Thursday Quote Day: Billy Graham

This week’s “Thursday Quote Day” feature a quote from evangelist and preacher Billy Graham:

“Even when life may be difficult, we should thank God for all He does for us which we do not deserve.” (Billy Graham)

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: Colossians 1:3-8

“We always thank God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, when we pray for you,  since we heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and of the love that you have for all the saints,  because of the hope laid up for you in heaven. Of this you have heard before in the word of the truth, the gospel,  which has come to you, as indeed in the whole world it is bearing fruit and increasing—as it also does among you, since the day you heard it and understood the grace of God in truth,  just as you learned it from Epaphras our beloved fellow servant. He is a faithful minister of Christ on your behalf and has made known to us your love in the Spirit.”  (Colossians 1:3-8)

Encouraging one another is so important.  Paul knew this very well.  He was greatly encouraged by the Colossians and their faith.  They heard the Gospel, received it and shared it with others.  They trusted in Jesus and was faithful in following Him and their testimony showed that.  Paul loved to hear this news and encouraged Him to continue to be faithful.

Life is tough.  There are definitely times where there are struggles and hardships.  There are times when one gets beat down.  But the great thing is that God is there.  There is that hope that comes from trusting in Him.  No matter what, He’s there.  I’m grateful for that and I want others to experience that as well.

This week let us be thankful for God’s faithfulness.  Let us be thankful of the hope of salvation.  And let us share that hope with others.

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: Psalm 95:1-7a

“Come, let us shout joyfully to the Lord,
shout triumphantly to the rock of our salvation!
Let us enter His presence with thanksgiving;
let us shout triumphantly to Him in song.

For the Lord is a great God,
a great King above all gods.
The depths of the earth are in His hand,
and the mountain peaks are His.
The sea is His; He made it.
His hands formed the dry land.

Come, let us worship and bow down;
let us kneel before the Lord our Maker.
For He is our God,
and we are the people of His pasture,
the sheep under His care.”  (Psalm 95:1-7a)

It is so important to remember who God is and where we are in relation to Him.  When we remember, we are able to worship Him for who He is and able to trust and follow Him.  He is great and greatly to be praised.  He created the universe and everything in it.

With all that He has done (and all He has done for us), we can shout joyfully to Him.  We can give thanks.  We can sing praises.  So this week, let’s remember that we are under His care and that He is our God.

Sunday Devotional: Psalm 54

“O God, save me by your name,
    and vindicate me by your might.
O God, hear my prayer;
    give ear to the words of my mouth.

For strangers have risen against me;
    ruthless men seek my life;
    they do not set God before themselves. Selah

Behold, God is my helper;
    the Lord is the upholder of my life.
He will return the evil to my enemies;
    in your faithfulness put an end to them.

With a freewill offering I will sacrifice to you;
    I will give thanks to your name, O Lord, for it is good.
For he has delivered me from every trouble,
    and my eye has looked in triumph on my enemies.”  (Psalm 54)

The Psalms are a great avenue to explore as far as taking in all the different ways we can see and worship God.  In this one, David writes about how God is a deliverer, He’s a helper, an “upholder of my life”, He is one to give thanks to and He’s a savior.  We need to be reminded of this regularly and the Psalms are great at doing just that.  So this week, remember who God is and what all he has done.  It will be an encouragement to persevere through those tough times.

Sunday Devotional: Colossians 3:15-16

“And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body.  And be thankful.  Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God.”  Colossians 3:15-16

This past week, I taught the Adult class at Vacation Bible School.  One of the things I did before starting the lesson was ask everyone to share something God had taught them today or share a blessing.  I was reminded this week again of the importance of giving thanks.  It’s so easy to forget to give thanks for the many things God has blessed us with.  Our hearts should be filled with thankfulness.

I love how Paul in these words to the Colossians repeats the importance of thankfulness.  Thankfulness is an important part of teaching and admonishing one another.  Thankfulness is an important part of reading and studying God’s Word.  It’s also an important part of singing and worshiping together.

This week, be thankful.  Remember even in the hard times all the things that God has blessed you with.