Saturday Sermon: Praise the Lord
One of the more popular expression in today's religious environment is the phrase, "Praise the Lord." This phrase takes itself from Psalm 150:6 and is heard in varied and various situations.
Most of the time we hear it in the arena of joy; however, we occasionally hear it as one faces great crises and sorrow. So what is this thing called "praise," and why are we to offer it to God?
Praise is defined as "an expression approval or admiration of." It is derived from a root word which means "worth the price." Therefore, when we praise something, we are showing how much we approve of the item or value it. Using that as our foundation, let us see what we mean when we say "Praise the Lord."
First, we should praise God because of who He is - He is God (John 17:3). He is unique and completely special and there is no one else like Him. We read in Isaiah 44:6, "I am the First, and I am the Last; besides Me there is no God." He is self-existent, having no beginning or end.
He is almighty and all powerful along with being all loving, wise, righteous, good, merciful and caring. He is the Creator of everything. Nothing would exist without Him. Psalm 148:5 says "Let them praise the name of the LORD, for He commanded and they were created."
Second, we praise God for what He has done for us and continues to do for us. He is not only "the" Creator, He is "our" Creator. Everyone who has ever lived or will ever live owes their life to Him. We have both the privilege and the obligation to praise the Heavenly Father. It is something that we can and must do.
The psalmist David wrote in Psalm 22:22, "I will declare Your name to My brethren; in the midst of the assembly I will praise You." We should praise God through our songs, prayers and teaching, but we cannot confine our times of praise to just our times of assembly. We must make it a habitual, daily practice.
The inspired writer of the book of Hebrews reminds us: ". let us continually offer the sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of our lips, giving thanks to His name," Hebrews 13:15.
Third, every day, we should make it a top priority to take some time, rather, make some time to recognize our God and praise His holy name. Whatever our situation, whatever our circumstance, be it times of joy or sorrow, let us glorify Him.
Let us be like David, who understood the importance of praising God: "O God, You are my God; early will I seek You; my soul thirsts for You; my flesh longs for You in a dry and thirsty land where there is no water. . Because Your loving kindness is better than life, my lips shall praise You," Psalm 63:1,3.
Shan Jackson is a minister at the Port Lavaca Church of Christ.