"I have taken a stand, and I will publicly praise the Lord."
-Psalm 26:12 (NLT)
As the time winded down at the end of the Illinois/Louisville game in the 2005 NCAA Final Four, the celebration began. Players began to jump up and down, coaches started to walk towards each other to exchange pleasantries, and one player stood alone. Roger Powell, Jr. stood at the foul line focused on one thing.
Historically, as found throughout scripture, when victory was won in battle the people of God gave praise to the Lord. But many kings and warriors over the years also chose not to give proper praise to God for His goodness in battle. They chose to celebrate how great they were instead of how great God was in the victory. This is still a fault of many today.
Roger Powell, Jr. stood in a picture-like pose -- arms lifted high, head tilted toward Heaven, fingers pointed in recognition of the God who gave him the ability to score 18 second-half points. Powell was giving proper praise where praise was due. And if you ask Powell -- a devoted Christian -- he would say he is hungry and humble as an athlete. And that hunger and humility carries over into his spiritual life as well. Many athletes give thanks to Christ when they win, but I would venture to say that in victory or defeat, Roger Powell, Jr. would praise his heavenly Father for even the ability to give Christ all the glory, honor and praise.
1. Do you praise God in victory and in defeat?
2. How do you show praise in your life?
3. Today, how can you start giving proper praise to God for what He has done in your life?
1 Chronicles 16:25