April 27, 2017

Thank You, Lord

psalmshymnsspiritualsongskjv

I come before You today
And there’s just one thing that I want to say
Thank You, Lord
Thank You, Lord

For all You’ve given to me
For all the blessings I cannot see
Thank You, Lord
Thank You, Lord

With a grateful heart
With a song of praise
With an outstretched arm
I will bless Your name
Thank You, Lord
I just wanna thank You, Lord
Thank You, Lord
I just wanna thank You, Lord
Thank You, Lord

For all You’ve done in my life
You took my darkness and gave me Your light
Thank You, Lord
Thank You, Lord

You took my sin and my shame
You took my sickness and healed all my pain
Thank You, Lord
Thank You, Lord

Yes we thank You, Lord; thank You, Lord; thank You, Lord
Yes we thank You, oh we thank You

Don Moen
Songwriters Patrick Henderson and Louis E Brown III

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The Bible tells us to “give thanks unto the Lord, for He is good.” In the Kings James Version, this specific command is given at least six times: 1 Chronicles 16:34, Psalm 106:1, Psalm 107:1, Psalm 118:1 and 29, and Psalm 136:1.  Of course, there are many other references to giving thanks to the Lord throughout His Word.  Many of them give thanks to Him for something or someone.  I like the focus of this verse because it is all about our Lord.  In fact, these six verses speak solely of His goodness and His mercy.

As this song mentions, we have so much to thank God for:

  • blessings we can’t see
  • taking us out of darkness and giving us His light
  • taking our sin, shame, sickness, and pain
  • for all He’s done in our lives

And for all those things we give God our thanksgiving. But today, mostly I just want to come to Him and give Him thanks and praise. He is worthy. He is our God, who is good and full of mercy and grace. Over and over, “I just wanna thank You, Lord.”

Thus will I bless Thee while I live:
I will lift up my hands in Thy name.
Psalm 63:4

Lift up your hands in the sanctuary, and bless the Lord.
Psalm 134:2

Let my prayer be set forth before Thee as incense;
and the lifting up of my hands as the evening sacrifice.
Psalm 141:2

In every place of worship, I want men to pray with holy hands lifted up to God, free from anger and controversy. 1 Timothy 2:8 NLT

During this season of Thanksgiving, when we are reminded to take time to be thankful for all that God has blessed us with, I don’t want to forget to simply be thankful for God, Himself.  (What about you?)  With a grateful heart, with a song of praise, I want to “Bless the Lord, O, my soul, and all that is within me, bless His holy name!” (Psalm 103:1).  Please join me with outstretched arms, with hands and hearts lifted to our Lord, and give Him thanks. He is worthy.

All glory to Him who alone is God,
our Savior through Jesus Christ our Lord.
All glory, majesty, power, and authority are His before all time,
and in the present, and beyond all time! Amen.
Jude 1:25

And then I heard every creature in heaven
and on earth and under the earth and in the sea.
They sang: “Blessing and honor and glory and power
belong to the One sitting on the throne
and to the Lamb forever and ever.”
Revelation 5:13

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Dear Lord, we can easily come to You with a long list of things and people that we are thankful for; You have blessed us with so much.  But first and foremost, Lord, we come to give You thanks for being You.  You are God above all gods, Lord above all lords.  You deserve all praise and worship. There is no one like You.  You are love, You are mercy, You are grace, and so much more.  Thank You, Lord!  In Jesus’ Precious and Holy Name we give our praise and thanksgiving.  Amen, It Is So!

The Fruit of Lips

seekingHimthanksgivinggraphic

Through Him, therefore, let us constantly and at all times
offer up to God a sacrifice of praise,
which is the fruit of lips
that thankfully acknowledge and confess and glorify His name.
Hebrews 13:15 AMP

I am like a child.  I am constantly asking questions— “What does that mean?Why do I need to do that?”  Especially when it comes to Scripture.  It wasn’t any different as I read this passage.  To find answers to my questions, I searched the Scriptures.

The fruit of lips’…well, what does that mean? In this verse alone it tells us that the fruit of our lips is

  • praise
  • a thankful acknowledgment
  • a sacrifice to God

Although animal sacrifices are no longer required, we are repeatedly urged to offer another kind of sacrifice.

Offer to God the sacrifice of thanksgiving.
Psalm 50:14 AMP

Let them offer sacrifices of thanksgiving and announce His works with shouts of joy.
Psalm 107:22 HCSB

To You I shall offer a sacrifice of thanksgiving, and call upon the name of the Lord.
Psalm 116:17 NASB

Ok, so the fruit of our lips is 1) praise, 2) a sacrifice, 3) a way of giving thanks to the Lord.  But why are we compelled (Hebrews 13:15) to do it ‘constantly and at all times’?  Here are just a few of the reasons I found.

It glorifies God and pleases Him

He who brings an offering of praise and thanksgiving honors and glorifies Me;
Psalm 50:23 AMP

I will praise God’s name in song and glorify Him with thanksgiving.
This will please the Lord more than an ox, more than a bull with its horns and hooves.
Psalms 69:30-31 HCSB

(Because of) His enduring love and goodness

Let them praise the Lord for His great love and for the wonderful things He has done for them.
Psalm 107:21 NLT

Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good! His faithful love endures forever.
Psalm 136:1

Because Jesus did

At that time Jesus said, “I praise You, Father, Lord of heaven and earth…”.
Matthew 11:25, Luke 10:21-22 HCSB

Our shared inheritance

Giving thanks to the Father, Who has qualified and made us fit to share
the portion which is the inheritance of the saints (God’s holy people) in the Light.
Colossians 1:12 AMP

But, I think my favorite reason for giving thanks is to tell others and remind myself of all He has done in my life.

O give thanks to the Lord, call on His name; make known His doings among the peoples!
1 Chronicles 16:8 AMP

O give thanks unto the Lord, call upon His name,
make known His doings among the peoples!
Sing to Him, sing praises to Him; meditate on
and talk of all His marvelous deeds and devoutly praise them.
Psalms 105:1-2 AMP

Praise Him for His mighty acts; praise Him according to the abundance of His greatness!
Psalm 150:2

Praise causes me to focus on the times I have seen God’s hand at work.  It keeps the memories fresh in my mind so I can reflect on His blessings in times of struggle.  It reminds me how thankful I am to be a child of The King of Kings.

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Oh Lord, Oh Lord!  How majestic is Your name in all the earth.  I am blessed beyond measure by Your faithful love and graciousness.  May I constantly and at all times offer a sacrifice of praise to You, for You are more than worthy.  In Your Holy name I pray, Amen – it is so!

Once Again

psalmshymnsspiritualsongskjv

Jesus Christ, I think upon Your sacrifice
You became nothing
Poured out to death
Many times, I’ve wondered at Your Gift of life
I’m in that place once again
I’m in that place once again

And once again I look upon the Cross where You died
I’m humbled by Your mercy and I’m broken inside
Once again I thank You
Once again I pour out my life

Now You are exalted to the highest place
King of the Heavens, where one day I’ll bow
But for now, I’ll marvel at Your saving grace
I’m full of praise once again
Oh, I’m full of praise once again

Thank You for the Cross
Thank You for the Cross
Thank You for the Cross, my friend

Singer/Songwriter ~ Matt Redman

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How can we say Thank You for the ultimate sacrifice of Your life?  I know it’s a season to ponder on Your birth, and with that glorious occasion comes the inevitable…the whole reason You came…the Cross.  You made a way for us to go straight to Your Father in prayer  and the veil was torn.  And now God gives grace instead of punishment.  There is mercy and forgiveness when we totally surrender and confess our sins and shortcomings.

At the cross, You were covered in every sin that we would ever commit.  You had jealousy yet You were never jealous.  You had gossip and the spirit of negativity, and yet You never committed either.  And the list goes on.  So this Thanksgiving, I pray that we really give gratitude to the One Who deserves so much more.  And may our lives be emptied of ourselves, so that we can be filled with You.

As the song says, ‘You are exalted’ on high, and You wait in Heaven for that day.  The day that You come here, and the trumpet sounds, and all who have breath bow and proclaim that You are Lord!  And You are worthy of our praise, every day!

Here are some amazing praise verses in His Word.  I encourage you to read and pray these back to Him. Write these down and place them all over and this Thanksgiving season, give Him thanks.

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Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good. His love endures forever.
Psalm 136:1

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.
In His great mercy He has given us new birth into a living hope
through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.
1 Peter 1:3

Now, our God, we give thanks and praise Your glorious name.
1 Chronicles 29:13

I will praise You forever for what You have done;
in Your name I will hope, for Your name is good.
I will praise You in the presence of Your saints.
Psalm 52:9

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Dear Heavenly Father,

I want to thank You for Your goodness and grace and mercy.  They are never-ending. Your gifts to us are so lovely and amazing and so full of love.  This time of year, we are reminded of the greatest gift of all—You let Your Son come here to earth, in the form of a baby, to live among us and feel pain like us.  He went before us and taught us how to live.  And as predicted in Your Word, He died on the Cross, so that we could live forever free.  Thank You.  IN Jesus’ name, amen.

Forever (His Love Endures Forever)

psalmshymnsspiritualsongskjv

Give thanks to the Lord our God and King
His love endures forever
For He is good, He is above all things
His love endures forever
Sing praise, sing praise

With a mighty hand and outstretched arm
His love endures forever
For the life that’s been reborn
His love endures forever
Sing praise, sing praise

Forever God is faithful
Forever God is with us
Forever

From the rising to the setting sun
His love endures forever
By the grace of God we will carry on
His love endures forever
Sing praise, sing praise

Written by Chris Tomlin  ~  Performed by Robin Mark

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Don’t you just love to sing this praise anthem?!!?  The words just give our hearts such an awesome way to acknowledge God’s goodness and praise Him for His enduring love!

This praise-filled phrase—He is good; His love endures forever—is recorded in many places throughout the Old Testament.  One of the most outstanding records, in my opinion, is found in the 2nd Book of Chronicles, specifically chapters 5-7.

We see (in 2 Chronicles 5) King Solomon calling the elders of Israel, the leaders, the heads of the tribes (along with all the people of Israel) to accompany the Ark of the Covenant to its long-awaited proper home in the Temple.  (It had been his father, David, to whom God gave the vision for the building of the Temple, which was never accomplished in David’s lifetime.)  The priests brought the Ark to its proper, anointed place in the Holy of Holies.  Surrounding the altar were the Levites and the priests ready to praise in unison with all their instruments and their voices.

The trumpeters and singers joined together to praise and thank the LORD with one voice.
They raised their voices, accompanied by trumpets, cymbals, and musical instruments,
in praise to the LORD: For He is good; His faithful love endures forever.
The temple, the LORD’s temple, was filled with a cloud.
And because of the cloud, the priests were not able to continue ministering,
for the glory of the LORD filled God’s temple.
Verses 13 and 14

The record of the dedication of the Temple continues (chapters 6 and 7) as Solomon prays and blesses the people.

As soon as Solomon finished his prayer, fire came down from heaven
and consumed the burnt offering and the sacrifices,
and the glory of the LORD filled the temple.
2 Chronicles 7:1

The peoples response?

When all the Israelites saw the fire coming down
and the glory of the LORD above the temple,
they knelt on the pavement with their faces to the ground,
and they worshiped and gave thanks to the LORD, saying,
He is good; His love endures forever.”
Verse 3

And throughout the continued sacrifices and the ceremony of dedicating the Temple, continual praise “His love endures forever” was offered to God by the priests and the people along with the sacrifices of animals.

And, as such, this <without the animal sacrifice!> should be our continual praise.  We are oh-so-very blessed!  The provision and supply that our great God brings to our lives deserves our continual exclamation, “He is good! His love endures forever!

Just as the psalmist communicates in every single verse of Psalm 136, perhaps our own conversation and communication about our great God—as well as our prayers— should always include this praise.

Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good, for His (steadfast) love endures forever.
Verse 1

As we thank God for His goodness our hearts should overflow with words of gratitude and praise confessing that truly, “His love endures forever!” … Perhaps this year during your celebration of Thanksgiving with your friends and loved ones, you could share a time of praise and worship, and use these same words that David, and Solomon, and the Israelites used to declare God’s goodness.  Because no matter what the age, the situation, the circumstance, the season, the time, the day, or the hour… ‘He is good! His love endures forever!

Here are a few different ways this glorious praise is written in different translations:

Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good…

His love endures forever (NIV)
His faithful love endures forever (NLT)
His lovingkindness is everlasting (NASB)
His mercy endureth for ever (KJV)
His steadfast love endures forever (ESV)
His love is eternal (HCSB)
His loyal love endures (NET)
His mercy and lovingkindness are everlasting (AMP)