012815: Praise And Thanks, Always, & The Last Trip To The Beach, ’14

The Lord be with you. (And also with you.)
Lift up your hearts. (We lift them up to the Lord)
Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.
It is right to give Him thanks and praise. 
It is good to give Him thanks and praise.
One of my greatest frustrations and fears is to let a day go by without nothing happening. Consequently, part of me wouldn’t mind a good day of full rest and relaxation. 
Now I may sound contradicting, but I believe in Christ, though we may not always be in comfort, we will always be at rest, knowing that the work that matters has already been done – not by us by any means, but the complete work was accomplished by Jesus Christ; and for this, He is worthy to be praised and glorified. 
But that isn’t what I want to focus on today. 
It is good to give Him thanks and praise. 
One of my greatest frustrations is to let a day go by without nothing happening. Though this may sound like a good attitude leading to productivity, there are dangers to it, especially if you focus on what has not been done vs. what has already been done. 
But when you think about it, if you focus on what has already been done, chances are you become complacent and hold off what hasn’t been done yet until you start feeling guilty that the ball hasn’t been rolling. 
Wretched people that we are! What can release us from this bondage? 
Let us follow Paul’s train of thought in this matter, as mentioned in Romans 7. He did not ask what can release us from bondage, but WHO can release us from what binds us… That Man, of course, is Christ Jesus.
It is good to give Him thanks and praise. 
Like I mentioned yesterday, I was listening to Creflo Dollar talk about praise in one of his podcasts. I don’t think this decision to listen to Him was at random. A day or so before that, I was directed to read an article entitled, “How to become richer than Rockefeller” – before you go any forward, I recommend you read it too, because I’m going to be spoiling it for you right now. 
Bob the writer mentioned that the secret to becoming richer than a man like Rockefeller is to be thankful. And if you know me enough, you know I have a tendency to connect this to that, and that to this; so when I read that, I automatically linked it to what I was learning from Creflo Dollar, and that led me to meditating on that one verse, that mentions ‘Enter His gates with thanksgiving.. Enter His courts with praise.’
It is good to give Him thanks and praise. 
I learned later on from Biblegateway that this verse can be found in Psalm 100 – verse 4, to be exact. And when I proceeded to read the rest of the chapter (which was 5 verses in all), the words just popped and reminded me that Chris Tomlin recently recorded a song from this Psalm: ‘For the Lord is good, and His love endures, His love endures…’ This came from Psalm 100:5. 
I thought to myself, I’m getting at something golden here. 
Friend, I will say this: when you’re confused, when you’re bored, when you don’t know what to do and when fear creeps in, praise the Lord. Thank the Lord for what you have right now. You may not have what you want, or even what you need, but one thing you will always have as a child of God through Christ is a reason to thank our Heavenly Father. Thank God for life. Thank God for breath. Thank God for every second of life, every letter we type, every word that we can say. Thank God for every beat of our heart. Thank God for air, for water, for His presence seen and evident in all things. 
Friend, there’s so much to thank our God for! So much to praise Him for! Friend, His light reaches to the deepest of pits, and it shines, it shines ever so brightly!
It is good to give Him thanks and praise! 
Recently I’ve been led to lead our congregations in tithing with the motivation that we don’t give to be blessed, but we give, involving our finances and resources to the presence of our loving Father. That’s what we do when we worship – when we raise our hands, when we sing at the top of our voices, when we jump and dance, we don’t do it to be blessed, or to be closer to God – No, Christ already did everything, and not for us to just be closer to Him, but to be with Him! 
We raise our hands, we dance, and we give, involving more of all that we are to soak in His ever-loving presence! Consequently, when we give Him thanks and praise, we are transformed by the renewing of our mind! 
Friend, it is good to give Him thanks and praise! 
Time is never wasted when our focus is not on ourselves, but on the goodness and love of our Heavenly Father. Time is never wasted when we worship. We may be fueled, motivated, and/or brought to a state of peace and relaxation and then some, but what is definitely true is that we will be better after we worship. 
It is not just right to give Christ thanks and praise. 
It is good to give Him thanks and praise.
Halleluyah, anyhow..
Never ever let your problems bring you down
When life’s troubles come your way
Hold your head up high and say,
‘Halleluyah, anyhow!’
email me at jibee@rocketmail.com

May the Lord bless you and keep you. May the Lord make His face shine on you and be gracious to you. May the Lord lift His countenance upon you and give you His Shalom. – Numbers 6:24-26

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