October 31, 2019 Give Thanks

Hebrews 12_28

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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. 

Psalm 32:11 Rejoice And Be Glad

Girl wildflowers

Rejoice in the Lord and be glad, you righteous; sing, all you who are upright in the heart! Psalm 32:11 

Everywhere a  person looks there appears to be trouble. The news is filled with negative events, deaths, murders, crime, suffering, lies, theft, and more. People are walking in fear of their lives, fear of being robbed or killed.

Along with all of the bad news being spread, there are the problems of life. There is sickness, debt, divorce, and more that plague the lives of many people.

Finding something to be happy about appears to be elusive to many people in the world. They look to drugs and comedians to find a place to laugh and be happy. They seek things to remove them from the troubles in this world.

David found a reason to rejoice and be glad with a song in the heart. He had many struggles and troubles throughout his life, yet he would rejoice and sing songs of praise to God. He found forgiveness from God.

Jesus promised every believer that he would have a lot of troubles in this world. There would be pain and suffering, yet, the believer has a reason to rejoice.

Every pain and suffering that a person goes through here on this earth is temporary. It will only last for a short time in light of eternity.

There is one trouble that a person goes through, however, that is not temporary if not dealt with correctly. That trouble is condemnation of sin. It is a death sentence.

The good news is that Jesus has paid for that sin and is willing to forgive and forget that sin. This is of eternal value. Being given the gift of forgiveness is the greatest thing that any believer can ever receive.

Getting forgiveness should cause every person to rejoice and be glad. It should put a song of praise on his lips. It has eternal value, greater than anything on this earth.

Seek out God’s forgiveness for any and every sin you have ever committed. Jesus is right there willing to forgive you, since He paid for those sins.

Now, think about what Jesus has done for you. Let that sink into your heart. Now you have a reason to rejoice and be glad, regardless of what troubles you have in your life. The greatest trouble–eternal death–has been wiped away.

Sing now praises of thanksgiving and worship to the God for what He has done for you.

I pray today that you will know the forgiveness Jesus provides; that you will find joy in worshipping God; that you will be glad in the Lord; and that you will sing songs of praise to God. 

Psalm 8:2 Praise: The Greatest Stronghold

Singing worship

Through the praise of children and infants you have established a stronghold against your enemies, to silence the foe and the avenger. Psalm 8:2 

All over the world people and nations are constantly seeking ways to defeat their enemies. They want to know what it will take to stop the enemy from being able to attack and win a battle.

Walls, gates, and security systems are put in place everywhere one looks. Security guards are set up to watch out for the enemy. Billions of dollars are spent to ‘protect’ themselves from the enemy. Spies are enlisted to find out information about the enemy and how to defeat them.

Yet, the enemy still is able to get in and destroy. Sometimes just a little, while other times a lot.

David points out that a great stronghold against the enemy is found in the simplest of ways. It is found in praise of the children and infants. Praise is what silences the enemy.

One may wonder how praise can be a stronghold against the enemy and how it can silence the enemy. Praise takes the focus off of self and off of the enemy. It points one towards God.

Praise gives God all of the credit and the power to do what needs to be done. It builds the faith of the believer as he focuses his mind and heart on praising God. In this way it focuses on what God can do, not what the enemy is trying to do.

With God all things are possible, so as one is praising God, God is able to defeat the enemy. The enemy may be physical, but more often it is a spiritual enemy. these are the enemy of the thoughts, words and actions of self. One cannot praise God and live in sin at the same time, it is one or the other. When praising God one is living for God.

As you face enemies in your life, both physical and mental, turn your focus away from the enemy and towards God. Notice how big God is and how small the enemy really is. Begin to give God praise and worship and see what He can do.

Praising God builds a fortress of God around your life. It puts up a barrier around your thought life to block out unwanted thoughts to enter. As these thoughts are blocked, you can live for God.

Give God praise today!

I pray today that your heart will be overwhelmed with praise to God; that you will see reasons to praise God through all circumstances; that your heart will be filled with joy at praising God; and that you will see God block the enemies of your soul through your praise.

2 Chronicles 14:3 Removing The Foreign Altars

False altar

He removed the foreign altars and high places, smashed the sacred stones and cut down the Asherah poles. 2 Chronicles 14:3 

The world has allowed altars to be built up every where to self. People worship many different things, although they no longer call them gods. People are worshipped, things are worshipped, jobs are worshipped, positions are worshipped and much more. Along with these things are also false gods that are worshipped.

These are the external things that are worshipped. People also worship internal things, such as pride, wealth, self, and more.

All these things take the place of God in the lives of people. They want anything and everything but God.

Asa had become king of Judah and chose to cleanse the land of false gods and idols. He led the nation in going throughout the entire land destroying all of the sacred places to false gods and destroying their high places. He was able to get the nation to focus their eyes back on God.

Physical idols are not worshipped as much as a god in many places around the world, but there is still false worship occurring in the lives of people. Most believers are not in a position to be able to destroy the false worship centers and idols of this world. They cannot destroy places of sin in their nation or city.

However, in the lives of many people there are often high places to things other than God. The believer needs to allow God to reveal these altars in the heart and allow Jesus to remove them. The believer can chose to no longer worship at that altar and focus his attention back onto God and God alone.

There is to be only one God in the heart and life of a believer and that is God, Himself with Jesus His Son. No one or any other thing is to be worshipped.

Allowing God to remove all the foreign altars in your life will give you the ability to worship God alone. It will bring a supernatural peace into your life with God because you will be in the right standing with Him.

Do not allow foreign altars to be built up in your heart and life. Keep your focus on God alone. Worship God with all of your heart, soul, mind and strength. Live for God alone. This will allow God to do great things in and through you.

I pray today that you will know Jesus as your Savior; that you will allow God to remove any foreign altars in your life; that you will worship God alone; and that you will serve God with all of your life. 

Judges 8:27 Worshipping The Blessing

Golden ephod

Gideon made the gold into an ephod, which he placed in Ophrah, his town. All Israel prostituted themselves by worshiping it there and it became a snare to Gideon and his family. Judges 8:26 

Getting a gift or blessing from someone or a group for something that was done extra is always a good thing. It shows a person that he is honored and his extra work is recognized.

Companies and organizations around the world will often have times of honoring those who do the work. They recognize people who have gone above and beyond their job or position. The honor can be one of many things, such as a plaque, gift of money, a gift card, a picture, name in a newsletter, an extra vacation, and nearly anything the mind can think of.

There is nothing wrong with getting honored with a gift. However, there are some people who worship that gift.

After Gideon had defeated the Midianites, the people had given him some of the gold from the plunder they had taken. This gold was melted down and made into an ephod. Immediately the people and Gideon started to worship that ephod. It was as though the ephod had saved them from the Midianites.

Not only do people in the world tend to worship the blessing that was given, there are people in the church who have done the same thing. They may not say it is God, but they talk about the honor given as though it is the best thing in all of life. They keep it clean and posted where everyone can see it, and they make sure that people see it.

This is taking the honor of what God has done away from Him. It is focusing on what self did. The blessing ends up being worshipped more than God.

Take a look at your own life. What honors have you received over the years? How do you respond to those honors?

Be careful to keep you eyes and focus upon God. When people talk about the honor or blessing, point them back to God as the one who helped you do what you did.

Do not allow the honor or the blessing take the throne of your life or anyone else’s life. Do not allow it to become a snare pulling you away from God.

Everyone deserves some honor, but keep it in the right perspective–God made it possible.

I pray today that you will recognize God’s work through you; that you will give God the honor due to Him; that you will not worship things or positions in your life; and that you will worship only God. 

Judges 6:10 Results Of Not Listening

Half Dome

“I said to you, ‘I am the LORD your God; do not worship the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you live.’ But you have not listened to me.” Judges 6:10 

There are times that people go through tough situations in their lives. Sometimes these tough situations are because God is allowing the enemy to test them, to determine where their heart really is. Other times the tough situation is a result of bad choices made, refusing to listen to God’s Holy Spirit guiding and directing them.

The nation of Israel had times that they would be overrun by the enemy. They would cry out to God for some help. At one point God had sent a prophet to them to tell them that He had given them a command not to worship the false gods, yet they chose to worship the false gods. They had chosen to not listen to God and the result of an enemy take over had occurred.

God does not want the enemy to take over His people, in reality He wants the enemy defeated. However, when His people are not listening to Him and doing what He says, He allows the enemy to take over.

The purpose of the enemy taking over is to get the attention of His people back on Him.

God is not out to destroy people, but to build them up and give them life. Yet, if they choose not to listen to Him and follow Him, He will do what it takes to get their attention.

As people go through tough times, most people will call out to God for help. This is one of God’s ways to get their attention and focus back on Him. Every believer needs to stay focused on God and listen to Him as they follow Him.

God is not against you, but is for you. He does not want to destroy you, but He needs to you listen to Him and obey Him. He loves you enough that He will do whatever it takes to keep you focused on Him. This may mean going through some tough times.

If you are going through a tough time, turn your entire focus onto God and not the tough time. Allow God to guide you through the situation.

Even when following God, times may be tough, but He will always give you strength to make it through. Don’t turn away from God, but listen to Him.

I pray today that you will know God’s directions; that you will listen to God; that you will obey God; that you will keep your focus on God; and that you will see God’s work in your life.