(Luke 19:37-40) "When He came near the place where the road goes down the Mount of Olives, the whole crowd of disciples began joyfully to praise God in loud voices for all the miracles they had seen: 'Blessed is the king who comes in the name of the Lord! Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!' Some of the Pharisees in the crowd said to Jesus, 'Teacher, rebuke your disciples!' 'I tell you, He replied, 'if they keep quiet, the stones will cry out."
Do you thank God for the blessing of your salvation? What about the basic necessities that He provides such as a roof over your head, electricity, transportation, food, clean water, and the many other luxuries you enjoy? Do you thank Him for the little things He does for you to bless you and the prayers that He answers? (Luke 17:17-19) "Jesus asked, 'Were not all ten cleansed? Where are the other nine? Was no one found to return and give praise to God except this foreigner?' Then He said to him, 'Rise and go; your faith has made you well."
Are the stones crying out in your place? Are you longing to feel and experience more of God's presence? God dwells within our praises, so start appreciating Him and praising Him a little more! (Psalm 22:3) “But thou are holy, O thou that inhabits the praises of Israel.” And when you are down, when your flesh does not want to praise, that is the best time to praise Him! When you begin to praise Him, your spirit is lifted, and the negative emotions seem to fall away, mainly because the one who is attacking you with them, Satan is not going to stick around and praise God with you!
Our heavenly Father created us in His image; (Genesis 1:27) “So God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.” The emotions that we have came from Him! So isn’t it right to assume that just as we need to be appreciated, God does as well? God loved the world so much, that He did not want us to have to pay the price for our sins; so He sent His Son, Jesus. (John 3:16) “For God so loved the world that He gave His One and Only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.”
He saw that the sin was so great in the world that we would never be able to pay for our sins on our own and He wanted us, the children He created to be with Him in eternity, so He took the punishment upon Himself.
(Isaiah 59:16-17) “He saw that there was no one, He was appalled that there was no one to intervene; so His own arm worked salvation for Him, and His own righteousness sustained Him. He put on the righteousness as His breastplate, and the helmet of salvation on His head; He put on the garments of vengeance and wrapped Himself in zeal as in a cloak.”
That in itself is enough to praise Him and yet He still blesses us each and every day. Have you made life all about “you?” We are to follow His example of unselfish love.
(John 15:12-13) “My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this that he lay down his life for his friends.”
He despaired so in the Garden that His sweat was as drops of blood as He prayed.
(Luke 22:44) “And being in anguish, He prayed more earnestly, and His sweat was like drops of blood falling to the ground.”
He set the example of putting us first; do you put Him first? Do you put others before yourself? Are you following His example?
(John 13:15-17) “I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you. I tell you the truth, no servant is greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him. Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them.”
He also gave thanks to the Father; is your prayers filled with the “give me’s” or are you truly worshipping God as well and not only in prayer time but all throughout the day? Do you praise Him for who He is or are the stones crying out in your place?
(Revelation 11:17:19) “We give thanks to you, Lord God Almighty, the One who is and who was, because You have taken your great power and have begun to reign. The nations were angry, and Your wrath has come. The time has come for judging the dead, and for rewarding Your servants the prophets and Your saints, and those who reverence Your name, both small and great--and for destroying those who destroy the earth. Then God’s temple in heaven was opened, and within His temple was seen the ark of His covenant. And there came flashes of lightning, rumblings, peals of thunder, and earthquake and a great hailstorm.”