“I will exalt you, my God, the King, and I will bless your name forever and ever. 2 Every day I will bless you, and I will praise your name forever and ever. 3 Great is the Lord and worthy of great praise, and there are no limits to the extent of his greatness. 4 One generation will praise your deeds to another, and they will declare your mighty acts.” Psalm 145:1-4
So how has your day started today? “Kids, get up. . . oops we’re running late!” “Another long day at work ahead of me and I am already tired.” “I don’t know if I can deal with all this stress any longer – did you see how bad the election results turned out last Tuesday?” “Really, snow already, can’t we just have a few more nice days of weather?” “Did you see how much the bills increased this last month . . . how are we going to pay the bills?” And the list can go on and on.
If you are having one of those types of mornings, weeks, months or years, I would like you to take a deep breath and read these verses from Psalm 145. These words from Psalm 145 tell a different story. The individual who writes these words understood that while it might have been easier to blame God for problems, it was better to praise him as King. While it might have been easier for this individual to curse the name of the Lord, it was better to praise his name forever and ever. While this person may have been tempted to shove God to the background, he found it better to simply try to grasp how great God really was. While it would be easier to spend time complaining about all the troubles in his life, he found it more important to share the mighty acts of the Lord with his family.
He paused to praise and so should we.
How about going back and restarting your day? Start with a pause to praise your God, your King for what he has done in your life. This may mean simply slowing down enough to ask, “What is God doing in my life that is praiseworthy? Psalm 145 gives many reasons to praise the Lord – some expected, some unexpected. Here are four that stand out:
- Pause to Praise the Lord for his GOODNESS.
“They will pour forth the memory of your abundant goodness and sing loudly about your righteousness.” (Psalm 145:7).
Too often we focus on what we don’t have and blame God for it. Look around where you are right now. What do you see that is evidence of God’s goodness? Pause to praise him for it!
- Pause to Praise the Lord for his GRACE
“The Lord is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and great in mercy.” (Psalm 145:8).
How quick we are to get angry, point out the faults of others, or blame God as mean and unloving. How deserving we are of God’s punishment as a result. As sinful as we are, God has shown us his undeserved love by sending Jesus, to cover our sin, to die for us. Pause to praise God for his grace!
- Pause to Praise the Lord for his FAITHFULNESS
“The Lord is faithful to all his words and merciful toward all he has made.” (Psalm 145:13).
Just a couple verses after this, the psalm writer mentions how all creation looks to God to provide for all its needs, and since the beginning of the world God has been faithful to “satisfy the desires of every living thing” (verse 16). God has kept all of his promises. What promises do you know that God has made? How has he kept them for you? Pause to praise God for his faithfulness!
- Pause to Praise the Lord for his JUSTICE
“The Lord watches over all who love him, but he will destroy all the wicked.” (Psalm 145:20)
We struggle at times to make sense of evil in the world and the many wicked people that harm us directly or indirectly. We want justice and wonder if it will ever come. Remember, God will bring justice to the wicked, those who do not love him. Justice for evil will come. Praise the Lord for his justice. . . and the love he shows to us by not treating us as our sins deserve.
So maybe we need to start our days a little differently. Let’s begin each day with a brief pause for praise. With a little thought, you’ll begin to realize a brief pause is not enough to give God all the praise he deserves each day! But today, pause to praise your God and Lord!
Pastor Mark Gartner
Services will be held Wednesday evening, November 23rd at 6:30 pm with a pie fellowship to follow in the lower level of church. Bring a pie and join us for fellowship and pie. Thanksgiving Day worship will be held at 9:00 am Thursday, November 24th.
If you would like to purchase a 6½ inch poinsettia plant to decorate the church for Christmas, please sign up on the sheet in the entryway. The poinsettias are available in red, white, pink and marble. The cost is $15.00. Use an envelope by the sign-up sheet for your payment and place it in the box in the entryway. You may take your plant home after the Christmas Day worship service. The last day to sign up is Monday, Nov. 28th.
The Women of Faith have boxed Christmas cards for sale. The boxes are marked with their price; it is self-service. If you don’t need a full box, individual cards are in the card rack.
There are also a limited supply of free Christmas Cards by the water fountain.
We continue to live-stream our services and post our worship folders online. We will be recording our Sunday 8:00 am service which means you can watch any time after 8:00 am on Sunday morning. If you need any help accessing these resources, please don’t hesitate to contact us.
You can find our worship services at: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCCsQs-LDzlHE1NTjOaVaQ2A.
You can find a bulletin for each Worship Service so you can follow along here: https://stjohn-appleton.org/bulletins
Listen To Our Worship Service Though Your Phone:
If for some reason you cannot access our YouTube Livestream or you don’t have Internet at your home, you can always phone 1-920-212-3625 after 10:30 am each Sunday to listen to our service through your phone.