X

Christian Living

Spiritual Life

Grin and Grow with Kathy 10/08/15

We Fall Down

willis-gratitude3b

STORY: Season of Gratitude

As the deer longs for streams of water, so I long for you, O God. (Psalm 42:1 NLT)

A doe and her fawn nibble on their four-course meal just on the other side of my backyard fence. They move with grace as if there’s not a care in the world, even though they are always on guard. It’s relaxing to watch them graze, and exciting to see them jump up and over the foliage, almost as if on pogo sticks.

My mind flashes back to my childhood when Dad allowed us to go with him to prepare a country place for deer hunting. I never liked the thought of Bambi being killed, but I loved being surrounded by the autumn scenery. We would kick through piles of golden leaves while other trees were still ablaze with color. Fallen leaves became forts as we transformed into armies at war. Imagination was the game of the day.

To this day, autumn is one of my favorite seasons. The trees of the Midwest seem to be sun-kissed with balls of fire. Intense reds and burnished gold paint the skylines. The air is crisp and the sun sets early. Next week we’re leaving Texas to go to ColorFest in our hometown of Louisiana, Missouri. I’m homesick for fall. Soon the ground there will be blanketed with leaves. I might just have to crunch through some leaf mounds to reminisce!

Like leaves fall down in autumn, our instinct as Christians is the desire to fall down before our Lord. We might as well practice now for what we will be doing in Heaven! One praise song describes that day: “We fall down, we lay our crown at the feet of Jesus. The greatness of His mercy and love at the feet of Jesus...”

Today, thinking about the greatness of God’s mercy leads me to fall down before Him. And while I’m there, I will thank Him for this fall season. I’ve fallen, and I won’t get up until I know I’ve met with God!

We have learned in this world, to not fall for anything or we will get kicked while we are down. Instead, we need to surrender our independent spirits and learn to put our faith in God alone.

What will you fall for?

STUDY: THE GRATITUDE OF WORSHIP

Gratitude and Thanksgiving focus on the gift you received from another. You are grateful for something. Praise puts the focus on the giver. You acknowledge the character traits of the one who gives gifts. Worship takes it one step further. It considers what makes the object of worship praiseworthy, and then shows actual devotion and adoration to the gift-giver. Worship holds the object of worship in high esteem. Do you allow your gratitude to lead you to praise and worship? Worship is always motivated by a love and longing to be with the one you adore.

Gratitude and Thanksgiving

But then I recall all you have done, O Lord; I remember your wonderful deeds of long ago. (Psalm 77:11 NLT)

• We tend to rehearse all the bad stuff we’ve suffered. What does this psalm suggest we recall?

• What are some of the wonderful deeds you can remember?

Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good! His faithful love endures forever. (Psalm 136:1 NLT)

• According to this verse, why can we give thanks to the Lord?

• How long does His love last? Is that a good reason to be thankful, even if nothing else seems to be going right?

Praise

I will praise you, Lord, with all my heart; I will tell of all the marvelous things you have done. (Psalm 9:1 NLT)

• Is your whole heart involved in praising God or are you holding something back?

• Sometimes when we tell others of what God has done for us, then we can feel it with our hearts more. Feelings sometimes lag behind actions.

Your unfailing love is better than life itself; how I praise you! I will praise you as long as I live, lifting up my hands to you in prayer. (Psalm 63:3-4 NLT)

• How is it that God’s unfailing love is better than life itself? Do you truly believe that?

• If you grasp that concept, how does it motivate you to praise Him?

Worship

You are worthy, O Lord our God, to receive glory and honor and power. For you created all things, and they exist because you created what you pleased. (Revelation 4:11 NLT)

• Worship often erupts as we recall God’s worth. He becomes worthy of our adoration. According to Revelation, the Lord is worthy to receive what three things?

• Rather than wait until the end times (which might not be that long of a wait, anyway), why not start now to give God glory and honor and experience His power more fully?

Come, let us worship and bow down. Let us kneel before the Lord our maker. (Psalm 95:6 NLT)

• What does the act of bowing down signify in worship?

•We see constituents kneeling before royalty on television. How much more does God deserve our humble respect and yielded hearts!

STEPS: FALL DOWN BEFORE HIM

These steps sound so simple, but not many of us practice personal gratitude and worship regularly. Take a God-break right now and see how it changes your day—and your perspective.

1. Thank Him. Name the wonderful things He has done for you.

2. Praise Him. Name the wonderful virtues He possesses.

3. Worship Him. Don’t wait for corporate worship to honor Him with your praise and adoration. Give God a piece of your day, focus on Him instead of your problems, and He will give you peace.

About This Blogger

Latest Blog Entries

Donate