"Take to heart all the words I have solemnly declared to you this day, . . . They are not
just idle words for you-- they are your life" (Deuteronomy 32:46-47).

Sunday, July 31, 2016


Have you ever noticed how often we blindly mouth the words, "Praise God," "Hallelujah," "Praise the Lord" and "Glory to God" without declaring definitively what we're praising God for? How sad our state becomes when even our praise to God becomes merely "Christianese." Survey the Psalms and note, almost without exception, when the psalmists praise God, they include the attribute, character trait, wisdom, teaching, or deed for which they are giving God praise.

In doing so, the biblical writers give us the correct format and formula for our praise. They also demonstrate that we are better stewards of our minds, hearts, mouths and lives when we use them to cheer for God rather than complain to God. Juan Carlos Ortiz stings us with this soul-searching truth: "As far as God is concerned, there are only two languages in this world: the language of His Kingdom and the language of the kingdom of darkness. The first is the language of praise. The second is the language of complaint. Praise recognizes virtue. Complaint criticizes virtue. And every human being speaks one language or the other" [Disciple, (Carol Stream, IL: Creation House, 1975), 69].

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