PRAISE AND THANKSGIVING

Scripture Reading:  Ephesians 5:15-21

“And do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery, but be filled with the Spirit, addressing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody to the Lord with all your heart, giving thanks always and for everything in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.”  (Ephesians 5:18-20)

When we yield to the Spirit’s control, we are being filled with the Spirit.  The Spirit fills our hearts with the love and grace of God.  He produces spiritual fruit in us:  love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self control (Galatians 5:22,23).  When we are filled with the Spirit, we become very aware of God’s presence and we find great joy and peace.  “In Your presence there is fullness of joy; at Your right hand are pleasures forevermore” (Psalm 16:10).  We experience God in new ways.  We become moved by His love and power.  We cannot contain ourselves; we must worship Him!

When we are filled with the Spirit, we delight in God.  We want to praise Him.  We begin to sing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs.  We like hearing others sing praise about His glorious grace.  Even if we cannot carry a tune, we make a joyful noise to the Lord — “Make a joyful noise to the Lord all the earth; break forth into joyous song and sing praise” (Psalm 98:4).  Maybe we don’t sing out loud, but we sing and make melody to the Lord in our hearts (v. 19).

Being filled with the Spirit will also make us thankful people — “giving thanks always and for everything in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ” (v. 20).  We will be able to thank God for all He is doing — even the difficult things we may be facing.  We can do so because when we are filled with the Spirit, we know that God is in control and that He has a plan for our lives.  We know that even the difficulties and trials we are facing have purpose.  Thus we can be thankful — “always and for everything!”

Lord God, fill me fresh with Your Spirit.  Bring me into a deep awareness of Your presence.  Receive my praise.  I lift my voice to You in song.  I sing and make melody in my heart to You.  And Lord, I am thankful for everything You bring into my life.  I know You are in control when I am yielding my life to Your indwelling Spirit.

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