Today, Lord, I just want to praise You

Lord, You are so good to your people! It is so easy to lose sight of Your ready grace and generosity. All it takes is letting my thoughts light upon a problem, a slight, a hurtful remark, and stay there too long. Teach me again. Sometimes I lose sight of lessons already learned.

You are so patient and wise. You have gone before me in everything. It’s never You who moves away from me. It is always me, getting my mind on the wrong things, that alters my outlook, my view, because I get into fog, and get stuck.

You have instructed us regarding these times we live in. It is one thing, and good, to traverse this moment in peace, but You offer something better than that, You offer opportunity to travel this road, even in perilous times, with joy. Help me choose that better thing. Many people use the phrase ” choose joy”, but true joy is only available in Christ, but not merely “in” Christ. Fullness of joy and peace comes with obedience and service and fellowship.

I don’t want to settle for less than all that You would like to give me! I don’t mean material things. You have allowed me to taste of the goodness of your nourishing Word. In this day of famine of the preaching of the Word that the prophet Amos warned of, Your people need not miss a single meal. I thank You for Your Word! Please open it again, anew to me, give me eyes to discover the endless treasures there. Forgive me when I have taken for granted that perfect manna. There is no lack of “junk food” to be consumed instead. Intellectual junk food ruins spiritual appetite just as surely as the edible kind ruins physical appetite. The more “junk” I partake of, the more I will crave “junk”. Junk is designed to cause cravings.

But the more I partake of nourishing, wholesome food, spiritual as well as physical, the more I will desire. You made it so simple and logical and straightforward, there is no excuse. But being human, of course I still drift. This world offers so many “appetizers”.  Help me to practice spiritual “clean eating”.

You are so great and good and wise. You are science. You are art. You are music. Everything that is pleasant and good flows from you! No beauty that I can set my eyes upon, whether in nature, or from the work of a human artist, came from any other source originally but You. All ability, the greatest prodigy, could not come from humanity, only from You. When I hear an orchestra play, it prompts me to praise You! When I read of a miraculous surgery, yes, I may marvel at the surgeon, but the wonder extends past the surgeon, to the Great Creator who designed the amazing human body and the surgeon’s mind and skillful hands.

Your creation encompasses all things. You are over it all and in total control. You never step away, never get distracted. How comforting that is! “Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on thee!” It is so simple. Like a compass to “true North”if we merely set our mind on You, if we merely trust You, seek you first and foremost, everything else lines up and falls into it’s proper place. It is so simple that we often just can’t see it, or accept it. In our arrogance, our self-importance, we miss it.

You are so good to extend Your new mercies every morning! How many days have I wasted those mercies? Some day soon I will escape this flesh, but Lord please forgive me for not doing what it takes to die to that flesh, for not always taking up my cross daily. I confess, I sometimes just foolishly venture into the day without even pausing to think on You, to consult You, to connect myself to The Source, You!

We tend to think life is about some great quest or accomplishment. No, we were not created for that. Our purpose is to glorify You, and to enjoy You! Did I glorify You today? You give us children, grandchildren. A wise person enjoys those wonderful blessings, but do we bother to enjoy You? Do I even think in those terms? We are so po erformance minded, we are more apt to think in terms of whether we pleased you today.  Enjoy You? I forget that. In fact, I think I have been forgetting that since…..well, probably since childhood, if I’m honest. What is it about adulthood that makes us think enjoying You is something that should be “put away with childish things” when we reach adulthood? Lord, in this era of “Jesus is my boyfriend” mentality, help me not lose the pure Father/child aspect of my relationship with You. Do you miss it as much as I do? Restore to me the richness of the joy of my salvation in Christ Jesus. Help me to wrap myself in it like a precious old familiar quilt. To revel in it. To take pleasure in it. Free me from vestiges of religion that have stuck to me along the way.

Lord the cares and the pitfalls of this world need not choke the Word. How many wounds have I suffered by my own negligence and carelessness? How many blessings and revelations do I forfiet? Treasures tiny and great. Riches all around ne, while I live like a pauper.

I do lament my inconsistencies. I still tend to want to view my walk, my relationship with You as something that should progress ever higher, when in reality a pilgrim’s journey will always have hills, valleys, river crossings, storms, easy terrain sometimes, treacherous terrain at other times. Help me learn to appreciate the view along the way, and to know my frailties and faults, accepting my fallenness, but remembering my position in heavenly places, and in relationship with You. Correct me, teach me, please don’t give up on me! Thank You for loving me, Lord!

Angels surround Your throne in heaven, saying Holy Holy Holy is the Lord God Almighty, Who was, and is and is to come. Night and day without ceasing. We are getting ready to enter a new chapter in the epic sweeping story of You and Your Creation! You will be glorified. You continue to administer Your wonderous plan! You have allowed us to know You. You have condescended to tell us of Who You Are, to reveal Yourself to us! Who are we that You are mindful of us? How can you abide us, much less take a people for Yourself, a Bride for Your Son? I can never, ever begin to comprehend Your regard, nevermind actual affection for us. But not mere affection. Love so profound! It seems an affront to state the fact that we are unworthy, of course we are not worthy, but You love us because love is what You are. You are pure and Holy. You created us to be your family. For fellowship with You!

I cannot thank You adequately, Lord, but I thank You, that I am so privileged to have been born in this time, in this nation founded on scripture, to parents who believed. I can’t thank You enough for all of the people who You placed around me in my life, that prayed for me, invested in me. I praise You for Your sovereign plan, for things You have been doing that I haven’t even been aware of. For good works You were accomplishing and a pattern you were weaving, that may never even see, or that perhaps You will reveal in eternity. I thank and praise You for the glorious eternal future that awaits me after this life!

How can anything, anything at all, cause fear or dread or distress in this life, when we consider the things that “eye hath not seen” which we can’t even conceive of, which You have told us You have in store for us?

How excited You must be as You contemplate the future that we so rarely even bother to contemplate? I get so excited when I make something for one of my loved ones, anticipating the moment when I get to bestow it upon them. To think of You, in whose image we are created, from whom we inherit this joy of giving, to imagine Your anticipation of that future!  My mind can’t absorb it!

Yet You gave Your Son! You created us, we rebelled, Jesus came, died for us, knowing most of us would disdain your sacrifice, yet You love us.

I have nothing to give You but my “thank-you”, nothing to offer but my praise! Forbid that I ever withold it! I deserve hell, instead, I have been chosen before the foundation of the world, to know You, serve You, be mercifully redeemed and reconciled to You. I praise you, Lord. Your Kingdom come, Your will be done. Purify my heart. Search me and cleanse me. Make me a vessel You can use.

Make me to serve You without fear. Guide my feet, and direct my path.

Be exalted! Let your ways be known in all the earth. Gather Your wheat, and burn the chaff! Let Your perfect justice be. Arise and scatter Your enemies. You are the champion of the oppressed! You are father to the fatherless, righteous judge, merciful kinsman redeemer! Thank You, Lord. Praise Your name!

 

 

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