"Great is the LORD and greatly to be praised..." — Psalm 48:1
"God is great. God is good. Let us thank him for our food. Amen." Do you remember saying this? This is one of the first prayers that I remember learning. And honestly: I believe that God loved hearing me pray that prayer when I was little. However, I do not believe that God would enjoy hearing me pray this prayer today. Now some would argue, "If you truly meant it from your heart then he would love." To that I agree. I do believe that God listens to our hearts before listening to the utterances of our vocal chords. However, by now, in my walk with Jesus, my heart should be screaming out more than that early prayer prayed before eating.
So after reading the Psalm 48:1 this morning, I had to ask myself, "Do I praise Jesus greatly? Do I offer him praise that is worthy of who he is?" And when I ask myself questions like that, I automatically start thinking about how I need to step it up. I need to get more intense in my praise of Jesus. But maybe it's not like that. The fact that God is great is a truth proclaimed throughout Scripture. However, have I personally owned the fact that God is great? Have I seen God's greatness first-hand or am I just going through the motions of trying to praise him greatly because he's great (which honestly, I should praise him greatly simply because he is great)? And when I ask myself that question, I can say that God is amazingly great. What he has done in me is amazing. What he has done through me is unbelievable. What he has blessed me with is undeserved. What he has saved me from is unimaginable. What he has in store for me is beyond imagination. God truly is great. So, my praise of Jesus is based on his greatness because simply put, he is great. Even if he were to do nothing else for me or with me, he would still be great. However, the personal aspects of God's workings in my life bring about the personal relationship with him that point me to deeper places, seeing his greatness even more. Combine the fact that God is great in and of himself, and the fact that he has worked greatly in my life, and I cannot help but praise him greatly.
So if tomorrow you enter into your normal routine of praise to Jesus as you attend a worship service, you may need to check yourself. There's nothing normal about Jesus. There's nothing mediocre about him. Look over your life. Look forward to what's to come. Even in the midst of suffering and hurt, look over what you have come through so far and realize that it is Jesus getting you through it. Honestly: if you're coming to Jesus with a routine, you're probably not praising him greatly.