Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Matthew 21:1-11 "A Life of Praise"

Read Matthew 21:1-11.

"Hosanna to the Son of David!
"Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!
"Hosanna in the highest." NIV

One of my very favorite things to do is musical worship. I can be alone in my bedroom or in a room full of believers and worship instantly places me at the footstool of the Master's throne. There is nothing else like making a "joyful noise unto the Lord."

Before I totally surrendered my life to the Lord, I didn't understand raising my hands or clapping. I did them because the worship leader instructed us to do it. But I just didn't get it. Now there are times I can't keep my hands down. I have to reach them up in praise to Him. Sometimes, I end up flat on my face before Him or tears spontaneously pour down my cheeks. I am overwhelmed by the fact that I'm giving honor and praise to the Almighty Creator of the Universe without whom I would be powerless. I simply can't live without Him and my soul yearns to worship Him.

This is what the crowd was experiencing as they cried out their praises as Jesus entered Jerusalem. They needed to praise Him for who He is and the expression just poured out of them. Interestingly, their praises prompted the people in the city to ask who this man was, and then they were able to proclaim that He is Jesus.

Corporate worship is very valuable, but what do we do with it afterwards? Our worship of the Lord should so permeate our lives that people ask, "Who is this?" Who motivates this person? Who guides their steps? Who gives them such joy? We can't just gather on Sunday and lift praises to the Father without allowing that praise to flow from our lives throughout the week. Every move we make should be an act of worship to Him -- not just as worship but also to show the world Whom we serve. Are our lives walking, breathing billboards declaring, "This is because of Jesus?"

Further Thoughts:
  1. If you have a couple of hours, read all the Scriptures on praise -- or take a few minutes and read some of them. What does it mean to praise Him?
  2. Read this passage from Revelation. Our corporate worship here is just a foretaste of what's to come.
  3. We can't praise the Lord with our lips and curse Him with our lives. Does your life reflect the praise you give the Lord? Memorize Romans 12:1.
  4. Spend some time in private worship.

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