“For He is our God, and we are the people of His pasture and the sheep of His hand” (Psalm 95:7a).
Psalm 95I come around once a year. I am an idea with a touch of American history. I am mentioned 114 times in Scripture. My Hebrew name is Yadah. My Greek name is Eucharistia. I have a holiday named after me. I’m usually associated with pilgrims, turkey, dressing, and cranberry sauce. According to the National Turkey Federation, my holiday will cost 45 million turkeys their lives each year!
I was first celebrated in America in the year 1621. There were about 50 European settlers and around 90 Native Americans who attended the three-day feast. I was declared a legal holiday by President Abraham Lincoln in 1863.
One fine day Jesus healed ten lepers. Only one returned to invoke my name to the One who so graciously saved their lives from shame and rejection.
One out of ten is actually not bad considering that the vast majority of Americans whine about what’s wrong with their lives rather than thanking God for their countless blessings! Most Americans talk about the inconsistency of weather conditions far more often than recalling how good God is to us. Just think … when someone asks how you’re doing, you say, “Fine.” But to just make you “fine,” God has to coordinate in harmonious perfection your 11 organ systems, 206 bones, 656 muscles, the 20,000 breaths that fill your lungs each day, the 115,200 daily beats of your heart, the 100 billion neurons in your brain, the 37.2 trillion cells in your body, etc., etc., etc.
Who am I? You guessed it, Thanksgiving!
If you woke up today with only the things you thanked God for yesterday, what would you have to start your day with?
- Psalm 95:1-2 – “O come, let us sing for joy to the Lord, let us shout joyfully to the rock of our salvation. Let us come before His presence with thanksgiving, let us shout joyfully to Him with psalms.”
- When was the last time you “shouted joyfully” to the Lord for your countless blessings?
- How often do you give thanks to God compared to the number of times you complain in your thoughts and words? Why?
- Psalm 95:3-6 – “For the Lord is a great God and a great King above all gods, in whose hand are the depths of the earth, the peaks of the mountains are His also. The sea is His, for it was He who made it, and His hands formed the dry land. Come, let us worship and bow down, let us kneel before the Lord our Maker.”
- Cosmologist Dr. Hugh Ross says the cosmos must be “finely tuned” to the trillion, trillion, trillionth degree of perfection for life to occur on planet earth. Oxford Physicist Dr. Roger Penrose proclaims that the odds of planet earth being found suitable for life are one in ten to the one hundred twenty-eighth power. In short, it is “highly unlikely” that you and I could wake up and say “Good morning” without a divine Creator who was keenly interested in your love and friendship. Try to put into words your gratitude for such miraculous effort and love.
- 2 Chronicles 5:13 – “In unison when the trumpeters and the singers were to make themselves heard with one voice to praise and to glorify the Lord, and when they lifted up their voice accompanied by trumpets and cymbals and instruments of music, and when they praised the Lord saying, ‘He indeed is good for His lovingkindness is everlasting,’ then the house, the house of the Lord, was filled with a cloud.”
- Other than using words, how do you express your thanksgiving to God?
- 2 Corinthians 4:15 – “For all things are for your sakes, so that the grace which is spreading to more and more people may cause the giving of thanks to abound to the glory of God.”
- Describe how the “grace factor” makes you thankful.
- 2 Corinthians 9:11 – “You will be enriched in everything for all liberality, which through us is producing thanksgiving to God.”
- How does generosity express a thankful heart?
- What are some ways (other than money) you can improve your generosity to express your thanksgiving to our benevolent God?
- Jeremiah 30:19 – “From them will proceed thanksgiving and the voice of those who celebrate; and I will multiply them and they will not be diminished; I will also honor them and they will not be insignificant.”
- What would your life look like if your heart was filled with thanksgiving 24/7/365?
John 13:15 – “For I gave you an example that you also should do as I did to you.”
From today’s scripture, how does THE Shepherd inspire you to shepherd your flock?
“For the Lord is a great God and a great King above all gods, in whose hand are the depths of the earth, the peaks of the mountains are His also. The sea is His, for it was He who made it, and His hands formed the dry land. Come, let us worship and bow down, let us kneel before the Lord our Maker” (Psalm 95:3-6).
Adoration, Confession, Thanksgiving, Supplication