Observations from today’s readings and today’s S-WOD, Saturday, 12 September 20:
Psalm 106:1 — Praise the Lord! Oh give thanks to the Lord, for he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever!
Having an attitude of gratitude and contentment before the Lord changes your perspective on everything else:
- “Who can utter the mighty deeds of the Lord, or declare all his praise? Blessed are they who observe justice, who do righteousness at all times!” (Psalm 106:2, 3) The more you genuinely appreciate God, the more you will desire to obey Him. If obeying God is challenging in some way, it is an appreciation problem, a perspective problem, a relationship problem. To make temptations smaller in your life, make Jesus bigger by getting closer to Him and focusing on Him, abiding in His love with gratitude.
- “Both we and our fathers have sinned; we have committed iniquity; we have done wickedness.” (Psalm 106:6) The more you truly appreciate the grace you have received, the more willing you are to show grace to others. “Therefore I tell you, her sins, which are many, are forgiven—for she loved much. But he who is forgiven little, loves little.” (Luke 7:47)
- “When men in the camp were jealous of Moses and Aaron, the holy one of the Lord, the earth opened and swallowed up Dathan….” (Psalm 106:16, 17) When you are appreciative and content with what God has given you, you won’t covet. Jealousy and envy are sins of the heart that lead to sinful, destructive deeds. In actuality, jealousy and envy are not displays of resentment against another person but rather against God, ingratitude for what He has given you and resentment for what He has given others rather than you. How powerful is envy? Envy led to the crucifixion of Jesus – “For he knew that it was out of envy that they had delivered him up.” (Matthew 27:18) Have nothing to do with envy and jealousy. Be grateful and content in the Lord! — James 3:16 — For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there will be disorder and every vile practice. — 1 Corinthians 3:3 — For you are still of the flesh. For while there is jealousy and strife among you, are you not of the flesh and behaving only in a human way? — Ecclesiastes 4:4 — Then I saw that all toil and all skill in work come from a man’s envy of his neighbor. This also is vanity and a striving after wind. — Job 5:2 — Surely vexation kills the fool, and jealousy slays the simple. — Exodus 20:17 — “You shall not covet your neighbor’s house; you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, or his male servant, or his female servant, or his ox, or his donkey, or anything that is your neighbor’s.” — James 3:14 — But if you have bitter jealousy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast and be false to the truth. — 1 Peter 2:1 — So put away all malice and all deceit and hypocrisy and envy and all slander. — Galatians 5:26 — Let us not become conceited, provoking one another, envying one another.
- “They murmured in their tents, and did not obey the voice of the Lord.” (Psalm 106:25) Better to live in your tent given to you by the Lord with gratitude, contentment, and peace than to envy the mansions of others. Ingratitude leads to all sorts of sins and enslaves you. The Israelites in the desert longed for the comforts of Egypt, forgetting that in Egypt they were slaves. “Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, 2 looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God…. Therefore let us be grateful for receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, and thus let us offer to God acceptable worship, with reverence and awe, for our God is a consuming fire.” (Hebrews 12:1, 2, 28, 29)
- “Save us, O Lord our God, and gather us from among the nations, that we may give thanks to your holy name and glory in your praise.” Give glory to God by standing out in the crowds due to your unbelievable, unshakeable thankfulness. Be known for your thankfulness to God, which is different than simply a positive or can-do attitude often based on self-confidence and self-reliance. Rejoice in all situations because the grace of God is more than sufficient. Radiate joy as a testimony to the truth of the Gospel.
“Cross” Fit S-WOD (Spiritual Workout of the Day) – 12 September 20: Today, “praise the Lord! Oh give thanks to the Lord, for he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever!”