Posts Tagged With: Praise

Party Time

praise

In New Orleans, Mardi Gras is lauded as a celebration that stands above all others. The fervor with which preparations are made and the energy that is put into such wanton partying certainly nears being unrivaled. But since when does drunkenness, debauchery, or simply an excuse to cast modesty to the wind deserve such acclaim?

 

Yes there are religious observances that are wed with this festival, both Christian as well as those enamored with various cults and Satanism. Christ does not hold hands with the devil, and neither do his servants. A true Christian is set apart as holy unto God and does not mingle with blatantly evil revelry.

 

It’s not that Christians do not party—they do, only their celebrations look much different than what is done throughout this heathen celebration.

 

In Christ Jesus is found the apex of joy and unsurpassable satiation of the heart, of the soul and spirit. The entire being: from the physical body, to the mind, and into the spirit washes satisfaction—a saturation of contentment flowing from God’s throne.

 

Rife with all good things, Christian celebrations always burst forth with praises, singing, shouting and dancing in joyous revelry in response to the richness of the abundant and eternal life our Savior affords. And as with most festive occasions there’s usually a lot of good food involved.

 

Magnify the mighty name of Jesus! Let His deeds be known!

 

Recount the blessings from His hands, and go tell it on the mountain, over the hills and everywhere. Such good news of God’s amazing grace is cause for His acclaim, His glory, and for our celebration of the Lord’s exalted position.

 

Free yourself to celebrate the gift of salvation, and shout your faith from the rooftops. Let us parade down the streets with signs extolling our God’s holy virtues, His love and provision of every good and perfect gift.

 

Cause the Father of lights to rise and clap. Bring a smile to the face of Almighty God by celebrating His wisdom, His justice—His holiness and purity.

 

Let’s lift our voices to sing songs of thanks and praise. Let’s do so in the public arena, in our homes and schools, and in our government buildings. Nowhere is God absent, and there’s no place that His presence does not fill. For this reason all places are right places to acknowledge and proclaim His goodness.

 

I just want to celebrate! (As a teenager that was one of my favorite songs by the group Rare Earth.)  Never has that been truer for me than it is today, as I ruminate upon our glorious God and Savior Jesus Christ.

Let’s toast to His love, as we perpetuate that same love around the world.

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Categories: Christian Living, Current Event, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Time To Rejoice

rejoice

 

There are nearly a dozen hot button topics that have come up over the past week that I had hoped to expound. It would have drawn a lot more readers. But life kept on happening, effectively robbing me of the time I needed to plant my butt in the seat and type. But then again…

Today I want to block out all those other things bouncing around in my thinker, to relate what the Lord spoke to my heart this morning, through His word. Hold onto something now, we are entering my brain.  ☺

We hear the verse often, and most every Christian is familiar with it. I think there’s a danger in over using popular verses. When we hear them, our minds believe we’ve already received the full impact of that particular passage of scripture in the past, and so we don’t really think much about it. Opening my bible this morning, I turned to one such verse.

“This is the day that the LORD has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.” Psalm 118:24

I can say with confidence, I’ve read that verse lots of times over the years, and have heard it quoted even more. But let’s dig in, and see if we can draw some deeper meaning than what appears on the surface.

First, let’s list the topics that this verse includes. Certainly it speaks of God’s sovereignty: God is in control. He can do as He pleases. I’m thankful He is a good and loving God, aren’t you?

This verse also proclaims that the Lord is the Creator of time.

Trusting God through whatever the day might bring is another grand principle we need to apply to our minds, which this verse implies.

God is working out His grand plan for mankind corporately. He also has individual, personalized plans for each one of our futures. (Jer. 29:11) He is aligning circumstances and events so that His plan for you will be brought to pass. This verse shouts the topic of Divine Providence.

We should rejoice.

When we can rejoice in the Lord, regardless of what is transpiring around us, or happening to us, God is very pleased. It reveals that we are trusting the Lord, and acknowledging His sovereignty. We are showing our understanding of His providence. We are acknowledging His provision of all we need, and we are joyful over His love. So here’s the thrust of the message I received today. God led me to the book of Job to make the connection.

“He replied, “You are talking like a foolish woman. Shall we accept good from God, and not trouble?” In all this, Job did not sin in what he said.” Job 2:10

You should already know the story of Job, so I won’t get into that, but suffice it to say that God allowed Job to suffer horrendous tragedies in his life

Yes, it is easy to trust God in the good times of plenty and health. But what about the days when my sciatica is raging, causing terrible pain in my back? What about the days a migraine headache forces me back into bed? Can I rejoice then?

Often, I think I know what needs to be done in order for me to continue growing in holiness. I have mapped out how to best serve the Lord, and what I need to accomplish in order to minister to others. I have my days all planned out. But sometimes God interrupts my plans, with His plan. He might say, “No, Sheldon, today you need a headache.” Will I trust Him still? Will I rejoice in the fact that God knows what he’s doing, and that it’s all for my own good? Can God show love to me by allowing me to have a splitting headache? Yes! I may not enjoy the pain, but I can rest assured that God’s love for me remains intact. I can rejoice because I trust in His wisdom, which eclipses my own.

Now don’t get me wrong, I don’t think people should shout, “Praise the Lord, I have cancer!” I’m not going to actually thank God for my pain. But I am going to thank Him that He is using my pain to shape me into the image of His holy Son, just as He has promised. I will praise Him for aligning events to coincide with, and bring about His perfect will, because His will is better than good.

Another popular verse states, “Rejoice in the Lord always: and again I say, Rejoice.” Philippians 4:4

If I am going to rejoice in the Lord at all times, even during a sciatica flare up or a blasting migraine, I will need to trust God. I must accept the bad along with the good, as did Job. I must believe that in His providence He is working all things together in a way that will bring about all that is good for me. “And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.” Romans 8:28

Perhaps I needed to be reminded today that God is in control, and that He loves me very much. Maybe I required a refresher course in remaining joyful over my relationship with Jesus. But then, maybe God simply wanted me to write all of this out so that you would be reminded of these things. Whatever the case, the Lord is working.

Not perceiving or acknowledging God’s loving control does not hinder His plans from progressing, not in the least. But it will harm us, and steal off with our joy. Let’s lift up the mighty name of our glorious God today and rejoice in Him! Because, as we all know, God is good, all the time!

Pray with me:

Heavenly Father, we praise you that you are a holy God, and we praise you for your goodness and your sweet love. May your mighty name be forever exalted. We especially thank you for sending your Son, Jesus to pay for our sins and reconcile us unto Yourself. What an awesome plan of salvation! It is so wonderful that we have this precious relationship with you, and with Your Son, through Your Spirit within. We pray for your will to be done in each one of us, and across the earth. Teach us, oh God, to recognize your Lordship over all things, and to rejoice in the fact that you love us so much. Thank you for providing everything we need to grow in goodness and in godliness. We praise you for nurturing us along, as we become more and more like Jesus. We love you, Lord! We praise your mighty name, Hallelujah! In Jesus’ glorious name, Amen.

Categories: Growing in Faith, Ministry, Providence, Testimony, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , | 6 Comments

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