Salvo Of Praise
                                            “This people honors Me with their lips, but their heart is far from Me.”


Smile,” said Jay as we drove to church. “You look so unhappy.” I wasn’t; I was just thinking, and I can’t do two things at once. But to make him happy, I smiled. “Not like that,” he said, “I mean a real smile.”

His comment got me thinking even more intently. Is it reasonable to expect a real smile from someone who’s being issued a command? A real smile comes from inside; it’s an expression of the heart, not of the face.

We settle for phony smiles in photographs. We’re happy when everyone cooperates at the photographer’s studio and we get at least one picture with everyone smiling. After all, we’re creating an icon of happiness, so it doesn’t have to be genuine.

But phoniness before God is unacceptable. Whether we’re happy or sad or mad, honesty is essential. God doesn’t want false expressions of worship any more than He wants false statements about people or circumstances (Mark 7:6).

Changing our facial expression is easier than changing our attitude, but true worship requires that all of our heart, soul, mind, and strength agree that God is worthy of praise. Even when our circumstances are sad, we can be grateful for God’s mercy and compassion, which are worth more than the “lip service” of a phony smile.—Julie Ackerman Link


                                                                          What a God we have to worship!
                                                                            What a Son we have to praise!
                                                                              What a future lies before us –
                                                                 Everlasting, love-filled days! -- Maynard

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