Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Shepastor: "Are You Robbing God of His Praise?"

Praise the Lord
Praise God in his sanctuary;
praise him in his mighty heavens.
2 Praise him for his acts of power;
praise him for his surpassing greatness.
3 Praise him with the sounding of the trumpet,
praise him with the harp and lyre,
4 praise him with timbrel and dancing,
praise him with the strings and pipe,
5 praise him with the clash of cymbals,
praise him with resounding cymbals.
6 Let everything that has breath praise the Lord.
Praise the Lord.
Psalm 150, NIV

The Hebrew term, “Halal” which is a primary Hebrew root word for praise. Our word "hallelujah" comes from this base word. It means "to be clear, to shine, to boast, to show forth, to rave, to celebrate, to be clamorously foolish." Line 1 of Psalm 150 uses this term at least three times. It says,

Ps 150:1
Praise (halal) the Lord! Praise (halal) God in his sanctuary; Praise (halal) him in his mighty expanse.

The difference between a thief and a robber is that a thief will take what is yours when you are not looking…they will steal from you behind your back. You may not even notice that they’ve taken what ever it is from you until you go to use it or you need it or want it.

But a robber is different. A robber will point a gun in your face and will take what is not theirs, but yours and will dare you to say anything about it. People go to prison for both, but there is something so insidious about armed robbery that criminals frequently pay a heavier penalty for doing so. Robbery is ugly, it is scary, it is so disrespectful – “in your face,” if you will. The robber didn’t work for, sacrifice for, struggle for, give themselves for what they take. They circumvent the normal process to take what they don’t deserve.

We are angered and appalled when we here about people being robbed. But have we been guilty of robbing God by withholding our praise? There may be times when we don't feel like praising because of life circumstances. But praising God may be just the medicine that we need! Praise can aid us in refocusing when the struggles of life press in. Just as physical exercise releases endorphins into our system that gives us boosts of energy and lifts our mood, giving God praise energizes our spirits and lifts our hearts by reminding us of God's love, mercy, grace and power.

Praise is to be expressive. Praise is to be demonstrative. Praise is to be exuberant. Praise is to be joyous. Praise is to be open. And yes, praise is at times to be loud! This does not mean that we have to. Be loud and expressive every Sunday. There are times and scriptural support for quiet, meditative contemplation. However, there are also times to open our mouths, lift our hands and shout "Hallelujah!!!"

When we get in the habit of just coming to church and sitting there half a sleep, waiting for something to tickle our ears or prompt us to raise our hands, or urge us to shout, “amen,” we are robbing God of His praise. You are holding it back as if it is yours. It’s not yours, the praise belongs to The Lord! When you won’t praise, you are telling God, “it’s my mouth, and I don’t feel like doing all that…it doesn’t take all of that!” But you are robbing God of His praise.

Heaven is not a dull and somber place.

Revelations 4: 10-11 declares,

10The four and twenty elders fall down before him that sat on the throne, and worship him that liveth for ever and ever, and cast their crowns before the throne, saying, 11Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created.

When we refuse to open our mouths and worship and praise God for who He is, for what He has done, for His excellent greatness, we are robbing God of His praise. Satan wants you to sit quietly and just stare off into space. He wants you to just sit with your hands folded, half asleep so that you miss the blessing that comes from praise. When we make up our minds that we've come into His house to magnify His name and worship Him, something happens inside of us.

When we begin to “halal” God, in other words, when we begin to "to be clear, about who God is, about what God has done, about how God brought us thus far, when we begin to be clear about God’s favor upon our lives, how it was God, not our strength, God, not our talent, God, not our education, God, not our families, God, not your business connections, God who blessed us, God who saved us, God who rescued us, God who delivered us, God who carried us through, we can’t help but to give God the praise! We can’t help but give God the glory due His name!

When you are clear about why you are praising God, you will begin to shine. Your light will shine, like the old song writer said, “this little light of mine, I’m going to let it shine, every where I go, I’m going to let it shine, Jesus gave it to me and I’m gonna let it shine, let it shine, let it shine, let it shine!” When you become clear about who God is and all that God has done, nobody will have to beg you to praise, nobody will have to prod you to praise, you will BREAK OUT in praise! You will begin to boast in the Lord. As you are driving down the street, thinking about God’s goodness you'll break out in a praise. At times you may be sitting at your desk and begin to think about God’s goodness and you’ll break out in a praise. You may be in the kitchen cooking, in the shower bathing, in the garden weeding and you’ll break out in praise!

When you come into the sanctuary, you’ll be so thankful and so ready to bless the most high God that you will rave about His goodness, celebrate his greatness and at times act clamorously foolish about His blessings!
The psalmist said that when we think about the goodness of God, the greatness of God, the loving kindness of God, the mercy of God, the grace of God, the forgiveness of God, the healing power of God, the protection of God, every now and then we ought to break out in a dance, break out in a shout, break out with the instruments.
When you won’t open your mouth to say, “thank you Lord,” you are robbing God of His praise. When you sit week after week and just stare off into space, you are robbing God of His praise. When you won’t lift up holy hands and tell of His excellent greatness, you are robbing God of His praise.

Make up your mind to praise the Lord. Open your mouth and praise the Lord. Lift up your voice and praise the Lord. Even when you don’t feel like it, praise the Lord. Even if all hell is breaking loose in your life, praise the Lord. Praise him when times are good. Praise Him when times are bad. Praise Him when you are up. Praise Him when you are down. Give God the honor and glory due His name.

For when you make up your mind to worship and praise the Lord, something happens. God sees your faithfulness. God sees your pain. God sees your toil. God sees your tears and God is honored by your determination to praise Him anyhow. God will dispatch His angels to come and minister unto you. God will pour out His blessings as showers upon you. God will send His comforter the Holy Spirit to re assure you. God will lift you, God will strengthen you, God will bless you. God will empower you. When the praises go up, the blessings come down.
Let everything that hath breath PRAISE THE LORD!!!

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Until next Wednesday,
In Faith, Hope and Perseverance,
Pastor Chris

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