Daily Devotional for Saturday September 16, 2006
Taking Time to Give God the Praise for What He has Done for You
(Hebrews 13:15; Psalms 35:28; Acts 2:47)
Every day in the Daily Devotional I deal with the real, day-to-day issues of life we all have to face during our journey through life. I deal with sin, challenging you to live a life pleasing and acceptable to God. I talk to you about the trials and tribulations that come to all of us during our lives. Today, I want to put to the side the problems, the situations, the circumstances that challenge you and talk about something none of us do enough of . . . giving God the praise for what He does for us!
Listen, it is very easy, even natural to get so focused and wrapped up in what is wrong in our life that we forget to even acknowledge all that is right in our life. We often find ourselves day after day fighting life's battles, dealing with the problems of our life, that we don't take enough time to think about all of the good things in our life. It is God's grace, His unmerited favor, His mercy, and His love that sees us through the storms of life. Because of that grace, mercy, and love we don't have to be defeated by life's problems but can still praise God despite life's problems!
Man has never really changed since the Garden. We are still the same. I think about the 10 lepers who came to Jesus asking to be healed. After doing exactly what Jesus told them to do and receiving their healing, only ONE of the ten came back to say thank you! We quickly condemn the 9, but I submit to you today that you and I, we are all like those 9 from time to time. We take God's blessings in our life for granted and don't even have the common decency, the manners to say "thank you."
If you reflect back on your time of prayer each day, how much time is spent ASKING God and how much time is spent PRAISING God? We pray, "God I need, I need, I need, I need." That is fine because God tells us to ask for the desires of our heart, to share our needs with Him. But too often we look at God like a cosmic concierge who is simply there to meet our every need and jump when we speak. We can actually get to a place where we order God around like he was a hired servant. Ready for this? When God doesn't meet our needs exactly when we ask Him to in the exact way we want them met . . . we get mad at God!!!
I know I am going to catch some wrath from the ladies today for this one, but here is a good analogy. Men, think back with me on a Saturday when your wife drops you a neatly typed, single spaced "honey-do" list with 16 items. Cheerfully, with a smile on your face and with great excitement, you accept the list and begin to work on each one. At the end of the day you have completed 15 of the 16 things you had to do. Now, as the day is coming to an end and you report back to your wife on how you did, what happens? That is right. The 15 things you did are not even mentioned. The ONE you didn't complete is the one you will hear about . . . all night long!
We do the same thing with God. God will answer our prayers, meet our needs, but when we don't get the exact answer at the exact time we want it, we have the audacity to get mad and complain to God. Somewhere along the line we forget that God is the CREATOR and we are His CREATION. We are here to serve God, not the other way around. It is God's good pleasure to bless His children. Again, it is out of His grace, mercy, and love for us that He gives us this great access to Him literally 24/7/365. We need to keep in mind that not only is that access to share our hurts and pains and needs with God, but to PRAISE HIM as well.
Let me share a secret with you. I find more answers to my prayers when I spend my time praising God than when I spend my time asking God. Hear this again, it is important. I find more answers to my prayers when I spend my time praising God than when I do asking God. Did you know you can "praise away your problems?" That's right. You will be shocked that as you spend more of your time with the Lord praising Him, how many of your problems end up not being problems any longer. When you are focused on God and who HE is, giving Him the praise and honor He is due, your problems don't seem as great, and you have the confidence and knowledge that YOUR GOD CAN DO ANYTHING!
I love you and care about you so much. I want to challenge you today that during your daily time in prayer, make sure you don't conclude without spending some time just praising God and thanking Him for all that He does for you each and every day. Take the time to focus on all of the blessings He bestows upon you each and every day, many blessings that we often take for granted. God is worthy of our praise and I want to encourage you to commit time each day to just praising Him for who He is. He is God! He is the Creator of the heavens and the earth. He is YOUR Creator! After all, our purpose in this life is to serve AND GLORIFY HIM with our lives. So don't miss the opportunity each day to fulfill your purpose by giving God the praise He is due for all He does for you.
In closing today, I praise God for YOU! I can't tell you how humbled I am each day by those in the Liveprayer family who love me, pray for me, and sacrificially give to support the life-changing work God is doing in millions of lives worldwide every day here at Liveprayer. It is an honor and a privilege for me to be able to share in your burdens, in your struggles, to stand in prayer with you for the needs in your life each day. You are so special to me. I will continue to do my very best every day to share with you the Truth of His Word, the hope and love of Christ, as together we work to bring that Truth and hope to this lost and dying world. May all we do be for the glory of God! May we take time today to PRAISE HIM!