Google+ 11/19/13 Give Thanks To the Lord, For He is Good!!!

1 Chronicles 16:33-35

 

Let the trees of the forest rustle with praise, for the Lord is coming to judge the earth.

Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good!
    His faithful love endures forever.
Cry out, “Save us, O God of our salvation!
    Gather and rescue us from among the nations,
So we can thank your holy name and rejoice and praise you.”

 

In part two of our twelve-part devotion series entitled, "Thanks Forever!" we turn to Ezra, the writer of Chronicles, for an example of how to be thankful.  The books of Chronicles trace the history of the Jewish people from the beginning of the human race to the fall of Jerusalem and the subsequent return of the Jews during the reign of the Persian King, Cyrus the Great (559-529 B.C.).  David becomes the central character as Ezra recounts how God's people stewarded their responsibilities, as heirs of the Davidic covenant.  As we all know, David's chief concern and focus was on worshipping and praising God and giving Him thanks.  Even when the Ark of the Covenant was delivered to Jerusalem, David found the old brazen altar used in the tabernacle to lift praises to God.  He appoints many Levites to serve as musicians and to handle the duties of the tabernacle.  Today in our Scripture, he stops to give everlasting thanksgiving to God and encouraged all others to do the same.  I must confess that I can often relate too well to my namesake and his plight to get the Jewish people to be eternally thankful and praise God.  Both in Biblical times and now, we find our lives too cluttered with things that just don't matter.  Unfortunately, it has been my experience as a pastor that we spend most of our time on things that will pass away.  Material, rather than spiritual, things often dominate a great portion of our waking lives.  We recently had ten baptisms in our morning worship service.  Praise God!  One of our Family of God was kind enough to take pictures.  As I reviewed them, I was renewed in my faith as I watched the facial expressions on each candidate change as they went into and out of the water.  I mentioned to one of God's faithful just yesterday that one could not deny the "joy of the Lord" that was on each face.  The pictures of our obedience and thankfulness to God are the things that will never pass away.  So why do we focus on anything else?  Here comes the truthful answer which will hit all of us right between the eyes.  We allow the things of Satan and of this world to steal our joy.  Yes, I said STEAL!  Satan is the great deceiver and he is brilliant at his full-time job.  We must live in David's eternally-thankful moment each and every day.  It is hard to do.  The more we live for God and lift His name on high, the more satanic attacks we experience.  It wears us out!!!  What can we do?  Ezra and David tell us.  Cry out to God every day so He can save and rescue us from the other nations.  His faithful love endures forever!  So, "Give Thanks to the Lord, For He is Good!!!"