Sing praises to God, sing praises; Sing praises to our King, sing praises, For God is the King of all the earth; . . .God reigns over the nations, God sits on His holy throne. Psalm 47:6,7(a), 8 (NASB)
Don't leave your praise at the church. That might sound more like a closing statement, rather than an opening one. But I believe it's important that we all understand that church is not the only place we can praise God. As believers in Jesus Christ, and as His blood-washed, adopted children, one of the benefits of our relationship with Him is that our praise is mobile; so is our worship. However, religion keeps a lot of people from embracing that freedom. There is a difference between religion and relationship. Religion says I go to church every Sunday because I "don't feel right" if I don't. Relationship, on the contrary, says I go to church every Sunday to meet God and allow Him to speak into my spirit. I go because I owe Him my all; He gave me His all, so I give my all back to Him.
Today's text instructs us to sing praises to the King because He reigns. All of us don't see Him as King over the earth. We don't all acknowledge that God reigns over the nations, but His Word is true! We can sing praises any time, any place, and for any reason. Notice today's text says what, and to Who, but it doesn't say where. Religion stops some of us from praising God as a lifestyle. Somehow we don't all feel it's appropriate to praise God at any time. God has not called us to engage in religious rituals, but relationship. He has not called us to act on how we "feel," but on His Word, which tells us to bless Him at all times (Psalm 34:1). Somebody needs to lift up a shout to God right now out of a grateful heart. That's where our praise should come from anyway - out of our hearts. Praise coming from a grateful heart toward God will choke out religion that is devoid of a relationship with Jesus Christ.