Let everything that has breath praise the Lord. Praise the Lord! (Psalm 150:6)
This simple verse is one that we want everyone to remember It should flow off the tip of our tongues like water down a hill. Inside this little verse is the hope and dream of the God who made us and everything else.
First, God wants to be praised. A friend of mine who is working on a book with me has a chapter in the book on purpose. In his understanding, the primary reason we exist is to bring joy to God. A life of purpose is focused on watching for God’s work in the world around us and joining in to live out God’s will with our lives. Because we are to join in with what God is up to, our work is part of but pales in comparison to what we see God doing. The result? Praise. How can we be focused o watching what our amazing God is up to and not be moved to praise!
Second, God’s dream is expansive. God doesn’t want some part of the world to praise God. God wants “everything that has breath” joining in the praise. This means that when we are praising God, we are to be contagious and invitational. This is not something we do alone or merely as a small group. It is something we do with as many others as we can. And we are always open and wanting others to join in the praise of God.
These two factors are to influence how we live our lives.
First, our own energy should be focused on and include praising God and God’s work whenever we can. People of faith, even in the midst of trials, are called to remember and lift up the goodness of God. Much of the Bible is reminding people to cling to God’s goodness, even in the face of trials and tribulations. Tony Campolo, a popular preacher and speaker likes to say, “It’s Friday, but Sunday’s coming!” It is a way of reminding us that though Jesus died on a Friday, there was resurrection to follow.
Second, we are to be invitational with our faith. Just this week someone from one of the small groups shared that their group had spent a half hour of their group time talking about inviting people to be a part of the faith community. This is not just a practical way to grow the church. It is a faith commitment to fulfill God’s dream that one day, “everything that has breath will praise the Lord!”