August 10th, 1960                                         “Grateful Praise”                                    Late Mr. N. Daniel

Psalm 107:19-25

This is a psalm of Praise. "Let them sacrifice the sacrifices of thanksgiving." Thanksgiving is like offering a sacrifice to God. We often fail in thanksgiving because we are not God-conscious. We depend upon our self-effort and we also pray. When we get what we pray for we congratulate ourselves. This is not the way of faith. Indian religions are just of self-effort. People have put religion into physical actions. These works make man pleased with himself. You cannot get praise or merit in the presence of God by such efforts. Chris­tians in India have the background of Hinduism. By our efforts we cannot get salvation or any merit. But only when we obey His word, which we can do only with the help of God. No man can obey the Word of God as God wants him to without God's help. God's standards are so high that we by ourselves cannot please Him. There is nothing in us that can merit God's mercy. Man is sinful from head to foot.

'Lord I bring this offering to you', says man. But with what hands and what heart does he bring it? With hands full of blood and a heart desperately wicked he comes. Romans 3:10-15. Such men we are. We may bring into an operation theater a beautiful tissue. But will the doctor accept it to dress the wound? Doctors are very careful not to accept anything that is not sterilized. You may say that it is clean. But he will tell you that neither you nor your tissue are clean enough for the operation theater. So are we with God. Our best righteousness is as filthy rags. That is God's estimate of our best righteousness. Unless a man accepts that, he can never obtain mercy. He must accept that his best actions are ill-motivated. He needs to be cleansed at the foot of the Cross. There he sees how much Jesus suffered to cleanse him from his sin and sinfulness. Saul of Tarsus who was blameless according to the law had to be cleansed at the foot of the Cross.

In Hindupur where we conducted revival meetings, we prayed that people's eyes may be opened. There was a man there who would not accept that he was a sinner. On a day when the Spirit of repentance came on the people, this man was weeping very much. He saw Jesus coming into the con­gregation with a crown. Though he called on Jesus, he would look at everyone but himself. Jesus has no mercy for those who are not sinners.

At the foot of the Cross is cleansing. Man has to be grateful to God for the great sacrifice Jesus made for his sinfulness. How grateful I should be to God for the great deliverance He gave me from sin in the days of my youth even in my thoughts and imagination! Do we start our prayer with this sacrifice of praise? Do we start out the day with this sacrifice? Many Christians start their day with Holy Communion. But is there real gratitude? Where there is grate­ful praise, Heaven will come down.