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A Psalm of Thanksgiving.

Make a joyful shout to the LORD, all you lands!
Serve the LORD with gladness;
Come before His presence with singing.
Know that the LORD, He is God;
It is He who has made us, and not we ourselves;
We are His people and the sheep of His pasture.
Enter into His gates with thanksgiving,
And into His courts with praise.
Be thankful to Him, and bless His name.
For the LORD is good;
His mercy is everlasting,
And His truth endures to all generations.

Psalms 100:1-5 NKJV

This is probably one of the top 10 Psalms. It is very familiar, and so the reading of it can lose its impact.

Let’s not let this happen today.

Today, I simply want to encourage you to read it, once slowly, and take notice of the instructions offered by the psalmist. Below I have highlighted items I have added to my ToDo list today.

Make a joyful shout to the LORD, all you lands!
Serve the LORD with gladness;
Come before His presence with singing.
Know that the LORD, He is God;
It is He who has made us, and not we ourselves;
We are His people and the sheep of His pasture.
Enter into His gates with thanksgiving,
And into His courts with praise.
Be thankful to Him, and bless His name.
For the LORD is good;
His mercy is everlasting,
And His truth endures to all generations.

So here is my ToDo list for today:

1) Shout Joyfully to the Lord
2) Serve the Lord and His people (when you do it unto the least…)
3) Express to the Lord how glad I am to help
4) Sing to the Lord
5) Meditate on Jesus’ in the following areas

His deity,
His role in creation,
His role as our shepherd
How He cares for our needs
Leads us
Protects us
Provides for us

6) Give thanks
7) Give the Lord Praise
8) Be thankful

[What is the difference between this and give thanks – hmmm – I am thinking giving thanks is something I do, something I say, whereas being thankful is my heart attitude. Can I put a heart attitude on my todo list? I believe I can!]

9) Bless His name

OK – sounds like a full day’s work – so I am off to get started.

Will you join my in getting some of this done today? Many hands [or mouths] make light work, there is much joy and praising to be done here.

Ben NelsonHave a blessed day

See you again soon

Be Calm and Keep Shining!

Ben

 

Lucifer, by William Blake, for Dante's Inferno...
Lucifer, by William Blake, for Dante's Inferno, canto 34 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

My new friend Felicia from http://www.alifesanctified.com/ has asked another great question this week.

Q. Since God is omniscient, omnipresent and omnipotent; why did He create Satan?

I love this question. And it even has some hooks to the question we played with this morning.

Perhaps I am wrong, but I have a feeling there is a fairly widely held belief that Angels were created with no free will.

We talk in Christian circles as though angels are heaven’s robots.

Or perhaps we have an upstairs – downstairs kind of impression of angels. Like they are the servant class creation, serving the needs of humans.

But I believe scriptures teach a different truth. I believe that angels are beings with a will, and with the freedom of choice much as man is. (ok – if you missed the first Q&A today, you might want to go back to it here, where I discussed the free will of man.)

You see, the way I see it, if angels did not have free will, they would not have been able to rebel in the first place – would they?

Remember God did not create an angry vengeful devil in a red suit who started his existence as an evil beast.

Lucifer was a wonderful angel of light – the head of all the angels.

How you are fallen from heaven,
O Lucifer, son of the morning!
How you are cut down to the ground,
You who weakened the nations!
For you have said in your heart:
‘I will ascend into heaven,
I will exalt my throne above the stars of God;
I will also sit on the mount of the congregation
On the farthest sides of the north;
I will ascend above the heights of the clouds,
I will be like the Most High.’
Yet you shall be brought down to Sheol,
To the lowest depths of the Pit ~ Isaiah 14:12-15 (NKJV)

He exalted himself in pride and wanted to be like God. Hmmm – sounds familiar doesn’t it – pretty much the same temptation he threw at Adam and Eve.

So we come back to - Why did God create a being that  - if He knows everything, end from the beginning and all – He knew full well would make a mess of things?

Based on my assumption that angels are free beings with choice, and options, you can see that this is a lot like saying why create Hitler, or Bin Laden, or my crabby neighbor, or – well – me for that matter. Where do you draw the line?

Thank God that He did not draw the line. Instead He planted a cross, the plan where by all of the above could have relationship restored (with the exception of Lucifer, I am pretty sure it was too late for him by the time we get to the garden.)

So what do you think? How would you answer Felicia’s question?

Join in below, or blog about it and leave us a link!

Ben NelsonThanks for stopping by today.

See you again soon.

Ben

By the way, if you have questions of your own, click on the link on the right and let us toss them around a bit.

photo credit: Woodlouse via photopin cc
photo credit: Woodlouse via photopin cc

We have, for the past few days, been looking at Jude’s description of the Wool-wearing Wolves about which Jesus warns us.

Beware of the false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly are ravenous wolves. You will know them by their fruits. ~ Matthew 7:15-16

Do you remember the Keith Green song, “So You Want To Go Back To Egypt?” I reprinted the words below[i] if you’re unfamiliar. Keith had a great sense of humor, and at the same time was able to deliver a strong message from the Lord. This song gets at another warning sign Jude gives about these false prophets and false teachers.

These are grumblers, complainers, (finding fault ~ NASB) walking according to their own lusts ~ Jude 16 (NKJV)

Grumblers and complainers - this group as a whole might be renamed Pastor’s Bane (can I get an amen?) Hey, I am not a pastor, but have been around church long enough to know.

2 comments today:

1 – Don’t complain – hey if you see a problem in the church, or in the world, it is probably an indication that the Lord wants you to be part of the solution. Seek His face and find out your part. Jesus only did what He saw the Father do, and He was never complaining. So if something feels really wrong, ask the Lord what you and He are going to do about it.

Let me rant on just a bit more there. No church is without problems, and often you can see what you see because God wants to use you to plug a hole that others are not even aware exists, or they have no idea where to start on a solution.

2 – Be cautious of those who are on the sidelines complaining. Don’t ever jump on the bandwagon of a complainer. If you have influence with them, draw them into creating the solution, other wise, back away from that train wreck waiting to happen.

There is a huge difference between plugging in to solve a problem, and sitting back and criticizing with no intention of solving the issue. [Tweet This]

Choose your words wisely, and as Paul says as he begins to close his letter to the Church in Philippi:

Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, let your mind dwell on these things. Philippians 4:8

BenHope that helps

See you tomorrow

Ben


[i] So you wanna go back to Egypt, where it's warm and secure.
Are you sorry you bought the one-way ticket when you thought you were sure?
You wanted to live in the Land of Promise, but now it's getting so hard.
Are you sorry you're out here in the desert, instead of your own backyard?

Eating leeks and onions by the Nile.
Ooh what breath, but dining out in style.
Ooh, my life's on the skids.
Give me the pyramids.

Well there's nothing to do but travel, and we sure travel a lot.
'Cause it's hard to keep your feet from moving when the sand gets so hot.
And in the morning it's manna hotcakes. We snack on manna all day.
And they sure had a winner last night for dinner, flaming manna soufflé.

Well we once complained for something new to munch.
The ground opened up and had some of us for lunch.
Ooh, such fire and smoke.
Can't God even take a joke…Huh?….(NO!)

So you wanna go back to Egypt, where old friends wait for you.
You can throw a big party and tell the whole gang, that what they said was all
true.
And this Moses acts like a big-shot, who does he think he is.
It's true that God works lots of miracles, but Moses thinks they're all his.

Well I'm having so much trouble even now.
Why'd he get so mad about that cow, that golden cow.
Moses,he seems rather idle, he just sits around.
He just sits around and writes the Bible.

Oh, Moses, put down your pen.
What…Oh no, manna again?
Oh, manna waffles….
Manna burgers...
Manna bagels...
Fillet of manna...
Mannacoti...
Bamanna bread!

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