Posts Tagged ‘Thanksgiving’

As we pray

November 7, 2017

Revised and re-posted is the Verse of the Day for November 7, 2017 which includes a heading that encourages believers to pray and introduces four types of prayer or ways of communing with God. This previous blog entry certainly has application today, as we acknowledge the truth: “There is always something to pray about”:

1 Timothy 2:1-2 (New King James Version)

 [Pray for All Men] Therefore I exhort first of all that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men, for kings and all who are in authority, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence.

Supplications
With these prayers we entreat our Father with specific requests. Such petitions focus on our necessity, expressed as a personal need, rather than God’s sufficiency to supply it.  White-hot zeal and insatiable hunger ignite prayers of supplication. Strictly speaking, supplication also conveys an accompanying attitude of prayer, noting the “the effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.” (James 5:16)

Intercessions
To intercede means to plead or mediate on behalf of another person. Intercession will involve meeting with someone on behalf of someone else. Those who act as intercessors are also described as “standing in the gap” or “making up the hedge” which provide protection. (Ezekiel 22:30)

Prayers
As we acknowledge the magnitude of God, we offer prayers as an expression of our personal devotion.  Other examples included in this category are the “prayer of faith,” “prayer of agreement” and “prayer of dedication or consecration;” also the prayer Jesus taught his disciples or “The Lord’s Prayer.” Paul reminds believers to be “praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints—” (Ephesians 6:18)

Thanksgiving
Thanksgiving should be an essential part of our ongoing conversation with God. Literally it is “giving of thanks” as an expression of “showing oneself grateful.”  It is an all-encompassing “attitude of gratitude” involving everything we do and say: “In everything give thanks, for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you. (I Thessalonians 5:18)

This introductory discussion of prayer is by no means exhaustive. Countless volumes have been written and continue to be produced on this topic of vital concern for Christian believers who are exhorted to “Pray without ceasing.”

In closing, we offer the following poem that reminds of the importance prayer:

As We Pray

We give thanks to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,

as we pray always for you,

Colossians 1:3

 

During these dark times, we focus on the Kingdom,

Established and grounded on a sure foundation.

As we diligently pursue Godly wisdom,

New paths of this Apostolic Reformation

Unfold as the sun rises on the horizon.

Even in turbulent times, we must stay the course.

Aware of consequences of each decision,

We look to God, our Father, bountiful resource.

As we renew our minds, we are transformed and change:

With a “kingdom mindset” we now see with new eyes.

Beyond past narrow limits our view is long-range.

We number our days with each sunset and sunrise,

As the Word commands: pray without ceasing, night and day,

Knowing that God always fulfills his will, as we pray.

Gateway Worship offers a musical selection with the same title: “As We Pray”:

Don’t worry; instead, pray about everything

May 5, 2017

Philippians-4 6-7

The Verse of the Day for May 5, 2017 reveals that, as believers, we are reminded that the giving of thanks is to be more than an occasional act of gratitude; it is to be an ongoing part of our lives, not just on Thanksgiving Day.

Here is the rendering of this celebrated passage in the New Living Translation (NLT):

Philippians 4:6-7:

Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.

The Message Bible puts it this way:

6-7 Don’t fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray. Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns. Before you know it, a sense of God’s wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down. It’s wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the center of your life.

Ephesians 5:20 also offers this reminder:

And give thanks for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Perhaps the most dramatic reminder to live in continuous thanksgiving is found in I Thessalonians 5:18:

 Give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ.

The King James Version renders the verse this way:

In everything give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.

To facilitate memorizing this particular verse, here are lyrics to a Scripture Memory Song “In Everything Give Thanks”:

In everything give thanks,

In everything give thanks,

For this is the will of God

In Christ Jesus concerning you.

 

Repeat

 

When things in life don’t seem to turn out

Just as we think they should,

We know that God still has a grand plan

And works all things together—

He works all things together for our good.

 

In everything give thanks,

In everything give thanks,

For this is the will of God

In Christ Jesus concerning you.

 

The sun shines bright or the darkest night,

No matter what the mood,

We still give thanks always for all things.

In the name of Jesus Christ,

We keep an attitude of gratitude.

 

In everything give thanks,

In everything give thanks,

For this is the will of God

In Christ Jesus concerning you.

Every situation offers an opportunity to be thankful, no matter how bright or bleak life may be. We can always find something to be thankful for, if for nothing more than that we are alive or that our situation could be worse. We can begin with thanking God that we are alive and then adding to the long list of blessings we are enjoying at that moment. Each time we set our minds to be thankful, we are doing the will of God, which is the innermost desire of every believer. To give thanks is to do the will of God.

J, Rufus Moseley speaks of “an attitude of gratitude and boundless good will.” For believers thanksgiving is a magnificent and joyful “response-ability”; that is, our ability to respond to God’s love and grace. Every day we should demonstrate our gratitude to God from the fullness of our hearts, overflowing with thanks. More than merely occasionally expressing how grateful we are, we desire to maintain a continual “attitude of gratitude,” a lifestyle that some have called thanksliving.” The essence of our attitude of endless gratitude is expressed in this poem:

Thanksliving

What shall we render to the Lord for all

His grace?  What can we say to offer praise

Worthy of His glory?  How can we call

With all our being upon His name and raise

A new song from the depths of our heart?

We must do more than mouth a platitude–

To express our soul in words is an art;

Yet words cannot express our gratitude.

Mere words are empty and without merit.

“Thank you” too soon becomes a hollow phrase.

So we must worship God with our spirit

And must give thanks well for all of our days.

To live is give thanks with tongue and limb;

With each breath, each move, let us live thanks to Him.

Listen to this scripture memory song based on Philippians 4:6-7 from Integrity Music

 

Lord, you are good

November 29, 2016

psalm136-1

Five days after Thanksgiving Day, we continue to encounter reminders to be thankful, as the Verse of the Day for November 29, 2016 encourages us:

Psalm 136:1, 26 (NKJV):

[Thanksgiving to God for His Enduring Mercy] Oh, give thanks to the Lord, for He is good! For His mercy endures forever.

Oh, give thanks to the God of heaven! For His mercy endures forever.

In the opening verse of Psalm 136 we note the refrain: “For His mercy endures forever.” The same refrain is repeated to conclude verse 26, the last verse. In fact, the expression punctuates every verse of the Psalm in the same way.

In reflecting on this passage, a previous entry that discussed the expression “Call and response” comes to mind. In music, particularly in jazz which incorporates improvisation, we find a technique labeled “call and response,” whereby a musician issues a phrase or line, and another player answers with a phrase or comment in response. The same technique is also seen in other areas of African American culture involving speakers, such as preachers or ministers of the gospel or worship leaders who issue a series of calls, and the audience, the congregation, or group being addressed answers with responses. In the case of the Verse of the Day, there is an opening exhortation or call to give thanks to the Lord, followed by the response: “For His mercy endures forever.”

One of the awesome attributes of God is that He is a God of mercy, and His mercy never fails. In Psalm 126 the term mercy is also translated “lovingkindness or grace.” Although our Father is a God of justice, he tempers justice with grace and mercy. Justice has been defined as “getting exactly what one deserves.” Whereas grace is said to be unmerited favor or getting something that one does not deserve, while mercy is defined as “withholding merited judgment” or “not getting what one deserves. God ever displays His mercy toward

His children, as Lamentations 3:22-23 reminds us:

It is of the Lord’s mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness.

Throughout the Psalms, we see God abounds in mercy:

Psalm 119: 64:

The earth, O Lord, is full of Your mercy: teach me Your statutes.

Psalm 57:10

For Your mercy is great unto the heavens, and Your truth unto the clouds.

Psalm 69:13

But as for me, my prayer is unto thee, O Lord, in an acceptable time: O God, in the multitude of Your mercy hear me, in the truth of Your salvation.

Psalm 103:17

But the mercy of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting upon them that fear him, and his righteousness unto children’s children;

Israel Houghton and New Breed conclude this entry with this reminder: “Lord, You are Good and Your Mercy Endureth Forever.”

More reminders to be thankful

November 23, 2016

Psalm 100-4

On Wednesday, November 23, 2016, the day before the national celebration of Thanksgiving Day, the Verse of the Day is another reminder to express our gratitude to God:

Psalm 100:4-5

Enter into His gates with thanksgiving, And into His courts with praise. Be thankful to Him, and bless His name. For the Lord is good; His mercy is everlasting, And His truth endures to all generations.

Throughout the Old and New Testaments we find similar exhortations to offer thanksgiving to God for His goodness and lovingkindness:

The Psalms overflow with prayers of thanksgiving, as expressed in Psalm 136:1, 26:

[Thanks for the Lord’s Goodness to Israel.] Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good; For His lovingkindness (graciousness, mercy, compassion) endures forever. Give thanks to the God of heaven, For His lovingkindness (graciousness, mercy, compassion) endures forever.

Here is the more familiar rendering of this passage:

          Oh, give thanks to the Lord, for He is good!

For His mercy endures forever.

Oh, give thanks to the God of heaven!

For His mercy endures forever.

We find similar encourage to be thankful in the Church Epistles. In fact, the Verse of the Day for yesterday reminded believers to always be thankful, as Colossians 3:17 states:

And whatever you do [no matter what it is] in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus and in [dependence upon] His Person, giving praise to God the Father through Him.

A similar reminder is found in Ephesians 5:20:

Always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.

The Word of God reveals that the giving of thanks is to be more than an occasional act of gratitude; it is to be an ongoing part of our lives.

Philippians 4:6-7, another celebrated thanksgiving passage, is rendered this way in the New Living Translation (NLT):

Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done.

Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.

Perhaps the most dramatic reminder to live in continuous thanksgiving is found in 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18. These three verses are inter-related, forming a three-fold cord that intertwines with our lives, as we seek to do God’s will. Here is the Amplified Bible’s rendering of these verses:

16 Be happy [in your faith] and rejoice and be glad-hearted continually (always);

17 Be unceasing in prayer [praying perseveringly];

18 Thank [God] in everything [no matter what the circumstances may be, be thankful and give thanks], for this is the will of God for you [who are] in Christ Jesus [the Revealer and Mediator of that will].

In a previous blog entry I made the following comments:

More than a holiday celebrated on the fourth Thursday in November, “Thanksgiving” should be an essential part of our ongoing conversation with God. Literally it is “giving of thanks” as an expression of “showing oneself grateful.”  It is an all-encompassing “attitude of gratitude” involving everything we do and say: “In everything give thanks, for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you. (I Thessalonians 5:18)

Jesus Christ also reminded us that “Men ought always to pray and not to faint,” another reminder “to pray without ceasing.” We can “continue to be instant in prayer, as we follow these instructions: “In everything give thanks.” We combine these scriptural references to praying without ceasing in the following scripture memory songs:

We ought always to pray and not to faint.

We ought always to pray and not to faint.

We ought always to pray and not to faint.

To pray, pray, pray, pray, pray without ceasing.

In Everything Give Thanks

 

In everything give thanks,

In everything give thanks,

For this is the will of God

In Christ Jesus concerning you.

 

Repeat

 

When things in life don’t seem to turn out

Just as we think they should,

We know that God still has a grand plan

And works all things together—

He works all things together for our good.

 

 

In everything give thanks,

In everything give thanks,

For this is the will of God

In Christ Jesus concerning you.

 

 

The sun shines bright or the darkest night,

No matter what the mood,

We still give thanks always for all things.

In the name of Jesus Christ,

We keep an attitude of gratitude.

 

 

In everything give thanks,

In everything give thanks,

For this is the will of God

In Christ Jesus concerning you.

As the circumstances of our lives continue to unfold in the midst of the perilous times in which we live, unquestionably, “There is always something to pray about” and something always to give thanks for.

Listen to this lively music video by Bill & Gloria Gaither performing “In Everything Give Thanks,” featuring Charlotte Ritchie and Jeff & Sheri Easter.

Always be thankful

November 22, 2016

Colossians-3-Verse-15post

Colossians 3:15 in the New King James Version, the Verse of the Day for November 22, 2016, speaks of the peace of God and connects it to being thankful:

And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to which also you were called in one body; and be thankful.

For a more detailed rendering of the context, take a look at Colossians 3:15-17 in the New Living Translation:

15 And let the peace that comes from Christ rule in your hearts. For as members of one body you are called to live in peace. And always be thankful.

16 Let the message about Christ, in all its richness, fill your lives. Teach and counsel each other with all the wisdom he gives. Sing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs to God with thankful hearts. 17 And whatever you do or say, do it as a representative of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through him to God the Father.

Clearly the context of the passage relates to “giving thanks.” We find the mirror image of these verses in Ephesians 5:19-20 which also speaks of “psalms and hymns and spiritual songs.” When we examine these two passages, we find a parallel connection in light of the context of “giving thanks to God.”

These two passages remind us that expressing our gratitude to God is to be connected to everything that we do: “Always giving thanks to God the Father for all things” with the exhortation reinforced that no matter what you do in word or deed, it is to be done with gratitude, giving thanks to God the Father through Christ.

The Word of God reveals that the giving of thanks is to be more than an occasional act of gratitude; it is to be an ongoing part of our lives. There is to be a continual overflow of gratitude to God, as we encourage ourselves through psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, as we allow the Word of God to dwell in us richly or to make itself at home in our hearts. Not only are we to edify and reassure ourselves, but we are to become a source of strength and encouragement for one another.

Each year around the Thanksgiving holiday, I like to post my list of “Top Ten Thanksgiving Songs”: five are traditional hymns, and five are contemporary songs of praise and worship, all of which focus on being thankful.  In actuality the list could be viewed as a collection of “psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs.” Here is here a brief definition of these terms plus a sampling of music from these three categories:

Psalms

Psalms are consider songs of praise directed to God, as directed in the Book of Psalms. Today a number of the Psalms of David have been set to music, as illustrated in one of most popular songs of thanks from the Bible is “ I Will Enter His Gates with Thanksgiving /He Has Made Me Glad offered by Maranatha Music.

Hymns

Hymns are described as formal and traditional songs often sung by a congregation in praise of God in a public worship setting. Out of the Protestant Reformation emerged songs written in the vernacular of the people. Here is a medley of three popular hymns of thanksgiving: “Come Ye Thankful People Come,” “We Gather Together,” and “For the Beauty of the Earth.”

Spiritual songs:

This category of songs is said to be inspired by the Holy Spirit, often based on a spiritual theme or teaching of spiritual principles. Much of contemporary praise and worship can be placed in this category.

Here is a new song of gratitude “I’m Thankful” by Alexander Delgado:

Every day let us encourage ourselves and one another, “singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs with thankfulness in your hearts to God.”

We conclude with Katherine Abbot offering a musical rendering of Colossians 3:15 “Let the peace of heart”:

Enter into his gates with thanksgiving

November 20, 2016

Psalm 95 1 2 310904561

The Verse of the Day for November 20, 2016 is found in Psalm 95:1-2 in the New King James Version of the Bible:

[A Call to Worship and Obedience] Oh come, let us sing to the Lord! Let us shout joyfully to the Rock of our salvation. Let us come before His presence with thanksgiving; Let us shout joyfully to Him with psalms.

During the remaining days in November, moving toward Thanksgiving Day, we are encouraged to be thankful or to offer thanksgiving to God. Throughout the Bible, we find reminders to express our gratitude. The Book of Psalms with its array poetic expressions or compositions written by David and others contains several passages that relate to thanksgiving. Here are eight such verses to reflect upon with a grateful heart during this season:

1. Psalm 26:7

That I may publish with the voice of thanksgiving, and tell of all thy wondrous works.

2. Psalm 50:14

Offer unto God thanksgiving; and pay thy vows unto the most High:

3. Psalm 69:30

I will praise the name of God with a song, and will magnify him with thanksgiving.

4. Psalm 95:2

Let us come before his presence with thanksgiving, and make a joyful noise unto him with psalms.

5. Psalm 100:4

Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name.

6. Psalm 107:22

And let them sacrifice the sacrifices of thanksgiving, and declare his works with rejoicing.

7. Psalm 116:17

I will offer to thee the sacrifice of thanksgiving, and will call upon the name of the LORD.

8. Psalm 147:7

Sing unto the LORD with thanksgiving; sing praise upon the harp unto our God:

 

A previous blog entry discussed “Thanksgiving in the Psalms” and examined these passages and others related to the practice of giving thanks to God. In addition, we looked at background information and the lyrics to one of the popular songs of the season, “He Has Made Me Glad” by Maranatha! Music which is reprinted here:

Maranatha! Music began as a non-profit outreach of Calvary Chapel in 1971. Coming out of the Jesus Movement of the late 1960s and early 1970s, song writers began to compose new hymns and worship songs with a folk-rock style. Maranatha! Music was founded at this time in order to publish and promote this new type of Christian music. The ongoing desire of Maranatha! Music involves “Connecting the song of faith with today’s church.”

One of its signature musical compositions has been He Has Made Me Glad with its opening refrain from Psalm 100:4: Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name.

 

 

We joyfully enter the presence of the Lord with thanksgiving, not only during the week of Thanksgiving Day, but every hour of every day of every week of every year our hearts should overflow with gratitude to God.

As we pray

November 7, 2016

1 Timothy 2--1-6

The Verse of the Day for November 7, 2016 includes a heading that encourages believers to pray and then introduces four types of prayer or ways of communing with God. From a previous entry comes the following excerpt:

I Timothy 2:1-2 (NKJV):

 [Pray for All Men] Therefore I exhort first of all that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men, for kings and all who are in authority, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence.

Supplications
With these prayers we entreat our Father with specific requests. Such petitions focus on our necessity, expressed as a personal need, rather than God’s sufficiency to supply it.  White-hot zeal and insatiable hunger ignite prayers of supplication. Strictly speaking, our supplication also conveys an accompanying attitude of prayer, noting that “the effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.” (James 5:16)

Intercessions
To intercede means to plead or mediate on behalf of another person. Intercession will involve meeting with someone on behalf of someone else. Those who act as intercessors are also described as “standing in the gap” or “making up the hedge” which provide protection. (Ezekiel 22:30)

Prayers
As we acknowledge the magnitude of God, we offer prayers as an expression of our personal devotion.  Other examples included in this category are the “prayer of faith,” “prayer of agreement” and “prayer of dedication or consecration;” also the prayer Jesus taught his disciples or “The Lord’s Prayer.” Paul reminds believers to be “praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints—” (Ephesians 6:18)

Thanksgiving
Thanksgiving should be an essential part of our ongoing conversation with God. Literally it is “giving of thanks” as an expression of “showing oneself grateful.”  It is an all-encompassing “attitude of gratitude” involving everything we do and say: “In everything give thanks, for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you. (I Thessalonians 5:18)

This introductory discussion of prayer is by no means exhaustive. Countless volumes have been written and continue to be produced on this topic of vital concern for Christian believers who are exhorted to “Pray without ceasing.”

In closing, we offer the following to remind us of the importance prayer:

As We Pray

We give thanks to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,

as we pray always for you,

Colossians 1:3

As we pray each day, we focus on the Kingdom,

Established and grounded on a sure foundation.

As we diligently pursue Godly wisdom,

New paths of this Apostolic Reformation

Unfold as the sun rises on the horizon.

Even in turbulent times, we must stay the course.

Aware of consequences of each decision,

We look to God our Father, bountiful resource.

As we renew our minds, we are transformed and change:

With a “kingdom mindset” we now see with new eyes.

Beyond past narrow limits our view is long-range.

We number our days with each sunset and sunrise,

As the Word commands: pray without ceasing, night and day,

Knowing that God always fulfills his will, as we pray.

Gateway Worship offers a musical selection with the same title: “As We Pray”

If you worry, don’t pray; if you pray, don’t worry.

May 5, 2016

Philippians-4_6-7

The Verse of the Day for May 5, 2016 reveals that, as believers, we are reminded that the giving of thanks is to be more than an occasional act of gratitude; it is to be an ongoing part of our lives.

Philippians 4:6-7 KJV

Be careful for nothing; but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

Here is another rendering of this celebrated passage:

Philippians 4:6-7 (NLT)

6 Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. 7 Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.

In exploring more fully this section of scripture, I recognize that some believers tend to worry about everything and pray about little or nothing. I recall the lyrics to a song which responds in this way:

If you’re going to worry, don’t pray.
If you’re going to pray, don’t worry.

I also came across a statement from author and philanthropist, Steve Maraboli:

“Nothing is worth your health. Nothing is worth poisoning yourself into stress, anxiety, and fear.”

In fact, gratitude can counteract such negative forces. As John Henry Jowett notes, “Gratitude is a vaccine, an antitoxin, and an antiseptic.”

I recall a discussion entitled “The Science of Gratitude” by Carisa Holmes, holistic health advisor, where she cites Robert Emmons, leading scientific expert on gratitude and professor of psychology at the University of California, Davis. The widely recognized author maintains that being grateful actually improves one’s health.

Holmes examines Emmons’ research which “. . . associated the regular practice of attuning to gratitude with physical benefits, such as a stronger immune system, higher levels of positive emotions and with social benefits, such as being more forgiving, outgoing and feeling less lonely and isolated.”

Throughout the Bible, especially in the Church Epistles, believers are continually encouraged to be grateful. A previous blog entry looking at the Verse of the Day and other scriptures is revised and re-posted here:

One of the most dramatic reminders to live in continuous thanksgiving can found in I Thessalonians 5:18 (NIV):

Give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ.

The King James Version renders the verse this way:

In everything give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.

Every situation offers an opportunity to be thankful, no matter how bright or bleak life may be. We can always find something to be thankful for, if for nothing more than that we are alive or that our situation could be worse. We can begin with thanking God that we are alive and then adding to the long list of blessings we are enjoying at that moment. Each time we set our minds to be thankful, we are doing the will of God, which is the innermost desire of every believer. To give thanks is to do the will of God.

J. Rufus Moseley speaks of “an attitude of gratitude and boundless good will.” For believers, thanksgiving is a magnificent and joyful “response-ability”; that is, our ability to respond to God’s love and grace. We endeavor to demonstrate our gratitude to God from the fullness of our hearts, overflowing with thanks. More than merely occasionally expressing how grateful we are, we desire to maintain a continual “attitude of gratitude,” a lifestyle that some have called “thanksliving.” The essence of our attitude of endless gratitude is expressed in this poem:

Thanksliving

What shall we render to the Lord for all
His grace? What can we say to offer praise
Worthy of His glory? How can we call
With all our being upon His name and raise
A new song from the depths of our heart?
We must do more than mouth a platitude–
To express our soul in words is an art;
Yet words cannot express our gratitude.
Our words seem empty and without merit.
“Thank you” too soon becomes a hollow phrase.
So we must worship God with our spirit
And must give thanks well for all of our days.
To live is give thanks with tongue and limb;
With each breath, each move, let us live thanks to Him.

Listen to this scripture memory song based on Philippians 4:6-7 from Integrity Music:

Psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs

November 27, 2015

Colossians_3-16

Taken from Colossians 3:16, the Verse of the Day for November 27, the day after Thanksgiving Day, reminds that giving thanks to God should be ongoing:

Let the [spoken] word of Christ have its home within you [dwelling in your heart and mind—permeating every aspect of your being] as you teach [spiritual things] and admonish and train one another with all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs with thankfulness in your hearts to God.

We find a similar exhortation to be “Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord’ in Ephesians 5:19. These verses are reminders that expressing our gratitude to God is always in season, not just during the week of Thanksgiving, but our hearts should overflow, as we offer psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs of thankfulness to God for His bountiful blessings.

In thewww.youtube.com/watch?v=0V3BqV_mdnY past, I have posted my list of “Top Ten Thanksgiving Songs”: five were traditional hymns, and five were contemporary songs of praise and worship, all of which focus on being thankful. I recognize now that the list could be viewed as a collection of “psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs.” From the original list is a sampling of songs from those three categories.

Psalms:

Psalms are consider songs of praise directed to God, as illustrated in the Book of Psalms. Today a number of the Psalms of David have been set to music, as illustrated in these three selections:

One of most popular songs of thanks from the Bible is “ I Will Enter His Gates with Thanksgiving /He Has Made Me Glad” offered by Maranatha Music.

Sean Dayton offers a musical version of Psalm 105: “Give Thanks”:

https://

Another psalm of thanksgiving and praise is Psalm 138 in this rendition by Jason Silver:

Hymns:

Hymns are described as formal and traditional songs often sung by a congregation in praise of God in a public worship setting. Here is a medley of three popular hymns of thanksgiving: “Come Ye Thankful People Come,” “We Gather Together,” and “For the Beauty of the Earth.”


Another popular hymn of thanksgiving isNow Thank We All Our God” displayed in this concert arrangement by John Rutter:

Spiritual songs:

This category of songs are said to be inspired by the Holy Spirit, often based on a spiritual theme or teaching spiritual principles. Much of contemporary praise and worship can be placed in this category.

A classic example of this category would be Don Moen’s “Give Thanks”:

Recently I discovered a new song of gratitude “I’m Thankful” by Alexander Delgado:

The final selection has the same title as the previous song “I’m Thankful.” This composition, however, is written and sung by Lisa Tracy.

 

i'm thankful--lisa tracy 1

I’m Thankful

Every day may we encourage ourselves and one another, “singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs with thankfulness in your hearts to God.”

Showing gratitude with our worship

November 26, 2015

Hebrews 12--28The Verse of the Day for November 26, 2015, Thanksgiving Day, makes reference to expressing thanks or showing gratitude:

Hebrews 12:28

Therefore, since we receive a kingdom which cannot be shaken, let us show gratitude, and offer to God pleasing service and acceptable worship with reverence and awe;

In reflecting on this verse, I thought of an incident that occurred a week or so ago. Sitting in the waiting room, I observed a young child who was given a coloring book and some crayons. The child smiled and said, “Thank you.” He showed items to his mother, and she asked her son, “Did you say thank you?” The person who gave the gifts responded, “Yes, ma’am. He sure did.”

From the earliest days of childhood we are taught that when someone gives you a gift, our response should be some expression of gratitude, namely to say “Thank you.”

Jesus Christ speaks this comforting reminder to his followers:

Luke 12:32 (AMP)

Do not be afraid and anxious, little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.

The Verse of the Day tells us how we should respond to having received such a precious, yet powerful gift from God, our Father. We are to show ourselves grateful and “offer to God pleasing service and acceptable worship with reverence and awe.”

Romans 12:1 (AMP) has a similar exhortation:

Therefore I of yourselves, set apart] as a living sacrifice, holy and well-pleasing to God, which is your rational (logical, intelligent) act of worship.urge you, brothers and sisters, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies [dedicating all of yourselves, set apart] as a living sacrifice, holy and well-pleasing to God, which is your rational (logical, intelligent) act of worship.

In response to all that God has given us, as believers we must do more than merely offer “lip service” by only saying “Thank you,” but we must demonstrate our gratitude to God with more than words. We offer our lives as a living sacrifice, which is an expression of our “reasonable service,” our rational (logical, intelligent) act of worship. The closing lines from the poem “Thanksliving” reiterate this truth:

We must do more than mouth a platitude–

To express our soul in words is an art;

Yet words cannot express our gratitude.

Our words seem empty and without merit.

“Thank you” too soon becomes a hollow phrase.

So we must worship God with our spirit

And must give thanks well for all of our days.

To live is give thanks with tongue and limb;

With each breath, each move, let us live thanks to Him.

Alexander Delgado offers a song that relates this desire to express our gratitude to God: “Thankful.”