Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Giving Thanks for the Right Reasons

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving Day in the U.S., and as a nation we give lip-service to being thankful for family and friends; but based on advertising, the real thankfulness comes in being able to watch NFL football on television that day, or in Black Friday sales (which actually begins Thursday evening now).  The psalmist provides much better reasons to give thanks.

100 A Psalm for giving thanks
Make a joyful noise to the Lord, all the earth!
Serve the Lord with gladness!
        Come into his presence with singing!
Know that the Lord, he is God!
        It is he who made us, and we are his;
        we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.
Enter his gates with thanksgiving,
        and his courts with praise!
        Give thanks to him; bless his name!
For the Lord is good;
        his steadfast love endures forever,
        and his faithfulness to all generations.

Notice three eternal things about the Lord that are specifically mentioned:
  • Goodness – This is not just ascribed to God because of his benevolence.  His actions do not define his goodness, rather his goodness is manifest in his actions.  Goodness is an essential part of his being.  If it was diminished or removed, he would no longer be worth serving or knowing.
  • Steadfast love – This shows God’s compassion towards his people.  Regardless of their wandering and missteps in life, he delights to encourage and correct as a father does his children to make us more like the Beloved, Jesus.
  • Faithfulness – This is translated truth in NASB, thus showing that the faithful exhibition of goodness and mercy are not capricious but bound up in the certainty of God’s that has no end.
I enjoy food, family, and football on Thanksgiving Day, but how wonderful to remember that the Lord is God, and we who believe are his.

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