Scriptures to Live by: Praise and Worship

Praise: “To say or write good things about (someone or something); to express approval of (someone or something); and to express thanks to or love and respect for (God).” Merriam-Webster

Worship: “The act of showing respect and love for a god, especially praying with other people who believe in the same god; the act of worshipping God or a god.” Merriam-Webster

Praise and worship go hand-in-hand and these terms have been used down through the ages and are still being used in our churches today. There are many ways to worship, such as:

On our knees or in our prayer closets;
With raised hands as we sing his praises, and/or
Sitting quietly before God listening for His still, small voice.

There is no right or wrong way to worship, but we are called to worship and praise God as shown in His Holy Word.

Exodus 23:25-26: “Worship the Lord your God, and His blessing will be on your food and water. I will take away sickness from among you and none will miscarry or be barren in your land. I will give you a full life span.”

Isaiah 25:1: “O Lord, you are my God; I will exalt you and praise your name, for in perfect faithfulness you have done marvelous things, things planned long ago.”

John 4:24: “God is Spirit and His worshippers must worship in spirit and in truth.”

Psalm 68:4: “Sing to God, sing praise to his name, extol him who rides on the clouds–his name is the Lord–and rejoice before him.”

Psalm 71:8: “My mouth is filled with your praise, declaring your splendor all day long.”

Psalm 150:1-6: “Praise the Lord. Praise God in his sanctuary, praise him in his mighty heavens. Praise him for his acts of power; praise him for his surpassing greatness. Praise him with the sounding of the trumpet; praise him with the harp and lire; praise him with tambourine and dancing; praise him with the strings and flute; praise him with the clash of cymbals; praise him with resounding cymbals. Let everything that has breath praise the Lord.”

Psalm 63:1: “O God, you are my God, earnestly I seek you; my soul thirsts for you, in a dry and weary land where there is no water.”

Psalm 103:1-5: “Praise the Lord, O my soul; all my inmost being praise his holy name. Praise the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the pit and crowns you with love and compassion; who satisfies your desires with good things so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.”

Romans 14:11: “‘As surely as I live,’ says the Lord, ‘every knee will bow before me; every tongue will confess to God.'”

Psalm 42:11: “Why are you downcast, O my soul? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God for I will praise Him, my Savior and my God.”

Let His praise continually be on our lips as we worship Him in Spirit and in truth.


Scriptures to Live By: Protection

Protection: the art of protecting; the state of being protected; one that protects. Merriam-Webster Dictionary

How many of you can recall a situation where you definitely felt God’s hand of protection on your life and/or on the lives of your loved ones? There have been times that I can recall how God protected me and/or my husband, and I would like to share one of them with you.

One incident that stands out to me was when my husband and I were on our way to church for the youth group meeting, and our car slid on the ice and spun out of control. We almost landed in the ditch; but thankfully our car only got turned around in the opposite direction, and there was no other car around at the time. Even though we were visibly shaken, we both breathed a word of thanksgiving and headed off to church. There have been many times throughout our lives where God’s hand of protection intervened on our behalf, and we definitely felt safe and “under His wings.”

Some of the scriptures that relate to God’s hand of protection and keeping us safe are found in the Book of Psalms. I have recorded just a few as a reminder that God does keep us in His care and watches out for us.

Psalm 4:8: “I will lie down and sleep in peace, for you alone, O Lord, make me dwell in safety.”

Psalm 32:7: “You are my hiding place; you will protect me from trouble and surround me with songs of deliverance.”

Psalm 27:4-6: “One thing I ask of the Lord, this is what I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life to gaze upon the beauty of the Lord and to seek him in his temple. For in the day of trouble, he will keep me safe in his dwelling; he will hide me in the shelter of his tabernacle, and set me high upon a rock. Then my head will be exalted above the enemies who surround me, at his tabernacle will I sacrifice with shouts of joy. I will sing and make music to the Lord.”

Psalm 91:4; 11; 14-16: “He will cover you with his feathers; and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart. (vs. 11) For he will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways. (vs.14-16) Because he loves me, says the Lord, I will rescue him; I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name. He will call upon me, and I will answer him. I will be with him in trouble, I will deliver him, and honor him. With long life will I satisfy him, and show him my salvation.”

Psalm 18:1-3: “I love you, O Lord, my strength. The Lord is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge. he is my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold. I call to the Lord, who is worthy of praise, and I am saved from my enemies.”

Psalm 145:20: “The Lord watches over all who love him, but all the wicked he will destroy.”

May the God of protection keep you from all harm and keep you safe in His care throughout your days.


ID Approved

A few weeks ago while my husband and I were eating at one of the local restaurants, I noticed the waitress ask for ID’s from two individuals at the table across from ours. She wanted to make sure that they were old enough to drink what they had ordered. This simple action made me think about how we as Christians might be identified by others, and would our actions “speak louder than words” in a positive or negative way.

What if we had to wear an ID around our necks to distinguish that we were Christians? Would our ID identify those virtues and attributes that we should possess, such as:

. Showing others the fruit of the Spirit in our daily lives.
. Living to serve others.
. Helping those in need.
. Loving our neighbor as ourselves.

The Song, “They’ll Know We Are Christians By Our Love” by Daniel W. Whittle expresses that…

1. We are one in the Spirit, we are one in the Lord…
2. We will walk with each other, we will walk hand in hand…
3. We will work with each other, we will work side by side, and
4. All praise to the Father, from whom all things come.

They’ll know we are Christians by our love, by our love.
They’ll know we are Christians by our love.

God holds us responsible for our lives and what we do with them. He doesn’t want us to hide our talents and gifts from others. Will Christ give us His “stamp of approval” (ID approved) when we stand before Him one day, and will we hear Him say: “Well done thou good and faithful servant?” Matthew 25:21 (NIV)

May Christ find us faithful until He returns, may our lives be an example of His love, and may He be glorified and honored through us as we serve Him.


Scriptures to Live By: Healing

Healing: to make or become healthy, sound, or whole; cure or remedy.

There are a lot of ads on TV, the radio, and outdoor billboards pertaining to “being healthy or whole.” I would say that most of these pertain to the physical aspect of our lives–eating healthy to stay healthy and getting enough exercise to lose weight or maintain a healthy weight. However, the Word of God teaches us that when we have faith in God, He promises to heal us physically, mentally, and spiritually. (All of the scriptures are taken from the NIV version.)

Exodus 23:25: “Worship the Lord your God, and His blessing will be on your food and water. I will take away sickness from among you, and none will miscarry or be barren in your land. I will give you a full life span.”

Psalm 30:2: “O Lord my God, I called to you for help, and you healed me.”

Isaiah 53:4-6: “Surely he took up our infirmities and carried out sorrows, yet we considered him stricken by God, smitten by him, and afflicted. But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities, the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed. We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way; and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all.”

Psalm 103:2-5: “Praise the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits–who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the pit and crowns you with love and compassion, who satisfies your desires with good things so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.”

Jeremiah 17:14: “Heal me O Lord, and I will be healed; save me and I will be saved, for you are the one I praise.”

Mark 5:34: “He said, ‘Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace and be freed from your suffering.'”

God wants healing for everyone; He has promised it.


When We Just Have To Go Through It

“When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you.” Isaiah 43:2

When I was growing up, my brothers and sisters and I used to go to a summer camp where we would get to spend one whole week hiking, boating, swimming, making creative projects, etc. Did I say swimming? Ugh! Now that I have your attention, let me explain.

One summer while at camp, I met a girl who loved to swim (and joke). I thought she and I were having a great time in the camp pool, but she decided to float out into the deeper water with me holding onto the plastic raft. My heart began pounding because I did not tell her I “could not” swim. When you can’t swim and you are now in water way over your head (at least 9 feet), somehow one can panic and I did just that. She decided to take my hands off the raft and under the water I did go. I splashed and sputtered going deeper in my struggle to remain afloat. All of a sudden, I felt two hands pulling me up and dragging me over to the other side of the pool. It was the lifeguard. When I told her I could not swim and she assessed what had happened, my so-called friend was reprimanded and I was not allowed to go near the deep end of the pool for the rest of the week. She said she was sorry for taking me out into the deeper water. We still remained friends the rest of the week, just not at the pool.

When I look back at this frightening experience, I realized I could have drowned but I didn’t. God was with me, His hand was upon me, and the lifeguard’s quick actions saved me.

So many times we are tested and we have to go “through the waters” and even the fire, but we can be assured through faith that God is with us even during those times. He is the one who created us and redeemed us for His glory. May the words of Isaiah speak to our hearts and lives when we are fearful and feel alone.

“Do not be afraid, for I am with you.” Isaiah 43:5

May the Lord bless you today and always.