God Deserves My Praise
"For the Lord is great, and greatly to be praised." (Psalm 96:4a)
Dylan stood back and admired his work. "Beautiful!" he said. The drawing of his grandpa's horse was finally complete and ready to be taken to school for the art contest. "I hope I win," Dylan thought. He had worked for over twenty hours on that drawing and really wanted the new go-cart that the winner of the contest had been promised.
That night, Dylan took his drawing downstairs for everyone to admire. His dad whistled while his mom and sister added their oooh's and aaah's. Dylan was so glad they liked it.
On his way into school the next day, Dylan's friends ran up to him and asked to see his drawing. They knew Dylan had always entered the contest but had never won. His artistic skills were improving every year, and they knew that he could win this year. Dylan carefully removed his drawing from the large special folder his dad had given him. He held up the drawing for everyone to see, and his friends clapped and patted him on the back.
When Principal Morton stood up that afternoon to announce the winner of the school art contest, Dylan drew in a quick breath and his heart started beating loudly in his chest. "And the winner of this year's contest...is Dylan Smith!" announced Principal Morton. Dylan was thrilled! His hard work was being recognized.
Do you think Dylan would have enjoyed drawing so much if none of his family or friends ever noticed his artwork? He had spent so many hours drawing and thinking and erasing and then drawing some more. What if his mom had looked at his drawing, said "That's nice, Dylan," and then gone back to doing dishes? What if his dad had not even looked away from his newspaper? What if none of his friends had encouraged him? Dylan's joy in making his drawing soared when he saw and heard his family's and friends' joyful response to his work.
Now just think about God's work. God's work is more spectacular than anything Dylan – or any person – could ever do. God has given us so many wonderful things. He forgives our sins and gives us eternal life when we ask Him. God has healed us when we have been sick. He gives us the strength to get out of bed everyday. He protects us every time we travel on a highway or in the air. The parents we have are gifts from Him.
David tells us in Psalm 103 never to forget any of God's blessings. But most days we just take His blessings for granted. Most days we don't even think about them.
Sometimes we think we deserve praise when we really do not. But everything God does deserves praise. God deserves our praise for all the amazing things He has done, and He loves to hear that praise.
God has given me everything I need and deserves my continual praise.
» Am I taking God's blessings for granted?
» What can I praise God for today?
Truth In Real Life
Emily Chubbuck Judson
“Time and eternity are here.”
Emily Chubbuck was born in New York on August 22. Being part of a very poor family, Emily was forced to work in the mills by the time she was twelve years old. She wanted to learn as much as she could, however, so she went to school during the winter and she worked during the summer – leaving no extra time to be a “normal kid.” She became a teacher when she was just fifteen years old.
When she wasn’t working her other jobs, Emily found that writing was one of her favorite things to do. She enjoyed writing and publishing books for children. She was especially good at writing poetry and wrote under the pen name – or “pretend name” – of “Fanny Forrester.” Her Sunday School books were a big help to Christians around the world.
Everything she did was for God and for her family.
The missionary Adoniram Judson – whose wife Sarah had recently died – heard about Emily and asked her to write Sarah’s biography. Emily wrote the book, and the authoress and the missionary developed a special friendship. Judson ended up marrying her later that year. They returned to the mission field of Burma where Emily served Jesus Christ alongside her husband. She might have become famous for her writing and made a lifelong name for herself, had she not chosen to go to the mission field instead.
Later in his life, Adoniram Judson got very sick and he left on a boat to get medical help. He died on the boat and it took four months for Emily to get the news that her husband was not coming home. She continued to work and pray, trusting that God would take care of her all the time.
Emily often spoke about the importance of using her talents for Jesus Christ. She genuinely desired for God to use her talents to spread the Gospel.
What talents and gifts has God given you that could be used in God’s work?
Colossians 3:23 – And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men.