Tuesday, November 24, 2009

O Render Thanks to God Above

Praise the LORD! Oh give thanks to the LORD, for He is good; for His lovingkindness is everlasting. Psalm 106:1

Thinking about and meditating on God's lovingkindness through the ages is a great antidote to weariness when you're feeling down. His mercy has withstood the test of time, and shall forever last. We can certainly be thankful that His mercies are new every morning!

The LORD'S lovingkindnesses indeed never cease, for His compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness. Lamentations 3:22-23

God's mercy is demonstrated through the many stories in the Old Testament, all of which point to the ultimate gift of mercy - the gift of Jesus, God's son, who took our sin upon Himself, and died in order to pay for those sins so that we could be free from our lives of death, and saved from the wrath of God.

But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the ages to come He might show the surpassing riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.
Ephesians 2:4-7

I love that word to us from Paul in Ephesians that so demonstrates God's mercy toward us. He is rich in mercy: He saved us, made us alive with Christ, raised us with Him, and seated us with Him -- all so that He could show the surpassing riches of His grace, shown to us in Christ Jesus!

And His mercy isn't contingent or dependent on what we have done. He saved us, not according to what we did, but according to His mercy!

But when the kindness of God our Savior and His love for mankind appeared, He saved us, not on the basis of deeds which we have done in righteousness, but according to His mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewing by the Holy Spirit, whom He poured out upon us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior. Titus 3:4-6

I love the picture of the last verse of this hymn: the writer asks that he would be worthy to see all the saints that have prospered under God's mercy so that he might join the joyful chorus in singing praise to God for His mercy, and count God's people's triumph as his own. I so look forward to that day! When we will gather with the saints in heaven and recount God's mercies from the beginning of time, through our lives, and on in the lives of others.

It brings to mind the verse from Amazing Grace:

When we've been there ten thousand years,
Bright shining as the sun,
We've no less days to sing God's praise,
Than when we've first begun.

Let's be faithful to give God glory for His mercies while we are still here on earth. May others be encouraged by our thankfulness and praise of God's great mercies, new every morning.

O Render Thanks to God Above
Words by Na­hum Tate and Ni­cho­las Bra­dy

O render thanks to God above,
The fountain of eternal love,
Whose mercy firm through ages past
Hath stood, and shall forever last.

Who can His mighty deeds express,
Not only vast, but numberless?
What mortal eloquence can raise
His tribute of immortal praise?

Extend to me that favor, Lord,
Thou to Thy chosen dost afford;
When Thou return’st to set them free,
Let Thy salvation visit me.

O may I worthy prove to see
Thy saints in full prosperity,
That I the joyful choir may join,
And count Thy people’s triumph mine!

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