Worshipping God

(Psalms 100:4-5 NIV) Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name. {5} For the LORD is good and his love endures forever; his faithfulness continues through all generations.

What happens when we praise God?
We become mindful that we are dependent on Him and that He alone is responsible for our success.

(Deuteronomy 8:10-11 NIV) When you have eaten and are satisfied, praise the LORD your God for the good land he has given you. {11} Be careful that you do not forget the LORD….

When we do not praise God for His goodness, after a while, it is easy to start to think that our success is totally due to our own efforts.

(Deuteronomy 8:13-18 NIV) and when your herds and flocks grow large and your silver and gold increase and all you have is multiplied, {14} then your heart will become proud and you will forget the LORD your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery. {15} He led you through the vast and dreadful desert, that thirsty and waterless land, with its venomous snakes and scorpions. He brought you water out of hard rock. {16} He gave you manna to eat in the desert, something your fathers had never known, to humble and to test you so that in the end it might go well with you. {17} You may say to yourself, “My power and the strength of my hands have produced this wealth for me.” {18} But remember the LORD your God, for it is he who gives you the ability to produce wealth, and so confirms his covenant, which he swore to your forefathers, as it is today.

We avoid the sin of ungratefulness.

When God wanted to describe how wicked men were, He highlighted the sin of ungratefulness.

(Romans 1:18-21 NIV) The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of men who suppress the truth by their wickedness, {19} since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. {20} For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities–his eternal power and divine nature–have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse. {21} For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened.

In one incident, the Lord Jesus clearly showed his dissatisfaction when those He had healed failed to come to give Him thanks.

(Luke 17:12-18 KJV) And as he entered into a certain village, there met him ten men that were lepers, which stood afar off: {13} And they lifted up their voices, and said, Jesus, Master, have mercy on us. {14} And when he saw them, he said unto them, Go show yourselves unto the priests. And it came to pass, that, as they went, they were cleansed. {15} And one of them, when he saw that he was healed, turned back, and with a loud voice glorified God, {16} And fell down on his face at his feet, giving him thanks: and he was a Samaritan. {17} And Jesus answering said, Were there not ten cleansed? but where are the nine? {18} There are not found that returned to give glory to God, save this stranger.

Nobody likes a child who always asks for things but never wants to say “Thank You”. Likewise our prayer life becomes displeasing to God if we only know how to ask God for things but never want to take the time to thank Him. That is why Paul admonishes that petition are to be combined with thanksgiving.

(Colossians 4:2 NIV) Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful.

It expresses our faith towards God.

People who don’t have faith never praises God. There is no reason to. In their view, life is gloomy, hopeless, and there is no reason to praise God. Those with faith can praise God in every circumstance. Even in the prison, Paul can praise God because he understands that even to die is gain.

One good example for us to follow is Daniel. Even when he heard the king’s decree that every one must worship him, Daniel did not lament. He had faith that God would deliver and he had even more reasons to praise God who will work to deliver him out of this difficult situation.

(Daniel 6:6-10 NIV) So the administrators and the satraps went as a group to the king and said: “O King Darius, live forever! {7} The royal administrators, prefects, satraps, advisers and governors have all agreed that the king should issue an edict and enforce the decree that anyone who prays to any god or man during the next thirty days, except to you, O king, shall be thrown into the lions’ den. {8} Now, O king, issue the decree and put it in writing so that it cannot be altered–in accordance with the laws of the Medes and Persians, which cannot be repealed.” {9} So King Darius put the decree in writing. {10} Now when Daniel learned that the decree had been published, he went home to his upstairs room where the windows opened toward Jerusalem. Three times a day he got down on his knees and prayed, giving thanks to his God, just as he had done before.

How could Daniel give thanks to God despite these circumstances. He could only do so if he knows that no matter what, God can work in the situation and turn it for good.

(Psalms 56:4 NIV) In God, whose word I praise, in God I trust; I will not be afraid. What can mortal man do to me?

(Ephesians 5:20 NIV) always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.

We could do this because…..

(Romans 8:28 NIV) And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.

It renew optimism in us.

When we praise God, we are reminded of all the good things He had done and all the difficult situations He had delivered us from. All of a sudden, we become optimistic even in our difficult situation.

(Philippians 4:6 NIV) Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.

The cure for anxiety is thanksgiving.

God honors those who praise Him.

A person who praises God is actually honoring Him.

(Psalms 50:23 NIV) He who sacrifices thank offerings honors me…..

And we know that those who honor God will be honored by Him in return.

(1 Samuel 2:30 NIV) “Therefore the LORD, the God of Israel, declares: ‘I promised that your house and your father’s house would minister before me forever.’ But now the LORD declares: ‘Far be it from me! Those who honor me I will honor, but those who despise me will be disdained.

God shows us the way out of our difficulties when we praise Him.

(Psalms 50:23 NIV) He who sacrifices thank offerings honors me, and he prepares the way so that I may show him the salvation of God.”

Salvation does not always mean salvation from the penalty of sin or the salvation one experiences when one becomes a Christian. The verse here probably refers to a believer in God giving thanks to Him and has nothing to do with the kind of salvation described above. The salvation here refers to salvation from life’s problems.

In the example of the ten lepers, only one came back to thank Jesus. That person received much more then physical healing. Jesus made him whole not only physically but also spiritually.

(Luke 17:17-19 NIV) Jesus asked, “Were not all ten cleansed? Where are the other nine? {18} Was no one found to return and give praise to God except this foreigner?” {19} Then he said to him, “Rise and go; your faith has made you well.”

(Psa 50:23 NIV)  He who sacrifices thank offerings honors me, and he prepares the way so that I may show him the salvation of God.”

When we praise God, He shows us how we can be saved from our problems.

Examples of those who praised God in their problems
Paul and Silas
King Jehoshaphat

It promotes contentment

People who are discontented are that way because they believe that God or life has been unfair to them. When we praise God, we reminds us of all the good things that we do have and gain contentment as a result.

(Philippians 4:11-13 NIV) I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. {12} I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. {13} I can do everything through him who gives me strength.

When Paul praises God as One who could do everything, he suddenly feels contented even in his times of lack as long as he has this God.

It ushers us directly into the presence of God

(Psa 100:4 NIV)  Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name.

We enter His gates and into His presence with thanksgiving and praise.

(Psa 22:3 KJV)  But thou art holy, O thou that inhabitest the praises of Israel.

When we praise God, we also usher in His presence as He inhabits the praises of His people.

How to worship God?
Worship God with our entire being

Mark 12:30  and you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength.’

To worship God is to express our love to Him and we are told to do that with ALL of our heart, soul, mind and strength. We are often guilty of not doing that. Our mind wanders off when we are singing that worship song to God and for that moment something takes a more important place than God.

Worship God in truth

John 4:23  But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for such the Father seeks to worship him.

Worshipping God is truth means that we worship Him for who He is. We do not create an image of God that we would like to have and then worship that imaginary God.

Worship through our ministry

(Rom 12:1 NIV)  Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God–this is your spiritual act of worship.

Worshipping God is not restricted to just singing songs of worship. We are told to live our life as a form of worship. We worship God with our life when we live for Him.

Worship God through various styles

There isn’t one right way to worship God. Any style that is reverent to God will do. The Bible contains many passages of how people worship God is various ways.

Heb 13:15  Through him then let us continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips that acknowledge his name.

Psa 7:17  I will give to the LORD the thanks due to his righteousness, and I will sing praise to the name of the LORD, the Most High.

Ezr 3:11  and they sang responsively, praising and giving thanks to the LORD, “For he is good, for his steadfast love endures for ever toward Israel.” And all the people shouted with a great shout, when they praised the LORD, because the foundation of the house of the LORD was laid.

Psa 149:3  Let them praise his name with dancing, making melody to him with timbrel and lyre!

Neh 8:6  And Ezra blessed the LORD, the great God; and all the people answered, “Amen, Amen,” lifting up their hands; and they bowed their heads and worshiped the LORD with their faces to the ground.