“We must begin to cultivate senses that are able to discern the presence of God, even in the most unexpected of places.”
Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – September 21, 2023
I will extol you, my God and King, and bless your name forever and ever. Every day I will bless you and praise your name forever and ever. Great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised, and his greatness is unsearchable. Psalm 145:1-3, ESV
As a kid, I always struggled with the idea of heaven that was presented to me. Often I was told, “It will be like a never-ending worship service.” For some, this was enough to move the heart in wonder and deepen their longing for paradise, yet as someone who found church to be a test of endurance, I greatly struggled to see the appeal of a sermon and songs that played on repeat for eternity, while we did our best to not squirm or make a sound in the pews.
Similarly, you may at times struggle with the words of Scripture that invite this life of never-ending praise, not only in the age to come, but in this very moment! As Psalm 145 declares, “Every day I will bless you and praise your name forever and ever.” If we’re honest, we may read these psalms and think, “That’s great for you, King David, but I’m struggling to hit my ‘every Sunday’ target, not to mention every day.” If this rings true for you, you’re not alone!
One of the most important works of discipleship is our ability to live an integrated life. We must resist at every turn the temptation to view our life of faith as something over there, and our “real life” as existing over here, with little or no interaction between the two. Yes, a weekly rhythm of dedicated worship and prayer with your community of faith is a vital lifeline that nourishes and sustains your life of faith. Yet for the vast majority of us, our lives also take us to work, to the grocery store, and to parent-teacher meetings, and it is in these spaces that we may struggle to maintain the connection to Sunday morning.
Acts 17:28 reminds us that “In him we live and move and have our being,” and I believe this verse may be a key that unlocks David’s ancient words of everyday praise. We must begin to cultivate senses that are able to discern the presence of God, even in the most unexpected of places. Yes, God is present in the sanctuary of his people, yet he is also at work in your work and places of play, for he sustains you and me every moment of every day. If we can begin to see this, then our lives become more and more integrated, for we realize that there is never a moment in which he is absent. What’s needed is for us to discern his sustaining presence that was with us all along.
Father, help us to embrace a life of everyday praise, seeing every moment as an invitation to encounter you afresh, through Christ our Lord. Amen.
In what ways might God be inviting you today into a life of everyday praise?
Gas Street Music, Taku Mudere, Zo Chilengwe: Thanksgiving (Live)
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