Do you worship God or do you worship good, i.e., what He does for you?
There is nothing wrong with being born and raised in America – land of the free and home of the brave, along with being a land of plenty. Those of us fortunate to be born in America are blessed in ways that are a bit different from people raised on other continents and in other countries.
Americans are able to find affordable housing to suit their needs and stage of life. Education is one of the pathways to a decent life and children go to school to be prepared for adulthood and a mature citizenry. Food and water is in ready supply across the nation and there is no need for any sort of rationing. Jobs are available for anyone ready and willing to work. Our Constitution provides the basis for protected freedoms. The present is encouraging and the future is hopeful.
Across the nation, state by state, and city by city, the people of God gather regularly to freely worship God. They sing His praises, celebrate His goodness, and glorify His name. Their prayers of gratitude focus on who God is and what Jesus did on the cross at Calvary two thousand years ago. With the awareness of the provision of food & water, shelter, clothes, education, opportunity, and the broad freedoms enjoyed by all Americans, they continue to worship the Creator. In the midst of social, economic, material and spiritual goodness, the followers of King Jesus celebrate His Lordship and care.
When was the last time you worshipped God just for who He is?
Have you thought about the way you often direct your attention to God? Have you considered what you include in your prayers? Our prayer and praise are full of thanks for His many blessings (maybe not clearly defined at times), our health and strength, liberty and opportunity, friends and family. Our prayer requests may cover needs for further education, economic and employment advancement, home and/or church improvements, and even caring for family members of advancing age. There is nothing wrong in approaching the throne of Grace for such requests. We certainly need to pray about such important matters.
I have, however, noticed a slight danger we might be susceptible to. In our attempts to thank God for such bountiful blessings, we may start to thank God for the good we have, and not the God who provides it. We may also slip into a mindset that if there is no continued bounty, we have little to thank God for. Beware of the tendency to forget that it is all about Him. He is worthy!
Read Psalm 96.
What are some of the attributes of God found in the thirteen verses of Psalm 96?
Like the model of our Hebrew friends from the Older Testament, may we praise God for who He is, and not merely for what He does. Their praise is the praise of God’s characteristics – His love, strength, power, omnipresence, and unchanging nature. Their praise is the recognition of God’s spiritual provisions – His salvation, justification, and sanctification. In addition to the material provisions we enjoy, may we praise God, and Him alone, for His steadfast character.
Walk wisely. We should praise our God, not our good. Praise the Giver, not His gifts.
Love is a verb,
©2018 by Mike Olejarz