Psalm for the Day

Monday, January 21, 2013

Worship with thankfulness………………….

“When you come before me, whoever gave you the idea of acting like this,
Running here and there, doing this and that—all this sheer commotion in the place provided for worship?

 “Quit your worship charades.
I can’t stand your trivial religious games: Monthly conferences, weekly Sabbaths, special meetings— meetings, meetings, meetings—I can’t stand one more!
Meetings for this, meetings for that.  I hate them!
You’ve worn me out!
I’m sick of your religion, religion, religion, while you go right on sinning.
When you put on your next prayer-performance, I’ll be looking the other way.
No matter how long or loud or often you pray, I’ll not be listening.”    Isa. 1:12-15 Message Bible

Religiously, the real people of God were in a minority and were splintered into exclusive little groups.

Millions worshiped pagan deities which offered no moral guidance.  Some religious leaders were drunkards and adulterers who raised funds to be used for their own pleasure. There were large groups that practiced witchcraft, spiritualism, drug abuse, fornication, and human sacrifice.

Isaiah describes some of these problems but doesn’t dwell on them.  Isaiah is a book of solutions, not problems. As he presents the solutions to Judah’s problems, he sets forth principles that would solve all our national and personal problems if we read and heeded them.

Isaiah calls upon his fellow people to repent and turn back to God for deliverance from their sins.

 He warns of judgment but he also declares a note of grace and looks far down into the centuries to the time when God would provide the ultimate sacrifice for sin in His Son, Jesus.

In our study of Isaiah, the prophet calls upon the Israelites to make hard choices.

We face the same choices which they faced.

We must choose between thanksgiving or ungratefulness.

Israel, as a nation, was founded on religious freedom. They left Egypt in order to worship God as He outlined.   He gave them a national constitution based on gratitude for His care, guidance and relationship.  (Exod. 20:2)

Their national historical documents were filled with references to God and they prayed every day in the synagogue and at home.

God guarded them as a mother guards her children.

Yet, the Israelites were not grateful to God for all this. They took it for granted and ignored His claims on their lives. They were judged and punished repeatedly.

Today, our relationship with God must be based on a conscious awareness of all God has done for us through Jesus Christ.    Rom. 12:1, says: "……. I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God—this is your spiritual act of worship." (NIV 1984)

The decisions we make daily will reflect whether or not we have chosen to be grateful or ungrateful for blessings.

Do you not think God expects us to be grateful for all His goodness?

“Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus.”      I Thess. 5:18  NLT






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