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Thank You, Lord

“O give thanks unto the LORD; for he is good; for his mercy endures forever.” (1 Chronicles 16:34)

When I was a young lad, which does not seem so long ago, I went to the court house in Hinton West Virginia with my dad. I do not remember the reason that he had to go but I went along just for the excitement of the adventure. I didn’t understand anything that was going on and I couldn’t ask questions as my dad told me I had to be quite. I noticed sitting behind the rail an older man there with his leg irons on and with a chain going up to the shackles around his hands. Every now and then he would move and the chain would clang and the judge would give him a stern look. It wasn’t too long before the judge said to the man, “You just be patient mister you’ll soon get your justice.” The man answered, “I know I’ll get justice but I came hoping for mercy.”

Mercy is something that we all need desperately. To fully understand mercy we have to realize how it relates to God’s grace. Mercy is not getting that which we deserve, punishment. Grace is getting something that we do not deserve, God’s favor. I know this because my dad was there to plead for mercy for a member of our Church who was on trial. And my dad explained that he was there to seek the judge’s grace for the Church member.

I find that the world gives little mercy even for the littlest infraction to the greatest of travesties. This is the way of the world, this is not the way it was meant to be as Jesus said, “Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy.” (Matthew 5:7) King David was a man known as one who sought the heart of God and in Chronicles we read, “for his mercy endures forever.” (1 Chronicles 16:34) King David was a blameless man but most certainly was not sinless, David knew of the enduring mercy of God.

In Psalm 136 we find 26 times David wrote, “For His mercy endures forever.” In David’s most popular Psalm we read, “Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever.” (Psalm 23:6) We serve a God that loves us so much that He shows His enduring mercy towards us each and every day of our life. We have all sinned against God, not one of us has escaped our own personal rebellion against the Word of God. Yet, God loves us so much that by His grace He has restored us to a right relationship with Him. “But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ by grace you have been saved.” (Ephesians 2:4-5)

Many in the world find God’s Word foolishness. Is it? I have imagined myself in the place of the man behind the rail in Hinton West Virginia so many years ago. I was there to face the punishment of whatever crime I had committed against society. I was guilty and I was found guilty and the judge read the verdict so all in the court room could hear. Then the people around the court room looked at me in disgust and imagined the terrible penalty that I would have to pay. Then the judge ordered me to stand before him as he pronounced the sentence that I would have to bear. “Sir,” he said, “you have been found guilty, “But just as it is written, “Things which eye has not seen and ear has not heard, And which have not entered the heart of man, All that God has prepared for those who love Him.” (1 Corinthians 2:9) This is the grace of God, to be found guilty and to be given something beyond the imagination, an inexplicable gift.

The God we serve, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, and we should enter His courts with praise and thanksgiving for His Mercy Endures towards us forever. “Enter His gates with thanksgiving And His courts with praise. Give thanks to Him, bless His name.” (Psalm 100:4)

I used to each summer with my parents go to a bible conference in Muskegon Michigan called Maranatha. At the Children’s Chapel each morning we would sing, “Thank You, Lord.” It was a song written by the married evangelistic team of Mr. and Mrs. Seth Sykes in 1940. They were from the United Kingdom and were also known here in the United States. Seth was a train conductor and in 1929 retired and he and the misses traveled throughout Brittan preaching the gospel.

Some of you may have heard the song and for those of you who have not I will share it with you now.

Thank You, Lord

Some thank the Lord for friends and home,

For mercies sure and sweet;

But I would praise Him for His grace –

In prayer I would repeat:

Some thank Him for the flowers that grow,

Some for the stars that shine;

My heart is filled with joy and praise

Because I know He’s mine.

I trust in Him from day to day,

I prove His saving grace;

I’ll sing this song of praise to Him

Until I see His face.

Chorus

Thank you, Lord, for saving my soul,

Thank you, Lord, for making me whole;

Thank you, Lord, for giving to me

Thy great salvation so rich and free.

Let us remember the words of our Lord and Savior, “Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy.” (Matthew 5:7)

Thomas N Kirkpatrick

The Bridges, Riverview, Florida, August 9, 2015

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