1 Praise the LORD, all nations! Extol him, all peoples! 2 For great is his steadfast love toward us, and the faithfulness of the LORD endures forever. Praise the LORD!
Psalm 117 is the shortest of all Psalms. It consists of three commands and a reason for the commands. All three commands are the same in essence. We are to boast in the Lord and commend Him to others.
It is important to note that we are called to praise and extol the LORD who is the one true God. On this Thanksgiving Day, we are surrounded with many gods. But, they are all false gods. There is only one true God who deserves our thanksgiving. He is the creator of heaven and earth. He is the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. He is the all powerful, all knowing, ever present God. He is the God revealed to us in the Holy Bible. He is the God who became flesh in His only begotten Son, Jesus the Christ. It is this God who alone deserves our praise, worship and thanksgiving!
Why is God so deserving of our thanksgiving? The Psalmist gives us three simple reasons:
- His love is strong toward us. The Apostle Paul told the Romans that “God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us (Romans 5:8).” That is a strong love!
- His love toward us is steadfast. It is secure. It will not change. He loved us when we were unlovable and unworthy. Yet, He made us lovable and worthy in Christ!
- He is faithful. The word faithful is sometimes translated in the Scriptures as “truth”. This is important. Because God’s faithfulness is demonstrated in that He is truth and the giver of truth! He cannot lie. He cannot change. He is faithful!
There are three points of application that I want to give you from this Psalm as it relates to thanksgiving.
- Thanksgiving is a form of praise or boasting in the Lord. As Christians, thanksgiving should be a daily part of who we are.
- Thanksgiving magnifies the grace of God. Who better to magnify the grace of God then the ones who have experienced His grace?
- Thanksgiving is most effective when expressed verbally. While being thankful is an attitude of the heart, it is also helpful to you and the recipients of your thanksgiving to hear it from you.
I am thankful for…
…the Air we breathe, to sustain our lives.
…the Beauty of God’s creation to reveal the majesty of the God we serve.
…Christ Jesus our Lord who gave Himself for our sins on the cross and defeated the enemy in the resurrection so that we could have a relationship with God, the Father.
…David, who is now safe in the presence of Jesus and who taught us what genuine faith looks like.
…the Etterling family, who has given me a heritage and legacy to stand upon.
…Frances, who has tolerated me, shown me the importance of laughter and loved me in spite of me for 19 years of marriage.
…God for loving me enough to allow me to see the reality of my own sin and the reality of the Savior who He provided for my sin.
… the Holidays, especially the ones that are specifically Christian and allow us to focus on the central truths of the Gospel.
…Indoor plumbing because it helps to spare us from disease.
…Joel, who inspires me with his creativity and determination to learn and teach himself new skills.
…Kylie, who is the intellectual and academically intelligent member of our family who will earn her doctorate before I do, and who keeps me humble on a regular basis.
…the Loudin family, who allowed me to take Frances as my wife and accepted me into their family as one of their own.
…the Mistakes that I have made so that I can learn from them.
…Needs to remind me that we all need the support of each other.
…the Oceans, which are soothing to just sit and listen to and also remind me of the greatness of our God.
…Pizza, which is my downfall, but is delightful especially when it has pepperoni, onion, green pepper, black olives and mushrooms on it.
…Quills which were the first writing utensils that have allowed history to be recorded and passed on to us.
…Rest, to allow our bodies and minds to be refreshed on a regular basis.
…the Scriptures, which are not words about God but they are the word of God to us so that we may not only know about Him but we can know Him!
…Technology, which allows us to reach the whole world with the Gospel from right here in Westerville.
…Uninterrupted alone time which allows me time to think and decompress from a hectic day.
…Violins, which are peaceful and soothing by nature and remind me that God is the God of peace and desires to give me peace.
…the Westerville Church Family, who God has allowed us to be a part of for the past 14 years and has been a wonderful blessing to us.
…X-rays and other medical technology which allows us to know what is wrong in our bodies and to receive needed medical treatment.
…Younger siblings who irritate me. Yet, I would not want to go through life again without them.
…Zinger snack cakes which not only taste good but remind me to look for the sweet things of life!