MEMORY VERSE: Bless the Lord, o my soul: and all that is within me, bless His Holy name. Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all His benefits. Ps. 103:1-2.

INTRODUCATION: What is the most important thing in life? Is it to earn a living? Or to get saved and go to heaven? Infact, why was man created? The answer is simply to praise God, to glorify Him (Isa. 43:7). Our life is expected to be one continuous song of praise to the glory of God (1 Cor.10:31). But what is praise? To praise means to honour, to worship, to glorify. The Hebrew word “YADAH” which is translated “PRAISE” also means “TO STRETCH OUT THE HAND.” That is to hold out hands in reverence, to open the hands and let go of everything, just to stand and glorify God open-handedly.

Is it compulsory to praise the Lord? Or am I free to choose not to praise Him? We shall let the Bible answer these important questions for us. And we shall discover that praise is compulsory for angels (Ps. 103:20), Compulsory for saints or believers (Ps. 117:1), even children are not exempted. Infact they know how best to praise the Lord, which is one of the reasons why Christ said that, unless we accept the Kingdom of God as a little child, we will not be able to enter therein. Because only those who know how to praise God will be in the Kingdom (Matt. 21:16).

Whether you are a pastor or a new convert, governor or messenger, a prince or a commoner, it is compulsory for you to praise the Lord (Ps.148:11). Both the young and the old (Ps. 148:12). Infact all creations are to praise the Lord. God gets praise from the heavens, the heights, angels, hosts, sun, moon, stars, the earth, dragons, deep, fire, hail, snow, vapours, stormy winds, hills, mountains, fruits, trees, cedar trees, beasts, cattle, creeping things and birds.

There are several reasons why we must praise the Lord. We shall list some of them. We are sure you can think of several others.

First, we should praise the Lord because of His Majesty (Isa. 24:14). It is customary to address a king as “Your Majesty” but the Lord is the King of kings and Lord of lords, surely He deserves to be praised.

Secondly, we should praise the Lord because of His glory (Ps. 138:5). A King’s glory is reflected in his dress, and the quality of his possessions. But the Lord is clothed in light and rides upon the waves!

Thirdly, we should praise the Lord because of His greatness (Ps. 145:3). Surely there is no one as great as the King of Kings and the Creator of all things; surely no creature can be greater than the One who created him.

Fourthly, we should praise the Lord because of His power (Ps. 21:13). The Lord said that all power has been given unto Him, be they powers in heaven, on earth or underneath the earth. Surely, the Almighty Lord deserves continuous praise from His children.

Fifthly, we should praise the Lord because of His goodness (Ps. 107:8, 15, 21, 31). This is so important that it is repeated four times. Has the Lord been good to you? Surely He has been good to us. If He has been good to you too, then you should praise Him.

Sixthly, we should praise the Lord because of His Mercy (11 Chr. 20:21). We are saved through His mercy. We are kept alive through His mercy. The enemy had not been able to overcome us or destroy us because of His mercy. Great and everlasting is His mercy. Such a merciful God deserves our praise.

Seventhly, we should praise the Lord because of His wonderful works (Ps. 150:2). These works include creation, redemption, consolation, just judgement, true counsel, faithfulness in keeping His promises, pardon of sin, spiritual and physical health, constant preservation, protection, answered prayer, the hope of glory and all physical, material and spiritual blessings, Praise the Lord.

We should praise the Lord with understanding (Ps. 47:7), with our soul (Ps. 103:1). And with the whole heart (Ps. 9:1). We are also to praise Him with our mouth and lips (Ps. 51:15, Ps. 63:3). Even though it is compulsory that we should praise the Lord, we must do so joyfully and with gladness (1 Cor. 29:30). We are to praise Him day by day, continually and to the end of our lives (Ps. 71:6; 104:33). Let us praise the Lord!

1. What type of people should praise the Lord?
2. Why is it compulsory to praise the Lord?
3. Give some reasons why we ought to praise Him?
4. How should we praise Him?

FURTHER READINGS: The following passages will tell you more about praise: Ps. 149:5, 8:2, 138:2, Isa. 25:1, 1 Cor. 14:15, Ps. 147:7, Phil. 4:6.

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