6 Minute Read

Be Still

To the best of your ability, get rid of all distractions. Take a couple of minutes to breathe deeply, to quiet yourself in the Lord’s presence. Then, prayerfully ask the Lord to speak to you in this time and let Him know that you will be listening and will make whatever adjustments He will reveal to you.

Today’s Bible Reading:

Nehemiah 5:14–7:73a
1 Corinthians 8:1-13
Psalm 33:1-11
Proverbs 21:8-10

Listen to the Lord

Slowly and reflectively read the following verses and listen to what God will say to you through them. Then, consider writing down any insights He reveals to you.

Psalm 33:1 (NLT): “Let the godly sing for joy to the LORD; it is fitting for the pure to praise him.”

Reflections from Scripture:

Did you know that there is a difference between giving thanks to God and offering praise to Him? 

Thanksgiving focuses on God’s actions. Praise focuses on God’s essence. 

Thanksgiving focuses on what God does. Praise focuses on who God is.

When we read Psalm 33:1, we hear the Psalmist say that “it is fitting for the pure to praise him.” That means that it is absolutely appropriate, even expected, for the godly to praise the Lord.

Essentially, that means that when someone is a God-follower and comes to a greater understanding of who He is and how wonderful He is, it is only natural to expect that person to praise God.

A few summers ago, my family went to the Grand Canyon. We determined to go because my wife (the only one in our family who had previously been there) told us we would enjoy it. When we arrived and saw the breathtaking view, it was only natural to gawk. It was only natural that we smiled. It was only natural that we expressed our amazement at the stunning views to each other.

That’s what the Psalmist is saying. Someone who has come to a greater understanding of how wonderful God is will naturally express it in the activity of praise. 

So, we can also draw the opposite conclusion: Someone who doesn’t praise God hasn’t really come to know Him and enjoy Him.

This, my friend, is definitely something to think about.

Spend Time in Prayer

Lord Jesus, as I spend time in my Bible, it is becoming more and more clear that You want me to obey You. But being a Jesus-follower isn’t merely about obedience. Your Word also makes it clear that my soul can be satisfied with a growing relationship with the God who made me and loves me. Help me know You more, enjoy You more, and then out of the overflow to praise You from a full heart. Ultimately, I realize that this is the way for my heart to understand the deep happiness that can only be experienced by those who know You and praise You. Thank You for inviting me into this relationship. I pray this in Your Name, Amen.

Matt Ellis is the pastor of First Baptist Church in Polk City, Florida (fbcpolkcity.com). His latest book is God’s Grace in the Real World. Connect with him on FacebookTwitter, or LinkedIn.

Photo by Benjamin Davies on Unsplash