1. Hello, listening friends.
2. We are delighted that you tuned in to this program.
3. It is always a delight to know that you are being blessed by this program.
4. And we love to hear from you.
5. So at the end of this program when you get the address, please write to us.
6. And today we are going to begin a new series of messages.
7. It is entitled, Empowered by Praise.
8. And let me begin by saying,
9. there is not a person alive who does not crave fulfillment and joy.
10. And today we begin a series of messages that will empower you to have a life of joy and fulfillment.
11. I have traveled the widths and the breadths of this world.
12. I have studied different cultures, both empirically and academically.
13. There is not a single people group anywhere in the world who would not crave fulfillment and joy in life.
14. And you are no different.
15. Let me ask each one of you,
16. what is the one thing on top of your wish list?
17. If you answer me honestly, it would be joy and fulfillment in life.
18. As the saying goes, we don’t want much, we just want everything.
19. Back in the early 90’s, my family and I went through a tough time of testing and trials.
20. Illnesses were hitting different members of our family all around at the same time.
21. We learnt one of the most important lessons of our Christian life.
22. And we learnt it during those times of trial and testing.
23. The Lord so graciously taught us the power of praise.
24. The Lord so graciously guided us into the empowerment of the life of praise.
25. The Lord so lovingly led us to the higher life.
26. This higher life only comes from knowing how to praise the name of Jesus,
27. particularly in the tough times.
28. Listen to what I am going to tell you in this series of messages,
29. and follow these things that the Lord taught us.
30. If you do, I promise you your life will never be the same.
31. That’s not because what I am going to tell you,
32. but it’s because of what God’s word tells us.
33. I want you to listen carefully and take notes.
34. There are people who think that praise means just singing certain songs,
35. or using special music,
36. because in reality the life of praise is much deeper than all of this.
37. The life of praise has a far greater meaning than all of this.
38. The life of praise has the power within it to change your life.
39. The life of praise has the power to strengthen your will.
40. The life of praise has the power to feed your mind and your intellect.
41. The life of praise has the power to develop your faith.
42. But above all, the life of praise has the power to defeat Satan and sin in your life.
43. Well you say, “why is that?”
44. Very simply because the life of praise places us in a position of receiving the blessings of God.
45. Praise flows from a relationship of love and devotion between you and the Lord.
46. Praise brings us closer to the throne room of God.
47. Praise changes us and matures us in Christ.
48. In fact, praise reminds us of who we are and who God is.
49. Praise puts things in perspective.
50. And praise leads us to surrender ourselves to Him who loves us.
51. And that is why this series of messages is very important.
52. I want to share something with you from the life of the great British philosopher by the name of C.S. Lewis.
53. When C.S. Lewis was a brand new Christian, he was, of course, not mature in the faith.
54. He had a great deal of difficulty with this whole concept of the life of praise for God and to God.
55. He had a problem with the idea of praise.
56. Some of you probably squirm to open public praise,
57. that is because your private praise life is in need of help.
58. Like C.S. Lewis, some of you bristle at the Bible’s command to praise God all the time.
59. That means to praise God in good times, and in bad times.
60. Here’s what C.S. Lewis said in those early days in his Christian life.
61. He said, “We all despise the man who demands continued assurance of his own virtue, intelligence, and delightfulness.”
62. And then he continued,
63. “And these words of the Scripture sounded like God was saying,
64. ‘What I want most is to be told that I am good and I am great.’”
65. Then he continued,
66. “It is also seemed as if the psalm writers were bargaining with God.
67. ‘God do you like praise?’
68. Well do this and do this and I will give you some praise.”
69. And then C.S. Lewis began to mature in the faith.
70. He grew in the knowledge of the Word of God.
71. He grew in his relationship with the Lord.
72. So, he began to understand the importance of the life of praise.
73. He began to understand it as a way of daily surrender to the lordship of Jesus Christ in his life.
74. When he came to a true, deep understand of the life of praise,
75. he said the following,
76. “Only in the acts of worship and praise can a person learn to believe in the goodness and the greatness of God.”
77. And then he continued,
78. “God wants us to praise him, not because he needs or craves in any sense our flattery,
79. but because he knows that praise creates joy and thankfulness.”
80. That is the end of the quote.
81. I want you to listen to me very carefully please.
82. Praise is not something that you do for God.
83. Get that out of your head.
84. Praise is not bribing God so that he can give you what you want from him.
85. Get that out of your head too.
86. Praise is not something you do in order to get on God’ s good side,
87. then you give him your shopping list.
88. No. Get all that out of your head.
89. That is wrong understanding of the life of praise.
90. God taught us that praise places us in the very presence of God.
91. God taught us that praise puts us in a different level in our walk with God.
92. Some of you may say, “But isn’t God everywhere, all the time?
93. Isn't that true?”
94. Absolutely it is true.
95. But the Bible said that God tabernacles.
96. The word literally means that he pitches his tent in a very special way in the praises of his people.
97. That means that he is present everywhere, all the time,
98. but he is present in a very special way when his people are lifting up praises to his name.
99. Listen again.
1. There is nothing greater in life than being in the presence of God in that very special time.
2. and throughout this series of messages,
3. I’m going to try to show you how to do that.
4. During this series of messages,
5. I will tell you about four important things.
6. The four things about the life of praise that I discovered from the word of God.
7. Number one,
8. praise reveals to us our true spiritual condition.
9. That’s what praise does.
10. It reveals to us our true spiritual condition.
11. The second thing praise does is refocus our personal destiny.
13. Praise reestablishes God’s reign over our hearts.
14. And fourthly,
15. praise reinforces our relationship with God.
16. Number one,
17. How can praise reveal to us our spiritual condition?
18. In Matthew chapter 12 verse 34, here’s what Jesus said,
19. “Out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks.”
20. Let me repeat this,
21. “Out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks.”
22. What is Jesus saying here?
23. He is saying that you cannot separate what you are saying from what you are really thinking.
24. You cannot separate what you say from what you really believe deep down in your heart.
25. If your heart is full of praise and thanksgiving to the Lord,
26. you will speak words of praise and thanksgiving.
27. Here’s what Jesus is saying.
28. That there is a fan belt between your inner being and your mouth.
29. The fan belt essentially makes sure that what’s in there comes out.
30. That’s really how he made us.
31. This is how he created us.
32. This is who we are.
33. In other words, whatever is in the well,
34. will come out in the bucket.
35. If the well has water,
36. when you lower the bucket, it will bring up water.
37. Now, some of us don’t think a great deal before we speak.
38. Sometimes we speak in haste.
39. But nonetheless, that does not negate the connection between our mind and our lips.
40. And it does not negate the connection between our beliefs and our confession.
41. People say that the eyes are the windows of the soul.
42. But the mouth is not always the door to the brain.
43. Jesus is saying what you express in words is what you believe deep down.
44. Please hear me right on this one.
45. If you are a griping and complaining person all the time,
46. you can’t say, “Well, I just say these things,
47. but I don’t really believe them inside.”
48. That is not true.
49. It is because you have an ungrateful heart you gripe and you complain all the time.
50. And that is why people run away from you as far as they can get.
51. Now, if you do not know this, I’m glad to tell you.
52. If you speak words of discontentment all the time,
53. it is because you have a discontented life and attitude.
54. If you speak words of dissatisfaction all the time,
55. it is because you have a dissatisfied life and attitude.
56. If you speak critically of people all the time,
57. it is not just because you got in the habit of talking critically of people,
58. but it is because you have a critical spirit on the inside of you that is coming out in those critical words.
59. I hope you listen to me very carefully and don’t turn the radio off,
60. because I want you to develop the life of praise.
61. Your praising lips are in direct proportion to your believing heart.
62. Some people may say, “Well, I praise God in my heart and quietly.
63. I just don’t express it in words.”
64. Jesus is saying that your words are expressions of your heart,
65. and if your heart is full of praise, you cannot keep your mouth shut.
66. You want to let your mouth express the praises that are in your heart.
67. So, here’s the first lesson, that praise reveals our spiritual condition.
68. But secondly, praise refocuses our personal destiny.
69. But I’ve noticed that we’ve run out of time.
70. That is why I want you to tune in next time, when I’ll tell you more about how praise refocuses our personal destiny.