Music. I said it.

1025181937a

You want to start a possible firestorm in a conversation?  Mention the word “music.”  Even writing about this causes me to cringe a bit.  There is much debate about the kind of music being used today in our churches.  May I kindly offer the following?

Often the cry is heard, “We don’t sing the old hymns in our church anymore,” or “I sure miss the old hymns,” or “These old hymns will die if we don’t sing them in church.”  No matter whether that is the case or not, may I ask, as I was reminded recently, “Do you sing hymns at home?”

The best place to learn the great hymns of the faith is at home.  Sing them at supper.  Sing them in the car.  Sing them around the fire pit.  Sing them during your family devotions.  Sing them on the way to church.  Sing them while holding your child in your arms.  Sing them while washing dishes.  Sing them at family gatherings.

On any given Sunday, a congregation may sing around 30 minutes. How many opportunities do you have at home each week?  Take advantage of those hours to disciple and worship with your family and guests.  Make your home a house of praise! I have a hunch your worship time on Sunday will be more Godward-focused and heart-expressed.

Sing praises to the Lord, who dwells in Zion! Declare His deeds among the people (Psalm 9:1).

I will sing to the Lord, Because He has dealt bountifully with me (Psalm 13:6).

Therefore I will give thanks to You, O Lord, among the Gentiles, And sing praises to Your name (Psalm 18:36).

Sing to Him a new song; Play skillfully with a shout of joy (Psalm 33:3).

Speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord (Ephesians 5:18).

Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord (Colossians 3:16).

Thank the Lord He created music!  Sing!!

Just Give Him Praise!

img_20180522_195203218

Praise the Lord!
Praise God in his sanctuary;
praise him in his mighty heavens!
Praise him for his mighty deeds;
praise him according to his excellent greatness!

Praise him with trumpet sound;
praise him with lute and harp!
Praise him with tambourine and dance;
praise him with strings and pipe!
Praise him with sounding cymbals;
praise him with loud clashing cymbals!
Let everything that has breath praise the Lord!
Praise the Lord!  
(Psalm 150)

Steven Cole asks an excellent question, “I wonder how many of us could honestly say, ‘Praising God characterizes my life’?”

Personally, there’s something special about being around people who love to praise the Lord!

Such was the case Tuesday night as a group of us attended the Bristol Revival in Bristol, VA.  This is the first week for these meetings under the gospel tent.  With around 2,500 or more in attendance, the praise did flow!

What a blessed time it was to gather outside the tent with around 200 men to pray before the service. With men crying out to the Lord, hands raised in supplication (1 Timothy 2:8), it was a blessed time in the presence of God asking for the power of God to change hearts and lives through the preaching of God’s Word

img_20180522_183545054

The praise and worship continued as the service began with joyful, full-hearted singing.  Once again, there was shouting, rejoicing, and brighten countenances all around.  These folks were praising God for Who He is and for what He had done!

What stood out to me were the young folks seated around me.  Next to me was a nine-year-old boy in our group who at one point nudged me on the leg and pointed to my hands.  They weren’t clapping with the music, and he did not want me to miss out on the blessing of praise!

In front of me were two young folk, ages 12-15, who seated next to their father, were more than engaged in rejoicing and making connections throughout the whole service.  It was a delight to see them so engaged.

The preaching of Evangelist CT Townsend was powerful and penetrating.  Oh the praise and joy that rolled as we were challenged to consider the blood that has redeemed us, reconciled us back to God, purchased our pardon, and set us free from our bondage to sin (Exodus 12; Ephesians 1:7; 2:13; Colossians 1:14-22; Titus 2:14; Hebrews 9:22; 1 Peter 1:18-19).

The praise continued as lost souls walked forward at the invitation to receive Christ as their personal Savior!  As their names and ages were called out, the believers rejoiced with those in Glory (Luke 15).

“Psalm 150 gives us the where, why, how, and who of praise. Praise can be expressed through singing and music (including clapping, dancing, lifting our hands, kneeling, lying prostrate, etc.), through testimony and thanksgiving, prayer, sacrificial service, and giving.” (Cole)

Is your life characterized by praise?  Are you obedient to Psalm 150:6?

God is eternally worthy of all our praise!

A dear friend of mine in ministry is often heard to say, “Just give Him praise!”

Sing Congregation! Sing!!

In Christ Alone

There are many reasons to be excited about attending church on Sunday and one of those is participating in worship with a congregation that sings!

Music has always been a major part of my life.  My mother played the piano for nearly 75 years.  My dad loved to sing.  I cut my musical teeth on children’s records and long-play albums.  The sounds of Jack Holcomb, Helen Barth, Doug Oldam, 16 Singing Men, and many others filled our home every day.  We even had a membership with Word Record Company and received monthly sacred albums.

My mom would play the piano in church and Dad would lead the singing.  I vividly remember as a little boy that small congregation along the river in Dart, Ohio, singing their hearts out to such songs as “Leaning on the Everlasting Arms,” “When the Roll Is Called Up Yonder,” “Hear Ye the Master’s Call,” and many, many others.

Believe it or not, the first time I led singing in church was at the age of 12, and I led my first choir at the age of 14.

Some of my fondest memories of music are also connected with a packed out Lodge at The Wilds Camp and Conference Center as a teen singing those great camp songs!  Also, how blessed to have attended many, many Southern Gospel concerts with my father-in-law, my wife and our daughters who are musicians.

How absolutely grateful I am that God created music!!  Even more, how awesome it is to sing with other believers on Sunday who are gathered in the presence of God, our Heavenly Father, lifting their voices in praise and heartfelt melodies!!

This past Sunday, as I stood at the front row of the auditorium, I could hear the congregation singing behind me.  Having led singing for many years in our church, I could only imagine their countenances as they sang, “Amazing Grace, My Chains Are Gone,” “Come, Christians Join to Sing,” and a new song we are learning, “Jesus, the Son of God.”  Many, many times when our congregation sings, I think, “This has to be a foretaste of Heaven!!”

May I encourage you to serve the Lord, to worship the Lord, and minister to all those around you this Sunday by lifting your voice in praise!  Ask your worship leader ahead of time what songs will be sung so you can sing them with your family during the week before the Sunday worship gathering.  Use those songs in your personal daily meeting time with God in His Word and prayer.  Come prepared to Sing praise to the Lord, you saints of His, and give thanks at the remembrance of His holy name  (Psalm 30:4)

Sing praises to God, sing praises! Sing praises to our King, sing praises! (Psalm 47:6)

Sing out the honor of His name; Make His praise glorious. (Psalm 66:2)

Oh come, let us sing to the Lord! Let us shout joyfully to the Rock of our salvation. (Psalm 95:1)

Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord. (Colossians 3:16)

Jesus Ministered Again on the Sea of Galilee

israel-day-4-019

As I prepared my heart and mind for another trip to Israel, the thought of riding on the Sea of Galilee again brought a renewed spirit of great expectancy!

Five years ago as the boat pulled away from the dock, my wife and I stood near the bow and fixed our gaze all around us.  “This is where Jesus spent so much of His early ministry!”  We envisioned Him walking on the water, travelling along the shore, calming the storm, reaching out to Peter, healing the maniac of Gadara, as well as other events in Jesus’ Galilean ministry.

In a few moments, the owners of the boat began to play over the loud speakers, “How Great Is Our God.”

The splendor of the King, clothed in majesty
Let all the earth rejoice
All the earth rejoice

He wraps himself in Light, and darkness tries to hide
And trembles at His voice
Trembles at His voice

How great is our God, sing with me
How great is our God, and all will see
How great, how great is our God

Age to age He stands
And time is in His hands
Beginning and the end
Beginning and the end

The Godhead Three in One
Father Spirit Son
The Lion and the Lamb
The Lion and the Lamb

Name above all names
Worthy of our praise
My heart will sing
How great is our God

How great is our God, sing with me
How great is our God, and all will see
How great, how great is our God

Several of us, gathered at the bow, began to sing along, tears streaming down our cheeks.  The calmness of the sea, the beauty of God’s creation all around us, the person of Christ living in us (Galatians 2:20; Colossians 1:27) and  the fellowship in worship of brothers and sisters like us in Christ was so absolutely awesome!  Once again, Christ was ministering on the Sea of Galilee!!

sea-of-galilee-boat

Well, fast forward to three weeks ago, and once again, we experienced the same, but this time on a much deeper level.  How wonderful to sing “How Great Thou Art,” “10,000 Reasons,” and “Lord, I Lift Your Name on High.”  With hands and voices raised up to heaven, our hearts overflowed with praise to our great God for His Son, His salvation, and His grace! Then we heard the Word of God preached to us while we sailed along.  The Christ in us ministered once again on the Sea of Galilee to each of us.

sea-of-galilee-2

Of course we are back home now, and the same Jesus continues to minister to us as we obey His call recorded in Matthew 11:28-30, Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.

The same Christ, Who through the Holy Spirit, taught us, led us to worship, and ministered to our hearts on the Sea of Galilee is ready and willing to do the same today.  All you must do is open the Word of God and let Him speak to you from the pages of His eternal, life-giving book of absolute truth!

sea-of-galilee-1

So, come along with me today and let’s “ride the boat” as Jesus ministers once again to His redeemed ones!   Go ahead and sing, too!! (Ephesians 5:19; Colossians 3:16-17).

Christmas In the Past; Life in the Present

1336_1_shawn_xmas_before_after

The build-up and anticipation of Christmas is unequaled in our country!  As is often said, “The preparation for Christmas seems to get earlier and earlier each year.”  Indeed, Christmas is a very special holiday and one that many folks prepare for throughout the whole year.  But, what about the days after?  Is there a let-down?  After all the planning and performing of cantatas as well as children’s plays, buying and wrapping gifts, preparing for company and meals,  taking family photos, and  celebrating firsts (marriage, children, house, job), is all over, how will you handle the days and the weeks after?

  1. Begin today in God’s Word reading it with the same passion as you did all the “Christmas passages.” Memorize other portions of the Word of God with the same fervor as you did to memorize Luke 2:1-20.  Read books about the life of Christ beyond the cradle with the same zeal as you did all the Christmas books.  Read them to your children, and make Christ’s life BIG to them every day!!
  2. Live with a daily anticipation of the next biggest day of your life as a believer—the Rapture & the Bema (1 Thessalonians 4:13-18; Titus 2:11-14; 12 Corinthians 5:10).
  3. Enjoy singing songs of praise and worship to our God all the other months of the year with gusto and joy on your face as you did the carols of this season (Psalm 96:1-9).
  4. Be a giver today as you were on Christmas (Acts 20:35).
  5. Open up your home for family and guests today and into next year (Romans 12:13; 1 Peter 4:9).
  6. Walk in the same grace today that was sufficient yesterday as you dealt with the “tug in your heart” over that special person that was not here this Christmas season (2 Corinthians 12:9).
  7. Be as energetic today about the gospel as you have been prior to December 25 (Philippians 1:27).

2 Peter 1:3-8

According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue:

Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.

And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge;

And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness;

And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity.

For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.

(Photo:  Steven Lawson)

Clippin’ Grace Coupons in Ministry

13315745_10156920906275693_9222308029701167350_n

Life is all about the grace of God.  We do not deserve anything except hell because of our sinful state.  But in His grace, God has provided salvation for all men (John 1:12; 3:16; Ephesians 2:1-4, 8-9; Titus 3:5).  Then, in and through His grace, He provides so many undeserving gifts everyday of our lives (John 1:16-17; Ephesians 2:4-7).  How easy it is to dwell on all the bad around us that we forget to focus on the grace of God which is transcendent over all (Romans 5:20).  So with that in mind, my goal for Friday’s blog is to share with you from a pastor’s heart some of the “grace coupons” in ministry that I’ve been able to “clip” over the past seven days. So here we go!

  1. Worshipping on Sunday at Boones Creek Bible Church! One of the many true blessings of a Sunday at BCBC is joining with our congregation as they sing.  With raised voices, uplifted hands and glowing countenances, praise is abundant!  Many Sunday mornings on my way to church I find myself saying, “I can hardly wait to sing with my brothers and sisters in Christ today!”   Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God (Colossians 3:16).
  2. Seeing ladies cry out in prayer, singing, and worship as they joined together for three hours in the presence of the Lord at BCBC. You can read a bit more about it on my wife’s blog post Friday Favorites.
  3. When I was an earlier teen, my dad pastored a church here in south Johnson City, TN. Words cannot describe what a grace blessing it is to be living and pastoring in the same area that has always been so special to me.  When we moved here from Bluefield, West Virginia, two men, Stacey Tester and Ralph Gouge, came from Johnson City to assist us.  They made a huge impression on me.  Stacey and Ralph have since gone on to Glory, but today, I have the privilege of participating in the funeral for Dixie Gouge, Ralph’s precious wife.  Furthermore, Ralph and Dixie’s daughter and three of their children are part of the BCBC family.  Also, I saw Ralph and Dixie’s son this week which was the first time since we moved away.  As we sat in the Gouge’s living room and reminisced about our time here and about my parents, I thought, “Lord, how good you are to me, and how good to be still connected to my dad’s ministry in such a blessed way!”
  4. Joy in ministry is often mixed with sadness and sorrow as even mentioned above. Yesterday I stood by the bedside of a dear man whose body is riddled with Alzheimer’s. His wife has faithfully stood by his side and cared for him with love and great compassion for several years.  With Bernice on one side and me on the other, we shared Psalm 23 and then sang several songs:  In the Sweet By and By, When the Roll is Called Up Yonder, Heaven Is a Wonderful Place, Until Then, I Have Found a Hiding Place, and others.  As a pastor, I am so grateful for the opportunity to minister the balm of God’s Word and the blessed encouragement of song that gives encouragement for today and expectation for the future.  It is all by His grace!
  5. Finally, there’s the blessing of preaching and teaching the Word of God!! Currently, I am preaching through Revelation . . . the revelation of the Lord Jesus Christ.  How timely; how sobering; how hope-filled!

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ . . . . To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved.  (Ephesians 1:3, 6)

That Went By Fast!

download

Last Friday night, our church hosted a simulcast of CryOut16, an event that will forever be hallmark in our church’s history. If you are not familiar with this event, the press release below will bring you up to speed.

Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth and Revive Our Hearts is hosting a large-scale simulcast prayer event on Friday, September 23 from 6-9 pm CT/PT, 7-10 pm ET/MT to gather thousands of women to pray for God’s mercy and supernatural intervention in our world, our nation, our churches, our cities, and our homes. While the world around us wrestles with wavering hope in political parties, portfolios, safety, stability, or the advancement of the right social cause—we are crying out to the only One who gives hope and peace. Cry Out! is an opportunity for you to actually do something together that will make a difference. Thousands strong. Crying out to the King of Kings to do in us and in our nation what no man-made effort can accomplish. “I’m asking the Lord to place a deeper hunger for prayer in the hearts of thousands of women for such a time as this,” Wolgemuth says. “These are dark days for sure. But this is not a time to despair. These days present an opportunity for the Lord to display His power in amazing ways. That’s why we need to seek His face and to ask Him to show His power by reviving the church and drawing the hearts of lost sinners to Himself.” This three-hour prayer meeting will focus on five areas of prayer emphasis: personal, families, churches, our nation, and the world. Each segment will be led by a different keynote speaker and will include Scripture reading, a short devotional message, corporate interactive prayer, and worship.  (cryout16.com)

Prior to Friday, some ladies wondered if they could last three hours in a prayer meeting.  Some of their family and friends declared doubt as well.  But every lady who stayed until the very end said, “That went by fast!”

Why do we question the ability to spend three hours in the presence of our loving, holy, just, righteous, omnipotent, omniscient, grace-giving God?  May I offer a few suggestions from Psalm 63:1-8?  Feel free to add others in the comment section below.

O God, thou art my God; early will I seek thee: my soul thirsteth for thee, my flesh longeth for thee in a dry and thirsty land, where no water is;

To see thy power and thy glory, so as I have seen thee in the sanctuary.

Because thy lovingkindness is better than life, my lips shall praise thee.

Thus will I bless thee while I live: I will lift up my hands in thy name.

My soul shall be satisfied as with marrow and fatness; and my mouth shall praise thee with joyful lips:

When I remember thee upon my bed, and meditate on thee in the night watches.

Because thou hast been my help, therefore in the shadow of thy wings will I rejoice.

My soul followeth hard after thee: thy right hand upholdeth me.

  1. Our relationship with the Lord is not top priority (63:1)
  2. We do not seek the Lord early in time (63:1). Our schedules which reflect our decisions have pushed God right out of our lives.  “Lord, I only need you when I am in trouble.”  Therefore, we are uncomfortable spending 30 minutes or more in His presence because what we do is more important than Who we know.
  3. We are not earnestly seeking, thirsting, and longing for our God (63:1). Praying with your eyes and your Bible wide open, praying Scripture, will help you seek after the Lord!
  4. We are content to dwell in this dry and thirsty land in our own human power achieving human results that leave us empty and frustrated (63:1). The place of refreshment in this dry and thirsty land is in your prayer closet.
  5. Our eyes are not trained to see God, His character and His works, but we are well able to identify what the world is doing. We must train our eyes spiritually on our knees (63:2)
  6. Since our life is not given to prayer and meditation upon Him, praise does not come frequently, nor does the uplifted hand (63:3-6). Praise in prayer is an awesome expression of devotion and love before the Father!  Taking time to meditate on Him leads to heart worship and praise . . . and greater faith.

So, what is keeping you from knowing your Heavenly Father in prayer?  If you participated in the CryOut16 prayer event, has your week started off in His presence hungering for more of Who He is?  Have you found yourself saying again, “That went by fast!”

Let these words from Psalm 34 permeate your heart:

15 The eyes of the Lord are on the righteous,
And His ears are open to their cry.
17 The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears,
And delivers them out of all their troubles.

The Making of a Man: Men’s Prayer Advance

Photo5  

Executives.  Missionaries.  Hunters.  Teens. Former drug addicts. Pastors.  White-collar/blue-collar. Musicians. Sinners. Millennials. Fishermen. Unsaved.  Broken.   Hurting.   Lonely.  Spirit-filled.  Disciples.  Multi-cultural. And I could go on and on.  This is a brief description of over 600 men that gathered in the mountains of Central Virginia for what is called Men’s Prayer Advance.  Imagine that many men coming to sing, eat, worship, listen to preaching, pray, sleep, sing, eat, pray, listen to preaching, worship and watch the Spirit of God work and move!  This is my third Advance in four years.  This is the highlight of my year as far as a ministry event is concerned outside of my own church.  Why is this Advance so special?

Uninhibited Worship From the time the sessions begin at 1:30 p.m. on Thursday and end at noon on Saturday, I am in the midst of men singing with gusto, praising the Lord and letting the texts of the songs flood their hearts with praise that comes out through their voices!  The songs include “It Is Well With My Soul,” “Jesus, What a Friend for Sinners,” “In Christ Alone,” “I Will Rise,” “When I Survey the Wondrous Cross,” and “Father, I Adore You” just to name a very few.  Imagine standing with men as described above singing with hands raised, shouts of joy, tears, and real meditation.  I’m telling you, it has got to be a precursor to the heavenly praise that awaits us.  Men . . . worshiping the Lord.  I said, men.

Ambitious Praying – Ambitious is an adjective describing an attitude of prayer that is 1) “eagerly desirous to obtain success” (Dictionary.com) in believing, faith-filled prayer, 2) to have an earnest, eager desire for and in prayer, and 3) prayer that takes effort.  That’s the kind of praying we were challenged to give our life to on a daily basis.  That’s the kind of prayer demonstrated among the men attending the Advance.  To hear over 600 men crying out to the Lord (Psalm 61:2) in fervent prayer as we gathered many times in the Spring Center was an awesome experience.  Hands raised in pleading prayer; voices crying out in adoring praise and earnest petitions; tears flowing in brokenness before God; lives touched by the Spirit of God; and two men on Thursday night crying out to God for salvation (and testifying of it later on that night)!!! 600 plus men assembled before the Throne of Grace!!!  Wow!!  (By the way, no Super Bowl game holds a candle to that experience.)

The best part of the emphasis on prayer is what’s known as the “Sweet Hour of Prayer.” Before lunch on Friday, we go someone on the camp site and get alone with God for one hour.  Here’s the statement that I’ve heard most from men after the “Sweet Hour of Prayer,”— “I didn’t know I could pray for one hour.  It went by so quick!”  Enough said.

Furthermore, I love what the name of this event says, Men’s Prayer Advance.  We are not attending a retreat or  in retreat mode.  We are advancing in prayer!!

Spirit-empowered Preaching – Every message I heard was like fresh manna from Heaven.  The power of God was upon the preachers as they delivered the Word with courage, compassion, and conviction leading to change.  Sitting under the preaching of an Irishman who has walked with the Lord for years was like listening to a prophet of God.  This man knows the heart of God and has learned His heart in the quiet place of personal prayer and the blessing of corporate prayer as well as meditation on God’s Word.  The practical, applicational, straight-forward, “right down where we live” preaching of one of the other men was a touch down from Heaven, too!  Powerful, Spirit-filled preaching exalts Christ and glorifies God.  That is what we heard many, many times in the main sessions and break-out meetings.  God honors the preaching of His Word!

Undistracted Meeting with God – There is something special about going way up in the mountains and getting away from so much that distracts us in our lives.  Cell phone service was sketchy at best.  The whole emphasis of the three days was simply meeting with God.  Nothing else.  May I say right here that every man of God should plan in his yearly schedule a time or two in the year to get away for a day to just simply meet with God in prayer and Bible study.

So, there’s just a brief out-pouring from my heart why the Men’s Prayer Advance is so special. Many, many times, in the moment of a song, prayer and/or preaching, I found myself saying, “I wish this would not end.”  So often I felt like a sponge just soaking in all I could in the moment.  Just think; that’s the way it will be in Heaven!

Men, are you advancing today?

Want to join us next year, January 28-30, 2016?  Check out the following link:

Men’s Prayer Advance

P1011261  P1011283

Friday’s Findings

Once again, here are a few links that I believe will be worth looking into.  As we move to the end of this week, and begin the new week on Sunday, prepare your heart through meeting with God in prayer and Bible reading to worship Him in a powerful way on the Lord’s Day!!

Jesus GeniePaul Tripp asks, “When you receive blessing, how do you define blessing? Be honest – what do you want from God? Or maybe this is a more provocative way of saying it: what kind of Messiah do you want Jesus to be?”

My Prayer Journal – My wife has said on numerous occasions, “If the house were on fire, besides my Bible, this is the one item that I would not want to leave behind!”  Here’s a great post on a way to lift the level of your prayer life, your relationship with God!

Earth’s Largest Water Reservoir Found Hidden Under the US  and Water Deep in Earth’s MantleGood information in reference to the Flood (Genesis 7:11).

The Joy of Running a 5K – How much I have missed running due to surgery recovery.  I understand this post completely!  Wearing my running shoes in the house even if I can’t hit the country roads yet!

I Will RiseWhat joy to know that Christ came to be born, to die, and rise from the tomb that we might live!!!  Watch, listen and give thanks with a grateful heart to our Awesome God!!  The best, indeed, is yet to come!!

Give Him Praise!

While reading Psalm 149 yesterday morning, the following stood out to me, Let the high praises of God be in their mouth (149:6a).  What does the psalmist mean by high praises?

  1. Praise is speaking or singing specifically of the greatness of God, Who He is, His attributes. Since He is the transcendent God, the God above all gods, the Creator and Sustainer of all things, then I must give Him the high praise, the highest praise.
  2. High praise means that my praise must be elevated. Weak, timid praise does not glorify my God.  I need to elevate His praise in my heart, before the hearing of men, and in priority.  Charles H. Spurgeon said, “We praise a great God! We should, therefore, praise Him with high feelings, feelings wound up to the highest point of high delight and high desire!  Our praises should climb up to heaven’s gate—running up Jacob’s ladder even as the angels did—till we cast our praises right at the foot of the eternal Throne of God.”
  3. High praise must be in my mouth. This means “in their throat.”  Our praise should come from deep within us, from a heart that adores our God and loves Him with my all!!

Psalm 149 begins and ends with these words:  Praise ye the LORD!  How do you begin your day and how do you end it?  What is found in your mouth in between the beginning and the end?  Let the saints be joyful . . . let them sing aloud . . . let the high praises of God be in their mouths (149:5-6).