27 Jan Praiselessness!
When he came near the place where the road goes down the Mount of Olives, the whole crowd of disciples began joyfully to praise God in loud voices for all the miracles they had seen:
“Blessed is the king who comes in the name of the Lord!” “Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!”
Some of the Pharisees in the crowd said to Jesus, “Teacher, rebuke your disciples!”
“I tell you,” he replied, “if they keep quiet, the stones will cry out.”
I don’t know about you but I need to hear some praise.
That’s why I post what I do. I want to be a “praiser.” There is plenty of heartache, and not enough shouting and praising going on within the believers in Christ.
I wonder how sad it makes Jesus that we don’t get excited and are too self-consumed to express that joy and gratitude to all that He’s done and is doing in our lives?
I think of the Super Bowl coming up.
I think about how we’ll yell and scream and jump up and down for a team of strangers.
And then on Sunday morning, we’ll come in, take our place and settle in for the next hour and a half because we’ve read the statistics that say we humans can’t sit still for longer than that or we get bored and lose focus.
Then maybe we’ll sing one of the songs…IF we LIKE it, or not, depending on how we “feel” and then we’ll listen to the pastor talk or play on our phones until it’s lunchtime – all the while forgetting what it cost JESUS for us to be able to praise Him, the freedom and power we have because of His blood to learn and grow and tell of all that He is doing.
It must be God. He’s just not that big of a deal.
Miracles? What miracles? He must not be doing anything spectacular these days. He’s lost His mojo – the “IT” factor. He’s definitely not “trending”. It seems that’s the only thing we’re interested in anymore.
Did He give me what I want? No? Then what good is He anyway? I’ll praise Him if He’ll just give me what I want. I want ALL the benefits but I don’t want to have to make ANY changes.
“GIMME GIMME GIMME and let me do as I do.”
Maybe instead of a few announcements, a set of 4.5 songs we sing, a 10 minute prayer time and then a sermon, we should all just stand over a fire pit. We should stand over that pit until we start to feel the heat. Maybe we sweat a little. Maybe we start to feel some discomfort. But then it really starts to sizzle. Pretty soon our pant leg is on fire and we start to feel some pain. Then as the fire moves on up to our head, our mouths would most definitely be shouting something. Maybe then we could remember WHAT we’ve been SAVED from?!?! Maybe then we could remember what’s at stake.
Where is the GOOD NEWS? Where is the praise?
When was the last time you went to church and heard anyone talk about the GOOD things that JESUS is doing? Oh, I’ve heard about how “LOST” the world is. I’ve heard all about how “nobody respects God or church anymore” and how “nobody will commit.” I’ve heard plenty about how the church doesn’t have enough money. I’ve heard how people don’t like the sermons, they’re too deep, not deep enough, too long, too short, too blah blah blah. The music is too loud, it’s not loud enough, too much ‘holy holy holy’ repetition, not enough hymns, blah, blah, blah. The church demands too much. The church doesn’t do enough. What have we done? Church, where is the GOOD NEWS? Where is the praise?
But we can’t blame the CHURCH. The church is US!!! If there is no praise going on, no good news being told – it is OUR FAULT!
It’s no different than the Israelites who gave up on God and started worshiping idols after all that He had done. He delivered His people out of Egypt. He parted the ocean. And when things got a little hard, life didn’t go exactly as they thought it would, they turned their backs on God and did whatever they wanted to do. They did whatever FELT good. Gripes, complaints and self-gratification.
“GIMME GIMME GIMME and let me do as I do.”
But zero praise.
It’s the definition of someone who has EVERY reason to praise God but won’t.
Does this post make you uncomfortable? This post makes ME uncomfortable.
We have FAILED. I have FAILED the Lord Jesus. Yes it’s true that I am more expressive than most, however, I have a TON more to say to Jesus about all that He has done and is currently doing in my life and around me. I have gone to plenty of church services in my life where my lack of engagement and utter laziness and complacency over all things Jesus and the self-worship of the idol SONYA has been paramount. Can I do better? Yes. I should do better. We should ALL do better. So let’s do that.
So let’s get to it then.
WHY don’t you praise Him?
1. Are you mad at Him? Did He allow something to happen that hurt you? Talk to God and ask Him to forgive you and to help heal you.
2. Are you disappointed in Him? Do you feel like He let you down? Is there something that you felt He didn’t do for you that you wanted Him to? Talk to God and ask Him to forgive you.
3. Are you guilty about something? Is there broken communication between you and God because of your sin? Ask Jesus to forgive you. He will.
Bad things happen. I get it. Don’t you think I get it? Nothing that I’ve been through can make me stop praising the Lord. In those moments that I don’t “feel” like praising, I bring that to Jesus and He is the one that works on my heart and heals it or shows me what I need to do next. That, my friends, is dealing with my CRUD.
If you let ANYTHING stop you from praising the Lord Jesus, that is sin. And you must deal with Jesus about that.
4. Maybe you DON’T know Jesus. Maybe you never asked Him to be your Lord and Savior. Going to church doesn’t make you okay with God. Being okay with God means you have a personal relationship with His Son, Jesus Christ. You can do that RIGHT NOW. You can ask Him to come into your life and forgive you of your sin.
Who’s JOB is it to do the praising, people???
There are approximately 800 million evangelical Christians in the world. How can there be ANY time for BAD NEWS? If all of us are doing more praising then complaining then we would never run out of GOOD NEWS.
So here’s my challenge.
Starting today, when we gather in groups of people of 2 or more, each one of us that have a relationship with Jesus Christ will share some GOOD NEWS about what Jesus has done. A praise, a shout, a story of how Jesus met a need, healed an illness, saved a life, changed a heart, restored a relationship, provided, repaired, defeated and conquered and loved. EVERY TIME. No exceptions.
What would our churches look like if we all did this? What would the world look like?
You want to know why no one will come to our churches? Why should they? None of us are talking about what GOOD Jesus is doing NOW! There’s NO praise going on!
It’s OUR job to do the praising!!! It’s OUR job. It’s our responsibility. It’s our honor and privilege to GET to PRAISE.
You want a happy church? Start praising.
You want a happy home full of encouragement and power? Start praising!
You want a marriage that can withstand anything? Start praising.
You want to see lives changed for eternity? Start praising.
Start talking about the things that have the power to change lives…praise GOD for what He’s doing in our midst. He is the same God that saved you from hell. He’s the same God that loved me when no one else would. He’s the same God that is healing cancer, and saving babies, and rescuing people from their sin.
Do you want a bunch of ROCKS to do your praising?
We’ve had enough PRAISELESSNESS.
Let me know what God does. I can’t wait to hear it!