June 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

*   ~   ♥   ~    ✞    ~   ♥   ~   *

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

*   ~   ♥   ~    ✞    ~   ♥   ~   *

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!

A Free Hand

SeekingHimLogo

I will praise You as long as I live, and in Your name I will lift up my hands.
Psalm 63:4

As a child, I was the quiet one.  I was a shy, curly-haired, red-headed little girl who wanted to hide behind others.  If I was thrown into the spotlight, I was not comfortable there, like others. Can you relate?

In third grade, I was about to play in a piano recital. I knew the piece, “Suppose” by memory very well.  But as I stepped in front of the huge crowd, sat on the bench and my long blue skirt brushed over my black shiny shoes, fear captured me!  My hand would not move away from “middle C” on the keyboard.  I played that note over and over again. (My Mom stood to applaud, and everyone else did, too, in order to release me from my agony.  I may be the only person ever to get a standing ovation for playing one note!)  This is only one of many examples when I’d let fear overtake me where I could not move forward—not completely—for fear of mistakes or fear  of hurting someone or fear of letting someone down.  And when the fear cycle began, it easily could snowball into a cycle of bigger fears. Can you relate?

I had asked Jesus into my heart at the age of eight.  I knew I needed a Savior!  But for a long time, it was hard for me to release some of my fears…even some hidden ones.  In my twenties though, in God’s wisdom, He allowed me to come to the end of myself.  I realized in that time of complete brokenness that my focus must be on Him—faith not fears, depth in relationship with Him instead of people-pleasing and swirling circumstances.  My life dramatically changed for the better when I became very God-focused!  (I still have my moments, but I get back on track quickly.)

The freedom, comfort, guidance, and peace that He lavished on me when I needed it most increased my faith and love in my relationship with Jesus!  For many years, I have expressed myself and moved forward—especially where Jesus is concerned!   My hand is no longer like that paralyzed hand that could not move in one direction or the other during that piano recital as a child.  My hand can easily be lifted up to praise Jesus in a worship service.  (It’s just an external expression of the overflow of a thankful heart!)  My hand can write/type words (in various written formats) that praise and glorify Jesus as I share with others about His great saving love!  And with great expression, passion, and boldness, my hands have moved in grand gestures as I have taught Bible studies and directed drama or acted on the stages of churches over the years.  (I share all of this for the great glory of God!  For you see, He took me to a greater level of understanding of freedom and faith in Him and a greater awareness of His Holy Spirit working in me and God’s amazing, continuous grace…or else…those things just listed would not have happened.)

To God…ALL glory and praise! I am nothing without Him!  Oh, how I will praise Him as long as I live…please join me.

* * * * *

Dear Lord, let us be in awe of You.  Let us move forward each day—with thankful hearts— following You!  Let us give our hearts and lives completely to You to use for Your glory!  We love You, so let us praise You as long as we live, and let us lift our hands to praise You!  Let us keep our focus on You as stated in Hebrews 12:2, “Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the Author and Perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the Cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.”  In Jesus’ Name we pray, Amen.