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.

5 Reasons Why God is Good

zexqjzkChristians in these times of special seasons (Thanksgiving and the coming Christmas and New Year), should look back and see that God is rich in goodness towards His elect. I think you will agree with me that you can’t say that God hasn’t been good to you. And if you list down all those good things that you received from God, it will take a year to thank each blessing. So Psalms 116 list down five of them so we can awe to God’s overflowing goodness.

God hears our voice and petitions (vs. 1-3) – If you take a glance at Psalms 115, we can see that David was mocked by the heathen because of the God he worships. He replied to these unbelievers that their god is an idol (115: 4-8). Neither these idols can speak, hear, smell, touch or walk. Compare them to the God of Israel which is the true and living God. We can read all throughout the Psalms, God hears David in times of crisis. That’s why in Psalms 115: 9 – 11, we see David admonishing Israel to trust this God who hears his voice and supplications. Will you also trust this God that inclines His ear to His precious children?

God response by delivering us (4-5)- It’s one thing that an Almighty God listens to you and declares that act to be good, it’s another thing that He response to your situation. Imagine a God who is not under obligation to save us because of His rich mercy, does something for us. Think about the times God had rescued you in trials and temptations. In doing so, isn’t He worthy to be called good?

God preserves/ upholds us (vs. 6) – David in his exploits, calls unto God, and God acts to deliver Him. But it didn’t stop there. God preserves David. He upholds him. David was brought low but God lifts him up.  Like David we were low. Sins drag us to that low point. However God picks us up. He encourages us. We emerge as victors in these trials we face if we trust the good God of the Bible.

God gives us rest/peace (v. 7-8) – If peace can be bought in the drugstore, I think we’ll be all falling in line to get one. In this demanding and stressful world, who wouldn’t want peace. However God’s peace goes beyond that. Its starts when God saves us (Romans 5:1) and as His elect we can surely call to Him, rescue us and gives us peace. Our daily pursuit in this planet gives us no eternal assurance. Only the Prince of Peace can give that lasting peace even if we are in the midst of chaos.

God gives His favor to us as we walk before Him (v. 9) – Being delivered from sorrow, God wasn’t done with David yet. David wasn’t left after that crisis by himself to figure out what to do next. God brought David back in track with full assurance that God’s favor is on him. Like our earthly father, we do look to them for affirmation on the things we are doing. We want to do what’s pleasing to them with their “stamp of approval”. As we pursue a holy surrendered life to our Creator, God will always give us that “stamp of approval” that we long for. Even if we stumbled, He will make sure He will bring us back again and His favor is upon us. Now isn’t that a good God?

Knowing these five reinforce ourselves to look upon a God of goodness and will desire to cling to Him. My prayer is that we’ll get to know Him more in more as the year’s passes by.

A Call for Contagious Praising (Part 2)

adwdafejfdy-raul-petri_zpspm1kvcf1“Oh, magnify the Lord with me, and let us exalt his name together!” Psalms 34: 3

Before we list out the 3 things we should consider in having a contagious praising, we must first detour and remind ourselves of why we want others to come and praise God. In this way we can fully understand why praising is contagious.

Of course we can praise God individually. We can actually have a personal dealing with God that will overflow with joy that is acceptable with God. However, we shouldn’t limit it as a personal experience only. We are lead to come and praise together.

Why Praise Together?

  • Because Christianity is an accountability religion.

We are accountable to lead people to salvation. We are accountable to lead people to sanctification. If we consider that Jesus Christ is the ultimate joy and we express our joy to Him by praising Him, the logic will flow that we are accountable in leading people to praising Him.  Salvation and sanctification are the gates to see Christ as joyous and praiseworthy.

(to be continued next week…)

Describing the Precious Gift Part 2

But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: (John 1:12 KJV)

And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered. And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn. (Luke 2:6, 7 KJV)

The second indicator that describe the preciousness of the gift that is Christ Jesus:

2.) What manner the gift was received. How did we received Christ? By faith alone (Eph. 2:8-9). John 1:12 states “even to them that believe”. Faith is the precious agent that receives the gift. Not only in receiving it but in making much of the gift as we honor God with it and show it to this fallen world. Why faith? Here are two reasons:

a.) because God requires it.

But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him. (Hebrews 11:6 KJV)

b.) faith is powerful. Read the whole chapter of Hebrews 11, and see how the believers of the Old Testament went through fiery trials. Without faith in God it will be impossible to journey to this life. Lets check Hebrews 11: 33-34 to view an example on how faith is indeed powerful:

Who through faith subdued kingdoms, wrought righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions, Quenched the violence of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, out of weakness were made strong, waxed valiant in fight, turned to flight the armies of the aliens.

Christians, having receive the precious gift are we living in faith as we walk with God in this life?

(To be continued next week…)