- Isaiah 12:5 (NCV): “Sing praise to the LORD, because he has done great things. Let all the world know what he has done.”
- Psalm 69:30 (NKJV): “I will praise the name of God with a song, And will magnify Him with thanksgiving.”
- Colossians 3:16 (ESV): “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God.”
GUARDING OUR HEARTS
AS YEAR 2020 DRAWS TO A CLOSE, many people around the globe are hoping for a better tomorrow. No doubt, many believe God “owes” it to them after the crummy 2020 they’ve experienced.
Are you one of them?
If so, on what do you base that hope? Is it your sense of balance, of fairness, that if the universe dumps on you one year, it should lift you up the next?
The truth is, God doesn’t “owe” us anything except what we deserve and that, according to His Word, is eternal punishment. Mercifully, God doesn’t give us what we deserve.
So, focus on this, if you would: God gracefully has given us so much to be thankful for, including forgiveness of sins and a promise of life in abundance.
Instead of grumbling about our fate, we should be on our knees giving God the praise, honor, and glory due Him.
We ought to praise our Lord!
SINGING BY A BONFIRE
IMAGINE THIS: IT’S A COLD NIGHT. Someone starts a bonfire in a nearby field. You run over and join the group. As you stand before the fire, your chest warms slightly, then more so, until eventually your chest is burning up!
You turn around, and your back, which had been cold, is now being warmed by the fire while your chest cools down.
Walk away from the fire, and both your chest and your back cool down.
It’s the same when you walk away from the Lord, your passion cools down.
As the Bible says, “You left your first love.” — Revelation 2:4 (WEB)
Isn’t that where most so-called Christians are, just lukewarm, casual, cultural Christians without a personal relationship with the Lord they claim to love and worship?
Let’s not be one of them.
STAYING IN PRAYER
THE REMEDY IS TO STAY IN PRAYER. Pray that the LORD will rekindle the fire in your heart, that He’ll move you closer to Him. Say, “LORD, fan the flames for me. I want to be hot with Your love all over.”
Make walking with the LORD your Number One priority for the day. Loving your wife or husband comes next. That leaves the rest of the numbers, from three on, to your children, your home, your job, your health, your ministry, your yard, your hobbies, and anything else you can list.
Once the priorities are set, you’ve built your house on solid ground.
He created us to worship Him.
HYMN OF PRAISE
“Worthy are you, our Lord and God,
to receive glory and honor and power,
for you created all things,
and by your will they existed and were created.”
— Revelation 4:11 (ESV)
The Lord commands us to bow down in worship. To honor Him. To adore Him. There’s no room in that command for grumbling. — Philippians 2:14 (NIV)
The price was God Himself, in human form, dying on a Cross for our sins, for our debt, to reconcile the world to Himself. — 2 Corinthians 5:19 (NKJV)
ANCIENT HYMNS TO GOD
HOW DO WE LIFT OUR VOICES in song, as our Lord commands, instead of complaining about our lot as 2020 draws to a close?
Fortunately, the Bible tells us. (Are you surprised?)
The psalms are rich with hymns to God, to His glory, His faithfulness, and His compassion.
Instead of marking the year’s change with a drunken chorus of “Auld Lang Syne,” let’s pray with grateful hearts to God who loves us.
Let’s use His own words:
MAKE A JOYFUL NOISE TO THE LORD, ALL THE EARTH!
SERVE THE LORD WITH GLADNESS! COME INTO HIS PRESENCE WITH SINGING!
KNOW THAT THE LORD, HE IS GOD! IT IS HE WHO MADE US, AND WE ARE HIS; WE ARE HIS PEOPLE, AND THE SHEEP OF HIS PASTURE.
ENTER HIS GATES WITH THANKSGIVING, AND HIS COURTS WITH PRAISE! GIVE THANKS TO HIM; BLESS HIS NAME.
FOR THE LORD IS GOOD; HIS STEADFAST LOVE ENDURES FOREVER, AND HIS FAITHFULNESS TO ALL GENERATIONS.”
— Psalm 100 (ESV)
O GOD, OUR GOD, how majestic is Your name in all the Earth.
O GOD, OUR HELP in Ages Past.
AMAZING GRACE, how sweet the sound that saved a wretch like me.
OUR LORD, through Your mercy, I am forgiven; through Your Love, I am redeemed; through Your grace, I am saved.
HOLY, HOLY, HOLY, is our Lord God forever; He who was, who is, and who is to come, life without beginning and without end, from everlasting to everlasting.
O GOD, YOU are the Alpha and the Omega.
TO YOU, O LORD, belong all the praise, honor, and glory.
HALLELUJAH! HALLELUJAH! HALLELUJAH!