Praise, a Lenten Devotion

Throughout Lent, we’ve featured devotions by members of a writing group at First Baptist Church, Southern Pines, NC. Find them all here.

Luke 19:28-40

I recently attended a session of my son’s Science Explorers club. The children were learning about rocks. Who knew there were so many different kinds of rocks? They vary in a myriad of ways but one thing they have in common is that they are all, well, rocks. They’re not alive. They’re “inorganic,” not made of plants or animals. They are rocks—hard and lifeless.

I reflected on that class as I read the Scripture text for today. Jesus was entering Jerusalem on the back of a colt. As he rode along, people lined the streets shouting praise to God, joyfully proclaiming all that they had seen. The Pharisees told Jesus to make his disciples stop their loud shouts of praise and adoration. And Jesus said, “If these were silent, the stones would shout out” (v. 40).

Jesus, God incarnate, is worthy of praise. God is wonderful and merciful. God is powerful and strong, gentle and compassionate. God is righteous and forgiving, holy and gracious. God’s commands and precepts are challenging and transformative. God is beyond what human minds can fully comprehend and yet God was very fully one of us through Jesus Christ. God is God. And in the face of the majesty and awesomeness of God, the only right response is worship and praise. If we don’t, if we choose not to give God in Christ the praise deserved, the hard, lifeless stones may start shouting. The praise God deserves is not limited to humanity but should come from all of creation. That is how truly awesome God is.

When have I been silent instead praising God? How often has the church been silent when we should have been yelling about the wonder of the God we profess as our Lord? The fear of not fitting in with surrounding culture and of retaliation from those hostile to belief can cause us to squelch our praise. But Jesus is life and, as followers of Jesus, our response should be pure, unbridled praise of our Savior! I don’t want the rocks to shout out in my place. I want my voice to bring glory to God, that God might draw others into the life that only comes through Jesus. Amen.

Am I praising God in my daily life?

Lord, You are worthy of praise. You are worthy of all my devotion. Help me bear witness to the great things you have done in my life. Let my voice speak your praises day after day. In Jesus’ name I pray and praise, Amen.

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