Worship the King with Thanksgiving: November Gratitude Reading Plan (Day 3)

(This devotion is day one of a 30-Day Thanksgiving Challenge. Each day includes a daily reading that will be accompanied by a post on this blog.)

Read Psalm 100

What’s the proper reaction of creation to its Creator? If God is God, and we live and breathe in His world, provided for and blessed in countless ways, what is a fitting response? And if we were under God’s righteous judgment because of our sin against Him, and yet He graciously redeemed us at the cost of His Son, what should be our posture before Him?

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Finding Refreshment in God Our Refuge

“The iron bolt which so mysteriously fastens the door of hope and holds our spirits in gloomy prison, needs a heavenly hand to push it back.” Charles Spurgeon

“God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble” (Psalm 46:1)

The Problem: Life is Hard God

Despite the way our culture values “authenticity,” most of us rarely feel comfortable enough to speak honestly and personally about the wounds and pains we carry, the weariness and weakness we feel, the dark thoughts or discouragement we wrestle with, or the disappointment and frustration with life experienced. While it might be okay to admit generalities like “My life is a mess” or “I’m struggling along,” to say how and why we are fragile or broken, to share real burdens and put them on the table seems a bit too far. It can be an awkward moment of transparency in a world of surface-level dialogue.

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God Leads Us With Wisdom & Love

Like many others, I have a bad sense of direction. Before the days of GPS—when we used printed Mapquest directions or a folded map—I made quite a few wrong turns and detours. A number of trips took longer than I wanted, frustrating anyone in the care and embarrassing me. My wife still gets the privilege (she might use a different word) of helping me on trips as “the navigator,” a duty that falls on whoever rides shotgun on road-trips. GPS has made life a little easier, but why can’t they give me directions earlier so I’m not swerving at the last-minute? GPS or Google Maps also doesn’t always have all the information (at least not right away), such as a road closure, traffic jam, or a closed business.

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A Prayer to God Our Refuge

“God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear though the earth gives way, though the mountains be moved into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam, though the mountains tremble at its swelling.” (Ps. 46:1-3)

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Three Truths About God to Remember when Anxious

Anxiety is overwhelming. It can affect our bodies. It wreaks havoc on our emotions. And it consumes our thoughts. They race like a runaway train or get caught in a vicious cycle of spinning round-and-round with “what if…”, “if only…”, or many other possibilities. Anxiety awakens us in the dark hours of the night. It can rob us of a day’s joy and suck the life right out of us.

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A Fitting Response when Sinners See God’s Glory

What is the proper response to seeing God? When we consider His glory, holiness, righteousness, faithfulness, power, knowledge, patience, and grace, what’s the right way to react? To add another factor, when we take this vision of God, and put next to it a realistic vision of who we are, then what’s a fitting response? What do sinful, limited, selfish, weak, broken, flawed, and impure creatures like us do before the infinite and almighty God?

Seeing God’s holiness and glory, and recognizing our sinfulness and frailty, is why people in the Bible commonly respond in humility and brokenness.

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Two Personal Bible Study Worksheets

Here are two worksheets to guide you through a study of God’s Word. These don’t rely on the inductive method but provide questions for reflection on God through Psalm 103 and Psalm 104.

Psalm 103: Forget Not All His Benefits

Psalm 104: God’s Glory in Creation

You can find additional studies for personal or group use on my Other Writings page or Bible reading plans I’ve created can be found here.

Dads: A Few Cautions (Part 2)

Yesterday, Part 1 introduced the temptation for many dads to cross the line from being firm to being harsh. As dads, this is an easy slope to slide down. But it’s not where we want to be. We want to love our kids well and reflect what God the Father looks like, and so we must intentionally be on guard. Here are two additional cautions building on the first.

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Dads: A Few Cautions (Part 1)

I didn’t grow up camping, but as a husband and father, I want to be a family that camps. I love being outdoors and see so many benefits to it. With the ever-present draw of screens and technology, I’m trying to cultivate a stronger joy in nature. In my head, camping with our daughter will lead to memories she will long enjoy. Maybe it will even start a family tradition she can pass on to her kids.

Continue reading Dads: A Few Cautions (Part 1)