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Giving Thanks

November 28, 2014

There are few things that bring greater energy and strength to our souls than the exercise of lifting praise and thanksgiving from our hearts to God’s. Gratitude has a uniquely wonderful way of lifting us out of the smog of a life that is preoccupied with the shallow and short-lived resources of ourselves.

So here it goes . . . let your heart resonate with the ancients who knew the secret of thanksgiving!

“Day and night I’ll stick with God; I’ve got a good thing going and I’m not letting go. I’m happy from the inside out, and from the outside in, I’m firmly formed. You canceled my ticket to hell—that’s not my destination! Now You’ve got my feet on the life path, all radiant from the shining of your face. Ever since You took my hand, I’m on the right way” (Psalm 16:8-11, The Message).

“I’m still in Your presence, but You’ve taken my hand. You wisely and tenderly lead me, and then You bless me. You’re all I want in heaven! You’re all I want on earth! When my skin sags and my bones get brittle, God is rock-firm and faithful. . . . But I’m in the very presence of God—oh, how refreshing it is! I’ve made the Lord God my home. God, I’m telling the world what You do!” (Psalm 73:23-26, 28, The Message).

“I lift You high in praise, my God, O my King! and I’ll bless Your name into eternity. I’ll bless You every day, and keep it up from now to eternity. God is magnificent; He can never be praised enough. There are no boundaries to His greatness. Generation after generation stands in awe of Your work; each one tells stories of Your mighty acts. Your beauty and splendor have everyone talking; I compose songs on Your wonders. Your marvelous doings are headline news; I could write a book full of the details of Your greatness. The fame of Your goodness spreads across the country; Your righteousness is on everyone’s lips. God is all mercy and grace—not quick to anger, is rich in love. God is good to one and all; everything He does is suffused with grace. Creation and creatures applaud You, God; Your holy people bless You. They talk about the glories of Your rule, they exclaim over Your splendor, letting the world know of Your power for good, the lavish splendor of Your kingdom. Your kingdom is a kingdom eternal; You never get voted out of office. God always does what He says, and is gracious in everything He does. God gives a hand to those down on their luck, gives a fresh start to those ready to quit. All eyes are on You, expectant; You give them their meals on time. Generous to a fault, You lavish your favor on all creatures. Everything God does is right—the trademark on all His works is love. God’s there, listening for all who pray, for all who pray and mean it. He does what’s best for those who fear him—hears them call out, and saves them. God sticks by all who love Him, but it’s all over for those who don’t. My mouth is filled with God’s praise. Let everything living bless Him, bless His holy name from now to eternity!” (Psalm 145, The Message).

“And now to Him who can keep you on your feet, standing tall in His bright presence, fresh and celebrating—to our one God, our only Savior, through Jesus Christ, our Master, be glory, majesty, strength, and rule before all time, and now, and to the end of all time” (Jude 24-25, The Message).

YOUR JOURNEY…

  • Which of the above passages most resonated with your heart today?
  • Why does God want us to have thankful hearts? How do you think it makes Him feel when we sing psalms and praises to Him?
  • Sometimes it is helpful to read God’s Word in a paraphrased “modern” version such as The Message, to lend freshness to the text. Take some time to look up your favorite Bible verse in The Message on www.biblegateway.com.