Psalm 95:1-2 The Message (MSG) Come, let’s shout praises to God, raise the roof for the Rock who saved us! Let’s march into his presence singing praises, lifting the rafters with our hymns!
Praise - Baker’s Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology
Praise, mostly of God, is a frequent theme in the psalms, the Hebrew title of which is "Praises." Yet praise is a theme that pervades the whole of Scripture. Genesis 1 is indirect praise; direct praise is found in hymns scattered throughout the books of Exodus, 2 Samuel, Isaiah, Daniel, Ephesians, and Revelation. Words that are often used as synonyms or in parallel with "praise, " and so help point to its meaning, are "bless, " "exalt, " "extol, " "glorify, " "magnify, " "thank, " and "confess." To praise God is to call attention to his glory. (Bold mine)
From the Holman Bible Dictionary
Praise comes from a Latin word meaning “value” or “price.” Thus, to give praise to God is to proclaim His merit or worth. Many terms are used to express this in the Bible, including “glory,” “blessing,” “thanksgiving,” and “hallelujah,” the last named being a transliteration of the Hebrew for “Praise the Lord.” The Hebrew title of the book of Psalms (“Praises”) comes from the same root as “hallelujah” and Psalm 113-118 have been specially designated the “Hallel” (“praise”) psalms.
One Hebrew word for “praise” is yadah, meaning “praise, give thanks, or confess.” A second word often translated “praise” in the Old Testament is zamar, “sing praise.” A third word translated “praise” is halal (the root of hallelujah), meaning “to praise, honor, or commend.” All three terms contain the idea of giving thanks and honor to one who is worthy of praise.
Why Start 2018 With Praise?
There’s a superstition that what you do on New Year’s Day you will do for the rest of the year so let’s start 2018 with a shout of praise so that we will be praising God all year.
Praising God - The First Thing!
Praising God is the best thing to do before anything else. Have you ever been in a situation that you feel all alone? Think about the good times. What do you usually do during these times? You praise God. Now think about those difficult times in your life when you know what to do? Praising God at those times doesn’t minimize or deny the difficulties. Instead, it redirects our focus from the difficulties and us to who God is. He never changes. He promised never to leave or abandon His children, so we can count on His presence, even when it doesn’t feel like it.
Deuteronomy 31:6 (NKJV)6 Be strong and of good courage, do not fear nor be afraid of them; for the LORD your God, He is the One who goes with you. He will not leave you nor forsake you."
There are hundreds of reasons to praise God. Here are a few:
He is full of glory.
Psalm 138:5 (NKJV) Yes, they shall sing of the ways of the LORD, For great is the glory of the LORD.
He is great.
Psalm 145:3 (NKJV) Great is the LORD, and greatly to be praised; And His greatness is unsearchable.
He is wise and powerful.
Daniel 2:20 (NKJV) Daniel answered and said: "Blessed be the name of God forever and ever, For wisdom and might are His.
He is good.
Psalm 107:8 (NKJV) Oh, that men would give thanks to the LORD for His goodness, And for His wonderful works to the children of men!
He is merciful and faithful.
Psalm 89:1 (NKJV) I will sing of the mercies of the LORD forever; With my mouth will I make known Your faithfulness to all generations.
He pardons sin.
Psalm 103:1-3 (NKJV)1 Bless the LORD, O my soul; And all that is within me, bless His holy name!2 Bless the LORD, O my soul, And forget not all His benefits:3 Who forgives all your iniquities, Who heals all your diseases,
He saves us.
Psalm 18:46 (NKJV) The LORD lives! Blessed be my Rock! Let the God of my salvation be exalted.
He keeps His promises.
1 Kings 8:56 (NKJV)6 "Blessed be the LORD, who has given rest to His people Israel, according to all that He promised. There has not failed one word of all His good promise, which He promised through His servant Moses.
2 Corinthians 1:20 (NKJV)20 For all the promises of God in Him are Yes, and in Him Amen, to the glory of God through us.
Psalm 136:25 (NKJV) Who gives food to all flesh, For His mercy endures forever.
Matthew 6:25-34 (NKJV)25 "Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink; nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing?26 Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?27 Which of you by worrying can add one cubit to his stature?28 So why do you worry about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin;29 and yet I say to you that even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.30 Now if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will He not much more clothe you, O you of little faith?31 Therefore do not worry, saying, 'What shall we eat?' or 'What shall we drink?' or 'What shall we wear?'32 For after all these things the Gentiles seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things.33 But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.
Praise changes the spiritual climate.
When you’re in a bad mood, praise God. You’ll be amazed at how the atmosphere changes.
Acts 16:25-26 (NKJV)25 But at midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the prisoners were listening to them.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.
Praise Is God’s will.
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 (NKJV)16 Rejoice always,17 pray without ceasing,18 in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.
Praising God is His will for us. God is worthy and deserving of our praise, because he is good, loving, faithful, gracious, forgiving and merciful. This doesn’t mean that we disregard trials and tribulations, but it means to continuously thank God for his authority, love and ability to guide you through the tough times in your life.
Here are some ways to be in continuous praise and thanksgiving:
Your One Word For 2018
Here is something excerpted from the book My One Word , by Mike Ashcraft and Rachel Olsen. I recommend you read it early in 2018 before you start to blow it on your list of resolutions for the New Year..
Dropping the Ball
I’m sure you can relate; you’ve made lists too. Lists of things you want to start doing or stop doing — things you want to change about yourself. Lists of ways to improve your life and your character. Maybe you’ve only listed them in your head. But I bet they come to mind each January. Nearly two-thirds of America’s population has made New Year’s resolutions. I am one of them.
And you’ve probably found, like I’ve found, that each day keeps blurring into the next while we try to make some progress with our many good intentions. Yet very little actually changes. That ball keeps dropping in Times Square each New Year’s. And we keep dropping the ball on our resolutions to improve.
Only 20 percent of resolution makers report achieving any significant long-term change.
When I open my Bible, I find more lists. Things a follower of Christ should do. Things a follower of Christ should resist doing. Traits a follower of Christ should display — all the truly important stuff that never makes it onto morning show segments. When was I going to get to any of this?
I decided to drop my list of ways to get the most out of my life. I realized I needed to find a new way to approach personal change.
Mike’s approach to personal change was to choose just one word and make it the thing he sought God’s direction for his life that year. Just one word. Here is part of the description for the book on Amazon;
The concept of My One Word is simple. Lose the long list of resolutions―all your sweeping promises to change―and do something about one thing this year instead of nothing about everything. Choose just one word that represents what you most hope God will do in you, and focus on it for an entire year. This single act will force clarity and concentrate your efforts. As you focus on your word over an extended period of time, you position yourself for God to form your character at a deep, sustainable level. Growth and change will result.
If you are having trouble coming up with your one word for 2018 take 2018 Word of Truth quiz developed byDayspring.com, one of the companies for which I am an affiliate. I took the quiz and my One Word for 2018 is BRAVE! At the end of the year I’ll let you know how I did. Here’s the link Find Your 2018 Word of Truth.
All Creation Is Commanded To Praise God
Psalm 148:1-10 (NKJV)1 Praise the LORD! Praise the LORD from the heavens; Praise Him in the heights!2 Praise Him, all His angels; Praise Him, all His hosts!3 Praise Him, sun and moon; Praise Him, all you stars of light!4 Praise Him, you heavens of heavens, And you waters above the heavens!5 Let them praise the name of the LORD, For He commanded and they were created.6 He also established them forever and ever; He made a decree which shall not pass away.7 Praise the LORD from the earth, You great sea creatures and all the depths;8 Fire and hail, snow and clouds; Stormy wind, fulfilling His word;9 Mountains and all hills; Fruitful trees and all cedars;10 Beasts and all cattle; Creeping things and flying fowl;
Of the things mentioned in Psalm 148 none of them can shout praise to God. Only the crowning jewel of His creation, mankind, can do that. So let’s ring in the new year not with “Auld Lang Syne” but with a SHOUT OF PRAISE!
Psalm 150:1-6 (NKJV)1 Praise the LORD! Praise God in His sanctuary; Praise Him in His mighty firmament!2 Praise Him for His mighty acts; Praise Him according to His excellent greatness!3 Praise Him with the sound of the trumpet; Praise Him with the lute and harp!4 Praise Him with the timbrel and dance; Praise Him with stringed instruments and flutes!5 Praise Him with loud cymbals; Praise Him with clashing cymbals!6 Let everything that has breath praise the LORD. Praise the LORD! (Bold mine)
So let’s start 2018 with a shout of praise. Let’s shout our praise throughout 2018. Let’s end 2018 with a shout of praise so that we can start all over again shouting praise to God in 2019.
This blog is for you! If you have any questions or topics you would like me to address please use the comments section or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Donald Jacobs is an ordained minister with the spiritual gift of teaching. He is the Associate Pastor of a non-denominational church in Los Angeles, CA.