When asked, “Master, which is the great commandment in the law?”, Jesus answered, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind” (Matt. 22:36-37). Truly, we should love God with every bit of our being. It cannot be just a spoken love. It must be a love that is openly expressed by who we are and how we think, talk and act. One of the paramount features of a Christian’s life is that it is lived it to the glory of God.
One way that we can glorify God is through praise- to praise God is to give Him glory. We need to praise God throughout every day. Perhaps the most obvious way we can do that is through the spoken word. It’s easy to just say, “Praise God!” Yet, this may also be the most frivolously used method of praising our Heavenly Father. Many people speak words of praise to God while their lives demonstrate just the opposite. It is admirable to see a football player kneel in the end zone after scoring a touch down and give thanks to God. But if the camera next zooms in on that player celebrating on the bench, uttering profanity, one is left to wonder how sincere and meaningful his kneeling in the end zone really was.
In non-church settings many Christians are slow to offer words of praise to Him who has blessed them with all of their abilities (Jas. 1:17). Someone praises them for a job well done. It would be appropriate to give thanks to God, at least privately, for the blessing them with the ability to do the job so well.
Another common means of praising God is through the songs we sing in worship. How inspiring are songs such as, “Hallelujah, Praise Jehovah.” In Hebrew the word “Hallelujah” means “praise Jehovah.” Actually, when we sing the opening words to the song we are shouting out, “Praise God, Praise God!” Other songs are equally meaningful in praising God. Songs such as, “Praise God From Whom all Blessings Flow,” “Praise Him, Praise Him,” “Praise the Lord,” “How Great Thou Art,” “Glorify Thy Name,” “The Lord is in His Holy Temple” and a host of others. We ought to really think about the wonderful meaning behind the words as we sing these songs. Truly, “Our God is an Awesome God!
Prayer is another avenue through which we can express praise to our Father. What a blessing is prayer! We’re very attuned to using prayer to ask God and thank Him for blessings. At the same time, we should also praise God in our prayers. Prayer is one of the most direct and personal means of communicating our praise to God. It might be good spiritual exercise for us to try, from time to time, to pray a prayer that has as its object nothing but praising the giver of all blessings.
Perhaps the most meaningful means of praising God is through the way we live our lives. We are to be living sacrifices (Rom. 12:1-2), seasoning salt and guiding light (Matt. 5:13-16). We are to be soul rescuers (Mk. 16:15-16), people of love (Jn. 13:34-35) whose lives are guided by God’s word (2 Tim. 3:16-17). It’s one thing to say praise, even to sing praise. But perhaps where our praise is shouted most loudly is when we live praise to God. More people will hear us praise God in that manner than in any other. We ought to carefully consider how we live our lives, how we conduct ourselves. We should live in such a way that our lives shout out, day in and day out, praise to our God in Heaven.
Our Father deserves our praise, and the lost of the world around need to hear our praise to Him. Praise God!
Gary L. Hutchens