The Spirit of Praise!

Luke 2:13-14 – “And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying: “Glory to God in the highest, And on earth peace, goodwill toward men!” NKJV

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I’ve been listening to Christmas music already! I am not a fan of the commercialization of Christmas, but I have to admit that I love the music of Christmas! There are a lot of anointed singers out there, but can I just say that I really enjoy listening to Mariah Carey’s “O Holy Night”? Don’t shoot me, if you don’t agree with my choice, but it is a beautiful song.

Long ago, shepherds were watching their flocks at night. (I read a book recently of shepherds in Jerusalem in biblical times. It was a historical fiction, and I mention it because I never really thought much about this scene). In the book, the shepherds would bring the sheep in closer to their living space at night, and then someone would guard the sheep at night from predators.

Imagine that it has been a long day, they have had dinner, and they are resting from their long day and preparing their minds for their long evening, when suddenly someone is standing before them. And not only has someone appeared before them out of nowhere, a stranger, but he is also surrounded by light. The Bible lets us know that the men were terrified. These men, who are out with a staff, walking the perimeter of their sheep pen all night to keep them safe, and they are suddenly terrified. This was no simple visitation of an angel!

The angel speaks and says to the shepherds:

“Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people. For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. And this will be the sign to you: You will find a Babe wrapped in swaddling cloths, lying in a manger.” Luke 2:10-12 – NKJV

Don’t be afraid! Are you kidding me? You popped up out of nowhere, with a light shining around you, and you say don’t fear? I’m pretty sure that those words, didn’t calm the hearts of the shepherds. And if those words did, then the next thing that happened sent them right back into panic mode:

Luke 2:13-14 – “And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying: “Glory to God in the highest, And on earth peace, goodwill toward men!” NKJV

Think about this for a minute. Was the praise team invited to this announcement? Maybe! God orchestrates well! But what I believe really happened was that at the announcement of the birth of the Son of God, they couldn’t contain their joy and their praise was so glorious, God pulled back the curtains of heaven and allowed the shepherds to see and hear what was happening. It was a day of glorious high praise! The song, “Angels We Have Heard on High” pales in comparison to the song the angels sung.

Now, my focus isn’t on Christmas per se! It’s on Jesus! I believe that this time of the year is filled with so many songs, special to the occasion, sacred and secular, because it’s a time of high praise! When we stop and think about Jesus coming into this world, all that He did, and all that He is still doing, it ought to cause our hearts to spring forth in praise, just as it did with the angels!

Many times throughout Jesus’ time on the earth, people had the same reaction to Him. Let’s look at a few:

Bartimaeus was blind. Because he was blind, he had to sit on the side of the road and beg for a handout. But one day Jesus passed by and changed his life!

Then Jesus said to him, “Receive your sight; your faith has made you well.” And immediately he received his sight, and followed Him, glorifying God. And all the people, when they saw it, gave praise to God. Luke 18:42-43 -NKJV

You don’t need your imagination to understand the overwhelming sense of praise that came upon Bartimaeus that day. Not only did he receive his sight, he also had an amazing encounter with Jesus, and he didn’t have to beg for bread anymore! That’ll get you up and shouting! I want to shout for him and his victory even now! Glory!!

At another time, Jesus began ministering to the multitudes:

Then great multitudes came to Him, having with them the lame, blind, mute, maimed, and many others; and they laid them down at Jesus’ feet, and He healed them. So the multitude marveled when they saw the mute speaking, the maimed made whole, the lame walking, and the blind seeing; and they glorified the God of Israel. Matthew 15:30-31 – NKJV

This word “glorified” comes from the same root word that “praise” in our key text comes from, doxa. A spirit of praise overcame them as they watched God’s marvelous works happen right before their eyes.

Recently, a friend called me and asked me to pray for her daughter who had a severe allergic reaction to something. They had already been to the hospital to have it checked out, but her daughter was still in great discomfort, and was actually the one who wanted me to pray. So I did! Not only did God relieve the itchy skin, but the very next day, her skin was completely cleared up. She texted me not long ago to tell me that she was still clear! I want you to know that I danced all day when I got the praise report! When God shows up, it’s time to praise!

I just have to share one more, because Jesus is just so wonderful to me and I believe you’ll like this point:

Then, as He was now drawing near the descent of the Mount of Olives, the whole multitude of the disciples began to rejoice and praise God with a loud voice for all the mighty works they had seen, saying: “ ‘Blessed is the King who comes in the name of the Lord!’ Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!” Luke 19:37-38 – NKJV

Even on his way to the cross, the people couldn’t help but give Him praise. As He entered Jerusalem, a spirit of praise swept through the crowd and they shouted with a loud voice the same message that the angels shouted at His birth! A praise of glory to the Highest, and peace this time in heaven!! They took up the cry of the angels without realizing it. It was so loud, that it made the Pharisees angry to think that a man could receive that much praise! First peace came to earth and now peace was returning to heaven! This is pretty awesome!!

Of course, I couldn’t mention all of my examples in this one blog. It would be much longer than what I generally like to do. However, as I wrote about one example, another would come to mind. Not just biblical examples, but personal examples, of friends and family members, and church family members, and the body of Christ! He has done great things for us, and when we stop to think about Him in all of His goodness, the Spirit of praise is going to come upon you!

I know some of us are having a tough time right now, but this blog was written with that in mind. Isaiah wrote, in a scripture that speaks of Jesus, that we are to put on the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness. I won’t see my extended family this holiday season either, but I won’t let that get me down. I miss engaging with friends and family in person. I may never use zoom again when this is over, but today I am truly grateful for it! I can’t change anything about this holiday season except my attitude and outlook about it. And the same is true for you!

Let’s embrace the spirit of praise that flows throughout this season. Sing your songs louder and longer. Dance around your bedroom or your home. Give Him glory for all that you can think of in your life and the lives of others, and soon the spirit of praise will be flowing through you! Wonderful Jesus!

Published by wonderfuljesus8

I accepted Jesus as my personal Savior and Lord as a child. Once, when I was still quite young, I knocked on a lady’s door, but I don’t remember why. What I do remember is her telling me that I was going to be a preacher. When I was in high school I preached my very first message on Job. It lasted for a long time! LOL! By graduation, I knew that I had been called into ministry. My heart’s desire is to see the people of God understand and operate in the Kingdom of God. We really need to know that we serve an awesome and amazingly good God and our adversary the devil has no good thing dwelling in him.

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