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Inspiration for Today’s Devotional: “Magical Mystery Cure”

I pondered about this episode for a long time, trying to think of what was a good message from it. It’s a nice episode, but does it cover anything that I haven’t talked about before? Yet after thinking on it a while, I finally focused on one thing.

Toward the end, after Twilight Sparkle has ascended to being an alicorn and is crowned the new princess of Equestria, I couldn’t help but concentrate on all the ponies singing praises and adoration to her. It’s somewhat fitting in this show as they’ve implied the princesses of Equestria are somewhat royalty, but also considered in some capacity to be divine. And when I think about that, I think about something that I always found a bit confusing:

Why do we give praises and blessings to God?

Now, I know what you’re thinking; that question is silly. We obviously want to show our love and thanks to God for Lord Jesus Christ and everything else that we’ve received. We also know Lord Jesus is great above all others and has a name above all names, and is worthy of all glory, praise, and honor. I’m not questioning that part. I’m questioning why it’s such a big deal that humans praise him, even ones who have accepted Jesus’ offer of salvation.

Often in praise and worship, at least where I’m from, they sing the line: “you are worthy of my praise”. I almost find that kind of laughable. Why should God feel so honored that we praise him or esteem our praise that highly? Once we’ve sinned, as all of us have done, we’re no longer acceptable to God. As is said in Isaiah 64:6, “We have all become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous deeds are like a polluted garment. We all fade like a leaf, and our iniquities, like the wind, take us away.” I would assume that would include praise from us, as that would be tainted by the evil we’ve done as well. But even if in this life now Jesus’ Blood sanctifies us, what then? We’re nothing more than creations of God himself, and in the vastness of the universe we are no more than a bit of scum on a speck floating in the middle of an ocean…an ocean God himself also created. It was said in the letter to the Hebrews 7:7, “It is beyond dispute that the inferior is blessed by the superior.” I’m obviously far inferior to God, and I have no great power about me either to grant favor or condemnation, so what use is my praise and blessing?

I actually stewed over that for a long time. Eventually, however, I came to two conclusions.

One is that the action is the important thing, not necessarily what power is behind it. I think back to when I was a little kid. Me and my sisters heard that my dad was feeling down from my mom, so what we did is we made a bunch of little drawings and crafts all saying how much we loved him to try and make him feel better. Obviously, the crafts were worth nothing. They were just construction paper, markers, and crayons. The cheapest card at Hallmark or even Walmart would have been better made and more attractive. And it’s not like all these crafts really did anything to improve my dad’s situation in the material sense. All were crudely done as little kids tend to do things and I’m sure more than a few had grossly misspelled and hardly-legible words of love on them.

But you better believe my dad appreciated every last one of them. The fact that we had heard he was feeling bad and then stopped our own playing and messing around to put this together on our own just to let him know how much we loved him improved his mood dramatically. I guess the most cliche way to describe it is “it was the thought that counted”. Let me tell you something, though. Sometimes it really IS the thought that counts. I know it did with my father. And if we consider God our father, I imagine he feels the exact same way. He knows we only have so much time, energy, and even lifespan allotted to us. So even if, weak and sinful as we are, we take out time to sing a praise or blessing to him, even if ultimately it neither gives God anything that makes him greater or lesser, it’s definitely something he appreciates when done from a pure motive.

The other conclusion is whether or not giving praise and blessings to God is truly for God’s benefit or for our own. When someone offers genuine, heartfelt praise and worship, one can see it as a meterstick of their faith in the Lord. It’s an acknowledgement of God’s sovereignty. It’s crying out in thanksgiving for whatever blessings we have received. It’s boldly declaring our love and faith in the Lord even when things aren’t perfect or going well for us. The ability to offer true praise at all times is a continuous reminder of the presence of God in our lives as well as contentment in all things. It shows how we are able to see and magnify the glory of God in all scenarios. In that sense, it not only testifies to the quality of our faith but serves as an example to others watching us. It’s a sign of faith to me to be able to continuously praise God at the onset of every situation, whether it’s an announcement of receiving a major blessing or a proclamation of a coming catastrophe.

In short, even if my blessing doesn’t elevate God any higher than he is already, it still has a great deal of value in it. Let’s keep that in mind whenever we engage in praise and worship.

Suggested Prayer: “Lord God, thank you again for your wonderful gift of salvation presented through Lord Jesus Christ, and for everything else you have added to me besides. Great is Lord Jesus and above every other name on Earth and Heaven, and all glory, praise, and honor, including whatever I can bestow, belongs only to Him. (Feel free to add whatever praise you like here) Gratefully in Jesus’ Name, Amen.”