August 18, 2017

Thankful Heart

psalmshymnsspiritualsongskjv

My open hands receive blessings You pour out on me
Your tender care restores my soul
Your faithfulness endures, as mercy covers all my sin
Your perfect love has made me whole
Beyond the words I’m searching for
I long to give You something more

Here’s my thankful heart, thankful heart
Offered up in gratitude for all You’ve done for me
Here’s my thankful heart, thankful heart
Offered up in praise to You

I’m unworthy of the gift of Your unfailing love
But You embrace me as I am
You provide my needs, and raise a harvest from the seeds I sow in vain
I bless Your Name
Beyond the words I’m searching for
I long to give You so much more

From the raising of the sun
‘Til it’s going down
The name of the Lord be praised

Written by Gary Forsythe

*  ~  ♥  ~  ✞  ~  ♥  ~  *

We can offer up our thankful hearts to our ABBA Father at any time; while

  • taking a walk along a path outside
  • singing praises with our church family
  • raking leaves (or shoveling snow!)
  • shopping for our family’s groceries
  • sharing our Thanksgiving meal with those who don’t have close family
  • getting our tasks at work accomplished
  • driving home…and being held up by traffic
  • sitting in His presence during our ‘quiet time’

The vital point is THAT we DO give praise to Him out of the abundance of our thankful hearts!!!

Listening to this sweet song, this is my oh-so-very-favorite part:

Beyond the words I’m searching for I long to give You so much more….

How about you…do you ever find yourself exclaiming similar thoughts to God?  Oh, I do!  So often I am simply without adequate words to tell God all that is in my heart! (As if He does not already know!!!)  But I am encouraged that He wants us (you and me!) to come to Him with all that is in our little hearts…what a kind, compassionate, loving Father!

Hear my prayer, O Lord; let my cry come to You!
Psalm 102:1

Trust in Him at all times, O people; pour out Your heart before Him;
God is a refuge for us.  Selah
Psalm 62:8

…Unto You will I sing praises with the lyre, O Holy One of Israel.
My lips shall shout for joy when I sing praises to You,
And my inner being, which You have redeemed.
My tongue also shall talk of Your righteousness all the day long….
Psalms 71:22-24

A big key to heartfelt praise and thanksgiving is to recognize where we were before God saved us through His grace and love.  Truly we were in a desperate situation. You could not save yourself from God’s righteous judgment.  But God sent His Son, to save you—to save all mankind!—by His grace.  Because now you have experienced His great love and grace, you delight in Him and His great salvation and you can’t help but sing for joy!  May I encourage you, friends, to never hesitate…never hold back…never deny yourself the joy of singing praises to our Almighty God!

Sing for joy in the Lord, O you righteous ones;
Praise is becoming to the upright.
Give thanks to the Lord with the lyre;
Sing praises to Him with a harp of ten strings.
Sing to Him a new song;
Play skillfully with a shout of joy.
For the word of the Lord is upright,
And all His work is done in faithfulness.
He loves righteousness and justice;
The earth is full of the lovingkindness of the Lord.
Psalms 33:1-5

While studying through Psalm 33, I read Matthew Henry’s Commentary.  Here is a portion of what he wrote, “What a pity it is that this earth, which is so full of God’s goodness <verse 5>, should be so empty of His praises, and that of the multitudes that live upon His bounty there are so few that live to His glory!”

I hope that will not be said of us. As God’s “righteous ones,” let’s be all about offering up our thankful hearts through our praise and songs of joy.  Our lives are the proof that He delivers our souls from death. Our response should be to praise Him with thankful hearts.

Remember that line of this song that I shared I just love so much—Beyond the words I’m searching for I long to give You so much moreperhaps the words of the psalmist in Psalm 138 can help to express them.  These are my prayer; maybe yours, too.

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.
Every king in all the earth will thank You, Lord,
for all of them will hear Your words.
Yes, they will sing about the Lord’s ways,
for the glory of the Lord is very great.
Though the Lord is great, He cares for the humble,
but He keeps His distance from the proud.
Though I am surrounded by troubles,
You will protect me from the anger of my enemies.
You reach out Your hand,
and the power of Your right hand saves me.
The Lord will work out His plans for my life—
for Your faithful love, O Lord, endures forever.
Don’t abandon me, for You made me.
Psalm 138 NLT

Take Heed

SeekingHimLogo

As for God, His way is perfect:
The Lord’s Word is flawless;
He shields all who take refuge in Him.
Psalm 18:30 NIV

*   ~   ♥   ~   ✞   ~  ♥   ~   * 

Here we have David, in the midst of singing praises to God for delivering him from his enemies.  I believe David stated the most important reason for that victory—!

God’s way, as the following Scriptures state, is His very own method and style.  God’s way of doing something has no comparison.

LORD, there is no one like You!
For You are great, and Your name is full of power.
Jeremiah 10:6 NLT

Among the gods there is none like You, Lord;
no deeds can compare with Yours.
Psalm 86:8

He is the Rock, His works are perfect,
and all His ways are just.
A faithful God who does no wrong,
upright and just is He.
Deuteronomy 32:4

“My thoughts are nothing like your thoughts,” says the Lord.
“And My ways are far beyond anything you could imagine.
For just as the heavens are higher than the earth,
so My ways are higher than your ways
and My thoughts higher than your thoughts.
Isaiah 55:8-9

God’s Word is flawless, unbroken, unimpaired, and whole.  It is beneficial to us.  This is in sharp contrast to the lies of the enemy.

God is not man, that He should lie, or a son of man,
that He should change His mind.
Has He said, and will He not do it?
Or has He spoken, and will He not fulfill it?
Numbers 23:19

All Scripture is breathed out by God
and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction,
and for training in righteousness,
that the man of God may be competent,
equipped for every good work.
2 Timothy 3:16-17

God is our Shield.  Just as a king is trusted as the protector of his people, so we who put our faith in God are to trust Him as our Protector.

But You, Lord, are a Shield around me,
my glory, the One who lifts my head high.
Psalm 3:3

Lord Almighty, blessed is the one who trusts in You.
Psalm 84:12

But let all who take refuge in You be glad;
let them ever sing for joy.
Spread Your protection over them,
that those who love Your name may rejoice in You.
Psalm 5:11

Because God’s way is perfect, and His word is flawless, and He has promised to protect His children, we need to take heed.  Yes, like David, we have enemies—whether in the physical or in the spiritual—who try to “entangle us with cords of death” (Psalms 18:4-5).  But if we take heed of God and His Word, He will ”avenge us, and save us from our enemies” (Psalms 18:47-48).  When we are faithfully in God’s Word, then we will know God and experience His deliverance.

It is written, “‘Man shall not live by bread alone,
but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.”
Matthew 4:4

Joyful are people of integrity, who follow the instructions of the Lord.
Joyful are those who obey His laws and search for Him with all their hearts.
They do not compromise with evil, and they walk only in His paths.
You have charged us to keep Your commandments carefully.
Oh, that my actions would consistently reflect Your decrees!
Psalms 119:1-4

*   ~   ♥   ~   ✞   ~  ♥   ~   * 

Dear God, our Father and Protector, we come before You with humble and grateful hearts.  There is no way that is more perfect than Your Ways.  There is no word that is more flawless than Your Words.  We are Your children, and You desire nothing more than for us to trust You wholeheartedly so that You can be our Protector.  Help us by Your Holy Spirit to “take heed” of Your Word for us, so that we will know You better and follow You more closely.  We want to be joyful daughters of integrity “…who obey Your laws, and search for You with all our hearts.”  Thank You for Your Word and Your Holy Spirit, so that we can know You better.  In Jesus’ Precious Name, we pray, Amen.

His Promises For You

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You keep him in perfect peace 
whose mind is stayed on You,

because he trusts in You.

Trust in the Lord forever,

for the Lord God is an everlasting rock.
Isaiah 26:3-4

*   ~   ♥   ~   ✞   ~   ♥   ~   *

My mind has not been at rest lately.  In fact, if I am completely honest, I haven’t allowed God to have my anxious thoughts—until today.  Have you ever gotten so tired that you finally gave in?  I wish I could tell you that I had this grand revelation and that I willingly handed it all over.  Honestly, God has been proving over and over and over that He is so capable of taking care of my affairs much more than I am.  See, this season of my life is so different for me in that I have two of my children living away from me now and I truly have to give them over to Him, physically and mentally.  Oh, this is very hard…so I went to His Word and found  many verses on just this.  I thought I would share because I know that, even though we are all in different seasons, we all need to trust in Him.

But You, O Lord, are a shield about me, my Glory, and the One who lifts my head.
Psalm 3:3

He is a shield when the world is coming at us in all directions.  And, when it seems that we are defeated, He lifts our heads out of the shame and into His grace.  He wants us to look up at Him and let His glory shine so bright that it dims all the hard that is around us.

For everyone born of God overcomes the world.
This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith.
1 John 5:4

Did you read that?  It says “everyone“…that means you, too.  You were born an overcomer.  In Jesus we have victory over the world because He died and overcame it for us!  All we have to do is have faith.

  • faith that He will help you with that marriage that is at the brink of defeat
  • faith that He can heal that illness that you have been battling for so long
  • faith that He can take care of that child that you feel is lost forever

Nothing is too much for Him! We have the victory in Jesus!

Be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid of them!
The Lord your God will go ahead of you.
He will neither fail you nor forsake you.
Deuteronomy 31:6

What a comfort to know that, no matter where you or your children go, He goes before you all.  When you are sending those babies back to school…pray that God will go before them, and that He will be at that homeroom before they are, and that He will give them peace.  Or, when you have a meeting that you are really unsure about…ask God to meet you there; even in the parking lot to walk in with you.  He will!

Be strong and have courage to do this life that He has called you to live.  You have nothing and no one to fear when He is with you.  Lastly, remember His promise to never fail you or forsake you.  Oh, how loved we are by our Creator.  I don’t know about you but, after reading these promises, I am full of joy and cannot stop smiling!

*   ~   ♥   ~   ✞   ~   ♥   ~   *

Where are you today, my friend?  What do you need to trust Him with?  I encourage you to pray these verses to your Heavenly Father asking Him to do what you cannot do by yourself.  Perhaps write these verses down on notecards and put them where you can see them daily.  He wants to encourage you and fill you with peace that only He can give you. I pray that you will feel it today!

Let’s pray!
Dear God, You are so awesome and amazing and so full of love for Your children.  Oh Lord, thank You that You never change and that all Your promises are true.  Thank You for all those who went before us—those whose stories are written in the pages of Your Word—to teach us and to prove to us that You will take care of us.  You will provide.  You will never fail us.  You will never leave us. And, Lord, for those today who are having a hard time trusting You, I pray that You show up today in a big way so that they will know beyond any doubt that it is You!!!  We love You and we praise You. In Jesus’ name, amen.

Here’s My Thankful Heart

psalmshymnsspiritualsongskjv

My open hands receive blessings You pour out on me
Your tender care restores my soul
Your faithfulness endures, as mercy covers all my sin
Your perfect love has made me whole
Beyond the words I’m searching for
I long to give You something more

Here’s my thankful heart, thankful heart
Offered up in gratitude for all You’ve done for me
Here’s my thankful heart, thankful heart
Offered up in praise to You

I’m unworthy of the gift of Your unfailing love
But You embrace me as I am
You provide my needs, and raise a harvest from the seeds I sow in vain
I bless Your Name
Beyond the words I’m searching for
I long to give You so much more

From the raising of the sun
‘Til it’s going down
The name of the Lord be praised

Written by Gary Forsythe

*  ~  ♥  ~  ✞  ~  ♥  ~  *

We can offer up our thankful hearts to our ABBA Father at any time; while

  • taking a walk along a path outside
  • singing praises with our church family
  • raking leaves (or shoveling snow!)
  • shopping for our family’s groceries
  • sharing our Thanksgiving meal with those who don’t have close family
  • getting our tasks at work accomplished
  • driving home…and being held up by traffic
  • sitting in His presence during our ‘quiet time’

The vital point is THAT we DO give praise to Him out of the abundance of our thankful hearts!!!

Listening to this sweet song, this is my oh-so-very-favorite part:

Beyond the words I’m searching for I long to give You so much more….

How about you…do you ever find yourself exclaiming that same thought to God?  Oh, I do!  So often I am simply without adequate words to tell God all that is in my heart! (As if He does not already know!!!)  But I am encouraged that He wants us (you and me!) to come to Him with all that is in our little hearts…what a kind, compassionate, loving Father!

Hear my prayer, O Lord; let my cry come to You!
Psalm 102:1

Trust in Him at all times, O people; pour out Your heart before Him;
God is a refuge for us.  Selah
Psalm 62:8

…Unto You will I sing praises with the lyre, O Holy One of Israel.
My lips shall shout for joy when I sing praises to You,
And my inner being, which You have redeemed.
My tongue also shall talk of Your righteousness all the day long….
Psalms 71:22-24

A big key to heartfelt praise and thanksgiving is to recognize where we were before God saved us through His grace and love.  Truly we were in a desperate situation. You could not save yourself from God’s righteous judgment.  But God sent His Son, to save you—to save all mankind!—by His grace.  Because now you have experienced His great love and grace, you delight in Him and His great salvation and you can’t help but sing for joy!  May I encourage you, friends, to never hesitate…never hold back…never deny yourself the joy of singing praises to our Almighty God!

Sing for joy in the Lord, O you righteous ones;
Praise is becoming to the upright.
Give thanks to the Lord with the lyre;
Sing praises to Him with a harp of ten strings.
Sing to Him a new song;
Play skillfully with a shout of joy.
For the word of the Lord is upright,
And all His work is done in faithfulness.
He loves righteousness and justice;
The earth is full of the lovingkindness of the Lord.
Psalms 33:1-5

While studying through Psalm 33, I read Matthew Henry’s Commentary.  Here is a portion of what he wrote, “What a pity it is that this earth, which is so full of God’s goodness <verse 5>, should be so empty of His praises, and that of the multitudes that live upon His bounty there are so few that live to His glory!”

I hope that will not be said of us. As God’s “righteous ones,” let’s be all about offering up our thankful hearts through our praise and songs of joy.  Our lives are the proof that He delivers our souls from death. Our response should be to praise Him with thankful hearts.

Remember that line of this song that I shared I just love so much—’Beyond the words I’m searching for I long to give You so much more’—perhaps the words of the psalmist in Psalm 138 can help to express them.  These are my prayer; maybe yours, too.

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.
Every king in all the earth will thank You, Lord,
for all of them will hear Your words.
Yes, they will sing about the Lord’s ways,
for the glory of the Lord is very great.
Though the Lord is great, He cares for the humble,
but He keeps His distance from the proud.
Though I am surrounded by troubles,
You will protect me from the anger of my enemies.
You reach out Your hand,
and the power of Your right hand saves me.
The Lord will work out His plans for my life—
for Your faithful love, O Lord, endures forever.
Don’t abandon me, for You made me.
Psalm 138 NLT

Sing To The Lord (With All Your Heart)

SeekingHimLogo

Shout for joy in the Lord, O you righteous!
    Praise befits the upright.
Give thanks to the Lord with the lyre;
    make melody to Him with the harp of ten strings!
Sing to Him a new song;
    play skillfully on the strings, with loud shouts.

For the word of the Lord is upright,
    and all His work is done infaithfulness.
He loves righteousness and justice;
    the earth is full of the steadfast love of the Lord.

By the word of the Lord the heavens were made,
    and by the breath of His mouth all their host.
He gathers the waters of the sea as a heap;
    He puts the deeps in storehouses.

Let all the earth fear the Lord;
    let all the inhabitants of the world stand in awe of Him!
For He spoke, and it came to be;
    He commanded, and it stood firm.

 The Lord brings the counsel of the nations to nothing;
    He frustrates the plans of the peoples.
The counsel of the Lord stands forever,
    the plans of His heart to all generations.
Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord,
    the people whom He has chosen as His heritage!

 The Lord looks down from heaven;
    He sees all the children of man;
from where He sits enthroned He looks out
    on all the inhabitants of the earth,
He who fashions the hearts of them all
    and observes all their deeds.

 The king is not saved by his great army;
    a warrior is not delivered by his great strength.
The war horse is a false hope for salvation,
    and by its great might it cannot rescue.

Behold, the eye of the Lord is on those who fear Him,
    on those who hope in His steadfast love,
that He may deliver their soul from death
    and keep them alive in famine.

Our soul waits for the Lord;
    He is our Help and our Shield.
For our heart is glad in Him,
    because we trust in His holy name.
Let Your steadfast love, O Lord, be upon us,
    even as we hope in You.

Psalm 33

  *   ~   ♥   ~   ✞   ~  ♥   ~   *

Sing to the Lord with all of your heart,
Sing to Him a new song. Sing to Him a new song.
Sing to the Lord with all of your heart.
Sing to Him a new song.
Sing to Him a new song.

Lift your voice, let your praises ring.
Let every tongue glorify our King.
Let’s become the generation Who will passionately praise Him,
Trusting in the greatness of our God.

Sing to the Lord with all of your heart,
Sing to Him a new song,
Sing to Him a new song.

Singer/Songwriters: Paul and Rita Baloche
along with The Maranatha Singers

Our Part

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We put our hope in the Lord. He is our Help and our Shield.
Psalm 33:20

I absolutely love that God is my Help, Shield, Provider, Comforter, Banner…and the list goes on.  I love when situations seem impossible and God shows Himself mighty! I love God’s attention to detail and seeing, mostly in hindsight, how the pieces were all laid out to accomplish whatever feat God had planned.

One other thing I love, but dislike at the same time, is free will.  Odd?  Since I can remember I’ve had a fascination with how people think, and why people behave and make the decisions they do.  You know that childhood phase when “why?” is the default question to everything?  I never grew out if it.

We put our hope in the Lord. He is our Help and our Shield.

God IS our Help and Shield, but we also have a personal responsibility in our relationship with God.  My pastor says preparation is our part and victory is God’s part.  I have talked to many a women who pray and read God’s word, but who don’t take action.

What I mean is this: I can pray until I’m blue in the face for roses to grow in my front yard, but until I plant a rosebush…it’s not likely to happen.  I have to do something. We can work against God.  Might not be intentional, but we can.  Doing nothing (or if you prefer terms such as laziness, procrastination, lack of self control, simple ignorance) are all counter-productive to God’s work in our lives.

Nehemiah understood that God had a part and he had a part.  During the rebuilding of the wall, Nehemiah and the builders angered some important people!  They angered them so much that those people began plotting against them (Nehemiah 4:8). And what did they do?

…But we prayed to our God and posted a guard day and night to meet this threat.
Verse 9

If you read on, the enemy learns that God frustrated their plans. And from then on half the men worked and the other half were armed, standing guard.  A man part and a God part.

* ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ *

Lord, thank You for being my Help and my Shield. Thank You for providing me with Your Word which is wisdom for my living. You teach me daily how am I to live my life and with the right attitude. And You guide me. Continue to lead me, Lord, and show me areas where You may be waiting for action on my part. In Jesus’ name. Amen.