Heartfelt Praise 
This is written for those dear brothers and sisters who are enlightened, have tasted the heavenly gift and are made partakers of the Holy Ghost. 
In the first part of this series of teachings1 on this web site2 we were made to understand the importance and power of this passage of Scripture: 
16 Rejoice evermore. 17 Pray without ceasing. 18 In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you. 
(1 Thessalonians 5)
The contents were called some of the keys of the Kingdom, and so they are, but the Lord wants to lead us further on the path of understanding. 
This writer has encountered at least four instances; in books, magazines and conversations in the last few months where verse eighteen has been discussed - in great detail. 
Most of the subject matter concerned using this part of God's word as a tool in receiving attention from Him; usually in the form of a mantra or formula. For example, one writer stated that we are to thank God for the same thing seven times in succession and then sit back and wait for the blessings to flow. Another suggests writing ten or so things that we are to thank God for on a piece of paper or card, place it in an easily accessible place such as a shirt pocket or handbag, and at suitable moments of leisure, such as when waiting for a traffic light to change to green, to take the card out and read aloud one of the items to be thankful for. 
This is like rubbing the magic lamp that belonged to Aladdin. 
Christians do not have a magic lamp. They have a loving Master. 
Our Master's name is God and He has caused a number of people to write of Him and His likes, dislikes, instructions and Commandments. 
These all were placed in a book called the Bible for us to follow and do
Also included are a number of prophesies, some of which have taken place so that we can know that our God is who He says He is, and some that we believe are still to take place. 
So, how do we learn to be obedient to God's Commandments? 
We can only do this with a submissive heart (soul). 
What we each need:
To act our lives out, sieving the larger stumbling blocks out of the way. 
To be holy
But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation; 
(1 Peter 1:15)
Hallow God:
After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. 
(Matthew 6:9)
Leading Godly lives:
And he said unto them, Know ye not this parable? and how then will ye know all parables? The sower soweth the word. And these are they by the way side, where the word is sown; but when they have heard, Satan cometh immediately, and taketh away the word that was sown in their hearts. And these are they likewise which are sown on stony ground; who, when they have heard the word, immediately receive it with gladness; And have no root in themselves, and so endure but for a time: afterward, when affliction or persecution ariseth for the word's sake, immediately they are offended. And these are they which are sown among thorns; such as hear the word, And the cares of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, and the lusts of other things entering in, choke the word, and it becometh unfruitful. And these are they which are sown on good ground; such as hear the word, and receive it, and bring forth fruit, some thirtyfold, some sixty, and some an hundred. 
(Mark 4:13-20)
And God is able to make all grace abound toward you; that ye, always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work: (As it is written, He hath dispersed abroad; he hath given to the poor: his righteousness remaineth for ever. Now he that ministereth seed to the sower both minister bread for your food, and multiply your seed sown, and increase the fruits of your righteousness;) Being enriched in every thing to all bountifulness, which causeth through us thanksgiving to God. For the administration of this service not only supplieth the want of the saints, but is abundant also by many thanksgivings unto God; Whiles by the experiment of this ministration they glorify God for your professed subjection unto the gospel of Christ, and for your liberal distribution unto them, and unto all men; And by their prayer for you, which long after you for the exceeding grace of God in you. Thanks be unto God for his unspeakable gift. 
(2 Corinthians 9:8-15)
Here's that verse once again:
He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him. 
(John 14:21)
And its companion:
Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him. He that loveth me not keepeth not my sayings: and the word which ye hear is not mine, but the Father's which sent me. 
(John 14:23-24)
Being in love with our Master:
But God be thanked, that ye were the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you. Being then made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness. 
(Romans 6:17-18)
Brethren, my heart's desire and prayer to God for Israel is, that they might be saved. For I bear them record that they have a zeal of God, but not according to knowledge. For they being ignorant of God's righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God. 
(Romans 10:1-3)
But what saith it? The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach; That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed. For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him. For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher? And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things! But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Esaias saith, Lord, who hath believed our report? So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. 
(Romans 10:8-17)
My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth. And hereby we know that we are of the truth, and shall assure our hearts before him. For if our heart condemn us, God is greater than our heart, and knoweth all things. Beloved, if our heart condemn us not, then have we confidence toward God. And whatsoever we ask, we receive of him, because we keep his commandments, and do those things that are pleasing in his sight. 
(1 John 3:18-22)
We see from the above that God's word is dealing with our hearts and not our bodies. God is interested in our everlasting presence with Him. 
This is how it's done:
And being let go, they went to their own company, and reported all that the chief priests and elders had said unto them. And when they heard that, they lifted up their voice to God with one accord, and said, Lord, thou art God, which hast made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and all that in them is: 
(Acts 4:23-24)
Knowing that Christ being raised from the dead dieth no more; death hath no more dominion over him. For in that he died, he died unto sin once: but in that he liveth, he liveth unto God. Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord. Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof. Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God. For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace. 
(Romans 6:9-14)
Now I Paul myself beseech you by the meekness and gentleness of Christ, who in presence am base among you, but being absent am bold toward you: But I beseech youthat I may not be bold when I am present with that confidence, wherewith I think to be bold against some, which think of us as if we walked according to the flesh. For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh: (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;) Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ; 
(2 Corinthians 10:1-5)
I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me. 
(Philippians 4:13)
And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him. 
(Colossians 3:17)
Rejoice evermore. Pray without ceasing. In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you. Quench not the Spirit. Despise not prophesyings. Prove all things; hold fast that which is good. Abstain from all appearance of evil. And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. 
(1 Thessalonians 5:16-23)
Done by you and me spontaneously, everyday, like when you come back from the shops or arrive home from work. 
When you say it, mean it. 
Watch for the heavenly power flow out all around you, constantly, when you least expect it2. 
I recently underwent a fairly routine surgical operation where a certain tube was left inside to drain the area of the wound. A week or so later this tube blocked and had to be replaced with a new one. Unfortunately, a local Doctor, over a period of some three hours, was unable to insert the replacement and we rushed off to the big City hospital trauma unit, to be met by the specialist Doctor who performed the original operation and who was also unsuccessful in replacing the drain tube due to swelling and muscle spasm. The problem was eventually resolved by his specialist knowledge. 
It was extremely difficult to continue praising the Lord while all this was going on amid the blood and pain, and what a relief when we were able to come home again in the rainy dark. 
Only a week or so later was it realised that this emergency procedure actually hastened the healing process. 
All things work together for good to them that love God, that are called according to His purpose. 
Praise the Lord.
Thank you Lord Jesus for your unfailing faithfulness and lovingkindness, the Lord who healeth me! 
A further complication of the surgery that was done on my body, was the build-up of various poisons and stresses, resulting in a rash and uncontrollable, continuos itching. 
Not easy to praise the Lord in the early hours in these circumstances, but, mostly in hindsight, it was realised that not only was the bodily itch unpleasant, but the resultant distress of the soul due to inward looking was causing a drawing away from the presence of the Spirit of God. 
He seemed so far away!
Hallelujah. What a Saviour!
This man has recently had plenty of opportunity of lying in bed while recuperating from surgery, and probably like many people, remembering the pleasant experiences of his life. Inevitably, these remembrances started bringing the successes of life to the fore, the cleverness, foresight of the mind combined with the body etc. Until it is realised that old man ego is once again taking over. 
Then comes the reaction - "not me Lord, but You; You are the Light, everything comes from the God of Light." 
Jesus led the way:
And when he was at the place, he said unto them, Pray that ye enter not into temptation. And he was withdrawn from them about a stone's cast, and kneeled down, and prayed, Saying, Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done. And there appeared an angel unto him from heaven, strengthening him. 
(Luke 22:40-43)
Then comes praise, then comes the peace, then comes the presence of the Living God. 
When we praise God at all times, even in times of adversity, we are thinking of God and not of ourselves, not so? 
This means then, that not only are we giving God the glory that He deserves, but we are training ourselves not to be egocentric. This willingness to obey God's wishes therefore serves two purposes in one, to prepare us for future citizenship in the Kingdom. 
Remember, we shall be changed in the twinkling of an eye; and this means that not only will our new bodies operate under the power of the Spirit, but our new souls also. Not only shall our bodies be perfect, without disease and pain, but our sin nature shall also be absent. 
We shall be like Jesus, the second Adam, the firstfruits of them who died and rose again (1 Corinthians 15). 
Praising becomes second nature, no need to consciously think about it. 
I will bless the LORD at all times: his praise shall continually be in my mouth. My soul shall make her boast in the LORD: the humble shall hear thereof, and be glad. O magnify the LORD with me, and let us exalt his name together. I sought the LORD, and he heard me, and delivered me from all my fears. They looked unto him, and were lightened: and their faces were not ashamed. This poor man cried, and the LORD heard him, and saved him out of all his troubles. 
(Psalms 34:1-6)
When we praise God (at all times), when in our prayer closet, we must direct our concentration to His presence, not just "say three times" like a mantra. 
At other times we just thank and praise Him spontaneously as if talking to a friend, such as when driving or reaching our destination. 
Here is a good example from God's word: 
Therefore loosing from Troas, we came with a straight course to Samothracia, and the next day to Neapolis; And from thence to Philippi, which is the chief city of that part of Macedonia, and a colony: and we were in that city abiding certain days. And on the sabbath we went out of the city by a river side, where prayer was wont to be made; and we sat down, and spake unto the women which resorted thither. And a certain woman named Lydia, a seller of purple, of the city of Thyatira, which worshipped God, heard us: whose heart the Lord opened, that she attended unto the things which were spoken of Paul. And when she was baptized, and her household, she besought us, saying, If ye have judged me to be faithful to the Lord, come into my house, and abide there. And she constrained us. And it came to pass, as we went to prayer, a certain damsel possessed with a spirit of divination met us, which brought her masters much gain by soothsaying: The same followed Paul and us, and cried, saying, These men are the servants of the most high God, which shew unto us the way of salvation. And this did she many days. But Paul, being grieved, turned and said to the spirit, I command thee in the name of Jesus Christ to come out of her. And he came out the same hour. And when her masters saw that the hope of their gains was gone, they caught Paul and Silas, and drew them into the marketplace unto the rulers, And brought them to the magistrates, saying, These men, being Jews, do exceedingly trouble our city, And teach customs, which are not lawful for us to receive, neither to observe, being Romans. And the multitude rose up together against them: and the magistrates rent off their clothes, and commanded to beat them. And when they had laid many stripes upon them, they cast them into prison, charging the jailor to keep them safely: Who, having received such a charge, thrust them into the inner prison, and made their feet fast in the stocks. 
(Acts 16:11-24)
Here it comes, God's Power from heaven that is available for us. Unexpected people got saved: 
And at midnight Paul and Silas prayed, and sang praises unto God: and the prisoners heard them. And suddenly there was a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison were shaken: and immediately all the doors were opened, and every one's bands were loosed. And the keeper of the prison awaking out of his sleep, and seeing the prison doors open, he drew out his sword, and would have killed himself, supposing that the prisoners had been fled. But Paul cried with a loud voice, saying, Do thyself no harm: for we are all here. Then he called for a light, and sprang in, and came trembling, and fell down before Paul and Silas, And brought them out, and said, Sirs, what must I do to be saved? And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house. And they spake unto him the word of the Lord, and to all that were in his house. And he took them the same hour of the night, and washed their stripes; and was baptized, he and all his, straightway. And when he had brought them into his house, he set meat before them, and rejoiced, believing in God with all his house. 
(Acts 16:25-34)
Paul and Silas glorified God in their tribulation, knowing the Power, believing the end result. 
Bye the bye, here is another key to the Kingdom: 
And when it was day, the magistrates sent the serjeants, saying, Let those men go. And the keeper of the prison told this saying to Paul, The magistrates have sent to let you go: now therefore depart, and go in peace. But Paul said unto them, They have beaten us openly uncondemned, being Romans, and have cast us into prison; and now do they thrust us out privily? nay verily; but let them come themselves and fetch us out. And the serjeants told these words unto the magistrates: and they feared, when they heard that they were Romans. And they came and besought them, and brought them out, and desired them to depart out of the city. And they went out of the prison, and entered into the house of Lydia: and when they had seen the brethren, they comforted them, and departed. 
(Acts 16:35-40)
If Paul had been so inclined, he could have called the wrath of Rome on the owners of the slave girl, as well as the magistrates, however: 
Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord. Therefore if thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him drink: for in so doing thou shalt heap coals of fire on his head. Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good. 
(Romans 12:19-21)
Another example happened a week ago:
While washing some large and heavy curtains for our one son, our fairly new washing machine failed on the wash cycle with the result that it needed repairing. The local repairman is very helpful and gave instructions over the phone of how remove the agitator housing to determine whether it was the splines in the agitator that had been stripped or the gearbox itself that needed replacement. It seemed that the gearbox had failed, but just to make sure the repairman said that as he was in the area the following morning he would come to confirm what had to be ordered from the City. The agitator housing was replaced in anticipation of his visit 
Before he arrived, my wife needed to shrink rinse some new cotton material for a couple of tablecloths that she intended making. The washing machine worked and is still working. 
If you have read other writings on this web site you will no doubt remember the incident of the back door lock that "unjammed itself" overnight while we slept. Hallelujah! 
Here are more keys for the outward-looking servant of the Most High God: 
If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth. For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God. 
(Colossians 3:1-3)
And the Lord make you to increase and abound in love one toward another, and toward all men, even as we do toward you: To the end he may stablish your hearts unblameable in holiness before God, even our Father, at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ with all his saints. 
(1 Thessalonians 3:12-13) 
And the servant of the Lord must not strive; but be gentle unto all men, apt to teach, patient, In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth; 
(2 Timothy 2:24-25)
No man is anywhere near perfect and so our Father has made it that His purpose can be revealed more and more the deeper we wish to dig in obedience to His promptings through the indwelling Holy Spirit. 
It is the glory of God to conceal a thing: but the honour of kings is to search out a matter. 
(Proverbs 25:2)
A question: would a Father who did not love us go to all this trouble through the centuries, revealing Himself to His servants the prophets, including sending His Son to earth in a limiting body to be killed on our behalf? 
When Israel was a child, then I loved him, and called my son out of Egypt. As they called them, so they went from them: they sacrificed unto Baalim, and burned incense to graven images. I taught Ephraim also to go, taking them by their arms; but they knew not that I healed them. I drew them with cords of a man, with bands of love: and I was to them as they that take off the yoke on their jaws, and I laid meat unto them. 
(Hosea 11:1-4)
To those you know who "suffer" from depression; those who are so inward-looking that they do not even know the light of life: 
I complained that I had no shoes until I met a man who had no feet. 
Is there a difference between my soul and my heart? 
My soul is what God placed in my being at conception, and perhaps my heart is a combination of soul and spirit that is under the covering of my Creator. 
A fair amount has been written about the keys of the Kingdom, but what is the Kingdom? 
And when he was demanded of the Pharisees, when the kingdom of God should come, he answered them and said, The kingdom of God cometh not with observation: Neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you. 
(Luke 17:20-21)
For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost. 
(Romans 14:17)
With all that has gone before in this series, think about it and see where you fit in. 
Praise my soul the King of Heaven! 
Friends, brothers and sisters: 
South Africa has been called the Rainbow nation. 
We have numerous African tribes, each with their own language and customs. 
We have Asian tribes with their own languages and customs. 
We have Caucasian tribes with their own languages and customs. 
Then, we have the people of God. 
Where do you fit in? Where do I? 
Am I willingly and joyfully preparing my heart for an unending life of service to my Master? 
What is the written word and the Living Word telling you? 
Praise my soul, the King of heaven, 
To His feet thy tribute bring; 
Ransomed, healed, restored, forgiven, 
Who like me His praise should sing? 
Praise Him! Praise Him! 
Praise You! Praise You! 
Praise the everlasting King. 
This morning early, while lying in bed, tucked in against the cold, my God gently and lovingly revealed through His Spirit how He has held His hand of protection over me through the years, and shall continue to do so, and how, before ever being converted it was not realised that this was happening. 
Undeniable, unexplainable supernatural events took place, some good and some not so good, but in the end it became apparent that all these turned out for God's good purpose. 
Glory and praise to my Holy and Righteous God who is filled with lovingkindness to His servants and children. 
Thank you Lord for the privilege of knowing You and of learning of Your unfailing, overwhelming concern and care. 
Count your blessings, name them one by one, 
Count your blessings, see what God has done. 
Count your blessings, count your blessings, 
And it will surprise you what the Lord has done. 
For the kingdom of God is not in word, but in power. 
(1 Corinthians 4:20) 
1The Carnal Church . . . . and the Spiritual 
2 www.hosanna.org.za