Stories 1 to 3 of 813

Expressions of Thanksgiving - Thanksgiving Devotional - Nov. 27

Upon receiving a present, we ordinarily thank the giver. This should be true of divine gifts as well.

  Expressions of Thanksgiving – Ephesians 5:15-20   Upon receiving a present, we ordinarily thank the giver. This should be true of divine gifts as well. God tells us that all good gifts are from Him (James 1:17). What’s more, He instructs us to “always [give] thanks for all things” (Ephesians 5:20). But how can we adequately express our gratitude to the Lord? Give thanks with sound. We can speak of our gratitude to the Lord in private or in public. Thanksgiving can also be conveyed through music—Jonah 2:9 says, “But I, with a song of thanksgiving, will sacrifice to you” (niv). God delights in heartfelt gratitude expressed musically, whether through informal singing or in choirs and orchestras. Give thanks by living holy lives. As a response to God’s goodness and faithfulness, we should honor Him with our obedience. Paul expressed it this way: “Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship.” (Romans 12:1). Give thanks through generosity. If we’re truly grateful for what we receive, we’ll gladly share our time, money, gifts, and resources. It is easy to become possessive of what we deem ours, forgetting that it is actually from God; then, with an attitude of selfishness, we might hold His blessings tightly. What we should do, however, is give back to the Lord joyfully. How do you express your gratitude to God? Take time today to identify some of ... read more

Choose Praise - Girlfriends in God - November 25, 2014

No matter what crisis we find ourselves facing, we are to choose to give God praise.

November 25, 2014 Choose Praise Mary Southerland Today’s Truth Give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus (1 Thessalonians 5:18, NIV). Friend to Friend Our grandson Justus participated in his first 3K race last month. Justus is five years old. I am in awe of him at this point in life for many reasons, but running a 3K? Wow! Our daughter Danna and her husband Sam were running the race for a local charity and Justus wanted to run the race with them. Danna and Sam were skeptical. “Son, there is a special race for all of the kids. Don’t you want to do that? Hudson is going to run that race, and he will need your help,” they explained. Yep. They played the Hudson card. Hudson is two years old and thinks his big brother Justus is the neatest thing since sliced bread. Justus and Hudson really are best friends. And Justus is his brother’s biggest cheerleader in life. When Danna suggested that Justus might want to help his brother, she thought that would settle the issue. It didn’t. Justus thought for a moment. “Yes, Mommy. I want to do that race with Hudson, but I want to do the big race, too!” Danna said he was very serious, so she tried another approach as she explained, “Buddy, it is a very, very long way to run. Your legs are going to get so tired! Mommy and Daddy really want to run ... read more

Why Does God Choose Some and Reject Others? - The Quest for Answers - Week of Nov. 24

A completely satisfactory answer to this question is elusive because God's choice is mysterious from our perspective.

Why does God choose some and reject others? Verse: Psalms 78:67-68 A completely satisfactory answer to this question is elusive because God’s choice is mysterious from our perspective. However, we can identify several factors: The transfer of favor from Ephraim to Judah may reveal God’s punishing hand as well his grace. After all, the sanctuary at Shiloh in the hill country of Ephraim was full of corruption and incompetence. The sons of the high priest did not treat God’s ark with respect but as a mere magic charm. There is little question that the destruction of Shiloh was an act of God’s anger (see Ps 78:56–64). It was Israel’s unfaithfulness and misuse of God’s blessings that led to the capture of the ark of the covenant by the Philistines (see Ps 78:60–61; 1Sa 4:11). It was the presumption and disobedience of the people themselves that removed the symbol of God’s presence and blessing from Shiloh. And it was David, trusting in God, who defeated the Philistines and eventually brought the ark to Jerusalem (see 2Sa 5:17–25; 6:17). Still, the broader question of God’s choice remains. The apostle Paul discussed it by examining God’s relationship with Jacob and Esau. His conclusion was that humans are limited in what they can understand about an incomprehensible God: “I will have mercy on whom I have mercy and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion” (Ro 9:15). This devotion is from The Quest Study Bible by Zondervan. Used with permission. read more