January 2, 2020 Give Thanks

Psalm 100_1-2

Psalm 134:2 Show Your Excitement

People raising hands

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

At football games people get excited when their team makes a touchdown score. They will jump up and shout loudly with excitement. As they are shouting and raising their hands in triumph, they do not care who sees or hears them. This is done for something that they did not directly have any part in. The team members usually don’t even know their name, unless it is a small high school team.

People will also raise their hands and shout with excitement at a concert with their favorite singer or band performing. They will do things that are a bit crazy and don’t care who sees them. The things done are things that should not be done in a workplace or in regular public, but people don’t care.

The author of this psalm is telling the people to lift up their hands and praise God in the sanctuary. This was not even in the normal public places, but in the place where praising God is expected.

In many churches one can hear some great worship music being played. While the music is playing people are sitting and singing, but that is all. The majority do not raise their hands in praise to God. There is a good number in the front of the sanctuary that may do it and a few scattered around the rest, but most won’t do it.

Many people will say that it is just not their style. Yet, some of these same people are the ones who jump and shout at their football team scoring.

Every believer has something greater than a football team scoring to shout about. God has done things of greater value than anything temporary on this earth. He has given forgiveness of sins and eternal life. That is something worth jumping and shouting about.

As you think about what God has done for you, how does it make you feel? This should be the greatest news of all time. It should make you want to jump and shout, praising God with all your might.

Each day you live on this earth, God is forgiving you of your sins. He is constantly working with you to make you more like Jesus. This is of eternal consequence and value, not just something temporary.

Give God praise for what He has done and is doing in your life. Do not be ashamed to raise your hands and voice in praise to the eternal, loving Almighty God.

I pray today that you will know Jesus as your Savior; that you will know what God has done for you; that you will not be ashamed to praise God openly; and that you will give God praise everywhere you go.

Psalm 133:1 Living In Unity

Men standing together

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

Living in unity is something that is not very common. Everyone has their own agenda and goals in life. Each person has their own thoughts as to how things should be.

In the process of having their own thoughts on how things should be, many will fight against anyone who does not agree with them. Most people want everyone to agree with them on everything, or else the other person is wrong.

Disunity comes as a result of selfishness. Each person wants his own way in whatever is being discussed. Families, communities, cities, nations often work and live in disunity. Everyone disagreeing with everyone else.

David knew the value of living in unity. He saw the dangers and struggles that could occur when there was disunity. When people lived in unity it was always a good thing to occur.

Just as it is common to see disunity in the world, it also occurs among believers. There are many who believe that having different beliefs is automatically disunity. This is not necessarily true.

God can guide each and every person on different paths in life and not have disunity. The unity is found in everyone worships God, everyone strives to be like Jesus, and everyone works at building God’s kingdom.

The manner in which these things are carried out may look differently from person to person. One may worship standing up, while the other does it sitting down. This is not disunity, but just differences in manner. The unity is still found in worshipping God.

One should not argue, fight or look down on the other because he does it differently. Focus on God and His kingdom, not the little petty things. People need to agree to disagree on how things can be done, but not to fight about, but be in unity despite it.

There will be things that others do that you do not fully agree with. Do not allow those things to get in the way of worshipping God and building His kingdom with them. Strive to live in unity with them with all the differences.

God is a great God and has allowed many ways to do many different things. The only thing that is only one way is salvation, which is by faith in Jesus Christ alone.

Are you living in unity with other believers? Or are you fighting fellow believers?

I pray today that you will know Jesus as your Savior; that God will guide you in living for Him; that you will have God’s grace with those who do things differently; and that God will strengthen you to live in unity with others.

 

Psalm 95:6 Bowing Down

Horse kneeling down

Come, let us bow down in worship, let us kneel before the Lord our Maker, Psalm 95:6 

Bowing down to something or someone is not uncommon around the world. In many places around the world, bowing down is a symbol of respect and honor given to another person. There are also many who bow down to idols to worship them.

It is common to see people bow down and nearly worship other people. Watch how the fans of singers and actors perform when in presence of someone famous. They see someone famous who they love, and idolize that person, thinking he is the best thing on the earth.

While many will bow in worship and adoration of others, there are very few that will bow down in submission. People do not want to have someone over them. They want to be their own boss, in control of their own destiny in life.

The author tells the people to bow down in worship. They are to kneel before God as He is their maker.

This is not only bowing down in worship, but also bowing down in submission. It is allowing God to be the controller of all life. It is giving Him honor for being the ultimate ruler of all things.

As many will bow in worship to God, giving Him honor, there are few who will bow down in submission, giving Him authority. People want to be in control of their own lives. On Sunday they will bow in submission, but on Monday, as they go back to work, they pick that authority back up for themselves.

A believer must realize that God should be the ultimate authority in every area of his life. God is the one who created everything and deserves that position and authority.

The believer’s life must characterize one of worship and submission to God, constantly bowing down before Him.

Take a moment to examine your life. Who or what are you bowing down to? If you are following the ways of this world, it will be things or other people. Bowing down to temporary things will only lead to death.

Bowing down to God will bring life. He knows what is best for your life. Give Him the honor that He is worthy of. Give Him full authority over your whole life.

Let us bow down in worship and submission to God today.

I pray today that you will know Jesus as your Savior; that you will bow down to worship Him each day; that you will bow down in submission to God’s authority; and that you will trust God with your life. 

Psalm 81:9 No Other God

Many beliefs

You shall have no foreign god among you; you shall not worship any god other than me. Psalm 81:9 

All over the world there are many different religions and beliefs. Worship of many different ‘gods’ is a common thing to see among religion. Some will even worship many ‘gods’ even within one belief.

There is another type of ‘god’ that many people worship. It is things, self, position, and other people. Focus on get things is the goal of many people. Those ‘things’ can be material things or position, but is the focus of people. It takes all their focus, energy and abilities to get whatever it is they want.

Once they have what it is they want, they begin to worship it. Belief that what they have is what made them who they are or got them to where they are. There is no room for anything else in their lives.

Asaph writes a reminder of one of the ten commandments, that they were not to have or worship any foreign gods. They were only to worship God, Himself.

While the majority of believers claim to believe and worship only God, there are many who tend to worship other ‘gods’. They worship their church, their position, their job, their things, their family and more. All these things are put before God in their own lives.

Any thing, both material and non-material, that is put before God has become a god to the person. As it is before God, it is being worshipped and adored. This does not belong there.

God is the One who created everything that there is, this is His world. It is His kingdom. Those who worship Him, must only worship Him. Anything else is foreign to His house and kingdom.

Believers must not allow anything to come between them and God, or else it is a foreign god that they are worshipping over God.

Take a look at your own life. What is it that takes up your time and focus? If it is anything other than God, then it is a ‘god’ that is foreign and must be removed.

These ‘gods’ may be good or bad things, but they are wrong when they take the place of God in your life. Do not allow yourself to be caught up in the things of this world and worshipping them.

Focus your life on God and worship Him alone. Do not allow any foreign gods in your life.

I pray today that you will know God alone as your God; that you will worship only God; that God will help you to remove any ‘gods’ in your life; and that you will find all you need in God.

Psalm 34:3 Glorify The Lord

Morning glory flower

Glorify the Lord with me; let us exalt his name together. Psalm 34:3 

Lifting someone or something up and glorifying it is a very common thing to occur among people. What people glorify is uncountable. Some will glorify a job, a singer, an actor, a sports team, and the list in endless. People will glorify whatever it is that they are excited about, whether it is for the positive or the negative.

In the process of lifting up, they will often make the person or thing out to be the best in whatever field the person or thing is. This can also be see abstractly in that some will say some thing glorifies an action, attitude or thought.

Some will say that football may glorify violence. Movies will glorify crime and killing. Again the list is endless as to what is glorified and how it is glorified.

David called for the people to glorify the Lord with him. He wanted to praise God with others and not just himself, alone.

Glorifying God is talking extremely highly of Him to everyone and anyone anywhere a person is. It is constantly talking about God around other people.

When a person thinks about it, there is not too much that can be said about God. The list of His qualities and qualifications are infinite, going on forever. The list of good things that God has done is endless. And this list is for each and every believer.

As one is glorifying God, he is also being a witness to others as to who God is. It is the process of letting the world get a glimpse of who God is. This also takes the focus off of problems and this world and focuses on the eternal. It will bring joy to the heart.

Take time each day to think about the qualities and characteristics of God and what He has done for you and for others. Think of all the blessings God has blessed you with. Give God praise for those things.

Be willing to glorify the Lord by telling Him what you think of what He has done and who He is. Then go out and tell the world what God has done and who He is. This is glorifying God.

Do not let the temporary things of this world get your focus and bring you down. Focus on God and His perfect qualities and actions. Who or what will you glorify today?

I pray today that you will have a personal relationship with God; that you will know God’s character; that you will know the blessings you have in Jesus; and that you will glorify God wherever you are.