Friday, March 14, 2014

Aaaaannnnnd....ACTION!

Source.


My Women's Bible Study group has just finished a 20+ week study through the book of John, and it has been down right life-changing for me.  I have learned immeasurably much during my time with this awesome group of gals!  We are next diving into a 4 week study on prayer, and I'm really just expectantly giddy at what Jesus is going to do over the next few weeks!

Our first "assignment" was to read Psalm 145 which David writes to praise God.  I've discovered that David packs a whole lot of information into just 21 short verses.  He speaks to WHO GOD IS, why HE IS WORTY OF OUR PRAISE, and HOW WE CAN PRAISE HIM.

God's character never has and never will change.  David says God is:
  • Great
  • Good
  • Righteous
  • Gracious
  • Compassionate
  • Slow to anger
  • Rich in love
  • Trustworthy
  • Faithful
I'm a visual person.  I learn best when I can "see" what I'm being taught.  So I'm constantly asking myself questions like, "What does that look like?"  

What does it look like to PRAISE God?  And, by the way, I've found it best to go to scripture for answers on such questions.

Psalm 145:4-7

New International Version (NIV)
One generation commends your works to another;
    they tell of your mighty acts.
They speak of the glorious splendor of your majesty—
    and I will meditate on your wonderful works.[a]
They tell of the power of your awesome works—
    and I will proclaim your great deeds.
They celebrate your abundant goodness
    and joyfully sing of your righteousness.
The action verbs stuck out to me:

"TELL," "SPEAK," "MEDITATE," "PROCLAIM," "CELEBRATE," "SING."

Praising God takes ACTION on our part!


Tell

David says praising God is as simple as telling someone WHO HE IS and WHAT HE'S DONE FOR YOU. 

 It doesn't have to be weird (i.e. no cardboard signs that read "Be Saved or Microwave."  THAT'S WEIRD you weirdo!) 

And you don't have to speak Christianese (i.e. approaching strangers and asking them if they've been "washed in the blood of the lamb."  GET AWAY FROM ME you freak!) 

Just simply sharing our story praises God.  

Meditate

Get quiet, still, and alone to read scripture (learn stuff about God) and reflect on who God is and what he's done in you and through you.  God is a good father, and he just wants us to spend time with him.  It's as simple and tender as that.  

Celebrate

Be joyful!  Sing!  Pay it forward!  Serve God through your church!  Teach your children about Jesus on their level!  Acknowledge Him in the big and small!  

When's the last time you praised God?  When did you ACT out in praise? 

 NOT: 

"Oh, I feel like I'm a good person, and God's pleased that I'm such a good person...yada yada yada..."  

AND NOT:

"I'm just a private person, so I don't like to talk about God or my faith...yada yada smackidy smack..."  

When did you last embrace the biblical definition of praise and ACT?

My pastor has thrown out this question more than once, and it's always so convicting:

Why is it so accepted and easy to dress in our favorite team colors and scream and loose our minds to cheer and celebrate touchdowns (Go Tigers!)/home runs/baskets/goals, but it's so hard for us to say "I'm on team Jesus, and this is what He's done for me since I met Him?"

BAM!  Convicted!

Why?

Because it's awkward.  Uncomfortable.  I get it.  I feel it.  It just is.  And I hate it.

But God hasn't called us to be comfortable.  In fact, he calls us out of our comfort zone.  It's the only way to experience growth.  

If we say we are a Christian, then where's the proof?  

Paul says in Galatians 5:22-23 "the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives:  love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control." 

What is our "fruit" saying about us?  

How do we show it?  To others?  To our God?

Showing our fruit takes ACTION.  Praise takes ACTION.

I'm pushing past the awkward!  I'm taking ACTION!  

I'd love to hear your story.

Sincerely,

Leigh

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