March 18, 2018: A Joyful Expanse of Praise
March 18, 2018
TODAY'S BIBLE READING:
Today’s Bible Reading: Deuteronomy 9-12, Psalm 65, Matthew 26:57-75, Romans 11:25-38 Psalm 65: Why praise God? Christians often take it for granted that everyone understands that God is worthy of praise. But non-Christians frequently think that for God to demand praise of his creatures suggests he is insecure if not egocentric. Perhaps Christians, too, from time to time, also wonder the same—if less loudly and less publicly. Why should we praise God? David here gives us three reasons why “praise is due” to God (65:1). First, it is because of his gracious salvation. “When iniquities prevail against me, you atone for our transgressions” (65:3). What a great reason and motivation for us to praise God! Yes, we are sinners. Yes, our sins “prevail against” us; they enslave us, trouble us, and—if unforgiven—ultimately damn us. But God has found a way to “atone” for our transgressions! Surely this means we should praise God. Surely the one who in the end found a way to bring us back to himself washed, cleansed, and righteous deserves the praise of those he saved. Surely that this salvation was in the end wrought at such a great cost—the cost of the sacrifice of the Son of God—means that God deserves our praise. Praise God, first, because of his gracious salvation! Second, praise God because he answers the prayers of his people. “By awesome deeds you answer us with righteousness, O God of our salvation” (65:5). What a great reason and motivation to praise God! Our God is a prayer-hearing God! He answers our requests and moves in response to our pleas. He is the “hope of all the ends of the earth and of the farthest seas.” God is able and willing to respond with what is best to those who ask, seek, and knock persistently in prayer! Therefore, praise God! Remember the times that he has answered your prayers in the past and praise God for answered prayer! Write in your journal in the future the times that he answers your prayers as a testimony to the goodness of God. So praise God, second, because he answers the prayers of his people! Third, praise God because of his constant creation care. “You visit the earth and water it, you greatly enrich it” (65:9). The Christian doctrine of creation is not that God made the world in the beginning—and then left it to its own devices. The Christian doctrine of creation is that God is constantly upholding all of the universe by the continual exercise of the power of his word. Every good and perfect thing we see—every sunset and sunrise, every moment of beauty and mountain of grandeur—is a testimony to the greatness of God! So praise God, third, because of his constant creation care! Would you then this morning spend time praising God? It is easy to begin our days with a shopping list of prayer requests. Would you instead begin to day with a joyful expanse of praise!]]>
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Josh Moody (Ph.D., University of Cambridge) is the senior pastor of College Church in Wheaton, IL., president and founder of God Centered Life Ministries, and author of several books including How the Bible Can Change Your Life and John 1-12 For You.
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