Real Praise for Real Life

Last week we started a sermon series called “Real Praise for Real Life.” Our source is the book of Psalms. The Psalms not only comfort us, but they also challenge us. They give it to us straight up and warn: what you ultimately praise reveals what you ultimately love and trust! Let me explain just a little more…

Real Praise

Every day we give ourselves to the praise of something or someone. But here’s the question: is our praise real (directed to God) or is our praise wrong (directed to our self-made, substitute god: i.e. our successful job, our ‘perfect kids’, our 401k, our physical fitness, our ability to lock in the cheapest heating oil price…)

  • Do we really believe that God is great or do we furiously try to be in control?
  • Do we really understand that God is glorious, or do we relentlessly seek the approval of others?
  • Do we honestly trust that God is good and withholds nothing good from us or do we seek satisfaction and pleasure on our own terms?
  • Do we rest in the good news that God is gracious or do we strive tirelessly to prove ourselves to God, to each other, to ourselves?

For Real Life

But wait, there’s more! Praise is not just a “Sunday thing.” Acceptable praise to God is not merely measured by how well we sing on Sunday, but by the obedient lives of faith we offer to God everyday.

I hope that this sermon series will give us a clearer picture of what it looks like to preach the gospel to each other and to ourselves by soaking our selves in the Psalms and rediscovering who God is and what he has done for us. It’s also my hope that we will more tightly cling to the superior, lasting promises of God rather than the selfish, fleeting pleasures of sin.

So here’s your mission should you accept it.

  1. Consider reading through the Psalms at least once through this month. Or listen to the Psalms online.
  2. Familiarize yourself with the Psalms by reading a good introduction, maybe in your study Bible or Bible dictionary. The ESV Study Bible has a free, introduction available, here.  I highly recommend it.
  3. If you missed it, please listen to last week’s sermon Psalm 1 “Praise Shapes Our Lives.
  4. This Sunday we’ll be hanging out in Psalm 46 “Godly Confidence in a Chaotic World.” Read this psalm side by side to the lyrics of “A Mighty Fortress is Our God.”

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