I love watching my children grow. They transform from these tiny humans who need diapers and can't even walk into grown adults. I remember my oldest child when he was little. He was the cutest little boy you ever saw! Now he is a grown man in the Army. My younger son is just about to hit his main growth spurt. Just as his older brother changed before my eyes, I am witnessing it happen all over again.
In our Christian lives, there are many areas that grow and develop as we mature spiritually. When I read Psalm 66, I was confronted with one area of my Christian life that still seems to be in its infancy stage. I thought I was doing well, but as I dig in God's Word, the Spirit is revealing the truth of where I am. What area is lagging behind in its growth?
Psalm 66:2 "Sing forth the honour of his name: make his praise glorious."
This last year or two, I began dabbling in cake decorating. At first I made cakes that were quite hideous, but they were colorful and creative. As a friend took me under her wing to teach me a few things, my cake skills blossomed a little more. They were at least photo worthy. Now I am no expert, but at least I no longer blush at my attempts. But I have a friend online that is a professional cake decorator. He makes elaborate cakes that are magazine worthy. They truly are glorious to behold. They are worthy of being presented before a bride and groom or for a milestone birthday or anniversary.
As I read Psalm 66, I am struck by the phrase "make his praise glorious". When I look at my praise to my God and my Saviour, I think my praise more resembles my first attempts at cake decorating. It isn't very beautiful, though it comes from a heart that desires to worship. Just as my cakes tasted good in spite of their appearance, my praise even in its infancy stage makes my Father smile. He is pleased. But isn't He worthy of glorious praise?
Even more than I desire to develop as a cake decorator, I desire my praise to grow and be fit for the wonderful Saviour and Lord that He is. Just as I needed my friend to teach me cake decorating, I need God to teach me how to praise. Psalm 66 is a great place to start.
How do we make His praise glorious?
- Learn to praise directly to God (vs 3) and praise Him before man (vs 5, 16)
- Learn to praise Him when I am alone (vs 16-17) and learn to praise Him with others (vs 4, 5, 8)
- Learn to praise Him for future things (vs 3, 4), for present things (vs 5, 7), and for past things (vs 6)
- Learn to praise Him in singing (vs 2, 4), in speaking (vs 3), and in shouting (vs 17, extol means praise enthusiastically)
- Learn to praise Him in good times (vs 6) and in hard times (vs 10-12)
- Learn to praise Him joyfully (vs 1), faithfully (vs 13-14), thankfully (vs 8), sacrificially (vs 13, 15), and righteously (vs 18)
- Learn to praise Him for who He is (vs 2, 3, 7, 8, 18, 20) and for what He does (vs 3, 5, 6, 9, 10-12, 19)
I have many times had my children bring me something they made for me out of love that didn't look very beautiful. I smiled and accepted it because I know they did their best. Their "cakes" were precious to me. I often picture my praise before the Father being the same way. As pitiful as it looks, He smiles at me and accepts it. As I grow as a Christian, though, I want to learn to make His praise glorious. He is worthy of the best and so much more.