Sunday Devotional: Colossians 3:14-17

“Above all, put on love—the perfect bond of unity.  And let the peace of the Messiah, to which you were also called in one body, control your hearts. Be thankful.  Let the message about the Messiah dwell richly among you, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, and singing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs, with gratitude in your hearts to God.  And whatever you do, in word or in deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.”  (Colossians 3:14-17)

Paul, in his letter to the Colossians, was always one to encourage.  Here he encouraged them to be about love.  Love towards one another and love to those around them.  This love is possible because of what Jesus was doing in and through them.  Because of Jesus, we are able to love.  We are able to be united.  We are able to be thankful.  We are able to sing.

Paul also tells the Colossians that “whatever” they do, they should do it in Jesus’ name.  Because He should be all about what we say and do.  This week, let us be about that as well.  Let us love and encourage one another.  Let us in whatever we say and do, do it for the glory of God because of Jesus.

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Sunday Devotional: Psalm 103:1-5

“Bless the Lord, O my soul,
    and all that is within me,
    bless his holy name!
Bless the Lord, O my soul,
    and forget not all his benefits,
who forgives all your iniquity,
    who heals all your diseases,
who redeems your life from the pit,
    who crowns you with steadfast love and mercy,
who satisfies you with good
    so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.” (Psalm 103:1-5)

In this time of Thanksgiving, we are reminded of what all we are thankful.  As followers of Jesus, we have a lot to be thankful for everyday.  Here in a portion of Psalm 103, David shares several of those things that He is thankful for that God has done.  He is thankful for the redemption that comes from the Lord.  He is thankful that God heals.  He is thankful that God rescues us and that God shows us great love and mercy.

All these things that God has shown to David, He shows to us as well.  We should, like David, sing out about God’s faithfulness and lovingkindess.  How He has redeemed us and given us new life.  How He has given us hope and salvation.  This week, let us continue to be thankful and grateful for all that God has done for us and continues to do for us through Jesus Christ.

Thursday Quote Day: George Matheson

For this week’s “Thursday Quote Day” and to celebrate Thanksgiving, here is a quote from Scottish minister George Matheson:

“My God, I have never thanked Thee for my ‘thorn!’ I have thanked Thee a thousand times for my roses, but never once for my ‘thorn;’ I have been looking forward to a world where I shall get compensation for my cross as itself a present glory. Teach me the glory of my cross; teach me the value of my ‘thorn.’ Show me that I have climbed to Thee by the path of pain. Show me that my tears have made my rainbow.”  (George Matheson)

Sunday Devotional: Psalm 43

Vindicate me, O God, and defend my cause
    against an ungodly people,
from the deceitful and unjust man
    deliver me!
For you are the God in whom I take refuge;
    why have you rejected me?
Why do I go about mourning
    because of the oppression of the enemy?

Send out your light and your truth;
    let them lead me;
let them bring me to your holy hill
    and to your dwelling!
Then I will go to the altar of God,
    to God my exceeding joy,
and I will praise you with the lyre,
    O God, my God.

Why are you cast down, O my soul,
    and why are you in turmoil within me?
Hope in God; for I shall again praise him,
    my salvation and my God.”  (Psalm 43)

There are times when we get discouraged.  There are times when we feel beat down by life.  We feel cast down.  We feel in turmoil.  But the good news is we don’t have to be alone in this.  We can turn to God.  He can give us refuge in those tough times.  He can comfort in those times of mourning.  He can lift us up when we feel cast down.  He can give us peace when we are in turmoil.

We can hope in God.  We can praise God because of this.  He gives us salvation.  He gives us rest.  This week, no matter what you’re going through, you can hope in God.  Give thanks for Him and who He is and what He has done and will do.

Sunday Devotional: Ezra 3:10-11

“And when the builders laid the foundation of the temple of the Lord, the priests in their vestments came forward with trumpets, and the Levites, the sons of Asaph, with cymbals, to praise the Lord, according to the directions of David king of Israel.  And they sang responsively, praising and giving thanks to the Lord,

“For he is good,
    for his steadfast love endures forever toward Israel.”

And all the people shouted with a great shout when they praised the Lord, because the foundation of the house of the Lord was laid.”  (Ezra 3:10-11)

The Israelites were in exile, away from their homeland.  Then, they were allowed to go home and slowly but surely groups of people began to go home.  With this began the rebuilding of lives and family in what was to them the promised land.  This included rebuilding of the temple.  When they had laid the foundation for the temple, they took time to sing praises to the Lord.  They had a lot to be thankful for as they had endured so much.  But God was always there and God provided for them in exile and when they returned back home.

It is good to remember and be thankful for all that God has done.  When we go through tough times and get beaten down, it’s good to praise God for helping us get through it.  As the foundation for a new year approaches, let us give thanks for all that God is done and all he will do.

Sunday Devotional: Hebrews 13:8

“Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.”  (Hebrews 13:8)

It has been said that one constant in life is that everything changes.  Circumstances change.  We change.  As time goes by, things change.  However, one thing that doesn’t change is Jesus.  He never changes.  We can trust that He will always be there.  That He will always be faithful.  That He will always be true to His word.  In this season of Thanksgiving, that is something to truly be thankful for.