Thankful to God (Psalm 106:1)

Main Idea: God is awesome and worthy to be praised!

Text:

We’re going to focus this morning on how God is awesome and worthy to be praised!

PRAISE BATTLE GAME: I need a few volunteers to play a game. Your goal is to take turns complimenting each other. You can’t repeat a compliment. If you get stuck, and can’t think of one, you’re going to pull out a piece of paper and complete the compliment before your opponent can complete it. (Things like “Your nose is…”) Use a chess clock or something like that to give each person a time limit.

We might run out of reasons to compliment each other, but there are unending reasons to praise God. And they basically all come down to how God is awesome and worthy to be praised.

The first verse of the Bible gives us a ton of information about how awesome God is. It’s one of the most well-known verses in all of the Bible, for good reason. So I need someone to quote it for us this morning. Genesis 1:1.

In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. (Genesis 1:1)

Yeah, that’s right. In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. So, who existed before the beginning? Yeah, God. In order to create everything in the beginning, God had to exist before the beginning. He’s outside of time as we know it. And what did He create? Yeah. He created the heavens and the earth. He created everything!

COOL CREATIONS: About an hour ago, I gave two of our most brilliant minds in this room a mission, to make something awesome out of these materials.

[Picture of materials]

Let’s see what they came up with! Ok, so what is this and what does it do? [They show and tell]

Everyone turn to Genesis chapter 1. I want you to start reading it to yourself, and anytime you read something that God made, just shout it out, and we’ll make a list. [Write on dry-erase board]

Our most brilliant minds made these things out of the things I gave them. But God made everything out of nothing. He didn’t start with any pre-existing materials because there wasn’t anything before He started making everything!

God created light, and land, and animals, and everything we see on the earth and in the sky. But Genesis 1 isn’t just a history lesson. It’s history, but it’s not just history. It’s much more than that. It’s a song. It has stanzas. It has repetition. It even has what the Hebrews would have considered a type of rhyme and rhythm. It’s a song.

And as a song, Genesis 1 is meant to overwhelm you with God’s power and beauty and divine nature in creating all things.

We’re going to try something. There are paper and pens in your pews. Grab one of each of those, and write on the paper, “God is…” or “The Lord is…” and then complete the sentence with a word or a few words that describe God.

[The Lord is _____]

Just use the greatest words you can think of. It can be, “God is perfect,” or “The Lord is flawless.” For mine, I wrote: “The Lord is the most awesome ever.”

[The Lord is the most awesome ever.]

So go ahead and do that. And it’s okay to steal mine. That’s fine.

Now for the next line, write something God has done. It can be something like, “He sent Jesus to die for me” or “He created the heavens and earth.” Mine is, “He created the earth with a song.”

[He created the earth with a song.]

And, once again, it’s perfectly okay to copy after me if you want. Don’t overthink it. Whatever pops into your head.

For the third line, write your response to the first two lines. You can write something like, “So I will forever praise Him” or “So I will rest in His grace.” I wrote, “So I will sing with the earth in thanksgiving.”

[So I will sing with the earth in thanksgiving.]

Finally, for the last line, this is either the hardest line or the easiest line. The hardest thing to do would be to rhyme the second line in a way that brings everything together. So for mine, I could say something like, “Because I know He is mighty and strong.” That’s the hard way. But the easy thing to do would be to simply repeat the second line. I could say, “He created the earth with a song” again. I’m actually going to tweak it just slightly, and say, “He created my life with a song.”

[He created my life with a song.]

Several of the psalms encourage us to sing a new song to the Lord. Sometimes we take that to mean, “Sing the newer songs that you hear on the radio.” But this morning, we all wrote new songs to God.

[play and sing a few of them]

All of this is simply to point out that Genesis 1 is a song of praise, meant to overwhelm us with God’s power, beauty, and divine nature. And that ought to be obvious. When we look around the world, we see evidence of God’s power and beauty everywhere. That’s what Paul tells us creation is all about.

Someone stand up and read Romans 1:19-20 for us. Real loud.

For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse. (Romans 1:19-20)

It’s like this.

[Monkey Business Illusion video]

It’s so easy to miss something so obvious when you’re looking for something else. When you’re looking for the basketball, you can miss the gorilla. When you’re looking for the gorilla, you can miss other things. When you’re looking for whatever you’re looking for in life (money, success, whatever), you can miss God, even when all the world sings His praise.

Yeah, so Genesis 1 isn’t just a history lesson. It’s to show us God’s divine nature. It’s to show us that He’s good and powerful and beautiful. And that’s plain to us if we would just look around at the world that God’s made. All that God has made testifies to how awesome God is.

We can ask the fish, and the birds, and the islands. Everything around us tells us how awesome God is.

So our theme verse for all of VBS is Psalm 106:1.

Praise the Lord!
Oh give thanks to the Lord, for he is good,
for his steadfast love endures forever! (Psalm 106:1)

This is a great verse because it reminds us to be thankful to God. Being thankful itself is a great practice, but even more so, important to be thankful to God.

The verse begins by calling us to praise the Lord. It simply says:

Praise the Lord! (Psalm 106:1a)

We praise God because of who He is and what He’s done.

Then it tells us to give thanks to the Lord. I want you to make a list of things you’re thankful for. Here are some suggestions (put them on the screens).

[Thankful suggestions]

But I want you to make a list that’s unique to you. Make a list of the top 10 things you’re thankful for. And as you make that list, pray, thanking God for each of them.

Every good and perfect gift is from above. So let’s take time right now to thank God for everything good He gives us.

Pray

Psalm 106:1 continues:

Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good. (Psalm 106:1b)

So, summing up a lot of the reasons that we’re thankful, we’re really thankful because God is good. I don’t know where it started, but there’s a simple conversation that goes like this. “God is good.” “All the time.” “And all the time,” “God is good.”

What does it mean that God is good? People answer. Yeah, “God is good” means that even when we don’t understand it, God has a good and perfect reason for all that He does.

It’s like this.

[Cutting Room floor clip 1]

That’s a clip from a short film called, “The Cutting Room Floor.” The man in that video doesn’t seem very good, does he? What could possibly justify his actions? But sometimes things can look pretty bad until we learn the whole story.

[Cutting Room floor clip 2]

Sometimes we can be confused about some of God’s actions. Why does He allow us to endure pain? Why did He allow and even command the deaths of so many people in the Old Testament? Those kinds of things have caused many people to deny that God is good. But I’m convinced it’s just because we don’t know the whole story. Because in the end, God will make everything new, and everything will be very good.

Finally, the end of verse 6 gives us one more reason to be thankful to God, which is definitely related to everything we’ve been talking about so far. It says:

His steadfast love endures forever! (Psalm 106:1c)

This is an awesome, awesome truth. God’s love never comes to an end. He will always, always love you.

Now, this doesn’t give us permission to disobey Him, but even when we do disobey Him, God still loves us.

God is awesome and worthy to be praised!

Pastor Chris Huff

Pastor Chris Huff has been with us since July 2009.  He and his wife, Abby, have four children.  Chris is originally from St. Louis, MO and even though he was raised as a city boy, he has a small town heart. Chris is all over the internet, so you can find him on Facebook, Twitter,… (read more)

Bible Passages: Psalm 106:1
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