Saturday, January 26, 2013

The Sacrifice of Praise

UV 647/10,000 The Sacrifice of Praise “ The voice of joy and the voice of gladness, the voice of the bridegroom and the voice of the bride, the voice of those who will say: Praise the Lord of hosts, For the Lord is good, For His mercy endures forever –and of those who will bring the sacrifice of praise into the house of the Lord. For I will cause the captives of the land to return as at the first,” says the Lord We don’t have to wait for a raise in order to praise God. But, when good things happen- the things that we expect and the things that we do not expect, we feel the joy and gladness that makes us want to thank the Lord. Yesterday, as I heard the news that the President’s Medal for Distinguished Service was awarded to me after twenty five years in the police service on the occasion of Republic Day, this uni-verse came to me. I had heard the voice of joy and the voice of gladness. I had heard the voice of the eternal Bridegroom-Jesus through His Word. I had heard the voice of the eternal Bride, the church through the voices of gladness of scores of friends, family and well wishers who called to express their happiness that I had been recognized in this manner. I told them that I had won it not on account of my merit or because I deserved it but because the Lord is gracious and good. He had made it possible for me to survive two near-death experiences. He had been with me through thick and thin in my career so far. But, for His grace and mercy, I would have been reduced to ashes and dust a long time ago. Many people in today’s post modern world think that it is old fashioned to think, talk and write about God. But the Lord does not change with changes in fashion. His mercy endures forever. He is consistent in dealing with us who believe and those who disbelieve. All He wants from us is the sacrifice of praise from our hearts for His mercy towards us. When we thank and praise God for His goodness to us, we bring heaven to earth. The Lord is pleased and the angels rejoice and join us in our acts of worship. Our tongue is also an instrument- in fact, the most awesome instrument of worship. As we worship the Lord, He promises to make manifest His mercy in ever greater measure and in newer ways. He promises to restore us. He promises to release us from the captivity of sin, bondage, fears, worry and oppression. He will restore us to the original state in which we were created. We will be restored to the likeness of His image. He will restore what we have lost in the past. Just as Elisha’s servants cried out that they had lost the borrowed axe. But, Elisha threw a stick into the water and made the axe head float. Using the Word in worship will enable us to retrieve and restore what is lost. He will manifest His grace and power in our lives to give us lasting peace, increasing gladness and victory. Prateep V Philip

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