Moments in the life of a Pastor

Walking with God

15 Thanksgivings Tune – Part 1

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Psalms 92:1-6
It is good to give thanks to the Lord, to sing praises to the Most High. 2 It is good to proclaim your unfailing love in the morning, your faithfulness in the evening, 3 accompanied by a ten-stringed instrument, a harp, and the melody of a lyre. 4 You thrill me, Lord, with all you have done for me! I sing for joy because of what you have done. 5 O Lord, what great works you do! And how deep are your thoughts.6 Only a simpleton would not know, and only a fool would not understand this: 7 Though the wicked sprout like weeds and evildoers flourish, they will be destroyed forever. 8 But you, O Lord, will be exalted forever.”
Being thankful is a basic Biblical teaching but one which we seem to so easily ignore today. Here in Psalm 92 we have a powerful reminder that we are called to be a people of praise. Yet when it comes to thanking God for all that He has done I wonder how many of us are only giving thanks with our lips, while our hearts remain detached and apathetic. The Psalmist reminds us that it is good to thank God. Are you grateful to God for all that He has done? Do you recognize that the good things we enjoy come from Him? James 1:17 says “Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.” We owe God our gratitude because of His goodness to us. James doesn’t say that God gives some good gifts but every good gift. This leaves nothing out for every gift we receive in this life is filtered first through the Fathers hands. From the gentle warmth and growth of spring time to the golden leaves of fall, from the fun of summer to the wonderland of winter. Every raindrop is a sparkling jewel of His love. Every sunrise a masterpiece of mercy and a reminder that God has given you one more day of blessing. Every rainbow is a painting of His promise, a gift of grace given to the underserving. Every mouthful of food is given as a gift from our Father. From the life giving rains that quench our land to the simple smile on a child’s face all of these are God’s gifts to us. Yet how many of these precious gifts do we overlook? Are you living life attuned to God’s gracious gifts, are you aware that all that you enjoy in this life comes from Him? Many of us are not living in Awe of His gifts because we are not even aware of them. Today our lives are so rushed that we don’t have time to stop and smell the roses. When was the last time you stopped and deeply inhaled the fragrant sent of God’s goodness? When was the last time you marveled at the majesty of His creation? Are you taking God’s gifts for granted? Verse 4 reminds us that giving thanks to God will bring us delight, “You thrill me, Lord, with all you have done for me!” Thanksgiving is not just to be a duty but a delight. The psalmist doesn’t just praise with his lips but with His whole being, from proclaiming God’s love and faithfulness with His mouth, to the music of the ten-stringed lyre and the melody of the harp. Thanksgiving should engages all of us, this is not partial praise but a pouring out of praise. When we remember the reasons we have to be thankful we should be engaging our whole being, head, heart and hands. With our words, our songs, and our thoughts, we are to find joy in thanking God. So how are you showing your thanks? Have you discovered the joy of expressing your thanks to God for His good gifts? Part of the joy of receiving a gift is telling others about it, so who are you sharing your thankfulness for God with? When was the last time you marveled at the miracle of His mercy? Willis P. King said “Gratitude is from the same root word as “grace,” which signifies the free and boundless mercy of God. Thanksgiving is from the same root work as “think,” so that to think is to thank.” What about you are you grateful for His grace? Does your heart well up with a thankful joy that cannot be contained on the inside and so it shows on the outside? One of the reasons I believe that we are a thankless society today is that we are a thoughtless society. The psalmist invites us to ponder God’s work, listen to His thoughts, and considering His lavish love as subjects of our thankful praise. What has God done that should make us glad, He has made us, we are the very works of His hands. Psalm 139:13-14 “For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.” ‭‭We are not just a wonderful part of God’s work we are the praise of His work. We are His treasure yet sometimes like the palmist in Psalm 144:3 we are tempted to ask: “O LORD, what are human beings that you should notice them, mere mortals that you should think about them?” Sometimes we swing the pendulum between the extremes of self worth. From an unhealthy feeling of worthlessness to the poisonous perspective of pride, where we act like the world revolves around us. President Roosevelt and William Beebe were known to played a game that put life into its proper perspective. ‭‭Before retiring to bed, Roosevelt and his friend the naturalist William Beebe would go out and look at the skies, searching for a tiny patch of light near the constellation of Pegasus. “That is the Spiral Galaxy in Andromeda,” they would chant. “It is as large as our Milky Way. It is one of a hundred million galaxies. It consists of one hundred billion suns, each larger than our sun.” Then Roosevelt would turn to his companion and say, “Now I think we are small enough. Let’s go to bed.” When we view the vast galaxies in the nights sky they have a way of centering our swinging pendulum. We may be tempted to live life as if we were the center of the universe, but as we see the vastness of His creation we are reminded that we are only just a small part of all that God has made. But when we question why God would care about us so much. We are reminded that among the billions of beings that have ever existed, we are not just a number to God, for He knows our name. Isaiah‬ ‭43:1‬ ‭says: “But now, O Jacob, listen to the LORD who created you. O Israel, the one who formed you says, “Do not be afraid, for I have ransomed you. I have called you by name; you are mine.” When you doubt that He knows you and cares for you remember the words of His Son Jesus in Matthew 10:29-31 “What is the price of two sparrows—one copper coin? But not a single sparrow can fall to the ground without your Father knowing it. And the very hairs on your head are all numbered. So don’t be afraid; you are more valuable to God than a whole flock of sparrows.” Our hearts should be filled with gratitude for the works of God for not only has He made all things, including us, but He cares about the works of His hands. He has not made us, and left us to figure it out, He sent His one and only Son Jesus Christ to die for us on the cross. We have the opportunity of a life time, to be saved from our sins and live with Him forever in Heaven. He made us to know Him and enjoy Him forever. Are you rejoicing in your relationship with Him? Are you heralding your praise or hiding it?

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