP
- Regardless of who we are and what we feel like
- The sick person at home can praise Him
- The prisoner can lift his voice to the sky
- Kings and beggars alike can, if they choose, give thanks to God
MARY SANG… My soul magnifies the Lord and my spirit rejoices in God my Saviour
- A good attitude to adopt!
BUT WHAT IS PRAISE AND WORSHIP?
- Praise is affirming the qualities of God… His love, majesty, mercy, kindness, power and might
- Worship is the act of acknowledging that GOD IS GOD…. and we are his creatures, created by Him, sustained by Him… depending upon Him for everything
IT’S EASY TO PRAISE AND WORSHIP when life is going along sweetly…
- Considerably less easy to do so when times are difficult and we can’t see an end in sight to our problems or difficulties
PRAISE AND WORSHIP ARE NOT LINKED specifically to singing and dancing… Did I say ‘dancing’!?
- We sometimes wrongly refer to a ‘time of praise and worship’ when we really mean ‘a time of singing’ … but there is more to praise and worship than singing heartily, waving our arms in the air or being formal
For example, Job, after receiving terrible news, worshipped the Lord (1 v 20)
- He could do so because circumstances do not change the nature of God…He is still the Supreme Ruler of the Universe
- God loves to receive our praise and worship at any time and all the time
We worship and praise Him because of who HE is and not because we feel good inside…
- Though when we are feeling glum it is much harder to give God the praise due to His name
- BUT HE IS STILL WORTHY of that praise and worship
IT IS A GREAT INCENTIVE for us to realise that our praise and worship, even when we feel miserable, gladdens the heart of God… and will gladden our hearts, too.
Someone has written these words…
Measure your life by loss instead of gain
Not by the wine drunk but by the wine poured out
For love’s strength stands in love’s sacrifice
And whoever suffers most has most to give
(Mrs Hamilton King)
We may differ in our views concerning the best way to go about praise and worship…
- Miriam danced and played a tambourine
- King David threw off his coat and danced in his underclothes
- The prophets often praised God when prostrate on their faces
- Today, some people love the organ… others prefer a music group
- Some people like songs played fast… others like them slow
- Some congregations move about a lot… others stand still
- Some play drums… others think that they are inappropriate in church
…but let’s not become so obsessed with ‘acceptable practice’ that we lose sight of God’s worthiness to receive it.
Many of our practices are cultural… where we happen to be born and raised
- A bushman will worship in a different way from a royal duchess
- A young person of fourteen will probably want to worship in a different way from someone of seventy four
- The young people in our churches are brought up to ‘do’ praise and worship our way… It may not be until they go away to college or university that they discover that there are alternative ways to worship and praise God…
- When they return to their home churches, they may feel dissatisfied
Musicians and worship leaders are in a no-win situation…
- They need our prayer and support, not our carping and criticism
- We must all endeavour to be sensitive to the move of the Spirit and responsive to the needs one another, even if it means ‘grinning and bearing’ forms of praise and worship styles that clash with our preferred option.
ONE WAY AND ANOTHER let’s not allow culture or embarrassment or peer pressure or tradition or fear of man to hinder us in giving God the worship he deserves
AND THE AMAZING CONSEQUENCE of true worship is that we are lifted and encouraged…just as God is!
- This should not come as a surprise…for if we are Christians, Christ lives within us, so if He is pleased, we shall be positively affected in our innermost being.
Life is worth living because God loves to receive our praise and worship