Wednesday, October 27, 2021

 
           Psalm 136 has one consistent theme throughout the chapter—give thanks to the Lord for He is good.  The command is a simple one—give thanks.  We are to give thanks to the Lord.  And the Lord is worthy of our thanks and praise because He is good, incomparably good.  Jesus said in Mark 10:18 that no one is good except God alone.  Our Lord was subtly suggesting that any attempt to call Him good would mean that someone believed Him to be God.  And Jesus was and is God.  Psalm 136 assures us that God’s love endures forever.  Or as the Psalmist wrote, “His love endures forever.”  So, as we read Psalm 136, we learn that our role is to give thanks to God and our takeaway is the promise that His love endures forever.   God’s goodness and love are inseparably linked together.
            If you read Psalm 136 straight through, you discover that it speaks to God’s role in creation, in forming and shaping history, and His faithfulness to and provisions for His people.  Verse twenty-three says God is the “One who remembered us in our low estate.”  The first three verses command us to give thanks and the remaining verses give us a step-by-step series of reasons for why we are to give thanks.  It is most surely a Psalm for Thanksgiving.  If we struggle for how and why to give thanks, then Psalm 136 is an amazing tutorial for us to follow.  
            If you wrote a Psalm of your own, what would it look like?  What reasons would you have for giving thanks to the Lord?  What role has He played in shaping your life and days?  The Psalms were often used as songs or hymns as God’s people worshipped in ancient Israel.  The people were ever mindful of the need to praise God and offer thanks to Him.  Like Israel, we too have been the recipients of tremendous, profound grace.  We are blessed in ways that we have neither earned nor deserved.  As such, we should be quick to give thanks to God because He is good.  His goodness reaches out to us beyond measure or calculation.
            Psalm 34:8 bids us to “taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the man who takes refuge in Him.”  Romans 2:4 and 11:22 teach us that it is the goodness and kindness of God that leads us to repentance and reaching out to Him.  Before we ever respond to God, His grace has already initiated His outreach to us.  Even in our lostness, grace finds us.  God would be right and justified to leave us to ourselves.  Yet, His goodness reaches out to people who do not deserve it.  2 Peter 3:9 teaches us that the Lord’s goodness is expressed in His patience toward us, “not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.”  Lamentations teaches us that God’s mercies are new every morning.  Indeed, great is His faithfulness.
            Nothing is too great for the Lord and there is no one like Him.  Our best expressions of goodness are but poor, pale products compared to His perfect goodness.  And because of His goodness, we can trust the future to Him.  We do not have to be distressed by the changing news and events of the world scene because we can rest in the certainty of His goodness.  In the month to come, think about the ways that you have experienced the goodness of God.  Give thanks for those ways and times.  Take the month ahead to make your life a Psalm of thanksgiving to the Lord.  Let your life be an argument for His greatness and glory.
            We hope to see you this evening as we enjoy a full slate of activities for all ages.  Music, Bible study and small groups are here for you.  Remember to share our worship with others at youtube.com/FirstBaptistKannapolis.  Make plans to join us for Trunk-or-Treat this coming Saturday at Midway from 3:00 to 5:00pm.  And remember to stay dedicated to your tithes, offerings and giving as we do the work God has for us to do.  Have a great Wednesday!  

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