Daily Devotions

Magnify the Lord

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"O magnify the Lord with me, and let us exalt his name together." (Ps. 34:3)

It is either in weak moments, or in honest moments that I question whether I "magnify the Lord" very often. As a pastor, I'm paid to "magnify the Lord," but amidst the administrative responsibilities and the day-to-day challenges I regularly question how strong my magnification.

I am not alone. Throughout the Bible, in both Testaments, people of faith questioned whether their faith actually magnified the Lord. Over and over again, God used the weak to do miraculous work in order to magnify the Lord. The weaker and more unworthy you feel, the more you are able to magnify the Lord. All will know that it isn't you who performed the miraculous, but our magnificent God.

There have been many people throughout my life who have magnified the Lord. If anyone told them how their light shined, they would deny it in a heartbeat. We do not see our light shining. Perhaps it is God's way to keep us humble. Yet, we do magnify the Lord.

Today, think of a time or two in which others would say you made a difference in their lives. Feel the moment, smell the re-experience. Then thank God for having used you to magnify the Lord. Then, continue praying by asking God to use you again.


Shout Your Praise

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"Sing to him a new song; play skillfully on the strings, with loud shouts."

This is a psalm of praise. The psalm consists of 22 lines, which corresponds to the 22 letters in the Hebrew alphabet. Matching the lines with the letters exemplifies completeness. The psalm is one of complete praise to the unlimited power of God.

God's unlimited power, or sovereignty, is worthy our praise because God has the ability to free us from all burdens, including sin and death. The question for us to ponder today is how do we, or should we, praise God.

In today's psalm, praise take's place through a new song. The psalm gives a concrete example of how we should praise God's sovereignty. It is through playing instruments with strings, and shouting (the way I sing). This type of "shouting" takes place in other parts of the Hebrew Scripture as a recognition of the reign of God. It recognizes that through God's power, God will reign forever.

Our devotion today requires us to sing. It doesn't say we have to sing well, or on key. In fact, our singing can even be more of a shout, and be even more effective. If you have an instrument, pull it out and play it again. I often play Taize music on my guitar and I feel the power of God's spirit. If you don't have an instrument, then find your favorite song and sing it over and over at least five times. You have to sing it like you are on stage in front of 30,000 adoring fans. Not only will it be fun, you will be praising God. As an old rocker once said, "Scream till your throat bleeds," (and I add) to the glory of God.

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