Lesson 13 -- third quarter 1996
August 25, 1996
by Mark Roth
© Copyright 1996, Christian Light Publications
Why is praise such a big deal? I suppose in the final analysis, I shall have to admit that I thrive on praise because it recognizes who I am and what I have accomplished. Praise means someone has caught on to the value and significance of Mark. I relish genuine praise because I sense in it appreciation for me and what I have done. Praise says, "I noticed. I am indebted to you. Thanks!"
Remember the door I had to unlock? I had to take a long time removing the glass from a window. Then I had to hoist myself up and through. But I finally got it done. When I unlocked the door, I heard clapping on the other side. When I opened it, I saw smiles of thankfulness and recognition. You know what that sound and that sight meant.
It rarely occurs to me that God might feel that way, too.
"Oh for a heart to praise my God!" May the Lord give me awareness of His glory and His wonderful works to the children to men. May the Lord give me appreciation to match that awareness. May God inoculate me to taking it all for granted.
This psalm's concern about the heathen intrigues me. We have periodic testimony times in our congregation. We tell God's people about the wonderful God we serve, about the wonderful things He has done for us recently, and about how joyful we are to be His. But what about the heathen (the vast majority of whom don't show up in our services)? What have you done recently to obey verses three and ten of the printed text?
Since I wrote that last line, a Major Thing has happened in our family. The Lord just released my mother-in-law, Lena Yoder, from her long battle with cancer. She's done with this life. The struggle is over. She won! Praise the Lord for victory in Jesus! Bless God for hope and life beyond this life and its graves!
The death of a believer serves to remind us of some very interesting truths. I called my mother-in-law "Lena." Until we know better, we shall need to use that name for her. But in Glory she has a new name! "To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the hidden manna, and will give him a white stone, and in the stone a new name written, which no man knoweth saving he that receiveth it" (Revelation 2:17). I wonder what name Lena goes by in Heaven!
In three days, Lena would have completed her 77th year on planet Earth. A long time; many years. By the time you read this, a whole year will have transpired (unless the Lord decrees otherwise). But time--seconds, minutes, hours, days, weeks, months, years, decades, centuries, millennia--no longer has any significance to my mother-in-law. As I meditate on eternity again, my mind staggers before the realization that Lena lives in unending day, unaware and uninfluenced by ticking clocks and orbiting celestial bodies. The only light source in her life now is the Living Light. "And the city had no need of the sun, neither of the moon, to shine in it: for the glory of God did lighten it, and the Lamb is the light thereof. And there shall be no night there; and they need no candle, neither light of the sun; for the Lord God giveth them light: and they shall reign for ever and ever" (Revelation 21:23; 22:5).
"Honour and majesty are before him: strength and beauty are in his sanctuary" (Psalm 96:6). Lena is at this moment revelling in this. Amazing! Praise the Lord!
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