I’m selfish and discontent at my core. It’s easy for me to skim over the many blessings God’s provided, focusing instead on those things I don’t have. Like a spoiled two-year old. Counting my blessings helps, although even then, my prayers are often ego-centric. “Thank you Lord for….” But what if I didn’t have all those things? What happens when life gets tough? Will my praises and thanks dwindle?
Today Jodie Bailey challengs us to dive deeper in our praises. There’s a verse in Romans I love. It starts with, “In view of God’s mercy.” That’s a loaded phrase, but today I encourage you to take it even deeper. God’s grace is infathomable, but He’s more than what He does, and I believe our worship must extend beyond our “benefits.” We bow before Him because of who He is, the Creator of the universe, our Redeemer, Savior, closest friend.
(As you read the following post, I challenge you to honestly ponder something: Do you know God? I mean, really know Him, as He truly is? If not, ask Him to reveal Himself to you, and to remove whatever it is that gets in the way of you having an intimate relationship with Him. Because God doesn’t want to be our cosmic genie nor our distant observer. He longs to be our Abba daddy and our closest friend.)
Do You Get It by Jodie Bailey
Psalm 116:16-17–O Lord, surely I am Your servant, I am Your servant, the son of Your handmaid, You have loosed my bonds. To You I shall offer a sacrifice of thanksgiving, and call upon the name of the Lord.
If we had any idea at all what we owe God, don’t you think it would knock us backwards to consider it? If you really sat down and gave it some thought and started counting your blessings, you wouldn’t get far before you’d realize the debt is much bigger than you’ll ever be able to pay. I mean, God is worthy of praise and thanksgiving simply because HE EXISTS. (And by the way, that’s one of the reasons I love it when He calls Himself I AM. Gives me chills. He IS. That’s all He needs to be. Think about that for a while…) But He didn’t stop at existing. He didn’t stop at making us exist. He lavished us with grace and mercy and gifts beyond our wildest dreams, even some gifts we don’t realize He’s given us.
Consider salvation. Have you ever thought about what you’ve been delivered from? Not surface thought, but deep thought? Tell me that isn’t worthy of devoting every single second of your life to Him. Some of us have been healed of diseases. Some of us have been delivered from horrors we thought we’d have to face the rest of our lives. Some of us have been freed from sins that should have been our undoing. How much do we owe Him?
We owe Him everything. Our next breath. The works of our hands. The praises from our lips. But do we give Him that? If you’re like me, chances are, you don’t. And that’s a shame. In this new year, it’s one of the things I’m working on, seeing every bit of my life in relation to God. Realizing that every single thing I do should be for Him. Giving Him my all. It’s hard. It requires a complete reprogramming of my sinful human mind. But I want it. It’s what we all should want, to be God’s servant. Read the verse again. Boy, do we ever owe Him big time…
Jodie invites you to share your favorite verse from Psalm 107-127 in the comments, and I invite you to FB share, tweet, or “like” this post…if you’d like to see it in my top three of 2011.
Jodie Bailey was Playwright of the Year in Methodist University’s annual Hail! Dionysus competition and has written plays performed by the Monarch Playmakers. She has been published in Teen magazine and collaborated on PWOC International’s latest Bible study. She has a B.A. double major in English literature and writing, and an M.Ed. She is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers, the Christian Writers Guild, and Middle Tennessee Christian Writers. She lives in Tennessee with her husband and daughter.
Jodie is an avid reader, a life-long writer, and an aspiring beach bum. She is a stubborn child who resisted God’s calling for two decades until He hit her over the head with a Beth Moore Bible Study book, and she finally figured out He wanted her to be a writer. When not tapping away at the keyboard, she watches NCIS reruns, eats too many chocolate chip cookies, wishes she were at the beach, roughhouses with her daughter, and follows her Army husband around the country.