Praise to the LORD of PEACE
“Now may the LORD of PEACE Himself continually grant you peace in every circumstance.”
Peace….continually…in every circumstance? “Are you kidding?” we might ask; then continue, “You don’t know my circumstance!” Is the apostle Paul delusional? No. In fact, he experienced loneliness, being shipwrecked, beaten, wrongly imprisoned, and more. His circle of ministry include people who won’t work, but expect handouts, and others who are busybodies and gossips. He’s someone to whom we should listen. Why? Because Paul is talking about experiencing the Lord of PEACE in the midst of our circumstances. We have it wrong if we expect every circumstance on this earth to be peaceful. That’s what heaven is. But today, right now, God offers Himself: the Lord of PEACE in our current circumstance. The more mindful we are of our LORD of PEACE, the more PEACE we’ll experience.
We praise You, Lord, for Your PEACE and presence with us in every circumstance.
Praise to the Lord who is PATIENT
“The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is PATIENT toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance.”
This is one of the most comforting verses in the Bible. God is PATIENT toward us. God doesn’t want anyone to die apart from Him. God wants everyone to turn from sin, receive forgiveness, and come to eternal salvation. Do I hear a hallelujah coming from your heart? It is from mine!
Lord, we praise You that You are PATIENT and that You don’t want anyone to die apart from You. Thank You for Your patience!
Praise to the Paraclete
“I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper (Paraclete), that He may be with you forever;”
The Holy Spirit is described as a Paraclete (Helper) who is with us forever. Studying the Greek definition of the word “Helper, Paraclete” ummm – helps. Consider the following definition of Paraclete:*
- Someone summoned, called to one’s side, esp. called to one’s aid
- One who pleads another’s cause before a judge, counsel for defense, an advocate
- Of the Holy Spirit destined to take the place of Christ with the apostles (after his ascension to the Father), to lead them to a deeper knowledge of the gospel truth, and give them divine strength needed to enable them to undergo trials and persecutions on behalf of the divine kingdom
When we think of the magnitude of God’s provisions for us it’s staggering. Our Heavenly Father not only took it upon Himself to send His Son to save us, but also made sure that His Spirit, the Paraclete, would be an abiding divine strength within us. We never walk alone.
Heavenly Father, Son, and Paraclete – Holy Spirit, the gift of Your Presence is something we will only fully realize when we are in Heaven. Thank You, Lord!
Praise to the OVERCOMER
“These things I have spoken to you, so that in Me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have OVERCOME the world.”
Lord Jesus Christ, You are the OVERCOMER. We praise You for the peace You give us when we trust in You.
Praise to Christ Our Passover
“Clean out the old leaven so that you may be a new lump, just as you are in fact unleavened. For Christ our Passover also has been sacrificed.”
1 Corinthians 5:7
Anyone want to guess what the context was for Christ being described as our Passover?
Paul was rebuking the Corinthian church because of the immorality among them. He called them arrogant because rather than mourning over the situation, they turned their heads the other way. Paul is spinning their heads (and maybe ours) back in the right direction.
- Someone has DIED because of our sin and immorality: Jesus. How can we think that accepting abiding sin is okay.
- Jesus, the pure Lamb of God, was sacrificed. His death, His blood, is our atonement; covering our black sins.
- “Clean it out. Get rid of the sin.” Paul urges. Christ, our PASSOVER, has been SACRIFICED on the altar that has our names on it.
- Love, honor, respect the Passover Lamb, Christ Jesus. Show it by how we live for Him.
Christ, our PASSOVER, forgive us for living for what You died for – our sin.
Image: Francisco de Zurbaran (1598-1664), “Agnus Dei” (1635-40) ,Canvas 38 x 62 cm. Museo Nacional del Prado, Madrid.
Praise to OUR FATHER
“‘Pray, then, in this way: OUR FATHER who is in heaven…’”
- OUR FATHER sees us.
- OUR FATHER rewards sacrificial effort that no one sees.
- OUR FATHER knows what we need before we ask.
- OUR FATHER forgives us as we forgive others.
- Regardless of what kind of earthly father we had, we have a HEAVENLY FATHER who is holy and who is listening as we pray.
Would you join me today in praying the Lord’s Prayer in worship and praise to OUR FATHER.
Praise to the ONLY BEGOTTEN SON
“For God so loved the world, that He gave His ONLY BEGOTTEN SON, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.”
How old were you when you first heard or learned John 3:16? It’s a pivotal verse in the Bible. Did John realize the line in the sand God drew when he recorded these words? It’s a powerful statement and call to action.
- God so loves the world that He took action to save us from perishing.
- God is personally involved. It required that He sacrifice His Only Begotten Son.
- It’s personal for you and me – whoever believes in Him. There it is – our call to action, to respond, to say “yes” to being saved.
- There’s a promise – will not perish – die.
- There’s a reward – will have eternal life.
It’s personal for God because He gave His ONLY BEGOTTEN SON. It’s personal for us because we either gratefully respond “yes” to Christ’s sacrifice on our behalf, or we say “no.”
What are your thoughts about God giving His ONLY BEGOTTEN SON so we could be saved and have eternal life?
Heavenly Father, who gave Your Only Begotten Son, we receive Your gift of life in Christ and praise You.
Praise to ONE WHO OPENS Our Lips
“O LORD, open my lips, that my mouth may declare Your praise.”
Did your mother ever tell you, “If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all?” My mother did. Often, words of instruction center on telling us to keep our mouths closed so we don’t offend others or so that we don’t speak out of anger. However, David, the psalmist, understood that our walk with God isn’t only about what we don’t say. It’s also about what we say. We may get a gold star for not cussing. But do we get a gold star for praising God, encouraging others in their walk with Him, and sharing Christ with unbelievers? If not, perhaps we should recognize that God is the One to whom we can pray as David prayed. “LORD, open my lips, that my mouth may declare Your praise.” That’s a good prayer to the ONE who can OPEN our lips, don’t you think?
LORD, You are powerful and able to OPEN OUR LIPS to praise and honor You with our words. We pray You do so and that we faithfully praise You and share Christ with others.
DO OVER: Praise to the ONE Who IMPARTIALLY JUDGES
The following is a “Do Over” of the “365 Days of Praise” post “God who IMPARTIALLY JUDGES.” I wanted to do it over to make a more accurate, complete application of the Scripture.
If (since) you address as Father the one who IMPARTIALLY JUDGES according to each one’s work, conduct yourselves in fear during the time of your stay on earth;”
Are you aware that the Bible describes different kinds of judgments? The one to which Peter is referring is the judgment of believers’ works. Although we’re not saved by works, after we’re saved, God takes note of how we conduct ourselves. Peter reminds us that God is an IMPARTIAL JUDGE and that we should conduct ourselves in fear during our stay on earth. “Conducting ourselves in fear” means we live in way that shows reverence for and Christ. Peter gives examples of what this looks like.
- We are holy in all our behavior, like the Holy One who called us, 1:15
- We fervently love one another from the heart, 1:22
- We proclaim the excellencies of Him who has called us our of darkness into His marvelous light, 2:9
- We abstain from fleshly lusts that wage war against our soul, 2:11
- We keep our behavior excellent, 2:12
In the first draft of this post, my application of the Scripture asked if we were sloppy, half-hearted, and lazy. But, those negative applications to our homes, work places, and ministries don’t touch our high calling in Christ. An unbeliever can be tidy, whole-hearted, and diligent. In our own strength, we can “self-improve.” The believer’s high calling in Christ and for which we’ll be rewarded is beyond earthly standards. It’s a life infused and empowered by the Holy Spirit. Our calling is to represent the excellencies of Christ. When we do, we show reverence for Him.
Heavenly Father, thank You for being an impartial Judge. Help us conduct ourselves in reverence to You.
Praise to the ONE Who IMPARTIALLY JUDGES
“If (since) you address as Father the one who IMPARTIALLY JUDGES according to each one’s work, conduct yourselves in fear during the time of your stay on earth;”
Are you aware that the Bible describes different kinds of judgments? The one to which Peter is referring is the judgment of believers’ works. Although we’re not saved by works, after we’re saved, God takes note of how we conduct ourselves. Peter reminds us that God is an IMPARTIAL JUDGE and that we should conduct ourselves in fear during our stay on earth. “Conducting ourselves in fear” means our actions should be done in reverence to Christ, in a way that honors Him. Are we sloppy at home, halfhearted at work, or lazy in ministry? Or, are we diligent and honoring Christ? If Jesus were to drop by our homes, work places, and ministries, what would be His verdict?
Heavenly Father, You are ONE WHO IMPARTIALLY JUDGES. Thank You that You are impartial, and each of us has the opportunity to serve You well.