Friday, March 4, 2016

Thanks Living: Totally Engaged

As I was searching for verses for for my "Thanks Living" devotions this morning, I read Psalm 138:1—"I will praise You with my whole heart; Before the gods I will sing praises to You."
As I was mediating on the verse, I thought I had studied this verse before, so I checked my blog. This is a repost from January 12, 2013, but it fits perfectly with "Thanks Living". 

Repost from January 12, 2013. 

Totally Engaged

Throughout this year (2013), each day of the month, I'm "Treasure Hunting" in a Psalm. I've created a "Ponder Every Morsel of Truth" Book to record the truths as I learn them. The Twelfth of each Month, I'm studying Psalm 138. Here's what Treasure I found today (January 12, 2013).

I will give thanks to you
with all my heart.
I will make music
to praise you
in front of
the false gods.
Psalm 138:1 (GW)

This is a personal Psalm. David is speaking directly to God, with reverence, but also with familiarity, as seen by the word “you” or in some translations “thee”. 

I will give thanks to you. That is praise and honor as in casting down before God in worship.  

With all. Whole. Complete. Entirety. Nothing left out. “All In”

My heart. The inner man, indefinite, soul, comprehending mind, affections and will. Thoughts and emotions. He was “totally engaged”.

I will make music to praise you. The music is praise to God in and of itself. 

In front of.  Not only was David giving thanks and praise God, he was doing it for all to see. The word for “in front of” or “before”  means conspicuous; easily seen or noticed; readily visible or observable; noticeable; prominent; striking; noteworthy. David was not hiding his praise and worship to God. His praise was "out there for ALL to see". But he was not doing it for show—remember he was "totally engaged" in worship to God. David just didn't care who saw him praising God.

The false gods. David lived in an area where the surrounding nations had idols erected to false gods. David was not intimidated by the false gods. He knew that God, Jehovah, was the only true God who was worthy of worship. 

My translation:
“God, I am exceeding grateful to You. I honor and praise You with all of me—I am totally engaged in singing your goodness and mercy, and I don’t care who hears me! I am not ashamed of You, for You and You alone are God Almighty.” 

To create a positive day I cannot be ashamed of my God—I should be totally engaged in praising Him! 

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Thanks Living: Actively Expressing Gratitude

We give thanks to God always for you all, making mention of you in our prayers. 1 Thessalonians 1:2
Give thanks: actively to express gratitude
Always: at all times, evermore
For you: consideration where "all the bases are covered"
Making mention: as often as I remember you; literally, 'on all my remembrance'
Prayers: earnest prayer

The world is full of people. Some we see on a regular basis. Some we know. Some we pass by. And others we interact with in varying degrees. Family. Friends. Acquaintances. Neighbors. 

Introduction based on commonality.
Back: Lately I've meet people because I wear a back brace. Several people have stopped me to ask about my back and what has helped, or what I had done as they are seeking answers for their own back issues.
Faith: I have the privilege of attending a great church. It's been exciting over the past year to meet various people and become engaged in some of their lives. 
Problems: Due to a fence that needs to be replaced, I've had the opportunity to get to know my neighbor more and meet some contractors. Often problems introduce us to people as we work for a common solution. 
Serving: Often we neglect this aspect of people. We are often so busy on what others can do for us, we neglect that we are to be serving others. Helping and encouraging others usually ends up being a blessing for the "server" as well as the recipient. 

I keep thinking about "actively to express gratitude"—to God for people. As I think about the people in my life, WOW, am I ever blessed! Thanks Living is recognizing the people that are in my life and actively expressing my gratitude to God for them—and making sure I say "thanks" to those individuals who are part of my life.

We give thanks to God always for you all. 
Actively expressing gratitude, making sure all bases are covered—not leaving out who and/or what was done. Actively expressing gratitude to God for people.

As there is much that we ought to be thankful for on the behalf of ourselves and our friends, so there is much occasion of constant prayer for further supplies of good. Matthew Henry's Complete Commentary on the Bible

Thanks Living is recognizing who God brings into our lives, and taking time to "actively to express gratitude"—to God for them. 

Monday, February 29, 2016

Thanks Living: Can't be Contained!

As you therefore have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him, rooted and built up in Him and established in the faith, as you have been taught, abounding in it with thanksgiving. Colossians 2:6-7

Abounding: "all-around" which indicates abundance or surplus – exceed, go beyond the expected measure, i.e. above and beyond
In it (faith): in the realm (sphere) of, as in the condition (state) in which something operates from the inside conviction of the truth of anything, belief
With: as in the condition (state) in which something operates from the inside (within)
Thanksgiving: thankful for God's grace working out what is (eternally) good; grateful, which literally means "grace-ful (thankful) for God's grace"; actively grateful 

As I read Colossians 2:7 and came to that word, "abounding", I couldn't help but think of the videos of dogs so excited to see their "dads" come home from deployment. They just can't contain their excitement and joy. 

If dogs can show that much enthusiasm to their 'dads'; how much more joy and thanksgiving should I be expressing to God, my Heavenly Father? 

I like that meaning of "thanksgiving": actively grateful. Thanksgiving is to be an ACTION—it's a "doing" not a passive, still and silent.  

Abounding, go beyond the expected measure—above and beyond.
A true expression of gratefulness
can't be contained!

Thanks Living—above and beyond the expected—being actively grateful for God's love and mercy.