Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever. Psalms 136:1 ESV
If I were to randomly ask the question, “What do you thank God for today?” I am sure I would receive multiple answers. In 1 Corinthians 13:13 we are told that faith, hope and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love. If the greatest of these three is love, shouldn’t that also be what we express our greatest thanks for? We know that God’s love is unexplainable, and in many ways it does not make sense when reflecting upon it. It is not hard to understand how to love someone who is lovable, but to love someone whom you know mistreats you, rejects you, lies about you, and ultimately kills you…. loving that person is out of the average person’s ability to express love. Romans 5:7-8 (ESV) explains it this way: For one will scarcely die for a righteous person – though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die – but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christa died for us. When reading Psalm 136, it progresses from God being the creator of the universe, to the deliverer of His people from Egypt, to reminding us that He is the God who sits on the throne of Heaven. The last part of each verse in this Psalm reiterates this eternal truth…. his steadfast love endures forever. In this day when people seem to be focused upon themselves and not looking to God, this eternal truth remains… his steadfast love endures forever. It is His love that restrains him from the judgement He will one day bring upon all mankind for their sins (2 Peter 3:9-10). It was in His steadfast love that He sent His only Son to die for our sins. (John 3:16) So let us begin living each day by doing, recognizing, and acknowledging His steadfast love.
We should always be in an attitude of thanksgiving towards God for His enduring love; but attitude is hard to measure, for it is something that is in the mind and is developed there. Doing, however, is an outward expression of that which is in the heart/mind of a person, and can be seen. How you live, on purpose, for God, every day, will show the gratitude you have in your heart for God and His love. It is living to bring attention to God, not yourself. Let your light shine before others, so that they MAY SEE your good works and GIVE GLORY TO YOUR FATHER WHO IS IN HEAVEN. Matthew 5:16 ESV
It is important to remember/recognize that no matter what a day brings, God is good!!! In the middle of tragic situations of this world, it does not change who God is, and HE IS GOOD. God did not cause sin; man’s choice did that. However, rather than give us the justice deserved, God chose to send His Son to pay the penalty of the sin…. death. To me that makes God good/great in ways words just cannot express. For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God. 2 Corinthians 5:21 ESV God’s steadfast and sure love did that, and I hope I will never forget, but always recognize, this important truth, this fact.
Over the years I have been to numerous meetings in which they acknowledged a person for accomplishments or the attributes that defined that person. One of the many enduring attributes of God is His steadfast love for us. If I were to introduce God in a meeting as the keynote speaker, what might I say? Perhaps something like this,
Let me introduce to you the creator of the world in which we live. Absolutely nothing you see, smell, taste, or touch is possible without the works of His hands. He is the most just and forgiving person known to the world. It has not been easy overseeing the world, and it would be an understatement to say there have been many conflicts with which He has had to deal. However, with every difficulty and conflict He, with confidence and authority, has made the needed decisions. One such decision was, in love, to send His Son into a hopeless situation to make hope possible again. One attribute that I believe sums up this person more than any other is obviously that He is a giver of love. Absolutely every action and decision He makes is motivated by this love. May I introduce to you GOD, who is the King of kings and Lord of lords, the First and the Last. Honestly, there are no words which could honor GOD to the degree deserved; may we give Him not just a hand, but…… our lives.
If you were to introduce God, how would you do so? How you view God will be how you introduce Him. I hope and pray you see how much God loves you. He loved you to the point of sending His only Son to save you from sin and death. This Christmas season may you give thanks for the goodness of God’s love – the greatest gift you will ever receive.
Because of His Grace ~ Pastor David