by Pastor David Lawson
Read Luke 19:40
I love Sundays! I can’t wait to get to church every week and celebrate the work of Jesus in my life and in the lives of others. Even though I can’t carry a tune in a bucket, I love singing at the top of my lungs, expressing the gratitude and love and admiration and appreciation I have for God and the transformational love He’s extended to me in the person of Jesus Christ.
And I love praising Him with all of you.
But for me, it’s not just Sunday, and it’s not just worship music. Julie and I have learned to praise God with our words at other times.
Like when we see Him moving in the life of someone we love. Like when He brings us through a challenging time of ministry. Like when we see life change in someone through salvation. Like when He reveals something “just for us” in our regular time in the Word. Like when we sit down at our meal, recognizing that He is so faithful to graciously provide us with all we need… in great abundance!
Praise is necessary. We were built for it. Being created in His image, we have been uniquely wired to praise God. Unashamedly. Unreservedly. Unrelentingly.
But for praise to be praise, it has to be expressed. It has to make its way from our hearts past our lips.
In today’s verse Dr. Luke tells of a time when Jesus’ followers “began joyfully to praise God in loud voices…” The religious elite decided that was too raucous a celebration, so they told Jesus to shut it down.
Jesus would have none of it. He said, “I tell you, if they keep quiet, the stones will cry out.”
That’s one thing you don’t want on your spiritual record when you face Jesus: the stones praised God better than [insert your name here].
God’s going to be praised. He deserves it. Only He is worthy of it.
So which will it be for you? Stones or you? Someone else or you? Let’s be a church that praises God every chance we get… and let’s make it loud. Let’s make some joyful noise and make our Heavenly Father smile! And then let’s get together Sunday and “raise the roof!”
Challenge: Here are some Psalms to get you started. Read – or shout – one out loud every day this week.
“For great is the LORD and most worthy of praise; he is to be feared above all gods” (Psalm 96:4).
“Great is the LORD and most worthy of praise; his greatness no one can fathom” (Psalm 145:3).
“You are worthy, our LORD and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things, and by your will they were created and have their being” (Revelation 4:11).
“I will extol the LORD at all times; his praise will always be on my lips” (Psalm 34:1).
“Because your love is better than life, my lips will glorify you. I will praise you as long as I live, and in your name I will lift up my hands” (Psalm 63:3-4).
“Praise the LORD. Praise the LORD, you his servants; praise the name of the LORD. Let the name of the LORD be praised, both now and forevermore. From the rising of the sun to the place where it sets, the name of the LORD is to be praised” (Psalm 113 1-3).
“Praise the Lord. Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; his love endures forever” (Psalm 106:1).