4 Ways to Serve God with a Thankful Heart

wmzimcpPsalms 116 gives us more than reasons why God is good. It also shows us how, knowing God is good, to pay it forward. The last part of the psalm presents ways to serve God (and eventually others) with a thankful heart. Here are four of them that David did and we should follow these examples.

Acknowledge God’s mercy in our salvation (v. 13) – This is the first step in serving God thankfully. Like the cup people raised in special occasions, we uphold gratitude towards God by remembering His saving grace toward us undeserving sinners. Think about how God planned your salvation way back before the foundations of the world.  Then look at the extend God had done to His Son Jesus for you to be saved. Acknowledging God’s salvation to you might be enough to cultivate a heart brimful of thanksgiving and moving you to serve. Keep that tucked in your heart every time you serve Him.

Consider our commitment and plans for God (vs. 14 & 18)- What are your commitments to God? Do you set plans, ambitions or goals for God? Paying vows is like that. Not only will it challenge your faith to step to the next level but it will make your maturity grow. As vows committed in the Bible takes matured people to think of it and accomplish it, so will you if you seek to consider it. Of course you do pray, worship, read the Bible and share the gospel, having plans for God is intentionally setting aside something that will glorify Him. We look at our lives we plan and set goals for that vacation, that car or our children’s future. Can we do that to God too?

Have a continuous dependence to God (vs. 13 & 17) – If you look closely at the two verses, you can see that phrase “and call upon the name of the Lord” was mentioned twice. This is not just a prayer of supplication but it shows David’s continuous dependence with God.   Do you continue to ask God to help you? You should because He is glorified in our constant asking. The more we ask the more we grow in dependence to God. And that’s already service to God! Will you consistently seek Him in your journey to this life?

Put your involvement with God in public (vs. 18 & 19) – God had shown you the ultimate “public display of affection” through Christ hanging in the cross. Now it’s our turn to show another ultimate PDA. It’s living the life God intended for you to reflect His glory.   It starts by going to church. Show how you want to serve Him by listening, praising, praying and worshiping Him, with fellow believers in the church. As you root yourself in the presence of the believers and God, eventually your “publicness” with God will eventually flow to your family, work and other parts of your life.  As Matthew 5: 14- 16 puts it:

“Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid. Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.”

Service to God starts with the right disposition of the heart. Having that kind of heart will help us navigate in the different phases of our ministry. A thankful heart matters to God as you serve Him and others.

The Greatest Need of Man Answered and Settled by God Part 5

Praise is due to you,a O God, in Zion,

and to you shall vows be performed.

 

O you who hear prayer,

to you shall all flesh come.

 

When iniquities prevail against me,

you atone for our transgressions.

 

Blessed is the one you choose and bring near,

to dwell in your courts!

We shall be satisfied with the goodness of your house,

the holiness of your temple!

 

By awesome deeds you answer us with righteousness,

O God of our salvation,

the hope of all the ends of the earth

and of the farthest seas;

 

the one who by his strength established the mountains,

being girded with might;

 

who stills the roaring of the seas,

the roaring of their waves,

the tumult of the peoples,

 

so that those who dwell at the ends of the earth are in awe at your signs.

You make the going out of the morning and the evening to shout for joy.

 

You visit the earth and water it;

you greatly enrich it;

the river of God is full of water;

you provide their grain,

for so you have prepared it.

 

You water its furrows abundantly,

settling its ridges,

softening it with showers,

and blessing its growth.

 

You crown the year with your bounty;

your wagon tracks overflow with abundance.

 

The pastures of the wilderness overflow,

the hills gird themselves with joy,

 

the meadows clothe themselves with flocks,

the valleys deck themselves with grain,

they shout and sing together for joy.

–Psalms 65:1-13

 

What Satisfaction Did God Provide?

Knowing that God gave answers to our greatest needs and settles it, it brings a satisfaction to us. Just like receiving a gift it brings joy to us, so is the knowledge that God answered the ultimate need of man.

Goodness

Blessed is the one you choose and bring near,

to dwell in your courts!

We shall be satisfied with the goodness of your house,

the holiness of your temple!

Psalms 65:4

God proves that in Him there is goodness. This is of course not just in terms of what He can provide physically(if you read the later part of Psalms) but the mercy and grace that overflows from Him.

Confidence

By awesome deeds you answer us with righteousness,

O God of our salvation,

the hope of all the ends of the earth

and of the farthest seas;

Psalms 65:5

Knowing that God provided the answers which are salvation and prayer, this gives us confidence. We can hold our heads up high grounded on what he provided. Another confidence booster is, if you go back to verse 4, being His elect which makes a lot of difference. Confidence to walk in the ruined world with God is heaven already. Now who can snatch that goodness and confidence from you? No one!

Reflecting on these thoughts, what reasons can we give that we should not take part of these scarce heavenly commodity? What excuse can man give upon reaching such truth? Let us be all reasonable and get this providential lot from our Creator

Book Review: Taking God Seriously by Stuart Briscoe

Lately, my Bible reading has taken me through the Old Testament particularly the Minor Prophets. As I meditate to these books I was amazed on how the Holy Spirit reveals to me important lessons from God. One might say that those books are filled with prophetic messages and God’s anger. But if you will dig deeper and prayerfully read to the books you’ll be amazed like me to find doctrine, salvation, Christian living abound in every pages of the Minor Prophets. So please dont neglect reading those books.

In “Taking God Seriously”, Stuart Briscoe painstakingly unpacks the message of who God really is and what Christians should do about it not in Romans or Psalms but in the Minor Prophets section. Yes! Make no mistake about it. As Briscoe puts it on the introduction, Minor Prophets does not correspond minor significance.

Christians have you ask yourself if you are truly serious about God and if you’re truly serving Him faithfully? Many of us are thinking God is good (which He is), but do you know that God is jealous and angry if we focus more on what the world can offer and forgetting Him. But God is patient and he gives us opportunity to make our path right and reject our evil deeds. God is exactly enough for us, and with that we should be in focus to Him and his will to us.

The book reminds me of Vernon McGee and Warren Weirsbe commentary of the the Bible. If you enjoy devouring works of those two prolific authors this book will find a place in your heart. Briscoe’s insights is easy to read but will plunge you to a deeper understanding on taking God’s business seriously.

You might find it hard to pronounce names like Habakkuk, Zephaniah or Obadiah, but this book by Stuart Briscoe will spell it out what God wants from your life.