Expressing gratitude to God is a core heart response from His children. The psalmist wrote, “Give thanks to the Lord , for He is good, for His steadfast love endures forever.”(Ps 136:1 ESV)
In this psalm, the responsive phrase, “for His steadfast love endures forever” is repeated 26 times.
In giving thanks for His goodness, God reassures us of His love.
He is purposeful – “For”
He is personal – “His”
He is passionate – “Steadfast Love”
He is persistent – “Endures”
He is permanent – “Forever”
Everyday, in every situation, in everything, He purposefully, personally, with great passion and persistence, always is and will be good to us.
Tomorrow is my birthday.
Debi will make it a wonderful day. I look forward to my girls calling. We’ll have a special lunch with family. Grandkids will be all excited, even though they don’t know how old I really am. Friends will Facebook me and wish a happy birthday. It will be a great day . . . but I know that I won’t hear from one of my heroes . . . my Dad.
The last several years have been difficult ones for me because of conflicts in the family in which I grew up. I have a great Mom and Dad who are believers. They loved me and cared for me, often giving me more than I deserve. My Dad had been a very successful self-made business man who did it on his own. In his desire to be generous and giving, he often provided my sister and me with great gifts and early wealth that we were not ready to manage.
Through the years, money and joint businesses with my family have become issues of division and conflict. At times, there were months were Dad and I were not talking. It’s been a constant issue of prayer and brokenness with me before God. Accordingly, my parents decided to move out of an addition to our home that we jointly built and move to Florida to live in their own home.
Several years ago, on the Sunday before they were to move, God began doing an incredible work in my heart . . . I had to try and resolve any and every issue I could before they moved.
That morning, I went forward after the worship service and asked my Pastor to pray with me over a family issue that I wanted to resolve. He stopped right where we were and prayed for God’s direction, wisdom and peace. I asked two other prayer partners to pray with me as I tried to talk to my parents that afternoon.
I called my Mom and Dad and asked if I could come over and talk. God had flooded my heart with verses: “Love covers a multitude of sin” (I Pet 4:8); “Humble yourself under the mighty hand of God . . . casting all you cares on Him, for He cares for you.” (I Pet 5:7, 8); “Honor your father and mother . . . ” (Eph 6:1). I had purposed that I wouldn’t leave them until we could look at each other and say, “I love you”, hug each other and then begin taking one day at a time . . . I was committed to stay there as long as it would take. Read More
The Psalmist’s understanding of God was firsthand. He writes. “For I know that the Lord is great, and that our Lord is above all gods.” (Ps 135:5)
God is persuasive. The psalmist had the utmost confidence in God’s greatness. He had experienced it.
God is personal. The writer knew that this was “our” Lord. God’s greatness is a shared expression with His children.
God is prominent. There is no one like our God. His excellence is above all.
Today, have the confidence and conviction of knowing YOUR GOD IS GREAT.
Recently, we sold our home and moved into a much smaller house. It’s where we raised our girls for the last 21 years, so we had collected a lot of stuff. The closing process was long, so we had plenty of opportunity to clean out closets, attics, basement and other storage units. I was amazed at all we had acquired . . . and never got rid of.
The cleaning out process was overwhelming. Finding everything, determine the value of it and the deciding if we wanted to keep it or had room to keep it was paralyzing. Clothes, books, memorabilia, toys (don’t even ask about the Beanie Babies), the girl’s old school papers . . . I needed a 12 Step program for hoarders. And, because of moving into less space, we needed to get rid of some items tat we liked, wanted to keep, and even enjoyed . . . but, there wasn’t room in our lives for them, anymore.
Leaders often measure effectiveness and impact by things accomplished, acquired or attained.
We often use the phrase, “God bless you”. It’s an acknowledgment that there is a need for God’s provision, protection and presence in each of our lives.
However, when we “bless God”, we come up short because our power to provide or protect Him doesn’t
So what does the psalmist mean in Ps 134, “Come, bless the Lord, all you servants of the Lord, who stand by night in the house of the Lord! Lift up your hands to the holy place and bless the Lord!”? (Ps 134:1, 2)
John Piper writes, “To bless God means to recognize His great richness, strength, and gracious bounty and to express our gratitude and delight in seeing and experiencing it.”
Essentially, it always being grateful for all He has done, is doing and will do.
In confusing times, thank Him.
In challenging times, thank Him.
In sparse times, thank Him.
In painful times, thank Him.
In weak times, thank Him.
In weary times, thank Him.
And, in good, meaningful, growing times, thank Him.
You fill in the blank . . . and thank Him.
Take a moment to “lift up your hands to the holy place and bless the Lord!”
For the last few years, I’ve had a recurring heel pain. It’s years of bad shoes, not enough exercise, too much weight and I’m sure some other things. It usually comes and stays around for 2 to 3 weeks and then gets better.
When our kids were younger, we did everything we could to protect them from ever experiencing pain, loss, wounds or hurt. Sometimes, it was inevitable. One of our daughters lost a pregnancy, another cut off the tip of her finger, while another burned the back of her leg with hot cooking grease. There have been lost relationships, banged up cars, stitches, scars and a host of things that have caused paid, hurt and loss.
In our own lives, we have experienced the loss of family relationship, economic catastrophe, dreams dying, resources being depleted Read More