PUTTING GOD FIRST

The following is an excerpt from my first book, His Delight. To get a copy, click the link below.
Enjoy!

(Exodus 20:3) You shall have no other gods before me.

What does this mean? It means regarding God more highly than you regard anyone or anything else: family, career, money, possessions, and friends. It means that if it came to deciding which path to follow, the answer would be to follow God every time. Anyone or anything that you place above God automatically takes on the “god” role in your life. You cannot truly worship God or glorify Him when you have an “idol” in your life taking God’s rightful place.
Ask yourself these questions: Would I rather follow God’s commandment not to steal or help myself to the company’s money? Would I rather consistently watch television than consistently fellowship with God? Would I take a job that would compromise my Godly principles? There are probably countless ques- tions such as these that we could ask ourselves.

Consistently putting God first is not easy, neither is it something that you can ever be done with. As long as we are on earth, there will always be the temptation to give God a backseat in our lives. However, as Christians, we have to constantly make the effort to put Him first in our day to day lives; not just on Sunday mornings. As we consciously do this, we will find it easier to get into deeper levels of worship.

DOXOLOGY
Jehovah God, jealous God who will share glory with no other,
I bow before you in reverence of your Holy Name.
Exalted One, you are number one,
no one and no possession can ever take your place in my life.
Who is like you Lord?
There is none before you, none after You,
You are the Alpha and Omega,
the Beginning and the End,
the First and the Last.
I fear you Lord,
I honor You,
I revere You,
Most High;
King above kings,
God above gods.
You are God.

Related link:

Shola Ezeokoli author page

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Ways to Praise

(Hebrews 13:15) Through Jesus, therefore, let us continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise—the fruit of lips that confess his name.

There are many ways of expressing praise to God. Here is a list that is not exhaustive but it lists some biblical ways of praising God.
Some of these have already been dealt with in detail in previous chapters.

1. Singing: When we talk about praise and worship,this is what usually comes to mind (Psalm47:6).

2. Clapping: You can clap in praise to God with or without music or singing (Psalm 47:1).

3. Shouting: Shouting in praise is scriptural too! In Hebrew this is called “Shabach” (Zephaniah 3:14). The Hebrew word “Tehillah” is a word which de- notes a combination of shouting, singing, clapping and rejoicing.

4. Playing instruments: You can play an instrument to praise God. The Hebrew word for this is “Zamar” (Psalm 150).

5. Dancing: This is addressed in a previous chapter. It is called “Hallel” in Hebrew and dancing does not always have to be to music or a beat.You can praise God in a dance all on its own.

6. Tongues: It is scriptural, hence spiritual to praise God in other tongues. You can sing in tongues
also (1 Corinthians 14:15).

7. Lifting hands: Called “Yadah” in Hebrew. This is lifting your hands in submission and reverence toGod (Psalm 134:2).

8. Bowing down: To bow down and worship God isto express awe at His majesty. This is “Barouch” in Hebrew (Psalm 95:6).

9. Solemn silence: There are times to be quiet in God’s presence and honor Him with solemn silence. It is during these times that God speaks to you. While praise and worship is usually an out-ward expression of your love for God, there are times when God wants you to be quiet and just bask in His presence (Psalm 46:10).

SCRIPTUE READING: Psalm 138

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Praising God- The attitude of the heart

The following is an excerpt from His Delight: 31 Days of Praise and Worship.

Do you think of God as a mean judge? Do you think of Him as some unpredictable, whimsical being? Or is He to you like Santa Claus: giving you everything you want as long as you are a good boy or girl? God is good and worthy to be praised and worshipped. He gave us life and all the good things that we have. A constant appreciation of His goodness is the attitude of a true worshipper.

A person who would seek to truly worship God realizes that God is Sovereign and perfect and God all by Himself. He does not need any validation from man to be God. Lack of belief in Him does not take away from His deity, and He does not have to do anything for us and yet, He does. For these reasons, we should be ready to thank and praise Him for the little things, even as we trust Him for bigger things.

David was called a man after God’s heart because even though he was weak and imperfect, his attitude towards God was one of reverence and humility. So, as you meditate on the goodness of God, let the attitude of your heart be one of reverence, awe, gratefulness and faith because out of this will flow sincere praise to God.

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My Life Sucks!

The following is an excerpt from my book His Delight:31 days of Praise and Worship.

You  may be reading this and thinking, my life is a mess, I have nothing to praise   God for. Let me challenge you: you do have something to praise God for and it   is just human nature to focus on all that is going   wrong instead of even a few things that are going right. When I am in the  dumps, I try to remember the smallest good thing that I have.

 
If you are reading this, praise God for   your eyesight. If it is being read to you, thank God   that you can hear.
If you are in the hospital, thank God   that you are con­scious enough to read. If your marriage   is in trouble, praise God that you even have a spouse.
 
If you are divorced, thank God that you will get a second chance. If you are a busy mother, praise God that   you have children. If you have a home to live in, thank God for it. If you   have a job, thank God for the opportunity to work.
If you are a pastor, praise God for the   call on your life. If you were robbed, thank God   that your life was spared. If you are bereaved or grieving, give God praise   for the life that your loved one had and thank God for His comfort. My point   is, if you look hard enough you will find something praiseworthy in your life and something to give thanks to God for.
 
In praising Him through the challenges,   struggles and pressures of life, you will find that God will bring you to a   place of peace and comfort. Apart from that, He will give you wisdom and   provide you with solutions that can only be found in   His presence. Praise Him in spite of your troubles.
 
SCRIPTURE READING: Psalm 103
 

His delight is available on amazon.com

Praising God

The following is an excerpt from His Delight: 31 days of Praise and Worship

The   words humble and humility are very com­monly misunderstood. In religion   today, they are taken to mean a state of self-deprecation, self-degradation  and not realizing your own worth. Bible humility is not making yourself into  nothing, it is realizing that without God you cannot be everything you are meant to be.
 
Humility in Christ is recognizing that your sufficiency is not in yourself but in the   One who made you and knows everything about you. True worshippers are humble   people because to genuflect and worship something or   someone you MUST acknowledge the fact that, that thing or being is of a   higher status than you are.
 
As Christians we are also warned about   the dangers of pride. All our accomplishments, knowledge, spiri­tuality, etc are nothing before the King of your life who gave you the very breath that you take.

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