West End Assembly of God
Thursday, November 26, 2015
Daily Devotional Guide
DAILY DEVOTIONS – November 23-28, 2015
Coming in January- Comparative Religions: Christianity and Islam. Wednesdays at 7pm with teaching team Pastor Marlyn DeFoggi, Rev. Graham Green, & our own Peyton Harris
MONDAY, Nov. 23– I Thessalonians 5:18–Give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.
It can be difficult to give thanks in all circumstances. What about the car wreck, the sick child, the financial loss? Notice the scripture says to give thanks “in all circumstances” not “for all circumstances.” Life comes prepackaged with trouble (Job 5:7). James 1:2-3 calls us to respond with joy. How is that possible? Remember: the trials of life are temporary (II Cor. 4:17-18). God has provided the powerful tool of prayer through which He feeds us encouragement, wisdom, discernment, strength, and so much more. Learn to give thanks in spite of your problems. Turn your challenges into opportunities to discover the remarkable provisions God has made for us through Christ Jesus. Give thanks today. It is the giant doorway into God’s great room of provision.
TUESDAY, Nov. 24 – Psalm 104:34– “May my meditation be pleasing to Him, as I rejoice in the Lord.”
Do you want to inoculate yourself from selfishness? Meditate upon the Lord and praise Him. It will create a spirit of worship and position us for blessing. How simple is praise; yet how profound its effect! It is the first step toward God’s holy manifest presence. As you prepare your heart for Thanksgiving, recognize its importance in the whole scheme of life. Giving thanks is foundational for good mental health; it provides a way for us to focus on the positive aspects of life. For the follower of Jesus Christ, praise is a daily exercise that stirs faith and leads into heartfelt worship. Rejoice in the Lord today.
WEDNESDAY, Nov. 25 – Psalm 121:1-2– I lift up my eyes to the hills—where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth. The psalmist looked up at the hills where idols and shrines to false gods dotting the landscape. While others prayed to gods who could not answer, the psalmist knew the Lord Jehovah not only heard his prayers but also responded to his prayers for He is the maker of heaven and earth. Today our landscape is dotted with the gods of materialism, self-glory, carnal knowledge, and humanism. We must lift our eyes beyond them and join the psalmist in declaring that our help comes from the Lord. He is our source for everything we need. He alone is worthy of our worship, adoration, and praise. Where is your focus today? Lift up your eyes.
THURSDAY, Nov. 26 –Matthew 14:19 – And He directed the people to sit down on the grass. Taking the five loaves and the two fish and looking up to heaven, He gave thanks and broke the loaves.
Here we find Jesus giving thanks just before performing a great miracle. Thankfulness was a primary color in Christ’s life, a basic component of His existence. Once a year we celebrate Thanksgiving and it provides an opportunity for us to express appreciation to our friends and family members. Out of that expressed gratefulness grows a closer bond and a deeper sense of community. Nobody wants to be taken for granted. To be appreciated and loved is a deep human need and expressing thanks to one another helps to meet that need. As you gather for your Thanksgiving meal, take time to express appreciation to each person sitting with you. Eating delicious food together should take second-place to affirming conversations around the dinner table. Follow Jesus’ example: give thanks first, and then eat. Gratitude opens the pathway to little (and big) miracles with God and one another.
FRIDAY, Nov. 27 – Luke 17:15 – “One of them, when he saw he was healed, came back, praising God in a loud voice.”
One of the ten lepers returned to say “thank you” to the Healing Lord. Only one! Notice his response. He praised God in a “loud voice” overwhelmed with emotion. He “threw himself at Jesus’ feet and thanked Him”—an outward expression of a heart expressing more than thanksgiving, he worshipped! Notice Jesus’ personal response to this new worshiper: “Rise and go; your faith has made you well.” The others didn’t come! Preoccupied with their healing, they hurried on their way never to receive this special blessing from the Savior. Christ always has more for us that we could imagine. We are satisfied with heaven’s provisions all too quickly and hurry on our way; but when we linger to worship and adore the Giver more than the gift, we discover there is so much more that He wants to do for us. Take time to linger in Christ’s presence today.
SATURDAY, Nov. 28 – II Cor. 9:11– …your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God. God blesses us so that we can be a blessing to others. Maturing followers of Christ exhibit a spirit of generosity. They view all of life as a gift from the Lord, so they live with hands open, not fists clenched. They give because they know God will take care of them; so they are free for the Lord to use them as a source of provision for others. Through it all God receives glory. Are you a generous person? Does the grace of giving express itself through your life?
Devotions written and/or compiled by Pastor Marlyn DeFoggi