Psalm 136:1 Give Thanks To God

Give Thanks

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

Children are often taught to be polite when they are given something. They are expected to say ‘thank you’ for the gift. Often they are expected to say the response even when they really don’t like the gift.

While parents teach this concept of being grateful for every gift, even the ones not liked, many do not follow their own rules. It is common to hear of adults complaining about what they are given, rather than accepting it and being thankful.

Things are accepted and thanked for when it is in line with what one wants and expects. If it is not really in line with one’s own expectations, there is seldom any gratefulness.

The writer of this psalm starts out with telling the people to give thanks to the Lord. He immediately gives two reason: He is good and His love is everlasting.

People are often upset with God for what He did or did not give them. If life is not going perfectly smooth, people feel that God does not love them and is not giving them a good life.

Over the years there have been many people who have walked away from God because He did not answer some certain prayer that they requested. It is common to hear of this with healing someone.

As they do this, they have forgotten how good God really is and how great His love is. God only gives what is best for the individual. This good is for eternal good, not just some temporary pleasure.

No matter what God gives or allows in the life of a person, it is not meant to harm or destroy a person. It is meant to build him up and draw him closer to Him. Thus a person should give thanks to God for everything.

Think of all the good things God has already given you, life, breath, food, clothing, forgiveness of sins, salvation and much more. There are a million more good things that you may be able to think of that God has given you out of His great love for you.

God is a good God and will only give you the best for you. Trust that God knows what He is doing. Trust in His great love for you.

Now take a moment to give thanks to God for what He has given and is giving you today.

I pray today that you will know God’s great love for you; that you will know what God has given you; that you will trust God’s love for you; and that you will see that God is good all the time.

Joshua 18:3 Take Possession

Farm house

So Joshua said to the Israelites: “How long will you wait before you begin to take possession of the land that the Lord, the God of your ancestors, has given you?” Joshua 18:3 

When a person is given a gift, he is expected to accept it and open it. Once it is opened, it is now in his possession. It no longer belongs to anyone else.

If the person does not accept and take the gift, it is not in his possession. He can lay no claim to the gift, even though it could be his.

God had given the land of Canaan to the Israelites. All they had to do was go in and take possession. Five of the tribes of Israel took possession immediately, while the other seven chose not take possession. Joshua asked the question of how long it would be before they would choose to take possession of the land God is giving them.

Although believers, today, do not usually receive a gift of land from God, they are given some other things to possess. God offers peace, love, provision, joy, forgiveness, patience and more.

The world believes that all they need to make it in this world is physical things. The more things that they have, the more successful they are. According to the world, the non-physical things are just secondary and not really necessary.

Although physical things, such as food, housing, transportation and clothing, are important, they are not the most important things in this life. Those things help to live in this life, but do no good in eternity. The things God provides are important to eternity.

It is common for believers to not take possession of the things of God that are most important. They are grabbing for the temporary things of this world.

God is handing you some spiritual land in your life. You have the choice to accept it or not. The joy and peace that you may be searching for have already been given to you. All you need to do is take possession of them.

Having the things of God will make this life much better and prepare you for eternity. Do not despise what God is handing you. Take time each day to grab a hold of the things of God that really matter. Don’t wait any longer.

As Joshua asked, how long will you wait to take possession of what God is giving you?

I pray today that you will know the gifts God is giving you; that you will know the value of God’s gifts; that God will reveal to you the best way; that you will possess the things of God; and that your life will like that of Jesus. 

Being Too Busy

christmas yard

One of the busiest seasons is upon us–Christmas season. Although it has two different holidays where most people get it off or at least partially off, they are busier than normal.

It seems as if there is always a million things to do each day and not enough time in the day to get everything done. With Christmas there is the time of trying to figure out who I need to get gifts for. Then decide what gifts should I get, along with what can I really afford to get. Along with the gifts, there are Christmas concerts, recitals, plays, and services going on almost daily somewhere. There are friends and family putting on events that you must attend.

christmas play

As if that is not enough to make a person crazy, one must also decide which family member to go visit for Christmas, how long you will stay, how will you get there, and where you will stay during the visit.

At the home, you must also set up the Christmas tree and hang up or set up all the decorations. Decisions must be made on how the outside of the house and yard will be decorated. Then time must be taken to get all the supplies, change out all the burnt out lightbulbs and set it all up.

Inside the house, decisions on what deserts must be made. Baking all the Christmas cookies, cakes and candies are being done at a rapid pace.

christmas deserts

As all this is occurring, most people are still working a regular job, taking kids to practices or school, cooking meals, doing the laundry, cleaning the house, and the list goes on.

With all of these things occurring, many people often regret Christmas or lose sight of what the meaning of Christmas is all about. On Christmas morning, some families pull out a Bible and read the story of the birth of Jesus. It is often the only time that they really thought about the meaning of Christmas in all the hustle and bustle of life and getting ready for Christmas.

As you are getting ready for Christmas think of this verse:

Psalm 46_10

Look at the scene in this picture. See the trees, water and snow are sitting perfectly still. All of creation is sitting still knowing God is God and He is in control of it all. Nature does not show any hustle and bustle about anything.

Relax and get back to the real reason why you celebrate Christmas. It is about God loving this world so much that He gave His one and only Son to save you. It is not about all the giving and getting, lights and decorations, or even visiting family, it is completely about Jesus.

If you do not get all the decorations up, if you do not get everyone the perfect present, if you do not get some baked goods completed, it will be ok. Life in this world will still go on. Jesus will still save you from your sins.

Take a moment at least once a day, preferably many more times each day, to stop and thank God for the season. Give thanks to God for His great love in sending His Son to save you. Thank God for the greatest gift ever given–life.

Take a moment to realize the meaning of this great holiday. It is to remember what God has done for you.

Do not allow yourself to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of this season so much that you miss out on what Jesus is doing in your life. Be still and know that He is God.