Stop and thank God for being present with you today. Ask for God’s guidance as you hear God’s voice through scripture and the writer.
Psalm 50 New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)
A Psalm of Asaph.
The mighty one, God the Lord,
speaks and summons the earth
from the rising of the sun to its setting.
Out of Zion, the perfection of beauty,
God shines forth.
Our God comes and does not keep silence,
before him is a devouring fire,
and a mighty tempest all around him.
He calls to the heavens above
and to the earth, that he may judge his people:
“Gather to me my faithful ones,
who made a covenant with me by sacrifice!”
The heavens declare his righteousness,
for God himself is judge.Selah
“Hear, O my people, and I will speak,
O Israel, I will testify against you.
I am God, your God.
Not for your sacrifices do I rebuke you;
your burnt offerings are continually before me.
I will not accept a bull from your house,
or goats from your folds.
For every wild animal of the forest is mine,
the cattle on a thousand hills.
I know all the birds of the air,[a] and all that moves in the field is mine.
“If I were hungry, I would not tell you,
for the world and all that is in it is mine.
Do I eat the flesh of bulls,
or drink the blood of goats?
Offer to God a sacrifice of thanksgiving,[b] and pay your vows to the Most High.
Call on me in the day of trouble;
I will deliver you, and you shall glorify me.”
But to the wicked God says:
“What right have you to recite my statutes,
or take my covenant on your lips?
For you hate discipline,
and you cast my words behind you.
You make friends with a thief when you see one,
and you keep company with adulterers.
“You give your mouth free rein for evil,
and your tongue frames deceit.
You sit and speak against your kin;
you slander your own mother’s child.
These things you have done and I have been silent;
you thought that I was one just like yourself.
But now I rebuke you, and lay the charge before you.
“Mark this, then, you who forget God,
or I will tear you apart, and there will be no one to deliver.
Those who bring thanksgiving as their sacrifice honor me;
to those who go the right way[c] I will show the salvation of God.”
Those are two of the most powerful, motivating, encouraging words I know.
Thank you for your service.
Thank you for your time.
Thank you for your patience…for this gift…for your prayers.
When we are the beneficiary of someone else’s hard work or on the receiving end of someone else’s generosity, “thank you” seems like the least we can offer in return. It’s one of those polite habits that smooths over the rough spots and helps make our communities nicer.
The truth is that a heartfelt “thanks” is more than just a display of good manners or sign of being “raised right:” it is an acknowledgement of our connection to one another; a sign of humility; a recognition of grace. When thanksgiving takes root in us, it inspires us to be generous, too. A grateful receiver becomes a gracious giver.
The opposite of saying “thank you” might be saying nothing at all: taking someone else’s gifts or kindness or work for granted. Even worse than that is acting as if we are entitled to the gifts that someone else chooses to give.
God is the ultimate giver—and it turns out that God loves to hear “thank you” as much as we do.
Why not take a little time to thank God today?
Lord, if I had to count my blessings
I’d run out of fingers and toes.
If I tried to name them all, one by one,
my voice would give out.
If wrote them out on as a list,
I’d use up all the notebooks on my shelf.
Thank you, Lord. Thank you.
Go with God!