fruitage of the spirit's journal

Expressions from the Heart

Shout to the Lord!


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“Oh come, let us worship and bow down; let us kneel before the Lord our Maker” – Psalm 95:6

“Oh, gives thanks to the Lord, for He is good! For His mercy endures forever!” – Psalm 107:1

“I will praise the Lord according to His righteousness, and will sing praise to the name of the Lord Most High.” Psalm 7:17

“I will declare Your name to my brethren; In the midst of the assembly I will praise You. – Psalm 22:22

The psalmists above couldn’t contain themselves – they testified to God’s mercies and goodness. The exuberance of these praises is meant to be contagious. Have you ever shared a song of worship at church and felt the energy and high spirit as you sang in union with the congregation? Some songs have brought me to tears!

The concept of prayer and worship is not a hesitant (or menial) matter. Sometimes the reason for hesitancy when it comes to prayer is the uncertainty of whether we are in line with His will in the situation. Other times, pressures and challenges may keep us from being in a worshipful mode. Some believe that to give thanks to God one must FEEL thankful, but that’s not what Paul taught. 1Thess 5:16-18 – Rejoice always; pray without ceasing; in everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.

Giving thanks is not an expression of emotions, it is an act of the will – something you choose to do. Giving thanks calls for looking past negative circumstances and accepting them for ultimate good purposes; it calls for acknowledging God as the One who has allowed events in your life for the fulfillment of His purposes. You choose to thank and praise God because you know that the pain you’re enduring is an opportunity for Him to demonstrate His power, grace and love.

Not sure what to praise God for when you feel heavy with burden? The entire Psalm 150 is a wonderful worship song. Read it – over and over. Memorize it if you can and when you recite it, your reason for excitement for praising the Lord will become clearer to you.

“Praise the Lord!
Praise God in His Sactuary;
Praise Him in His mighty expanse.
Praise Him for His mighty deeds;
Praise Him according to His excellent greatness.
Praise Him with trumpet sound;
Praise Him with harp and lyre.
Praise Him with timbrel and dancing;
Praise Him with stringed instruments and pipe.
Praise Him with loud cymbals;
Praise Him with resounding cymbals.
Let everything that has breath praise the Lord.
Praise the LORD!”

-Psam 150

We worship and praise God for his “mighty deeds” – creator of the heavens and earth; He caused the mountains to form, the seasons to appear on schedule and the waters of the earth to keep their positions. He sent His son to earth to die for our sins; He loved us first and provided a way so that we can be reconciled to Him. God has answered prayers; He’s performed miracles; He is the great healer. He causes Himself to be found by prodigals, in fact, he promises those who search for Him that he will let Himself be found. Praise God for being the ONLY promise-keeper we will ever know! God never changes; He is the same God who promised Abraham, Isaac and David that their nation will be blessed and it was! The messiah came forth from their lineage.  Never let it become insignificant or a drudgery to praise the Creator. Whether in prayer, song or thought, let us lift up our hands and praise the One who Was, who Is and is to come!

What do you praise God for today??

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May 15, 2009 - Posted by | Expressions | , , ,

6 Comments

  1. Yes!! Give Him praise!!!
    I was a daily Bible reader attending religious services 3 times a week for 7 years straight and I did not KNOW what worship was. I had to look it up. Once I did the research and matched it with scripture, I could allow myself to open up to it. I’m kinda anal that way.

    I could relate to Apollos…..
    24Meanwhile a Jew named Apollos, a native of Alexandria, came to Ephesus. He was a learned man, with a thorough knowledge of the Scriptures. 25He had been instructed in the way of the Lord, and he spoke with great fervor and taught about Jesus accurately, though he knew only the baptism of John. (Acts 18:24, 25)

    My misunderstanding of worship was blocking the full potential of the power of God’s Holy Spirit in my life. I thought worship meant going to church and staying on schedule with my Bible reading. Wrong.

    I ventured out and gave into the Presence of the Lord in worship. Did a little David dancin’ (2 Sam 6) when I felt good. But I did not fully understand until I’d felt unworthy to worship. I did not feel like going to church one Sunday because I knew I’d given in to a wicked tongue the night before. I felt too unclean to stand up on Sunday and raise my hands and shout to the Lord. But then I thought about how Satan is the accuser who comes to kill, steal, and destroy. He loves to steal our faith by reminding us of our failings. I said If I am REALLY going to take God’s word seriously and trust that my sins are forgiven, then I can go to church and worship! So I did, and that is when I really understood what worship is. It is a decision to praise Him even in the storm. After that I wrote on the front page of my Bible the words of Neh 8:10 “the joy of the Lord is your strength!” For that was just the thing I needed to get over that feeling of unworthiness. That is why God is so bent on forgiving us! He likes our praise and let’s face it, it does not come easy when we feel bad about our sins. And so, we go to Him in prayer trusting that He forgives us, leave it behind and WORSHIP. Truly refreshment for our souls.

    I live to praise him. Thank ya JeeeeesUS!!!!!

    Comment by Julie | May 17, 2009

  2. Hey Julie! I always appreciate your feedback on my posts. You usually bring out thoughts that I missed to mention (or even realize!)

    So many times we equate worship of God with our own worthiness to worship. I’ve felt the same way a time or two when I know I acted in an ungodly manner and didn’t feel “worthy” of going to praise Him. But it’s during those times we feel undeserving that we SHOULD go and worship.

    Thanks again for highlighting that thought! You are a gem!

    Comment by Linda | May 17, 2009

  3. Actually Linda, my thoughts were based on what you said here.

    “Giving thanks is not an expression of emotions, it is an act of the will – something you choose to do.”

    So you brought out the point first, I just got wordy on ya that’s all.

    Jesus said to the woman at the well that the Father was looking for ones to worship him in Spirit and Truth (John 4:24). We really are not able to worship God without His Spirit. It is a provision then. Something He gives us. We tend to think of worship as something we are giving to Him, and it’s true that we are, but He made it possible and we receive strength in doing so. I only understood that when I felt unworthy to worship. The focus on me left as I focused on Him in worship. What a wonderful provision it is to be given a new Spirit in order to worship the One worthy of our praise! It is the air I breathe, to quote another worship song here. He breathes His Spirit into us, and we breathe it out in worship. As long as we keep breathing, we’re alive!

    HALLELUJAH. Praise our God, giver of life.

    Comment by Julie | May 17, 2009

  4. HALLELUJAH INDEED!! Let us Praise Him!!

    Comment by Linda | May 18, 2009

  5. Let us praise Him as the one who hears and answers our prayers! And let us praise Him for the Holy Spirit that works in us and brings us to the very things we need when we need them at His proper time! Here is how He has worked for me today…I came across a website of Christians dedicated to helping people in or coming out of cults. There I found Julie’s testimony and I prayed about writing to her since her story was similar to mine. Then I came across a meet up for Christians and joined that and lo and behold if the very same Julie did not send me a greeting and then directed me here where I found comfort from your writings on praise and difficulites with praise and worship when feeling less then worthy…the very same things I’ve been struggling with. So praise the Lord Jesus for the comforts He offers! Thank you both and Thank God in Heaven.

    Comment by Bonnie | May 18, 2009

  6. Hi Bonnie! It’s great to have you here in the journal. I met Julie at the same MeetUp group. Isn’t she great?? (Sorry to embarrass you, Julie)

    I also came out of the same cult; for me, I had a very warped view of worship. I always felt that I could never do enough “earn” righteousness; I couldn’t study enough…comment enough…preach enough hours…on and on. Isn’t it wonderful that we’ve been freed from the lies and control? Isn’t it amazing to know that we are FINALLY worshipping God in Spirit and with Truth? We have so much reason to rejoice!!

    There is an amazing testimony by a former JW. Her name is Tanya and her story can be found on the post, “Broken No More”. She is a sweetheart. If you want to post a testimony, please let me know. I’ve been working on posting my “story”, but every time I do, I get too emotional and worked up that I can’t finish writing. Coming out of the WT was very scarey and emotional for me. Fortunately, I had great friends that held my hand through it. I still have such a hard time writing about it, though. But I promise to post my story soon.

    Your sister in Christ,
    Linda

    Comment by Linda | May 19, 2009


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