God commends us

“When people commend themselves, it doesn’t count for much. The important thing is for the Lord to commend them” (2 Corinthians 10:18, NLT).

Many people have the idea all God does is find fault. Anyone who has watched TV or seen movies depicting judgmental religious folks or has been given “the look” might have the impression God is the same way. After all, if someone’s followers are sour, fault-finding and negative, the one being followed must be the same, right? But the problem isn’t with God, it’s with those who don’t understand who he is. It’s sad but many Christians’ lives reflect poorly on Christ.

When we think of praise, we usually think of praising God, but this verse tells us God praises us too! Commend can mean to applaud, approve, boost, build up, compliment, endorse, extol, pat on the back, speak highly of or support (thesaurus.com). He does all of this for us in Christ, who is our advocate, the one on our side. He is not always looking down his nose at us, but rather building us up and approving us in Christ. Perhaps if his followers were more like him in this regard, the world would see him in a new light. Our words and actions would commend or recommend him to others, rather than push them away.

God gets a bravissimo

“Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob are their ancestors, and Christ himself was an Israelite as far as his human nature is concerned. And he is God, the one who rules over everything and is worthy of eternal praise! Amen” (Romans 9:5, NLT).

I just returned from a convention (see my other blog) where there was a whole lot of clapping going on. We clapped for the presenters, for what they presented and sometimes just because we were happy to be there. Putting our hands together for someone or something shows we approve, appreciate, celebrate and cheer. A few times, we accompanied our clapping with a standing ovation and even a little dancing.

In the Bible, the phrase “worthy of praise” appears often in regard to God. Like me, you may read right past it or simply mentally assent and keep going. But in this sad, troubled world, it’s worth taking time to linger over what it means, on who God is and how he is worthy of praise. The Amplified Bible says he is exalted and supreme over all. He is the all-powerful ruler of the universe, the one who conquered sin and death—I could go on all day, and maybe I should! Maybe we all should go on all day, every day, shouting bravissimo to our great God!