Open my lips Lord, and my mouth will declare your praise. You do not delight in sacrifice, or I would bring it; you do not take pleasure in burnt offerings. My sacrifice, O God is a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart you, God, will not despise. Psalm 51:15-17 NIV
Ok, I have to admit it. There have been many Sundays that I have faked my way through church. I am embarrassed to admit this and it’s not something that I’m proud of. There have been Sunday mornings when I have passed many of you in the hallways at church, we both smile and greet each other with the customary, “hello,” or “good morning.” But on the inside, I’m not feeling particularly “good.”
Sometimes during small group time on Sunday mornings, my mind has drifted. My eyes and facial expression display an attentive and compelling listening face, when in reality my heart and my thoughts are miles away. Sadly, I have “participated” in the church service, going through the motions of standing, singing and selectively hearing the sermon as my mind recounted and rehashed all of the things on my to-do list for the coming week.
So many distractions; so many opportunities to get bogged down by the weight of our circumstances. Many times we walk through life just going through the motions, not really present in the moment and definitely not in a good place spiritually.
Psalm 51:15 says, “Open my lips Lord and my mouth will declare your praise.” I admit that the last thing I want to do when I am feeling down is sing praises, but in times of trouble it does help me to talk it out.
I find that when I am desperate for God’s grace, if I will just focus on one thing that I’m grateful for in my life, and give Him thanks for that one thing, my cloudy outlook suddenly begins to spring forth glimpses of light. I begin to stop feeling sorry for myself, and start seeing all of the benefits that God has provided for me.
As you begin to think about praising God for all He has done, something happens to your heart. Your spiritual heart warms and you begin to see things in a different way. You start to wonder why you weren’t happy and your attitude shifts from self to God. This is the preparation your heart goes through as it prepares itself for you to worship God. You can praise anyone or anything, but God is the only One who deserves and commands our worship.
In the Old Testament, people would sacrifice animals, offering them to God as an atonement for their sins. It was also used as a form of worship. The preparation of the animal was preparing their hearts to worship God. I am thankful for Jesus who became that sacrifice for us. If nothing else makes you smile, the fact that Jesus died for you and me warms my heart and changes my attitude and outlook.
Is your heart broken? Are you faking it, or are you ready to get real, get on your knees and lift your hands to the heavens and praise and worship your King of Kings?
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Action Item |
If you’re not having a good day, take time to think about one thing you’re thankful for. See if that thought doesn’t lead to other thoughts of thankfulness, and hopefully, your heart will begin to transform.
Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for Your grace. I’m sorry for the times that I’m fake. Help me to be authentic in my praise and worship to You. Transform my negative thoughts into a thankful heart.
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