1: "O give thanks to the LORD, for He is good; His steadfast love endures forever!" – In the midst of all situations God's gracious love endures. We can turn to Him in all things to find strength and perseverance.
19: "Open to me the gates of righteousness, that I may enter through them and give thanks to the LORD." – The 'gates of righteousness' is a description of the path we each must take as we turn from selfish concerns into a life that focuses always on God. With this "new" focus our lives are transformed and our hearts burst forth in songs of thanksgiving.
22: "The stone that the builders rejected has become the chief cornerstone." – In Mark 12:10-11 Jesus quotes this verse in the Parable of the Wicked Farmers. This reference describes how He will be rejected by the Scribes and Pharisees only to become the foundation for hope throughout the world.
24: "This is the day that the LORD has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it." – Regardless of our worries or afflictions, this verse shows us that there is so much to be thankful for. When we rejoice are hearts become glad.
26: "Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the LORD. We bless you from the house of the LORD." - Sing forth the songs that praise the coming of the Lord.
27: "The LORD is God, and He has given us light. Bind the festal procession with branches, up to the horns of the altar." - Celebrate His glory with branches of joy and decorations of light.
29: "O give thanks to the LORD, for He is good, for His steadfast love endures forever." - For these are the reasons to celebrate.
Points to Contemplate:
How often to you give thanks to the Lord?
Do you recognize His goodness at work in all things in your life? Do you find comfort in His steadfastness? Do you give Him the credit and praise in all things or do you find yourself preoccupied on other matters? Can you see how a life that praises Him with every breath keeps aligned to His plan more affectively than one that only remembers to praise Him every couple of days or weeks? Pause for a moment in your reading of this devotional and give thanks to God for this day that He has created for you.
Are there aspects about your life that are dead? Are you fed up with your work situation? Do the pressures and frustrations at home seem to be mounting and getting out of control? Are you having difficulty with a friendship? Do you find your days filled with tension and anger with little room for joy and happiness? Do you live a life of loneliness, without purpose or hope? Does the world seem to be rushing by while you are stuck in a quagmire of despair and hopelessness? The psalmist says that there is life in a relationship with God? That the more you turn to Him the more you come alive. What parts of your life need to die in order for this new life with God to thrive?
What change has occurred in your life that is cause to celebrate?
How are you personally changed by your relationship with Christ? What specific things about your life can you share with others that demonstrate the importance of His loving sacrifice for you? What new commitments are you willing to make to better fulfill God's purpose and plan for you? What things has Jesus done to make you lift palm branches of joy and songs of praise? Promise of the Gospel:
The psalmist shows us the importance of developing a steady confidence in God's love. As we turn more and more to Him, relying on His Spirit and trusting in His guidance we find that our lives begin to come under control. When we look to God in all things we become less likely to focus only ourselves and more on the needs of the world around us. From this position of "Christ-likeness" we become a building block for the Kingdom of Heaven. "Give thanks to the LORD, for He is good and His steadfast love endures forever."
I've found that your devotionals are always so well written and informative, as well as full of conviction and based on sound doctrine that aligns itself to the Word in a way that we can look at it, and therefore watch as well as hear it come to life. I get something out of your devotionals every time I read them. The work you put forth and your obedience is appreciated. I pray the rewards are nothing short of awesome for you.