Thursday, May 30, 2013

“A Month of Thankfulness” Devotional Series (Day 30)

“O Give Thanks Unto The Lord (3)

SIH’s Think On These Things: Psa 106:1-2


Ps 106:1-2 (KJV)     Who can utter the mighty acts of the LORD? who can shew forth all his praise?


In our last devotional of this series, we will end with these two questions….

“Who can utter the mighty acts of the LORD?”  

“who can shew forth all his praise?”


Over the past month, as we have thought on a few of the multitude of ways that our Lord deserves our thanks, it all boils down to this one issue.  After all is said and done, we cannot begin to really appreciate nor thank our Lord as we should.  This theme is repeated again and again by the Psalmist in a variety of contexts…


Ps 40:5 (KJV)

Many, O LORD my God, [are] thy wonderful works [which] thou hast done, and thy thoughts [which are] to us-ward: they cannot be reckoned up in order unto thee: [if] I would declare and speak [of them], they are more than can be numbered.

Ps 71:15 (KJV)

My mouth shall shew forth thy righteousness [and] thy salvation all the day; for I know not the numbers [thereof].

Ps 139:17-18 (KJV)

How precious also are thy thoughts unto me, O God! how great is the sum of them!

[If] I should count them, they are more in number than the sand: when I awake, I am still with thee.


King David understood the dilemma that we face…. we serve a Lord that is so kind, loving, gracious and merciful that He is CONSTANTLY blessing us.  Every breath we take, every flower that we may see, every second we are not in the Lake of Fire, is a miraculous blessing from our Lord…. How can we begin to recognize all of them and then give Him the appropriate praise?  All we can do is fall upon our knees and ask the Lord forgiveness for failing miserably to recognize and thank Him for His continuous displays of tender love He has shown towards us.


Let us all come before our God and thank Him for the forgiveness that He grants to us as we fail to recognize all His works on our behalf. 


May the Lord bless this series and increase our appreciation for all He has done for us.


May the Lord bless us as we “Think On These Things”.


Wednesday, May 29, 2013

“A Month of Thankfulness” Devotional Series (Day 29)

“O Give Thanks Unto The Lord (2)

SIH’s Think On These Things: Psa 106:1-2


Ps 106:1-2 (KJV)   for [he is] good: for his mercy [endureth] for ever….


In our last devotional we saw the need to give our Lord all the praise and thanks for what He has so graciously done for us.  In this morning’s devotional, I would like us to emphasize why we are to praise and thank Him.  It is because He has been so good and merciful to us….


for [he is] good:

Our Lord is good in many different ways.  He is morally good; it is beneficial to us to be acquainted with Him; and He loves His people, cares for them and graciously works in their midst. He gives us many blessings that we do not deserve. What a blessing it is for us to be able to serve a kind, loving God.  Think of what life would be like if we served a tyrannical God.  He would be only concerned about Himself, all the while enslaving us to His servitude.


for his mercy [endureth] for ever.    

Our Lord is not only good, but He is merciful as well.  He withholds from His people much harm that they rightfully deserve.  The perfect example of this is His withholding judgment from us.  We all are sinners deserving of eternal punishment in the Lake of Fire; but God, through the work of Christ has withheld that judgment from us. 


God’s mercy and goodness are very much related….

He shows us His MERCY when He withholds from us harmful things that we deserve.

He shows us His GOODNESS when He gives to us beneficial things that we do not deserve.


In our devotional series this month, we have seen a variety of ways in which the Lord shows Himself to be both a merciful and good God.  As we look back upon our life, we can see an innumerable number of displays of His kindness to us.  Also keep in mind, many times, He intervenes and shows His kindnesses to us without our recognition.   For example, keeping us from an auto accident by delaying our departure, or causing our immune system to destroy harmful bacteria with which we have unknowingly come into contact.   These are just two of a multitudes of possible ways that He can be showing us daily blessings.


Let us be thankful to our Lord for both His goodness and His mercy…. Every blessing we receive from Him flow to us because He is a good and merciful God.


May the Lord bless us as we “Think On These Things”.


Tuesday, May 28, 2013

“A Month of Thankfulness” Devotional Series (Day 28)

“O Give Thanks Unto The Lord (1)

SIH’s Think On These Things: Psa 106:1-2


Ps 106:1-2 (KJV)   Praise ye the LORD. O give thanks unto the LORD; for [he is] good: for his mercy [endureth] for ever.  Who can utter the mighty acts of the LORD? [who] can shew forth all his praise?


As we complete our series on thankfulness to the Lord, I am trusting that we have a better understanding of what Psa 106:1-2 is teaching us…


Praise ye the LORD. O give thanks unto the LORD;…”

As the people of God, we have the responsibility to both “praise” and “thank” the Lord.  What do we mean by these terms?


“Praise” - When the Bible speaks about “praising” the Lord it is describing our responsibility to make Him “shine” in the eyes of others.  It is the idea of making the Lord look attractive to others, to point their attention to Him and to come to a better understanding of Him. 

One of the easiest ways for us to accomplish this is by telling others what He has done for us.  When we do this we are not only telling others about His actions, but we are telling them much about Him as a person…. It shows others He is gracious, kind, loving, all-powerful, just (the list goes on and on).


“Thank” - If you remember from our first devotional in this series we saw that to thank the Lord involved three ideas… acknowledging our need of Him; we are pointing the attention to Him; and sending out our message of His goodness to us. 

If you notice the idea of thanking Him is very similar to praising Him and rightfully so.  When we thank the Lord in the way that we should, it will certainly bring praise to Him.  Likewise, one aspect of praising the Lord is showing our appreciation for all He has done for us.   When we understand this principle, it is easy to see why the psalmist linked these two ideas together in Psa 106:1-2.


Over this past month we have been keeping our hearts and minds centered on thoughts of appreciation and gratefulness to the Lord.  Hopefully, throughout the month, we have been motivated to share with others truths about who He is and what He has done for us.  In doing so, we have been fulfilling our call to bring offerings of thanksgiving to Him resulting in Him being praised.


As our devotional series comes to a close over the next few days… lets continue on with thoughts of thankfulness towards the Lord and sharing these thoughts with others.  By doing this we will be continuously bring praise and honor to Him who has done so very much for us.    


May the Lord bless us as we “Think On These Things”.


Monday, May 27, 2013

“A Month of Thankfulness” Devotional Series (Day 27)

“Concerning Them Which Are Asleep, That Ye Sorrow Not, Even As Others Which Have No Hope.

SIH’s Think On These Things: 1 Thess 4:13-18


Paul, as he was led by the Holy Spirit of God, wrote comforting words for any of God’s people who are suffering from the death of a saved loved one.  His message of comfort is found in 1Thess 4:13-18


But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope.

Christians can be comforted in the death of a beloved saint.  Great hope can be had by those who are missing a saved loved one.


For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him.

As followers of Christ, we believe that Christ arose from the tomb after three days and nights.  If Christ arose as an act of the power of God (Acts 2:24), this is proof that the resurrection of the saints is possible as well.  Also, since the Word of God clearly promises that the saved shall be raised (Matt 24:31, Phil 3:20-21 etc), there should be no doubt on behalf of His people of the future resurrection of the saints who have gone on before us.     


For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive [and] remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep.  For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive [and] remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air:

Paul then reminds us that whether our body is in the grave or still alive on the earth, we will all be taken by Christ at His coming.  This wonderful promise of the resurrection and the following glorification of the saint’s body applies to all of God’s people. 


and so shall we ever be with the Lord.

At the time of His return, He will return with the spirit of those saints that have passed away.  At that time, these spirits will be reunited with their (now glorified) bodies. If we are alive when His return takes place, we will be taken to be with Him and it will be at this time that we will be reunited with our loved ones.  If we pass away before His coming we will be reunited with the spirits of our loved ones in heaven at the time of our death (when our spirits leave our bodies and ascend to heaven).  Not only will we be reunited with those who know and love but we will also be united with the many saints of the Old and New Testament as well as all of the members of our spiritual family.  What a wonderful blessing that will be!


Wherefore comfort one another with these words.

As Christians, we find great comfort in this promise from God’s Word.


Let’s say thanks to our Lord for the wonderful promise of being reunited with deceased loved ones and the great saints of old that we have come to love through the pages of His Word.


May the Lord bless us as we “Think On These Things”.


Sunday, May 26, 2013

“A Month of Thankfulness” Devotional Series (Day 26)

And There Shall Be No More Curse: But The Throne Of God And Of The Lamb Shall Be In It

SIH’s Think On These Things: Rev 22:3



Rev 22:3

And there shall be no more curse: but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it; and his servants shall serve him:


What a wonderful thought!  When we enter eternity there will be no more curse, nor effects of sin in the world.   What will complete the empty space left by the absence of sin? The very presence of God and His Son, the Lamb, and our service to Him that is what will fill this void.  Can you imagine what the new earth will be like filled with the glory of God and the Son and all its activity be centered on perfect constant attention to God alone? 


This type of existence is described elsewhere in Revelation…

Rev 7:14-17  And I said unto him, Sir, thou knowest. And he said to me, These are they which came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.  Therefore are they before the throne of God, and serve him day and night in his temple: and he that sitteth on the throne shall dwell among them.  They shall hunger no more, neither thirst any more; neither shall the sun light on them, nor any heat.  For the Lamb which is in the midst of the throne shall feed them, and shall lead them unto living fountains of waters: and God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes.

What a day that will be!  To have the sinful actions of this world replaced by perfect submission to His will. Sickness, sorrow and death will be wiped away by the touch of the Lord’s hand.  Our labor under a hot sun fighting with weeds and thistles to procure food for our existence is now replaced by no longer hungering or thirsting nor fighting the physical results of sin in the world.  Satan’s walking to and fro seeking to devour us replaced by the very presence and glory of God Himself, lighting this new world. 


But how is it possible for us to receive such great blessings from God?  We have this question answered in Gal 3:10-13

For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse: for it is written, Cursed [is] every one that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them.  But that no man is justified by the law in the sight of God, [it is] evident: for, The just shall live by faith.  And the law is not of faith: but, The man that doeth them shall live in them.  Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed [is] every one that hangeth on a tree:

It is through the work of Christ on the cross, that the curse of sin will be lifted for us throughout our eternity.  He is the One that took the curse upon Himself so that we might be liberated from that curse.  To do this, He became a curse by being falsely accused and hung on the cross receiving the wrath of God for our sins which he bear.


Let us thank the Lord for the total absolute deliverance from the curse of sin which is awaiting us in eternity.  And let us not forget to thank Him for His work on the cross, the basis of our deliverance from this curse.



May the Lord bless us as we “Think On These Things”.


Saturday, May 25, 2013

“A Month of Thankfulness” Devotional Series (Day 25)

We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed

SIH’s Think On These Things: I Cor 15:50-54


Our Lord promises that He will change our fleshly, sinful body into a wondrous, glorified, spiritual body which will be a part of our eternal inheritance.  This great change will take place through the Almighty power of a Sovereign God (Phil 3:20-21)…. For our conversation is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ:  Who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body, according to the working whereby he is able even to subdue all things unto himself.


What a blessing it will be to leave our sin nature, our sicknesses, our pains and death behind us as we cross over into the eternity that awaits us… (1Cor 15:50-54)


Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption.

Each of the bodies of God’s people must undergo a change before we enter our eternal state.  It is impossible for our sinful, fallen flesh to enter into His kingdom. Likewise that which is capable of decay and ruin cannot enjoy a never ending eternity with Him.


Behold, I shew you a mystery;

Paul is about to teach us a truth that is not generally known by mankind.  Only God’s people can begin to understand the true meaning of these teachings.


We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.

The Christian’s body will undergo this great change, whether the Christian experiences death or if they are alive at the second coming.  It will happen quickly, at the very instant of Christ’s coming.  For those bodies in the grave, they will come forth; for those who are yet alive, they will be changed and taken up at His coming.


For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal [must] put on immortality.

There are two basic aspects to this change that will take place… 

First, our bodies, which are able to be damaged and worsen in condition (as the result of sin, sickness, and the aging process), will no longer gradually degrade and age leading to its death.  

Secondly, our bodies, which are capable of dying, will no longer be under the bonds of death.  Death will no longer affect these new bodies that we will possess. 

Our new bodies will be capable of living eternally in their optimal condition without reduction or damage over time.


So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory.

When we have received our glorified bodies death will be defeated.  Physical death will no longer have a claim on our body, while spiritual death and the effects of sin will no longer be able to touch and corrupt these new bodies.


Let us thank Him today for the knowledge that we will not be eternally bound to the sufferings of these fleshly bodies, but will someday, enjoy liberty over our corruptible flesh and, even, death itself.


May the Lord bless us as we “Think On These Things”.