When we praise God it is because we are thankful for being saved from certain eternal death. Psalm 116:2 says, Because he turned his ear to me, I will call on him as long as I live. Worship is a thankful response to God. It is not a repayment to Him. An attempt to repay God for salvation is futile and can never be enough. It is a gift and worthy of our praise.
Too often we ask God to bless us and in turn give us the glory. In the best case, we may ask God to give us the glory while giving Him the glory at the same time. We may give God the glory for blessing us, but we get our own praise in the process. An example would be when we ask God for help with work so that we can be noticed and rewarded. There is nothing wrong with impressing people around us as long as we are certain God is not lost in the process. Psalm 115:1 says, Not to us, O Lord, not to us but to your name be the glory, because of your love and faithfulness. Before we ask God for anything, let us make sure we are doing it for the right reasons. We should also make sure God is praised and all glory goes to Him.
God’s name symbolizes His nature and His character. In Psalm 99:3 it says, Let them praise your great and awesome name – He is holy. His holiness and His reputation as the one and perfect God is what His name is supposed to symbolize. If we are blessed enough to call Him Father, then let us live worthy of the Family name.
Today we read the last psalm in the book or Psalm. The very last verse in Psalm 150:6 says, Let everything that has breath praise the LORD. Praise the Lord. Because God is the creator of the universe, and because He loves us so much, and because He is worth of our praise, we must praise Him with all we are and all we have. Praise the Lord!
Our sin nature will always be a force in our lives. It will always want to push us into doing the things we know are wrong even when we know the potential to hurt us. In Romans 7:15 Paul says I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do. Without the power of the Holy Spirit in us to change, and the grace of God through Jesus Christ, we would forever face a losing battle. Praise God for showing us grace and giving us a a path to salvation.
Have any of you ever heard of “Name it and Claim it”? This is the idea that if we name something in the name of Jesus, He will give it to us. Many people substantiate this idea by claiming John 14:14, You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it. The problem is they fail to read the previous verse, John 14:13, And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Son may bring glory to the Father. It is important to know that Jesus will do anything we ask, not for our glory, but to bring glory to God The Father. When we ask God for help, are we asking for our own selfish gain? Or are we asking so that it may glorify Him and bring others to a personal relationship with Him? Our motives matter.
As I read today’s chapter, I could not help but laugh as I read Luke 13:14, Indignant because Jesus had healed on the Sabbath, the synagogue ruler said to the people, “There are six days for work. So come and be healed on those days, not on the Sabbath.” Of all the things Jesus did in the moments leading to the Synagogue ruler’s tantrum, the best the ruler could come up with was a technicality that Jesus healed on a day that was supposed to be for rest. While rest if very important, the Sabbath is meant for our wellbeing and not for our spiritualization of NOT doing something for God. God’s glory, in all we do, is the most important thing. This includes taking any opportunity to do something that glorifies Him in the process. Jesus’ healing of the woman was meant to bring glory to God, but the Synagogue ruler took the opportunity to bring glory to himself and his ability to follow rules. We must never pass up an opportunity to do good and glorify our Heavenly Father.
Our pride can be one of the biggest things that hurt us. God has blessed us in this life with knowing who He is and how much power He has to work through each of us. We should never be jealous of what God is doing through other believers. It is all ultimately for His glory. In Luke 9:49-50 Jesus rebukes His disciples, 49 “Master,” said John, “we saw a man driving out demons in your name and we tried to stop him, because he is not one of us.” 50 “Do not stop him,” Jesus said, “for whoever is not against you is for you.” There is no room for jealousy when we work towards God’s glory as a body of believers. Once we forget about taking credit for victories in the Kingdom of God, we will see more growth than any of us could ever imagine.
In todays reading, Paul urges us to pray. In 1 Timothy 2:1-2 he says, 1 I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people— 2 for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. Even though God already knows our needs and requests, He still wants to engage with us in a dialogue that expresses our need for Him in our lives. Paul also urges us to pray for those in authority over us, including rulers and governments. This is a remarkable request from Paul considering Nero was the Roman Emperor at the time (A.D. 54-68). Nero was a very cruel ruler who would later heavily persecute Christians (e.g., after Nero needed a scapegoat for the fire that destroyed much of Rome, he blamed the Roman Christians – A.D. 64). But Paul knew the importance of praying for those in authority. No matter how bad a ruler or government may be, only God can ultimately change them.
In the final verse of today’s chapter, Paul says in Romans 11:36, For from him and through him and for him are all things. To him be the glory forever! Amen. We are all fully dependent on God whether we like to admit it or not. When we feel as though we have it under control, it is really under His control. God is the sustainer and the power that rules over this world for His glory and he deserves our praise.