October 20, 2017

Thoughts on Giving Thanks

There’s something special about this time of year, when so many people start meditating on everything they have to be thankful for. As Christians, we have an even greater reason to be people characterized by the habitual giving of thanks — not just for abundant physical blessings, but so many spiritual blessings too! The blogosphere is teeming right now with various thoughts about practicing gratitude -- from historical perspectives, to its uniqueness among Christians, and even some of its challenges. I hope you'll take the time over the next few days to work through some of these links! Why We Should Be Thankful for the Gift of Gratitude -- Why is it so critical for Christians to [...Read More]

Why Do We Give Thanks?

Every year around November 1, the online stratosphere gets inundated with thankfulness challenges. That's not a bad thing! I love the rise of gratitude each year, seeing people becoming more aware of all the ways God blesses us everyday. But have you ever stopped to consider why we practice gratitude? Is it just because it's the "thing to do" around Thanksgiving? Or is there a greater purpose behind developing a habit of thankfulness? I was recently reading Ephesians 5, and realized how tightly the command to give thanks is woven throughout the entire chapter. It's not just a stand-alone command: it's something that affects every aspect of our lives as Christians. Offering [...Read More]

What Better Reason to Give Thanks?

I hope you're praising God for all that you plan to enjoy this Thanksgiving -- a warm cozy home, a nourishing and satisfying meal, laughter and fellowship, family and friends, break from routines, new memories in the making. I hope you thank Him specifically for all the blessings of everyday comfort and happiness, and all the intangible joys of this life. In the midst of all that joyful gratitude, take some time to meditate on God alone. Praise Him for who He is at the very core of His being -- aside from all the tangible things He has done for you -- and exalt Him for His sake alone. Praise Him because He is GOD, and greater than we can comprehend. Praise Him because He is KING [...Read More]

Praise God in Private

Some days, thanking God on social media feels too... well, social. It feels too public. There's nothing wrong, of course, with praising God publicly -- in fact, we are commanded throughout Scripture to do so. Psalms especially tell us over and over to testify of His deeds among the nations, to praise Him in the sanctuary, to exalt Him before others. We must never disregard the need for corporate worship, public prayer, and shared times of testimony. But how often do we offer praise publicly -- and neglect it privately? When was the last time you personally bowed in gratitude before your Heavenly Father... when no one else was around? Our God is great and righteous and holy and [...Read More]

Choosing Gratitude: Chapter 9

Welcome to the Choosing Gratitude study! If you’re not sure what this is all about, we’re studying through Choosing Gratitude by Nancy Leigh DeMoss. See the Introduction for more details. 5 Ways to Go "Gratitudinal" So gratitude takes work -- especially the distinctly "Christian" sort of gratitude, which offers specific praise to God even during times of great difficulty. It's a choice to reject whining, griping, and complaining. It's a choice to sacrifice self-pity and sorrow. It's a sacrifice of praise that comes out of the innermost parts of our hearts. So how do we make gratitude a regular lifestyle? How do we become "gratitudinal" people? Nancy offers 5 very practical [...Read More]

Choosing Gratitude: Chapter 8

Welcome to the Choosing Gratitude study! If you’re not sure what this is all about, we’re studying through Choosing Gratitude by Nancy Leigh DeMoss. See the Introduction for more details. Choose Gratitude -- But Not Without Sacrifice Gratitude is more than just a pleasing sentiment. It's more than smiley faces and greeting cards. It takes hard work, and it costs something real. It involves sacrifice. "Out in the byways of real life, a grateful heart must often strap on sword and shield, summon up its deepest courage, and brace itself for battle." Consider Job. Think of all he lost -- his family, his servants, his livestock, his wealth, his health, even his friends. But is there any [...Read More]

Choosing Gratitude: Chapter 7

Welcome to the Choosing Gratitude study! If you’re not sure what this is all about, we’re studying through Choosing Gratitude by Nancy Leigh DeMoss. See the Introduction for more details. Thanks... for Everything! I think it's just perfect that we're hitting this chapter right now... in November, in the middle of thanksgiving season, when thankfulness lists and gratitude posts abound. We are so blessed! We have so many things (and people!) to be thankful for. And not just generically thankful, but thankful to God Himself. God didn't just create us and leave us to get through life on our own -- He is with us every single day, caring for us and sustaining us through every [...Read More]