I kind of liked today’s devotional so I thought I would share with everyone. I know I probably don’t get a lot of readership but just in case . . .
Read Psalm 107:1-9
O give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; for his steadfast love endures forever.
– Psalm 107:1 (NRSV)
When I was a child, my mother and father taught me the importance of the words please and thank you. Over the past 60 plus years, I’ve learned again and again just how powerful these words can be both in conversation and in prayer.
Reflecting recently on my daily prayers, I found myself using the word pleasefrequently — very frequently in fact. I used the words thank you, too, but not as often. I realized that my petitions and requests were far more numerous than my expressions of gratefulness and appreciation for the blessings God has already provided. Wanting to change that, I decided to begin silently saying “thank you!” throughout the day — every time I sense God’s presence or every time I experience one of God’s blessings.
As a result of a more purposeful focus on my expressions of gratitude, the power of those simple words my parents taught me decades ago has been renewed. My silent acknowledgments of God’s boundless blessings throughout the day are a vivid and pleasant reminder of God’s care and constant presence. As we say please and thank you to God, we are continually reminded of God’s amazing grace, peace, and steadfast love that endure forever!
Read Isaiah 40:25-31
Thanks be to God, who in Christ always leads us in triumphal procession, and through us spreads in every place the fragrance that comes from knowing him.
– 2 Corinthians 2:14 (NRSV)
The day before our Harvest Festival several sisters from church and I decorated the sanctuary with flowers, berries, and trailing shrubs. Our work went smoothly. Soon, bright arrangements were everywhere! When the main decorative work had been completed there were some “leftovers” on the table — broken branches, unattractive flowers, unopened buds. As we gathered all this together to throw into the trashcan, the caring hands of one woman took a few items from the pile of garbage, wrapped a ribbon around them, and crowned her masterpiece with a shiny bead. A charming bouquet appeared before our eyes.
Sometimes I feel like one of those superfluous, broken branches, thrown away in this materially oriented world. But for our Lord none of us is superfluous or unnecessary. Each person is precious and valuable in God’s eyes. (See Isaiah 43:4.) Each of us is a unique flower in the fragrant bouquet of the Lord.
Irina Ivanova (Pskov, Russia)
Thought for the Day:
None of us is superfluous to God.
Prayer: Generous and merciful God, help us to know ourselves as your beloved children. Help us to understand that we are wonderfully made by you and that we have everything we need for life and holiness. Amen.
Prayer Focus: Someone with low self-esteem