Intentional Praise

Psalm 5:11

But let all who take refuge in you rejoice;
    let them sing joyful praises forever.
Spread your protection over them,
    that all who love your name may be filled with joy.

1 Peter 1:8

You love him even though you have never seen him. Though you do not see him now, you trust him; and you rejoice with a glorious, inexpressible joy.

20160924-kleb-woods-9718

These purple flowers (perhaps honeysuckle?) were growing on a seedling at Kleb Woods earlier this fall.

What brings you joy? Is it your favorite football team winning the game? Is it your children being recognized for good grades? Is it making it to the end of the week and discovering that it’s a three-day weekend? Many things can bring us joy in the coolness of a beautiful fall day. Not every day is cool. Fall gives way to winter. Beautiful days are easily forgotten in the face of a hurricane.

Those who love and believe in Jesus look for better reasons to rejoice and praise God. While it’s great to win a football game, or discover an extra day off, it is far better to embrace the goodness, faithfulness, love, and grace of God in Jesus. Our joy flows from our awareness of God’s place in our hearts and lives. Our praise flows to God…to him, explicitly, intentionally, from a God-centered, faith-created world view.

I’ve had a great time following the Dallas Cowboys this year; their performance has been amazing and their record is the best since the 1970’s. We also rejoice when we hear of the amazing accomplishments of our grandchildren near and far. But take all these joys away, and you still have reason to rejoice. We believe in him. We rejoice in him. We take refuge in him. Jesus is the source of our joy and the focus of the praise of those who love him.

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