Hebrews 13:15 “Therefore by Him let us continually offer the sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of our lips, giving thanks to His name.”
I’m a day late. But how can I hope to give praise to the Lord through this blog and skip this holiday of giving thanks? It was a great week having family in town, going to a school praise night on Tuesday, going to a Thanksgiving eve service at church on Wednesday, and celebrating Thanksgiving with extended family yesterday. What a full few days it has been!
How can I measure the fullness of what God has done and for which I should be thankful? For starters, I think of the amazing list in Ephesians 1 & 2 of what is ours through Christ; in Him, I am:
sealed with the Spirit,
and I have:
obtained an inheritance,
been brought near by His blood,
been made alive,
been raised up with Christ,
been seated with Christ in the heavenlies, and
been given access by one Spirit to the Father.
My mind can’t totally comprehend, my eyes don’t often clearly see, and my heart too often fails to even acknowledge it. I too often sit “full, but unfulfilled,” a phrase I just picked up from a book called Making All Things New by Henri Nouwen. Nouwen suggests we are full, meaning busy with our lives, yet unfulfilled, as in bored or depressed in the midst of our being busy.
Nouwen urges his reader to seek the things above and His kingdom, and set our hearts on Christ through the spiritual disciplines of solitude and community.
Solitude. Time alone with God in a small room or area of a room or prayer closet where we close out the distractions, begin reading Scripture, pray, and allow ourselves to hear the voice of God’s Spirit. Even just 10 minutes a day — it can be in small doses, but needs to be consistent & regular. It’s something we can dread to start until we begin to see what God does through time spent with Him.
I need to go back to cultivating the discipline of solitude. (Although since “solitude” is about being alone, I guess it’s not really solitude since the Lord is there!) But time with Him to read the Bible and pray and let His Spirit lead and speak.
I find I am forgetful, just as the Israelites of old were. Thus the many reminders throughout Scripture to “remember:” “Remember what great things He has done for you.” I want to remember. I want to meditate on His greatness and power, on who He is, and on who I am because of Him.
And in remembering His great mercy and love, lavishly poured out on me through Christ, I want to give Him thanks and praise Him today and always.