Lips Of Praise
 By R. Bryant Mitchell

    "O Lord, open Thou my lips: and my mouth shall shew forth Thy praise" (Psalm 51:15).

    Praise is a perpetual thing. David said, "I will bless the Lord at all times: His praise shall continually be in my mouth" (Psalm 34:1). No night can be dark when you are carrying the light of praise. No trial can break your spirit when praise lifts up your countenance. No sickness can master you when the spirit of praise puts you in contact with Christ the Healer. No worry can fasten its craven talons into your mind when the lips are full of praise.

    When the high praises of God dwell in our mouths, there will be no room for Satanís conversation. Hearts of love and joy will overflow into mouths of praise. Much trouble comes to those who forget to praise God. Murmuring and complaining are acids which corrode human spirits. How often Satan takes advantage of us when we stop the stream of praise. Miriam murmured and became a leper. The lepers whom Jesus healed were told to go on their way rejoicing.

    There is a beautiful word in the English language which is seldom used. It is the word, "Exult." It means to leap, to spring, to be high in spirits, to glory, to rejoice in triumph. All of Godís creation does this daily. The birds in the woods, the lambs in the pasture, the animals in the forest, the dolphins in the sea. All these exult in the joy of living.

    Every canary which sings until his little throat almost bursts is exulting. Every dawn which paints a polychrome picture of eternal beauty is an illustration of nature exulting. With billions of flowers vying with each other to show their beauty to an adoring Father or blinded men, all nature is aglow with the beauty and life of God. Surely man, made in the image of God and walking in the light of His revelation, should exult in the Lord. The ancient Hebrew writers put it like this:

    "Let the floods clap their hands; let the hills be joyful together" (Psalm 98:8). "Let the sea roar;...let the hills rejoice, and all that is therein... The trees of the wood shall sing out at the presence of the Lord" (Psalm 96:11,12); "All the trees of the field shall clap their hands" (Isaiah 55:12); "Let the heaven and earth praise Him, the seas, and every thing that moveth therein" (Psalm 69:34).

    A great percent of our worship services today are taken up with entertainment. Joyful worship is an art not enjoyed by many Christians. Our music pleases the artistic nature more than the spiritual nature. Our sense of rhythm is stronger than our sense of worship. We mistake emotional appeal in music for the Spirit of God.

    To be sure, God uses music and God uses emotion, but these things must not supplant worship and praise in music. Our music must spring from the heart. Song leaders and musicians need to pray and prepare for the service just as much as the preacher. Every musical number should preach a sermon. It should glorify God, not the lyric soprano or the harmonizing quartet.

    Praise is something which Christians can do in unison. When visiting with each other they should magnify the Lord and exalt His name together. So much of our time is already taken up with material considerations and worldly talk, that we should use the opportunity of our fellowship to exult in the Lord. Our Lord in Heaven may enjoy the musical "Holy, Holy, Holy" of the angels, but He would rather hear the praises of His children on earth coming up into the heavenlies like beautiful songs in the night.

    Divine healing, health, happiness, prosperity, peace of mind--all spring from the heart that is filled with praise. If Hindu priests and devotees in India can fill the night with their idolatrous praises to foul deities, crying ceaselessly, "Rama, Sita, Rama, Sita!" how much more should the children of the most High God fill their homes, their churches and their neighborhoods with the praises of God!

    The days of our Puritan fathers were the most difficult days of our nation, but they were days of praise and thanksgiving. In these luxurious days, let us not neglect the God of our fathers. What we have is not our own. They purchased our freedom with praises in the night of hardship. All that we have belongs to God. May our lips be opened. May our mouths show forth His praises continually.

    Condensed from Message of the Open Bible and Redemption Tidings.