Five Eternal Gifts from God - Praise 1
The Gift of Praise: The Appropriate Response
Thus far we have seen that God is the giver of many wonderful gifts. He has given us the gift of His Word. He has given us the gift of His grace. He has given us the gift of saving faith in His Son Jesus Christ. He has, most significantly, given us His Only Begotten Son, Jesus Christ.
Wonderful gifts! God-given gifts! Eternal gifts!
But what may believers give God in return for all that He has given? The Bible tells us that the gift we may give God in return for all that He has given us is the gift of praise.
Praise is a gift we give back to God in light of all that He has given to all of His redeemed children. It is a gift that sadly can, and has been, neglected. It is a gift that can be offered and enjoyably given with great enthusiasm. During certain times within a given calendar year, events and celebrations provide enthusiastic opportunities to praise the LORD. The Christmas and Easter seasons are two examples of such opportunities.
However, much like the gifts given and received at Christmas, we may soon tire of them and place them on a shelf, in a closet, or packed away in a dresser drawer where they are seen but not appreciated; detected by their presence but not perceived of their worth. So it often can be with praising the LORD. Words may proceed from our lips but they may be miles from our heart. Hands may be raised but sin is not put to death. We fail to grasp the significance of Jesus’ words to the Woman at the Well in John 4 to worship God in spirit and in truth.
Praise of God is one of, and should be, the most basic characteristic of biblical devotion to God. It occurs as early as the Song of Moses (Exodus 15). The Psalms offer many examples of praise given to God for not only who He is, but also for what He has done, is doing and will do.
Praise of God is viewed as a sacrifice or offering (Hebrews 13:15) along with being a continual duty and privilege (I Thessalonians 5:16). The New Testament hymns focus upon the redemption in Christ (Luke 1:46-55; 68-79; Ephesians 1:3-14; Colossians 1:18-20; Revelation 5:1-14; 7:1-12). Christians are encouraged to make their whole lives and conduct a form of praise to God (Ephesians 1:12; Philippians 1:11; 4:8; I Peter 1:1-7; 2:1-9).