I woke up yesterday morning thinking I would hear a topical sermon on Thanksgiving and grace and the cross. No, no...not at Crossing, my official new church home here in Louisville. I heard a great sermon on Ps 107 - and how (in my terms) our thanksgiving should be wrapped up in the character of God.
These are the main points that Dustin pointed out from this Psalm: (and my thoughts on them)
Who God Is and What He Has Done:
Our God is the Merciful Deliverer and the Satisfier of souls who has given His people a place to dwell. How has God delivered you, satisfied your soul, and given you a place to dwell? He has delivered me from myself and my sinful, harmful tendencies (of gossip, laziness, and eating too much) and He satisfies me more deeply than anything here on this earth - or anything that I think could satisfy me. Oh, how I want to know that more. Even in the literal term of a place to dwell - He has brought me to Louisville and allowed friendships and opportunities out of being here.
Our God is the Chain Breaker who frees His children from their bonds. How has God broken your chains? Where do you need Him to? I need him to continue to break them in terms of competition and trying to impress people and running my mouth (opinions I call them). He has already been doing this - but I need him to continue as He faithfully will.
Our God is the Merciful Healer who brings healing by His Word. How has God brought healing through His Word? How do you need Him to? I need Him to make His Word even more real to me - so that I won't just read it and think He means what He says - but taste and see that the Lord is good in these above areas of satisfaction. And I need Him to make the Word real to me as I read it and get so bored with it at times. He is so gracious - and even when I come to Him out of boredom or halfheartedness - He heals with His Word by His faithfulness to meet me right where I am.
Our God is the Sovereign Ruler over all of His Creation who stills the storms. How has God brought you through the storms? How do you need Him to? I can see the last 15 months of my life and how God has orchestrated it divinely to His specifications. I can see how the last 4 months have been so much better with a church family and the community of believers here. I am thankful for new friendships to weather storms with you. And knowing that God is in control of all of them - no matter how long the winds blow. He is a good God who lets us see.
Our God is Righteous Judge who brings justice. How can God use us to bring justice as an act of thanksgiving? Justice and Thanksgiving. I'll continue to think about that one. Not usually something we put together.
I'm very thankful for another look in Scripture where I can see that the God is far above the worth of my praise - but He desires me to thank Him, have a heart attitude of thankfulness, and share that grace and thanksgiving with others.