Friday, November 3, 2017

Thankfulness: From Hand to Heart Day 4

              "They were also to stand every morning to thank and praise the Lord. They were to do the same in the evening..." 
1 Chronicles 23:30 NIV

      The Old Testament is often maligned for being "boring" and "full of outdated rules". Even those who claim to love the Word can sometimes be heard to say it is difficult to understand. But I find it fascinating! Reading all those well-thought out laws, and matching up the passages mentioned in the New Testament, and just watching as the wonderful plan for giving us Jesus unfolds-well, I just love it all. It completely fascinates me.

    And very near the top of the list of things I find most intriguing is the group called the Levites. Obviously, the descendants of Jacob's son named Levi, but then entire tribe was appointed to be keepers of the ark, then the tabernacle and later on, the temple. And with that position of authority came quite a few expectations: regulations on how to dress, what to eat, how to interact with others. And many, many specific details about how to fulfill the requirements of temple service.

    Because not just any old body could serve in the temple. And the very specific people had to perform their jobs in very specific ways. It was a beautiful checklist of intricate details, all the boxes marked meant a job well done. Because serving the Lord is not something one should take lightly.

    And in that series of instructions is one that we would do well to take note of: they were to stand every morning to thank and praise the Lord. And again, the same was to occur in the evening. The Lord specifically commanded them to thank Him. He reminded them that all gratitude and praise was due to Him alone.

    Jesus came to fulfill the Law. So, that means that we can go above and beyond it's requirements as believers. And in many ways, that doesn't mean more rules, it means less. Instead of a certain tribe being required to thank Him twice a day, we all can thank Him all the time. There literally weren't enough days in November to cover all the verses about gratitude, so this one isn't in the plan, but if I were you, I'd make time to write it somewhere:

"Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances;for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus." 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 NIV
   Through Jesus, we can go above and beyond! The Levites were called to give thanks twice a day. We are called to give thanks all the time-but that is a privilege, not a responsibility!  It is a response, not a requirement.

    Today's Reflection:
      How do you view gratitude? Is thanking God a chore you check off your to-do list, or do you see it as a privilege, an overflow of the contents of your heart and mind?

 Looking for the printable scripture writing plan? Or another day of the "Thankfulness: From Hand to Heart" study? Find them here! 

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