A few days ago I was weeding knowing full well that the amount I needed to pull up was due to my putting it off so long. But I was at least able to listen to music so it was not too bad. Concentrating on music for me is a lot better than focusing on how much work there was due to my procrastination. I would rather praise God for my ability to pull weeds rather than to complain about how numerous they are.
I listen almost exclusively to contemporary Christian music right now. I know not everyone cares for that music, but I am drawn to its message of a Savior. Sometimes I wish there was more consistent message about Jesus’ saving work which is more vital than the knowledge I can have comfort in this world no matter what is happening around me. But if the message gives people a chance to be introduced to Jesus, then good. And it is great way for me to praise God in the weeds.
After I finished weeding, well almost, I guess I left some weeds for later and yes, more growth, I did some searching in the Bible about praising God. My favorite way to praise him is through singing. I have been singing in choirs since I was about 12, which means I have about 53 years of singing behind me. And yes, I know the vocal chords are far less strong than they were way back then. And some day, maybe that talent will disappear.
The other reason I was interested is I forget that singing is not the only way to praise God. Praise is something that comes from the heart and is a response of love to Jesus’ love for us. So what did I find?
Probably the best known example is in Luke 2:14 where we hear the angels, ““Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.” In the many Christmas Eve services I have attended I have heard numerous joyous songs about this part of the Christmas story. And yet, the most reliable translations, not paraphrases, of the Bible report in verse 13, “Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,” Hmmmm, saying.
I read about one of the most prolific psalmist writers, King David. I found Psalm 65:1 which is definitely listed as a song. In fact many of the Psalms were written to be sung. But I also found in 2 Samuel 6 where “David was dancing before the Lord with all his might,” praising God as the Ark was returned to Jerusalem.
Paul wrote in Philippians 1: 3-5, “I thank my God every time I remember you. In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now,” Isn’t praying with joy praising or thanking God for the believers in Philippi?
There are many other such examples in the Bible of praising God and all the forms they may take. Bottom line I guess is there is not just one form of praising that is better or more acceptable or, if I may use the word, more praiseworthy than another. Praise can be found in art, in how a job is done, the way the message of the Savior is passed on to others, contributions, and even by the patience shown in a line at the grocery store. (That would be the someone else has 20 items in the 12 items only line.)
Probably the best praise guideline is found in 1 Corinthians 10:31 “So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.” My life needs to be one of constant praise for what he gives me here on earth and more importantly, for the eternity in heaven given to me through Jesus.
I also read about the praise in heaven found in the book of Revelation. There the saints, elders and angels are praising the Lamb, Jesus. for his defeat of the devil. I saw some majestic pictures of praise through song, words of praise and also bowing in adoration to our Savior.
I found a passage about joy in heaven that is happening right now. “I tell you that in the same way there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent.” Luke 15:7. So there are a few things I learned. First I understand that the context is one in which Jesus is pointing out that this rejoicing is reserved for those who know they are sinful and turn to Jesus for forgiveness and not for those who take pride in their own “goodness.”
I also was made aware that I am not just wandering around earth on my own. What I do, how I live and the praise I give to my Savior is heard. What a message for those who are struggling with their sinful life here on earth. Because of what Jesus did on the cross heaven God rejoices as they turn to him for forgiveness. And through the power of the Word everyone can repent.
So I started with praising God in the weeds, worked my way to praising God with all my life and then to the rejoicing in heaven over sinners who repent of their sins. OK, now I really do feel like singing!
How do you like to praise God? Come on back some time and share. I will wait you.
I found a video called “Favorite Song of All.” (Yes, yet another song). And while there may be a good deal of supposition as to this being God’s favorite song, it is one definition of rejoicing in heaven.