The Praise Gift

9 12 2013

I could hear Andy Williams singing all over the store. “It’s the most wonderful time of the year. With kids jingle belling, and everyone telling you, ‘Be of good cheer.’ It’s the most wonderful time of the year.” Humming along, it struck me how many superlatives we assign to the holiday season. Everything is the brightest, happiest, or merriest. The songs, movies, and commercials set our expectations and define our perspective about how amazing, romantic, festive, and jolly the season is supposed to be.

Yet, I want more out of this Christmas season. Not less merry and bright, but more awareness and appreciation for the One who longs to inhabit, shape, transform, define, and fill all of our seasons. Praise is the gift that will open my eyes and heart more fully to His presence. Praise requires me to stop and appreciate the heart of God. It asks me to look deeply into His character and name what I see.

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

Praising God opens our eyes to His nearness, our ears to His call, our souls to His grace, and our hearts to His transformation. Praising God isn’t about throwing around superlatives. It is about responding to the truth of who God is and where He longs to stand in our lives.

My Jesus Resolution today is to sing “How Great Thou Art” out loud. The verses of this song call me to reflect on the wonderful, amazing, marvelous, awesome things God has done. The chorus is my heart’s response to His glory. It is a song that calls me to awe, humility, repentance, and wonder. Singing it provides me with an opportunity to reset the world’s expectations with heavenly ones, allowing me to smile with the knowledge that every day with God really is the most wonderful time of the year.



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