**Yesterday, we hosted a surprise 70th birthday party for my dad. Late last night, my friend called to remind me that I was scheduled for 66 Books today. I have re-posted John’s words from last year.
A Spirit of Thanksgiving
“And he appointed some of the Levites to minister before the ark of the LORD, to commemorate, to thank, and to praise the LORD God of Israel.” (1 Chronicles 16:1 NKJV)
David’s love for God is so inspiring to me. Throughout David’s life, he demonstrated so beautifully his incredible heart for God by: (1) always remembering what God has done for him and for the nation in his prayers and his words, (2) demonstrating to others how awesome God is by telling them about God, and (3) showing the glorious riches of who God is by allowing God to use his life for the purpose of bringing glory not to himself, but to God.
Here in 1 Chronicles 16, an incredible and moving event took place in Jerusalem. The Ark of the Lord has just been brought to Jerusalem and David appoints certain Levites to minister before the Ark, for the sole purpose of continually giving praise and thanksgiving to God. David then prays a prayer of thanksgiving that is one of the most beautiful and heartfelt prayers ever recorded in human history (1 Chronicles 16:8-36).
David’s offering of praise and thankfulness is public for all the world to see, even today, as we have the privilege of reading his recorded words in the Scriptures. He is putting God in His rightful place, singing to Him a beautiful love song, thanking Him for His majesty, His provision, and His unfailing mercy, goodness and love. Words of thanksgiving come pouring out of David’s heart, affirming the goodness of God for all to see.
“For the Lord is great and greatly to be praised”.
“Honor and majesty are before Him; Strength and gladness are in His place”.
“Oh, give thanks to the Lord, for He is good! For His mercy endures forever”.
These words choke me up. They choke me up not only because they are beautiful words of love but also because I so desire a heart of thanksgiving like David has. Far too often in my life, praise and thanksgiving are reserved only for holidays, celebrations and when things are going well in my life. In the absence of gratitude, I often find myself in a place of complacency and independence, taking way too many things for granted. In short, I become spoiled, living as if I deserve every blessing He has given me.
This makes me wonder just how much more beautiful my life and my relationship with God would be if praise and thanksgiving were a regular part of my daily routine no matter what circumstances I am faced with. I find that in those times when I have a thankful heart, my mind is removed off of myself and my own little problems and needs, and they are instead focused instead on something far greater than just me. The more time I spend seeking His face, remembering His works and His promises, proclaiming the good news of His salvation day to day and His wonders among all peoples, the more I love Him. The more I love Him, the more my life will show it.
Oh God, you are so rich in mercy and goodness. There is none like you! You are great and greatly to be praised! You are to be feared above all gods. Honor and majesty are before you! Strength and gladness are in your place!
Lord, I pray that you give me a heart like David’s. Help me Lord to see every single event, every single person, every single moment through the lens of your perfect and unfailing love. Teach me to love the things you love. Teach my heart to break for the things that break your heart. Give me a heart of praise and thankfulness, not so others would look upon me and declare that I am anything special, but instead so that praise and adoration is ascribed to you and you alone!
Lord, it is my hearts desire for my praise to be genuine and sincere. I want to give you all the glory. Take over my surrendered heart and use me. Take this existence and use it to show the world of your love. Help me to not waste even one second of this time you have blessed me with on this earth.
I love you and I want to make much of you! Thank you for loving me all the time! Unfailingly!
In your precious Name, the Name above all Names, majestic and beautiful Jesus Christ, my Lord.