April 29 2023
Today, Saturday April 29
“Offer To God Thanksgiving”
Psalm 50:7-15 "Hear, O My people, and I will speak, O Israel, and I will testify against you; I am God, your God! I will not rebuke you for your sacrifices Or your burnt offerings, Which are continually before Me. I will not take a bull from your house, Nor goats out of your folds. For every beast of the forest is Mine, And the cattle on a thousand hills. I know all the birds of the mountains, And the wild beasts of the field are Mine.
"If I were hungry, I would not tell you; For the world is Mine, and all its fullness. Will I eat the flesh of bulls, Or drink the blood of goats? Offer to God thanksgiving, And pay your vows to the Most High. Call upon Me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you, and you shall glorify Me."
The Psalmist introduces this message with a reminder that God is a holy and righteous Judge (vv. 1-6). In the first verses of this chapter, God reminds us that one day He is coming and will not be silent. Even though it appears that God is not paying attention to us and doesn’t care what we are doing, He is keeping a record of even the thoughts and intents of our hearts. He has a “Book of Remembrance” (Malachi 3:16).
In verses 7-15, God speaks to His own people, Israel, who are going to worship at the temple. But it not wrong to apply these verses to His people today, which are the followers of Jesus, believers, those who go to church to worship. He has a word for those who are going through the routine, the ritual, the acts of worship, and even make sacrifices but really do not have their heart in it.
This reminds me of the rebuke the LORD Jesus had for the church at Ephesus in Revelation 2. This was a good church outwardly, but something was missing. “I know your works, your labor, your patience, and that you cannot bear those who are evil. And you have tested those who say they are apostles and are not, and have found them liars; and you have persevered and have patience, and have labored for My name's sake and have not become weary. Nevertheless I have this against you, that you have left your first love” (Revelation 2:2-4). They were doing all the right things in serving and sacrificing but they had lost their intimacy and heart love for the Lord.
The evidence of genuine and true worship is that it comes from a heart of gratefulness and thanksgiving! A mark of losing our “first love” is that we do not have grateful hearts. We have forgotten how great a sinner we are, underserving of God’s mercy and grace! That is what happens in Romans 1:21-22: “Because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened. Professing to be wise, they became fools…”
Peter speaks of how this happens in our lives after we get saved and rescued out of the corruption of our hearts and that is in this world, and are made partakers of His divine nature. We take our salvation for granted and forget to do “these things” and it’s not long till we leave our “first love”. Peter wrote: “But also for this very reason, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue, to virtue knowledge, to knowledge self-control, to self-control perseverance, to perseverance godliness, to godliness brotherly kindness, and to brotherly kindness love. For if these things are yours and abound, you will be neither barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. For he who lacks these things is shortsighted, even to blindness, and has forgotten that he was cleansed from his old sins” (2 Peter 1:5-9).
The writer of Hebrews says it very clearly in Hebrews 13:12-16: “Therefore Jesus also, that He might sanctify the people with His own blood, suffered outside the gate. Therefore let us go forth to Him, outside the camp, bearing His reproach. For here we have no continuing city, but we seek the one to come. Therefore by Him let us continually offer the sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of our lips, giving thanks to His name. But do not forget to do good and to share, for with such sacrifices God is well pleased.”
We prove our love to the Lord by keeping His commandments (John 14:15-21). We will also “pay our vows”. We usually make these vows right after we get saved and are so thankful for our salvation! This could include “paying our tithes” to the Lord as proof of our love, recognizing that He is the One who gave us everything in the first place.
May the Lord help us today to remember, to repent and to return to the “first works” and our “first love” for Jesus with a heart of thanksgiving (Revelation 2:5).