Giving Thanks Wholeheartedly

In Psalm 138 David repeatedly expresses his thanks to God. He gives good reasons for his attitude of gratitude.

I give you thanks, O Lord, with all my heart;
    I will sing your praises before the gods.
I bow before your holy Temple as I worship.
    I praise your name for your unfailing love and faithfulness;
for your promises are backed
    by all the honor of your name.

As soon as I pray, you answer me;
    you encourage me by giving me strength.

In these first 3 verses, David proclaims his thanks to God with his whole heart and being. David is ‘all in’ for God. What things receive your total commitment and wholehearted love? Are you ‘all in’ for God or do you hold back? David saw that the Lord listened to his prayers and acted on his behalf. He gave him strength and encouragement. David knew in his heart that God stood behind all of His promises. God loved him with an unfailing love. David knew love in his life but saw the fleetingness and fickleness of the men and women around him. By comparison, David knew that God would always love him and be with him. He had learned at an early age while tending his father’s sheep, when confronting a gigantic enemy in Goliath and fleeing from Saul for 14 years as he awaited being made king of God’s faithfulness. He knew that God alone was the one who always stood with him and went before and behind to keep him safe.

How about you? Has God been with you 24/7 and gone before and behind you? Do you see His faithfulness day by day? If you do, then be ‘all in’ like David and love God wholeheartedly. Your wholehearted love for God and His wholehearted love for you is cause for great thanks and praise!

Linda

#2 Practicing Devotion to God-REMEMBER!

The first way to practice devotion to God was to meditate on God’s great character. The second way is to Remember His Great Works!  If you like someone you think about the times you’ve been together and the things you’ve done.  You probably remember some of the things they have said to you and how you reacted to their love and friendship.

Moses warned the children of Israel over and over to Remember what the Lord has done.  If we do not remember, we will trivialize or marginalize the place of importance God has in our lives and what marvelous things He has done.  In Deuteronomy 7:18 Stone cairn on green blurry background,  pebbles and stonesMoses is reminding the Israelites of God’s favor towards them because they would soon be going into the Promised Land and would be facing certain opposition.  you shall not be afraid of them but you shall remember what the Lord your God did to Pharaoh and to all Egypt,”   Remembering what God did to miraculously lead them out of Egypt would give them the courage they needed to face tomorrow.

David was pursued by Saul for over 10 years and fled for his life. In 2 Samuel 22:1-4 David remembers what God did for him:  “And David spoke to the Lord the words of this song on the day when the Lord delivered him from the hand of all his enemies, and from the hand of Saul. He said,

remember-what-god-has-doneblog“The Lord is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer,
    my God, my rock, in whom I take refuge,
my shield, and the horn of my salvation,
    my stronghold and my refuge,
    my savior; you save me from violence.
I call upon the Lord, who is worthy to be praised,
    and I am saved from my enemies.”

Mary’s Song of praise to God for what He had done for her is recorded in Luke 1:46-55.  Here are a few of the verses: 49 “for he who is mighty has done great things for me,
    and holy is his name.”  51-54 “He has shown strength with his arm; he has scattered the proud in the thoughts of their hearts;52 he has brought down the mighty from their thrones and exalted those of humble estate; 53 he has filled the hungry with good things, and the rich he has sent away empty. 54 He has helped his servant Israel,   in remembrance of his mercy,”

Remembering what God has done helps us to praise Him for the involvement He has had in our lives, to remember that He  is always with us, to remember that He has plans for us and all things will be good for us and bring Him glory.  If you don’t take time to remember, you forget and think ‘God doesn’t care about me’, ‘God will not help me’.  These thoughts are from Satan and he desires that we do not walk with God.  Satan knows that  not remembering will lead us away from God.

Remember GodSo when you have those doubts,  Remember what God has done for you in the past and what He is doing for you, in your life right now!   Practicing the habit of remembering what God has done enriches our lives and strengthens our faith especially in hard times. Be like the children of Israel, David and Mary- Remember God’s goodness and mercy towards you with praise today!

journalLinda

A practical idea is to have a praise journal that you can record amazing things God has done in your life.  Then when you have doubts or just want to remember- you can look back and see God loves you and truly cares for you.  He is faithful and will continue to do so in the future.