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Thinking of God with Larry Sheehy: Let us praise God openly and naturally
Larry Sheehy mug
Larry Sheehy - photo by Special

    David, the second king of God’s special people, Israel, wrote a psalm of praise for his deliverance from his enemies, including Saul, the ruler he had succeeded: “For this I will praise you, O LORD, among the nations, and sing praises to your name” (2 Samuel 22:50).
    The apostle Paul, writing to the church of God in Corinth about the proper nature of Christian worship, said, “I will pray with my spirit, but I will pray with my mind also; I will sing praise with my spirit, but I will sing with my mind also” (1 Corinthians 14:15).
    The praise of God is a primary theme of writers and speakers in both Old and New Testaments. Every characteristic and act of an almighty God is given as a reason for calling forth acclaim for the Lord. Praise is seen in the everyday conversation of the children of God in both testaments, as well as in the formal and informal writings of the inspired men who gave us the word of God. The Holy Spirit of God is anxious to give honor and glory to the Creator of the universe.
    Have you ever thought that praise ought to be a more natural and frequent part of our everyday conversation? Does it seem sometimes that even our worship services are deficient in conscious and uninhibited praise to him who has saved us and keeps us in his power? Surely we ought to take advantage of every opportunity to tell others of our confidence in God’s care, and of the love we feel for his goodness and mercy.
    In a culture that has come to the point of scoffing at the public expression of Christian faith, it may not always be easy to speak in a way that draws attention to the praise-worthiness of him who “who made the world and everything in it, being Lord of heaven and earth” (Acts 17:24). I haven’t always demonstrated my personal feelings about God very much. I’m not sure of the source of this sense of reluctance. It may be because of my upbringing and training. It may be because I feel uncomfortable with what sometimes seems to be more emotion than understanding and reasonable thinking.
    There needs to be a balance in everything we do. An over-emphasis on emotion in religion makes for an unbalanced and dangerous view of the work of God. On the other hand, there can be too much emphasis given to the human intellect in our approach to the worship of the Lord.
    As always, a careful search of what God has said through inspired men, coupled with an earnest and sincere desire to know God’s nature and desires, will help us come to a mature understanding and practice of our faith.
    Surely, every sincere follower of God wants to worship the Lord in the spirit and manner which pleases him. We may have to work to overcome some preconceived and erroneous ideas and concepts about what that worship involves. This self-examination needs to take place, regardless of our background. Honesty and humility will help us to worship God in the way he wants. Amen!

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