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Seeds of the Kingdom

Give thanks

by Jilly Lyon-Taylor

He who sacrifices thank offerings honours me, and he prepares the way so that I may show him the salvation of God.
Psalm 50:23, NIV

I wonder how many of us began today by giving thanks to God. The problem is that we don’t always feel like giving thanks, but the Bible doesn’t say anything about giving thanks when we feel like it! If we always waited for our feelings to come in line with what is right, we might not get up in the morning, or give away our money, or do the things that God is prompting us to do. We would certainly not enter into praise and worship as often if we always waited until we felt like it! There are times when we have to command our soul (our will, our mind and our emotions) to do what God wants and not what our carnal nature desires. David did this in Psalm 103:1-2 when he tells his soul to: ‘Praise the Lord, O my soul; all my inmost being, praise his holy name. Praise the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits.’

As we begin to make a choice to praise the Lord and to remember all the benefits of our inheritance, we will connect with God in our spirits and be able bring Him the kind of worship, in spirit and in truth, that He seeks from us (John 4:24). Also, as we turn our focus on to God and all that He has done for us, we become less focused on ourselves and our needs.

Thanksgiving has the same effect. We are told in 1 Thessalonians 5:18 to ‘give thanks in all circumstances’ – which means that in the midst of whatever storms we may be going through, we should still give thanks to God for who He is and what He has done for us.

Today’s verse from Psalm 50 tells us that our thanksgiving honours God, particularly when it is a sacrifice for us. The rest of the verse goes on to say that as we sacrifice thank offerings, it prepares the way for God to show us His salvation. Salvation for the believer involves much more than just the moment we are born again and are saved from sin and death (vital though that is) – it is also about the ongoing work of healing and sanctification that Jesus wants to do in our lives once we have believed. As we offer thanks to God He is able to show us more of the inheritance that He has for us.

Why not start to thank Him now!

Prayer: Lord, forgive me for the times I have been so self-centred that I have forgotten to thank You. I want to thank You now for who You are and for all You have done for me. Amen.

Jilly Lyon-Taylor is part of the Leadership Team at Ellel Pierrepont. She worked in publishing and then with children in Hong Kong before concentrating on being a full-time mother and serving in the local church. Her desire to see people healed led her to the Luke Nine Eleven Training Scheme(NETS) at Pierrepont, and now she teaches and ministers there.


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