Introduction

Giving God the Praise — This Thanksgiving, are you giving God the praise?  The question that I pose to you today is this:  Do you believe glory is due to the name of the Lord?  To glorify the name of the Lord means to give honor and to give praise to the name of the Lord.  So, essentially, what I am asking you is whether or not you believe that the Lord is worthy of your honor and your praise.

I would tell you that the Lord has certainly earned my praise and is more than worthy of my praise.  This year, especially, I still think about May 8th, when I received the call to immediately get to the hospital that Saturday night to receive my new kidney.  I think about the sheer amount of happiness and joy that filled my heart to the point that I was left speechless.  Have you ever been left speechless by God?  I believe many genuine believers know the feeling that I am expressing to them – that inexpressible joy – when it comes to the good and perfect gifts that the Lord pours out onto us.  

Now, as we saw last week, those who are not of faith, do not get to experience this wonderful feeling of spiritual joy that is brought on by God’s blessing of contentment.  Because of this, they do not know nor do they understand why we constantly praise and thank the Lord for all He has done.  So, the unfulfilled and unsatisfied, struggle with giving God the praise.  I believe that we who genuinely believe must share our reasoning as to why we give God the praise to those who do not understand.

A Total Lack of Praise

In order for us to be able to minister and encourage those that do not give God the praise, we must first come to understand why they do not praise the Lord.  There are a number of reasons as to why someone may choose not to give God the praise, some of which may be familiar to us.  For most, it always boils down to a lack of faith in the Lord.  For this reason, just as I mentioned in my sermon last week, those of no faith will not ever stop to give God thanks or praise.

Don’t know the name of God

Now, we will see that David encouraged us in our key verse for today, to give unto the Lord the glory due to His name.  Yet, I tell you today, that those of no faith will not give the glory and honor due to the Lord because they do not know His name.  Now, someone might say that most people have heard of the Lord and know of Him, which I certainly believe is true, but that is the problem – they only know of Him through word of mouth. 

2 Give unto the Lord the glory due to His name; Worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness.   

KEY VERSE – PSALM 29:2 NKJV

Lots of people have heard about God and the things that He has done.  For example, I believe that a lot of people have heard about how God delivered the children of Israel out of the bondage of Egypt.  I believe that a lot of people have heard about the Mosaic Law and the Ten Commandments, whether they are a believer or not.  I also believe that a lot of people have heard of how David defeated Goliath in the name of the Lord.  Lastly, I believe that a lot of people have heard of Jesus Christ, His birth, death, resurrection, and second coming.

Yet, while having heard of these things, those that do not truly know His name, will often consider these things to be myths, fables, and legends.  So, they choose not to take time to get to know Him.  For example, someone can hear about you from someone else, but they do not truly know you until they take the time to get to know who you are and what you are all about.  So, in order for someone to give glory and honor to the name of the Lord, they must first truly know who God is for themselves.

This means that those who do not glorify or honor the Lord today, must be willing to truly give God a try in their heart; they must be willing to stick with the Lord and not immediately give up on Him.  You see, we learn to know God through your own personal experiences with Him and not just from word of mouth.  So, I would encourage anybody to get to know the Lord for themselves and not just by my words.

David, through his own experiences with the Lord, learned to depend on God to be his refuge; he learned that God was his shield and protection.  David learned that the Lord would never forsake him (Ps. 9:9-10).  Many believers can echo this same thought to you today not because of David’s word but because of what we have learned through our own personal experiences.

Why We Praise the Lord

We, who genuinely give God the praise do so because we sought the Lord, entered into fellowship with Him, and through our own experience, saw the benefits of giving God the praise.  Through our own experiences,we learned that God is worthy of all of our praise.   

Now, scripture gives us several more reasons as to why we should give God the praise.  Scripture is given to us and our own personal experiences in life confirms scripture. I want to share some scriptures with you today, and again, confirm this scripture with my own personal experience, with the hope that this will encourage you even more to stop and give God a try.  I want you to see that the Lord is worthy to be praised.  

There is a psalm that I use often for my call to worship scripture that I would like to reference in today’s sermon.  In Psalm 95:2-3, David writes, “Let us come before His presence with thanksgiving; Let us shout joyfully to Him with psalms.  For the Lord is the great God, And the great King above all gods.”

Now, let us pay close attention to David saying to shout joyfully to the Lord with psalm.  We should know that to shout joyfully to the Lord is a means of giving God praise.  Now, why should we shout joyfully to the Lord?

Brings us and God close together 

We give God the praise by shouting joyfully to Him because it is a sign of our humility.  In our humility and praising of God, we are outwardly acknowledging and recognizing the Lord.  Our praise of the Lord shows our dependence on Him.  When we praise God outwardly, we are telling the world that we depend on the Lord, and that God has made us happy.  Our humility, our praise, is what draws us near to God.

Now, speaking of our praise bringing us near to God, David also writes in another psalm about praise, “You are holy, enthroned in the praises of Israel (Ps. 22:3).”  So, in this psalm, David was speaking of God and he says that God is enthroned in our praise.  To be enthroned means to be seated on a throne.  So, what David is saying in this psalm is that God dwells in our praise!  Our praise brings us near to God, and at the same time, our praise brings the Lord close to us!

This thought is further confirmed in scripture by Jesus.  Jesus spoke to the disciples and said to them, “For where two or three are gathered together in My name, I am there in the midst of them (Matt. 18:20).”  So, Jesus confirms to us that God is in the midst of our praises!  Now, the benefit of those that praise the Lord and are in fellowship with Him is that we obtain mercy and find grace to help in times of need (Heb. 4:16).  

Again, from my own personal experience, through my praise, I can tell you that the Lord is near to me!  Someone will ask how do I know God is near to me?  I know God is near to me through the strength and the courage that flows through my spirit.  All of the trials, tribulations, afflictions, and infirmities that I have gone through, I would not have made it through those things without God being near to me!

I believe that all of us can testify that the Lord has helped us in our times of need!  We can all testify that God has been there when we felt all alone!  What a wonderful blessing we receive from our genuine praise in that God is always near to us!

Enemies flee from our praise

Now, there is another benefit to giving God the praise due His name.  In recent weeks, you know that I have been focusing on the devil and how he goes about hounding us in his war against the Lord.  I want you to know today that your praise of God can do something about the devil’s attacks towards you.

In his letter, we will see that James wrote that when we submit ourselves to the Lord, we resist the devil, and he will flee from us (Jas. 4:7).  Submission to God, again, is a sign of our humility.  Humility, again, is what leads the genuine believer to give God the praise.  So, when we humbly submit ourselves before the Lord, give Him the glory, the devil will see this and will depart from you!  

The old folks used to always say that when we start shouting the name of Jesus, the enemy won’t know what to do!  I want you to know that the old folks you heard saying that were not making it up!  How often have you called on the name of Jesus and saw whatever was ailing you be defeated?  Every single time for me.

Again in scripture, this very thought is confirmed to us.  In 2 Chronicles 20:20-24, an event is recorded where the Jews were completely surrounded by their enemies.  At that time, the good king, Jehoshaphat, encouraged the Jews to come together and praise the Lord.  When they began to sing praises to the Lord, scripture shows us that the Lord began to move immediately on their behalf.  The enemies, we are told, were defeated and that none of the enemies escaped.

Let us consider again the temptation of Jesus by the devil.  I know I have referenced the temptation of Christ quite a bit in recent weeks, but I have not looked at the end of the temptation until now.  At the end of the temptation, Jesus testified of the word of God – giving glory to God – and said to Satan, “Away with you!  For it is written, ‘You shall worship the Lord your God, and Him only you shall serve (Matt. 4:10-11).’ ”  

Do you know how Satan responded to this praise of the word of God?  The devil, who had been going on and on with things to say to Jesus throughout the temptation, had nothing to say.  Satan left.  Satan was, again, defeated and he departed at the praise of the Lord.  When we give God the praise, our enemies will be defeated in that moment and Satan will flee from us!  What a wonderful blessing it is to be able to give God the glory that is due His name!

What I believe becomes abundantly clear to us on this day is that the Lord loves to hear it when we praise His name!  You see, we praise the Lord today because when we give Him the praise, the Lord will hear our praises, and He will move in that moment on our behalf!

God moves at the sound of praise

I want to share with you one more psalm to show you confirmation of this thought through David’s life experience.  David wrote, “I cried to Him with my mouth, and He was extolled with my tongue (Ps. 66:17).”  To extol means to praise highly.  So, David is saying that he praised the Lord highly with his tongue – he likely sang and shouted in the name of the Lord.

David continued, “Certainly God has heard me; He has attended to the voice of my prayer.  Blessed be God, who has not turned away my prayer, nor His mercy from me (Ps. 66:18-20)!”  So, David explains that the Lord attended to him at the voice of his prayer and praise.  This is an experience that all genuine believers have experienced and can testify to as well.  God moves at the behest of our praise and He does not wait around.  When the Lord moves for us, it is to make our joy full (Ps. 16:11).

Give God the Praise

Where many will mock the idea of singing praises to the Lord, I must ask, what bad can come from giving God the praise that is due His name?  So far from what I have experienced in my life, scripture has been confirmed in that only blessings comes from my praising of the Lord!  God continues to order my steps, keeps me in His care, and supplies my every need; there is no bad that has come from my praising of the Lord.

I truly hope that you can now understand why we feel it is so important for us to sing our praises to the Lord.  My hope is that you can understand why the genuine believer will humble themselves and praise the Lord.  You see, there is power in giving God the praise!

I encourage you this Thanksgiving to stop and recognize how good God has been to you and then give God all of your praise!  I believe that we ought to sing our praises to the Lord from our waking up to our laying down.  Why?  Because He has ordered all of our steps, and poured out His blessings on all of us, and kept us in His care!  Not only has the Lord done those things for us, but through Him, we have spiritual salvation which we ought to praise the Lord for and give thanks.

Peter, in his first letter, wrote, “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His abundant mercy has begotten us again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead […] greatly rejoice, though now for a little while, if need be, you have been grieved by various trials, that the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ whom having not seen you love. Though now you do not see Him, yet believing, you rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory, receiving the end of your faith—the salvation of your souls (1 Pet. 1:3, 6-9).”

God has given to us His care, His providence, and most importantly, His salvation.  So, why not give God the praise?  Again, I must ask you that question: if you are not praising the Lord today, why not give Him the glory and honor due His name?  Let us put aside our foolish pride and arrogance, and humble ourselves to sing the wonderful praises of the Lord because, as always, He is worthy of all of our praise.

Thought: Giving God the Praise

By Rev. Leo H. McCrary II – November 21, 2021
Responsive Reading – Psalm 29
Key Verse – Psalm 29:2