Today’s AMI QT Devotional, written by Pastor David Kwon of Journey Community Church in Raleigh, was originally posted on November 7, 2013.
Devotional Thought for Today
“Did You Take a Praise Break Today?
Psalms 96:1-13 (NIV)
Sing to the Lord a new song! Sing to the Lord, all the earth! 2 Sing to the Lord! Praise his name! Announce every day how he delivers! 3 Tell the nations about his splendor! Tell all the nations about his amazing deeds! 4 For the Lord is great and certainly worthy of praise; he is more awesome than all gods. 5 For all the gods of the nations are worthless, but the Lord made the sky. 6 Majestic splendor emanates from him; his sanctuary is firmly established and beautiful. 7 Ascribe to the Lord, O families of the nations, ascribe to the Lord splendor and strength! 8 Ascribe to the Lord the splendor he deserves! Bring an offering and enter his courts! 9 Worship the Lord in holy attire! Tremble before him, all the earth! 10 Say among the nations, “The Lord reigns! The world is established, it cannot be moved. He judges the nations fairly.” 11 Let the sky rejoice, and the earth be happy! Let the sea and everything in it shout! 12 Let the fields and everything in them celebrate! Then let the trees of the forest shout with joy 13 before the Lord, for he comes! For he comes to judge the earth! He judges the world fairly, and the nations in accordance with his justice.
During my undergrad years, a popular craze was sweeping the cities of America that startled those who witnessed it: in various public places, at any moment and without warning, seemingly random people would collectively burst into song and dance for what seemed like no reason at all. They called these little performances “flash mobs.” One reporter described a flash mob as “an organized group of people that appear in a public place, to perform a synchronized act for a brief period, to the complete surprise and bewilderment of those around them.” These synchronized acts could occasionally be menacing and quite dangerous, but usually they were just fun and entertaining, lifting the spirits of bystanders.
When I read Psalm 96, some of my favorite flash mob YouTube videos come to mind, where people with one heart got together to express themselves for all the world to see. The psalmist is calling us to burst into jubilant song and dance of worship and adoration to our God because of who He is. Not only us, but all of creation is to join in on the praise! In the spring, following the dreariness of a long winter, it is as if the flowers come together to display their own flash mob of praise for all passersby to see. Or at certain times of the year when the waves are just right, it is as if the sea is taking its turn to do the same.
How about you? Will you praise God today? Even if not in a publicly and organized song and dance, we are called to give shouts of praise to our God for who He is and what He’s done.
For your viewing pleasure, some of my favorite flash mob worships are caught on video:
Prayer: Lord, help me to be exuberant and spontaneous in my worshiping of you. Lord, help me to be free and expressive in letting you know that You are the most important entity in my life. Praise You, Lord. Amen.
Bible Reading for Today: Isaiah 10
Lunch Break Study
Read Revelation 7:9-11 (NIV): 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: “Amen! Praise and glory and wisdom and thanks and honor and power and strength
be to our God for ever and ever. Amen!”
Questions to Consider
- In verse 9, who does God assemble to praise Him?
- In the following verses, what does the great multitude do and what does this tell us about the nature of praise?
- When was the last time you erupted in praise to God? When was the last time you shouted out songs of worship to Him?
- The key word in verse 9 is “every” – God doesn’t leave any group out when he calls together worshipers to praise Him. There are no national, tribal, language, or any other barriers. Let everything that has breath praise the Lord! One day, we will see the manifestation of what John saw here in these verses. But, until then, whether we are together or apart, we can give God the praise He deserves.
- In the following verses, the multitude “cried out in a loud voice,” praises to God. Sometimes, I forget the importance of full-bodied worship – where I cry out, with everything inside me, praises to God for who He is and what He’s done. We experience this kind of praise every now and then (e.g. at retreats when the band sings a song like “With Everything”). But in the busyness of life and certainly as I get older, I find this experience of praise far too infrequent. We should praise God in this way much more often. After all, from what I see in Revelation, there will be shouts of praise in the presence of God quite frequently in heaven for all eternity.
- Maybe it’s time for a praise break! Whether it’s in the car on the way home from work or walking home from class, be it in private or (for the bolder among us) in public, reflect on the goodness of God and sing out your own song of praise to Him today – for He is worthy!
Charles H. Spurgeon once said, “God is to be praised with the voice, and the heart should go therewith in holy exultation.” Spend some time verbally praising God; not only in your heart, but also with your mouth, offering words of praise to Him. What a privilege we have to bless the heart of God with our words of affection and adoration!