Has a Bible teaching ever really hit home? Walloped you with conviction? A recent family devotional was just such a time. The key scripture for day 72 of Rick Warrens Purpose Driven Life Devotional for Kids is Psalm 116:17-18:
I will sacrifice a thank offering to you and call on the name of the LORD. I will fulfill my vows to the LORD in the presence of all his people.
The concept that giving thanks to God might involve sacrifice was new and novel. Of course I know the verses that command us to rejoice in the Lord always (Philippians 4:4) and to give thanks in all circumstances (1 Thessalonians 5:18), but never really understood how to put those teachings into practice.
When the going gets tough giving thanks to God involves sacrifice. Sacrifice means laying down my wants and wishes and praising God for what He has done; releasing my ideas of fairness and justice to trust in God’s sovereignty, that He truly is working all things for good for those who love Him (Romans 8:28).
The water damage in the basement: Lord I lay down my fears about the cost and the resentment of the inconvenience, giving thanks to you, trusting that you can somehow use this for good. The tension of 3 generations (sharing widely differing worldviews) living under one roof: Lord I lay down my desire for an easy life and commit to the healing and restoration of relationships that only you can do. The child who won’t do his homework and only wants to surf the web all day: Lord I thank you that you are stretching me in my parenting and causing me to put my hope and trust for my children’s future entirely in your hands. The always rising cost of groceries and looming tuition bills: Lord, I lay down my worries and thank you that you have always provided. I entrust the nourishment of our family, physically, spiritually, intellectually and emotionally into your hands.
Scripture best sums it up:
Through Jesus, therefore, let us continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise–the fruit of lips that openly profess His name. Hebrews 13:15
How is scripture working in your life? Do you have a devotional book that is really blessing your right now? Please share in the comments below.