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A Tisket, A Tasket, Blessings in a Basket

Hebrews 13:15, “So through Jesus let us always offer to God our sacrifice of praise, coming from lips that speak his name.”

We are told we should continually give praise to the Lord. Giving praise to the Lord is one of the best ways to express our thanks to God, yet how many of us do it on a regular basis? Yes, we offer thanks for our meals, the clothes we wear and for the sunshine. Even at Thanksgiving we list our praises to God. Yet, Hebrews tells us we should continually be in praise to our Lord.

Continually does not mean once a year or once a day. It means repeatedly without interruption. David even states he praises the Lord seven times a day. So, how exactly do we praise the Lord? What exactly is praise? Praise can include petitioning confession, but more accurately praises, Thanksgiving and adoration. Praising God is giving glory and worship to Him- Psalm 50:23.

Praise the Lord that God is our loving Heavenly Father. Praise the Lord that Jesus is our personal Savior. Praise the Lord that the Holy Spirit is our indwelling comforter. Praise the Lord that the Bible is our chart and compass. Praise the Lord that Heaven is our eternal home.

Our life is already full of praise. Grandparents praise their grandchildren. Teachers praise students. Coaches praise their teams. It's already part of our lives. We praise what we value, what we support, and what we love. Yet, when it comes to God, how often do we sing the same praises? If we wake up at midnight, do we praise the Lord? When we're struggling, do we praise the Lord? As Christians with a healthy spiritual life, prayer should flow naturally, yet do any of us praise like David, seven times a day, let alone once a day?

Did you know praise gives us access to God- Psalm 100:4, “Come into his city with songs of thanksgiving and into his courtyards with songs of praise. Thank him and praise his name.” Erika Michelle wrote, “Praise is not the opening act to the pastor’s message. Prayer softens the soil of your heart so the seeds of the message can be planted. You want direct access to God, go through the gates with praise.”

Praise changes you. Proverbs 27:21, “A hot furnace tests silver and gold, and people are tested by the praise they receive.” Praise changes relationships. It changes hearts and mindsets. Praise shifts our focus from us to Jesus, from problems to The Solution. Praise shifts pain to promise and hurt to hope. “In the fires of praise, God reaches out and melts down our jagged edges until we become smooth and pliable in his hands. Only then can we be molded into his image.” Ericka Michelle.

Praise defeats the enemy. Did you know Judah means praise? Look at Revelation 5:5 and replace the word Judah with praise, “But one of the elders said to me, “Do not cry! The Lion from the tribe of Judah, David’s descendant, has won the victory so that he is able to open the scroll and its seven seals.” Praise overcame! The devil is happy when we walk around in fear and when we're not praising the Lord, he uses those moments to instill fear. But when we face our battles in praise we will overcome. Judges 1:1-2, who shall fight first? Judah (Praise). God told praise to go in first to the enemy. Praise entered the battle first. Judson Cornwell said, “Saints who would learn to do battle for the Lord should first learn how to praise, for God sends praise as the shock troops to drive the enemy back before the rest of the army is allowed to join the battle.”

Does praise mean sitting around quietly, whispering praise songs? Absolutely not. “Shout for joy” (Psalm 32:11) “oh clap your hands” (Psalm 47:1) “sing” (Psalm 47:6) “make a joyful noise” (Psalm 98:4) “lift up your hands” (Psalm 134:2) “with the sound of a trumpet” (Psalm 150:3) “up on the loud symbols” (Psalm 150:5) “with a harp” Psalm 33:2). God is awesome and what He has done for us should fill us with such joy and excitement that we should be happy to share with others, praises of Him. In fact, the Bible tells us to “make known his deeds among the people” (Psalm 105:1). Share the blessings in your basket.

Most importantly, to develop a lifestyle of praise continually we must realize who God is. “Know that the Lord is God. He made us, and we belong to him; we are his people, the sheep he tends. Come into his city with songs of thanksgiving and into his courtyards with songs of praise. Thank him and praise his name.”- Psalm 100:3-4. Know, above all, our blessings come from God, and He fills our baskets. It's not only about thanking Jesus for your health and sleep, the flowers, birds, and sun. It's about praising our Savior, our Creator and who He is and what He's done.

P- Praise God because He is POWERFUL- Nehemiah 1:10

R- Praise God because of His RIGHTEOUSNESS- Daniel 9:14

A- Praise God because He is ABLE- 2 Corinthians 9:8

I- Praise God because He is INFINITE- Romans 11:33-36

S- Praise God because of His STRENGTH- Psalm 93:1

E- Praise God because He is EVERLASTING- Isaiah 40:28

When we open our Bibles we can easily find ways to praise God. He is in all creation when we take the time to look around us. We can praise Him for being here for us and helping us through each day as our Savior and friend. From A-Z it can be easy to praise God for who He is and what He continually does for each of us. Today let's continue our study with 2 Peter 2:10-22

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