February 15, 2008

Giving Thanks: Thanking God Forever

Psalm 136

Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good.
Psalm 136:1


I remember hearing this psalm as a child, and it seemed to go on forever. As I grew older, though, I realized the writer of Psalm 136 wished to show readers repeatedly that God?s ?love endures forever.?

Read and re-read this psalm as a truly attentive child of God who is daily growing to know God better. Prac?tice lectio divina (see Feb. 10) by carefully reading aloud the first part of every verse, reflecting on every phrase. The verses of Psalm 136 recall concrete examples from history in which the Lord showed his enduring love.

If you wish, look up the full report of each of those examples in the books of Genesis, Exodus, Joshua, and Judges. Then try to identify personally with as many of the instances of the Lord?s enduring love that the verses suggest to you.

Can you identify any of the Lord?s ?great wonders? that awed you? That comforted you?

Can you name a time in your life when the Lord led you ?through the desert??

As you mull over each verse and each example of God?s love, repeat the psalm?s refrain again and again. What do you think is the most fitting response to God for his enduring love in all its instances?

How can you, your family, and your community thank God for his enduring love?

Eternal God, I offer my heart thankfully for your enduring love in my life. Forgive my faulty memory. Bless me with better memories of your love. In Jesus? name, Amen.

About the author — James and Rose Dekker

James C. Dekker is the pastor of Covenant Christian Reformed Church in St. Catharines, Ontario. Previously he served other congregations in Alberta and Ontario. Rose Dekker serves as a refugee coordinator for the Christian Reformed World Relief Committee in Canada. She also serves as a certified spiritual director. The Dekkers were missionaries for nine years with Christian Reformed World Missions, serving in Costa Rica, Guatemala, Venezuela, and Cuba.

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