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Saints Cornelius, Pope, and Cyprian, Bishop, Martyrs
Enter his gates with thanksgiving! (Psalm 100:4)
Make a joyful noise to the Lord! Serve him with gladness. Come to him today and every day singing, thanking, praising, and blessing him. This is such a lovely psalm of praise, isn’t it? And at its center stands the one truth that is an unshakable foundation for all of our praise: the Lord is God, and we are his people. We belong to a God who is good, a God whose love for us never wavers. He is always on our side. He is always rooting for us. He continues to love us and support us without tiring. He is vigorous and changeless in his commitment to us.
But what about us, the sheep of his flock? Sheep are wooly wonders that trot faithfully alongside their shepherd—or wander away, heedless of the shepherd. It is said that, given an unlimited food source, sheep will eat until they die or until their shepherd pens them up. They can agitate each other until group panic sets in, yet without the group, they are defenseless against predators. That’s not a bad description of us, is it? Sometimes faithful, sometimes wandering. Sometimes gorging ourselves, occasionally requiring restraint. Egging each other on until fear or fighting breaks out, yet vitally in need of each other.
Through it all, God is unfailingly good. He knows exactly how he made you. He knows your strengths and weaknesses, your hopes and dreams, your fears and expectations. He knows your thoughts and your words even before you do. He knows everything about you—and still he loves you. He is good to his people. He is good. Always!
This is why the psalmist urges us to approach the Lord with gladness, singing our thanks and praise for his unwavering love. Your God loves you. He loves to give you good things. He loves you so much that sometimes he restrains you. He calms you when panic strikes, and he will always defend you against whatever might prey on your soul. He is the Good Shepherd who calls you by name. So sing joyfully to him! Praise and thank him for his kindness and faithfulness to you!
“God, you are good! When I wander, you remain faithful. When I follow, you lavish kindness on me. I praise you for your constant goodness!”
1 Corinthians 12:12-14, 27-31; Luke 7:11-17
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