Rev. DARRICK WHITFIELD: Praising God is what I do!
64) “And his mouth was opened immediately, and his tongue loosed, and he spake, and praised God.”
During the course of a day, most people have a long list of things to do. That list can range from cooking to working, from dropping the kids off at school to running errands, from ironing to folding, from sweeping to cleaning. The list goes on and on.
From our text, we find a man that decided to do something very spectacular.
The Bible says that when Zacharias had his tongue unloosed so he could speak again, he “praised God” (Luke 1:64).
The anthem of Zacharias is part of the wonderful praise which now came from the mouth of Zacharias, a mouth that earlier had spoken forth unbelief and had been silenced by God until the birth of John the Baptist.
I once heard Dr. Tony Evans say, “At graduation, there are levels of honor bestowed on those who have done a good job. There is cum laude, magna cum laude, and summa cum laude.”
In the realm of giving praise, there is high praise, higher praise, and highest praise. Your friends or close associates can get high praise and some folks who blessed you or have been merciful may deserve a higher praise, but God is the only one who deserves the summa cum laude of the highest praise. This kind of praise should be reserved for Him and only for Him.
One reason why Zachariah began to praise God and rejoice was that his time of chastisement for doubting the Lord was completed and it yielded the peaceable fruit of righteousness.
Obedience brought freedom and it will do the same for you and me. Obedience breaks the shackles of sin and disobedience. God lifted the shackles of chastisement from Zacharias. When you submit to God’s authority and Word, He will break the shackles of your sin, too. Victory over sinful habits will help you to be what God wants you to be.
Remember, we worship God because of who He is and we praise Him because of what He has done for us, is doing for us and will do for us.
We must be sure to lift up His name above all else.
“For the Lord is great and greatly to be praised; He is to be feared above all gods” (Psalm 96:4).
Putting other people or things before God is easy to do, but with the Holy Spirit’s help, let us praise God with all of our might.
Rev. Darrick Whitfield is pastor of Shady Grove M.B. Church, McCondy and his column appears regularly in the Chickasaw Journal.
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