In many ways, the act of offering praise to God belongs to the very heart of worship. Worship derived from the Old English word “worth-ship” refers to the act of honoring God who is worthy of our devotion. Praise is the act of appraising God as worthy and glorious--and giving heart and voice to that act of valuing the Almighty. We venerate and give voice to what we value; we praise what we prize. We adore the One who first loved us.
C. S. Lewis once complained that all the commands in the psalms “to praise God” seemed as if God demanded from us many compliments like an egotistic dictator might do. But then he writes, “I noticed that all enjoyment spontaneously overflows into praise unless checked by shyness or the fear of boring others. The world rings with praise--readers their favorite poet, walkers praising the countryside, players praising their favorite game...
Of course, this begs the question--what do we find of ultimate value? Is it God and his kingdom? Or are we distracted by hundreds of other attractions and do we find ourselves listening to other voices? The hymn-writer urges us “to tune our hearts to sing thy grace.” The discipline of corporate worship helps us orient ourselves to the priorities of God who helps us to glorify Him and enjoy Him forever.
Our Worship Guide for Sunday's Services can be viewed by clicking the image below:
1 Clap your hands, all you nations;
shout to God with cries of joy.
2 For the Lord Most High is awesome,
the great King over all the earth.
3 He subdued nations under us,
peoples under our feet.
4 He chose our inheritance for us,
the pride of Jacob, whom he loved.[b]
5 God has ascended amid shouts of joy,
the Lord amid the sounding of trumpets.
6 Sing praises to God, sing praises;
sing praises to our King, sing praises.
7 For God is the King of all the earth;
sing to him a psalm of praise.
8 God reigns over the nations;
God is seated on his holy throne.
9 The nobles of the nations assemble
as the people of the God of Abraham,
for the kings of the earth belong to God;
he is greatly exalted.
9 After this I looked, and there before me was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and before the Lamb. They were wearing white robes and were holding palm branches in their hands. 10 And they cried out in a loud voice:
“Salvation belongs to our God,
who sits on the throne,
and to the Lamb.”
11 All the angels were standing around the throne and around the elders and the four living creatures. They fell down on their faces before the throne and worshiped God, 12 saying:
Praise and glory
and wisdom and thanks and honor
and power and strength
be to our God for ever and ever.