Wednesday, July 17, 2019

EmmDev 2019-07-17 [A Life of Thanksgiving] The Really Good News

The Really Good News

[Apologies for the delay in the restarting of devotions...]

For the next while I want to spend some time on Thanks-giving. I was tempted to call the series "An Attitude of Gratitude" but there is something about the idea of Giving Thanks that appeals to me. Gratitude and Thankfulness are not limited to emotions that we experience from time to time, but are choices we make and gifts that we give. But we'll unpack this as we go along...

John Ortberg, in a preface he gives to a talk about stress, priorities and self-care, says: "I have good news and bad news: The good news is that there is a God. The bad news is that you are not God!"

While I know and understand what Ortberg is driving at, the more I think about his quip, the more I realise that it is not good news and bad news, but actually good news and really good news! If the only god (lower case intentional) in my world was me, then I need to be pitied above all!!!

Psalm 100 or the "Hundredth" as many call it, is a mainstay of Christian Liturgy. It is a beloved Psalm, a call to worship and the inspiration for countless hymns and worship songs. It helps us start our journey of thanksgiving in the right place:
First and foremost we are thankful that there is a God!
And He is a God who is above all, has made all and is our shepherd. This God is good, loving and faithful.

Read this beautiful Psalm and let your heart overflow with praise and thanksgiving. In this topsy-turvy world of ours we don't have to try to be our own gods or try to create a god. There is a God and like sheep with a shepherd we can be in relationship with Him. We can go into His gates and enter His courts. We can offer Him praise and experience His goodness, love and faithfulness.

We are not random creatures in a random universe with no real purpose. We are created and loved to know our Shepherd God. That makes me want to give thanks!

1 Shout for joy to the LORD, all the earth.
2 Worship the LORD with gladness;
come before him with joyful songs.
3 Know that the LORD is God.
It is he who made us, and we are his;
we are his people, the sheep of his pasture.
4 Enter his gates with thanksgiving
and his courts with praise;
give thanks to him and praise his name.
5 For the LORD is good and his love endures forever;
his faithfulness continues through all generations.      (Psalms100:1-5)