We have an important and specific job to do as followers of Jesus – did you know this? And naturally there are a number of parts to it, but it all comes down to one specific job. – Praise. We are to praise God always. That is what our life is to be about.
One thing we know about praise is that it is something we do out loud to other people. We tell each other about that thing or person we are praising. Maybe with people we praise someone for how kind they have been to us or how helpful they are and then we recommend them to others. We praise all sorts of things all over the place. So, why do we keep God to ourselves? I am convinced that much of the boredom people have with God these days is not because God is boring. It is not even because the church is boring. It is because we are not encountering God in real life ways, which comes from a lack of praise. Think about it, our lives ought to be a spotlight on God. We must praise God!
Our life is to be a life of praise, but not just any praise, praise for God!
Praise God for Who He is
Praise the Lord, for the Lord is good;
sing praise to his name, for that is pleasant. – Psalm 135:3
He is good. He is not evil. He is pleasant to be around, loving and kind. We praise Him for His goodness. God is kind to us, patient and loving to us.
He is not only good, but the author here takes it up one more level with the word great. We say a lot of things are good, but not as many of them are also great.
I know that the Lord is great,
that our Lord is greater than all gods. – Psalm 135:5
There is personal experience here. How do you suppose you come to that conclusion? The only way that happens is when we press in to God. When we approach Him in worship and praise and receive from Him. This was a big statement to make at the time because of the number of fake gods there were. People would take something and make their own god to worship. Of course that god would do nothing because it was dead. The writer says God is great! Greater than all others; He is the greatest! That is a cause for us to praise because God deserves it and people chasing false gods need to know!
Another description of God is about his sovereignty – which is a big word that basically means God is sees and knows all past, present and future events. God has no limits. You might think you can do whatever you want, but can you really? No! There are laws and physical limitations. I want to fly, so should I go to the top of my house and jump off because I feel like it? No! I am limited. God is not because He is over it all.
God also endures and is renown. That means that He does not change and He is famous. God is known through out all generations. Go back 1,000 years and go ahead 1,000 years and He stays the same. He is famous and known. He has a history among his people that is easily seen in history and is memorable for them.
We praise God that he endures, stays the same, is everlasting – never ending. Because that gives to us a place to rely on, not on us, but on God.
Praise God for What He Has Done
For one thing, verse 4 talks about the way he sets apart his children as treasured possessions. This is awesome, isn’t it? My son will carry around little boxes of treasures, things that to us seem silly, but to him are carefully selected. He will arrange them certain ways and show people because he is so proud of them. He will do all he can to carefully preserve them. God does that with us! He treasures us. We know this because He did not settle for our efforts to reach Him, knowing that we never could, but instead sent Jesus Christ to die for our sin, allowing us to be forgiven and set apart for Him forever! I think we should praise God for that, don’t you?
God has also protected us. There is a list of historical events God did to protect His people from harm. The Lord shows compassion on us. He cares for us in other words in a real way, not in a fake way. Also it says that God vindicates — defends us. We know from our own lives and from the Bible that living as a follower of Jesus instead of the world around us is not easy. God defends us and makes all things right in the end. We praise him because he sees it all. There are acts of violence and people who get away with all sorts of evil in this world, but God sees all and will set all of those things right. People do not get away from God, He sees all and knows all. We rest assured in that because it is hard to make sense of some of the things that happen.
In order to encounter God, we must live a life of praise. We must make much of God, even when we don’t understand it all. As we wrestle with hard questions, we praise! When we go through pain, we praise. When evil seems to be closing in and winning, we praise God for who He is and for what He has done!
Where do you need to make much of God this week? (Praise)