November 25, 2010 Finding Thankfulness / Rachel Olsen
"They will celebrate your abundant goodness and joyfully sing of your righteousness." Psalm 145:7 (NIV)
Devotion: In the American tradition, today is an official day of thanksgiving - a day to reflect on, celebrate and express gratitude to God for our blessings. Many will gather with family and friends ... perhaps by candlelight, or firelight, or the light of a TV screen broadcasting parades and football games. Many will eat turkey - some hot and moist, and some slightly overcooked and dry, but well-rescued by gravy or cranberry sauce. And many will acknowledge Who provides both family and friends, as well as food and fire.
In the Judeo-Christian tradition, every day is a day to give thanks to God. In fact, each day that the Lord allows us to draw breath is cause to give thanks. Have you thanked Him today?
Have you praised His Name?
Perhaps this day finds you in a tight spot. Maybe this hasn't been your week, your month, or even your year. Maybe you're having trouble seeing what you have to be thankful for. How about your heartbeat? How about the sun that rose today to illuminate and warm the earth? How about the clothes on your body, or the food in your cabinet?
Take a moment to absorb the great gift that the forgiveness of your sins and the purging of your guilt through Jesus Christ is. And the fact that a day is coming when there will be no more sickness and no more tears. That's cause for deep gratitude.
One thing I'm giving thanks for today is my Bible, which is the living, active Word of God preserved for me and you. It teaches me to count my blessings and focus my mind on the gracious loving kindness of God. The Psalmist David leads me to do that through Psalm 145. Let me leave you with his words today, to jumpstart your own Thanksgiving.
A psalm of praise by David
I will exalt you, my God the King; I will praise your name for ever and ever. Every day I will praise you and extol your name for ever and ever.
Great is the LORD and most worthy of praise; his greatness no one can fathom. One generation commends your works to another; they tell of your mighty acts. They speak of the glorious splendor of your majesty—and I will meditate on your wonderful works. They tell of the power of your awesome works—and I will proclaim your great deeds. They celebrate your abundant goodness and joyfully sing of your righteousness.
The LORD is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and rich in love.
The LORD is good to all; he has compassion on all he has made. All your works praise you, LORD; your faithful people extol you. They tell of the glory of your kingdom and speak of your might, so that all people may know of your mighty acts and the glorious splendor of your kingdom. Your kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and your dominion endures through all generations.
The LORD is trustworthy in all he promises and faithful in all he does. The LORD upholds all who fall and lifts up all who are bowed down. The eyes of all look to you, and you give them their food at the proper time. You open your hand and satisfy the desires of every living thing.
The LORD is righteous in all his ways and faithful in all he does. The LORD is near to all who call on him, to all who call on him in truth. He fulfills the desires of those who fear him; he hears their cry and saves them. The LORD watches over all who love him, but all the wicked he will destroy.
My mouth will speak in praise of the LORD. Let every creature praise his holy name for ever and ever. Psalm 145 (NIV)
Dear Lord, today I want to say thank You for my life. Thank You for the chance to feel sunshine, to taste fruit, to swim in water and to watch lightening. Thank You for my home and family, my church and friends. Thank You for the chance to know and serve You, now and eternally. In Jesus' Name, Amen.
GRACE AND PEACE!