Psalm 33:1 “Let the godly sing for joy to the Lord; it is fitting for the pure to praise him.” New Living Translation (NLT)
I’m troubled by disappointment sometimes. Things don’t turn out like I’d thought or hoped. People don’t do what I think is good or what I’d expected or wished.
The answer for me today is Psalm 63:3 and 5: “Because Thy lovingkindness is better than life, my lips will praise Thee. 5 My soul is satisfied as with marrow and fatness, and my mouth offers praises with joyful lips.” New American Standard Bible
Father, because Your love and kindness is better than life itself, and You lavish that on me, my soul will be more than satisfied (one translation says “satisfied as with the richest foods) even when people and things disappoint. Amen.
So many gifts from God—
I cannot count them all,
But I can make a start.
I’ll list both great and small.
How can I draw closer, Lord?
How can I love You more
And give glory You are due?
I’ll consider all I have to thank You for.
Psalm 107:8-9 “Oh, that men would give thanks to the Lord for His goodness, and for His wonderful works to the children of men! 9 For He satisfies the longing soul, and fills the hungry soul with goodness.” New King James Version
Yes, I do want to have a continual attitude of gratitude because of all God has done. He is truly good. I see it more and more. He satisfies my longing soul as I believe and trust Him more. He fills my hungry soul with goodness as I hunger and thirst after righteousness. (Matthew 5:6)
1 Thessalonians 5:18 “ Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus.” NLT
The title for this post comes from the hymn “Now Thank We All Our God” written by Martin Rinkart. A beautiful video of the hymn is on YouTube at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TA9cQ5X87P4 . (An ad precedes the video.)
I’m just now getting a chance to read Pastor Tom’s Thanksgiving sermon, and even though it’s after Thanksgiving, I’m re-blogging it since I believe it’s a timely message for any time of year.
Originally posted on Clear Bible:
Giving thanks is a way to really take hold of, and receive, what God has done and who he is. It is a key component in faith, grace and peace.
To listen to the sermon, click the play button:
To download, right click on the link (or do whatever you do on a Mac) and save it to your computer: Download Thanksgiving 2014 Sermon
Thanksgiving has become an American holiday and tradition, but it does originate from deep, Christian spiritual roots. One of the things that I find interesting is that many of significant Thanksgiving celebrations early in the history of America took place in the middle of very difficult times.
The “original thanksgiving” took place in the New England settlement of Pilgrims during the sixteen-hundreds. It is true that at the time they celebrated, they had a good harvest. But they had just gone through…
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So do not act like the people in Egypt, where you used to live, or like the people of Canaan, where I [God] am taking you. You must not imitate their way of life. You must obey all my regulations and be careful to obey my decrees, for I am the Lord your God. If you obey my decrees and my regulations, you will find life through them. I am the Lord.” –Leviticus 18:3-5 New Living Translation
Dear Father, Don’t let me live by the flesh (pursuing what I want and feel as a human). That’s “where I used to live”–in the “old” me. And let me not act like (or be conformed to) the world where I’m now dwelling. Instead let me be transformed, walking in Your ways, by letting You change the way I think. (Romans 12:2). That’s how I’ll find real life. Please help me quickly yield to and obey You as You work in my life. Amen.
Both my old “not-renewed” mind and a mind which thinks like the world tend to face life with questions like, “How can I get out of this? Who’s at fault? What will make me feel better?”
As I let Christ change the way I think day by day, I ask more questions like, “Is there a lesson I can learn? How do I allow God to grow me through this? How can I honor God in it?”
Father, thank You for continuing to work in us your children little by little so that we begin to think more like you. Amen.
Excellent sermon by Pastor Tom.
Originally posted on Clear Bible:
Healing in this life, or making this life better somehow, is ultimately meaningless unless we respond to Jesus in faith. Jesus is focused on the eternal person, the spiritual person. That’s where his priority is, and I think that is where our priorities should be also.
To listen to the sermon, click the play button:
To download, right click on the link (or do whatever you do on a Mac) and save it to your computer: Download Matthew Part 30
Matthew #30 . Matthew 9:1-8
This time, we will take the incident with the paralyzed man and his friends. Mark and Luke include the detail that the paralytic man’s friends couldn’t get him through the crowd, so they lowered him from the roof to set him in front of Jesus. Once again, there is no reason to assume that this contradicts Matthew. Matthew often omits details…
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“John’s disciples and the Pharisees were fasting. Some people came to Jesus and said to him, ‘Why do John’s disciples and the Pharisees’ disciples fast, but your disciples don’t?’” (Mark 2:18)
Part of Jesus’ answer to their question was, “No one patches an old coat with a new piece of cloth that will shrink. Otherwise, the new patch will shrink and rip away some of the old cloth, and the tear will become worse. People don’t pour new wine into old wineskins. If they do, the wine will make the skins burst, and both the wine and the skins will be ruined. Rather, new wine is to be poured into fresh skins.” (Mark 2:21-22)
What do new cloth, old clothes, new wine, and old wineskins have to do with fasting? Maybe it’s this: Jesus is the new and living way to the Father (Hebrews 10:20, John 14:6). He Himself is the new wine and the new cloth. We don’t need to try to fit Him into the old wineskins of rules about fasting or patch Him onto the old clothing of rituals from the former covenant. Instead we can let Him show us the realities foreshadowed by the rules and rituals and point out to us the times that fasting and other practices are helpful, important, or necessary.
(Bible verses quoted from God’s Word Translation)
Isaiah 55:2-3 “Why do you spend money for what is not bread, and your wages for what does not satisfy? Listen carefully to Me, and eat what is good, and let your soul delight itself in abundance. 3 Incline your ear, and come to Me. Hear, and your soul shall live; and I will make an everlasting covenant with you — the sure mercies of David.” (New King James)
Feeding on what I hear from God as I come humbly to Him and listen—this is true soul food. He gives wisdom abundantly. I’ll delight myself in what He says, and my soul will be refreshed and revived and will live. I’ll learn of Jesus and find rest for my soul (Matthew 11:28-30). I’ll receive the “sure mercies of David—pardon, blessings, and connection/fellowship with the almighty, totally just yet perfectly loving, only true God. (The New Living Translation says “all the unfailing love I promised to David” instead of “the sure mercies of David.”)
And what further delights my soul is that this very God has made me His child through His Son Jesus Christ! Indeed, as Isaiah 55:8-9 says, His ways and thoughts are higher than mine! They are more wonderful and marvelous than I can comprehend or imagine.
Psalm 37:3 “ Trust (lean on, rely on, and be confident) in the Lord and do good; so shall you dwell in the land and feed surely on His faithfulness, and truly you shall be fed.” Amplified Bible
In Psalm 32:8-10, God says, “…I will guide you along the best pathway for your life. I will advise you and watch over you. Do not be like a senseless horse or mule that needs a bit and bridle to keep it under control. Many sorrows come to the wicked, but unfailing love surrounds those who trust the LORD.”
God tells us that He will guide, advise and watch over us. Further, He says that we shouldn’t be stubborn because those who trust Him enough to go His way are surrounded by love and mercy.
Jeremiah reaffirms this idea in Lamentations 3:25-26 “The Lord is good to those who depend on him, to those who search for him. So it is good to wait quietly for salvation from the Lord.”
How thankful I am for God’s guidance and watchful care of me!
With these Scriptures still in mind, I came upon Psalm 119:35-37: Make me walk along the path of your commands, for that is where my happiness is found. Give me an eagerness for your laws rather than a love for money! Turn my eyes from worthless things, and give me life through your word.” The psalmist asks God to cause him (the writer) to follow God’s lead because His way is delightful. He prays that God will help him love God’s laws instead of the world’s goods or what has no eternal value. Then he desires that God would turn his focus back to God and His Word or way.
And I would add a heartfelt “Amen!” to this prayer and look to God to hear and answer these requests.
(Scriptures quoted from the New Living Translation)