Remembering the character of God and the wonderful things he has done moves us to praise and thank our great God for who he is and what he has done. This series of devotions have been written by Sarah Condie to encourage you to ponder the loving deeds of the Lord, so that songs of joy and thankfulness bubble forth from within you. Some devotions will focus on small but significant habits, while others will focus on the character of God.
At the end of each devotion and prayer, Sarah has provided a link to a song. Everyone’s taste in music is unique, so please, if you don’t like her choices, choose songs that you love.
“Come, bless the Lord, all you servants of the Lord, who stand by night in the house of the Lord!”
(Psalm 134:1, ESV)
The Ascent songs (Psalms 120-134) were written for the Israelite people to sing as they journeyed towards Jerusalem. This is the final instruction in the closing song. They have reached their destination and are encouraged to lift their hands to the holy place and ‘bless the Lord’. Other words that capture the meaning of the word, ‘bless’ include praise, worship, glorify, honour, thank, exalt and adore.
The Israelites have arrived at the place where God has chosen to dwell in all his beauty, awesomeness, and splendour. And they are encouraged to say, ‘Thank you, Lord.’
Saying ‘thank you’ does not come naturally. As a parent, one of the first things we taught our children was to say, ‘thank you.’
Before eating a meal as we gather as a family, we say ‘thank you’ to our God, our provider. A tiny habit, but an opportunity to acknowledge the good things that God has provided, including the food we were about to eat.
On leaving the table, our children learnt to thank us as their parents for the meal they had eaten. A tiny habit, but an opportunity for them to acknowledge the good things their parents had done in preparing a meal.
When visiting friends and family, they learnt to say thank you to their hosts for having them into their home. A tiny habit, but an opportunity for them to acknowledge the good things they had enjoyed.
Have you ever had a house guest who doesn’t say ‘thank you’? From personal experience, it makes you feel unappreciated, unimportant, unnoticed. Those two simple words communicate so much.
In the house of the Lord, the Israelites are instructed to ‘lift up your hands … and bless the Lord.’ With these two gestures, they can acknowledge that they are in the presence of the Lord and how worthy he is of their thanks and praise.
We no longer need to journey to Jerusalem to come into the presence of the Lord. But he is ever worthy of us pausing, thanking him for his good gifts, and praising him as Creator and Redeemer.
Our God is not remote or distant. He is with us. He sent his Son, Jesus, to rescue and deliver us and give us new life, new hope, and taste of his grace and goodness. Our God has blessed us. Let us lift our hearts, hands and eyes to him in all his splendour and bless and praise and thank him.
Come Thou fount of every blessing
Tune my heart to sing Thy grace
Streams of mercy never ceasing
Call for songs of loudest praise
Teach me some melodious sonnet
Sung by flaming tongues above
Praise the mount, I’m fixed upon it
Mount of Thy redeeming love
Here I raise my Ebenezer
Here by Thy great help I’ve come
And I hope by Thy good pleasure
Safely to arrive at home
Source: Come thou fount of every blessing by Chris Rice
Song: Come thou fount of every blessing – Shane & Shane
This series of devotions was written for and first published by The Bible Society Australia.