“By him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to his name” (Hebrews 13:15)
This verse leads us into our forth devotion on Commitment; this one is concerning our first duty each morning. It has been established in the previous devotions that true commitment begins with God’s revelation to a person concerning three things:
First, Who God is: He is the King of kings and Lord of lords; He is high and lifted up above all others; and His Glory filleth all the universe.
Second, who you are: a sinner; redeemed by the Atoning Sacrifice of Christ, placing you in a position of being Reconciled to God, Redeemed from the curse of sin, and Justified (or declared righteous) in Christ. (See Romans 3:24-25; 5:1-2; Ephesians 1:7; 1 Peter 1:8-20; Galatian 3:10-13; etc.)
And thirdly, to know what He commands of His children (Matthew 22:37-40; John 13:34-35; 1 John 3, 4).
But the question remains, what do I do first?
First, read and study His Word:
“Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” (2 Timothy 2:15)
“Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee.” (Psalms 119:11)
“Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.” (Psalms 119:105)
“The entrance of thy words giveth light; it giveth understanding unto the simple.” (Psalms 119:130)
Then, the Second thing is to praise God:
“Praise ye the LORD. Praise the LORD, O my soul. While I live will I praise the LORD: I will sing praises unto my God while I have any being.” (Psalms 146:1-2)
“This is the day which the LORD hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it.” (Psalms 118:24)
Then the Third thing to do is to be still and listen to God for direction for that day. God has no problem speaking His Will to you. The problem is that we will not focus on Him; we need to be still and wait. When our mind is too involved with the world, we can’t hear God speak. See 1 Kings 19:8-13; especially verse 12, “…a still small voice.”
However, this devotion is not on the service, but upon the motive to serve; that which is behind the mouth of confession and action. What would cause you to praise God every morning, or even continually, as our text says?
“By Him” – that is, through the Work of the Holy Spirit in you as He reveals to you the Glory of God and His Worthiness to be praised. David said, “The entrance of thy words giveth light; it giveth understanding unto the simple” (Psalms 119:130). Here again is the same truth, to praise God, you must be revealed (or given understanding of) Who God is.
God is our Creator (Genesis 1, 2; Colossians 1:16-17; Hebrews 11:3; John 1:1-4). He is Life; He gives Life, both physical and spiritual. Therefore, He owns us; He is our Head, our Authority. Our times are in His hand (Psalms 31:15a).
Many times we don’t praise Him because we don’t like how we are made. But Paul said:
“Nay but, O man, who art thou that repliest against God? Shall the thing formed say to him that formed it, Why hast thou made me thus?” (Romans 9:20)
The Bible relates that we cannot add one cubit to our stature; nor can we change our eye color, etc. So, God’s Word (Christ) must enter your mind, and bring light and understanding that He is our Creator, and that He made you as He pleased, for His honor and glory, and for your good.
Therefore, true commitment to praise Him begins with His Work of bringing light to the darkness of your spirit; and of giving you the understanding that you are who you are, because God made you as He pleased. Then and only then can you praise God for your body make up.
God is also our Controller.
“Seeing his days are determined, the number of his months are with thee, thou hast appointed his bounds that he cannot pass” (Job 14:5)
Job acknowledged the Sovereignty of God even in his bounds. Job was where he was because of God, and so are we. We are meeting His Appointments. See Job 23:1-14.
“For he performeth the thing that is appointed for me: and many such things are with him” (Job 23:14)
Job was in a terrible shape; he had lost all his wealth, family, friends, reputation, and his health. And yet, Job could make his statements of 23:10-12; 1:20-22; 2:8-10. “… In all this did not Job sin with his lips” (Job 2:10).
He could say these things because, prior to his troubles, Job had a true commitment worked in him by God. He knew who God was; and he knew who he was; and he knew “… when he hath tried me, I shall come forth as gold” (Job 23:10). Job knew no matter what, God loved him, and he would be victorious through it all. When you have this kind of commitment, you can say:
“Praise ye the LORD. Praise the LORD, O my soul. While I live (no matter what and where I am) will I praise the LORD…” (Psalms 146:1-2a)
Then lastly, God is our Consummator. (See Job 14:5a-b; Psalms 90:10-17; 31:15a.) We need not worry ourselves about our coming death. It is in God’s hands and cannot be changed by us. Therefore, even in sickness or whatever, praise His Holy Name. This comes only from true commitment being worked in you by God, that you are completely, from the start to the finish of your earthly journey, in the Plan and Purpose of God.
Therefore, praise to God flows from a true commitment worked in the spirit of a regenerated person by the Holy Spirit; causing Light to come into the darkness of the mind, and therein comes the understanding that God is the Creator, Controller, and Consummator of one’s life.
This understanding given of Who God is and who you are, allows you, and even causes you, to praise God no matter the circumstances in this world. Even when in bad health, when the bank account is low, when persecution and tribulations are your present lot; even in these troubles, you know that God is in complete charge of your life; and that He has good for you; and that nothing can separate you from His Love (Romans 8:29-39).