(also known as "The Doxology")
Thomas Ken, 1637-1711

I will praise thee, O LORD my God, with all my heart: and I will glorify thy name for evermore.
Psalm 86:12

The lines of the Doxology have been the most frequently sung words of any known song for more than 300 years. Even today many English-speaking congregations unite at least once each Sunday in this noble overture of praise. It has been said that the doxology has done more to teach the doctrine of the Trinity than all the theology books ever written.

Instead of being merely a perfunctory hymn that is sung each week, the doxology should be regarded by Christians as an offering or sacrifice of praise to God for all of His blessings (Hebrews 13:15). True worship always involves an offering. In the Old Testament, the priests offered blood sacrifices to God on behalf of the people. In the New Testament church, God wants our sacrifice of praise--praise for His giving of the perfect blood sacrifice of the LORD Jesus Christ on the cross of Calvary. Other sacrifices desired by God of New Testament believer-priests include: Our bodies (Romans 12:1), the service of our faith (Philippians 2:17), our material gifts (Philippians 4:18), our good works and communication (Hebrews 13:16).

The author of this text was a bold, outspoken 17th Century Anglican bishop named Thomas Ken. Ken's illustrious career in the ministry was stormy and colorful. He served for a time as the English chaplain at the royal court in the Hague, Holland. He was so outspoken, however, in denouncing the corrupt lives of those in authority at the Dutch capital that he was compelled to leave after a short stay.

Upon his return to England, Ken was appointed by King Charles II to be one of his chaplains. Ken continued to reveal the same spirit of boldness in rebuking the moral sins of his dissolute English monarch. Despite this, Charles always admired his courageous chaplain, calling him "the good little man". The king rewarded Thomas Ken by appointing him the Bath and Wales area. The historian Macaulay gave this tribute to Bishop Ken: "He came as near to the ideal of Christian perfection as human weakness permits."

Praise God, from Whom all blessings flow;
Praise Him, all creatures here below;
Praise Him above, ye heavenly host;
Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.

*For Today*: Psalm 97:1; 100; 150:6

It has been said that a Christian's theology must become his doxology. As a believer-priest, are you offering to God the sacrifices that He desires? Give Him your praise even now as you sing the Doxology.

Music url: The Cyber Hymnal

Taken from Amazing Grace -- 366 Inspiring Hymn Stories for Daily Devotions Copyright 1990 by Kenneth W. Osbeck. Published by Kregel Publications, Grand Rapids, MI. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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