An Excellent Gift
By Maria Fontaine
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What can we do to honor the King of the universe? What can we say to the King of our lives? What is a fitting gift to give the One who has given all to us? We know from many years of hearing His Word that doing our best to surrender our lives to Him is what pleases Him. When we do that, it inspires our hearts to praise Him, to give Him thanks and honor, to magnify and extol Him. It makes us want to exalt, adore, worship, and glorify Him. We desire to rejoice in Him and bless His name.
Our gratitude, spoken aloud or offered silently in our hearts, for what He has done for us is beautiful to Him. It’s our thanks to Him for allowing us to be His, and for all the sacrifices that He made in giving His life for us! We love Him because He first loved us.
As N. T. Wright said, “Worship is love on its knees before the beloved; just as mission is love on its feet to serve the beloved.”
In this compilation of quotes, I want to emphasize the praise and worship “love on its knees” part. It’s my joy to revisit the subject of praise because not only is it vital but it’s beautiful, it’s a privilege, and we can all benefit from a reminder to continually praise the Lord for His amazing mercy and grace.
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Some of the quotes below express interesting word pictures of what praise is or does. I’ve excerpted some of these to serve as a quick memory jogger as we praise throughout the day.
Our hallelujah song.
Love on its knees.
Like releasing beautiful perfume.
An invitation of a lifetime.
What pulls His people together.
An offering in gratitude to Him.
A generator of positive energy.
A halo of glory for the head of toil.
The crown of a Jesus follower.
Your morning face wash.
The way to worry less.
The soul’s joy and delight.
The offering that enriches you.
The catalyst of peace.
A focusing tool.
Getting your emphasis right.
The great transformer.
The sustainer in all situations.
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“If you’ve made a habit of communing with God when the sun is shining, you’ll find it much easier to sing in the rain.”—Bill Pannell
“Wash your face every morning in a bath of praise.”—Charles Spurgeon
“God has commanded the sacrifice of praise, and if it doesn’t cost you something, it isn’t a sacrifice.”—Terry Law
“God has two dwellings: one in heaven and the other in a meek and thankful heart.”—Izaak Walton
“We are the Easter people and hallelujah is our song!”—Pope John Paul II
“A Christian should be an Alleluia from head to foot.”—Saint Augustine
“Circumstances will never be perfect while you are on earth and encased in your human body, so you will at times be tempted with fears and worries. However, the way to rise above those things is through keeping your eyes on Me. Focusing on the light is turning your sight away from the mud puddles of disappointments or fears or tough situations toward the brilliant, splashing fountain of My positive perspective. Instead of grimacing at the mud, you instead come and admire My spectacular fountain. You keep your eyes on Me, reminding yourself that I’m in control; you splash about joyously in My presence by praising Me in spite of your surroundings.”—Words from Jesus
“We would worry less if we praised more. Thanksgiving is the enemy of discontent and dissatisfaction.”—Harry Ironside
“He shows up in His fullness when you praise Him from your emptiness, because that is when you truly have room for Him.”—Terry Law
“Praise can end murmuring, and nurse contentment. If our mouths were filled with the praises of God, there would be no room for grumbling. Praise would throw a halo of glory around the head of toil and thought. In its sunlight the commonest duties of life would be transfigured. … Learn the essential elements of heavenly praise by the practice of joyful thanksgiving, adoring reverence, and wondering love.”—Charles Spurgeon
“True spiritual worship will cause God Almighty to come and sit with you, for He is enthroned in the midst of your praises.”—Joseph L. Garlington
“When we lift our hands in praise and worship, we break spiritual jars of perfume over Jesus. The fragrance of our praise fills the whole earth and touches the heart of God.”―Dennis Ignatius
“O God, to know You is life. To serve You is freedom. To praise You is the soul’s joy and delight.”—Saint Augustine
“A thankful heart is one of the primary identifying characteristics of a believer. It stands in stark contrast to pride, selfishness, and worry. And it helps fortify the believer’s trust in the Lord and reliance on His provision, even in the toughest times. No matter how choppy the seas become, a believer’s heart is buoyed by constant praise and gratefulness to the Lord.”—John MacArthur
“I am the Spirit of Life, and thankfulness and gratitude are the means to go deeper into Me. They chase away fear; they bring remorse to a dead end; they leap over the gorge of worry and land in the field of peace and calm where I dwell. They give you smooth sailing, powered by the breath of My Spirit.”—Words from Jesus
“We ought to give thanks for all fortune: if it is good, because it is good, if bad, because it works in us patience, humility and the contempt of this world and the hope of our eternal country.”—C. S. Lewis
“If you find yourself in a difficult position, between a rock and a hard place, respond with praise.—Praise that flows from the innermost part of your spirit, praise that trusts Me and knows by faith that everything will be okay because you’re in My hands.”—Words from Jesus
“Be thankful. God has commanded it—for our good and for His glory. God’s command to be thankful is not the threatening demand of a tyrant. Rather, it is the invitation of a lifetime—the opportunity to draw near to Him at any moment of the day.”—Nancy Leigh DeMoss
“Gratitude is an offering precious in the sight of God, and it is one that the poorest of us can make and be not poorer but richer for having made it.”—A. W. Tozer
“When we choose thankful prayer over wallowing in anxiety and worry, we are demonstrating an unwavering trust in God.”—Priscilla Shirer
“A spirit of thankfulness is one of the most distinctive marks of a Christian whose heart is attuned to the Lord. Thank God in the midst of trials and every persecution.”—Billy Graham
“Pain, fear and family concerns can be overpowering. Praise is your focus tool. It draws your attention to the power of God and brings it into focus.”—Words from Jesus
“When it comes to life the critical thing is whether you take things for granted or take them with gratitude.”—G. K. Chesterton
“God calls His people to celebrate Him with singing and playing music, and then He promises to do a little drumming of His own, on the back of the Enemy.”—Terry Law
“Yes, give thanks for ‘all things’ for, as it has been well said, ‘Our disappointments are but His appointments.’”—A. W. Pink
“Gratitude is a decision of the will, and if a decision of the will, the choice resides squarely with us. Deciding to be thankful is no easy task. It takes work.”—Chuck Swindoll
“Praise is the beauty of a Christian. What wings are to a bird, what fruit is to the tree, what the rose is to the thorn, that is praise to a child of God.”—Charles Spurgeon
“If there was ever a secret for unleashing God’s powerful peace in a situation, it’s developing a heart of true thanksgiving.”—Lysa TerKeurst
“In this day and age, there is a great deal of information available on how to succeed—in your marriage, in your relations with others, in business, in life in general. These often focus on the power of positiveness, but if you want to access a valuable key to overcoming in life, try praise. Determining to be positive brings on positive energy, but compared to when you thank Me and give Me praise, positiveness is meager. When you direct your praise to Me, you are opening your heart to My presence, which is the ultimate source of all energy.”—Words from Jesus
“Our griefs cannot mar the melody of our praise; we reckon them to be the bass part of our life’s song, ‘He hath done great things for us, whereof we are glad.’”—Charles Spurgeon
“Let us sing even when we do not feel like it, for in this way we give wings to heavy feet and turn weariness into strength.”—John Henry Jowett
“In commanding us to glorify Him, God is inviting us to enjoy Him.”—C. S. Lewis
“There should be a parallel between our supplications and our thanksgivings. We ought not to leap in prayer, and limp in praise.”—Charles Spurgeon
“When we bless God, many things happen…
- Blessing God honors God. We are giving Him the praise He is due. We are saying the most basic truth in the universe: God is God and I’m not.
- We remind ourselves who is in charge and that we are not on our own out here.
- We put the emphasis back where it should be.
- Blessing God changes our focus.
- It relieves our anxieties.
- It clears our vision to see beyond our trials.
- We love Him more after praising Him.
- We enjoy His presence more as a result.
- It breaks the cycle of self-absorption which often engulfs hurting people.
- It opens our hearts to receive His love.
- It shows the Father that His child is ‘getting it.’
- It relaxes our fears.”—Joe McKeever
“God’s power is not cheap. Just like the electric power that comes into our homes, there is a price to pay for it. However, the price is not monetary. The price is spending time filling ourselves with God’s Word so we can understand the power. It’s praying so we can access the power. It’s living in obedience so we can maximize the power. It’s praising and worshiping God so that we open up the lines through which God’s power flows into our lives.”―Stormie Omartian
“If we had more praising we should be greatly blessed. What would lift us so much above the trials of life, what would help us to bear the burden and heat of the day, so well as songs of praise unto the Most High? The soldier marches without weariness when the band is playing inspiring strains; the sailor, as he pulls the rope or lifts the anchor, utters a cheery cry to aid his toil. Let us try the animating power of hymns of praise. Nothing would oil the wheels of the chariot of life so well as more of the praising of God.”—Charles Spurgeon
“Don’t let your life give evidence against your tongue. Sing with your voice … sing also with your conduct.”—Saint Augustine
“Praising Me can boost your confidence and increase your sense of self-worth, because when you praise Me, you not only celebrate Me, but you celebrate My creation of you—the work of My hands. Through praise you can be energized. If you ever feel out of sorts, at odds with others, or you feel down, depressed, anxious, worried, or stressed, turn to praise.”—Words from Jesus
“It is only with gratitude that life becomes rich.”—Dietrich Bonhoeffer
“God is in control, and therefore in everything I can give thanks—not because of the situation, but because of the One who directs and rules over it.”—Kay Arthur
“Doth not all nature around me praise God? If I were silent, I should be an exception to the universe. Doth not the thunder praise Him as it rolls like drums in the march of the God of armies? Do not the mountains praise Him when the woods upon their summits wave in adoration? Doth not the lightning write His name in letters of fire? Hath not the whole earth a voice? And shall I, can I, silent be?”—Charles Spurgeon
“Worship is love on its knees before the beloved; just as mission is love on its feet to serve the beloved.”—N. T. Wright
Originally published December 2019. Republished on Anchor June 2023. Read by Debra Lee. Music by Michael Dooley.
- Living in God’s Word
- God’s Healing Balm in Times of Grief
- Hurry and Worry
- One Thing Before All Things
- Faith Like Gold
- Learning About God’s Mercy
- Trusting Through the Silence
- A Life Well Lived, Today and for the Future
- How God Gave Me a Home
- Setting Our Affections on Things Above