|Watercolor on Arches. Yes I painted it!|
Monday is here, we open the windows and let the sun shine in. The books, the classes, and the chores are awaiting us. We start happily. Who won't start with a wide smile after a beautiful and restful Lord's Day?
So here we are, ready to start our weekly dance, let the music start!
And the first notes lead me to sing a gratitude song to my Lord. Thomas Watson raises the baton and I can almost hear him ask me today:
"How may we know whether we are rightly thankful?
Answer 1: We are rightly thankful—when we are careful to register God's mercies: "David appointed certain of the Levites to record, and to thank and praise the Lord God of Israel" (1 Chron. 16:4).... Mercies are jewels that should be locked up. A child of God keeps two books always by him: one to write his sins in—so that he may be humble; the other to write his mercies in—so that he may be thankful.
Answer 2: We are rightly thankful—when our hearts are the chief instrument in the music of praise: "I will praise the Lord with my whole heart" (Psalm 111:1).
Answer 3: We are rightly thankful—when the favors which we receive, endear our love to God the more. David's miraculous preservation from death drew forth his love to God: "I love the Lord" (Psalm 116:1). It is one thing to love our mercies; it is another thing to love the Lord. Many love their deliverance, but not their deliverer. God is to be loved more than his mercies.
Answer 4: We are rightly thankful when, in giving our praise to God, we see no worthiness from ourselves: "I am not worthy of the least of all the mercies you have showed unto your servant" (Gen. 32:10)...
Answer 5: We are rightly thankful—when we put God's mercy to good use. We repay God's blessings—with service... We do not bury our talents—but use them for God's glory. This is to put our mercies to good use. A gracious heart is like a piece of good ground that, having received the seed of mercy, produces a crop of obedience.
Answer 6: We are rightly thankful—when we can have our hearts more enlarged for spiritual mercies—than for temporal mercies: "Blessed be God, who has blessed us with all spiritual blessings" (Eph. 1:3). A godly man blesses God more for a fruitful heart—than a full crop. He is more thankful for Christ—than for a kingdom.
Answer 7: We are rightly thankful—when mercy is a spur to duty. It causes a spirit of activity for God. Mercy is not like the sun to the fire, to dull it—but like oil to the wheel, to make it run faster. David wisely argues from mercy to duty: "You have delivered my soul from death. I will walk before the Lord in the land of the living" (Psalm 116:8,9).
Answer 8: We are rightly thankful—when we motivate others to this angelic work of praise. David does not only wish to bless God himself—but calls upon others to do so: "Praise the Lord, all you nations; extol him, all you peoples." (Psalm 117:1).
Answer 9: We are rightly thankful—when we not only speak God's praise—but live his praise. It is called an expression of gratitude. We give thanks when we live thanks. Such as are mirrors of mercy should be patterns of piety. "Upon Mount Zion shall be deliverance, and there shall be holiness" (Obad. 17).
Answer 10: We are rightly thankful—when we propagate God's praises to posterity. We tell our children what God has done for us: in such a need he supplied us; from such a sickness he raised us up; in such a temptation he helped us. "O God, our fathers have told us, what work you did in their days, in the times of old" (Psalm 44:1). By transmitting our experiences to our children, God's name is eternalized, and his mercies will bring forth a plentiful crop of praise when we are gone."
And the list goes on, and my heart sings to God, from whom all blessings flow...
901. A restful Lord's Day.
902. Books that nourish my soul.
903. Father and daughter playing guitar.
904. Father and little daughter making paper-crowns.
905. His kiss on my lips.
906. Conversations at night.
907. Mud pies.
908. Brother and sister playing together.
909. My oldest son, always willing to help me with a happy heart.
Let us raise our voices today and praise the Almighty God, in whose hands our lives are!