“Thank God! Give him the praise and the glory. Before all the living, acknowledge the many good things he has done for you, by blessing and extolling his name in song. Before all men, honor and proclaim God’s deeds and do not be slack in praising him. A king’s secrets it is prudent to keep, but the works of God are to be declared and made known. Praise them with due honor.”

As Christians, our first duty to God is to give him thanks and praise for the great love he has shown us in Jesus Christ. It is to him that all praise and glory belongs. All that is good in this world, all that is true, and all that is beautiful, are pure gifts from God to his children. In the maturity of our faith, we can not help but see that God is God and we are not. In this recognition we willingly and cheerfully bend our wills to God’s will. When we come to realize God’s love, do we not feel compelled by our joy to sing his praises, to extol his name to all we meet?

Knowing how undeserving we are and, yet, how unconditionally loved we are, humbles us. In our humility we see the wisdom of honoring God and proclaiming his marvelous deeds toward all humanity and toward us personally. We come to understand this, not as a mere duty, but as a matter of honor and joy. We are honored to extol his name before all people. We are honored that he would call someone as lowly as ourselves to be the focus of his love. We are moved by holy joy. We extol him in our freedom, not from fear of a king’s power, but for recognition of a love more powerful than all sin and suffering, and even death itself.

While it may be prudent to keep the secrets of an earthly “king,” there is nothing that God has ever done, or is doing now in the world, or in our own lives, that demands secrecy. What God has done, and is doing now in our lives is worthy of being “shouted from the rooftops.” Secrets are things for the darkness. God’s deeds are for the light. Secrets are not the products of free persons. Whoever must keep secrets, or demands that secrets be kept, is not free. Only those who know that they have been saved by the love of God are free and no longer subject to secretiveness. It is in this knowledge and faith that we boldly proclaim the deeds of God to a world darkened by sin and in need of the light and the freedom that only God can give.

Lord, Our hearts are full to overflowing with your generous love. Because of this, we are moved in our innermost being to give you joyful thanks and proclaim your wondrous deeds to all the world. We have come to know that, without you, we are nothing. Without you there is only darkness. Help us to proclaim your love by our thoughts, words, and deeds in our everyday lives. You alone deserve thanks and praise. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen!

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