Pleasant Words to God
In a message a while back, we talked about the need to use pleasant words when we talk with other people.
That need is taught in the Bible. Just a few examples are these. We are taught in Proverbs 16 that pleasant words are sweet to the soul and health for the body. We are taught in Proverbs 12 that rash words can hurt as much as sword thrusts, so we are to make sure we use our words wisely so we can bring healing to others. In Ephesians 4 is the teaching that our words are to build each other up, which can be done as we speak with kindness and encouragement.
We are to use pleasant words when we talk with other people. In a message after that one a while back, we talked about the need to expand that to using pleasant words when talking with and to God. In that message, seven things were discussed that can be said that are pleasant for God to hear. Those seven things are that our God is the creator, the one and only God, the Almighty God, the Everlasting Father, the loving God, the God of justice, and the faithful God.
Those are all words God finds pleasant to hear. How good it must sound to Him to realize we know who He is.
Today, seven more pleasant things we can say to God - or about Him. Each one is based on the Bible. The first is proclaiming that God is merciful.
What is mercy? It is compassion or forgiveness toward someone over whom there is power to punish or harm.
Thinking of that in spiritual terms, God certainly has the power to punish people. He certainly has ample reason to punish in very harmful ways. As the Bible teaches, all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. That translates to the fact each one of us and everyone else is guilty of something that is short of God’s teachings.
That is true now. It has been true ever since sin entered the Garden of Eden. One of many places that is taught is in the Old Testament Book of Nehemiah. In chapter 9 of Nehemiah, the point is made that over and over again the people of God rebelled against Him. Over and over again God rescued His people, but over and over again, they returned to their rebellious ways.
I would think God would have eventually given up on His people. I would think He would give up on us now. And yes, we deserve to be punished in that and every other way. But over and over again, God did show and still does show mercy. We know, at least from the Bible and hopefully through personal experience as well, that He provides a way to escape punishment for our sins. A way that has a couple parts. We need to accept God’s Son Jesus as Savior and we need to repent of our sins.
We need to do those two things. When we do, what a wonderful promise. God will be merciful, which means He will forego the punishment He has every right to exact upon us. He will forgive us and maintain a good, positive relationship with us.
The last time we thought about pleasant words for God, we practiced saying them together. We are going to do that again. Please join me in these positive words to God.
You, O Lord, are a merciful God. I praise You for Your great mercy.
Proclaiming to God that He is merciful, thanking Him for His mercy, is one way to give Him pleasant words. Let’s be willing to do that often.
Other pleasant words? Thank Him for being a refuge and a fortress.
We are aware, are we not, that the world is in a very angry, violent mood? That has no doubt been the case many times in the past. Part of it is that we know about it so much quicker now because of all the media around, but we do live in a difficult time.
It can be so easy to be overcome by all the negative things around us - the violence, the anger, the immorality. But we do not have to be overcome. We can stay strong in the Lord. We can do that by remembering the words of Psalm 62:6-7, where it is recorded that God promises to be a refuge. He will be a refuge if we will go to Him for that blessing. When we go to Him, He will be a fortress to protect us, at least spiritually.
Let’s think about the two key words.
A refuge is a place to go to be safe and sheltered from pursuit, danger, and trouble.
We have probably all heard the story about a school assignment where the teacher asked the students to draw peace.
Most of the students drew quiet scenes - beaches, clear skies, smiling people.
But one student drew something completely different. That student drew a picture of a cliff being buffeted by a severe storm. In a crag of the cliff, there was an eagle’s nest. On the nest was an adult eagle protecting young eagles.
For the eaglets, there was peace. There was peace despite the buffeting storm. Peace that came from the nest being a refuge. A place of safety and shelter, the adult eagle being like a fortress, designed to keep danger away.
There are a lot of problems in the world in general. There are a lot of problems in individual lives. All the problems can be overwhelming, except that we have God, who offers to give us refuge as He promises to be a fortress of protection for any and all who allow Him to give and be those things.
Is God your refuge and fortress? If so, please join me in saying this set of pleasant words to God.
I praise You, God, for You are my refuge and my fortress.
Thank You for sheltering me and protecting me.
Other pleasant words? Proclaim to God that He is the only wise God.
That is proclaimed in the final verse of Jude, a one chapter book in the New Testament. Wise means having the experience, the knowledge, and the judgment needed to make right decisions.
That is what God has. He can share His wisdom with us so we, too, can be spiritually smart, but wisdom comes from Him and through Him. He - no other god that has been or will be designed by the thoughts of man - is wise. Only God - our God - the God we worship - the only true God - only God is wise.
I found this interesting comparison, which is an important challenge. Mountain climbers are usually roped together so if one slips, the one to whom he or she is attached will be able to keep the other one from falling.
That is the kind of relationship we are to have with God. We are to have a connection that will keep us from falling. An extremely beneficial connection because of God’s mercy and because He is the refuge and the fortress of all who will allow Him to be those things. Things He will share because He is wise. The only wise God.
Let’s say it together.
I give praise to You, my Father, because You are the only wise God.
By the way, verse 25 of Jude asks for four things to be given to God. Not given as in He needs these things. He already has them. But we are to express in praise to Him that He has glory, majesty, dominion, and power. All of which He does indeed have.
Glory refers to His qualities - His nature, His character, His acts, seen throughout all history and even now. God is glorified when He is known for who and what He is.
Majesty refers to the fact He is King of kings. That is how important He is.
Dominion means God has absolute power.
Power means He has the authority to do whatever He wills to do.
God is to be given - He is to be proclaimed as having - all those things now and forever.
That being the case, let’s say it together.
God, we give You - we proclaim You have -
glory and majesty and dominion and power now and forever.
Those words are pleasant words for God to hear, as is the proclamation He is the holy one. Actually the holy three in one, as suggested by Revelation 4:8. “Holy, holy, holy are You, Lord God Almighty, who was and is and is to come.”
Notice the word “holy” is stated three times. That is thought to be a remind for us God is in three forms - God the Father, God the Son, God the Holy Spirit. Again, the great three in one.
Holy. That word means different, as in different from anyone and anything else. As in better and grander and more powerful, more merciful, a greater protector, and wiser than anyone and anything else.
All those words certainly describe God in His three forms. It is God the Father who created the universe and still creates people. No one else has done or ever will do that. It is God the Son who died as the perfect sacrifice for sins. No one else has been or ever will be the Savior. It is God the Holy Spirit who is willing to reside in us to teach us God’s word and remind us of God’s word and empower us to do God’s word.
And yes, His is ongoing power to do all that. God was and He is and He is to come.
Do we realize God is holy? If so, let’s remember to tell Him because it is pleasant for God to hear people say that. In fact, let’s do that right now. Say it with me, please.
Lord God, You are holy, just as You always have been and always will be.
Thank You for Your creation, Your salvation, and Your empowerment.
How wonderful You are.
God is merciful. He is a refuge and a fortress for His people. He is the only wise God. He is holy. Telling Him those things are pleasant words for Him. Let’s say them often.
Let’s add in our praise to Him that we know He is a giving God. That He gives generously.
We know of His generous spirit. For instance, He provides all the air we need and all the water we need. At least for those of us in this congregation, He provides all the food and all the shelter we need to survive. We know He sometimes gives people His healing touch.
But the most generous gift of all is this. God gave His only begotten Son Jesus. He gave Jesus as a sacrifice for sins so that all who believe in Him will not die because of their sins, but have everlasting life with God and Jesus and the Holy Spirit. Everlasting life in Heaven, that coming through the Lord’s forgiveness.
We know about God’s gift of Jesus because of what Jesus Himself said in John 3:16. There it is recorded what God did and why. That God gave Jesus so that all who believe that His death on a cross was the perfect sacrifice for sins will be saved from their sins.
That most certainly should result in us. Those of us who have accepted Jesus as Savior. It should result in us giving pleasant words to God. It should cause us to praise God and honor Him.
Let’s do that now on the topic of God generously giving. Please say it with me.
Praise and honor be Yours, O God, because You are a generous God,
even to the extent of giving Your own Son Jesus.
Something else we can say that is pleasant for God to hear is kind of a restatement of the fact that He gives generously. It is this. God is the great provider.
We know He gives generously. We know He provides everything we need, even on a daily basis.
What does He provide? Just mentioned are air, water, food, shelter, a healing touch. How about adding a few other things to the list? How about the companionship of fellow believers, opportunities to learn His word, opportunities to do His word, to serve Him, to serve others in His name?
The list could go on and on, but may we realize - may we proclaim even to Him - that He is the source - that He is the provider - of all good things. Let’s practice the proclaiming now. Please say it with me.
I praise You today, Lord, as the one who generously provides all I need.
Why can we be confident of God generously providing everything we need? It is because we know, from both the Bible and hopefully personal experience, that God is the shepherd God, which is one more pleasant thing to say to God.
One place that is taught is Psalm 23. Remember the opening words. “The LORD [God] is my shepherd.” Remember the conclusion of that fact. “I shall not want,” which is another way of stating God provides. That He provides generously.
Plus, it is only someone who is holy and wise and merciful who has the ability to turn all that into the refuge we need. That someone is God, who will be for us a fortress of peace and safety, even during the storms of life.
And remember the last part of Psalm 23. All that He is and does is available for His people all the days of this life. God - the shepherd God - promises His people goodness and mercy all the days of our lives. And it goes beyond that. He will, when this life is over, allow His people to dwell in the house of the LORD - in Heaven - forever.
Say it with me please.
God, I bless Your name. I praise You for being my shepherd.
Thank You for guiding me in paths of righteousness.
Thank You for providing those paths now and all the way into Heaven.
Help me to honor You by following You now and always.
The last time we talked about pleasant words for God, a story was told. Here it is again.
A father writes that his son is learning to count. He counts everything from toys to trees. He counts wildflowers on his way to school and the toes on his dad’s feet.
The dad adds that he himself tends to become so immersed in things that need to be done, he often forgets to count. To count the good things around him. Things like friends and answered prayers and, as we have discussed today, that God - our God - the one true God - is merciful, a refuge and a fortress, and the only wise God - that He is holy, a generous giver, our generous provider, and the shepherd of His people.
May we remember to count those things as blessings. Let’s say those things to God. Let’s say them often. They are and will be pleasant words for Him to hear.
Today’s closing song is verses 1 and 4 of Praise to the Lord, the Almighty.
Praise to the Lord, the Almighty, the King of creation!
O my soul, praise Him, for He is thy health and salvation!
All ye who hear, now to His temple draw near;
Join me in glad adoration!
Praise to the Lord! O let all that is in me adore Him!
All that hath life and breath, come now with praises before Him.
Let the Amen sound from His people again:
Gladly forever adore Him.
We have many needs all around us. Every one of them is important. Each one needs to be prayed about.
At the same time, we need to remember the blessings of God. We need to express to God our appreciation for each of His blessings. Including that He is merciful, that He does offer to be a refuge and a fortress in all times of trouble, that He is the only wise God, that He is holy, that He is a generous giver, our generous provider, that He is the shepherd of His people.
Let’s share each of those facts with God. By doing that, we will be speaking pleasant words to Him. Let’s do that daily. Amen.