Sunday Prayer | This Sunday Be Grateful

Sunday serves as a reboot spiritually, mentally, and physically. Last week is done. We’re resting; celebrating what God has done and continues doing in our lives. Some of us have heavy burdens that we need to lay down at His feet. Others of us are experiencing great victories for which we need to give God the glory.

It’s Christmastime and our minds travel back to those childhood memories of long ago when we still dared to dream and weren’t afraid to believe. Christmas renews our spirit, refreshes our hearts, and rekindles our minds. Sure, life may be tough right now. But we’ve got SO much to be grateful for, don’t you agree?

In the book of 1 Chronicles, we find an early church hymn sung during a time of great thanksgiving after David and his men have returned the Ark of the Covenant to Jerusalem. It serves as a great model for us as we consider the breadth of our magnificent Maker and the many blessings He has showered down upon us, including the special gift of His Son, Jesus.

1 Chronicles 16:7-36 (NET2)

7 That day David first gave to Asaph and his colleagues this song of thanks to the Lord.

8 Give thanks to the Lord!

Call on his name!

Make known his accomplishments among the nations!

9 Sing to him! Make music to him!

Tell about all his miraculous deeds!

10 Boast about his holy name!

Let the hearts of those who seek the Lord rejoice!

11 Seek the Lord and the strength he gives!

Seek his presence continually!

12 Recall the miraculous deeds he performed,

his mighty acts and the judgments he decreed, 

13 O children of Israel, God ’s servant,

you descendants of Jacob, God’s chosen ones!

14 He is the Lord our God;

he carries out judgment throughout the earth.

15 Remember continually his covenantal decree,

the promise he made to a thousand generations –

16 the promise he made to Abraham,

the promise he made by oath to Isaac!

17 He gave it to Jacob as a decree,

to Israel as a lasting promise,

18 saying, “To you I will give the land of Canaan

as the portion of your inheritance.”

19 When they were few in number,

just a very few, and foreign residents within it,

20 they wandered from nation to nation,

and from one kingdom to another.

21 He let no one oppress them,

he disciplined kings for their sake,

22 saying, “Don’t touch my anointed ones!

Don’t harm my prophets!”

23 Sing to the Lord, all the earth!

Announce every day how he delivers!

24 Tell the nations about his splendor,

tell all the nations about his miraculous deeds!

25 For the Lord is great and certainly worthy of praise,

he is more awesome than all gods.

26 For all the gods of the nations are worthless,

but the Lord made the heavens.

27 Majestic splendor emanates from him,

he is the source of strength and joy

28 Ascribe to the Lord, O families of the nations,

ascribe to the Lord splendor and strength!

29 Ascribe to the Lord the splendor he deserves!

Bring an offering and enter his presence!

Worship the Lord in holy attire!

30 Tremble before him, all the earth!

The world is established, it cannot be moved.

31 Let the heavens rejoice, and the earth be happy!

Let the nations say,  ‘The Lord reigns!’

32 Let the sea and everything in it shout!

Let the fields and everything in them celebrate!

33 Then let the trees of the forest shout with joy before the Lord,

for he comes to judge the earth!

34 Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good

and his loyal love endures.

35 Say this prayer: Deliver us, O God who delivers us!

Gather us! Rescue us from the nations!

Then we will give thanks to your holy name,

and boast about your praiseworthy deeds.”

36 May the Lord God of Israel be praised,

in the future and forevermore.

Then all the people said, “We agree! Praise the Lord.

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This thanksgiving hymn is a medley of several psalms and probably one of many that God’s people sang to celebrate on these types of occasions. The song expresses the hopes and thoughts of the Israelites gathered that day to worship and give thanks to the Lord.

It shows us the important role songs play in our worship of our God and emphasizes the salvation that can only come through Him. Our Lord is sovereign and He is always looking out for us, those who love Him and have received His Son as Lord and Savior.

So as you gather in your house of worship today, be grateful. You and I have so many reasons to give thanks.

Blessings,

The Devotional Guy™

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Daily Scripture | 7 Healing Scriptures for Battling Discouragement

You worked hard on writing the perfect blog post. 3 people read it. Three. And one of them isn’t even your mom. Maybe you’ve been diligently putting in hours and hours on this big project at work and your boss doesn’t even notice. Perhaps you’ve been looking for work and can’t seem to find it. Or your marriage is struggling. Discouraged?

It’s Christmastime, and while the whole world is feeling jolly with Old Saint Nick, you’re feeling all “BAH! HUMBUG!” We all have times, even seasons, in our lives when we struggle. The struggles can cover a wide array of things: marriage, job, faith, kids, finances, love, joy, addiction, behaviors, attitudes, the HOLIDAYS…You get the picture…YOUR struggle IS real.

Discouragement weighs us down. It’s not some momentary melancholy melodrama. It distracts us from being all that God intends us to be, drawing our eyes of Him, and unto ourselves. Nothing good usually happens when we’re in that place. There are times in our life when we are disappointed, disheartened, and discouraged. Life’s hard. Things don’t always go our way.

God knows this.

That’s why you’ll find loads of Scripture lifting you up, keeping you from climbing on that old pity pot. These verses on discouragement reveal one of the many great truths of Scripture: God intends His word to guide us, directing our paths, encouraging us by helping us focus on His goodness and faithfulness.

Discouraged

Here are 7 Bible verses to help heal and encourage you when you come face to face with a great big ol’ wall of discouragement:

Be strong and courageous. Do not fear or be in dread of them, for it is the Lord your God who goes with you. He will not leave you or forsake you.

Deuteronomy 31:6 (ESV)

Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; Do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.

Joshua 1:9 (NIV)

Don’t be afraid, for I am with you. Don’t be discouraged, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will hold you up with my victorious right hand.

Isaiah 41:10 (NLT)

Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.

Matthew 11:28-30 (ESV)

I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.

John 16:33 (ESV)

Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.

Hebrews 4:16 (ESV)

And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you.

1 Peter 5:10 (ESV)

Hope

Whenever you feel insignificant, unlovable, or discouraged, don’t be dismayed. Remember whose child you are…YOU are the son/daughter of the Almighty God, King of Kings, Lord of Lords. Take heart, knowing that God loves you immensely more than you or I could ever fathom.

Remember, life can be a battle. Equip yourself with the protective armor of God’s Word. He is for you, not against you. 

Blessings,

The Devotional Guy™

So My Friend Gary and I Started Doing This Podcast…

Earlier this year, I began writing articles for WorshipMinistry.com. At the time, I had no idea how God would use this new collaboration. Sure, I had hopes of how I thought it would turn out. But you know, God always seems to outdo anything I can ever imagine. 

Ephesians 3:20-21 (ESV)

20 Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, 21 to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen.

I’ve had the opportunity to explore worship firsthand—something that has proven invaluable to me, personally, as a longtime member of a worship team. This has yielded lots of fruit. It’s helped me grow in my understanding of what it is to be called to help lead God’s people in worship. It has caused me to become more intentional in my study of what worship was, is, and will be in the future. Like all things, worship is an evolving expression of our love of God. Our generation doesn’t worship in the exact same mode as the generation preceding us. Neither of our generations worships the Lord emoting Gregorian chants either. And that’s not a bad thing. It just is. Through this ongoing exploration of worship, what it is to be part of a worship team, and examining modes of worship past, present, and future, I have come to know God more deeply. 

In researching, contemplating, and composing the articles for WorshipMinistry.com, I’ve also gained a new friend in CEO Gary Miller, who founded the site seeking to provide “a place where we all can compare notes, pray for each other, share song ideas, as well as our struggles and triumphs in worship ministry” (WorshipMinsitry.com, 2018).

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I have come to know Gary to be a deeply devoted family man and a faithful follower of Jesus. He is passionate about God and the worship of Him.  Regardless of what’s going on in his world, Gary remains prayerful and committed to the Lord’s call on his life. He beams with the joy of a man who knows Jesus deeply. 

A few months ago, Gary approached me with the idea of discussing the articles I write on his WorshipMinistry.com podcast. At that point, I had a vague familiarity with podcasts. I knew they existed. I honestly wasn’t sure of what they were. However, I did see that, as a medium, podcasts were catching on. And what the hey-hey—it could be fun!!!

I asked Gary what I had to do and he told me all I really needed to do is be prepared to talk. Prepared to talk? HA! Now Gary was speaking my love language!

After pitching ideas around for a few weeks and praying about the project, Gary and I did a couple of test runs. Let’s face it—as a couple of middle-aged, pre-internet guys we learned long ago that technology can have its challenges. (Can I get an AMEN!)

Yesterday, we recorded our FOURTH episode. While Gary is finalizing things with the podcast we recorded, I wanted to share the first THREE episodes with y’all. It’s just the two of us talking about a subject that is close to our heart: Worshipping God. 

WorshipMinistry.com Podcasts:

If you get time, please check out our podcasts! Hopefully, you’ll find them entertaining and inspiring. My prayer is that you’ll continue to watch as we hone our podcast skills, striving to make each new episode a little better than the last. 

Be Blessed!

The Devotional Guy™

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