Since our church became a Central Drop-Off Location for Operation Christmas Child several years ago, Sweet T and I spend Saturday mornings moving hundreds of cartons filled with thousands of shoebox gifts out of the Sunday school room and loading them into a 28-foot pup trailer. Our Saturday morning crew consists of a number of people: men, women, and children; individuals and families; who generously give of their time on what seems to always be a beautiful Fall Saturday morning, to help us complete this monumental task. They do it for the love of God and the promise of a donut, with joy and love, grunts and laughter.
Matthew 9:37 (ESV)
Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few;
Every year during National Collection Week, Sweet T and I are overwhelmed by our numerous Operation Christmas Child volunteers who freely give of their time to help us complete the mission of this wonderful ministry. Every collection season we look forward to seeing familiar faces, many of them who have worked alongside us since we began this journey. Each year, we’re blessed by new volunteers who fall in love with the heart of this ministry that brings the love of Jesus to millions of children all around the globe.
We are also incredibly blessed by our growing donor network, many who start out like Sweet T and I did back in 2008, packing a box or two only to multiply that number into hundreds and hundreds of love-filled, prayer-immersed shoebox gifts.
Psalm 105:1 (ESV)
Oh give thanks to the LORD; call upon his name; make known his deeds among the peoples.
It is truly amazing to see God at work through the church, inside the four walls of brick and mortar, and outside the traditional church walls, in businesses, schools, small groups, and other community organizations. It’s been an incredible week so far and Sweet T and I find ourselves feeling very grateful, encouraged by our sea of ministry partners who answer the Lord’s call to deliver exceedingly and abundantly more than we could ever imagine.
Matthew 16-20 ESV
You will recognize them by their fruits. Are grapes gathered from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? So, every healthy tree bears good fruit, but the diseased tree bears bad fruit. A healthy tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a diseased tree bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Thus you will recognize them by their fruits.
God is good all the time and all the time God is GOOD!!!
The Devotional Guy™
What’s it like to live a life of praise? The key to living a life of praise is rooted in our faith because our faith informs our response in all circumstances and situations. Praise isn’t about us. Praise is all about God.
How different would your life be if you lived it singing God’s praises at every turn rather than getting down in the mouth about every little thing that doesn’t go quite your way?
Personally, I know mine would be different. There are times when I’m not sure I’d have anything to say. Thankfully, God continues to do His remarkable work in me and I am increasingly focused on exalting His name through shouting His praises. It’s mind-boggling the impact this shift in perspective can have on your day-to-day.
The unknown writer of Psalm 100 invites believers to approach the Lord with joy and thanksgiving. God is good and faithful. We can sing with joy in honor and praise of Him. We can worship the Lord gladly and with gratitude.
Imagine what a different world this might be if you and I lived life in joy and thankfulness, focused on God, ready to serve others. He created us. We have much to be grateful for and we should rejoice each day, shining the light of God’s love on all those we encounter. We’re either pointing people to Christ or pushing them away. Our mission is to point them to Jesus.
The Devotional Guy™
Psalm 100 (ESV)
A Psalm for giving thanks.
1 Make a joyful noise to the Lord, all the earth!
2 Serve the Lord with gladness!
Come into his presence with singing!
3 Know that the Lord, he is God!
It is he who made us, and we are his;
we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.
4 Enter his gates with thanksgiving,
and his courts with praise!
Give thanks to him; bless his name!
5 For the Lord is good;
his steadfast love endures forever,
and his faithfulness to all generations.