Thursday, November 22, 2012

EMMDEV 2012-11-22 [Thanksgiving Thoughts] Today!!!

Happy Thanksgiving!
(See the letter I wrote to the congregation about this http://epcrsa.blogspot.com/2012/11/just-thought-letter-from-theo.html )
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This is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it. Psalms118:24

Psalm 118 is a real gem...
It starts out like this:
"Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; His love endures forever."
and follows with calls to various parts of the community to echo the cry "His love endures forever!"

Then the Psalmist recalls victories God has given him over the years:
"The LORD is with me; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me?" (v.6) and "I was pushed back and about to fall, but the LORD helped me." (v.13)

Interestingly enough the Psalm also contains two passages that are explicitly quoted in the New Testament as prophecies of Jesus:
"The stone the builders rejected has become the capstone." (v.22)
"Blessed is he who comes in the name of the LORD." (v.26) *
Jesus is the ultimate securer of our salvation and deliverance.

The Psalm ends as follows:
You are my God, and I will give you thanks;
you are my God, and I will exalt you.
Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good;
his love endures forever

But it is verse 24 that has grabbed me:
THIS is the day the Lord has made; LET US rejoice...

Each day is a gift to be seized, an opportunity to be enthralled at God's providence. When troubles loom and boom we can think back of God's faithfulness and move forward in faith and trust.

This verse has become my battle-cry.
Today is not the day of the criminals or the bad-news headlines.
Today is not the day of Satan and his cronies.
Today is not the day of depression and cynicism.
NO!!!
TODAY is the day that the LORD has made and I _will_ rejoice and be glad in it!!!!
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Hope many of you will be celebrating some form of thanksgiving tonight or this weekend and that your day is blessed.

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* These are quoted in Joh12:13 and Act4:11; Eph2:20; 1Pet2:7

P.S.
Apart from its content, here are some fun stats about Psalm 118...
- It is sandwiched between the shortest (117) and longest (119) psalms.
- It contains the so-called "middle verse" of the Bible. Yep, someone went and counted all the verses in the Bible and worked out that the middle ones are Ps.118:8-9 "It is better to take refuge in the LORD than to trust in man.It is better to take refuge in the LORD than to trust in princes."
(Now we know that verse numbers were only added to the text later on so we don't build a theology from this, but it is a fun stat!)

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Theo Groeneveld theo@emmanuel.org.za
You can see past EmmDevs at http://emmdev.blogspot.com/

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