Wednesday, January 29, 2020

Devotionals for the Heart: Magnify

A Heart of Praise
A devotional by Karen Lynn Marstaller

“Oh, magnify the LORD with me, and let us exalt his name together!” 
–Psalms 34:3 (ESV)

According to my paraphrase of the definition for the word “magnify,” to magnify means to “enlarge, or make bigger.”

I think that daily to-do lists that many people have may look something like this: Wake up, work, drive, cook, clean, babysit, study, wash, ad infinitum. Our to-do lists never end!

My tendency is to make my to-do list longer and more ponderous. A total of 15 or 20 items seems pretty normal. Surely I’ll get more accomplished that way, right? By the end of the day, that comfy recliner is looking pretty good.

David (a character in The Holy Bible) had a to-do list that was real simple—magnify the Lord, get together, exalt His name.

All through his psalms, David’s voice is loud and clear. He cries out his needs to the Lord, and then he praises God. He praises God, and then he cries out for deliverance. Threaded through his heart’s cries are his wonder and amazement at God’s great power and might, His tender mercy and grace, His forever love and radiant joy.

If David, who is described in the Bible as being a “man after God’s own heart,” chose to magnify the Lord, then I will too!

When I awaken, I sing for joy (Psalms 149:5). In John 12:12-13, the people went out to meet Jesus shouting, “Hosanna!” Nobody cares how loudly (or off-key) we sing our praises when we’re driving to and from work. The people on your mass transit commute might notice, but you’ll figure a way out to praise the Lord without disrupting the peace. While I’m in the privacy of my own home, I like to hum “Jesus Loves Me” while cleaning up the house or folding clothes. It cheers me up every time!

Isolated places to worship allow our hearts to soar as we unite with the Holy Spirit in praise, but David calls us into community worship, as well. This happens in our churches all the time and we are blessed by our moments in His house.

But what about all the other places where we come face to face with people who crave a gentle touch from the Lord?

The cashier at the grocery store is paid to be pleasant and courteous, but how often is he or she treated disrespectfully and unkindly? A simple smile, a gentle word or a prayer breathed deep inside share the Father’s love in ways we can never understand.

Who else would benefit if we decided that today that we will magnify the Lord? The hospital chaplain, who pours out his life for the people who come to him for answers? The beleaguered schoolteacher, who just spent $72.37 of his or her meager paycheck to buy paper, pencils, and pens for his or her 127 students?

A smile goes a long way in cheering a fussy baby. Deliberately holding the door for someone is an attention-getter. Magnify Him. Our servant heart offering a cup of cold water to someone who’s dying of thirst provides a taste of the abundant Life that we enjoy.

I have a friend who carries bottles of water in her car during the summer time. She never goes out to run errands unless she’s carrying a fresh bottle. And she never returns to her car with it. But that simple gesture (along with her genuine smile) magnifies the Lord.

Going for a jog is great exercise. Make one tiny little difference. Wave at that neighbor of yours who is housebound, but who struggles out to her front porch every morning to watch her world wake up. Magnify the Lord with her.

Jesus met the needs of ordinary people when He walked on this earth. He stopped, He spoke to them, sometimes He fed them, and He touched their lives. The Great Commission in Matthew 28:18-20 tells us to continue what Jesus started. Even though 2,000 years have passed, the message is the same: go, disciple, baptize, teach.

While we’re going about our Heavenly Father’s business, let’s do what David did: Magnify the great and mighty name of the Lord!

Author Bio:

Karen Marstaller is a retired high school teacher who spent most of her career challenging creative students to write. 

Her heart is for her readers. She writes to encourage them, to make them laugh, to show them that life is a beautiful journey, and regardless of their past, to show them that there is joy ahead if they will just keep looking.

Karen and her husband live in central Texas in a sweet little home that they completely remodeled. They enjoy spending time with their family, which includes seven precious grandchildren.

Most of all, Karen writes in obedience to the command to love your neighbor, to offer a cup of water to those who are dying of thirst, and to comfort others with the comfort she has received.


  1. Very encouraging and True ! Thank you for this Read! Jesus is Lord & of all~.

  2. Hi, Carmen,
    Bless you! All praise to the glory of the Lord!
    Karen Marstaller


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