Give Thanks to the Lord!

God’s people always have reason for giving thanks to our Creator and Redeemer!  The commandments to do so could not be any clearer:


“…give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.”  (1Thess. 5:18)


Elsewhere in Scripture, the Lord reveals volumes about why His people are to be characterized by thankfulness.  One such place is Psalm 136.  The opening words bring this explicit appeal:


Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever. Give thanks to the God of gods, for his steadfast love endures forever. Give thanks to the Lord of lords, for his steadfast love endures forever;”  (Psalm 136:1-3)


The psalmist then goes on to recount numerous demonstrations of God’s steadfast love, ending the psalm as he began, with an appeal to give thanks.


Beloved, the God who saves us and keeps us in Christ is worthy of our continual thanksgiving!  Take time this week, individually and with family and/or friends, to think about the endless and great wonders of His steadfast love, and thank Him accordingly!


Thanking Him for you, and with you,


The Lowly Man’s Hymn

What an encouraging, convicting, refreshing time it was to gather as God’s people this last Lord’s Day evening!  The Good Shepherd is so faithful to feed and lead us with His Word, by His Holy Spirit, and through our fellowship with one another in Him.  And it is always significant as we partake together of the Lord’s Table, being reminded of Christ’s past, present, and future work as our Redeemer.


I was particularly blessed by Tim Ingrum’s faithful exposition of Psalm 34 – “The Lowly Man’s Hymn”.  This is one of my frequent “go to” Psalms, as I often resonate with the sense of impoverished desperation King David describes.  I need to continually be exhorted to “taste and see that the Lord is good,” confident that “blessed is the man who takes refuge in Him!” (Ps. 34:8).  The Lord used Tim’s preaching to remind me that God is good and generous, and that He pours out blessing on those who fear Him.  Accordingly, my understanding of His goodness needs to keep being recalculated in line with His truth.  I also need to remember that apparent delays in God’s provision do not represent His cold withholding, but His kind preparing of me for something better.  Oh, to grow in simply trusting and obeying Him!


As the words of Ps. 34 are part personal testimony, and part corporate exhortation, I take my cue from the “sweet singer of Israel” in expressing my resolve and appeal to you:


I will bless the Lord at all times; his praise shall continually be in my mouth. 2 My soul makes its boast in the Lord; let the humble hear and be glad. 3 Oh, magnify the Lord with me, and let us exalt his name together!  (Ps. 34:1-3)


Because He lives,


God’s Handiwork in Redemption through Jesus

Do you ever pause to marvel at the wonder and beauty of God’s handiwork in creation?  We are surrounded by it every day – a breathtaking sunrise or sunset, the vibrant colors of fall, the seemingly endless varieties of plant and animal life, the complexities of our human bodies, the incomprehensible magnitude of the stars in the heavens, and on and on.  Amidst the vast diversity of God’s creation, there rings out a harmonious anthem of praise to Him – “The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above declares His handiwork.”  (Ps. 19:1)


Certainly, God’s handiwork in creation is a fitting illustration of His design to receive even greater praise through the diversity of His blood-bought people.  Every believer has a part to play in this symphony of praise, as we faithfully minister to one another “…as good stewards of God’s varied grace” (1 Pet. 4:10).


Beloved, how much more should we marvel at the wonder and beauty of God’s handiwork in redemption through Jesus Christ!  And how eagerly and earnestly ought we to love and serve one another, for the glory of the One who saved us, and for the proclamation of His excellencies to those yet lost in their sins (1 Pet. 2:9-12).


Because He lives,