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  • Psalm Forty

    I have waited patiently for God,
    and He has heard my prayers.
    He has rescued me from the traps of my enemy,
    He has has restored my integrity,
    He has given me a firm foundation,
    He has shown me the way.
    He has given me new praises to sing
    and many people will hear them.
    The people will see that God is with me,
    and they will respect Him, the will learn to trust Him,
    they will also praise his name.
    Blessed are the people who trust in the Lord,
    Blessed are they who turn away from evil men,
    who reject their vain and wicked teachings.
    You have made many wonderful things, oh Lord,
    and You are ever aware of those who love You.
    You have blessed us so often,
    it is impossible to count all the ways You love us.
    I offered sacrifices and burnt offerings,
    but these are not what You wanted.
    You have opened my ears to tell me,
    burnt offerings are not required.
    I realized it is Your will that we follow Your commandments,
    for they were written for us.
    I will rejoice that I may serve You, God,
    I will love Your law, for it will be in my heart.
    I will preach righteousness before the people, Lord,
    I will not be silent, I will preach the Word,
    and You will bear witness to my preaching.
    I will talk the talk, I will walk the walk.
    I will remain faithful to You, oh Lord,
    I will praise You daily before the congregation
    for all that You have given me,
    I will give thanks to You for my salvation.
    Continue to bless Your people, Lord,
    Let Your mercy and Your truth be with them always.
    For I have sinned against you in the past, Lord,
    I gave myself over to evil thoughts and was ashamed,
    so ashamed I could not come to You, I was so afraid,
    my sins were so many that my heart failed me.
    Rejoice in my salvation, Lord, be with me always,
    let those who are against me be ashamed and confused,
    let them be driven backward, let them be shown as cowards and fools.
    Let them who want to harm Israel be shown as weaklings and liars.
    Let those who seek You rejoice and be glad in Your love.
    Let those who know Your mercy and salvation,
    Praise Your name always.
    I am poor and needy, Lord,
    yet You are my help, You have delivered me.
    Be at my side, oh Lord, and I will be Your servant.

    "Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man." - Ecclesiastes 12:12 [KJV]

    I once sat in a classroom in the mid-1980's where the subject of holidays came up, which was strange since the subject of the class was Biology. Nevertheless, the question was asked of the students which holiday was their favorite. One young man in the front of the class replied Thanksgiving, and several people in the classroom nodded in agreement, but one young lady behind me vehemently shouted, "NO Way...Thanksgiving is the day when all the men sit around and watch football and overeat and get drunk and pass out in the front room while the women have to watch the kids, do all the work and get no thanks whatsoever! Thanksgiving Sucks!" I do believe she had a few issues.

    But it dawned on me that giving thanks has to be a personal desire. You have to understand what you are giving thanks for. You have to understand what the alternatives could be.

    Walking the walk is not nearly as easy as talking the talk. You have to recommit every morning to the walk. It's not reaching a goal and being able to say, "Okay, I've done that." You have to wake up in the morning and realize that was then, this is now.

    Daily reminders help. I know brothers and sisters who have little signs posted in their mirror so that when they get up in the morning, they have to read a phrase that reminds them of their commitments. I know others who have a cross or a picture of Jesus across the room from them, so it is the first things they see. I know others who keep their Bible next to their bed.

    David's prayer today was a reminder to give thanks, and he was very specific in what he was giving thanks for. Do you know why you are thankful?


    footnote to the young lady's story: Every thanksgiving since then, I make it a point to entertain a child, volunteer to help prepare the meal, and offer to do dishes. Oh, I still watch the football games, but I have discovered I do not have to see every play to enjoy the outcome.
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