Psalm 8 “O Lord, our Lord, Your Majestic Name fills the earth! Your glory is higher than the heavens. You have taught children and infants to tell of Your strength, silencing Your enemies and all who oppose You. When I look at the night sky and see the work of Your fingers—the moon and the stars You set in place—what are mere mortals that You should think about them, human beings that You should care for them? Yet You made them only a little lower than God and crowned them with glory and honor. You gave them charge of everything You made, putting all things under their authority, the flocks and the herds and all the wild animals, the birds in the sky, the fish in the sea, and everything that swims the ocean currents. O Lord, our Lord, your majestic name fills the earth!”
Today begins a week where we, hopefully, will focus on thankfulness—thankfulness for being born in a country where, in spite of all its problems, we are free to worship God openly; thankfulness for an abundance of food and water; for shelter; for friends; and for family, both biological and those Christians God has brought into our lives who are now family, many times becoming closer than blood relatives. This is a time to focus upward and upon all the good things God has brought into our lives—for at least a moment to move beyond the painful circumstances we may have endured this year, knowing God’s plan for each life is perfect. For my family, it means thanking God for taking our son’s sweet Missy home at such a young age, knowing our Father is forever kind and compassionate--that He removed this precious woman from great pain into total healing and peace. For this we give thanks.
So this week let us give thanks to our heavenly Father, the Alpha and Omega, praising His name for what He is doing in our lives. Let us focus each day on at least a few of the following verses which remind us how great our Father is and why we should give Him thanks for the past year He has so graciously given us:
“And now, just as you accepted Christ Jesus as your Lord, you must continue to follow Him. Let your roots grow down into Him, and let your lives be built on Him. Then your faith will grow strong in the truth you were taught, and you will overflow with thankfulness.” Colossians 2:6-7 NLT Ask: Are my roots growing down into Christ? Is my life being built upon Him? If so, am I praising God Father with thankfulness?
“But, be filled with the Holy Spirit, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs among yourselves, and making music to the Lord in your hearts. And give thanks for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.” Ephesians 5:18b-20 NLT Ask: Am I allowing the Holy Spirit to fill me so that I may praise the Father and give Him thanks with psalms and hymns and spiritual songs?
“Consider it all joy, my brothers and sisters, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.” James 1:2-4 NASB Ask: Do I look for the end result of trials? Do I understand that God uses these times to develop my faith and endurance? Do I then give thanks to God and praise Him for what He is doing in my life, changing me to become more like Christ?
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and pleading with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.” Philippians 4:6 NLT Ask: What is hard for me today? How can I turn my worries into prayers, knowing God asks me to be thankful in all things?
“Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change life shifting shadows.” James 1:17 NLT Ask: Each day, do I remember to thank God for who He is, for being unchangeable, and for loving me always with a love that surpasses all understanding?
“Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you. I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” Isaiah 41:10 ESV Ask: Do I regularly thank God for being with me and strengthening me each day? Do I thank Him for upholding me in all situations?
“Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good; For His faithfulness is everlasting.” 1 Chronicles 16:34 NLT Ask: Have I ever made a list of all the good things God has done for me? (Thanksgiving provides a great time to write all this down and read your blessings at the dinner table!)
“He gives strength to the weary, and to the one who lacks might He increases power.” Isaiah 40:29 NLT Ask: Have I thanked my Father for giving me the strength to carry on when I feel I no longer can in this life? Can I look back and see His hand leading me through the valleys and storms of my journey?
“It is good to give thanks to the Lord and to sing praises to Your name, Most High; to declare Your goodness in the morning and Your faithfulness by night.” Psalm 92:1-2 NLT Ask: When I wake up in the morning, do I thank God for giving me a new day; and before I sleep, do I recount the blessings that His faithfulness has brought me during the day?
“Jesus answered her, ‘If you knew the gift of God, and who it is that is saying to you, ‘Give me a drink,’ you would have asked him, and He would have given you living water.’” John 4:10 NLT Ask: Have I truly praised the Lord lately for giving me His living water of everlasting life?
“Keep your life free from love of money, and be content with what you have, for He has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” Hebrews 13:8 ESV Ask: Do I sometimes forget that I must not worry about having the provisions I need for life, understanding that Jesus will always be with me through every circumstance? Do I realize that when I love money and am not content with what I have, I am relying only upon myself for provision and not the promises of God?
“Let the message about Christ, in all its richness, fill your lives. Teach and counsel each other with all the wisdom He gives. Sing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs to God with thankful hearts. And whatever you do or say, do it as a representative of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through Him to God the Father.” Colossians 3:16-17 NLT Ask: Do others see me as a representative of Christ because I am continually giving Him thanks and praise for how He has filled my life with His Spirit?
“My health may fail, and my spirit may grow weak, but God remains the strength of my heart; He is mine forever.” Psalm 73:26 Ask: Do I let my heart resound praises to my Father for the truths of this verse?
“Now therefore, our God, we thank You, and praise Your glorious name.” 1 Chronicles 29:13 NASB Ask: Do I, as David did, exalt God and thank Him for His greatness, power, and victory over evil, recognizing He, our Majestic King, is to be exalted above all?
“Oh come, let us sing to the Lord; let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation! Let us come into His presence with thanksgiving; let us make a joyful noise to Him with songs of praise! For the Lord is a great God, and a great King above all gods. In His hand are the depths of the earth; the heights of the mountains are His also. The sea is His, for He made it, and His hands formed the dry land.” Psalm 95:1-5 ESV Ask: Have I recently read this psalm and meditated upon its truth and beauty?
“Praise the Lord, my soul; all my inmost being, praise His holy name. Praise the Lord, my soul, and forget not all His benefits—who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the pit and crowns you with love and compassion…” Psalm 103:1-4 NIV Ask: Do I think about being crowned with love and compassion as proven by Jesus’ forgiving me of all my sins?
“Quench not the Spirit. Despise not prophesyings. Prove all things; hold fast that which is good. Abstain from all appearance of evil.” 1 Thessalonians 5:19-22 KJV (“Do not stifle the Holy Spirit. Do not scoff at prophecies, but test everything that is said. Hold on to what is good. Stay away from every kind of evil.” NLT) Ask: Do I express to God thankfulness for having His Holy Spirit live within me? Am I, in any way, by action or word, preventing the Holy Spirit from working fully in me for the glory of God?
“Rejoice, O people of Zion! Shout in triumph, O people of Jerusalem! Look, your king is coming to you. He is righteous and victorious, yet he is humble, riding on a donkey—riding on a donkey’s colt.” Zachariah 9:9 NLT Ask: Am I thankful that God prophesized Jesus’ coming and that we should and can rejoice in the fact that every prophecy of God is fulfilled?
“So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live your lives in Him, rooted and built up in Him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness.” Colossians 2:6-7 NIV Ask: Do I overflow with thankfulness that I am able to be rooted in Jesus Christ if I choose to spend time with Him, studying His Word and praying to imitate Him?
“The Lord is my strength and shield. I trust Him with all my heart. He helps me, and my heart is filled with joy. I burst out in songs of thanksgiving.” Psalm 28:7 Ask: Can I picture myself dancing around the house, bursting with songs of thanksgiving to the Lord because He is trustworthy and my warrior against evil? (Perhaps this year is a good year for me to do so?!)
“Unto thee lift I up mine eyes, O thou that dwellest in the heavens.” Psalm 123:1 KJV (“I lift my eyes to you, O God, enthroned in heaven.” NLT) Ask: Have I envisioned God seated upon His throne, my all-worthy, all-compassionate, all merciful, and Almighty Father? Have I thanked Him for who He is--the King and Master of everything that is?
”Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth My word, and believeth on Him that sent Me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life.” John 5:24 NKJ (“I tell you the truth, those who listen to My message and believe in God who sent Me have eternal life. They will never be condemned for their sins, but they have already passed from death into life.” NLT) Ask: Have I with all my heart, each day, thanked God the Father for sending Jesus to remove any and all condemnation from me, purifying me so that I may spend eternity with Him in heaven?
“We ought always to thank God for you, brothers and sisters, and rightly so, because your faith is growing more and more, and the love all of you have for one another is increasing.” 2 Thessalonians 1-3 NIV Ask: Do I remember to give God thanks for my brothers and sisters in Christ and for how they have influenced me in my walk with Him? Am I thankful that the love between us not only is growing but is being openly displayed, glorifying God and demonstrating to others that we are Christ’s disciples?
“Be exalted, O God, above the highest heavens. May your glory shine over all the earth.” Psalm 108:5 NLT Ask: How many times weekly do I study God’s creation and note His glory shining over all? True, the earth is now groaning because of sin, but how much more, then, can I envision heaven and God’s glory there? May I always remember to thank and exalt You Lord for who You are!
“Yes, you will be enriched in every way so that you can always be generous. And when we take your gifts to those who need them, they will thank God. So two good things will result from this ministry of giving—the needs of the believers in Jerusalem will be met, and they will joyfully express their thanks to God.” 2 Corinthians 9:11-12 Ask: Have I considered that my generosity to others results in their seeing God in action, resulting in their joyfully thanking their Father in heaven for His provision?
“Zion heard, and was glad; and the daughters of Judah rejoiced because of thy judgments, O Lord.” Psalm 97:8 KJV (“Jerusalem has heard and rejoiced, and all the towns of Judah are glad because of Your justice, O Lord!”)
Ask: Why should I rejoice? As we close out our week, let us reflect on Verses 1-8 of Psalm 97 NLT:
“The Lord is king! Let the earth rejoice! Let the farthest coastlands be glad. Dark clouds surround Him.
Righteousness and justice are the foundation of His throne. Fire spreads ahead of Him and burns up all His foes. His lightning flashes out across the world. The earth sees and trembles. The mountains melt like wax before the Lord, before the Lord of all the earth. The heavens proclaim His righteousness; every nation sees His glory. Those who worship idols are disgraced—all who brag about their worthless gods—for every god must bow to Him. Jerusalem has heard and rejoiced, and all the towns of Judah are glad because of Your justice, O Lord. For you, O Lord, are supreme over all the earth; You are exalted far above all gods.”
PRAYER: Dear Father, this week is a reminder of what I should be doing every day of my life—meditating upon who You are, what You have sacrificed to bring me to Yourself, and being grateful for all of this. Let me never forget that You have blessed my life beyond measure. I thank You with all my heart for loving me so very much and claiming me as Your own. To You, and You only, be all honor, glory, and praise!
DISCLAIMER: I am just an ordinary woman who loves Jesus, accepting Him as Savior at the age of thirty-two and digging into the Bible ever since. How could I possibly hope to develop a heart relationship with God and trust Him with my life if I didn't know who He is?!
These devotionals are written to help you journey with Christ and grow in your heart relationship with Him. However, it is essential that you examine my words, and those of all other "teachers," with God's Holy Word. Therein lies the source of all truth!
Candice Mary Thomas writes about loving God and loving people! Coming to Christ at age 32 and now in her 70's, Candice knows what a difference it makes living with or without Christ as one's personal Savior.