Weekly Verses…

Come, let us sing for joy to the Lord; let us shout aloud to the Rock of our salvation.  Let us come before him with thanksgiving and extol him with music and song. 
Psalms 95:1-2
New International Version
Joy knows no better explanation than laughter and song.  We sing to the Lord because we are joyful!  Our music is not inhibited or held back, but exuberant and as full of sound as it is of heart.  Thanksgiving brings us into the Father’s presence and it is our joy at being saved that leads us to sing.
O most wonderful and glorious God, thank you so much for saving me from sin, death, law, and futility. Thank you for saving me and giving me the assurance, through your Holy Spirit, that I can come before you with exuberant and overflowing joy.  Your love and grace have not only given me hope but have made me your child.  Hear my heart and be blessed by my songs of praise.   Through Jesus I pray and because of Jesus I will shout your praise forever and ever.  Amen.
I always thank God for you because of his grace given you in Christ Jesus. For in him you have been enriched in every way – in all your speaking and in all your knowledge.
1 Corinthians 1:4-5
New International Version
The apostle Paul was amazing. He is writing one of the most problematic churches and yet finds reasons to give thanks for them. First, he is thankful for them because Jesus died for them. When God extends his race to others, how can we not do the same? Second, he recognizes the areas of their abuse are also a reason to give thanks – they may have distorted it, but when reined in to honor God, these gifts could bless their church. Even though he has tough words to follow, Paul’s example reminds us that a child of God is something to be cherished, even if they have problems.
Gracious Father, give me the heart to see reasons to be thankful for all of your children. I confess that it is often so easy for me to view others based on how they view! me, share my theological opinions, or how much trouble they cause me. Forgive me, for I know if you had done the same with me, I would have never been one of your children. Please help me rejoice in your children. Through Jesus I pray. Amen.
Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace.  And be thankful. 
Colossians 3:15
New International Version
Peace – that illusive state of grace that incorporates all of life’s well-being.  Because of Jesus, we have true shalom -wellness in body, soul, and spirit.   His relationships with others, his victory over sin, death and the grave insures that we can have peace, too!  So as we receive the Spirit of Christ into our hearts, we can live with our brothers and sisters, no matter how flawed, in a state of peace.  Besides, as Paul changes  metaphors on us, we are the Body of Christ and of course a body does not want to be at war with itself.  So live in peace with others, and do so with thanksgiving.
Blessed Father of all believers, please give me a heart to love your people.  I know as the character of Jesus permeates my life, I will appreciate the preciousness of each of your children more and will come to see those difficult family members as the grit out of which you will fashion my pearl. I pray you give me grace till my heart matches my commitment to love all of your children.  Through Jesus I pray.  Amen.
Enter [the Lord’s] gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name. For the Lord is good and his love endures forever; his faithfulness continues through all generations.
Psalms 100:4-5
New International Version
Worship is always about entering – entering into grace, entering with thanksgiving, entering to share with others, but most of all entering into the Lord’s presence in a special way.  But our entering is not the basis of worship.   Instead, worship is about the Lord’s faithfulness, goodness, and enduring grace.  We come to God like so many before us, who are waiting with God for us.  We come to praise him for all he has been, all he is, and all he will be.  We come to enter and worship.
Faithful God, the Almighty Rock of Israel, the God on whom the generations trusted, you alone, LORD, are God.  I praise you for your enduring grace and mercy.   I praise you because I want my heart tuned to your will.  I praise you, because I want to prepare for my longest lifetime, the one in your presence. I praise you in Jesus’ name.  Amen.
Just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live in him, rooted and built up in him, strengthened  in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness.
Colossians 2:6-7
New International Version
Some things you don’t change, swap, or update.  In an age when computer processors make major leaps every few months and software companies release new upgrades every year, we get programmed into looking for the new and improved version of everything. The simple but profound truth is that Jesus is Lord. No update needed.  No rival worthy.  No change necessary.  In fact, if we stray from this as the basis of our life, we put all we hold dear at risk.  But if we continue, if we grow, if we root ourselves in this truth and make it the undergirding reality of our lives, then our future is secure and our victory assured!
Holy God, I thank you for the simple, challenging and enduring truth of Jesus’ Lordship.  Through your Spirit, I pray that you will conform my life to more closely reflect his lordship in my work, my family, and daily influence.  Through the Lord Jesus I pray. Amen.
Whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.
Philippians 3:17
New International Version
Everything!   All!  No matter what we say, no matter what we do, it is to be offered as a gift of thanks to God with Jesus’ name, power, and honor attached!  This makes all of life our worship and thanksgiving to God. There’s no such thing as going to worship; if we live, if we talk, if we act it’s worship.  So how has your worship been lately?
Almighty and Most Holy God, I want all of my life to be lived out to your glory, a living testament of thanks to you for the grace you have given me in Jesus.  While I do not always do this as well as I would like, I lovingly offer you my words, my actions, my heart and my mind to bring you glory by doing your will.  Please, use your Spirit to remove the areas of self-deception from my life so that weakness and hypocrisy will not rob my discipleship of its intended worship of your majesty.  In Jesus name I pray.  Amen.
Since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe.
Hebrews 12:28
New International Version
We are receiving the triumphant and glorious victory of God in his Kingdom.  We will join with the angels and the saints of old and live with the Father forever in victorious and never-ending joy.  But this Kingdom doesn’t begin just when Jesus returns. This Kingdom has started now in his Church, his people, those in whom God’s will is cherished and obeyed.  So our worship should be filled with awe that the holy God of Israel is also the lowly God in Jesus who has redeemed us and made us to be a holy people unto himself.  What else can we do but worship with heartfelt thanksgiving and wonder-struck awe?
Holy and Righteous Father, all things are yours.  Thank you for sharing your blessings, your promises, your hope, and your victory with us in Jesus.  Please help me to live a more thankful, victorious life before my unbelieving friends and as an example to my children so they may come to share your glorious Kingdom and ultimate victory.   In Jesus name I pray. Amen.

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