Saturday, November 29, 2008

Sunday's Hymn

For The Beauty Of The Earth

For the beauty of the earth,
For the beauty of the skies,
For the love which from our birth
Over and around us lies,
Lord of all, to thee we raise
This our grateful hymn of praise.

For the beauty of each hour
Of the day and of the night,
Hill and vale, and tree and flower,
Sun and moon and stars of light,
Lord of all, to thee we raise
This our grateful hymn of praise.

For the joy of human love,
Brother, sister, parent, child,
Friends on earth, and friends above,
Pleasures pure and undefiled,
Lord of all, to thee we raise
This our grateful hymn of praise.

For each perfect gift of thine,
To our race so freely given,
Graces human and divine,
Flowers of earth and buds of heaven,
Lord of all, to thee we raise
This our grateful hymn of praise.

For thy Church which evermore
Lifteth holy hands above,
Offering up on every shore
Her pure sacrifice of love,
Lord of all, to thee we raise
This our grateful hymn of praise.

Monday, November 17, 2008

A Thankful Heart

Approaching us soon is a traditional holiday...Thanksgiving. I have been striving to have a more thankful heart all year...not just in this particular season, but too approach the throne of God with a thankful heart in all seasons of life-everyday. This may include joy filled days where it seems that everything is going as it should or it may include days where my sinful heart has once again caused the pain of sin and those consequences. Thankfulness should be evident in our lives even in the midst of storms and trials...knowing that God is there and loves us so much! I want this kind of thankful heart that only Christ in us can produce. When I meditate on what our Lord has done for us, how can thankfulness not be the theme of my heart each day?

John Macarthur says this about having thankfulness when facing problems in his sermon or study, *The Thankful Prayer*:

Instead of praying to God with doubt or discontentment, the believer is to approach God in a spirit of thanksgiving. That's because God promised not to allow anything into our lives that will be too much for us to bear (1 Cor. 10:13), to work out everything for our good in the end (Rom. 8:28), and "perfect, confirm, strengthen and establish" us in the midst of our suffering (1 Pet. 5:10).

The believer is to know that all difficulties are within God's purpose and to thank Him for His available power and promises. First Peter 5:7 says, "Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you" (NIV). In doing so we are to be thankful for His providence, His promise of perfecting us, the glory He will receive from accomplishing His will, and for past mercies that are the promise of future blessings.

Being thankful releases us from fear and worry. The presence of worry could mean a believer doesn't understand who God is or else has a weak faith because of sin in his life. We need to trust every situation to God's sovereign control. If we understand that God will supply all our needs (Phil. 4:19) and that He knows everything about our lives (Ps. 139:3), cares about us (1 Pet. 5:7), has the power for every difficulty (Ps. 62:11), is perfecting us to be like Christ (Phil. 1:6), and that nothing escapes Him (Ps. 147:5), that will lead us to be stable, not anxious.

What a wonderful encouragement!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Contrast to Self Love

John MacArthur, in Truth for Today, states:

Existentialism, the dominant mindset of contemporary psychology, has infiltrated not only our country but also many churches. It implies that every man has the right to do whatever makes them feel good. But wrong thinking like that stems from self-centered pride...In contrast to self love, Scripture says we're to be humble and unselfish, love those who mistreat us, and extend mercy toward those who stumble repeatedly. Those qualities enabled Paul to be content in any circumstances.

I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content. Philippians 4:4

May we all seek to have this kind of true contentment...not based on ourselves or circumstances, but on the One who is deserving of our obedience.