Resurrection Hope

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

Read 1 Corinthians 15:12-28, 42-58

After an entire chapter on the resurrection, the most extended and exhaustive New Testament passage on the subject, Paul ends it with two punctuating remarks. The first is that this glorious reality and hope leads to thanksgiving. If anything should lead to giving thanks, it’s reading 1 Corinthians 15. As this song reaches its climax, he thunders out, “But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Cor. 15:57).

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Some Stories Never Get Old

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

Read Psalm 118

As a kid, one of my favorite things about holidays was how our family would gather and share stories. I would sit back and listen to them spin tales. A new one might be sprinkled in on occasion, but usually they rehashed the same old stories, but we would laugh as we relived the memories. As an adult, it’s still one of the best things when our family gets together. My sister is a good storyteller. She gets very animated and exaggerates stories a little more every year. But somehow, I never get tired of these stories we tell again and again, usually at one of my parent’s expense.

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Ingratitude Leading to Idolatry

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

Read 1 Samuel 8

I’m not afraid to admit; I’m a fan of country music. One song from the 90’s (the greatest musical decade) was “Unanswered Prayers” by Garth Brooks. The song reassures the heartbroken that sometimes not getting what you want, or not having your prayers answered, might be a gift. Garth’s lyrics tell the story of a married man going to his hometown football game and running into his high school flame. The future he once desired comes into mind and he’s struck by how much thankful he is he didn’t get what he wanted. He realizes what fell through and was disappointing and painful, became a blessing leading to something greater: his wife. The chorus says these famous words, and it helps if you read them with a bit of Garth Brooks twang.

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Give Thanks Together

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

Read Psalm 95

We often think of spiritual disciplines only in personal, individual terms. I should read my Bible. I should pray. I should give thanks. This is certainly important. Some people neglect personal habits and only study Scripture or pray when they’re gathering with other believers. Neither gutter is healthy. We need to prioritize seeking to know God on our own and with others. As we learn about and practice thanksgiving, we do it together. Doing so not only exalts God and emboldens our faith, but it encourages other believers.

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Grateful for Grace

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

Read 1 Timothy 1:12–17; Ephesians 2:1-10; 2 Corinthians 4:15

What’s your story? What’s your testimony? If you’re a believer in Christ, do you remember the wonderful gift of salvation when Jesus rescued you?

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The Sun Will Come Up Again

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

Read Psalm 30

One thing I’m learning in parenting is not to over-react. It’s easy to freak out in the moment, whether in anger or fear as small things feel mammoth. My daughter spills her drink on the floor (again), and my frustration is bigger than her mistake. Or she has a cold that sounds bad, and the great anxiety-giver of the internet makes us think she has a severe illness, so we elevate it to a code-red.

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The Thanksgiving Meal

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

Read Matthew 26:26–29; Hebrews 8:6–13

The Lord’s Supper. Communion. The Eucharist. The New Covenant meal Jesus inaugurated and served up to his disciples on the night of his betrayal is called many things. Whatever terms your church tradition uses, this sacrament (or ordinance) is a visible sign and seal of the gospel. Since the church’s inception, Christian’s have regularly celebrated it together in local churches to visibly proclaim the gospel and feed on Christ.

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Training Our Tongues to Say Thanks

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

Read Psalm 33

I have a wonderful two-year-old daughter. The early days of her life consisted of feeding her, changing her, and trying anything to make her sleep. Now she’s much more interactive. She says funny things and sweet things, and sassy things too. It feels like every week she learns new skills, sentences, and behaviors. Some words came natural: mine, now, and I want to. Others took more work. Words like please, sorry, and thank you need encouraged and reinforced.

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Thanks Be to God

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

Read Romans 6

Sometimes we ignore giving thanks because we’ve become used to something, or someone. My wife does many things for our family, including cooking delicious meals. Sometimes I make the meal, but I’m more of the sous-chef and taste-tester than the master chef she is. While I’m grateful for her loving our family through a home-cooked meal, anytime something becomes common there’s a danger of overlooking it. Or maybe we feel thankful, but we show our gratitude a little less because we’re accustomed to it. This happens in the home, the office, and in the church. But it also happens in our spiritual life.

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God’s Steadfast Love Endures Forever

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

Read Psalm 136

The Psalmist opens (1-3) and closes (26) this song with the call to give thanks. In between, he moves from God’s glorious attributes and powerful acts seen in Creation (4-9), Redemption (10-22), and ongoing Provision (23-25). There is more than enough reason to thank God in each realm. Anchoring every verse is the refrain: “for his steadfast love endures forever.” This Psalm lays down an excellent foundation for thanksgiving rooted in who God is for His people.

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