Our Tuesday Together reflections this fall will focus on thanking and praising God. “Adoration is the spontaneous yearning of the heart to worship, honor, magnify, and bless God.”(PRAYER:Finding the Heart’s True Home by Richard J. Foster)
“Enter His gates with thanksgiving and His courts with praise; give thanks to Him and praise His name.” (Psalm 100:4)
Under the Old Testament Covenant God’s people were required to gather two or three times a year to keep annual feasts – joyous occasions for fellowship, with God the center focus. Jesus accompanied His parents to Jerusalem to attend one of these feasts. I can see Him as a boy, entering Jerusalem with such joy in His heart to be able to be part of a great celebration of His Father’s goodness, love and faithfulness! Yet these were also to be times of heart-searching and spiritual focus as people brought various offerings to God (Leviticus 7:11-21).
One offering the people were to bring was a thanksgiving offering of praise, presented in gratitude for mercies and kindnesses received from God. Our own thanksgiving offering is through words rather than the Israelites’ grain or loaves of bread, and they serve just as great a purpose: to give heartfelt thankfulness and praise to God. Psalm 100 was written as a universal focus for this offering: “Shout for joy ALL the earth! His faithfulness continues through ALL generations!”
I confess that sometimes the focus of my thankfulness can subtly shift to me. What God has done for ME. It’s hard to leave me out of it, but what a shift it brings to the thanksgiving offering when it’s only about God. (I caught myself saying, “But what a shift it brings for my thanksgiving offering” … there’s that “me” word again! Begone!)
It’s difficult to isolate this one verse from the others, so let’s close together: Shout for joy! Worship the Lord with gladness! Know that the LORD is God! Praise His name for He is good! His love endures (persists, survives, lives)! His faithfulness continues uninterrupted forever!
Questions for reflection:
- What would your psalm of thanksgiving look like?
- What are you thankful for?
- What kindness of His is God wanting you to acknowledge?
Prayer of response:
Thank you, Lord Jesus, for You are GOOD. You are FAITHFUL. You are LOVE. You are JOY.
—Submitted by Audrey Jose
Audrey has served with Lifesprings from the very start, and is the Team Leader for Lifesprings’ conflict training. She and her husband are involved in church planting and offer coaching, expertise and opportunities worldwide for mission and church partnerships through Radstock Ministries (www.radstock.org)).
(Feature Photo credit: dreamstime.com)
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