HCC Monthly Harvest Seed
Philippians 4:4 - Rejoice in the Lord always. Again, I will say, rejoice!
~ Jim Cymballa - When you’re on a mountaintop, it’s not that hard to praise God. But when you’re going through a valley, to be able to say, “I will bless your name, Lord!”—that praise and worship is the most precious to God.
We live in a negative world, a fallen world where it seems that the ungodly are getting more and more prominent.
So much of what we hear is just negative, and we have to make a deliberate effort to be positive and counter the culture we live in. Praise is a great tool to help us achieve that.
We are conditioned to complain, grumble, and find the negative in everything.
Instead of finding reasons to complain and fuss we can find reasons to rejoice and praise.
I remember something we would encourage our children to do. Find something that someone is doing well and let them know it. Sing their praises.
I promise that if we will look for and pay attention, we will always have something to praise God for. I am convinced that we have the privilege to live a life of rejoicing instead of negative rehearsing or finding the negative.
Just as negativity, discouragement and complaining bring a heaviness to anywhere it is Praise brings the glory and goodness of God into the situation.
Just as there is power in prayer, there is power in praise.
When we praise, and when we exalt God, it prepares our heart to receive His Word.
Our praise and worship of God steers our attention away from our problems and difficulties and onto His greatness. Our praise to God readies our hearts to receive what He wants to do in our lives.
Praise is powerful because it elevates us into His presence and power.
There is a way to come into God’s presence.
Psalm 100:4 - Enter into His gates with thanksgiving, And into His courts with praise.
Be thankful to Him and bless His name.
Psalm 34:1 - I will bless the Lord at all times; His praise shall continually be in my mouth.
The Bible says that God inhabits in the praises of His people.
In other words, God “dwells” in the atmosphere of His praise. This means that praise is more than a reaction of coming into His presence... praise to God is a vehicle of faith which takes us into His presence and power!
Part of walking with God, Part of being a person of presence and power means that we are a person of praise.
Praise means “to commend, to applaud or magnify.”
For the Christian, praise to God is an expression of worship, lifting-up and glorifying the Lord. It is an expression of humbling ourselves and centering our attention upon the Lord with heart-felt expressions of love, adoration and thanksgiving.
No matter the situation we are in HE is WORTHY of our praise.
There are people that I know that I just can’t brag on enough. Their character, their work ethic, their integrity and love for God are outstanding. – It is easy to sing their praises.
If we need to make sure that we are not stingy in our praise to others, we need to make sure we are holding nothing back in our praise of God who is worthy of our Highest Praise.
Just like you love to be acknowledged for what you have done well. So does God.
When people sing your praises, it releases favor in their direction.
The same holds true with God. You want to walk with people who recognize your goodness and so does God.
Psalm 89:15 - Blessed are the people who know the joyful sound! They walk, O Lord, in the light of Your countenance.
Nothing lifts you out of despair, discouragement, hopelessness or depression like praise.
Paul and Silas are a perfect example. They were beaten, whipped and chained to a wall.
Paul and Silas demonstrate the supernatural power of authentic, passionate praise.
Facing unimaginable conditions while being wrongly imprisoned for their faith, they chose to stop focusing on their circumstances and instead, turn their attention fully onto the faithfulness of their God.
Acts 16:23-25 - And when they had laid many stripes on them, they threw them into prison, commanding the jailer to keep them securely. 24 Having received such a charge, he put them into the inner prison and fastened their feet in the stocks.25 But at midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the prisoners were listening to them.
Their faith-filled praise was so powerful in that dark, miserable prison, that their environment suddenly changed, and they were instantly set free.
The miraculous power of God was released— shaking everything around them and releasing them, and everyone around them, from their chains!
Acts 26:26 - Suddenly there was a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison were shaken; and immediately all the doors were opened, and everyone’s chains were loosed.
Something supernatural happens in the natural when we sing the praises of God. Something happens in us, and something happens to the people around us and in the situations that surround us.
Because Paul and Silas had hope in the character of God it not only set them free it set all the people around them free. --- Let that sink in for a moment.
This is why we are to “Sing the praises of God” to each other and those around us.
Paul and Silas were true worshippers. Not situational worshipers.
They loved and worshiped God no matter what situation they were in.
True worshipers – worship in Spirit and in truth.
Praise and thankfulness go hand in hand, and there is always so much to be grateful for!
If we praised Him all day, every day, we would never finish thanking Him for all of the seen and unseen ways that He cares for us and blesses us.
He is a good Father, and we will never fully understand how He is constantly working behind the scenes in our lives to love, protect, nurture and favor us.
One of the things that I believe that will be a significant part of our year of “Overflow”; is that we will overflow with praise.
God has been good to us. The truth is He has been better than we deserve.
As we come to an end to our summer lets look back and just overflow with praise for all that God is and all that He has done for us individually, in our families and as a church.
Know that you are dearly Loved,
Pastor Marvin & Dawn