Nov 21, 2012
A Song about THE POWER OF GRATITUDE from a Judeo-Christian Perspective which appears on the “Words of Life” Album.
VERSE: Lord, I am thankful; thankful for the Name of Jesus; thankful for the Blood that cleans us. Lord, I’m thankful for You each day. Each day I am thankful; thankful for the Spirit’s leading; thankful that in You there’s healing. Lord, I’m thankful for You.
CHORUS: Oh let my spirit soar in worship to Your Name. My life is not the same by the power of Your Blood. And every moment that I breathe, Your Spirit leads and meets my every need of walking in the Light of You.
But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you. Matthew 5:44
It starts early. “But Mom, he started it!” It comes naturally to us from a young age: We give what we’ve been given. Kindness begets kindness and anger begets anger. We even unconsciously mimic the energy level and body language of those around us in an effort to connect.
When we feel threatened, we become defensive and stand alert, like soldiers, ready to defend ourselves or perhaps even execute a surprise attack before our adversary can. Having a perpetually defensive spirit damages the key component of our close relationships: trust.
Satan excels at fueling blame and hate. He cheers when we harbor deep resentments that slowly close us off from those around us. While there are harmful and unsafe people, we do not need to become a part of the hate cycle. The antidote to a defensive spirit are compassion, humility, and forgiveness. Jesus reveals in word and action that although it is excruciating and sacrificial to bless and love our enemies, it is the only way to live.
All change comes from deepening your understanding of the salvation of Christ and living out the changes that understanding creates in your heart. Timothy Keller
In a world filled with endless sources of information and opinions, believers need to develop a discerning spirit. Otherwise, how will we know what is true? Much of what we see and hear is based on a worldly perspective that’s influenced by Satan, the father of lies. Deception is found even in the religious realm: Some churches mix lies with enough truth to make some people consider them legitimate Christian institutions.
The only way believers can guard against deception is to ground themselves in God’s Word. The more time you spend filling your mind with the Lord’s thoughts, the more discerning you will be. However, just knowing biblical truth isn’t enough. You must put what you learn into practice so that it becomes more than head knowledge.
The goal is to let God’s Word become such an integral part of your thinking that it guides your decisions. Even if the situation you’re facing isn’t specifically addressed in the Bible, scriptural principles provide the needed wisdom for every choice. In addition, the Holy Spirit is given to each believer; He is a Helper, whose job is to guide you into truth (John 14:26; John 16:13). However, your responsibility is to put Scripture into your mind so God’s Spirit can bring it to your remembrance. If you neglect the Word, you’ll lack discernment.
What are you allowing into your mind? Is the Word high in your priorities? Unless you’re careful, worldly thinking will overpower spiritual discernment. It’s difficult to keep God’s perspective in the forefront if you spend two or three hours in front of the television and only 10 minutes in the Bible.
“I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men; For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty.” (1 Timothy 2:1-2)
When we pray for others, we not only are helping to assure a good life for ourselves—as our text indicates—but, more importantly, we are thereby becoming more like Christ. On the cross itself, “he bare the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors” (Isaiah 53:12). Since His return to heaven, He has been continually occupied with His ministry of intercession. “Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them” (Hebrews 7:25). “It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us” (Romans 8:34).
Not only is our resurrected, glorified Savior perpetually interceding for us in heaven, but also, the indwelling Holy Spirit is praying for us here. “For we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit [Himself] maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. And he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because he maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God” (Romans 8:26-27).
Now if both God the Son and God the Holy Spirit are always interceding for us before God the Father, we surely ought to be willing to spend time in prayer for others down here—not only for our loved ones, but even for those who have hurt us. Jesus said, “Pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you” (Matthew 5:44).
May God help us to be faithful in this vital ministry of intercession. HMM
So he drove out the man; and he placed at the east of the garden of Eden Cherubims, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to keep the way of the tree of life. —Genesis 3:24
Yes, worship of the loving God is man’s whole reason for existence. That is why we are born and that is why we are born again from above. That is why we were created and that is why we have been recreated. That is why there was a genesis at the beginning, and that is why there is a regenesis, called regeneration.
That is also why there is a church. The Christian church exists to worship God first of all. Everything else must come second or third or fourth or fifth….
Sad, sad indeed, are the cries of so many today who have never discovered why they were born. It brings to mind the poet Milton’s description of the pathetic lostness and loneliness of our first parents. Driven from the garden, he says, “they took hand in hand and through the valley made their solitary way.”
Lord, use me today to point someone to the way out of the wilderness. Sad, sad indeed is the fact that so many of my own acquaintances may not yet know why they were born. Speak through me today. Amen.
Who worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator;… God gave them over to a reprobate mind. (Romans 1:25, 28)
Since the first fallen man got still long enough to think, fallen men have been asking these questions: “Whence came I? What am I? Why am I here? and Where am I going?”
The noblest minds of the race have struggled with these questions to no avail. Did the answer lie somewhere hidden like a jewel it would surely have been uncovered, for the most penetrating minds of the race have searched for it everywhere in the region of human experience. Yet the answers remain as securely hidden as if they did not exist.
Why is man lost philosophically? Because he is lost morally and spiritually. He cannot answer the questions life presents to his intellect because the light of God has gone out in his soul. The fearful indictment the Holy Ghost brings against mankind is summed up count by count in the opening chapters of Romans and the conduct of every man from earliest recorded history is evidence enough to sustain the indictment.
Apart from the Scriptures we have no sure philosophy: apart from Jesus Christ we have no true knowledge of God; apart from the inliving Spirit we have no ability to live lives morally pleasing to God!
We are none of us so much awake as we should be. With a perishing world around us, to sleep is cruel. Oh, that we may leave forever the couch of ease, and go forth with flaming torches to meet the coming Bridegroom! My heart waketh. This is a happy sign. Life is not extinct, though sadly smothered. When our renewed heart struggles against our natural heaviness, we should be grateful to sovereign grace for keeping a little vitality within the body of this death. Jesus will hear our hearts, will help our hearts, will visit our hearts; for the voice of the wakeful heart is really the voice of our Beloved, saying, “Open to me.” Holy zeal will surely unbar the door.