May 3    
Today's Bible Readings
     Numbers  10
     Psalms 46-47
     Song of Solomon 8
     Hebrews 8
''Oh, clap your hands, all you peoples! Shout to God with the voice of triumph! For the Lord Most High is awesome; He is a great King over all the earth." (Psalms 47:1)
Praise is never expressed with a silent tongue, a downcast look, folded arms and a somber spirit. It is impossible to find, anywhere in Scripture, a description of praise and worship that is not verbally or physically expressed. Praise is sometimes the shouting of the voice, and often the clapping of hands. Our memory verse declares it to be true. It is sometimes playing musical instruments. ''Praise Him with the sound of the trumpet; Praise Him with the lute and harp! Praise Him with the timbrel and dance; Praise Him with stringed instruments and flutes! Praise Him with loud cymbals; Praise Him with high sounding cymbals!''  (Psalms 150:3-5)
            At other times, praise involves the lifting of hands. ''Thus I will bless You while I live; I will lift up my hands in Your name." (Psalms 63:4)
Praise is sometimes bending the knees. The Old Testament word,''havah '', refers to a position of kneeling and is generally translated ''worship ''. These expressions of praise are often demonstrated in corporate worship. I have discovered that such an atmosphere of corporate worship is a conducive environment for lost sinners to come to Jesus. When the glory of praise fills the house of God, it will cause all those around us to want to know the Source of our joy. Dead churches produce few converts. You can't hatch chickens in a refrigerator!  The local church is to be a laboratory of praise so it will attract men and women to faith in Christ.
            How do we praise God? Praise in its essence is adoration of God but, in the Scriptures, it is always active, assertive, demonstrative, and open.  It is never passive, presumptuous, undemonstrative, or secretive. Give Him  praise  today for the Lord Most High is awesome. He is worthy of your praise. He is King over all the earth. Before praise and worship can be corporate, it must be personal. Praise must not be based on our feelings, but obedience to Him; then we are ready for corporate worship.
One of the largest countries in Africa is the Federal Republic of Nigeria, with its 125 million people, which includes 490 ethnic groups.  This country is 53% professing Christians, and 41% Muslim. The incredible growth of the church in Nigeria has resulted in some problems. These include a lack of follow-up, divisions in the Christian community, and a second generational indifference has set in. This underlines the need for trained pastoral leadership in all the churches. Pray that God will raise up the necessary schools and short term teaching institutes to meet this need.
''The same church members who yell like Comanche Indians at a ballgame on Saturday sit like wooden Indians in church on Sunday."
Vance Havner