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RCC Blog

Pausing to Praise

Posted By Ken Alvis, Pastor of Community Groups & Senior Adults On Tuesday, September 29, 2020

​Last week in my backyard I was fortunate enough to observe God’s creation in many ways.  First, there was a pair of doves on our block wall.  They have been constants for many weeks and their cooing and billing is comforting.  They are always together.  Next are a couple of hummingbirds who are often heard before they are seen.  These little birds are amazing.  They can fly forward up to 30 miles per hour with a heart rate over 1,200 beats per minute.  Trying to follow their movements is virtually impossible.  After trying and failing to follow the hummingbirds, the exact opposite occurred as a monarch butterfly slowly glided around the backyard.  Their colors are so rich and beautiful.  Finally, a ladybug lands nearby.  Who doesn’t like a ladybug?  Ladybugs always bring a smile to us.  Ladybugs eat aphids (up to 5,000 in a lifetime), so are friends of farmers.  They have six short legs and are colorful with a shiny red-and-black oval body.  This friendly bug hangs out with me for a while and then skirts away.

 

The above example is just a tiny smidgeon highlighting God’s creation as seen from my backyard.  It is amazing and is worthy of praise.  God deserves our praise.  He alone is worthy.  Simply describing some of the names of God can be helpful on why God is worthy and deserving of our praise.  Here are a few:

 

Elohim - Strong One, divine (Genesis 1:1)

Adonai - Lord, indicating a Master-to-servant relationship (Exodus 4:10, 13)

El Elyon - Most High, the strongest One  (Genesis 14:20)

El Roi - The strong One who sees  (Genesis 16:13) 

El Shaddai - Almighty God  (Genesis 17:1) 

El Olam - Everlasting God  (Isaiah 40:28) 

Yahweh - LORD “I Am,” meaning the eternal self-existent God (Exodus 3:13, 14)

 

We praise God who is eternal, holy, righteous, sovereign and supreme.   He alone is able to meet our deepest needs.  We are given a tutorial on praising God in the book of Psalms, which is a collection of songs filled with praises to God.    Psalm 150 uses the term praise thirteen times in six verses.  We are told in verse 1 where to praise God – everywhere!  Verse 2 teaches the “why” to praise God: “Praise him for his mighty deeds; praise him according to his excellent greatness!”  Verses 3-6 then shares the “how” to praise God with many instruments, dance, and everything that has breath. 

 

If the Word of God gives us direction on praising God (it does), then why can it be difficult to praise God?  The answer is simple:  distractions.  The distractions of life can easily push our focus on God to the sidelines.  For example, how about the turbulent world we live in today?  It seems our daily lives are upside down and what was “normal” six months ago is now a distant memory.  This turmoil can put our focal point not on God, not on our blessings, not on praising Him, but rather on our circumstances and on this wacky world we currently live in.  If this is something that applies to you, then turn your attention away from life’s problems and look at God and the reasons we should praise Him.  He is full of glory (Psalm 138:5), great (Psalm 145:3), good (Psalm 107:8), merciful and faithful (Psalm 89:1) and a lot more.  He is the One who saves us (Psalm 18:46), pardons sin (Psalm 103:1-3), and gives us our daily food (Psalm 136:25).  Finally, Psalm 148 commands us to give praise to God.  

 

“He led them by a straight way till they reached a city to dwell in.  Let them thank the Lord for his steadfast love, for his wondrous works to the children of man!  For he satisfies the longing soul, and the hungry soul he fills with good things.”   Psalm 107:7-9

 

May we focus more on God and offer Him praise as a life that is surrendered to God. 

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