“That I may publish with the voice of thanksgiving, and tell of all thy wondrous works.” – Psalm 26:7
Today we celebrate Thanksgiving. Family (at least some 40 of them) will gather to enjoy one another and to give thanks to God for His faithfulness to us. King David learned the value of thanksgiving so that he wanted to “publish” it to all. The word for publish is shama`, which means ‘to hear, listen to, obey’. It is both a noun and a verb. Not only should we be thankful for God’s blessings to us but, we should also listen to all His words and be faithful to obey them and we should declare them as well. As Acts proclaims –
“Him God has exalted to His right hand to be Prince and Savior, to give repentance to Israel and forgiveness of sins. And we are His witnesses to these things, and so also is the Holy Spirit whom God has given to those who obey Him.” – Acts 5:31,32
In a few days, I will have my 80th birthday and I want to publish the goodness and faithfulness of the Lord to me. I grew up in Wyoming, living in an old 40′ railroad car that was made into a trailer home of sorts. We had an outdoor toilet and our refrigerator was a hole in the ground that had a box fitted into it. Just before I entered the Navy in 1956 I met my wife who was teaching school in Cody, Wyoming. Three years later we were married and I began an adventure that has never ended. After the Navy, I settled in Wisconsin, where my wife was from, and began college. The next milestone in my adventure happened in my Junior year of college when my wife’s Uncle invited me to a little country Lutheran Church to hear a Norwegian evangelist who preached the Word of God. I heard it and responded and since that time my life has been more exciting than I could have ever imagined it would be! The mile markers of my life have seemed to stream by: baptized in the Holy Spirit in 1967, the precious gifts of 8 children, teaching math and physics in High
School then in college, teaching and ministering God’s word in many places, Pastoring several churches, amazed and overwhelmed with the joy of 30 grandchildren and 4 great-Grandchildren, our house burning down only to be presented with a brand new home of my dreams, and the list goes on and on. Only God knows my future but, by faith I know it will be good in the Lord. That is the source of my Thanksgiving this year.
I can testify with confidence that if you will give God thanks for your life, listen to His Word and obey it, and not be ashamed to proclaim God’s goodness in your life – your life can be fulfilled in ways you never expected. The abundance of God’s love toward us is without measure and often un-imagined in our thinking. This Thanksgiving step out in faith and give God thanks for His past blessings but, also for His blessings in your future. You will be pleasantly surprised at what God will do.