CAN YOU PRAISE GOD TOO MUCH???


Psalm 113:3 – From the rising of the sun to its setting The name of the LORD is to be praised.” NASB

My simple answer is NO!  I find no reasonable understanding of this passage that would suggest that you could praise God too much.  The Psalmist is addressing the workday not to exclude the night. He is suggesting, in my view, that we should make a conscious effort to Praise the Name of the Lord all the time and in all things.  Praise is a conscious choice and if we do not focus our hearts upon the Lord, we will become too involved in the activities of life to offer genuine praise to the Lord of Hosts.

I find this passage to be in the same category as the directive of Paul in Thessalonians to “pray without ceasing.”  It may be impractical for us to engage in what most would consider prayer ‘without cessation’ but we can have an attitude of prayer all the time.  Likewise, we can have an attitude of praise all the time without stopping what we are doing to do what most consider praise. 

It seems that too frequently we have pigeonholed and developed predetermined ideas of what constitutes praise and prayer.  In that, we often fail to understand that God hears our hearts as well as our words that are spoken out loud.  God hears the thoughts in our minds, not just the words that pass our lips.  We can and should develop an attitude of gratitude in which we consistently and continually commune with the Lord and offer to Him praise and thanksgiving.  From the time we wake in the morning until we go to sleep at night, our hearts should be praising and thanking God. 

I heard a powerful response from a minster who was holding a meeting for the church that I was leading, when someone asked him how much he prayed and when he prayed.  He looked them squarely in the eye and said, “I am a walking prayer.”  They wanted him to be in the church for ‘x’ number of hours per day engaging in what they deemed to be prayer.  They had not learned that prayer is as much a condition and attitude of the heart as it is time spent on your knees or prostrate before the Lord crying out aloud. 

So, to answer the question, “Can You Praise God Too Much?”  I would have to answer in this fashion, YES, if you shut down everything you are responsible for to do what is commonly identified as Praise.  NO, if you develop a mindset and attitude of praise in your heart and allow your entire being and life to become on continual praise to the Lord! 

If you neglect your duties and responsibilities to engage in the religious activity called ‘praise’ then are you really praising the Lord?  If you fail to do what you know you are supposed to do are you bringing honor to His Name?  But, if your heart is filled with awe, love, and appreciation for Him at all times and out of that attitude you live, work, speak, and love then you cannot praise too much!

Therefore, as you go through this day go with a song in your heart and let your mind be filled with His awesomeness.  Let your heartstrings be strummed by the Holy Spirit offering a sweet aroma to the King of Kings and Lord of Lords.

May God be with you as you go through your day!

HEAVEN’S OPEN DOOR…


Revelation 4:1 – “After these things I looked, and behold, a door standing open in heaven…” NASB

There are many paths, I could take with this text I only want to pursue one and that is “Heaven’s Open Door.”  Just the other day as we were driving around running errands my wife and I were listening to some old Gospel Music and “I’ve Never Been This Homesick Before” made its way into the rotation of songs and this scripture came to mind. 

In the song, it says, “I can see the Father standing at the door.”  That reminded me of the parable of the Prodigal Son and how the father saw the returning wayward son at a great distance and ran to meet him.  That suggests that he was always “looking” for the return of his wayward child and possibly standing in the doorway of his house looking over the way hoping against hope that his son that was lost would return.  I can imagine our Heavenly Father looking over His creation at the doorway of Heaven and longing for us to “return to Him with a whole heart.”  At times I can almost hear the sobs of the Father and my Lord Jesus as they weep over the condition of mankind in this time that we live.

Several things come to mind when I think of a “Door Open in Heaven”.  That tells me that there is “open access” to God’s throne through prayer and how we need to take advantage of that invitation and opportunity.  It suggests that God is eagerly awaiting us to petition Him and is willing to dispatch help to us at a moment’s notice. The picture that comes to my heart’s mind is that of a loving parent watching over their children and ready to protect and nurture them if there is a need and willing to let them spread their wings to learn to fly. 

I sense that there is a “Door Open in Heaven” and God is extending a personal invitation for us to “enter in” through the vehicle of prayer and commune with Him and receive from Him His supply. Therefore, whatever you do as you go through this day, hold in your heart and mind that there is an “Open Door in Heaven” for you right now!  

May God be with you and bless you richly!

THE LIVING DEAD!!!!


Romans 8:10-12 – “If Christ is in you, though the body is dead because of sin, yet the spirit is alive because of righteousness. 11 But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you. 12 So then, brethren, we are under obligation, not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh….”  NASB

We are the “Living Dead” and I’m not talking about Zombies as Hollywood seems to be obsessed with these days.  When I say the “Living Dead” I am talking about people who have “died to sin” and “risen to life” in Jesus Christ through the Power of the Blood.  It is a beautiful place to be – LIVING DEAD!

Paul informs the Roman believers that “IF” the Spirit of God, that raised Jesus from the dead, lives in us that same Spirit will give us Life in our mortal bodies.  We are then Dead but Alive and that is because we are not controlled by the “flesh” but the “spirit.”  As a result, we are no longer under obligation to live according to the Flesh.  That leads me to my next question – “Why do we?”  Why do we allow the Flesh to have so much power in our daily lives?  Why do we allow the Flesh to be such a dominant force in our lives?  WHY?  There can only be one of a few possibilities.

  • We are uninformed as to our position and condition in Christ.
  • We are willing participants with the FLESH.
  • We are so underdeveloped spiritually that the devil easily sways and overcomes us.

None of those are conditions that are required or that we are obligated to embrace.  When Jesus came he lived a sinless life, died sacrificially on the Cross, rose the third day, and is now ascended to the Right Hand of the Father! When that transpired the devil was fully and finally defeated!  That is not a maybe or someday hope. It not somehow we will enjoy this when we get to heaven – The devil is defeated NOW! 

Jesus said that All Power or Authority, in heaven, was given to Him and He has given that to us.  Therefore, we have authority and power over the devil which would mean that the Flesh is to be subject to the Spirit of God, not vice versa. We are under No Obligation to succumb to the temptations or whims of the flesh.  We are More Than Conquerors through Jesus and We Can do all things through Christ!  That is our Covenant, Heritage, and Promise from the Lord Himself so why not employ it and enjoy it?

Therefore, as you go through this day go in the strength of the Power of the Spirit of God and walk in Victory!

God bless you richly is my prayer!

CONSIDER ANOTHER HE MIGHT BE A WEAKER BROTHER…


1 Corinthians 8:9-13 “But beware lest somehow this liberty of yours become a stumbling block to those who are weak. 10 For if anyone sees you who have knowledge eating in an idol’s temple, will not the conscience of him who is weak be emboldened to eat those things offered to idols? 11 And because of your knowledge shall the weak brother perish, for whom Christ died? 12 But when you thus sin against the brethren, and wound their weak conscience, you sin against Christ. 13 Therefore, if food makes my brother stumble, I will never again eat meat, lest I make my brother stumble.” NKJV

It has always been and will always be an issue in the Church about our personal liberty and the conscience of a weaker brother or sister.  How far do we press our liberty before we become a stumbling block for a “weaker brother”?  Is there a time to say, “Grow up and realize that different people have different convictions”?  Is exercising our liberty worth causing another to stumble?  How you answer those questions will determine how you relate to those around you.

There was a time in my Christian walk that I felt that everyone should hold the same convictions that I did and if they did not, they were “carnal” at best and “backslidden” at worst.  Most of the time I considered those, one and the same and was a Pharisee of Pharisees!  It took God rattling my cage in a major way to cause me to rethink my way of thinking and to understand that I am not God’s Fruit Inspector He can handle that job just fine. 

I had to learn that although in my heart I knew that most of what I called “convictions” were simply “opinions” and did not have the weight of Scripture.  An opinion is just that and is something that may and should change if new light is brought. 

If God “convicts” your heart over an action, belief, or anything you should follow what God says implicitly and explicitly.  Yet you must always remember that what God “convicts” you of He may not convict another.  Many times, the roots of that conviction stem from something within you or the geographic region in which you live and the mind-set of those around you.  God will bring conviction to your heart for your benefit not so you can attempt to impose it on everyone else that would be what a Pharisee does.

There have been times that I could have done something but knew that there were those around me who would be hindered in their Christian walk if they saw me.  So, in the interest of another, I choose to abstain.  In traveling to other parts of the country and world I have found that there are many differing views on various things that Christians do or do not do.

I have learned that sometimes the dogmatism is so strong that no amount of reason or biblical teaching can break it.  Unless God brings light to the heart that person or persons will remain as they are.  Attempting to legislate to them a particular mind-set or lifestyle would be futile and brings to mind the old saying: “A man convinced against his will is of the same opinion still.”  They may yield to your insistence, but their hearts and minds have not truly changed.  You are not God so why try to be? 

As you go through your day realize that what you do and say will have an impact on others so choose your words and deeds carefully considering another for your liberty is not worth hindering another in their pursuit of GOD and His GRACE!

May God be with you as you go through your day!

WANTED – – Truth Tellers…


Ephesians 4:25 – “Therefore, laying aside falsehood, SPEAK TRUTH EACH ONE of you WITH HIS NEIGHBOR, for we are members of one another.” NASB

I don’t want to make this political or go on an all-out attack on religious hypocrisy but will say that what we need in this present world is men and women of The Truth.  Paul tells the Ephesian church that they are to “lay aside” Falsehood and “speak the truth.”  He reminds them and us that we are not isolated from each other but as members of both the human race and the family of God we are part of the same fabric and while we sometimes are guilty of lying to ourselves or distorting reality in our minds, we do not practice that regularly, at least I hope we do not.

My grandfather and father always told me, “Tell the truth it is easier to remember than a lie.”  They usually told me that when I attempted to pull the wool over their eyes. Both of them saw through those attempts with amazing clarity.  Neither would tolerate laziness or dishonesty and were truthful to a fault and even if telling the truth brought them personal or financial difficulty.  They believed and so do I that “honesty” is not just the best policy it is the “only policy.” 

If we are truthful then we do not have to worry about being exposed and that brings a certain sense of peace and security to the heart and mind.  We have all known people who it seems would climb a tree to tell a lie when they could have stood on the ground and told the truth.

My children know that I told them, “If you lie to me and I catch you it will be far worse than if you tell me the truth.”  If they remember they can recall some of the times when they told me the truth and escaped punishment and times when they were not truthful the punishment or correction was stepped up a notch. 

If we encounter someone who tells us untruths on a regular basis, no matter how hard we try not to label or characterize them as being a liar we still do. In the back of our minds we see them as liars and it affects our relationship or prevents us developing one that is positive.  No one wants to do business with a person that distorts the truth or facts.  No one would want to sit under a preacher who tells fabrications.  As a friend of mine had a member of his congregation asked him, “Pastor was that story you told the truth or were you just preaching?”  What a statement and while she may not have meant it as it came across that she would even entertain it is a tragedy. 

You do not want anyone to tell you anything but the truth so why practice telling others something that is not truthful?  You would not want your doctor to tell you something that was not true regarding your health because that could cost you your life.  You would not want your banker or financial adviser to misrepresent your finances that might cost you your possessions.  In life (all of it) let’s be People of the Truth!

May God bless you as you go through your day!

SLAVES NO MORE…


Galatians 4:1-7 – “Now I say, as long as the heir is a child, he does not differ at all from a slave although he is owner of everything, 2 but he is under guardians and managers until the date set by the father. 3 So also we, while we were children, were held in bondage under the elemental things of the world. 4 But when the fullness of the time came, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the Law, 5 so that He might redeem those who were under the Law, that we might receive the adoption as sons. 6 Because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into our hearts, crying, ” Abba! Father!” 7 Therefore you are no longer a slave, but a son; and if a son, then an heir through God.” NASB

Paul’s way of explaining our relationship with God is powerful.  He brings to mind that a child although a member of the family and ultimately owner of all the family fortunes and worth, is very little different from a slave because the child is under the authority of his/her parents or those whom the parents have placed over them.  They are not allowed the privilege of operating as an “owner” until it is deemed by the father that they are ready. Owner of all but the authority of a slave is the condition described.

Then he declares to us that we are sons (a non-gender term as used here) and because of that truth God has sent the Spirit of God into our hearts crying “Abba! Father!”  As a result, we are no longer slaves but sons and daughters and if we are sons and daughters, we are Heirs of God!  How often do we as children of the Most High live beneath our privilege?  How frequently do we live as slaves rather than sons and daughters? 

It is time that we assess who we are and whose we are.  It is time to reread the Bible and determine what this “New Covenant” that is established upon “Better Promises” is all about and what it affords.  It is time that we reevaluate our relationship with the Lord and that we have authority and power to not only overcome the enemy of our souls but the grace to live The Abundant Life that Jesus promised.  You are not a Slave you are a Child of God and an Heir according to His Promise!

Let’s move from a slave mentality to a son and daughter mentality.  Let’s move from timidity to boldness in our relationship, heritage, and covenant.  Let’s begin to live as Heirs and bring real hope to this hopeless world outside of Christ. 

God bless and keep you as you go through your day!

STRONG IN GRACE…


2 Timothy 2:1, 11-13 – “You therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus…..11 It is a trustworthy statement: For if we died with Him, we will also live with Him; 12 If we endure, we will also reign with Him; If we deny Him, He also will deny us; 13 If we are faithless, He remains faithful, for He cannot deny Himself.” NASB

How about you, do you want to be “Strong in Grace?”  I believe that I can answer that for you without violating your right to make the decision for yourself and say YES!  Paul identified in verses 11-13 some truths regarding our walk, in Christ in this life by saying:

  1. If we have died in Him, we will also live in Him.
  2. If we endure, we will reign.
  3. If we deny Him, He will deny us.
  4. If we are faithless, He will remain faithful
  5. God cannot deny Himself.

We are dead in Christ through the “new birth” and have been made a new creation through the gift of Salvation and one day we will live with Him eternally.  Jesus never hid the fact that we would face difficulties in life and in the Christian walk and neither does Paul.  He tells us the end of that enduring is reigning with Jesus.  He warns that if we deny the Lord, God will deny us on that day and that is not something that any of us desires.  He tells us that we may be less than faithful, but God will always be faithful because He cannot deny Himself and He is faithful.

So, to be “Strong in Grace” is to embrace the faith that is in Jesus Himself.  It is to allow the Holy Spirit to guide our thoughts, words, and deeds. It is to allow the Holy Spirit to shed the Love of God abroad in our hearts and to teach us all things that Jesus said.  It is to allow the Holy Spirit to quicken our mortal bodies so that we shake off the shackles of carnality and move into the realm of the spiritual.  It is to become focused on the King and the Kingdom of God as paramount and supreme above all else.  It is to Totally Surrender our life, all of it to GOD!

It is in that condition and position that we become “Strong in Grace” and no matter what comes we come out the other side In Christ and therefore Victorious! 

May God be with you as you go through your day!

MOUTH AND HEART CHRISTIANS…


Psalm 19:14 – “Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart Be acceptable in Your sight, O LORD, my rock and my Redeemer.” NASB

There have been times in my life, Christian walk, and ministry that I have either found myself out of harmony with these two or have encountered others who were so conditioned.  What does it mean to be out of harmony between the “mouth” and the “heart”?  It means that what you are saying is not what you really believe or living and that would fall under the definition of “hypocrisy”.  None of us wants to be a hypocrite.

David’s prayer is one that I pray regularly and with earnest because I recognize that if “my talking the talk” does not line up with “my walking the walk” then it is like “rain on a tin barn” and is only noise but no substance.  There will be no impact on lives for the good and God only repulsion and rejection of both the message and messenger. 

But it goes deeper than that because if my “words” are not in harmony with the “meditation” of my heart then I lose out in my relationship with God and do not develop or enjoy the bountiful benefits of walking with Him.  I am, at best, out of fellowship with my Lord and at worst in a rebellious state and in danger of being spewed out of His mouth.

I want my words to Please the Lord as well as my thoughts and heart.  I want my actions, which spring out of my heart, to be pleasing to God and productive for the cause of the Kingdom of God.  I believe that the vast majority of believers desire the same thing All the Time. 

Therefore, the question arises – “How Do We Ensure That Is the Case?”  I believe that Jesus said it best in Matthew 6:33 – “But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” Paul echoed that in a different fashion in 2 Corinthians 10:5-6 – “We are destroying speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ, 6 and we are ready to punish all disobedience, whenever your obedience is complete.”

Therefore, if we are to have our “words” and “meditation” or our Mouth and Heart be in harmony with the pleasure of the Lord, we must make Him first above everything.  We must take proactive steps to ensure that no thought that is out of harmony with His Word is allowed lodging in our hearts or minds.  We must become people of Prayer, Praise, and the Pursuit of God.  If we do that, I am convinced that God will step into our situations and maneuver our “words” and “meditations” so that they are in full harmony and pleasing to the Father!

May God be with you and guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus our Lord as you go through your day!

SOMETHING THE WICKED CANNOT HAVE…


Isaiah 57:19-21 – “I create the fruit of the lips: Peace, peace to him who is far off and to him who is near,” Says the LORD, “And I will heal him.”  20 But the wicked are like the troubled sea, When it cannot rest, Whose waters cast up mire and dirt. 21 “There is no peace,” Says my God, “for the wicked.”  NKJV

Jesus said in John 14:27-28 “Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful.” NASB. Paul later wrote in Philippians 4:7 – “And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” NASB.

The Lord, through Isaiah, declares that He creates the fruit of the lips and grants peace to the one who is near and the one who is far off.  God promises to bring healing to those, and I personally believe that means physically, mentally, socially, spiritually, and economically.  Then He says something that should catch our attention if the first part did not.

God identified that there is something that the wicked cannot have or possess – Peace!  The wicked will toss and turn on his bed at night troubled by shadows of things they fear whether real or imagined.  The wicked will always be looking over his shoulder because of the vileness of his heart and the corruption that proceeds from it. 

The wicked will never trust anyone because he cannot be trusted.  He is like a troubled sea that dredges up filth and pollution and there is no Peace.  So, if your life is marked by the absence of peace you might want to examine your relationship with our Lord.  I am not saying you are wicked but suggesting that if you allow the Holy Spirit to develop your relationship with Jesus Peace will become a natural product of your life and its continued absence is a definite sign of a problem.  On the other hand, if you are engaged in wickedness then you cannot expect to experience true peace or continual peace it is not something that God will allow you to have.

I know the Peace of God that goes far beyond what the human mind can comprehend or imagine.  I know what it is to be completely calm, collected, and restful amid a situation that would cause any heart to be completely hysterical.  I know what the infusion of God’s Peace can bring to any situation and any heart in the most difficult of times.  That place of peace is a place that I desire as my permanent residence.

May God be with you as you go through your day!

BE A VOICE, NOT AN ECHO…


John 1:23 – “He said, “I am a voice of one crying in the wilderness, ‘Make straight the way of the Lord,’ as Isaiah the prophet said.”  NASB

As a preacher, it is the cry of my heart to be a “voice” for God, not an “echo” simply repeating what others have said.  The Christian Church has been saturated with preaching to the point that we are almost anesthetized and have built up an immunity to its effect.  We have heard it all so many times, it is commonplace to us and because it is too frequently without any demonstration of the Power of God it is just more words or theory to many.

When John the Baptist was asked who he was this was his response, “I am a voice…”  Years ago, in a time of frustration over the lack of visible results from the meetings in the church I cried out to the Lord in specific prayer.  I prayed, “LORD, help me be a voice, not an echo.” 

What I meant and mean by that is, I do not want to simply regurgitate what men before me, or my contemporaries are saying about God.  I wanted to ‘hear’ what God was saying to me and to the church and speak ‘for Him’ not simply ‘about Him.’  I want to be able to practically apply the biblical truths to life situations and see the presence and power of God manifest.  I want to ‘pull down strongholds.’  I want to see the fulfillment of Jesus’ words, “the works that I do you shall do…”  Forget, the greater works for the moment and simply focus on doing what He did and enforcing the Victory He won at the Cross.

It has long been the cry of my heart for Isaiah 61 to be a reality in my life.  I want that anointing.  I want to fulfill the declaration of Jesus in Luke 4 when He quoted this passage from Isaiah and declared, “The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me because He anointed me to…”  He then detailed what the Spirit of God had sent Him to do.  Preach the Gospel, release the captives, give sight to the blind (spiritual and natural), and to free the downtrodden proclaiming the acceptable year of the Lord or God’s Jubilee.

 We learn in Romans 10:17 that faith, that sometimes elusive mysterious thing in the minds of many Christians comes by hearing.  We learn that true hearing or spiritual hearing comes through the Word of Christ.  Earlier in that chapter, we are informed that salvation, deliverance, healing, and God’s redemptive power comes to those who hear. 

In Romans 10:14, the apostle asks, “How shall they call upon Him in whom they have not believed?  And how shall they believe in Him whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher?”  Those questions ignited a spark that has become a raging fire in my heart.  I want to be a VOICE so people can hear, believe, receive, and be set free!  Echoes do not set people free, but voices do!  Echoes repeat old clichés and doctrines, that are wonderful and powerful if believed and received, but voices become a ‘Rhema’ to the soul igniting the fire of faith.

I have no desire to simply talk ‘about’ God, I want to see the fulfillment of Jesus’ instruction regarding prayer.  I want to see, God’s Kingdom come into my world, my life, and my presence.  I want His will to be done on this earth as it is in heaven and to be the prevailing determination of everything I am, and I do. 

I pray that God will help all of us to become Voices for Him and say what we hear Him saying and do what we see Him doing.  Taking His Word and applying it to our lives and situations with expectation.

May the LORD bless you and keep you as you enjoy this wonderful day in Him!