Friday, November 9, 2018

Part 5 - "His Pleasure"

(Friends: during the next few weeks, as we approach the observance of thanksgiving in the United States, many (perhaps all) of the messages will address the theme of thanksgiving and gratitude.  Thanks, Glen)


Part 5 - "His Pleasure"

    Thanksgiving involves emotion as well as mind.  In most cases, when someone thanks us for something we do, or we do the same, at least a bit of feeling accompanies the gratitude offered and received.  This is even more true with God  "The prayer of the upright is His delight" (Proverbs 15:8).   Certainly prayers of thanksgiving apply to the delight mentioned by Solomon.  A sincere "Thank You" from our heart to God's heart touches our Heavenly Father in an emotional measure beyond our imagining.  God's feelings transcend our own emotional capacities to an infinite degree.  

    As we frequently suggest in these messages, our Lord is the most emotional Being in existence.  We can be sure of this because He originally created the human race in His own image (Genesis 1:26-27).  Thus, we feel because He feels, but again, to a lesser degree because we are the creature, and He is the Creator.  Unlike ourselves, God's emotions are always in perfect correlation to the holiness of His perfect character.  His feelings never cause Him act in a manner that violates who and what He is.  Scripture indeed frequently depicts God responding to His creation with impassioned joy, grief, pleasure, anger, satisfaction, and wrath.  The same Scripture declares, "As for God, His way is perfect" (II Samuel 22:31).  Thus, we must perceive our Lord in terms of immeasurable emotion as accompanied by immutable character.

    When we apply this truth to thanksgiving, the matter takes on great significance.  There may be times when we feel little as we express sincere gratitude to God.  We desire to do so, as led and enabled by the Holy Spirit, and as an act of faithful obedience, we say our "Thank You."  As far as we can perceive, little emotion accompanies our offering, which may mislead us regarding God's response.  If He delights in our prayers, it must be that we emotionally please our Heavenly Father every time we sincerely express sincere gratitude.  It is hard to imagine a more fascinating or life-changing thought.  We tend to think of relationship and fellowship with God in terms of its benefit to us.  Our present consideration, however, turns us inside out, as it were, leading us to consider prayer and thanksgiving in terms of our Lord's glory and the pleasure of His heart.  What we feel as we give thanks pales in comparison to what God feels as He receives our offering.  "The Lord taketh pleasure in His people" (Psalm 149:4).

    I think of this often as the day begins.  When barely conscious, thoughts and feelings may be difficult to harness within ourselves.  The thought comes to mind, however.  "What if I can please God as this day begins by kneeling to praise Him and give thanks even though I am not yet able to significantly think or feel?"  For the born again believer, no consideration will more lead us to "enter into His gates with thanksgiving, and into His courts with praise" (Psalm 100:4).  This moment offers the opportunity to please the One so worthy of pleasure, and we close by joining the Psalmist in his determination to bless the Lord with joy…

"I will offer to Thee the sacrifice of thanksgiving, and will call upon the name of the Lord."
(Psalm 116:17)

Weekly Memory Verse
   And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks unto God and the Father by Him.
(Colossians 3:17)

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