“Let everything that has breath praise the Lord” (Psalm 150:6 ESV)!

Recently a couple at church reached out to my wife and I in love and appreciation and gave us a gift card to a restaurant. When they gave us the gift they explained how much they enjoyed the restaurant and what it meant to them. Essentially what they were doing was praising the restaurant and inviting us into that praise… They joyfully sacrificed their own hard-earned money in order to bring us into the delight they had experienced. They took joy in doing something good and kind for us, they took joy in knowing that we too would soon partake in the delight they had, and it seemed as if their joy became all the more real and experiential as they shared it with us…

This is how it is with us and God: God has so order the universe and our own hearts and souls that our purpose in life, death, and eternal life is His praise—to enjoy Him and make much of Him. We are called to praise God in and through all things. We are to delight in Him above all else, and we are to show that delight by joyfully sacrificing for His praise and the spread of His praise. But in God’s kindness, in living this way the joy of the Lord becomes more real and experiential to us. As C. S. Lewis once said, “we delight to praise what we enjoy because the praise not merely expresses but completes the enjoyment.”

So, do you see what this means? By God’s design we are called to live for His praise, but in His good sovereignty, no matter what we may sacrifice, no matter what we may give up for His praise, our joy and delight in the Lord will be ever increasing as we live for the fame of His name. In calling us to praise Him God is actually calling us to true eternal joy. And this makes complete sense… There’s nothing and no one better than the Lord. Any good thing we enjoy derives its goodness from God, and is therefore a shadow of His eternal goodness… So delighting in Him, living for Him, and praising Him here and now are the most joyful things we can do until we see Him face to face. As Paul said in Philippians 3:8, Jesus is of surpassing worth; He’s better than everything… So give yourself to praise—praise the Lord and sacrifice to invite others into praise—and thus give yourself to joy…

I am nothing; Christ is all!

Pastor Nick