Jesus welcomed the people, taught them about the Kingdom of God and healed those in need. Luke 9:11

Seeds of the Kingdom

Praise the Lord

by Ron Scurfield

I will hope continually and will praise you yet more and more. My mouth will tell of your righteous acts, of your deeds of salvation all the day, for their number is past my knowledge.
Psalm 71:14, ESV

`Praise the Lord, my soul; all my inmost being, praise His holy name`, says David in Psalm 103:1. Here he`s urging his soul - his mind, will and emotions - and all that is in him to praise the Lord. He spells out all the benefits and the blessings and seems to be forcefully telling himself that God is worthy of praise. This seems to be the overriding theme in the book of Psalms, right up to the end where Psalm 150 concludes: ’Let every-thing that has breath praise the Lord.’

Habakkuk goes further. Even if God were to withhold all His blessings, he would still find joy in the Lord: ‘Though the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines, though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food, though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will be joyful in God my Saviour’ (Habakkuk 3:17-18).

Why should we praise the Lord? - to thank Him for all He’s done for us, to express gratitude for our salvation, to rejoice in His presence? Yes, and more. Imagine a couple in love. Occasionally they may bless or praise one another. But, generally, they enjoy each other’s company. A bond of unity is established, and, in the case of a marriage, the Bible tells us that the two become one flesh (Mark 10:18).

Praise aligns us with God. It’s like spiritually entering into His presence; the outworking of our faith. This establishes an impregnable shield against the enemy. Where there’s an alignment with the purposes of God the enemy can’t penetrate, and the shield of faith protects us from ‘all the fiery darts of the evil one’ (Ephesians 6:16). Then the way is clear to fully enter into that glorious relationship of eternal fellowship with the presence of God.

‘Were not our hearts burning within us while He talked with us on the road?’ (Luke 24:32). The disciples suddenly realised they’d been with Jesus, walking on the road to Emmaus with the Master Himself. When we’re walking with the Master something wells up inside us. Everything else fades into insignificance in the joy of His presence.

What better place can there be than walking with the Lord? He knows the way He wants to lead us. He’s the only way to freedom, and the route to life and peace. Jesus said, “when I am lifted up from the earth I will draw all people to myself” (John 12:32). Let’s lift Him up in our lives and allow Him to draw us to Him-self.

We don’t feel like it sometimes. We get caught up in the tedium of life. Heaviness and weariness rise up and we become discouraged. Let’s do what David did and give ourselves a push. Let’s speak to our emotions and remind them of the goodness of God. Where would we be without Him?

Let’s enter into His presence with joy and thanksgiving, and give Him thanks and praise.

Prayer: Lord, I bring all my failings and weaknesses before You today. I come before You in humility and surrender all to You. Please cleanse me by the blood of Jesus and fill me afresh by the power of Your Holy Spirit. I thank You for all You have done for me and give You all my thanks and praise. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Ron Scurfield with his wife Jill, are part of the Associate Ministry Team at Ellel Grange and occasionally Ellel Scotland. Ron enjoys walking and writing and meeting interesting people, but his greatest joy is seeing God transform lives, setting people free to live the abundant life that Jesus intended.


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