All this week we’ve been giving thanks for some unusual things. Things that don’t usually make it to the top of our gratitude lists in life like, we’ve been thanking God for our breath. He fills our lungs every day. We’ve been thanking him for the times that he said “no.” For the “whys” because we know that they turn into “ohs”… I get it now. We thanked him because he adopted us into his own family. Stop and think about that. You and I are adopted, chosen, loved. We have been thanking him for the blessings that are on the way. What is that blessing that is on the way for you?
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It’s Friday, so you know what that means. It is so time for Joy Bombs in the Psalms on the Bible for Busy People. I’m Erica, your host, and all this week we’ve been giving thanks for some unusual things. Things that don’t usually make it to the top of our gratitude lists in life like, we’ve been thanking God for our breath. He fills our lungs every day. We’ve been thanking him for the times that he said “no.” For the “whys” because we know that they turn into “ohs”… I get it now, Lord. We thanked him because he adopted us into his own family. Stop and think about that. You and I are adopted, chosen, loved. We have been thanking him for the blessings that are on the way. What’s yours? What is that blessing that is on the way? What if you just named it right now? What is it? Go ahead, name it, say it out loud. I’ll give you a little space here to do that and I’ll say mine in my heart. Hey, we’re going to trust him with that. We’re going to give that to him and know that God is working on that. The answer to the prayer is already being cooked up in God’s kitchen. Okay, join me now in Psalm 95. Here we go.
Come, let us sing to the Lord! Let us shout joyfully to the Rock of our salvation.
I don’t know about you, but in this wobbly world, I sure am thankful that God is our rock. Oh, he’s so strong. Alright, continuing on now in verse two.
Let us come to him with thanksgiving. Let us sing psalms of praise to him.
By the way, this is what we’re doing right now. We’re cracking open his Word and we are just thanking him. We’re praising him through this time. We have together.
For the Lord is a great God, a great King above all gods. 4 He holds in his hands the depths of the earth and the mightiest mountains. 5 The sea belongs to him, for he made it. His hands formed the dry land, too. 6 Come, let us worship and bow down. Let us kneel before the Lord our maker, 7 for he is our God. We are the people he watches over, the flock under his care.
To be a good shepherd, you got to hang out in the fields with your sheep overnight. God is taking care of you. He is watching over you. Wherever you are day and night, your good shepherd is with you. He has not forgotten you. Remember what it says in Isaiah chapter 49, I believe it’s verse 16. I’ll put it in the show notes. Your name is written on the palms of his hands. He cannot forget you. He is watching over you. Yes, he is so powerful. His hands made the sea and the land. Think about that. And he made you. He chose you to love to give a purpose to. Oh, we are so blessed. This is one of the reasons I love Joy Bombs in the Psalms on Fridays. Okay, join me now. We’re going to hop over a few pages back to Psalm 68 beginning in verse one.
Rise up, O God, and scatter your enemies. Let those who hate God run for their lives. 2 Blow them away like smoke. Melt them like wax in a fire. Let the wicked perish in the presence of God.
You know, I just want to pitch a small tent here. We have seen so much wickedness in the news, and so this Psalm is so relatable, written thousands of years ago, and yet it speaks to us today. We understand the need, the heart cry for justice that the psalmist is praying to God for. Verse three now.
But let the godly rejoice. Let them be glad in God’s presence. Let them be filled with joy. 4 Sing praises to God and to his name! Sing loud praises to him who rides the clouds. His name is the Lord— rejoice in his presence!
See, in the last Psalm that we read, we were talking about how God is with us. The good shepherd watching over us. We’re the flock under his care. When you and I are wounded by life, the Good Shepherd comes and rubs oil in those wounds. When we stray away from him, he comes after us. He leaves the other 99 sheep, like Jesus told us, and he comes after us and brings us home to his heart. He’s so good to us. So yes, we can rejoice in his presence. The Good Shepherd never leaves the sheep. He never leaves you. He is with you. Verse five, now.
Father to the fatherless, defender of widows— this is God, whose dwelling is holy. 6 God places the lonely in families; he sets the prisoners free and gives them joy. But he makes the rebellious live in a sun-scorched land. 7 O God, when you led your people out from Egypt, when you marched through the dry wasteland, 8 the earth trembled, and the heavens poured down rain before you, the God of Sinai, before God, the God of Israel. 9 You sent abundant rain, O God, to refresh the weary land. 10 There your people finally settled, and with a bountiful harvest, O God, you provided for your needy people.11 The Lord gives the word, and a great army brings the good news. 12 Enemy kings and their armies flee, while the women of Israel divide the plunder. 13 Even those who lived among the sheepfolds found treasures— doves with wings of silver and feathers of gold. 14 The Almighty scattered the enemy kings like a blowing snowstorm on Mount Zalmon. 15 The mountains of Bashan are majestic, with many peaks stretching high into the sky. 16 Why do you look with envy, O rugged mountains, at Mount Zion, where God has chosen to live, where the Lord himself will live forever? 17 Surrounded by unnumbered thousands of chariots, the Lord came from Mount Sinai into his sanctuary. 18 When you ascended to the heights, you led a crowd of captives. You received gifts from the people, even from those who rebelled against you. Now the Lord God will live among us there. 19 Praise the Lord; praise God our savior! For each day he carries us in his arms.
We don’t normally read the King James version on the Bible for busy people, but verse 19 in the King James is beautiful and I want to leave you with it today as well as a word picture.
Blessed be the Lord, who daily loadeth us with benefits, even the God of our salvation.
As we conclude our time together this week, I want you to picture your table. On Thanksgiving day. I want you to picture the bounty on the table and the bounty around the table, in the chairs. I’m seeing my sweet potato casserole with the golden melted marshmallows on top. And my wonderful husband and my children. And I see us and hear us saying grace. That is a picture of being loaded with benefits. Praise the Lord. Hey, I’m grateful for you too, by the way, till next time, you are loved.
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