Week of Oct 8th

Gratitude is how we embrace grace face to face.  When we neglect to give thanks, we miss out on the best of God’s blessings:  a personal relationship of joy and peace.  When we pause to give thanks to the One who blesses us generously, we see God’s possibilities for abundant and eternal life.  Here are some passages about gratitude.

 PRAYER – God, you are the source of every good and perfect gift.  Open my eyes to see the signs and evidences of your grace every day, in Jesus’ name.  Amen. 

Monday – Psalm 77

This is one of my favorites.  Compare the tone of the first few verses with verses 13-15.  What has changed?  I think the key is verses 11 & 12.  What if you and I made that decision every day?  How would choosing gratitude change our attitude?

Tuesday – Psalm 100

Every time I visited Aunt Orie, she would recite this Psalm from memory.  I realize that it is a short psalm, but Aunt Orie was 100 years old.  Maybe that’s how you live to 100?  She may have forgotten many other things, but she remembered how to focus her faith on gratitude to God for her life of many blessings.  Gratitude is an attitude we choose.

Wednesday – Acts 16:16-34

The authorities treated Paul and Silas badly, even illegally.  So Paul and Silas are buried in a dungeon with little hope. What do they do?  It’s not the first thing that comes to my mind. But when we choose the attitude of faith in God, spectacular things can happen.  How will you choose gratitude today?

Thursday – Acts 2:41-47

This must have been a powerful experience – the fire of the Holy Spirit infecting every believer.  And one of the characteristics of this transforming experience is that the whole community gathered in praise and thanksgiving.  Is it that they were thankful that new people joined the group or is it that new people joined the group because they were thankful?  Things that make you go “Hmmm!”

Friday – Ephesians 5:15-21

Paul teaches the saints in Ephesus to “give thanks always and everywhere.”  Is this possible?  Yes, if you read verse 18 first, “Don’t be drunk with wine which leads to reckless actions, but be filled by the Spirit.”  When we focus on the power and presence of God’s Spirit, we will see God work in miraculous ways.  Give thanks!

Saturday – Philippians 4:1-9

This sounds like a great pep talk, until we realize that Paul is likely in prison spending his last days.  In the midst of tragic and trying cirucmstances, Paul chooses gratitude and joy.  Gratitude is an attitude we can choose no matter what the situation.  Where do you need to choose gratitude today?

Week of October 1st

What comes after we say, “I believe in Jesus?”  Is that all there is or is there more?  God’s hopes and dreams for us are a journey towards blessing.  We do not arrive in one or two steps.  We grow into abundant life, full and free.  Here are some passages that teach us about worship, joy, and hope.

PRAYER – Lord, send your Holy Spirit to enlighten my mind, strengthen my hands, and encourage my heart so I may faithfully live my life for you.  Amen.

Monday – Isaiah 6:1-8

Isaiah was probably a priest, perhaps doing his usual routine when something spectacular interrupted his day.  Not every moment of worship is like this, but it was because he was in worship that he heard the call.  Can you identify the four movements:  vss 1-4, vs 5, vss 6 & 7, and verse 8?  What was Isaiah experiencing?  Does worship mean this for you?

Tuesday – Revelation 4

John has a vision of worship in heaven.  It is an incredible experience.  What is the focus of worship?  How do they express their worship?  Is this dependent on the place, time, and style of worship?  How can you worship this way?

Wednesday – 1 John 1:1-10

Why does the author write these things (vs 4)?  It is so easy in our busy, topsy, turvy world to get buried under “stuff.”  All we do is put one foot in front of the next, and never really “enjoy” the gift of life.  But Jesus came to give life – abundant life.  What in this passage can bring joy to our lives?

Thursday – Romans 14:13-23

We are not the first generation to live in controversy.  It goes way back.  Even though we may not appreciate the issue in Paul’s day, his guidance is still valuable.  What does he advise?  What is the most important guiding principle?  Where will this lead us (vs 17)?  Can this work today?

Friday – Psalm 42

Here is some poetry from “prose-flattened” lives.  This is not an example of a “care bears perfect world.”  This author is frustrated, facing difficulty.  Yet, there is hope.  Why?  How does this writer’s faith encourage our hopes in frustrating times today?


Saturday – Romans 8:18-30

One can spend a life time in the 8th chapter of Romans.  It is not merely surviving the challenges of life, but discovering how to thrive in the challenges of life.  In what ways does Paul teach us how to thrive in the challenges of life?  How does faith in Jesus Christ lead us there?  If you need a boost, read the rest of the chapter.