Friday, January 31, 2014

Day 31- A Praising First

I've been challenged to praise God out loud to one person every day this week. Today, I decided to praise God out loud to every person that I had a conversation with or who asked me, "How are you?" That was my "first" for today.

The truth is there are many reasons to praise God.  If a person is a believer in Christ, we can praise God for forgiven sins, a real relationship with God, being His chosen and adopted children, and the list can go on for a long time. The Bible says we have been blessed with every spiritual blessing in Christ.  We have a great God to praise.  The deeper I get to know the Lord, the more I want others to know how great He really is and the more I want to brag on Him to others.

The day was fairly interesting.  I think I startled a person or two on the phone when they asked me how I was doing and I replied, "I'm praising God that my sins are forgiven and I'm part of His family."  I got a tentative smile from the Wal-Mart cashier.  I think she praised God when I finally offered her a different credit card since my debit card just refused to be accepted.  The fact that I had praised God to her sort of kept me in a positive frame of mind.  What kind of witness would it be to praise God and then start complaining either about my card or her machine?  It worked as sort of an accountability deal as well.

I was a bit disappointed at the opportunities that I missed. When my children asked me about my "first" at breakfast and I told them I planned on praising God to everyone I met today they said, "You didn't praise God to us." Busted at breakfast! So, I told them I praised God for being allowed to be their Daddy. That's not the first time they've heard that. Having a 9 and 12 year old in the house is like a built in accountability partner.  Several times people asked me how I was doing and I said something like "good" or "fine" and then I always felt sort of bad about it. It's like an "oh rats, I missed one" when that happened. A couple of times I was on the cell phone and someone said hey, how are you and I let the excuse of being on the cell phone keep me from praising God when it should have been more of an encouragement. I could have praised God to two people at once. 

I also found that my praising changed a bit at times. At the start of the day, I was praising God for forgiven sins and being part of His family. When I was leaving Wal-Mart after shopping for a loooong time (long to me), I was praising God that He still loved me and was still meeting my needs.  Not quite as joyful, but better than complaining.  I think praising God that He is meeting my needs is a better witness than saying something like " What do you think? I'm stuck here at Wal-Mart."

There were at least two take-aways for me today. One is that when I praised God, I noticed that others tended to lean toward a more positive frame of mind if not outright praising God themselves.  They would say something like "me, too" or "that's good."  When one person praises God, others tend to as well. It at least reminds them of God's goodness.

The second take-away is that praising God is a personal decision of the will and not a matter of feelings. God is always worthy of praise. It doesn't matter how I feel. God is great all the time. I love what Mark Batterson wrote, "Don’t let what’s wrong with you keep you from worshiping what’s right with God."

Not praising too much

Praising God with a little help from a friend

So, I am encouraged to make praising God to other people more of a priority.  Maybe others will be encouraged to do the same.  Jesus is sure worth bragging on!!

Praising God for the abundant life


3 things I thank God for today
1. Laura's home
2. Shrimp Parmesan (Laura brought home)
3. A God who is worthy of all my praise

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