Thanksgiving (Psalm 50:4)

What is giving to God? Think about it, you cannot give anything to him because he already owns everything. Giving isn’t a yielding, because he can take it anytime that he wants. So what is giving to God.

Giving stems from a desire and that desire should be to express how you feel towards someone. When we give to God, we express how we feel towards him. The Psalmist writes that the emotion behind his giving is thankfulness.

Offer unto God thanksgiving… ( Psalm 50:14)

A thankful heart is what God wants. Gifts to God result from thankfulness. These gifts aren’t given out of coercion, responsibility or even guilt. They come from hearts that recognize what God has done for them and are mere expressions of that thankfulness.

As I look back, I can see many occasions when my gift to God was nothing more than the relinquishing of my possessions to him. I guess I’ll see those items as wood, hay and stubble at the bema seat, but there were many times when along with the possession, I gave to God a heart overflowing with thankfulness.

To correct my errors, I have decided to check my heart before each offering to God and make sure that I am expressing gratitude instead of obedience or any other attitude. Secondly, I will guard my heart for complaining and instead ask God to help me recognize his plan so that I can be yielded and thankful for his sovereignty and provision.

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Praise Can Be Difficult (Psalm 34:1)

Some people today have received the heart breaking news that a loved one has passed away. Others may be under the heavy burden of finances or the obligations of work. Children may be a blessing from the Lord, but as you raise them, they may make decisions that absolutely devastate your life. With life as difficult as it is, is it outlandish to think that God wants us to continually praise him?

I will bless the Lord at all times: his praise shall continually be in my mouth. (Psalms 34:1)

In order for praise to continually be in your mouth, you must have a biblical perspective of life. You must recognize that God wants to use situations in your life to either develop or display your faith. When you have this perspective on life, trials and blessings are recognized as instruments for God’s glory. Remember, how you see life determines how you respond to it.

To praise is to boast. True praise boasts on the goodness of God and it has two purposes: to magnify the Lord and to encourage others to do the same. It is intended to be public so that others will hear. When you praise the Lord, you not only magnify him, but you solicited others to do the same.

My soul shall make her boast in the Lord: the humble shall hear thereof, and be glad. (Psalms 34:2)

Praise is not an attitude that you can just conjure up. It results from acts of trust. Throughout the Psalm, David declares the works that the Lord has done for him. Occasions of deliverance, hearing of prayers and encouragements all resulted from him trusting the Lord and because of them, praise flowed from his lips.

As you face difficult trials in your life, turn your heart to the Lord. Yield yourself to whatever he wants to accomplish and as you do, his spirit will guide your heart to the treasures that he has in store and enable you to praise him.

Thankful Response (Psalm 40:8)



God has done wonderful works for us that are beyond number.  As humans, we cannot remember all that he has done and understandably, there have been many occasions when God was working in our lives and we did not recognize him or his handy work.  Because God has done these many works for us, what does he expect from us?  

Sacrifice and offering thou didst not desire; mine ears hast thou opened: burnt offering and sin offering hast thou not required. (Psalms 40:6)

According to this passage, it isn’t sacrifice and offering.  Wait!  Why not?  Didn’t God institute both of them?  Didn’t he inspire an entire book of the bible on the various types of offerings and how to prepare and offer them?  If so, then why isn’t that what he wants?

Sacrifice and offerings may be what we need, but they aren’t what God wants.  Sacrifice and offerings are external actions that can be performed by anyone, but God is more concerned about what is on the inside.  Just as he chose a king for Israel based on what was within man, God is also concerned about what is within us.

I delight to do thy will, O my God: yea, thy law is within my heart. (Psalms 40:8)

God wants a heart condition.  He wants us to be willing to do his will and to carry his law in our hearts.  If we focus on the outside, we become no different than the Pharisees.  As Jesus said, we do nothing more than clean the outside of the cup.  If we focus on the inside, the heart becomes yielded and sensitive to God.  Once the inside is right, the outside will take care of itself.

Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts: And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting. (Psalms 139:23-24)