December 17, 2019
Gratitude is one of the most foundational components of authentic Christianity. It is the humility that recognizes that what God has done for us is undeserved. It gladly acknowledges, with an open heart and mouth, that everything we’ve received is from God. I have often said that I can tell you how proud a man is by how much or little he prays. But I can also tell you how proud a man is by how slowly he gives thanks—to others and, most importantly, to God. A humble man’s heart is so full of gratitude that it spills out without thinking.
One of the most important words in the Old Testament is the word “Checed (che-said)” It is used over 240 times. It is often translated as “lovingkindness” or “mercy.” Some translations use the phrase “steadfast love.” But, checed is more than mere love. It is a word that carries multiple thoughts. Our English language cannot capture this rich Hebrew word in a single word.
Here’s how Vines Expository Dictionary of Words describes it:
Notice the thought of God’s love, kindness, and mercy towards us carried in this single Hebrew word:
… is an amazing Psalm. The Psalmist recounts 26 different things God had done for Israel. Each statement is followed by this refrain “For His lovingkindness (checed) is everlasting.” It’s almost hard for us to read because of the redundancy of this statement. But that redundancy is the point. Every statement of what God has done for us should be followed by a humble, awe-inspired statement of gratitude.
It should be a common exercise, in fact, a daily routine, for us to recount the lovingkindness of God toward us. It would be a great and needed routine for you to sit with family or friends in prayer, rehearse what God has done and given you, and after each statement say together, “His lovingkindness (checed) is everlasting.”
I believe it’s a word we need to become familiar with. We’ll be using it often in eternity.
March 29, 2023
As a pastor for the last 55 years, I have had the joy of being encouraged and blessed and prayed for by so many people. It is what carries you in your task of shepherding people. As I look back over five decades of ministry, their love has dramatically enriched my life.
But also, a pastor leads. And when anyone leads, there are almost always some who disagree.
March 28, 2023
March 27, 2023