Fill Today With a Song of Praise

Gregory Hoooper

"Be filled with the Spirit, speaking to one another with psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit.  Sing and make music from your heart to the Lord, always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ."  Ephesians 5:18b-20

Spending time at my grandparents house was always a real treat when I was growing up.  Their home was truly filled with a sense of genuine joy.  The food was great and I loved helping out with chores in the yard or around the house.  One thing that really stands out to me was when I would help in the kitchen with my grandmother, Momio.  While she was cooking or washing dishes, many times she would sing.  I can still remember her low, gravelly, quivering tone.  She would look at me with a gleam in her eye and sometimes wag her finger pointing at me singing slowly, "This is my sto-reee, this is my song, praising my Savior all the day long!  This is my sto-reee, this is my song, praising my Savior all the day long!"  Soon, I would join with her in harmony and we would continue joyfully singing as we worked.  It was a tremendous example for me to see that songs of praise were not just reserved for church on Sunday morning.  Even in the physically painful last hours of her life on earth, as I sang at her bedside, Momio lifted her hands with joy in praise to God.

One of the ways we can cultivate a God-filled and Holy Spirit directed life is to make a consistent habit of singing songs of praise and worship from our hearts to the Lord.  It is not required to have a good voice in order to praise the Lord.  It doesn't matter if you sound monotone or if your voice is raspy and off pitch.  There is no more beautiful sound than a sincere heart expressing passionate and joyful praise to God.  Psalm 92:1 says, "It is good to praise the LORD and make music to Your name, O Most High."  God calls us to praise Him by making a sound.  In fact, the word for "speaking" used in Ephesians 5:19, in its most basic sense literally means to make a simple sound like a child first learning to talk, or the chirp of a bird, or the grunt of an animal.  Like the Psalmist says, "Let everything that has breath praise the Lord!"  Psalm 150:6.

Sometimes, I don't feel like praising God because I am discouraged or physically sick.  But, one thing I have learned is that no matter how I am feeling, God is ALWAYS worthy to be praised.  When I begin to thank Him and praise Him in any situation, my perspective changes and my spirit is lifted.  Even when he was running for his life, David said, "I will bless the Lord at all times.  His praise shall continually be in my mouth."  Psalm 34:1.  There is never an inappropriate time to praise the Lord.  Some of my most meaningful times of praise have been while standing at the sink washing the dishes or fixing a broken toilet.  As I begin to just think about how awesome God is and all that He has done for us, it makes me to want to lift up songs of praise!  I encourage you to start right now!

God's Spirit in the heart puts a song in your mouth!

I Love You Lord

I love You Lord and I lift my voice

To worship You O my soul rejoice

Take joy my king in what You hear

Let it be a sweet, sweet sound in Your ear


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