I thought I’d revisit a devotional I did a while back entitled “A Jubilated Praise,” because lately I’ve been noticing that we don’t get into worship service like we used too. No, we don’t because we’ve gotten so caught up in wearing the latest fashion trying to outdo the choir director, sing the loudest to overshadow the piano player, see who can get Deacon or Pastor to notice you when you walk by or see whose hair can have the loudest color; that we’ve forgotten the real reason for our worship. Child, you’d better realize, before it’s too late, that it’s time out for playing church. I’ve noticed the last few times we’ve visited other churches and even at my own church that folk just don’t praise God like they used too or even like they should. Yea, I know that money is tight and you’re barely making it but where is your praise? Yea, ok, your baby daddy left you for someone else but where is your praise? Oh, are you sick or sad or sick and sad? Still, where is your praise? Don’t you know that your praise is a thanksgiving to God for all the things he’s already done, for the things he may do and even those things he won’t do? Psalm 106:1 says, “Praise the Lord! Oh give thanks to the Lord, for he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever.” See, your praise is for God because he never changes. Yes, your luck may change but God doesn’t and even if He never does anything else for you, you still have enough reasons to praise Him. So what if your current situation is jacked up, some of the problems that you’re probably facing aren’t from God anyway but you still choose to take it out on Him, so learn how to go from being jacked up to jubilated.
Now, jubilation means an uninhibited (which means open, unrestrained, not held back) rejoicing in the celebration of a victory or success. You’re asking, “What do I have to celebrate when most of my bills are behind, I’m working a dead end job, marriage is on the rocks, kids acting like strangers to me, friends messy and family got me stressing?” But baby, all you have to do is think back on some of the times you should have been dead when you were in places you shouldn’t have been, how God delivered you safely home, after hours of drinking, even though you don’t remember how you got there and how you walked away from that accident, was healed from the cancer or delivered from the dialysis that should have killed you. Think back on the bills that God is allowing you to pay, that car you were approved for after being turned down 3 times, the food and the appetite you have, the feet you walked on, the arms & hands that are moving, the mouth that opens to breath, the nose that can smell, the eyes that can see, ears that can hear, a brain that works … shall I continue? If you don’t think you have a reason to have a jubilated celebration … Read the obituaries in commercial appeal, visit Lebonheur/St. Jude, visit the prisons or youth detention centers, visit the homeless shelters, the missions, visit the ICU floor of your local hospital and see the mother crying over her only son who was hit by a drunk driver or visit the nearest military base and visit the young mother whose husband won’t return from war. If you don’t think you have a valid reason to give God a jubilated praise, keep living!
Stop allowing the world and folks to hinder your praise when the bible says in Psalm 150:6 “Let everything that has breath praise the LORD. Praise the LORD.” You’re scared to shout because you don’t want anybody to put it on Facebook or tell others but if parents would shout more, then maybe our children will stop going to church playing church. John 5:19 says “So Jesus explained, “I tell you the truth, the Son can do nothing by himself. He does only what he sees the Father doing. Whatever the Father does, the Son also does.” We have no problem with them seeing us shake our butt to the music on the radio, but when it’s time to worship God, we get shy and lazy. Isn’t God worth a jubilated praise when he sends new mercies to you every day? If we don’t teach our children the real meaning of praise who will? If they see us texting and playing with our cellphones during worship service, won’t they do the same? Yea, I know, you’re bible is an app on your phone but the truth of the matter is you need to get a real bible, one that you can study at all times and not just when you have a signal. If we, as adults, would stop playing church, then maybe our children would. How can we expect them to get God on the inside of them when we act, 80% of the time, like he’s not on the inside of us. In Luke 17 starting at verse 11, Jesus was on his way to Jerusalem when he was approached by 10 (ten) men who were referred to as lepers or folks who were shunned or had leprosy. Now, all of the men begged Jesus to have mercy on them, so Jesus sent them to the priest but on their way, they’re bodies were cleansed. Now, out of the 10, only one who realized he was cleaned, turned and went back to Jesus and offered him a jubilated praise for his healing. The bible says in verse 16 this man came back, shouting his gratitude, glorifying God and he kneeled at Jesus’ feet, because he was so grateful but then Jesus asked in Luke 17: 17-18, “Were not ten healed? Where are the nine? Can none be found to come back and give glory to God except this outsider?” God is asking the same thing of us. When he healed you from the cancer, do you offer God a jubilated praise every time you think about all the chemo and surgeries you had to overcome? When you get in your new car and think about all the times you had to walk or beg folks for rides here and there, do you offer God a jubilated praise? Each time you come home to a loving spouse and it makes you grateful because he/she doesn’t treat you like dirt like the last one did, do you offer God a jubilated praise? When you leave the house a little late and pass the car wreck that should have been you, do you offer God a jubilated praise? When your name wasn’t called to receive a pink slip when your other co-workers weren’t so lucky, do you offer God a jubilated praise? When you walk past the alleys and see the folks strung out on drugs, when you visit the hospital and it could have been you or your child or when you drive under an overpass and see the folks sleeping outside and you know that God is surely keeping you, do you offer him a jubilated praise? If not, you’d better start.
We have to give God more jubilated praises because we never know when we won’t have the chance too. You’d better store up your praises now so that you’ll be in God’s number on the day he returns instead of being sent to a never ending Hell! John 4:23 says, “But the time is coming–indeed it’s here now–when true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and in truth. The Father is looking for those who will worship him that way.” God doesn’t need folk playing with him but he wants folks praying to him. He doesn’t need praise only when the sun is shining but he wants to see you dancing in the rain when the storm is raging. He doesn’t need you screaming his name when you’ve been pushed down in the pits and valleys but he wants to hear his name in rejoicing when you’ve made it to the top of the mountain. You don’t have to wait until the storm comes, when death sneaks into your home or sickness attacks your body to give God an uninhibited praise because you can do it now! While you are trying to see whose watching you, the devil is watching you so you need to show him that you’re worthy of all the blessings God sends whether they are big or small. God deserves a jubilated praise every time our eyes open because He doesn’t have to do anything else for us but he does even when we don’t deserve it. I’d rather be dancing to the beat of rejoicing instead of jumping around the hot coals on the floor of hell! Rejuvenate, refresh and renew your praise while you have a chance too and watch how your life is changed.