Friday, August 20, 2010

"The Blessing He Finds"

In human terms, we consider a person who desires praise and thanksgiving to be faulty in character and far too focused on themselves. Such ones believe themselves to need the adulation of others in order to feel good about themselves.

In Divine terms, God's desire for our adoration and gratitude reveals just the opposite about His character, disposition, and nature. Our Lord does not need our adulation. He needs nothing from us, or from anyone or anything (Acts 17:25). Therefore, our praise and thanksgiving do not fill an emotional void in God, or cause Him to be more personally fulfilled than He already is. Why then does the Bible so often command that we offer praises and thanksgivings?

Since God is perfectly unselfish, any desire on His part for anything from us cannot be for His own benefit (I Corinthians 13:5). It must rather be for the benefit of ourselves and for others. He calls us to praise and thank Him because He knows that such expressions are the fruit of faith in us, and also an encouragement and strengthening to more trust and confidence (in both ourselves, and in those encouraged by our expression of devotion). The blessing He finds in our offerings is based on the blessing we find in making our offerings. God loves being our all-providing Father, and He loves it when we know and apply ourselves to the blessed reality that "my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus" (Philippians 4:19). Praise and thanksgiving express such faith, honoring our Lord by declaring that He is the source and supply of all in our lives, and revealing that we are living in the blessed reality. "Who offereth praise glorifieth Me" (Psalm 50:23).

We bring great blessing and pleasure to the heart of God when we praise and thank Him. This is our motivation because we love Him. His motivation in commanding us to do so is also love. He knows who He is, and He knows that we are dependent upon Him for our next breath and for all things. Expressed adoration and gratitude reveal that we also know this great fact of our existence. Nothing more pleases our Father's heart, and nothing will more fill our own hearts with peace and joy than our affirmation that "He giveth to all life and breath and all things" (Acts 17:25).

"It is a good thing to give thanks unto the LORD, and to sing praises unto Thy name, O most High."
(Psalm 92:1)

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