God Smiles When We Praise
By Rick Warren
— May 21, 2014
Through Jesus, therefore, let us continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise - the fruit of lips that confess his name. Hebrews 13:15 (NIV)
Few things feel better than receiving heartfelt praise and appreciation from someone else. God loves it too. He smiles when we express our adoration and gratitude to him.
Noah's life brought pleasure to God because he lived with a heart of praise and thanksgiving. Noah's first act after surviving the flood was to express his thanks to God by offering a sacrifice (Genesis 8:20).
We praise God for who he is and we thank God for what he has done (Hebrews 13:15; Psalm 116:17). David said, "I will praise God's name in song and glorify him with thanksgiving. This will please the Lord" (Psalm 69:30-31 NIV).
An amazing thing happens when we offer praise and thanksgiving to God. When we give God enjoyment, our own hearts are filled with joy!
My mother loved to cook for me. Even after I married Kay, when we would visit my parents, Mom prepared incredible home-cooked feasts. One of her great pleasures in life was watching us kids eat and enjoy what she prepared. The more we enjoyed eating it, the more enjoyment it gave her.
But we also enjoyed pleasing Mom by expressing our enjoyment of her meal. It worked both ways. As I would eat the great meal, I would rave about it and praise my mother. I intended not only to enjoy the food but to please my mother. Everyone was happy.
Worship works both ways too. We enjoy what God has done for us, and when we express that enjoyment to God, it brings him joy—but it also increases our joy. The book of Psalms says, "The righteous are glad and rejoice in his presence; they are happy and shout for joy" (Psalm 68:3 TEV).
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