Enter his gates with thanksgiving; go into his courts with praise. Give thanks to him and praise his name. For the Lord is good. His unfailing love continues forever, and his faithfulness continues to each generation. -Psalm 100:4-5
Give thanks to him and praise his name! I like the sound of that. It is good to give thanks to God for all He has done for us, and the many ways that He provides for us and blesses us. Especially as we prepare our hearts this holiday season, it is good to stop and reflect back on all we’ve been given, as well as to look forward to how we can share our gifts and the good news of Christ with others.
It is good to stop and take time to name what we are thankful for. To say it out loud or write it down. Perhaps you have seen or even participated in the Facebook “Thankful Challenge,” when someone challenges you to write down three things you are thankful for every day for five days. Or maybe you have tried in the month of November to write down one thing you are thankful for each day. These are good practices, not just at this time of year, but every day, to have a grateful heart and give thanks to our Father in heaven for the many gifts we receive.
As I read this passage from Psalm 100, it reminded me of lifeGroup. Especially the verse, “his faithfulness continues to each generation.” We have seen several generations of lifeGroups since we began with just one. And God has been faithful. I am thankful for people who have agreed to meet weekly. I am thankful for people who have said, “Yes, I will open up my home and share my life with others.” “Yes, I am willing to discuss my questions and doubts and concerns with others.” “Yes, I will ask others to help hold me accountable to follow through on what I say I want to do.” I am thankful for people who invite those who are new to our church to join them in lifeGroup. I am thankful for people who are willing to invite their neighbors to join them in discovering how to follow Jesus. I am thankful for people who are willing to have difficult conversations and work through conflict when it arises. I am thankful for families that are willing to bring their children to lifeGroup because they know the value of having other trusted adults invest in their lives. I am thankful for a place to come to where I receive grace when I try and fail. I am thankful for a group of people who help me be prepared to engage in relationships with friends who are far from God. I am thankful that we have the privilege of living life together and the freedom to share the Good News with those in our circle of influence.
What are you thankful for? Have you told God lately? Have you written it down? Try sending a note of thanks to someone, or writing out a thank you prayer to your Heavenly Father. And would you tell me in a comment below how you’re choosing to respond?
Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good, and His love endures forever!