The sign at your salon says, “Give us a positive review on Yelp and Google. Show us your review and receive 15% off your next visit.”
Businesses thrive on more customers coming through the door. The most effective tool that opens the door is the opinion of current customers.
Positive reviews are good for business. God wants positive reviews, too, but for a bigger reason.
Your positive review of God is, more than anything, good for you. God is already all-powerful, all-perfect, and the CEO of the universe. He doesn’t need your review. But he loves it anyway, because he loves you.
Psalm 117, the shortest chapter of the Bible, says, “Praise the Lord, all you nations; extol him, all you peoples. For great is his love toward us, and the faithfulness of the Lord endures forever. Praise the Lord!”
Notice three truths about life purpose packed into these words, especially evident from the original Hebrew writing:
- The psalm has bookends encompassing its message. These bookends store, arrange and provide focus for what’s in the middle, similar to our use of quotation marks. The bookends themselves reveal the thrust and theme of the message: “Praise the Lord!” When your thoughts begin and end with God. When your day begins and ends with God. When your priorities begin and end with God. Everything else in between is going to be in its proper place in your life.
- “Praise” means to cheer or brag about. A stronger synonym, “extol,” is making exuberant statements about the excellence of something. Why gush about God? See that little word “for,” in the middle of the psalm? That’s the why. Because he loves you, fully knowing your sins, your past, your shame, your unfaithfulness. And his love is faithful. Always. “Forever.” God never takes a day off from loving you. God never considers dating someone else. God never forgets about you. God never questions his promises to you. This is true of no other being! Why praise lesser things with praise that only God deserves? Exuberance about God means you are grasping how many blessings he is waiting to give you, starting with his unconditional love.
- Hallelujah! That’s a Hebrew word that means, “Praise the Lord!” Most Bible translations do us a favor and print the name “Lord” in all capital letters when it is used as God’s name. It means faithful love. Where is that love of God targeted? “Toward us,” not just floating around in the heavens or inspiring mindful souls as an energy force for good. And get this, we’re not the only ones. The love of God is designed for and directed to “all peoples.” The many cultures of the world don’t each need their own version of a god. God the Lord is the only true, loving, and universal God for everyone.
What God wants from you more than anything is something he already gives you! His saving love changes your life. It’s your “why,” and that is what God wants. For you to receive his saving, faithful love and say, “Hallelujah!”
Then your whole life is a review of God that rejoices because of him.
PRAYER: Hallelujah, God! I’m cheering about you. I’m gushing about you because no other being is loving and faithful like you. Amen.
FURTHER MEDITATION: Did you know? Not only is Psalm 117 the shortest chapter of the Bible, it is also the middle chapter. The Bible is composed of 1,189 total chapters, and Psalm 117 is the 595th chapter. Focus on the three truths outline above, slow down and soak them in with meditative prayer. Use the PRAY acronym for each of the three.
- Praise (tell God what you appreciate about him)
- Repent (tell God about a recent sin that has violated that truth, misused it or neglected it, and then thank him for his forgiveness)
- Ask (make a specific request and ask for God to provide a blessing that will help you change and better practice that truth)
- Yield (talk to God about the next step after you say “Amen,” how you want faith to lead the way, how you are willing to be part of his answer and see it develop for your good)