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9:45 am Sunday School
10:45 am Sunday Worship

Echo Evangelique

(590AM WEZE Boston)
Saturday 9:00-10:00PM
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Thursday 8:00-9:00PM


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TV Channel 23
Sunday 7:00-8:00AM

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7:30pm Bible Study
8:30am Bible Study
Sunday School
9:45am  10:30am

The year in review

Part I

Text: Psalm 136

Key Concepts:

  • God’s blessings reveal his everlasting grace and mercy towards us.
  • Every Christian has a history of deliverance by God similarly to Israel.
  • Counting our past blessings should me us thankful to God.

            One of the shows we enjoy during the end of the year time is the year in review. It is a collection of the most remarkable events, situations, accomplishment of the year. It helps us reconsider and realize how amazing the year has truly been. Some find joy and hope in reviewing these moments, others sadness and fear; and some respond with cynicism and indifference. These segments always overlook God, his grace and mercy, as if these events happen solely by the might of men. This cause them to conclude that all praise belongs to men. This year-in-review sermon, contrarily to the world’s perspective, we appraise the year in the light of a biblical pattern. This pattern will lead to one conclusion, all these things happen because God is good, and his mercy endures forever. This should lead us to give thanks to God. It is a familiar refrain for Israel and has become so for the rest of us Christians as well, to “Praise God for his mercy endures forever.” This refrain is found throughout Scripture, both the Old and New Testament (2 Chron. 7, Ps 107, 118).

            Psalm 136 provides us with a pattern, a reason and purpose for praising God. The pattern moves from the general to the specific; it is an overview of who God is, an outline of God’s provision for his children, it is about God’s miraculous interventions on behalf of his children, how he removed obstacles from their paths and destroy all oppositions to the fulfillment of his promises to them. There are elements of praise specific to the children of Israel but also general praises; for, by his universal grace the whole creation, saved and unsaved, enjoy his blessings simply because He is good, and his lovingkindness endures forever. We thank God for general goodness manifested in creation, even how he takes care of the wicked though they are not thankful for what they enjoy. We praise God for what he has done for us, specifically and individually, we also give thanks for those who are ungrateful because his mercy sustains the world.

            In considering the specific deliverance of Israel, the various interventions of God for their sake outlined in the psalm, and in looking at his many provisions; it should cause us to ponder on our own history with God, using theirs as blueprint. What about your own walk in the wilderness with him? We each have a personal history with God, beyond that we have a common one through Christ. Consider, similarly to Israel, how God handled your rebellion, your times of distress, how he’s intervened for you. We see in the psalm, that the refrain of thanksgiving is present after each act of merciful intervention. This refrain is to say amen, to say ‘I agree;’ it is not a vain repetition but an acknowledgement of what is being said. As you read this psalm, think back on your own circumstances, your children, your own story replace the interventions to Israel with your name and your own family; the conclusion will be same.

            There is evident theology in this psalm. It shows who God is and how we should view his work and what it reveals about God. Understanding the content of the psalm should lead us to its application by asking: what of the many great things he’s done for Israel? What difference does that make? The conclusion then is that his faithfulness to Israel is the same he shows each of us. That same refrain they were able to sing, we can sing as well; because God has not changed. He’s not treated me any differently than Israel. The command and reason to give thanks to God applies to us as well. With thanksgiving, your complaints and anxiety will decrease while your gratefulness and joy will increase. Because in counting your blessings, you will discover that you have more reasons to give thanks than to complain. Unless your heart is hardened, unless you are bitter and have then let your issues keep you blind to your marvelous history with God. Simply count your blessings of this year, and you will experience thanksgiving and joy.

            The technical aspect of the psalm discloses a sandwich-like structure, with a top layer, a bottom one and everything else in the middle.  Consider the first three verses as the top. For everything in the middle to have meaning, you must understand the top and bottom parts. The bottom layer starts with verse twenty-six. Evidently the first reason we give thanks to God is not because of what he has done but simply because he is who he is; because He is Lord, God, Lord of lords. Everything in the middle is the evidence, the consequence, the result of who he is. If then, you don’t acknowledge who he is first, then the sandwich will have no taste. Nothing in the middle makes sense or is important without the top and bottom of the sandwich. Acknowledging who God is will not only provide you with reasons to be thankful and to praise him but is also essential in shaping our worship of him.  Your worship, the way you present yourself to the Lord, the way you pray reveal your knowledge of God. If your worship is shallow and is only based on your emotions, if your thanksgiving is superficial, it is simply because you do not know who he is. Our thanksgiving begins with knowing who God is, it takes the knowledge of God by the study of his word and the application of that word that comes through your experience with him.

            His lovingkindness, which the manifestation of what he does, follows his mercy. There is difference between being good and doing good. You can be pressured to do good or have done good out of ulterior motives, but God does good because he is good. The primary source of our blessings flows from God’s intrinsic moral goodness, his very nature, which is related to his holiness. His goodness, holiness, and righteousness go hand in hand. If you have forgotten all your blessings, you can still thank God because he is good. Maybe your year has been painful and difficult, remember even when he allows his children to experience the evil of this world; God has way to working everything to the good of his child (Rom. 8:28). We can always look at Christ and realize just how good God is. We celebrate his love, kindness, provision, deliverance, guidance; we do so because we know he is good. When you look back, consider what happens to those who don’t have him. Mercy means God has a covenant with his people because of his unending goodness. Mercy in Latin has two parts, pity and heart, it means because of God’s compassionate heart, he does give us what we deserve but instead blesses with grace. Because of grace we are still here despite of our rebellion, the enemy and all our limitations and weaknesses. O give thanks to the Lord for his mercy is indeed everlasting.

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Roslindale, MA 02131
Phone: 617-323-3107
Fax: 617-323-3165
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Every Sunday at 10:45am