2/17/19 - Thankful Nations
“Therefore I will give thanks to You, O Lord, among the Gentiles, And sing praise to Your name.” (Psalms 18:49)
We have every reason to be thankful to God for His goodness. Jesus came to serve the Jews to confirm the promises made to their fathers. That includes the fact that through the Seed of Abraham all nations of the earth would be blessed (Romans 4:16; Galatians 3:16). For this reason, people of every nation and tongue should give praise to God for the wonderful salvation we can have in Jesus. The apostle Paul refers to the passage above as the motive for the Gentiles (literally: nations) to glorify God for His mercy (Romans 15:9).
Since the gospel is the power of God for salvation to the Jew first, and also to the Gentile (Romans 1:16), we have a privilege and an obligation to be proper stewards of that message which has been put in our trust. God did not deliver the gospel through His heavenly angels, but through ordinary people like us. It is the work and responsibility of every Christian to carry that message forward.
The gospel is not just for us. When we look at the people of the world all around us, we see people who worship one or many so-called gods who have no hope, because they do not know the true God who came to earth to be our Savior and Lord. It is only through Jesus that the world can be saved (John 3:16; Acts 4:12). Sometimes we get discouraged by the rise of Islam, Hinduism, Mormonism, Wicca, and other religions and cults gaining so many followers. Sometimes we forget that God loves these people too and wants them to be saved. He wants them to share the joy of Jesus and give thanks for salvation with us.
One of the great things about being a Christian is seeing the national diversity of Christianity. Although our preachers and missionaries must carefully guard against “Americanizing” converts instead of “Christianizing” them, there is still a common bond that unites us in the love of God. Our songs sound different. Our meeting places may be quite different. The order of service in worship may vary. Yet, we still sing and pray and give. We still preach the saving message of the cross. We still eat at the Lord’s Table on the first day of every week. In spite of our national or cultural differences, we are one Body, united by one God, with one Head Jesus Christ.
Let the nations give thanks for the Lord our Savior is good!