The Praising Dead!

“To the angel of the church in Sardis write: These are the words of him who holds the seven spirits of God and the seven stars. I know your deeds; you have a reputation of being alive, but you are dead” (Revelation 3:1 NIV).

Without belaboring any discussion about John’s vision, I would like to move forward to the last part of this verse–“God knows our deeds, we have a reputation of being “alive,” but are dead.”

There is absolutely nothing we can hide from God. He looks upon our hearts and knows our thoughts from afar, so our deeds–cannot escape Him. Whatever consumes our thoughts will dictate what we do–and God already knows what that will be.

In spite of the fact that God knows all, we attempt to fool people with acts of holiness and piety, when in reality, we are living what we want others to think we are living. Other people think we are such spiritual Christians–when we: constantly quote scripture (but no idea what they mean), always have a word of prophecy for others (but never hear God’s voice), sing louder, pray louder, and dance longer than others (moved by our emotions rather than guidance by Holy Spirit), and always quick to tell others what they need to do to be saved (but living saved has not been accomplished)–Oh yes, we have a reputation of being alive, but are dead. People think we are “all that,” because of what “they see” not what they know. God knows!

When given an opportunity to show compassion, the response is anything but compassionate and often more judgmental. When given an opportunity to show mercy, we instead condemn others for the same things from which we have yet to be delivered. When given an opportunity to show the love of Jesus Christ, we attempt to show our superiority over others in knowledge and in holiness. God knows, which is why He showed these things to John in the vision. Not everyone is guilty, but so many are.

We are not righteous of our own accord or by what we do. We have been declared righteous because of His righteousness when we are living in right relationship with God. That right-relationship involves hearing God’s voice, following His directions, and living before all men as God would have us to live–even when they cannot see us–God can. Having a right relationship with God brings humility–total submission and awe about His love and leaves no room for superiority, judgment, or condemnation of others. Being religious and not having a relationship with God brings us no closer to Him and will actually widen the gap of understanding.

Our God is an awesome God! He gives us chance after chance to get it right before Him and others. He loved us enough to come down from glory in the person and likeness of Jesus Christ, showed us how to live, then showed us what real love will do–sacrifice self–so others can be saved. That’s the God I serve! I pray every day that my life (how I live) is a praise unto Him and I will not need to expect to hear anything other than, “well done” on that day. I do not want to be, the praising (loud but saying nothing) dead!

Lord Jesus, help us to be all that You would have us to be and to do all things well in Your sight.

Soul Lifting!

“Why are you cast down, O my soul? And why are you disquieted within me? Hope in God; For I shall yet praise Him, The help of my countenance and my God” (Psalm 42:11 NKJV).

What happens to us when our souls are cast down? You know, that inner man/woman, that will be judged for all eternity. Why should we be concerned about the troubles of the world and allow those troubles to change our attitudes and the looks on our faces? The answer quite simply is, we should never allow the world’s troubles to cause us to look like we have lost hope in God.

When things get so chaotic that you allow the frustrations to get you down, remind your soul–Soul, Soul, our hope is in God and there is nothing that He cannot fix.

When children/grandchildren get out of hand, remind your soul–Soul, Soul our hope is in God and in His strength I will be the Godly parent or grandparent I need to be.

When a doctor brings you a negative report and your countenance falls, remind your soul–Soul, Soul- our hope and trust is in God and our entire body is healed by His stripes and nothing shall by any means, harm us.

No matter what happens, remind your soul that while all the stuff going on around you is out of your control, it is within God’s control and you can praise Him, smile, and laugh at the devil who wanted you to cry and pout! Laugh out Loud! Praise God! Hallelujah, Glory to God! God is able! No weapon formed against me shall prosper! I can do all things through Him who loves me! There is nothing to hard for God, absolutely nothing! I am a child of the most High King and I am all that He has said I am! I am never defeated because of His love! I am always victorious in all things! God is my shield and my banner, in Him will I trust!

Sing a lively praise song, loud and long, whenever things in life attempt to get you down! Don’t know any! Turn up the radio to contemporary Gospel and sing-a-along! Can’t sing? Dance to the music! Lift up your heads, O you servants of the Lord, and sing His praises loud enough for the sound to reach the heavens and see God smiling at you!

Feel like dancing yet? I do! Hallelujah for our risen Savior!

And remember this, “When nothing else would help, Love lifted me!”

God loves us and only wants the best for us–receive and act like you have everything you need!

Why We Praise Him!

“But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light” (1 Peter 2:9 NIV).

Do you remember playing games in school or in your neighborhood that meant you on a team?  We decided who would be the team captains and they “chose” who they wanted on their teams and many of us, stood waiting, almost breathlessly, hoping to be chosen to play on the team that was going to win. Remember that feeling?  When it got down to the last few to be chosen, the person choosing was resigned to accept the fact they would have a few people on their team that were not the best players.  The people being chosen last, usually did not feel good about themselves.  They knew they were on certain teams by default–not real choice.

We don’t have to worry about that now!  Hallelujah!  We are chosen by the Creator and He has no favorites, no respect of persons, and on His team, we are all guaranteed winners!  Knowing this, “that He who began a good work in us is faithful to complete it”! Glory to God! We are special to God and because of who He is, we are royalty, and we have a right to praise Him–all day and all night!  Whenever we want to declare His goodness and mercy, we can and we should!  It is He who called us out of darkness (our habits of sin) and into His wonderful light (knowing Truth and The Light)!  Praise Him!  He loves us enough to keep us focused on Him and in drawing others into The Light.  Hallelujah!  What an awesome God! 

Is there anybody else like Him?  No, not one!  No one else who could forward into history and plan our destiny to be a praise unto Him.  No one else who could forget about all we did–that was not like Him, and forgive us and use us to His glory!  Nobody like Him who refuses to give up on us when we falter, but instead gives us strength to keep going!  No body like Him!  No, not one! Nobody else who gives us new mercies, every single morning!  Nobody else who can give us favor with others when they don’t even understand why they support our efforts!  Nobody else!  There is none like Him in all the earth!  He alone is worthy of all our praise!  Hallelujah!

Thank You God for choosing us to be on Your Team, Your Special team of people who do declare unto the nations Your praise!