This week at school, I had the opportunity to preach in front of 30 other students, all of which were awaiting their turn to step up to the pulpit and share what was on their mind. I worked in youth ministry for four years before coming here, have spoken hundreds of times in front of crowds ranging in size from 10 to over 3000, and yet I still seem to get nervous and jittery before stepping up to speak in front of any number of people. Once I get up front though, all my nervousness seems to fade away and I find myself actually enjoying it.
I preached on thankfulness, and how to develop a lifestyle of thankfulness. I spoke on this in my last blog, but my sermon was mainly about looking at some keys for developing such a lifestyle. I spoke from Psalm 100:3,4. Verse 3 gives us at least 3 things to think about when lifting up our thanks to God. Firstly is to remember that it is God who made us, God who made us in His image. That means we look, act and think like Him. Imagine your relationship with you earthly dad, or mum, what similarities do you have with them? In the same way, we carry similar attributes of our heavenly Father as well. That’s something to be thankful for.
The second thing we get from verse 3 is that God is our protector. The verse paints the picture of God being a shepherd. Shepherd’s would protect their flocks at any costs. We know this from the story of David, who fought off bears and lions from attacking his sheep. How much more would God protect us? There is nothing bigger than God.
Thirdly, God is our provider. God will never leave us or abandon us, in fact. God is a God of abundance. Jesus tells us that He came to give us an abundant life. What areas of your life do you need God’s provision for this week? Last year, I needed $1000 in 7 days to pay off the remaining balance of my mission trip to Cuba. I began to declare daily that God is my provider. I had no money of my own to pay for it, but I knew that God is a God who lavishly provides for His children. So, each morning I would declare “God richly supplies all my financial needs”. At first I wasn’t sure how much I believed this, but then, as each day went by, more money kept coming into my missions account. And on the seventh day a friend called me to say that they wanted to pay off the outstanding balance. Because God is our provider. Right now I am about to go through the same process of raising money for a mission trip I am going on in the spring to Jamaica. I don’t have any way of paying this off myself, but I have a God who is a God of provision.
I want to be clear here, it’s not just financial provision God’s supplies us with. Over the years of being a Christian, I have seen God provide me with strength, stability in relationships, and a confidence in myself that I never dreamed possible. God is a god of provision. He richly supplies us with all we need, mind, body, and spirit.
So, as you look back on your day, how has God provided, protected and comforted you? Remember, you were made in His image. You carry the DNA of your heavenly Father. You have direct access to the storehouses of heaven. That’s something to be thankful for.