November 22, 2012
“… although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were they thankful…” (Romans 1:21)
In the first chapter of Paul’s letter to the believers in Rome he gives a resume of the fall of the human race. Paul does the same thing Moses did in the third chapter of the book of Genesis. They both describe the fall of man as it was and as it is. By that I mean they are not merely describing an historical event in the past but they want us to understand what is happening in our culture right now.
In Paul’s account of the fall of the human race he traces the origin of our fall to two things: we did not glorify God as God, and we were not thankful. He then continues to describe how God gave us up to what we wanted and we became guilty of every imaginable kind of sin. As he vividly describes what happened to the human race after God did not give up on us but gave us up to what we wanted, the result became what Paul described as “all unrighteousness.”
If you track with Paul as he itemizes what he means by “all unrighteousness” it’s intriguing to realize that all that horrible sin began with the hard reality that we were not thankful. There are so many exhortations and prescriptions in the Word of God for us to be thankful but here in the first chapter of Romans is a great warning about the price of not being thankful.
Like it was and like it is, appreciate the value of an attitude of gratitude. And, like it was and like it is, do not underestimate the price of an attitude of ingratitude.
September 12, 2012
“Praise the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits—who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the pit and crowns you with love and compassion…” (PSALM 103: 2 – 4 NIV)
The Old Testament people of God sang from the Psalms when they worshiped God. When they worshiped, sometimes they talked to God about God. Sometimes they talked to God about people, usually their own life. And sometimes they were not talking to God at all, they were talking to people about God: praising, praying, and preaching.
When we read the psalms we should always ask ourselves, “To whom was the author speaking and about whom was he speaking?”
The verses quoted above are from a psalm of prayer. But the strange thing is there is no petition in this prayer. The verb “to pray” literally means to ask. So we are not really looking at a prayer psalm but a psalm of praise and thanksgiving. The Psalmist’s soul is so full all he wants to do is praise the Lord in grateful worship.
What an example for us to pray with no “gimme” in our prayer. Does your soul ever get so full that all you want to do is thank the Lord for all His blessings? He begins by thanking God for his salvation. In the Gospels Jesus heals ten lepers and only one comes back to thank Him. Jesus asked the question “Where are the nine?”
Are you one of the 90% who never thank the Lord for redeeming your life from the pit of sin? Or do you want to be part of the 10% who thank the Lord for their salvation in grateful worship?
February 22, 2012
“Enter into His gates with thanksgiving, and into His courts with praise. Be thankful to Him…” (Psalm 100: 4)
Psalm 100 is the definitive worship psalm. This psalm tells us what worship is, what we should experience when we worship, how to worship, what we know, what should happen to us and what the results should be because we worshipped.
According to David worship is to come before God’s presence, and coming before the presence of God is like having an audience with a King. Our approach to the presence of God begins at the gates of thanksgiving. This means that in a corporate worship service, or in our private closet worship, we are to begin our approach to the presence of God by passing through the gates of thanksgiving.
As I attempt to maintain my spiritual equilibrium as a bed fast quadriplegic I get more spiritual mileage out of the therapy of thanksgiving than I do anything else. David has pointed me to the truth that when I begin thanking God I soon find myself in the courts of praise and coming into the presence of God with singing. In the presence of God I know that He is God, I am His sheep and I live in His pasture. Then I’m told again that I should keep on thanking Him.
As a result of this worship experience I am to know that God wants people in every land of this earth to know what it is to make joyful noises of worship in His presence. He also wants it to be known that His truth endures in all generations not only in past generations.
To that end He wants me to serve Him with gladness because I came into His presence with thanksgiving.