November 27: A Record of Thanksgiving (Psalm 138)
Prepare for Sunday morning worship using the guide below.
This Sunday Daniel Harman will continue a series on personal evangelism at 9:00am in the youth room. Ray Rutledge will be in the Adult 1 classroom continuing through The Gospel Project (currently going through the Old Testament).
New Worship Song
We will be singing a new song together this week.
 I give you thanks, O LORD, with my whole heart;
before the gods I sing your praise;
 I bow down toward your holy temple
and give thanks to your name for your steadfast love and your faithfulness,
for you have exalted above all things
your name and your word.
 On the day I called, you answered me;
my strength of soul you increased.
 All the kings of the earth shall give you thanks, O LORD,
for they have heard the words of your mouth,
 and they shall sing of the ways of the LORD,
for great is the glory of the LORD.
 For though the LORD is high, he regards the lowly,
but the haughty he knows from afar.
 Though I walk in the midst of trouble,
you preserve my life;
you stretch out your hand against the wrath of my enemies,
and your right hand delivers me.
 The LORD will fulfill his purpose for me;
your steadfast love, O LORD, endures forever.
Do not forsake the work of your hands.
In this psalm David declares his personal thanksgiving to God and describes the reasons he give thanks: 1) for God's steadfast love, 2) because God has exalted his own name and word, and 3) because God has been attentive to David's prayers for strength in the midst of difficulty. But not only does David record his own personal thanksgiving, he also insists that the whole world ("all the kings of the earth") will join in giving thanks to God. David says they will "sing of the ways of the Lord." This is one way of defining thanksgiving: it is singing of the ways of the Lord. And the reason the nations praise God is that while he is exalted in glory, yet he is near to the lowly. Finally, David points forward to his hope in God's full deliverance. Evidently, David is giving thanks in the midst of difficulty, not after he's been fully delivered. This is instructive for those walking through the pain and suffering of life. David declares his thanksgiving even before the deliverance comes.
Review and Apply
Do you think you are a grateful person? What evidence of Christian thanksgiving do you see in your life? What do those who live with you think - would they say you're a grateful person?
When was the last time you talked with someone else about something that you are thanking God for (not including obligatory holiday conversations you had on November 24)?
Do you keep a record of thanksgiving, a journal of the ways that you have seen God at work in your life or the lives of those close to you? If not, what would you include in such a journal from the past few months?
God's demonstrated his love for us most fully by giving Jesus Christ to die for our sins, so that we might be forgiven and reunited to God by our faith in Jesus. How often do you reflect on all that God has done for you in Christ? Does this lead to thanksgiving and joy in your heart?
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