day 29- Lenten Journey 2014
Read Psalm 145
Reread Psalm 145:1-3 in these two less familiar translations:
I will praise You, my God and King, and always honor your name.
I will praise You each day and always honor Your name.
You are wonderful, LORD, and you deserve all praise, because You are much greater than anyone can understand. (Contemporary English Version)
I will extol You, my God, O King; and I will bless Your name forever and ever [with grateful, affectionate praise].
Every day [with its new reasons] will I bless You [affectionately and gratefully praise You]; yes, I will praise Your name forever and ever.
Great is the Lord and highly to be praised; and His greatness is [so vast and deep as to be] unsearchable. (Amplified Version)*art from Red Letter Words (I love her artwork!)
As I was looking at today’s reading choices, I was determined to write on the passage in John, since I have often written on the Psalms. As usual I read all the Lectionary readings, to see how they related, but as soon as I read Psalm 146, I knew that the New Testament passage would wait for another day.
There seems to be a theme in the daily readings, and through the years I have realized something: When I am taking a while to learn a lesson, or really need to grow in a certain area of my life, God moves from subtle whispers to love shoves and shouts… usually through repetition.
Not always in Scripture, sometimes He uses conversations, songs, billboards, the stuff of life, along with bible study, sermons, or devotionals to get my attention. (Especially when I am being stubborn about learning a lesson)
But, this is the sixth time in 10 days that that the Lectionary reading focus on how we are to Respond to Who God is, What He has done for us and His love for us. (see Days: 19, 20, 23, 26, 27, 28)
Praise, worship, thanksgiving…
continually and forever –
regardless of what is happening in our lives,
because it is NOT circumstances or blessings of ease or comfort that compel us to praise God.
We praise and thank God for
(Incomprehensible in His majesty, greatness and God-ness)
And THAT is reason enough for continual praise and thanksgiving!
On Day 27 we talked about when David poured out his heart before God with anguish, struggle, confusion, need, questions… but at the end of it all, David’s conclusion remained:
You are God and deserving of praise, AND because YOU…
the most Amazing God, greater than we can ask or think, LOVE Us…
I will choose to praise and thank You.
Hmmm… even if that is all I can be thankful for… (which I say with tongue in cheek) …Isn’t the fact that God loves me enough to compel me to praise and thank Him?
But our God is not demanding that we settle on being Loved alone as reason to praise Him…
Psalm 145 goes on and expands on all that being loved by God means:
the details of THE BLESSING.
Read Psalm 145 in your Bible translation and notice the details.
Read it again in the Contemporary English Version and count how many times it says “You (God) do this/that.
This Psalm could be titled: How Great Thou Art!
Filled with details of THE BLESSING, just in case we need more reasons to praise and thank God every day (no matter what else is going on in our lives) than KNOWING we are chosen, loved cherished by Him.
Praising God and Being Thankful because of THE BLESSING of His love for us, is not a denial of struggle, hardship, suffering, doubts or even wavering faith.
- It is the choice of an obedient heart to praise when we don’t feel like it.
- It is the sacrifice of praise based on fact not feeling
- It is the faith in action.
And… it brings Great Joy to God!
“Things to make you go hmmm…”
- Do you agree that no matter what is going on in your life that may be difficult, even unbearable, there is something to be thankful for?
- Can yon see God’s blessings in the midst of struggle or even come to see the struggle as a blessing?
- Listen to Laura Story’s song: Blessings
- What are your thoughts and feelings as you listen to this song?
- Do you believe that the Fact that YOU are chosen, loved, personally known and cherished by God is enough for you?
- Do you “live loved” fully aware and embracing THE BLESSING? look at the artwork at the beginning again: they are words of “living loved.”
- What does it mean to you to “live Loved/”
- What gets in the way of you receiving and living in the truth of THE BLESSING?
- Will you choose each day, no matter what else is going on, to Praise and Thank God for His Love for you?
- Go back to Days: 19, 20, 23, 26, 27, 28 and reread the devotionals. Can you see a repetition that echoes and challenges you to a deeper relationship with God?
- Think back over times in your life when you have learned a lesson or grown due to God’s repetition of a lesson. What did it look like? How did God get your attention? How did you respond?
- Take time to write your own “details of THE BLESSING” creating your personal Song lyrics to How Great Thou Art/Psalm 145. Please feel free to share any or all of your lyrics via comment/email or FB.
Be Creative and have fun with this!!
*Psalm 145 Artwork: see more of Judy Dodds’ art or purchase her work:
Daily Lectionary Readings:
Isaiah 49:8-15; Psalm 145; John 5:17-30
If you want to read through the New Testament during Lent (about ½ hour a day)
Read on Day 29: 1 Corinthians 1-8