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Pure Praise

"Enter into His gates with thanksgiving,
And into His courts with praise.
Be thankful to Him, and bless His name."
(Psalm 100:4)
Article by Dakota Dakota Lynch

At its very core, praise is thankfulness to God in action. My recent Bible studies have led me to conclude there are at least three key elements to effective praise, which I'll share below. As always, feel free to comment at the bottom of this post with your thoughts and any favorite Scriptures on praising God.

Realization
The first step toward praise and true worship is realizing that "every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning" (James 1:17). Good luck is not to credit for the everyday blessings of life we so often take for granted. The "perfect gifts" of family, laughter, and warm memories of days gone by are priceless treasures that point directly to the immeasurable "riches of His goodness" (Rom. 2:4).

Of course the most significant blessing bestowed upon the Christian is that of salvation. In the words of Jesus Himself, "Many prophets and kings have desired to see what you see, and have not seen it, and to hear what you hear, and have not heard it” (Luke 10:24). The answer to Pilate's question, "What is truth?" has been clearly and irrefutably answered through Scripture, and a comprehension of that truth is priceless (John 18:38).

Reverence
Aside from being careful to realize what good things God has done for us, the infinite and eternal nature of God means He deserves our praise simply because of who He is. After all, the angels of heaven have never experienced redemption or saving grace (1 Pet. 1:12), and yet continue their anthem of unceasing praise as it's recorded in Revelation 4:8,

"Holy, holy, holy,
Lord God Almighty,
Who was and is and is to come."

Isaiah's vision of God's holiness and glory resulted in immediate humility, worship, and a willingness to serve as he proclaimed, "Woe is me, for I am undone! . . . For my eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts" (Isa. 6:5). David's own realization that "the word of the LORD is right, and all His work is done in truth" inspired him to continue, "Let all the inhabitants of the world stand in awe of Him" (Ps. 33:4, 8).

Authenticity
True praise is not compatible with hypocrisy; it must come from the heart. Of course a proper perspective of who God is and what He's done will naturally lead to authentic worship "which is not from deceitful lips" (Ps. 17:1). In the very words of Jesus, "God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth" (John 4:24). Our realization of God's blessings and awareness of His Divine majesty should lead to worship that is not only unceasing, but beautifully sincere.

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