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Through Jesus, therefore, let us continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise—the fruit of lips that openly profess his name.—Hebrews 13:15
Even though my friend Mickey was losing his eyesight, he told me, “I’m going to keep praising God every day, because He’s done so much for me.”
Jesus gave Mickey, and us, the ultimate reason for such never-ending praise. The twenty-sixth chapter of Matthew tells us about how Jesus shared the Passover meal with His disciples the night before He went to the cross. Verse 30 shows us how they concluded the meal: “When they had sung a hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives.”
It wasn’t just any hymn they sang that night—it was a hymn of praise. For millennia, Jews have sung a group of Psalms called “The Hallel” at Passover (hallel is the Hebrew word for “praise”). The last of these prayers and songs of praise, found in Psalms 113-118, honors the God who has become our salvation (118:21). It refers to a rejected stone that became a cornerstone (v. 22) and one who comes in the name of the Lord (v. 26). They may very well have sung, “The Lord has done it this very day; let us rejoice today and be glad” (v. 24).
As Jesus sang with His disciples on this Passover night, He was giving us the ultimate reason to lift our eyes above our immediate circumstances. He was leading us in praise of the never-ending love and faithfulness of our God. —James Banks
You are always worthy of praise, Lord, even when I don’t feel like praising You! Help me to learn to praise You more and more.