My soul longs, yes, faints for the courts of the LORD; my heart and flesh sing for joy to the living God.
The Joy of Worship
I had a church member who recently just shouted for joy to the Lord. Some gave him a strange look, but I know the guy well enough and knew it was spontaneous. He was doing what the Scriptures teach and shouting out to the Lord for joy. There are many places where the Psalms tell us to make a joyful noise and to do it loudly in rejoicing and in singing (Psalm 98:4). Haven’t you ever felt like shouting for joy because of what the Lord has done for you? There should definitely be shouting for joy in the Lord in giving Him praise (Psalm 100:1) because the joy of the Lord is our strength (Psalm 28:7; Neh. 8:10). Too often people complain that they didn’t get anything out of worship, but we should think about what we should put into worshiping God and not what we get out of it because we’re there to worship God and not satisfy ourselves.
God Is Listening
God loves to hear the praises of His people, and Scripture actually says that He inhabits or dwells in the praises of His people (Psalm 22:3). I love the thought of that. Those who praise Him are close to His heart (Psalm 148:14). Don’t you desire to be close to Him and be in His heart? I would think so. Let us, therefore, praise our Great God, for He is an awesome and holy God (Psalm 99:3). Praise Him loudly for all He has done for us and all of His wonderful works (Deut. 10:21). Even in our worship music, we should sing to God as being our joy and our delight (Psalm 43:4).
The Sacrifice or Offering of Praise
Did you know that God accepts as an offering our praises as a sacrifice given to Him (Heb. 13:15)? Giving Him thanks in voice or song is an offering that He gladly accepts from us (Psalm 50:14), and an offering of thanksgiving was one of the sacrifices offered by the Levitical Priesthood (Lev. 7:12). Even our bodies are to be presented to God as a living sacrifice that is pleasing to Him (Rom. 12:1) and a sacrifice of thanksgiving that He accepts (Heb. 12:28). As part of the spiritual house or temple of God, our sacrifices are given to God through Jesus Christ (1 Pet. 2:5), Who is our High Priest today and forever. Whoever offers God praise in worship glorifies God (Psalm 50:23), and God always seeks to be glorified, so let us praise our Great God with words (Psalm 149:6), songs, and a glad heart (Psalm 69:30). If you feel like shouting praises to the Lord and someone looks at you funny, just tell them you’re being biblical (Psalm 71:23). Worshiping God should be an enjoyment and not a chore because we have so much to praise Him and thank Him for.
A Closing Prayer
Oh Great God, Creator of heaven and earth, You are worthy of all praise and thanks for all You have done for me and are worthy to be worshiped. Please forgive me for the times I have failed to give You thanks and for feeling inhibited in worshiping and praising You in word and song. In the name of the One Whom we worship and praise, Jesus Christ, I pray.
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