2007-01-19 - Thanks
1 Chronicles 16:8, "Oh give thanks to the Lord, call upon His name; make known His deeds among the peoples."
Are you a grumbler? I know I am. When I consider how gracious the Lord has been to me ... When I consider His kindness ... When I consider the mercy He ever showers upon me ... When I look at His providential care, and provision upon my life daily, hourly, second-by-second ... and then look at my heart, it's propensity to sin, doubt, rebel, transgress, and seek self first ... I often wonder at the compassionate benevolence of the Lord to me. When I consider these things, I can only be thankful for how gently the Lord deals with me. His consideration reaches into the depth of who I am, and every area of my life is touched and affected by His constant minding of the very nucleus that makes me the person I am. God is gracious, and He is so to us all. We must give thanks.
Thanksgiving unto the Lord is something we all should participate in. We can do this by a settled disposition of the heart, "I will trust Him in all things and not doubt." We can do this in our prayers, by remembering His kindness usward as we pray. We often do this in our praise unto the Lord in song. Do you sing to the Lord as much as the birds do? Compared to us, the birds have little to sing about, and yet they out-sing us. Do you sing as much as the angels in Heaven do? The angels in Heaven have never been redeemed from sin by the shed blood of Christ, and yet they ever sing before the throne of God. Shall these outshine and surpass us in giving thanks to the Lord for His kindness to us? Let us have our thanks rise higher than the birds, and shine brighter than the angels in Heaven, when we contemplate God's lovingkindness to us.
Thanksgiving is certainly something we all need flowing out of our souls. We can do this a number of ways. However, there is something that can be said for thanks-feeling, thanks-living, and thanks-speaking. All these are part of thanksgiving. Let us feel thankful for God's ever care and provision toward us and those we love. We must "feel" this. We can fake thanksfeeling outwardly, but we can't fake it in our heart. Thanksliving has more of an outward show to it, but outward delights, expressed outwardly only, and not inwardly, will show their frayed edges quickly when surrender and service to the Lord is only for show. Thanksliving can only be sustained when it is done streaming from a renewed inward principle that is reflected in the outward actions. And, Oh, the tongue, when we consider speaking our thanks. Consider simply that the birds sing the same songs when it is cold as when it is warm. They, forever and a day, sing to the Lord, it seems. They speak, as verse 34 says of the chapter we started with, "O give thanks to the Lord, for He is good; for His lovingkindness is everlasting." May we also return such thanks to the Lord from our lips, by our life, and in our hearts.
Soli Deo Gloria,