QUESTION: I am 14 years old. Can you give me some advice on how to keep praising the Lord and ignore people who criticize me because of my love for Jesus?


ANSWER: I am so encouraged by your desire “to keep praising the Lord.” He surely deserves our continual praise as we see in Psalm 113:3, “From the rising of the sun to its going down the Lord’s name is to be praised” (NKJV). Yet we are living in a world that hates Christ and Christians who praise Him. Jesus forewarned us that this would be true in John 15:18, “If the world hates you, you know that it hated Me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love its own. Yet because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you.” Satan tries to use the world’s hatred of us to “keep us from praising the Lord.” I believe the answer to your question is “We must keep our hearts and minds occupied with the Lord Jesus in order to keep praising Him.” Here are some scriptures to help you do that.

1st John 3:19 says, “We love Him because He first loved us.” This verse is teaching us that it is “Christ’s love for us that produces our love for Him.” Do you remember the love you had for Jesus the moment you trusted in Him as your Savior? That love was produced when we saw the love Jesus had for us by dying on the cross! We see this earlier in verses 9-10, “In this the love of God was manifested toward us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him. In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loves us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins.” The love that caused God the Father to send His Son and the love the brought His Son to the earth to die on the cross for our sins is the love that won us over and produced a love in our hearts for Him! That love for Him also causes us to PRAISE HIM! We MUST keep thinking of His love for us in order “to keep praising Him.”

Galatians 2:20 states, “I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, WHO LOVED ME AND GAVE HIMSELF FOR ME.” The Apostle Paul’s life was one of devotion and praise to God. What caused Him to praise the Lord in spite of persecution from the world and trails in life? It was (as we have seen) the LOVE OF CHRIST FOR HIM! We MUST keep our minds and hearts focused on HIS LOVE and this will result in a life of complete devotion to Christ, including PRAISING HIM. See Acts 16:16-25 which illustrates this.

Luke 22:19-20 reads, “And He (Jesus) took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them, saying, ‘This is My body which is given for you; do this in remembrance of Me.’ Likewise He also too the cup after supper, saying, ‘This cup is the new covenant in My blood, which is shed for you.” In this passage we see the Lord Jesus instituting what we call the “Lord’s Supper.” Jesus knew that we would be prone to forget (at times) what He did on the cross for us so He ordained this supper for Christians to sit down together and to “remember Him in His death for us.” We read in Acts 2:42 that early Christians “continued steadfastly…in the breaking of bread.” Acts 20:7 declares, “Now on the first day of the week, when the disciples came together to bread bread…” This was their custom and it should be ours, for when we come together at the beginning of the week with other believers in Christ to remember Him, our hearts are refreshed and we end up PRAISING HIM. This praise that begins our week should then be true of us every day of the week, as we see in Hebrews 13:15, “Therefore by Him let us continually offer the sacrifice of praise to God.”

Our praise to God the Father and the Lord Jesus is done in the power of the Holy Spirit. This is confirmed in Philippians 3:3, “For we are the circumcision, WHO WORSHIP BY THE SPIRIT OF GOD and boast in Christ Jesus” (DARBY). It is the Holy Spirit’s delight to keep our hearts and minds focused on Christ and as we allow the Spirit to do this, we will indeed PRAISE HIM. We will, at the same time, become more like Jesus. “But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord” (2 Cor. 3:18).

In conclusion, you must spend time with the Lord Jesus by studying the scriptures. As you do this the Spirit of God will teach you more about Him causing you to be changed into His very image. You will “grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ” (1st Peter 3:18). And as you come to know the Lord Jesus in a deeper way, your praise for Him will deepen and it will be “from the rising of the sun to its going down.”  (360.3)  (DO)