Scripture Reading: Psalm 147:10-11
He is not impressed by the strength of a horse; He does not value the power of a man. The Lord values those who fear Him, those who put their hope in His faithful love.”
(Psalms 147:10-11 HCSB)
As humans we have the tendency to focus on our personal strengths and weaknesses. We tend to accept others based on their level of talent and abilities. We are impressed with those who are highly talented and who have charismatic personalities. However, God is not impressed. He is not concerned with your abilities or your personality or your looks. He does not value the power of a man. What God does value are those who trust in Him and who are faithful. You see, you do not have to have a certain amount of talent or ability to serve the Lord. God is not looking for the most talented, He is looking for the faithful. There is something to be said about faithfully following the Lord day by day. Those whom God values are those who are faithful to spend time with Him in His Word and in prayer. God values those who are faithful to serve in and through the local church no matter how inadequate they may feel. God is looking for the faithful, are you one whom God is looking for?
What God is saying to me: Don’t get caught up in what man can do. Trust in me and stay faithful, and I will use you in mighty ways.
What I should do today: Be faithful in the little things and trust in the Lord.
Scripture Reading: Proverbs 14:15-35
The blessings of God are upon people groups who live according to the wisdom of God’s Word. Those who ignore God’s Word and live according to their own man-made standards will find themselves trapped in wickedness and sin. There is a curse that comes from sin. A nation that ignores God will not be at peace. As Christians, we must make sure that we ourselves are living in obedience to God’s Word. Our cumulative obedience will result in our nation being blessed. We must also pray for our nation’s leaders that they too will seek the Lord and live in obedience. A righteous nation is blessed by God. A nation that is full of wickedness will miss out on God’s blessing and will have no peace.
What is God saying to me: Make sure that you are living in obedience to My Word. The more who live in obedience, the more I will bless the nation.
What should I do today: Commit to living in obedience. Commit to praying for our nation’s leaders.
Scripture Reading: 1 Thessalonians 5:18
1 Thessalonians 5:18 says, “In everything give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.” The purpose of man is doxological. The reason for our existence is to bring glory to God. Everything that God does for us is ultimately that He may be glorified. This is also the desire of the hearts of true believers. When we think of the grace that God has bestowed upon us. When we think of the blessings He has entrusted us with. We are moved to thankfulness. God has blessed us beyond measure. Compared to many around the world, we all live in luxury. We have clothes to keep us warm. We have an over-abundance of food to eat and enjoy. We have shelter. We have a warm bed to sleep in. We are blessed with family and friends. We are blessed with a wonderful church family. We are blessed with the abundant and joyous life that is found in a relationship with Jesus Christ. We are forgiven, redeemed, justified, sanctified, liberated, and the list goes on and on. This is why we can give thanks even in the most dire of circumstances. The enjoyment of God’s grace and mercy is enough to cause us to be thankful no matter what we are going through. This may be a difficult Thanksgiving for you. You may be going through some difficult times. Don’t let your circumstance dictate your praise. Reflect and meditate on all that God is and all that has done for you. As you do, you will find your heart swelling up with gratitude and the cares and concerns you have will grow dim in the light of His glory and grace!
What is God saying to me: It is my will for your life that you be a thankful person.
What should I do today: Meditate on all that God has done for me. Focus on God’s blessings instead of my circumstances.
Scripture Reading: Romans 7:14-25
We all struggle with sin. We all struggle with doing what is right. In our workaholic culture, we have developed the mindset that the more we do, the more pleasing we are to God. We tend to think that the more we serve God, the more we are accepted by God. There is also this notion that we have to work hard to do good; to keep ourselves from sin. Yes, there is discipline involved in living for Christ. We do need to practice basic spiritual disciplines in order to keep ourselves pure and to stay close to Christ. However, the focus should not be on the doing, but on the being. In other words, if you find yourself trying so hard to be and do good and you keep failing, then stop trying. In our scripture reading, Paul talks about the struggle of living the Christian life. The key to getting through the struggle is to stop trying to live the Christian life and just be who you are in Christ. If we focus on the being rather than the doing, then the doing will take care of itself. Allow God to change you from the inside out. Surrender all to Him. Focus on what it means to be a child of God. Focus on being who you are in Christ rather than trying to do what you think Christians ought to do. When you focus on being rather than doing, your life will gradually change and you will become more and more like Jesus.
What God is saying to me: I have given you the Holy Spirit to help you in this life. I have made you a new creation in Christ. Stop trying to do good in your own efforts. Trust me. Let me work in you.
What should I do today: Focus on being rather then doing.
Scripture Reading: Psalm 64
Psalm 64 speaks concerning those who seek to destroy us with their tongues. Words can certainly do a lot of damage. Gossip, slander, rumors; all are very destructive. How do we respond when we are the subject of such attacks? Do we intervene? Do we attempt to defend ourselves? Do we go on the offensive and attack in retaliation? Psalm 64 tells us that God will fight the battle for us. We do not ignore the situation. However, we respond in prayer. We go before the Lord and ask Him to silent the mouths of our attackers. We respond in love by not holding grudges and treating everyone with respect. We focus on doing what is right and stay faithful to our mission and purpose. We need not waste our time responding to those who verbally attack us. We simply let God go before us. We need not to defend ourselves. We respond with good works and with prayer.
What is God saying to me: When people attack you with their words, respond in love with good works and with prayer. Do not worry what man may do to you. I will fight for you.
What should I do today: Let God fight my battles for me.
Scripture Reading: Proverbs 14:12-14
Mankind has a underlining problem. We are filled with selfishness and pride. In many ways we are all like teenagers who think they know everything. However, such an attitude brings only sorrow, loneliness, unsatisfaction, and death. In order to rid ourselves of our pride and selfishness, we must humble ourselves before God. We must confess to Him our sin and beg for His mercy. Then, we must learn to trust in God totally and completely. We must learn that God knows what is best for us. Living life on our own will always fail. However, when we surrender our life over to God, then life is much more meaningful and satisfying.
What is God saying to me:
I know what is best for your life. I know you better than you know yourself. Trust me and I will show you the right way.
What should I do today:
Be aware of all the times I try to live life on my own. Learn from those mistakes and surrender all to God, knowing that He knows what is best for me.
Scripture Reading: Proverbs 14:5-11
A scorner is one who mocks or makes light of something. It is one who has a hard time taking anything seriously. A scorner is also one who is highly skeptical. Such a person will seek after wisdom but will not find it. Instead, they become foolish. Since they are foolish, they make a mockery of sin. They do not understand the seriousness of sin. They laugh at those who stand for what is true and right. The scorner will not be able to stand when trouble comes. They will coward and fall when the pressure of life weighs heavy upon them. The way of the scorner leads to destruction. Don’t be a scorner. The Word of God is a serious matter. It should not be taken lightly. The preaching of God’s Word is also a serious matter. Do not allow yourself to be filled with skepticism. Be open to God’s Word. Respond to it. Obey it. Don’t mock God’s Word by living in disobedience or by questioning the validity of the Word. Be careful to accept God’s Word for what it says. Do not mock those who hold to a high view of scripture, for you should follow their example. Be wise and accept God’s Word and you will have knowledge. Continue to be skeptical of God’s Word and you will lack knowledge and will become a fool.
What is God saying to me:
I have seen you mock my Word many times. You hear my Word, yet you turn away and do not listen and obey. I forgive you. My desire for you is far greater than you can ever imagine. I have a storehouse of knowledge and wisdom reserved for you. That storehouse is found in the pages of scripture.
What should I do today:
Don’t be so skeptical of God’s Word and those who preach it. Listen to the Word. Obey the Word.