Thursday, October 16, 2008

Meditate Upon What is Praiseworthy

(As a follow up exercise to a talk I gave at Meadowbrook on October 12, this is Part 6 of 7 meditations.)

Several years ago the men’s ministry organization called Promise Keepers was hosting a rally at the Kingdome in Seattle. I’ll never forget the moment when 64,000 male voices began singing praises to God in worship. I started singing with all the other men until I heard the powerful sound of their voices and then I stopped just to listen. It was beautiful, stirring and awe inspiring. Not the singing itself. The singing was moving me to recognize how awesome God is.

Perhaps it was a little glimpse of the scene that is depicted in Revelation 5:11-13.

John said, “Then I looked and heard the voice of many angels, numbering thousands upon thousands and ten thousand times ten thousand. They encircled the throne and the living creatures and the elders. In a loud voice they sang:

Worthy is the Lamb, who was slain, to receive power and wealth and wisdom and strength and honor and glory and praise…

To Him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb be praise and honor and glory and power for ever and ever!

In similar ways I can stand on a beach in Hawaii and look out on the Pacific Ocean as swelling waves crash upon the shore. Though impressive in itself, I’m moved to exalt God. After climbing Mt. Si and looking down at the valley and across at other mountains my gaze is then diverted to the brilliance of the Creator. Wild flowers growing in the meadows around Mt. Rainer provoke me to marvel over the beauty of God.

When the Apostle Paul tells us to focus and meditate on whatever is praiseworthy, every expression of human creativity or nature’s magnificence points me back to God. Ultimately God is the embodiment of every virtue we’ve listed this week. As such our meditations always bring us back into focus upon God.

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