Probably most of our churches this past Sunday emphasized being thankful since Thursday is Thanksgiving. Prior to Sunday, our pastor asked seven members to share something for which or whom they are thankful. He asked two children, (boy and girl), a teenage boy, and four adults, (two men and two women). I wish to share with you what one of the women shared. (I asked her if I could share this so she gave me a copy of her notes.)
“I want to share with you what I am most thankful for and one way that I apply that to my life, with praise. I am most thankful for God’s revelation of Himself in Scripture.”
I recently read about a 15-year old boy whose father died. He was devastated. He said this, ‘God, Who are You?’ ‘Why do You do the things You do?’ This started him on a life long journey to discover the true nature and character of God. This journey begins with being saved and opens us to be receptive to acknowledging, loving and adoring God.
Someone has said, ‘The more we interact with God’s unveiling of Himself in Scripture, the more we are able to understand Him.’ God allows us to “see” Him in Scripture to keep us from tripping over harmful things we cannot see in a Spiritually dark world.
Two of God’s commandments in the Bible are: Praise God and be thankful. Praise and thankfulness are the top two rungs on a ladder of five rungs. This ladder represents a balanced prayer life:
The top rung is praise and thanksgiving.
The next rung down is confession of daily sin.
The third rung down is petition, prayer for oneself.
The fourth rung down is intercession, praying for others, saved or lost.
The fifth rung down on the ladder is meditation, thinking about and applying Scripture.
If God created us to please Him, and He did, we must know what He is like in Scripture and learn to thank and praise Him using this information.
In Hosea 6:6 God said, ‘I want you to know Me, more than I want your burnt offerings.’ The people got half of it right. They came and brought a sacrifice but they didn’t bring their hearts. They did not give God what He wanted most. God wants us to give who we are to Him. He wants us, through our worship more than He wants anything else. We are either becoming more and more like our Heavenly Father or we are becoming more intensely selfish.
I am going to share with you a method to bring yourself to God and effectively express praise and thanksgiving. This method goes beyond our normal thankfulness for God’s blessings in our daily lives. Take a sheet of paper and write the ABC’s in a column on the left side from top to bottom. Then brainstorm for Scriptural words you already know that describe God. When reading Scripture or listening to it read, record other words you discover. These may be His names or other character words that describe Him. Alphabetize these words on your chart. Here are some of the Scriptural words I have on my chart. Almighty, Defender, Shepherd, Provider, gentle, near, Ransom, Refuge, Truth, trustworthy.
When you give thanks and offer praise choose words from your chart, then thank Him and praise Him because He is what these words say He is. Then tell Him what the words mean to you. When we worship like this our understanding of God deepens. Our love for Him increases. Our trust in Him grows. It is one way to love God back for conquering us with mercy instead of with might. It is one way to bless Him back for letting us know who He is.
I am most thankful for God’s revelation of Himself in Scripture. It is here that I find the truth about Him. It is here that I can see, understand, and respond to who He is, and what He is like, and give Him the praise and thanksgiving reserved for only Him.”