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Anyone who doesn’t breathe is dead, and faith that doesn’t do anything is just as dead! James 2:26 (CEV)

When the idea of praising God comes to your mind what do you see? A worship service where people are gathered together singing songs of praise? People with raised hands proclaiming the Good News of Jesus Christ? Praise has been tied into worship in many of our church circles. 

“Okay,” we say to ourselves, “the band is out, the worship leader is starting to sing. It’s time to praise Jesus and all his wonderful works.”

Some view worship as quiet, reserved with hymns and scripture and testimonies. Others say worship has to be loud. “It’s a celebration of all that Jesus has done,” they’ll tell you. They may even quote a few instances in the Bible where the angels are singing praises to God constantly.

But the best praise we can give to God doesn’t involve a single note. Not a single drumbeat or a raised hand. Not a single word being spoken to God. The best praise and worship to God is action. It’s not confined to the walls of some worship center, it’s found in the soup kitchens of the inner city. It’s not played by skilled musicians it’s carried out by people who stop to help a motorist in distress, or a crying child who is lost in the store, or a total stranger that spends their spare time in a hospital or Seniors center or jail ministry.

James tells us that active faith is just as important to the believer as breath is to our body. Without some action on our part our faith is as good as dead. The Apostle Paul gives us another idea of what faith really is: But thanks be to God, who always leads us as captives in Christ’s triumphal procession and uses us to spread the aroma of the knowledge of him everywhere. For we are to God the pleasing aroma of Christ among those who are being saved and those who are perishing. To the one we are an aroma that brings death; to the other, an aroma that brings life. And who is equal to such a task? 2 Corinthians 2:14-16 (NIV)

Did you see that? A pleasing aroma. An aroma that smells so good that you know it must be Jesus. One of the things I love about riding my motorcycle is the aromas. Granted, riding through the country, some of those aromas aren’t so good. But the good ones are great! You can smell the neighbors grilling. You can smell the sweet aroma of campfires or mom’s home cooking. Pleasant to the nose. Enjoyable. Comforting. Peaceful.

What aroma can you praise God with today? Maybe you can finally forgive that person who wronged you. Not for their benefit. Not just for your benefit. But as an act of praise to your heavenly Father.

Maybe you can call an old friend; send a note of encouragement to a teenager in your church; visit a senior citizen center and listen to stories of their past; stop in at the local jail; give the server that just messed up your order a bigger tip.

Songs of worship? Not really. More like acts of praise. Acts of praise that are a sweet aroma to the Father and the very breath of our faith.

Good worship songs are important, but good worship action is what changes lives. Touch someone’s soul with your faith today. Make your thoughts and actions an act of praise to Jesus. It just may bring eternal rewards.

PRAYER: Lord Jesus, help me make my life a life of praise by the way I live among those who need a breath of fresh air in their lives. May the actions I take today be a sweet aroma to you. Amen.

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October 2011
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