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PRAISE
I will bless the LORD at all times; His praise shall continually be in my mouth.               Psalm 34:1

In the month of March 2006, the 18th Commonwealth Games were held in the city of Melbourne, Australia.  The first event on the opening day was the women?s weightlifting competition.  There was expectation in the air for all Indians as India?s champion Kunjarani Devi was one of the top contenders for the gold medal. 
In fact, those familiar with the women?s weightlifting competitions clearly knew that none of the contenders had the potential to match Kunjarani Devi?s earlier records. The Indians were sure of a gold medal by Kunjarani Devi.


All of a sudden the Indian nerves were unsettled; tension and anxiety gripped more than the billion Indian audiences glued to their television sets and those in the stadium as well since Marilou Prevost Dozois, a Canadian rival 18 years younger than the veteran Indian seemed capable of destroying the Indian dream and was fighting for the gold. Finally, the Indian won. The Canadian had lifted a total of 165kg; the Indian 166kg in total. The Indians burst into joy. Many jumped and screamed including Kunjarani Devi on the dais.


She was mobbed by hundreds of journalists as she stepped down from the platform; it was indeed a moment of pride for all Indians. The first question that was asked was, ?what is your feeling right now, since you have won the gold medal?? Kunjarani Devi replied, ?I feel very happy; this gold medal is the reward for all the hard work I?ve done. I?ve spent long, lonely and grueling hours training in the gym. I?m very happy to receive the gold medal. But I will be having a greater joy when I see the Indian flag flying higher than the other flags in the medal presentation ceremony.?

 

I was in a jubilant mood too after having witnessed the win; but I was amazed to hear a sportsperson say, ?I will be having a greater joy when I see the Indian flag flying higher than the other flags in the medal presentation ceremony.?


Praise is similar to this. Praise is lifting up the name of Jesus for every victory we taste and experience in our lives. It is the Lord?s strength that causes us His children to succeed. Always lift up the name of Jesus; give Him the glory!

 

The Philistine said to David, "Come to me, and I will give your flesh to the birds of the air and to the beasts of the field."This day the LORD will deliver you into my hand.

 1Samuel 17:44-46

 

David the young handsome shepherd boy was facing Goliath the giant, a veteran at war who had been challenging and mocking Israel, God?s chosen people. The above verse is a part of the conversation between David and Goliath. Goliath was boasting in his own strength when he said ?I? will defeat you. Note David?s words, he said ?the Lord? will deliver you into my hands. David was a man who had praise and worship as a lifestyle. He praised God at all times regardless of situations whether they favored him or not. Goliath never knew God on a personal basis; he never would have praised Jehovah God in his life at any time. David?s heart was humble towards God because the ?self? was missing and therefore the consequential pride too. The ?self? always seeks to glorify itself and not God.

 

Your words show what is in your heart. ? Luke 6: 45

 

Goliath?s heart was filled with ?self? which is evident from his words. Therefore he was proud in all his acts and words. His words always sought to bring glory to himself. Praise takes the focus of you and places it on God. Be QUICK to give God the glory for every victory. Praise is the antidote for pride; Praise helps to prevent pride.

 

I will bless the Lord at ALL TIMES - Psalm 34:1

 

I thought this verse meant the various times of the day during which the Jews prayed until the Lord gave me an understanding.

 

Though the fig tree should not blossom, nor fruit be on the vines, the produce of the olive fail and the fields yield no food, the flock be cut off from the fold and there be no herd in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the LORD; I will take joy in the God of my salvation. Habakkuk 3: 17-18.

 

Here we see the prophet Habakkuk making a choice and a decision to praise the God of his salvation at all times and in an adverse circumstance.

 

During my teenage years I fell in love with rock and heavy metal music and that paved the way for the devout young man I once was to drift away from the Lord Jesus Christ whom I loved. I hated the Lord Jesus Christ with all my heart. In an attempt to hurt Jesus Christ I tried turning people away from their commitment to Christ. I was a hero to many because of my successful stint in music but my life was in shambles. I was visited and tormented by demon spirits gliding through closed doors and appearing on walls in my room and beside me in the bed. But, when I realized Christ loved me and died for me on the cross I was transformed totally in the year 1994.

 

In 1997 I saw my father die after battling with cancer for 10 long months. Subsequently my mother passed away in 1998 fighting cancer for six months.


It was then the Lord called me to serve Him full-time. Many could not understand why I had to be in ministry after having a graduation in engineering. I was mocked and ridiculed. I was heart-broken and in tears.

     

During the night seasons the devil would appear and say, ?You?ve lost both your mom and dad, all the money is spent in the hospitals and you don?t have a job. Look how well placed your friends are who graduated along with you. Look around and see the people mocking you.?  Exactly at that time I would hear the mocking, ridicules and abuses of the people hurled at me very clearly. My heart would be torn apart.

 

When you talk to the devil you have to speak the word of God otherwise there is no use talking to him, he will not budge an inch out of your path.

 

The devil?s presence is a paralyzing one. I would be unable to speak. I would take my guitar and sing to the Lord, singing songs, dancing and rejoicing in His great love for me. I would tell the Lord, ?I don?t have any victories to celebrate; I don?t have any victories to praise you for. Yet I will praise you because you loved me with an everlasting and unchanging love, I will celebrate you because of your great love for me. I will praise you because you took my sins on the cross and died for me in my stead.? 

 

Time will pass by and I will notice heaven opening. The Lord in all His glory will descend amidst the praises. Angels will begin to dance with me. I have seen the most awesome dances of angels during that time. The atmosphere in the room will become heavenly!

 

Praising God is a choice we make. You can either choose to murmur or praise God in every circumstance. Ascribing praise to God is a matter of choice and a decision we all make. Every individual makes a decision to either praise God or not to praise Him by keeping quiet. God?s heart yearns that you choose to praise and honor Him in every situation of your life whether good or bad.

 

But he endured the suffering that should have been ours, the pain that we should have borne.

 But because of our sins he was wounded, beaten because of the evil we did. We are healed by the punishment he suffered, made whole by the blows he received.

Isaiah 53:4, 5

 

God displayed His undying love for you on the cross. The Son of God was tortured and abused mentally and physically. Matthew 27:28-31 gives a description of the Lord?s suffering. He was spit upon, mocked, humiliated. A crown of thorns was placed on His head and He was beaten repeatedly. He suffered shame. It was our sins that brought Him such an agonizing death on the cross. He took our sins on Himself and allowed Himself to be punished in our stead because He loved us and wanted us to be spared. My dear friend what more do you need to praise Him. Don?t compare yourself with others. Don?t look for reasons to praise Him!

 

Let not praise be an event in your life, but make it your lifestyle. After all how can we thank Him enough for His great Love and mercy? in this lifetime.

 

Message by : Bro. John Mohana Prakash B.E.,

 

The threshing floors shall be full of wheat and the vats shall overflow with new wine and oil. Joel 2: 24

God moves in seasons! Every time God's people rebelled and turned their backs on God His presence moved away and their enemies overpowered them destro....


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