The Privilege And Pleasure Of Proclamation

important message, praise, God is goodI’m doing this because I told the Lord that I would.  Let me explain:

Last month was a difficult one.  There were several things that I was praying specifically for but one in particular really burdened me.  I prayed that it would come to pass nearly every day and sometimes more than once a day.  Not only did this thing have the potential to effect me positively but it also had the potential of lifting up and encouraging everyone that I work with on a daily basis.

But even as I began earnestly praying I recognized that it was more important that God’s will be done than this one thing come to pass.  So as I prayed I told the Lord that I would praise Him and make it known if He allowed this thing to come to pass and if not, I would praise Him anyway.  Publicly.

The fact is, He is worthy of my praise and even when things don’t go according to my plan they will always go according to His plan.  Job said it like this:

“I know that You can do all things, And that no purpose of Yours can be thwarted. (Job 42:2)

God’s purpose will be accomplished and His plans never fail.  So as I prayed I did so with the knowledge that God’s will was higher than my plans and I yielded myself to His will for my life and waited to see what the outcome would be.

Today I can tell you that the thing that I was praying for did not come to pass.  I was disappointed  and saddened but also encouraged that God had a higher purpose beyond what I could see.  Do I wonder why God did not allow this thing to come to pass?  Of course I do.  I wanted it for myself and for my co-workers and as far as I could see, it would only be a good thing.  But I can only see a fraction of the whole.  God sees it all.  I wanted what I thought was good but God wants to give me what is best, always.

I give thanks to the Lord because He is good.  I make it known to any who would read this that I trust in the Lord even when things don’t go exactly like I want them to go.  I recognize that His will and plans are perfect and that I am not.  And I say that it is a privilege and a pleasure to be able to write about how good God is and how blessed I am to be called one of His children.

Thank you Lord, for being so good to me!

Why We Are Called And What We Should Be Doing About It

1 Peter 2:9, salvation, proclaimThere was a time in my life when I would have considered the following verse to be intimidating:

But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood,
a holy nation, a people for His possession,
so that you may proclaim the praises
of the One who called you out of darkness
into His marvelous light.  (1 Peter 2:9 HCSB)

I would look at it and think “me?  a chosen person?  a priest?  holy?  And I was called to do what?”  At that point I would probably shake my head and conclude that I was woefully inadequate for the description given in 1 Peter 2:9.

But then I realized, I already AM all of those things.  The verse says “you are” as in right now, present tense.  I am chosen, I am a priest, I am holy and I am His people because God made me all of those things at the time of salvation.  All of those were God’s free gifts to me without any effort on my part and despite of my past failures and mistakes.  I am redeemed and that redemption is the process by which I am called out of spiritual darkness and into spiritual light and life.  Amazingly enough my weakness and inadequacy is no obstacle to God’s selection of me or His ability to work in my life.  Praise God for that!

And according to 1 Peter 2:9, why was I called?  Why did God want me in particular?  What is it that He wants me to do?  He called me “so that I may proclaim the praises of the One who called me out of darkness” (I’m paraphrasing here but I hope you see where I’m coming from).

What exactly does it mean to “proclaim”?  Well, I looked up the definition and here it is: Proclaim – declare something one considers important with due emphasis.

Do I consider it important that God has called me personally out of darkness?  You bet I do!  And I like the last part of that definition.  I not only need to declare this important thing but I need to make sure I do it with “due emphasis”.  How much emphasis is due God’s greatest gift to me as I declare it?  I dare say, there is no such thing as too much emphasis on salvation.

I write because it is one way that God has called me to proclaim His praises and tell of the all the wonderful things that He has done for me.  I teach Sunday School because I have been called to instruct others in the reading and studying of God’s Word as guided by the Holy Spirit.  I sing in the choir because God has given me a voice that I can use to sing praises to Him in such a way that inspires the congregation to get ready to worship.  All of these things and others I do to proclaim His praises.

So what about you?  Are you a saved child of God?  What are you doing to proclaim His praises?  Whatever talent or ability that God has given you, use it to declare His work in your life with due emphasis.  Proclaim His praises with the work of your hands.  Proclaim His praises with the words in your mouth.  Proclaim His praises with the direction of your life.  This world needs all of us who are called out of darkness to shine our lights brightly for Jesus so that there is no mistaking its source.  Proclaim His name!