The Messenger Zine - PRAISE | Issue 20
The Right Praise
To You, O my Strength,
I will sing praises;
For God is my defense,
My God of mercy.
Psalm 59:17 NKJV
Praising God is one of the most fundamental parts of our Christian walk. Yet for me there is always this nagging fear that I do not praise God the right way. During worship, I fear that I sing off-key. When I write devotionals, I fear that I do not know enough to write well. When I see other people praising God unreservedly, I feel somewhat guilty, as if I am not doing enough to praise Him.
When I think of praise in the Bible, I think of David. David, who offers his praise without any hesitation or reservation for the One who deserves it most. It is this praise that I want to offer God. But how can I do it?
Back when I started attending church and getting to know more about Christianity, one set of verses really stuck with me. It was in Job:
“I know that You can do everything,
And that no purpose of Yours can be withheld from You.
You asked, ‘Who is this who hides counsel without knowledge?’
Therefore I have uttered what I did not understand,
Things too wonderful for me, which I did not know.
Listen, please, and let me speak;
You said, ‘I will question you, and you shall answer Me.’
“I have heard of You by the hearing of the ear,
But now my eye sees You.
Therefore I abhor myself,
And repent in dust and ashes.”
Job 42:2-6 NKJV
When I read these verses, what strikes me is the impossibility of ignoring God. Job, hearing and seeing God, cannot possibly deny God. Likewise, it is this heart in me which, having gotten to know God, cannot help but wish to exalt Him.
I may sing off-key, or write in disjointed sentences, but I praise Him still. In my own little way, with whatever I may have, I will praise Him.
If you struggle with finding the right way to praise God, I want to say: there is no right way. What matters is that the praise we offer is from our hearts, offered because we cannot help but to praise His name.
Regardless of how we praise, let us praise Him because we cannot help but praise the Most High name. In deed and in truth, let us offer our hearts in praise.
The Commandment Co
TCCO is a contemporary design and Bible inspired gifts store. Edwin started the company 7 years ago to refresh and encourage those who are struggling, in need or just feeling tired and weary. To send a meaningful message that speaks to people through different seasons of their lives.
Hi! Could you tell us what The Commandment Co is all about?
TCCO sells Bible inspired gifts. It began because we wanted to give our friends Christian gifts to inspire them in their faith, but found that there was a lack in this area. Through our products and designs, we hope to be able to speak light and encouragement into the lives of others. In turn, we hope that it inspires you to share the same love with your loved ones as well.
What is the ethos behind The Commandment Co?
We love because He first loved us. It is His love that spurs us on, to do what we do. It is His love that gives us the strength to love others.
Many of The Commandment Co.’s items are locally designed. Why design locally and work with other designers?
We design locally because we want to help empower other designers, and even non-designers, to create and inspire others. There are many gifted local designers locally, and we want to provide a platform for their beautiful designs to be discovered. We believe that God gives us the inspiration and ability to create, and it is not about where you are from or how qualified you are. In fact, you will be surprised at how many of our designs are created by our interns who have no background in design at all.
This has not been an easy year for all of us. On the topic of “praise”, what are your personal thoughts or experiences on praising God?
Even when things are tough, we can praise God because we know that He is always there for us and with us, no matter what. Despite everything that has happened this year, we know that God is still real and moving in our lives.
Although things may be uncertain now, in the world and perhaps even in our personal lives, we praise Him still because we know that He makes all things work together for our good, in His time. We trust that God only wants the best for us. He has plans for us, plans to prosper us and not harm us, plans to give us hope and a future. When we hold these truths close to heart, we can praise God amidst the chaos happening in the world and around us.
As for our team at TCCO, we give all our praise to God for continuing to bless us during this COVID-19 period. Incredibly, we were able to work harder, produce better designs, and reach out to more people through social media. We thank Him for keeping us all healthy, and for giving us the strength and ability to continue glorifying His name through our work at TCCO.
The brand story of The Commandment Co is to ‘Send A Message. Inspire Someone.’ What is one message on the topic of praise you would like to leave our readers with?
We believe that the best way to praise God is to love others through our actions, the way that God loved us while we were still sinners.
As such, we want to encourage you to love others through your actions. It may be easy to love in our hearts, but it takes more to love in action. Take a step to show your love in action, no matter how small it is. Start small, and it will come naturally.
The Cracked Pot
A little boy was spending his Saturday morning playing in his sandbox. He had with him his box of cars and trucks, his plastic pail, and a shiny, red plastic shovel. In the process of creating roads and tunnels in the soft sand, he discovered a large rock in the middle of the sandbox.
The lad dug around the rock, managing to dislodge it from the dirt. With no little bit of struggle, he pushed and nudged the rock across the sandbox by using his feet. (He was a very small boy and the rock was very huge). When the boy got the rock to the edge of the sandbox, however, he found that he couldn’t roll it up and over the wall.
Determined, the little boy shoved, pushed, and pried, but every time he thought he had made some progress, the rock tipped and then fell back into the sandbox.
The little boy grunted, struggled, pushed and shoved. But his only reward was to have the rock roll back, smashing his chubby fingers.
Finally he burst into tears of frustration. All this time the boy’s father watched from his living room window as the drama unfolded. At the moment the tears fell, a large shadow fell across the boy and the sandbox. It was the boy’s father.
Gently but firmly he said, “Son, why didn’t you use all the strength that you had available?
Defeated, the boy sobbed back, “But I did, Daddy, I did! I used all the strength that I had!”
“No, son,” corrected the father kindly. “You didn’t use all the strength you had. You didn’t ask me.”
With that the father reached down, picked up the rock, and removed it from the sandbox.
(Adapted from https://www.providenceumc-28043.com/inspiration2.html