Some things we do every day out of habit. I’ve heard it said that unless we deliberately think about it, we typically put the same shoe on first, start shaving the same way, and start brushing our teeth on the same side. Other things we consciously choose to do because at our core we believe they will make us happy. Perhaps when you get up you make the coffee first thing. Others flip on the news or grab the newspaper. Some
check their Facebook status. Maybe some stop
at Starbucks on the way to work.
Let's say you do the Starbucks thing. Stay with me here. You know whether you've gone or not. You remember going. Perhaps your cup is nearby. Your wallet is a few bucks lighter. Maybe you go because you can’t resist the smell of Starbucks in the morning or you love the environment. You know it costs time and money. But you love it, so you go. It's not a burden.
Let me get to the point. A few days ago I was thinking about this verse:
Psalm 145:2 Every day I will bless you, and praise your name for ever and ever.
It’s important to not assume the obvious, so I asked myself, “What does it mean to ‘bless the Lord’”? Just because I say I am “blessing the Lord” does that guarantee that I am?” Will it guarantee that I will “bless the Lord” if I create a repeating task that looks like this:
No. And I don’t.
I could legalistically mark my to do list that I have “blessed the Lord” each day. But that wouldn’t guarantee that my soul would be marked every day
by a fresh expression of praise to Jesus for suffering for my sin or perhaps
verbalizing praise to God for his imagination in creating everything that
exists. When I do this consistently and I’m not trying to hurry, then often my
stubborn heart starts to awaken and almost imperceptibly, fresh affection for
God rises in my soul.
“Every day I will bless you.” I believe that needs to be practical reality and not just a spiritual sounding thing to say.
Imagine increasing numbers of us pursuing this daily. I imagine it would create a new craving in us to be together to worship corporately. We would not be able to tear ourselves away. And we would care less about how the body worships together and more that there is an opportunity to worship together. Let’s not take for granted that one day such freedoms, either through force or due to our own disability, could disappear.
Sunday at Bethany Place I'm continuing the study of Proverbs focusing on words. Proverbs 18:21 says, “Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruits.” Proverbs has a lot to say about this subject, perhaps more than about any other single thing. Maybe that’s because we all need help. You can see the outline
for the message here.