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It's Only Right

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It’s Only Right

How many Giants fans do we have in the building?
February 3, 2008 marked one of the greatest days and greatest plays in Giants history.
Super Bowl XLII (42).
Giants vs. Patriots.
Giants are losing 14-10, with 1:15 left on the clock, 3 and 5 on their own 44 yard line.
They call hike, Qb Eli Manning practically gets sacked right from the snap. But he manages to get away.
He throws a desperation pass to David Tyree, the fourth receiver in the lineup.
What happens? Tyree, goes up, catches the ball with his right hand and pins it against his helmet. Complete.
Four plays later, Manning connects with Plaxico Burress for a touchdown, sealing the Giants 17-14 victory.
Now if you’re a Giants fan, watching this game unfold, watching the 14-6 Giants take down the undefeated Patriots in the Super Bowl - the greatest football game of the year, what are you doing when David Tyree makes that catch?
You’re losing it. You’re celebrating. You’re rejoicing. You’re rejoicing with those around you.
And if, in the midst of that celebration, I were to come up to you and say, “why are you celebrating?”
You’d say–it’s only right to celebrate, in light of what has happened…in light of the victory that has been won.
It would be fair to say, “It’s only right to celebrate” at that moment in time, right?
Well, church, today I submit to you that another victory has been won, another enemy has been defeated, and the stakes of this victory are infinitely higher than any game on earth, it’s a victory that has eternal implications. The victory of our Lord Jesus Christ defeating sin and death forever for those who would trust in Him. And in light of that victory, I declare that

It’s Only Right for Saints to Praise Him.

Today we’re going to look at biblical praise. We’re going to define it, we’re going to see how it’s demonstrated, and we’re going to end looking at why the church should be a people of praise.

It is my prayer that we as a church would be freed holistically – in mind, soul, spirit, and body – to praise God with all of ourselves – for His glory, for our good, and that those around us would see Him.

With that said, hear the words of our Lord in .
Psalm 33:1 ESV
Shout for joy in the Lord, O you righteous! Praise befits the upright.

A Panorama of Praise

A Panorama of Praise

The Bible is full of praise. It’s full of people praising Him, angels praising Him, and His creation praising Him.
In the Old Testament, the word praise shows up over 200 times. That’s JUST the word ‘praise’. That doesn’t even account for similar words, such as ‘bless’, ‘give thanks’, and ‘worship’.
In fact, the Bible, is a book about praise – and praising God for His worth, beauty, and infinite value is what we are created for.
The aim of the whole Bible is to show how God has gone to the greatest lengths to provide a way for humans to be brought back into the greatest love relationship with Him and praise His name forever. It’s what we were made for.
Let’s take a panorama view of the different words used for ‘praise’ in the Bible:
‘halal’ - This word is used over 100 times in the Old Testament. It means to ‘boast,’ ‘brag,’ ‘express words of excellence.’ The root of this word is connected to the word for making a noise, ‘yada.’ It’s a word that is associated with the bodily actions and gestures that accompany praising. This is a word of excitement, of jubilation, of joy, of lifting up. It’s the kind of praise you would have seen from that Giants victory.
‘halal’ is often combined with ‘yah’, the name of the God of Israel (from “yahweh”), to make ‘hallelujah’ – It literally means ‘Praise the LORD’! It is always a confident, boastful, declaration to God.
Psalm 150:1–6 ESV
Praise the Lord! Praise God in his sanctuary; praise him in his mighty heavens! Praise him for his mighty deeds; praise him according to his excellent greatness! Praise him with trumpet sound; praise him with lute and harp! Praise him with tambourine and dance; praise him with strings and pipe! Praise him with sounding cymbals; praise him with loud clashing cymbals! Let everything that has breath praise the Lord! Praise the Lord!
Psalm 150:1 ESV
Praise the Lord! Praise God in his sanctuary; praise him in his mighty heavens!
‘zamar’ - this word means to sing praises and to make music.
Psalm 104:33 ESV
I will sing to the Lord as long as I live; I will sing praise to my God while I have being.
‘yadah’ - means to praise, give thanks, confess, literally ‘throw down’. It’s usually a term used in public worship.
Psalm 33:2 ESV
Give thanks to the Lord with the lyre; make melody to him with the harp of ten strings!
Give thanks to the LORD with the lyre.
‘tehillah’ - often associated with a song of praise. It’s what we see here in . This is the kind of thing that befits the upright.
Psalm 33:1 ESV
Shout for joy in the Lord, O you righteous! Praise befits the upright.
‘rua’ - to give a blast, a battle cry, a jubilant shouting, a war cry. Also compounded with te to make ‘teruah’ – a blast of war, blast of joy.
Psalm 33:3 ESV
Sing to him a new song; play skillfully on the strings, with loud shouts.
‘ranan’ – to give a ringing cry, a shout for joy.
Psalm 33:1 ESV
Shout for joy in the Lord, O you righteous! Praise befits the upright.
Shout for joy!
I did this, because I wanted us to see two different things. First of all, all the different words used to describe ‘praise’ have a notion of being a loud declaration. Praise is loud across many forms–with words, with cries, with music, with body.
Secondly, Biblical praise is radically God-centered. “Shout for joy in the LORD, O you righteous. Praise befits the upright.”
What I’m trying to get to at the bottom of this is simple:
I want us to seriosu
Here’s my definition of praise–

Praise is a jubilant, all-of-person declaration of joy in God’s attributes and achievements.

And, when you realize all of who He is and what He’s done, you’ll realize that it’s only right to praise Him.

And, when you realize all of who He is and what He’s done, you’ll realize that it’s only right to praise Him.
And, it’s only right to praise Him.

Forms of Praise

Forms of Praise

Profane praise.

Whose Praise is Fitting?

Our text spells this out for us, does it not?
– Praise befits the upright. The psalmist says that true praise to the Lord God is only fitting for those who are in His family.
True praise is linked to one’s relationship with God.
The fitness of your praise is linked to the foundation of your faith.
In other words, true, beautiful praise is linked to one’s relationship with God.
Those who can praise God in a manner pleasing to Him are those who have tasted and seen His sweet salvation! Because those are the ones who are living their lives for His glory. Who are resting in the grace of God for their righteousness.
Why does praise befit the upright? Because there was a point in time where you did not and could not praise Him in intimacy. If you did praise, your praise was hollow because you did not know Him. But He has brought you near. It is fitting to celebrate and declare.
seen, in all the ways that they fall short, that they’ve sinned against a perfect God, yet have seen His grace in Jesus Christ.
It’s fitting for those to praise Him who have experienced His great mercy for their souls. Those who have heard Him standing next to Him, in their shame, saying “who stands to condemn you? Neither do I, now go and sin no more.”
Remember, this is not righteous in the sense of OUR moral perfection. This is impossible. There is none righteous, no not one. This is an uprightness given to all who have turned from their sin, and turned to Jesus, following Him with their whole lives.
These are the one’s whose praise is fitting. These are the one’s whom it’s only right for them to praise. Those whose foundation of faith is the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ for their sins.
These are the one’s whose praise is fitting. These are the one’s whom it’s only right for them to praise. Those whose foundation of faith is the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ for their sins.
God has acted so that you could live your best life. But your best life is not life lived for things on this earth. Your best life is life lived for eternity. Life lived secure in the grace of God.
In the same vain, how can the unbeliever praise the God whom they do not know? How can you praise Him from the heart when your heart is not His?
If you are living your best life now, your praise is not fitting.
Praising Him with one hand while your other hand is crowning yourself King of your life.
This is what the Bible calls profane praise.
Profane praise is what ruined humanity’s relationship with God in the first place.
The Scriptures would say that we all exchanged the truth of God for a lie and worshiped and served creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever (). This is essentially what sin is, right? Bowing down (praising, declaring the worth of something with words or walk) of anything that is not the One True God?
This is essentially what sin is, right? Bowing down (praising, declaring the worth of something with words or walk) of anything that is not the One True God?
Notice what I said there. Praising with words or walk. That means, if you just outright live for other things but God, your praise is profane.
But, if you with your words praise God, yet deny Him with your walk, sadly your praise is profane to God, too. That the true inside of your heart, and thus your actions, are far from God – that is profane praise.
The Pharisees in Jesus’ day had this problem.
Mark 7:6–7 ESV
And he said to them, “Well did Isaiah prophesy of you hypocrites, as it is written, “ ‘This people honors me with their lips, but their heart is far from me; in vain do they worship me, teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.’
Matthew 23:27–28 ESV
“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs, which outwardly appear beautiful, but within are full of dead people’s bones and all uncleanness. So you also outwardly appear righteous to others, but within you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness.
Matthew 23:27 ESV
“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs, which outwardly appear beautiful, but within are full of dead people’s bones and all uncleanness.
In other words, if you worship the King on Sunday, but then crown yourself king and live in sin Sunday night through Saturday night, then Jesus would say your praise is not pleasing to Him. Your "praise" of God followed by a life that rejects His call and His ways is storing up wrath for you.
In other words, if you worship on Sunday, but living in sin Sunday night through Saturday night, then Jesus would say your praise is not pleasing to Him.
How can we thank God for His gifts, and then disobey the Giver? Live a life that mocks the Giver?
God has acted so that you could live your best life.
But your best life is not life lived for things on this earth. Your best life is life lived for eternity. Life lived secure in the grace of God.
If you are living your best life now, your praise is not fitting.
Praising Him with one hand while your other hand is crowning yourself King of your life.
And we were all there, and if not for the grace and mercy of God, we would all still be there. So if you’re hearing this, and thinking, we’ll dang preacher, I think my praise is profane, we’ve got some good news for you. This is not me trying to call you out and shame you. This is me trying to point you to a Savior who will transform everything about your life and eternity.
The bottom line question is, ultimately, are you living to find salvation in anything other then the free grace of Jesus Christ. That determines whether your praise is fitting or not.
The fitness of your praise is linked to the foundation of your faith.
Praise befits the upright. Note that it doesn’t earn you uprightness. It is the supernatural response and desire of those who are filled with the Holy Spirit of God and are walking in intimate relationship with Him.
Ephesians 5:18–20 ESV
And do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery, but be filled with the Spirit, addressing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody to the Lord with your heart, giving thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ,
Ephesians 5:19–20 ESV
addressing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody to the Lord with your heart, giving thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ,
This is what the Bible calls profane praise.
Romans 1:24–25 ESV
Therefore God gave them up in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, to the dishonoring of their bodies among themselves, because they exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever! Amen.
Romans
Praise does not earn you uprightness, but is fitting for the upright. Don't praise Him on Sunday morning and then wile out Sunday evening through Saturday night. You're actually storing up condemnation for yourself.

What does Praise Look Like?

God has given us many forms to praise Him with, and honestly, this is where the challenge comes for most of us. We know that we’re supposed to declare the worth of Jesus, but we are unsure how (or perhaps afraid of the answer).
If I’m honest, when I read “shout for joy in the LORD, O you righteous! Praise befits the upright…Sing to him a new song; play skillfully on the strings, with loud shouts,” I immediately tend to think something like, “well, I can ‘shout’ in my heart,” but I don’t need to do it out loud…do I?
Now, the goal of this sermon isn’t necessarily to get us to ‘shout’ (though, I do think that some of us hold back on our expressiveness, or are afraid of expressiveness, and that could be robbing us of deeper intimacy with Jesus…more on that later).
It is my prayer that we as a church would be freed holistically – in mind, body, soul, and spirit – to praise God with all of ourselves – for His glory, for our good, and that those around us would see Him.
The goal of this sermon is that we as a church would be freed holistically – in mind, body, soul, and spirit – to praise God with all of ourselves – for His glory, for our good, and that those around us would see Him. To free us for greatest intimacy with Jesus.
It’s about responding to God in a manner that is fitting for whatever is going on.
But I think it’s clear from Scripture that, form-wise, praise involves all of us.
In Song
Psalm 33:3 ESV
Sing to him a new song; play skillfully on the strings, with loud shouts.
With the Clapping of Hands
Psalm 47:1 ESV
Clap your hands, all peoples! Shout to God with loud songs of joy!
In Shouts
Psalm 33:1 ESV
Shout for joy in the Lord, O you righteous! Praise befits the upright.
Standing
1 Chronicles 23:30 ESV
And they were to stand every morning, thanking and praising the Lord, and likewise at evening,
With Musical Instruments
Psalm 33:2 ESV
Give thanks to the Lord with the lyre; make melody to him with the harp of ten strings!
Psalm 33:
In Dancing
Psalm 148:3 ESV
Praise him, sun and moon, praise him, all you shining stars!
Psalm 149:3 ESV
Let them praise his name with dancing, making melody to him with tambourine and lyre!
Bowing Down
Psalm 95:6 ESV
Oh come, let us worship and bow down; let us kneel before the Lord, our Maker!
Silence and Meditation
Psalm 77:11–12 ESV
I will remember the deeds of the Lord; yes, I will remember your wonders of old. I will ponder all your work, and meditate on your mighty deeds.
Lifting of Hands
Psalm 63:4 ESV
So I will bless you as long as I live; in your name I will lift up my hands.
It’s about responding to God in a manner that is fitting for whatever is going on.
hat we do with our bodies is important.
The point I want to make is that what we do with our bodies is important.
The point I want to make is that what we do with our bodies is important.
It’s about responding to God in a manner that is fitting for the occasion.
says that our body is meant for the Lord. It’s not just our ‘spirit,’ our ‘mind,’ our ‘soul,’ but our bodies.
All things are spiritual.
What we do with our bodies is important. God has given us bodies, and He’s given us our bodies as a means of greater, deeper, worship. We will have a body for eternity, and depending on whether we receive Christ’s salvation or reject Him, our bodies will be with us in eternal joy, or eternal punishment. What we do with our bodies counts.
says that our body is meant for the Lord. It’s not just our ‘spirit,’ our ‘mind,’ our ‘soul,’ but our bodies.
God created physical bodies in Genesis and said it was very good. Our physical bodies actually experienced communion with God and dwelt with Him in the garden.
All things are spiritual.
We will have a body for eternity, and depending on whether we receive Christ’s salvation or reject Him, our bodies will be with us in eternal joy, or eternal punishment.
If you’re a follower of Jesus Christ, God says that our body is a temple of the Holy Spirit (). So what we do with our bodies counts.
God has given us bodies, and He’s given us our bodies as a means of greater, deeper, worship.
Isn’t it interesting that sometimes physical expressions are linked to a deeper experience of relational intimacy? What if the same is true of our relationship with God?
What if God has given us our bodies as a means of experiencing Him more deeply?
When you see them, what do you do? You hug them, right? Why?
Because the hug communicates. It communicates something that’s true within you. It communicates that your care, your embrace, your acceptance and affection for them.
Now, all of those things could be true–you could love them and care for them, but imagine if when you saw them you we’re like, “eh, I’m not sure I’m really feeling that I care for you in the moment–life is hectic, I’ve got a lot of other things on my mind, or I’m upset at you–and I just don’t want to hug you if I’m not all the way there.”
That sounds ridiculous, right?
I think, unlike prayer, we feel as if praise is just a response to God – so if we don’t ‘feel’ all the way joyful, we’re hesitant to shout or to clap, because we don’t want to be hypocrites. But what if, as we focus on Jesus, God uses our physical posture as an avenue to empower us and grow us spiritually?
What if the same is true of our relationship with God? What if God has given us our bodies as a means of experiencing Him more deeply.
What if God has given us our bodies as a means of experiencing Him more deeply.
Let me illustrate. Think of a relationship with someone that you love very much. Not necessarily a romantic one, but it could be your best friend, your mom or your dad, an aunt, uncle or cousin, or a sibling.
When you see them, what do you do? You hug them, right? Why?
Because the hug communicates. It communicates something something internal. It communicates that you care. It communicates your embrace, your acceptance and affection for them.
Butin my experience, it does more than merely communicate. The physical demonstration is actually used to DEEPEN the emotional intimacy between myself and the person. Receiving an embrace has actually helped me to experience the love that that person could just verbally communicate to me. But I actually understand it on a deeper level when the physical component is involved.
Now, all of those things could be true–you could love them and care for them, but imagine if when you saw them you we’re like, “eh, I’m not sure I’m really feeling that I care for you in the moment–life is hectic, I’ve got a lot of other things on my mind, or I’m upset at you–and I just don’t want to hug you if I’m not all the way there.”
That sounds ridiculous, right?
We become paralyzed oftentimes when we think about praising the Lord with outward expressions of joy, because we want to do it with right motivations. I believe praising God for the right reasons is of paramount importance.
But I’d say, if we are in Christ, we can be confident to expressively praise Him, knowing that we are secure in His love, and as long as we keep our eyes on Him, He receives our praise and is pleased with it.
But I’d say, if we are in Christ, we can be confident to expressively praise Him,
What if the fuel of our expressive praise is a confidence in the deepest truth about us–God’s loving embrace of us and the eternal salvation for us He has purchased in Christ Jesus? This is the reality of our lives if we are in Christ, so we can be unleashed to let that praise make its way out.
This is the reality of our lives if we are in Christ, so we can be unleashed to let that praise make its way out.
What if our experience of intimacy with God is cut short when we are hesitant to express it.
We actually can experience a greater depth of intimacy through our physical worship.
We get hung up on this with expressive praise for some reason. We let our feelings hinder our praise, when we don’t do that in the same way with other things.
We still pray to God when we feel as if He is distant, don’t we? Because we believe that prayer is an act of faith, an act that says God, I might not feel you right now, but I trust that what you say is truer than what I’m feeling at the moment. So I’m going to pray, I’m going to persevere in prayer when it feels like I’m talking to the ceiling, because I trust You over my current feeling. It is an act of faith.
Why do we fear praising Him expressively when we feel He’s distant? Why don’t we view this as an act of faith? What if the very act of praising Him was used by Him to draw us deeper, to give us His power, to bring us into His presence?
Perhaps what we do with our bodies in praise can be a reflection of our faith.
Oftentimes, we think praise is simply a declaration–what if we started to see it as a desperation, too?

Praise is both a declaration and a desperation.

We get hung up on this with expressive praise for some reason.
We know that physical expressions are linked to a deeper experience of relational intimacy, don’t we? What if the same is true of our relationship with God?
We still pray to God when we feel as if He is distant, don’t we? Because we believe that prayer is an act of faith, an act that says God, I might not feel you right now, but I trust that what you say is truer than what I’m feeling at the moment. So I’m going to pray, I’m going to persevere in prayer when it feels like I’m talking to the ceiling, because I trust You over my current feeling. It is an act of faith.
Let me illustrate. Think of a relationship with someone that you love very much.
We still pray to God when we feel as if He is distant, don’t we? Because we believe that prayer is an act of faith, an act that says God, I might not feel you right now, but I trust that what you say is truer than what I’m feeling at the moment. So I’m going to pray, I’m going to persevere in prayer when it feels like I’m talking to the ceiling, because I trust You over my current feeling. It is an act of faith.
When you see them, what do you do? You hug them, right? Why?
Why do we fear praising Him expressively when we feel He’s distant? Why don’t we view this as an act of faith? What if the very act of praising Him was used by Him to draw us deeper, to give us His power, to bring us into His presence?
Because the hug communicates. It communicates something something internal. It communicates that you care. It communicates your embrace, your acceptance and affection for them.
But in my experience, it does more than merely communicate. The physical demonstration is actually used to DEEPEN the emotional intimacy between myself and the person. Receiving an embrace has actually helped me to experience the love that that person could just verbally communicate to me. But I actually understand it on a deeper level when the physical component is involved.
That sounds ridiculous, right?
We become paralyzed oftentimes when we think about praising the Lord with outward expressions of joy, because we want to do it with right motivations. I believe praising God for the right reasons is of paramount importance.
But I’d say, if we are in Christ, hoping in God’s loving embrace and eternal salvation that He purchased for us in Jesus, we can be confident to expressively praise Him, knowing that we are secure in His love, and as long as we keep our eyes on Him, He receives our praise and is pleased with it.
What if our we reached beyond our feelings to our confidence, which is even truer than our feelings, as the fuel and reason for praise? This is the reality of our lives if we are in Christ, so we can be unleashed to let that praise make its way out.
I think, unlike prayer, we feel as if praise is just a response to God – so if we don’t ‘feel’ all the way joyful, we’re hesitant to shout or to clap, because we don’t want to be hypocrites. But what if, as we focus on Jesus, God uses our physical posture as an avenue to empower us and grow us spiritually?
We actually can experience a greater depth of intimacy through our physical worship.
What if we were missing out on greater, deeper, intimacy with Jesus because we praise Him in our hearts, in our thoughts, but are hesitant to praise Him outwardly with our bodies and loudly with our lips? I don’t want that.
Praise is both a declaration and an act of desperation.
In Scripture, God often uses physical postures as an instrument of His working in us.
Perhaps what we do with our bodies in praise can be a reflection of our faith. Are we praising to please men, or to please God?
Think about the women healed of a discharge of blood (Mark 5:25-34)
This woman had a discharge of blood for twelve years. In that time, she would be considered ceremonially unclean. She would not be able to have any physical contact with others. She would effectively be cut off from her family and community. She wasn’t allowed to worship in the temple.
This was a life of shame, isolation, and loneliness.
But check it out – this woman had heard about Jesus and what He was capable of.
So she said to herself, “If I can just touch His garment. If I can just get to the hem of His robe, I would be made well.”
God’s Power Flows Through Physical Means
And she was healed. He sensed power had gone out of him.
When she came trembling before Him–I’m sure she was terrified, because her touching of Him would have made Him unclean. But don’t you know about Jesus.
Jesus is the perpetually clean man, who, when touched by those that are dirty, instead of becoming dirty Himself, He makes them clean! Talk about a reason to praise Him.
He said, “Daughter, your faith has made you well (literally, ‘saved you’); go in peace, and be healed of your disease.”
He said, “Daughter, your faith has made you well (literally, ‘saved you’); go in peace, and be healed of your disease.”
Now think about it...
What if the extension of the hand 'activated' the power of God. Was the fullness of the expression of faith?
Couldn't Jesus have healed the woman without her touching him?
What if her stretching out her hand was a demonstration of desperate faith? What if it was a testimony to those around that it was indeed Jesus who did the healing?
What if the extension of the hand was the fullness of the expression of faith?
What if our praise is meant to function in that way?
What God used our clapping and shouting to Him in victory to help us more fully experience and live in the victory He has bought us.
What if God used our raised hands in worship to
A conduit of God's power? If it's a means of intimacy, then perhaps it helps us get a little bit closer to the hem of Jesus' garment? Perhaps it's part of that healing touch that He desires to grant us. But part of that might be stretching out or hands or raising our voices in faith?
What if God used our clapping and shouting to Him in victory to help us more fully experience and live in the victory He has bought us?
What if God used our bowing down before Him to help us more fully surrender every part of our hearts and lives to Him, for His glory?
What if God used our extended hands towards heaven in praise to help us more fully receive the gift of His grace?
What if God used our bowing down before Him to help us more fully surrender every part of our hearts and lives to Him, for His glory?
Pastor Sam Storms had some content that was really helpful for me in preparing this sermon, and I just wanted to share this quote. This is his response when ask why would you raise your hands in worship, he responds,
Why do you assume that the appropriate place for your hands is at your side and you need an explicit biblical warrant for raising them? Wouldn’t it be just as reasonable to assume that the appropriate place for one’s hands is raised toward heaven, calling for an explicit biblical warrant (other than gravity or physical exhaustion) to keep them low?…No, you need not raise your hands in worship to God. But why wouldn’t you want to?
Why do we assume worship
What if our experience of intimacy with God is cut short when we are hesitant to express it?
What if we were missing out on greater, deeper, intimacy with Jesus because we praise Him in our hearts, in our thoughts, but are hesitant to praise Him outwardly with our bodies and loudly with our lips? I don’t want that.
Praise is both a declaration and an act of desperation.
What will characterize our praise–dignity or desperation?
I fear our habits of praise are characterized far too much on the side of dignity and not enough on the side of desperation.
Ephesians 5:181-9

Expressive Praise is both a declaration and a desperation.

When you see them, what do you do? You hug them, right? Why?
Because the hug communicates. It communicates something that’s true within you. It communicates that your care, your embrace, your acceptance and affection for them.
Now, all of those things could be true–you could love them and care for them, but imagine if when you saw them you we’re like, “eh, I’m not sure I’m really feeling that I care for you in the moment–life is hectic, I’ve got a lot of other things on my mind, or I’m upset at you–and I just don’t want to hug you if I’m not all the way there.”
That sounds ridiculous, right?
This is the reality of our lives, so we can be unleashed to let that praise make it’s way out.
Perhaps what we do with our bodies in praise can be a reflection of our faith. Are we praising to please men, or to please God?
A conduit of God's power? If it's a means of intimacy, then perhaps it helps us get a little bit closer to the hem of Jesus' garment? Perhaps it's part of that healing touch that He desires to grant us. But part of that might be stretching out or hands or raising our voices in faith?
Couldn't Jesus have healed the woman without her touching him? What if her stretching out her hand was a demonstration of faith? What if it was a testimony to those around that it was indeed Jesus who did the healing?
What if the extension of the hand 'activated' the power of God. Was the fullness of the expression of faith?

Ephesians 5:18–19 ESV
And do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery, but be filled with the Spirit, addressing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody to the Lord with your heart,

Why do we Praise God?

Remember our definition of praise, because within it lies the answer.

Praise is a jubilant, all-of-person declaration of joy in God’s attributes and achievements.

We praise God for who He is and for what He has done.
We praise God for who He is and for what He has done.
Our Psalm, , goes on to tell us WHY praise befits the upright.
Who He Is - His Words are right and just, His Works are faithful, He loves righteousness and justice, He is steadfast love, He is Creator, He is awe-inducing to the whole world, He is sovereign, His counsel is eternal, His plans never fail, He is all seeing, He is enthroned, He is a deliverer, He is a sustainer, He is the help of the helpless and their shield, His name is HOLY.
What He has Done - He made the heavens by a speaking, He holds the waters of the sea in His hands, He has storehouses for parts of the ocean we cannot even descend to, He spoke, and it came to be, He commanded the earth, and it stood firm. He thwarts the counsel of the nations. He frustrates the plans of the rebellious. He has blessed those who are His heritage, He has made them His God. He fashions hearts, He sees those who hope in Him. He delivers their soul from death and keeps them alive in famine. He has been His people’s help and shield, and He has placed His steadfast love upon His people.
It’s only right that His people praise Him.
is Moses and the rest of Israel singing a song of praise to God for His deliverance from their oppression in Egypt, triumphing over Pharoah and His armies.
Psalm 106
2 Samuel 6:14 ESV
And David danced before the Lord with all his might. And David was wearing a linen ephod.
2 Samuel 6:12–15 ESV
And it was told King David, “The Lord has blessed the household of Obed-edom and all that belongs to him, because of the ark of God.” So David went and brought up the ark of God from the house of Obed-edom to the city of David with rejoicing. And when those who bore the ark of the Lord had gone six steps, he sacrificed an ox and a fattened animal. And David danced before the Lord with all his might. And David was wearing a linen ephod. So David and all the house of Israel brought up the ark of the Lord with shouting and with the sound of the horn.
2 Samuel 6:14–15 ESV
And David danced before the Lord with all his might. And David was wearing a linen ephod. So David and all the house of Israel brought up the ark of the Lord with shouting and with the sound of the horn.
Each person of the covenant community was responsible for personally owning the ‘covenant’ with God.
Psalm 66:16 ESV
Come and hear, all you who fear God, and I will tell what he has done for my soul.
The psalmist was telling the people of God’s covenant faithfulness.
Can you imagine what Abraham would have said about what God had done for His soul?
Abraham rejoiced that the Lord didn’t force Him to sacrifice His only Son on the altar, but provided a sacrifice.
Can you imagine what Moses would have said about what God had done for His soul?
In , Moses and his crew sang a song of praise because God worked wonders and miracles to free them from captivity in Egypt and deliver them through the Red Sea.
Can you imagine what King David might have said about what God had done for His soul?
In , David danced before the LORD with all His might and brought the ark of the LORD, the symbol of the presence of God, with shouting and the blast of the horn, because the ark was coming to Jerusalem.
2 Samuel 6:14–15 ESV
And David danced before the Lord with all his might. And David was wearing a linen ephod. So David and all the house of Israel brought up the ark of the Lord with shouting and with the sound of the horn.
They simply point ahead to Jesus, the ultimate fulfilment of who God is and what He has done.
Better, than Abraham, It’s only right to praise Jesus, because He Himself is the ultimate sacrifice of God, who laid down His life on the altar, to forever forgive the sins of those who trust and rest in Him.
Better than Moses, It’s only right to praise Jesus, because through His blood shed on the cross He leads His people out of enslavement to sin and delivers them from bondage, to walk in newness of life.
Better than David, It’s only right to praise Jesus, because He is the one who single handedly conquered our greatest enemy, sin, on our behalf without us having to even lift a finger.
It’s only right to praise Jesus, because He Himself is the True presence of God who has come to dwell with His people forever.
It’s only right to praise Jesus, because He Himself is the True meeting point between God and man, our high priest forever.
So I ask you today– What has Jesus done for your soul?
So what about you? What has Jesus done for your soul?
Has He set you free?
Are you living a life of profane praise or pleasing praise? There is no middle ground. The temptation is to think that you’re not profaning God with your life–that you’re a generally good person, but you just don’t follow One specific God, or perhaps follow no Gods.
The Scripture doesn’t allow for that. It says there is none righteous. There are none who seek God. Our ‘goodness’ apart from Jesus can never outweigh our sin against the One True God.
Generally good people who are not in Christ are living a life of profane praise and are headed towards eternal destruction.
The glory of the gospel of Jesus Christ is that all of us, who were profane praise-ers by nature, who did not rejoice in who He was and what He has done, have been born again with the righteousness of Christ. To all of us who receive His sacrifice for our sins, and His indestructible life, are RAISED TO NEW LIFE–In a love relationship with our Father God, forever.
But the glory of the gospel of Jesus Christ is that all of us, who were profane praise-ers by nature, who did not rejoice in who He was and what He has done, have been born again with the righteousness of Christ. To all of us who receive His sacrifice for our sins, and His indestructible life, are RAISED TO NEW LIFE–In a love relationship with our Father God, forever.
The good news is that TODAY, if your praise is profane, God can make it pleasing, immediately, by your turning from yourself and turning to Jesus. It’s going to cost you everything. But following Jesus – the steadfast love of the Lord is better than life.
Psalm 66:16 ESV
Come and hear, all you who fear God, and I will tell what he has done for my soul.
God’s Word, the Bible, is full of praise. It’s full of people people praising Him, angels praising Him, and creation praising Him.
In the old and new testament, the word ‘praise’ shows up over 200 times. That’s JUST the word ‘praise’. That doesn’t even account the words ‘bless’, ‘worship’, ‘give thanks’.
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You see, the Bible is a book about praise, and specifically, it’s aim is to get us to praise with our lips and our lives rightly the One True God.
Praise is important.
One of my questions
We can miss out on greater, deeper, intimacy with Jesus because we praise Him in our hearts, in our thoughts, but are hesitant to praise Him outwardly with our bodies and lips.
Psalm 33:1 ESV
Shout for joy in the Lord, O you righteous! Praise befits the upright.

A Panorama of Praise

Let’s do a quick study of what ‘praise’ is in the Bible.
Let’s do a quick study of what ‘praise’ is in the Bible.
In the old and new testament, the word praise shows up over 200 times. The Bible is a book about praise, and specifically, it’s aim is to get us to praise with our lips and our lives rightly the One True God.
‘halal’ - over 100 times in the old testament - carries the emphasis of ‘praise’, ‘boast’, ‘brag’, ‘express words of excellence’. The root meaning of halal is connected with the word for making a noise, yada. Originally associated with the bodily actions and gestures that accompany praising.
At times this word is combined with the name of God, ‘Yah’ – where we get our word “hallelujah”. Literally means “Praise the Lord!”
It has a sense of excitement, jubilation, joy, lifting up.
Kind of the praise you might give when your favorite sports team wins.
This is seen in Psalm 150
Psalm 148:1–4 ESV
Praise the Lord! Praise the Lord from the heavens; praise him in the heights! Praise him, all his angels; praise him, all his hosts! Praise him, sun and moon, praise him, all you shining stars! Praise him, you highest heavens, and you waters above the heavens!
Psalm 150:1–6 ESV
Praise the Lord! Praise God in his sanctuary; praise him in his mighty heavens! Praise him for his mighty deeds; praise him according to his excellent greatness! Praise him with trumpet sound; praise him with lute and harp! Praise him with tambourine and dance; praise him with strings and pipe! Praise him with sounding cymbals; praise him with loud clashing cymbals! Let everything that has breath praise the Lord! Praise the Lord!
‘zamar’ – to sing praises, to make music .
‘zamar’ – to sing praises, to make music
Psalm 104:33 ESV
I will sing to the Lord as long as I live; I will sing praise to my God while I have being.
‘yadah’ – praise, give thanks, confess, throw down. Typically a public confession, acknowledgement.
Psalm 43:4–5 ESV
Then I will go to the altar of God, to God my exceeding joy, and I will praise you with the lyre, O God, my God. Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you in turmoil within me? Hope in God; for I shall again praise him, my salvation and my God.
Psalm 33:2 ESV
Give thanks to the Lord with the lyre; make melody to him with the harp of ten strings!
“Give thanks to the Lord with the lyre”
‘tehillah’– song of praise.
Psalm 33:1 ESV
Shout for joy in the Lord, O you righteous! Praise befits the upright.
Psalm 33:1
Praise befits the upright”
‘barak’ – to bless, speak highly of
Psalm 103:1–2 ESV
Bless the Lord, O my soul, and all that is within me, bless his holy name! Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits,
Psalm 103:
All that is within me. Bless Him, praise Him. Speak highly of Him.
‘rua’ – to give a blast, a battle cry, jubilant shouting, war cry. Also, the compound word ‘teruah’ is closely related – a shout or blast of war, joy.
Psalm 81:1 ESV
Sing aloud to God our strength; shout for joy to the God of Jacob!
Psalm 33:3 ESV
Sing to him a new song; play skillfully on the strings, with loud shouts.
‘teruah’ – a shout or blast of war, joy.
With loud ‘shouts’.
‘ranan’ – give a ringing cry, shout for joy
Psalm 33:1 ESV
Shout for joy in the Lord, O you righteous! Praise befits the upright.
Psalm 33:1–3 ESV
Shout for joy in the Lord, O you righteous! Praise befits the upright. Give thanks to the Lord with the lyre; make melody to him with the harp of ten strings! Sing to him a new song; play skillfully on the strings, with loud shouts.
The people of God are created to praise Him.
1 Peter 2:9 ESV
But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.
‘proclaim’ - declare, call out | Proclaim His excellencies – proclaim His praise. Praise Him who called you out of darkness and into light.
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The Bible is full of praise.
If I’m honest, when I read
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Praise befits the upright because we have experienced and seen that the One True God – the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, is the most valuable being in the world, and by His great grace, God has brought us back into His family forever. We get intimacy with Him, forever.
Why We Praise is Important
Mark 7:6–7 ESV
And he said to them, “Well did Isaiah prophesy of you hypocrites, as it is written, “ ‘This people honors me with their lips, but their heart is far from me; in vain do they worship me, teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.’
The Pharisees (the religious ‘perfect’ people of the day) worshiped and praised God, but it was only external. They were condemned for this. So it is extremely important for us to worship and praise God for the right reasons.
We become paralyzed oftentimes when we think about praising the Lord with outward expressions of joy, because we want to do it with right motivations. I believe praising God for the right reasons is of paramount importance.
We become paralyzed oftentimes when we think about praising the Lord with outward expressions of joy, because we want to do it with right motivations. I believe praising God for the right reasons is of paramount importance.
But we don’t really do that with the majority of our other relationships, do we? We don’t question our motives towards our spouse when we shout for joy at them, or when we tell them how much we love them, or when we cry because of their beauty. What if we did that? What if we said, ‘mom, I do love you, I just want to make sure that my hugs are genuine, coming from a rock solid confidence that I love you,
What if our extending ourselves to that person physically is actually a component of deepening intimacy and affection with that person? What if the same is true of our relationship with the living God? The intimacy is cut short when we are afraid to express it. We actually can experience a greater depth of intimacy through our bodies.
C.S. Lewis says it like this...

‘Therefore praise not merely expresses but completes the enjoyment; it is its appointed consummation.… In commanding us to glorify Him, God is inviting us to enjoy Him’

Why do we fear praising Him expressively when we feel He’s distant? Why don’t we view this as an act of faith? What if the very act of praising Him was used by Him to draw us deeper, to give us His power, to bring us into His presence?

Praise is both a declaration and a desperation.

Can the fuel of our expressive praise be a rock-solid confidence in the deepest truth of God’s loving embrace of us and eternal salvation for us He has purchased in Christ Jesus?
This is the reality of our lives, so we can be unleashed to let that praise make it’s way out.
Praise befits the upright because we have experienced and seen that the One True God – the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, is the most valuable being in the world, and by His great grace, God has brought us back into His family forever. We get intimacy with Him, forever.
Philippians 3:8 ESV
Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ

Why “It’s Only Right” to Praise...

Why “It’s Only Right” to Praise...

Because of What God Has Done

Because of Who God Is

Because of Who God Is

2 Samuel 6:12–23 ESV
And it was told King David, “The Lord has blessed the household of Obed-edom and all that belongs to him, because of the ark of God.” So David went and brought up the ark of God from the house of Obed-edom to the city of David with rejoicing. And when those who bore the ark of the Lord had gone six steps, he sacrificed an ox and a fattened animal. And David danced before the Lord with all his might. And David was wearing a linen ephod. So David and all the house of Israel brought up the ark of the Lord with shouting and with the sound of the horn. As the ark of the Lord came into the city of David, Michal the daughter of Saul looked out of the window and saw King David leaping and dancing before the Lord, and she despised him in her heart. And they brought in the ark of the Lord and set it in its place, inside the tent that David had pitched for it. And David offered burnt offerings and peace offerings before the Lord. And when David had finished offering the burnt offerings and the peace offerings, he blessed the people in the name of the Lord of hosts and distributed among all the people, the whole multitude of Israel, both men and women, a cake of bread, a portion of meat, and a cake of raisins to each one. Then all the people departed, each to his house. And David returned to bless his household. But Michal the daughter of Saul came out to meet David and said, “How the king of Israel honored himself today, uncovering himself today before the eyes of his servants’ female servants, as one of the vulgar fellows shamelessly uncovers himself!” And David said to Michal, “It was before the Lord, who chose me above your father and above all his house, to appoint me as prince over Israel, the people of the Lord—and I will celebrate before the Lord. I will make myself yet more contemptible than this, and I will be abased in your eyes. But by the female servants of whom you have spoken, by them I shall be held in honor.” And Michal the daughter of Saul had no child to the day of her death.
2 Samuel 6:12-

Because of What God Has Done

2 Samuel 6:12–15 ESV
And it was told King David, “The Lord has blessed the household of Obed-edom and all that belongs to him, because of the ark of God.” So David went and brought up the ark of God from the house of Obed-edom to the city of David with rejoicing. And when those who bore the ark of the Lord had gone six steps, he sacrificed an ox and a fattened animal. And David danced before the Lord with all his might. And David was wearing a linen ephod. So David and all the house of Israel brought up the ark of the Lord with shouting and with the sound of the horn.
2 Samuel 6:
the goal of God - people being brought into
(Notes)
Oftentimes the point of the acts of God are for the goal of God - people being brought into communion with Him.
communion with Him.
was a point in time where you could not praise Him in
intimacy. Your praise was hollow because you did not
know Him. But He has brought you near. It is fitting
to celebrate. Your "praise" of God followed by a life
that rejects His call and His ways, i.e., you not being in
Christ, is storing up wrath for you.
How can we thank God for His gifts, and then
disobey the Giver? Live a life that mocks the Giver?
We cheer teams on because they represent a source of our identity. We crave being a part of a larger group identity. We're not made for isolated individualism. We love that identity and want to see it win. What about God's family? Do we love that identity?
of our identity. We crave being a part of a larger group
identity. We're not made for isolated individualism. We
love that identity and want to see it win. What about
God's family? Do we love that identity?
Do we want our praise to be a proclamation of life in Christ, for all who believe? A pronouncement of Christ's victory over sin and death, for ever? To put Satan on notice that the one thing that kept us bound, in chains, the power of sin, has forever been broken in Jesus? To proclaim to the South Bronx what He has done for our souls?
life in Christ, for all who believe? A pronouncement
of Christ's victory over sin and death, for ever? To
put Satan on notice that the one thing that kept
us bound, in chains, the power of sin, has forever
been broken in Jesus?
A conduit of God's power? If it's a means of intimacy, then perhaps it helps us get a little bit closer to the hem of Jesus' garment? Perhaps it's part of that healing touch that He desires to grant us. But part of that might be stretching out or hands or raising our voices in faith?
then perhaps it helps us get a little bit closer to the
hem of Jesus' garment? Perhaps it's part of that
healing touch that He desires to grant us. But part
of that might be stretching out or hands or raising
our voices in faith?
Like I said,
It’s Only Right For Saints to Praise Him.
Couldn't Jesus have healed the woman without her touching him? What if her stretching out her hand was a demonstration of faith? What if it was a testimony to those around that it was indeed Jesus who did the healing?
Let’s Pray.
her touching him?
What if her stretching out her hand was a demonstration
of faith? What if it was a testimony to those
around that it was indeed Jesus who did the healing?
What if the extension of the hand 'activated' the power of God. Was the fullness of the expression of faith?
of God. Was the fullness of the expression of faith?
Worship root word is bow down. Are we bowed down and joyfully exclaiming?
Hes done and who He is. Worship root word is bow
down. Are we bowed down and joyfully exclaiming?
Praise does not earn you uprightness, but is fitting for the upright. Don't praise Him on Sunday morning and then wile out Sunday evening through Saturday night. You're actually storing up condemnation for yourself.
fitting for the upright.
Don't praise Him on Sunday morning and then wile
out Sunday evening through Saturday night. You're
actually storing up condemnation for yourself.
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