Psalm 100:1,2 - Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth. Worship the Lord with gladness; come before him with joyful songs.
To listen to devotion, click here.
It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas, even though we’re not quite into December yet. In some circles, you can already hear the “bah humbugs” from those who don’t appreciate the lights, the music, the decorations. For many though, it’s such a wonderful joyous time of the year. Glee is really hard to hold back for some. They even have a daily collection of Christmas sweaters no matter the weather. Buddy the Elf, from the movie, is a fictional character, but some people are exactly like Buddy - smiling, singing, and happy everyday until Christmas.
I don’t know why that sentiment has to end after Christmas though. That’s the sense you get when you read how David worshipped the Lord in Psalms, especially Psalm 100. When was the last time you shouted for joy in church? When was the last time you shouted for joy on Monday morning? Why should there be any shouting at all? Because of the joy of the Lord.
When you’re happy and you know, you just have to show it. You can’t hide it or contain it. Joy is one of those things that just spills over into every thing you do. We as believers have a reason to shout and sing. We have cause for the gladness in our heart, and it’s all because of the great God we serve.
If it’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas, it’s all because of the joy and the gift creation has been given with the birth of Christ. Shout it out. Don’t hold it back. And don’t let it en d on December 26th. This joy is not dependent on days or even troubles. The last verse of Psalm 100 says, “His faithfulness continues though all generations.”
Matthew 5:3 - Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
To listen to devotion, click here
Thanksgiving season many times brings out gracious attitudes. We may not have in mind the correct origins of Thanksgiving. Our history lessons may be a little watered down as to what really happened. Today it seems more focus is on turkey and dressing, pie and cranberry sauce, and spirits of gracious, generosity, and gratefulness.
Many other times of the year, even Christmas, can be so much about consumption and self. I mean, Thanksgiving can be about consumption as well, and gluttony, but the overall attitude is one of humility and thankfulness.
That’s really what Jesus was teaching believers should be like in the kingdom of God, in Matthew 5. The Beatitudes display this same spirit of humility and graciousness. Blessed are those who are dependent on God, rather than themselves. Blessed are those who know what it means to have nothing, but then have everything in their relationship with God. Blessed are the meek, the merciful, the peacemakers. Blessed are those who turn their hunger toward God, not this world.
This Thanksgiving, as you turn your mind toward what you’ve been given that you don’t deserve, turn your heart also toward what you can give that this world desperately needs. Think about the blessing you can be with the right attitude and frame of mind. Yes, you are blessed in many ways. Yes, you can be a blessing in greater ways.
Psalm 130:1,2 - Out of the depths I cry to You, O Lord; O Lord, hear my voice. Let your ears be attentive to my cry for mercy.
To listen to devotion, click here.
We’re taught when we’re younger, that if we fall down, we should just get back up again. That lesson is not just for when we are learning to walk, or ride bikes, or ride horses, but it’s a great lesson for life in general. When we fall down, we are not to stay down, but to get back up again and keep going.
What this lesson doesn’t take into account is when we fall down and are badly hurt or when we fall down and simply cannot get back up again. You may be thinking about the old alert monitoring system commercial from years ago when an older lady is home alone and she uses her alert necklace and says, “I’ve fallen and I can get up!” When I was younger and stronger, this was amusing. As I get older and weaker, this is looking like it may be a real possibility.
Recently, I saw a news piece about the dangers of walking while texting. It showed actual footage of someone walking on a city sidewalk, texting, and then walking right into an open manhole. This person was badly hurt because of not paying attention.
That’s what I think of in Psalm 130. Sometimes we find ourselves in places that simply getting up on our own is not possible, whether physically or emotionally or spiritually. Sometimes we find ourselves in depths desperately needing help.
When this happens, know that the Lord is strong enough to help us when we fall and can’t get up. His able to heal us and lift us out of a deep pit we’ve fallen into. He’s able to surround us with power to save us from the emotional depth we’re trapped in. Cry out to Him today. His ears will be attentive and His arms will be strong.