Psalm 136:1 Give Thanks To The Lord

Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good. His love endures forever. Psalm 136:1

Parents strive to teach their children to be polite. One of the ways they are often taught is in saying thank you to someone when they receive something. Saying thank you shows appreciation to someone for what was given or done.

Many parents will even have the child write a thank you note. This takes the appreciation to another level, because it takes extra time and effort to write that note.

Although this is often taught, many tend to forget to say thank you to a person who did something for them. Adults tend to forget to appreciate those who give them a helping hand.

One area that many forget to give thanks is with God. The psalmist states that God’s love endures forever and that He is good. This psalm starts out with giving thanks to God several times and then ends with giving thanks to God. In the middle he reminds the people that God’s love endures forever twenty-six times.

At times in life, when everything is going hay-wire and nothing seems to be going right, a person may forget to give thanks to God. He may be looking at life and wonder what there is good to thank God for.  You may even be in that position right now, or have been there, and most likely will be there some day.

If you are there, look back on what God has done for you in the past. As the psalmist looks back and remembered what God had already did, he was able to give thanks and remember that His love does indeed last forever.

The greatest thing that God has given you is His love. That love is shown ultimately on the cross, bringing you salvation that you did not earn or deserve.

God’s love for you will never end. Each day God shows His great love in many different ways. You can breath, move, read His Word, and talk to Him are the bare minimum. God’s provision in this life and this world are examples of His love.

What can you give thanks to God for today?

How many blessings can you count each day?

Think about how God’s love does endure forever in your own life.

I pray today that you will know God’s love more and more; that you will not forget to thank God for what He has done and is doing in your life; and that you will know the blessings God has given you.

Psalm 135:3 Praise Him, For He Is Good

Praise the LORD, for the LORD is good; sing praise to his name for that is pleasant. Psalm 135:3

People are often lifted up in praise and honor for the good things that they have done. Usually these are people who have done something above and beyond the normal. They had given of themselves to an extreme level to help others out. Often to the point of putting themselves in harm’s way.

Some are almost revered as being someone extra special, such as Mother Theresa. Many of these types of people tend to have some type of Christian background, while there are some who do not believe in God at all. There are some who do great works in helping others out, while having no belief in God. Yet, all will get praise for doing good.

One who is good and does the perfect good all the time is God. He is good, not to just some people, but to every person. He is good to those who don’t even believe in Him.

Even when there are times of troubles in life, God is good. Many have chosen to walk away from God because of a situation that occurred in their life that they felt God should never have allowed. They feel that He is not being good to them.

You may be going through a time right now where you feel God is not being very good to you. You may be questioning how good He really is.

Take a moment and think about all that God has done for you that is good. He has given you some clothing to wear. He has given you access to the internet to be able to read this. He has given you breath to breathe. God has given you the ability to read. God has chosen you to be His child. Jesus has forgiven you of all your sins. You are a part of a family of believers that stretches around the world. The list of what God has done for you that is good goes on forever.

As you think about these good things God has done for you, give Him praise. Sing praise to Him and about Him. Let the world know what God has done for you. Let God know you know what He has done for you. Doing this is a pleasant thing and lifts your own spirit up.

I pray today that you will know what God has done for you; that you will sing praise to God all the time; that you will tell the world about Jesus; and that you will honor God with much praise.

Psalm 149:6 Praise And A Sword

May the praise of God be in their mouths and a double-double edged sword in their hands Psalm 149:6

Praise is the thing that lifts God up and makes Him the Lord of a person’s life. Honoring God with praise, tells Him and the world that He is the ruler of one’s life.

People do not know what is best for their lives. They look for the easiest way out, instead of the best way through a situation or this life. If there is any pain or trouble, the first thing most people want to have is get away. When God is allowed to be the ruler and king of a person’s life, it allows Him to be in control and to make all things right in the best way possible.

Praising God also gets the focus back on Him, instead of self and all the problems in this life. Praising God will make a person look at what God has done and can do, rather than what is happening.

Once the praise has started, then the double-edged sword can be yielded correctly. In Revelation Jesus is described as having a double-edged sword coming out of His mouth. This sword is God’s Word, which is described as sharper than a double-edged sword.

God’s Word goes out and can cut through the hardest of hearts. It can demolish the arguments of this world.

When you take time to give God praise, you can then take up His sword–the Word of God, and use it correctly. God will be on your side ready to fight for you and destroy all the enemies in your life.

The largest enemies in your life, are not the people who give you trouble, but the sins that weigh you down and crush you. It is the chains and bondages that hold you to sin and death.

As you go through your day be sure to have a praise to God on your lips and in your heart. Let the world know who you are in Jesus and who Jesus is. Then use His Word to defeat the enemies against you, not crushing in vengeance, but used in love to point them to Jesus.

With praise and God’s Word, you cannot be defeated.

I pray today that you will sing praises to God; that you will have God’s Word on your lips and in your heart; that you will know the power of God’s Word in your life; and that God will work in you to make you more like Jesus in this world.

Psalm 134:2 Lifting Hands To Praise

Lift up your hands in the sanctuary and praise the LORD. Psalm 134:2

Lifting up hands towards another person is something that people do all over the world. Most often it is done in honor or praise of the other person. Watch people at a football or soccer game when their team makes a great score. They start shouting and waving their hands and arms through the air for victory. They are excited and not afraid to show it.

While there are many raising hands in victory, there are some who are raising their hands in surrender. War is occurring in many countries. When the enemy comes in, there are some who raise their hands in surrender to the enemy to keep from being killed or harmed.

This type of surrender also occurs when a policeman begins to capture a crook. People will raise their hands to show the policeman that they are unarmed and willing to surrender.

Another reason hands are lifted is seen in a child. The child raises his hands to his father to be reached out to and loved. Hands are raised to be picked up and hugged.

Believers have the greatest reason in the world to be raising their hands. At a minimum they can raise their hands in surrender to the King of kings, Jesus. In order to follow Jesus, a person must give up his own personal will and desire. He must surrender his way of doing things to do the things God wants him to do.

Once a believer has surrendered his life to God, he can then raise his hands in victory to God, giving God praise for what He has done. Praise can be shouted out to God with raised hands.

He an also raise his hands to God seeking God to hold him and give him a hug. Raised hands will allow God to show His love to the person.

Many in the church do not raise their hands in public for fear of what others may think. Yet, look at what God has done in your life. He was not ashamed to reach down to you. Reach up to Him and receive what He has for you. Reach out to Him and give Him the praise that is due to Him.

God wants to give you a great big loving hug. Are you willing to let Him do it?

Give God praise today.

I pray today that you will have reason to praise God; that you will not fear raising your hands to God; that you will surrender your will to God; and that you will raise your hands in praise to God.

Psalm 133:1 Living In Unity

How good and pleasant it is when God’s people live together in unity! Psalm 133:1

Most people in the world are living at odds with each other. Each person wants to do things his own way. Each person wants to have everything work out in the way that works best for himself.

When this way of living occurs, there comes discord and fighting. No one is looking out for the other person, but his own personal interest.

The church often has the same problem as the world does. Each person in the church is trying to have everything run his own way. This creates disunity and discord also.

Think about a car engine and how it runs. If each piston chose to run on its own timing, the engine would not run at all. They have to run together in order for the car to run correctly and do its job.

Living together in unity brings about peace and strength. God is not a god of division but of love and peace and unity.  Remember that although He is the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, God is still One in unity.

The only people who can truly call themselves Christian, are those who believe in the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ for the atonement of their sins. Any person who does believe this, becomes a member of God’s family and should live in unity with all others who believe with him.

There may be many differences between the way different believers worship, pray, preach, witness, and live life, but everyone has the belief in Jesus. That is the only thing that affects salvation directly. There is only one way to God and that is through Jesus.

As believers begin to live in unity with the focus on Jesus and not on all the little side petty details, there will be peace and unity.

As a believer, strive to live in unity with all other believers. There will be believers who get into heaven from every denomination from around the world, you will not be the only one in heaven, otherwise it would be very lonely there.

It is good when people in unity and keep from fighting each other.

How are you working at keeping unity with other believers in your church?

Community?

Workplace?

I pray today that you will live with God at the center of your life; that you will love others as God loves them; that you will live in the unity of God with others; that you will know the peace of unity with other believers.

Psalm 132:4-5 Finding A Place For God

I will allow no sleep to my eyes or slumber to my eyelids, till I find a place for the LORD, a dwelling for the Might One of Jacob. Psalm 132:4-5

In the busyness of life, people are moving so much and so fast that they cannot find the time or place to slow down. Along with not finding the own personal need to slow down, they do not have much room for God in their lives. Work, school, families, spouses, repairs, cleaning, gardening, yard work, vehicle work, and the list goes on indefinitely of things that take their place in their lives.

The world is seeking to have a place for wealth, health and fame in their lives. If any one of these are missing, they strive for more.

Not only is this a problem in the world, it can be a problem with those in the church. Focus on the things of this world can easily push out a place for God in the lives of a person. Not only does a believer have all the same challenges that the world has, he may even have added in the challenges of ministry inside the church.

The events in a person’s life get so overwhelming that Jesus has no real dwelling in his life, except on Sunday morning for maybe one to two hours…maybe. Even then many are thinking about things after the service while in the service.

David said he would not sleep until he found a place for God to dwell. Although he was talking about a physical dwelling place, believers today need to find a place for God in their lives.

In your busyness of life, are you finding a place for Jesus in your life?

Allow God to be on the throne of your life. He should be the One who is at the center of all that you do, not just someone you think about on Sunday morning or in a crisis moment.

When something is important to you, you will find a place for it in your life. Is Jesus important to you?

Does God have a dwelling place in your day-to-day life?

I pray today that you will make time for God every day; that God will have the highest place in your life; that you will never sleep without God dwelling in your life; and that you will seek God all day every day.

Psalm 131:1 Proper Concern

My heart is not proud, LORD, my eyes are not haughty; I do not concern myself with great matters or things too wonderful for me. Psalm 131:1

People everywhere have opinions on just about everything. This is seen a lot when watching the news or sports. Opinions are given as to how things should have been done differently or how it was done very well.

At times the discussion about these opinions can get into a heated debate. One person holds one view, while the other holds the opposite. Each start calling the other names and cutting each other down. There is no love in the middle. Both are filled with self-pride, thinking that he knows best.

The sad part about these debates is that neither person is really an expert in the knowledge being offered. Neither see the big picture of the situation and therefore cannot offer a great solution or opinion to it.

Alongside of news and sports, the other area that many heated debates come up is in discussion of religion or God. Debating about what the Bible says about a particular situation or how God would react to something is often grounds for arguments.

There are also times when an individual is debating, not with others, but with God. People try to concern themselves with what God is doing and the way He is doing it.

David said that he does not concern himself with things too great for him. There are things that occur in the world that are beyond our abilities to control or beyond our wisdom to fully understand. God allows things to happen for His own reason and does not always reveal that reason to men. Debating why God allows something to happen does not always bring out the love of Jesus in a person. It usually brings separation and discord.

In your own life there will be things that occur that are way beyond your wisdom and full understanding. At those times you need to let it go and trust God. Trust that God knows what He is doing or allowing. You don’t know everything and do not fully see the big picture as God does.

What do you concern yourself with?

Is your concern or should it be God’s concern?

I pray today that God will help you see what you can do and cannot do; that you will know what is your concern and what is God’s; that you will trust God in things too great for you; and that you will not let self pride create division in your life.