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Monday, November 10, 2014

Inspired by . . . spontaneous praise

 

Focusing on Thanksgiving as a Lifestyle, not just a holiday.

 

I will give thanks to Him in song. Psalm 28:7

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German pastor Martin Rinckart lived in Eilenburg, in Saxony during the Thirty Years’ War. During that time the city was overrun by the opposing army three times. The villagers were subject to overcrowding, disease, and famine among other horrors. In 1637 a severe plague hit the city. Rinckart was the only surviving pastor and performed more than 5000 funerals that year, including that of his wife.

Most of us are so far removed from anything remotely like the suffering Rinckart witnessed and endured. Some of us can relate to some of it, disease, loss, but the total package? Probably not. But try. Try to imagine being under the constant threat of war. Sickness, the gnawing of hunger in your belly. Loss, such great loss. For decades.

How would you think? how would you feel? about God?

In 1648 a series of peace treaties were signed that ended the war.

By then, this hymn was already being widely sung throughout the region, “Nun danket alle Gott,” Now Thank We All Our God:

 

Now thank we all our God, with heart and hands and voices,
Who wondrous things has done, in Whom this world rejoices;
Who from our mothers’ arms has blessed us on our way
With countless gifts of love, and still is ours today.

 

This beautiful song of praise and thanksgiving was written by none other than Martin Rinckart.

 

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A similar expression of gratitude is found in Exodus 15 when Moses bursts into a spontaneous song of praise after God delivered them from the hands of Pharaoh. We noted in a previous post that failing to thank God went hand in hand with forgetting God and worshiping idols. Here we see just the opposite. Focusing on what God has done and praising Him leads naturally to worshiping Him. This passage also shows that there's a strong connection between praising and thanking God.

 

Gratitude is a characteristic of those who love God.

As believer’s we have the opportunity to bear witness to a loving and faithful God.

An “attitude of gratitude” can be a powerful witness for Christ in an increasing ungrateful world.

 

Blessings,

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PS Don’t forget to check out my Facebook page for daily inspirations on cultivating a grateful heart! I would love for you to join the discussion!

Note: My inspiration for this series comes from the November 2009 issue of Today in the Word. A ministry of Moody Bible Institute.

#monthofthanks

 

Sharing inspiration here:

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10 comments:

  1. I'm reading a book by Bob Sorge and he talks about prayer and praise- your post reminds me of it.

    As I read your post I thought of Caleb Suko (http://sukofamily.org/) He's posted a great deal on the plight of Christians in the Ukraine. Some of his posts are unreal to me. It's hard to imagine living in that kind of world and yet it's happening right now.

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  2. We sang that song in the Catholic Church when I was a young girl. I still know the tune. Thank you for sharing this and allowing me to remember a small sliver of memories from long ago. I can't imagine anyone going through the kind of horrors you described in The Thirty Years' War. Unimaginable. I'd hope the faith of the people became stronger than ever.

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  3. I love that simple sentence, "Gratitude is a characteristic of those who love God".

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  4. I've just posted my comment, but I cannot see it, please tell me if it's just a problem of connection, it's raining such a lot here ... maybe you have it in your dashboard ... or maybe it's lost ... I'm going to write it again, anyway !

    There's for me no better and more joyful way to begin a new day, your lovely words are truly a relief for my heart ... Here in Liguria it's raining for several days and lots of cities are flooded by the rain that doesn't seem to want to stop falling down from an ominous Sky ... let's hope that God be soon merciful with all of us ...
    Be blessed X
    Dany

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  5. Hi June! Thank you for the story of that wonderful man and the hymn. I was not aware of this man's life, and I can't imagine how awful it must have been to live through so much misery. What a triumph of faith! And I have always loved the song of Moses too, it's like these men knew all along it was going to be okay, and just exploded in joy when God came through.

    I will pray that I can be as full of joy and gratitude as they, especially in this month of thanks. Thank you for this wonderful post!
    Ceil

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  6. Interesting story and wonderful song! The first photo from the cemetery is beautiful as well.

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  7. Yes, I agree : An attitude of gratitude” can be a powerful witness for Christ in an increasing ungrateful world. Thats is beautifully written.

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  8. June, You make faith in action seem so possible - to focus on gratitude and know that it will lead me to worship God is a great comfort to me. This I can do. Thank you for your lovely photographs and your wise words.

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  9. I love the old hymns. I love the stories behind the words, and I love the words themselves. I don't come by gratitude naturally, I tend to be a grumbler. But, I know that a grateful heart is what God calls us to have. And really, even if we don't have much in this life, we have been given the Kingdom!

    GOD BLESS!

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If you read something here that inspired you, I’d love to hear about it. Please know I appreciate every comment! Thanks so much for stopping by! Blessings, June