First Baptist Church St. Simons Island

Praise God and Love People

Praise God and Love People

Mark 1:3
Psalm 126:3
Psalm 30:12
Philippians 1:6

Prepare the Way of the Lord” (Mark 1:3).

I’m thinking of two ways we can prepare the way for Jesus to come into ourselves and into others: praising God and loving people.

St. Augustine said, “He who sings praise, not only sings, but also loves Him whom he is singing about/to/for . . . in the song of the lover there is love.” The song itself becomes love as it brings into presence the One who truly is Love itself. Entering his courts with thanksgiving and praise prepares the way for God’s Spirit to fill us so that we become proclaimers as well as receivers.

The Lord has done great things for us, and we rejoiced” (Psalm 126:3).

When we express gratitude for God’s graciousness we receive Joy. It takes practice to be consciously present in each moment and to be aware of the many gifts we receive. I have been writing a list of gifts each day, and in my times of struggle, I re-read the list and receive Hope knowing that God has never forgotten me and will always be with me. He holds me in my sadness, shows me new blessings and comfort, and gives me new purpose and direction. I receive God’s Peace.

So that my soul may praise you and not be silent. O Lord my God, I will give thanks to you forever” (Psalm 30:12).

Finally, loving actions prepare the hearts of others to receive all that we have been given. Jason Gray has a song,

With every act of love, we bring the kingdom come. . .

God put a million, million doors in the world

For his love to walk through

One of those doors is you.”

God has given each one of us unique gifts for serving and loving. Every day, ask God to open your eyes to see each person who crosses your path. “ I am confident of this, that the one who began a good work among you will bring it to completion by the day of Jesus Christ” (Philippians 1:6).

Thank you, God, for loving me. Thank you for sending your Son to set me free. Empower me with strength to press on and live in the attitude and nature of you. Let my life bring more of you into the world.