Welcome to Daily Steps!
A weekly devotional message with daily scripture readings and prayer prompts to help you spend time with, and draw closer to Jesus.
Psalm 150 “Praise the Lord! Praise God in His sanctuary; praise Him in his mighty heavens! Praise Him for his mighty deeds; praise Him according to His excellent greatness! Praise Him with trumpet sound; praise Him with lute and harp! Praise Him with tambourine and dance; praise Him with strings and pipe! Praise Him with sounding cymbals; praise Him with loud clashing cymbals! Let everything that has breath praise the Lord! Praise the Lord!” (ESV)
The Ripple Effect of Praise
Jesus created the greatest ripple effect in history. Even secular historians agree that what He did in just three years of ministry altered life as we know it more than any other human who’s walked the face of the earth. Time magazine’s list of the 100 Most Significant Figures in History — which is adjusted for population, cultural, and technological changes — continuously places Jesus in the number one spot as the most influential person of all time. Unlike most of the world’s other religions, which are generally focused on personal enlightenment or individual betterment, every aspect of following Jesus is designed to create a ripple effect of God’s love. It begins in a heart transformed by the Gospel and then overflows in an outpouring of selfless servanthood, empowered not by individual works or achievement, but by the spirit of Jesus living within and rippling outward.
Praise is both the outward evidence of Jesus' ripple effect in our lives, as well as the mechanism through which we find the energy, strength, and endurance to keep growing in our faith. As we trust God for what He has done and will do for us and through us, praise becomes a reflection of our gratitude as much as it is an act of declaration, reaffirming our belief, and yielding our control. It may be expressed through a song, an outpouring of words, a physical posture, a dance of worship, or simply sitting in quiet meditation. The amazing thing about praise is not its visible or audible characteristics, but its ripple effect on our hearts and minds. Praise is a perspective shifter, a mood lifter, a shot of adrenaline, a spiritual weapon, a ray of hope, a priority changer, and a boost of strength. The ironic thing about praise is that God receives all the glory from it, but we receive all the benefits. Just as the Savior who sacrificed to make it possible, praise has a far-reaching ripple effect on every aspect of our being.
Like most things that are good for us, praise is often the last thing we turn to when we need it the most. Perhaps that’s because we overcomplicate it or because we’re not sure how to do it without the help of a worship band and the reassurance of a crowd doing the same thing. Sometimes we simply get too busy to praise God, and other times we simply don’t feel like it. But praise is as important for our faith as breathing is to living. Whether it’s a few minutes spent adoring Jesus and thanking Him as a part of your prayer time, or an all-out singing fest by yourself, the miraculous effects of praise are a gift from God appropriate for every moment of life. Whether you are hurting or happy, waiting or celebrating, praise is the vehicle by which we acknowledge God’s goodness regardless of our circumstances and thank Him for what He’s done, what He’s currently doing, and what He will do in the future. Just as Paul and Silas discovered when they sang praises from the floor of a prison cell in Acts 16:16-40, when we find ways to praise Jesus throughout the day and in everything we do, our hearts and minds find continual refreshment to share His love with everyone around us.
For each day of the coming week, make a commitment to start your day with a few moments of praise. Whether it’s taking a walk and admiring God’s creation, singing at the top of your lungs, or simply writing down a gratitude list, try out a different form of expression each day, and make note of how you feel before and after each one. Notice any shifts in your perspective or changes in your energy levels, sense of peace, or infilling of joy. The daily readings and prayer prompts below will help guide you.
Daily Bible Readings with Prayer Prompts
As you contemplate these passages throughout the week, make time to pray before you read them and then again, afterward. In each reading, ask God to show you what the verses mean specifically to you. God’s Word is alive, so even if you’re familiar with these Scriptures, approach them with an expectant heart and an open mind. God wants to spend time with you.
Monday - Read Psalm 28:6-7 and James 1:2-4. When we praise God and give thanks to Him, the ripple effect is a greater sense of security, endurance, strength, and peace. Spend some time allowing your heart and mind to focus on the goodness of God in any season. To help you focus, make a simple list of anything about God’s love and care for you that comes to mind.
Tuesday - Read Psalm 5:11, Psalm 28:7, and Psalm 118:15. When we praise God and give thanks to Him, we will experience a change in our perspective to have a more joyful demeanor. Listen to a few songs you know from this playlist and sing out loud as the Holy Spirit leads you. Following your time of worship, ask God to keep the power of praise alive in your heart throughout the day.
Wednesday - Read Galatians 5:22-23 and Hebrews 13:15. When we praise God and give thanks to Him, the Holy Spirit will inhabit our praise and produce spiritual fruit, such as greater patience with yourself and others. Make a list of the fruits of the spirit listed in the Galatians passage and then praise God that He is working to produce them in you out of the trials and struggles of life.
Thursday - Read Psalm 119:57-64 in The Passion Translation. When we praise God and give thanks to Him, over time we will find ourselves becoming more generous and content with what we have and the circumstances we are in. Ask God to search your heart for anything that might be keeping you from praising Him freely during difficulty. Is there something you want? Do you have unmet expectations? Ask Him to fill you up and satisfy you with His presence.
Friday - Read Psalm 34:1-2 and 17-18. When we praise God and give Him adoration, the Holy Spirit will create in us a more humble heart. Read Isaiah 6:1-5 and spend some time imagining yourself in Isaiah’s place. As you visualize what it would be like to catch a glimpse of the King of the Universe, what thoughts run through your mind? Would you dare to speak? Would you fall to your knees? As you contemplate the splendor, power, and majesty of a just and holy God, read John 3:16 with fresh eyes, as if you’ve never read it before. Now simply spend time sitting in stillness, adoration, and thanksgiving, letting the love and glory of your Heavenly Father wash over you.
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SERMON STUDY GUIDE - PSALMS - WEEK 7
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