I Will Thank You Forever

Day 1

Read Psalm 100 (A song of Praise for the Lord’s Faithfulness to His people)

Taking time to contemplate what Scripture says, what the authors were thinking/feeling as they were writing it, and the message they were trying to convey is difficult.  My family doesn’t do this nearly enough in our own lives, but when we do (like now – because we volunteered to write these devotions, and they will not write themselves….), the benefit is truly palpable.  Statements like, “God’s word is ALIVE.” are true, but we rarely take the time to focus on that enough to be able to experience it.  Take some time to really consider what the psalmist is saying, while also considering what must have been occurring in his or her life in order to be inspired to write these words.

What must have been going on in the psalmist’s life (God’s effect on him or her) to have inspired the psalmist to write these words?

What would your relationship with God need to be or consist of for you to want to write or sing a song like this?

Why not try turning this into a prayer for today?

Day 2

Read Luke 1:5-56 (the Thankfulness of Mary)

Can you put yourself in Mary’s place during the time that this is taking place?  How overwhelming (possibly surreal as well?) must it have been to have an angel of the Lord God appear to her?!  And to hear that her relative had been blessed to give birth when she had been thought to have been unable to have children. 

Why do you think the angel Gabriel appeared to both Zacharias and Mary?  Why not 2 different angels?

What affect must the vision of the angel Gabriel’s experience and the Lord’s blessings upon her have had in order for her to respond in the way she did in verses 46-55?

Have you taken time to consider the immensity of the gift that God has given us in His Son Jesus, as He was born to Mary?  Thank God for His love for us and for what He has done for us through prayer and thanksgiving today.

Day 3

Read 1 Samuel 1:8 – 2:11 (Hannah’s vow)

It is human nature to “care” what others think.  As a matter of fact, it is also human nature to put way too high a priority on what others say and think (as far as we really know what they think…).  We think that it must have been from severe feelings of guilt, insufficiency, and weakness that must have driven Hannah to make the vow that she did.  

Does this passage lead you to believe that God has an overall purpose to the “ups” and “downs” of our lives?

How do you think he is using the successes and challenges apparent in your life right now for His glory?

What can you do in your life to appreciate God for what he is doing by allowing these “peaks and valleys” in your life?

Why not take some time before the busyness of Thanksgiving tomorrow and share some of your thoughts on the messaging app with everyone else?

Day 4

Read Psalm 95 (David’s call to worship)

There is a suggestion that this psalm may have been composed by David.  Especially in the context of the series that we’re in now (“Seasons with David”), you can likely appreciate the situation that he was in.   We’re not sure of the exact timing of things, but the study bible notes that we use suggest that this was during the time that David was in the wilderness.  Imagine the situation he was in…  Likely wet at times, possibly cold, without built up shelter, possibly alone, but he feels inspired and compelled to write about praising and singing to the Lord!  

We can be thankful that we are not in the position that David was in.  Given the context, does this allow you to better appreciate the depth of feeling that David must have had?

How can you apply what David is saying in the psalm to your life and take the advice that he offers (i.e. vs 2 “Let us come before His presence with thanksgiving…”)?

Day 5

Read Psalm 150 (Let all things praise the Lord)

This is straightforward instructions about praise.  There is specific discussion as to where?, why?, by what means?, and who?.  

Give some thought to how you can personally praise the Lord.  Keep in mind that He created you for a specific purpose, just the way you are, and He is delighted with you!

How can you thank Him for thinking enough of you to create you?!

How can you convey your thankfulness of God to others in your life?

How can you make this a lesson from which others can learn from your example?
(Thanks to Pat and Liz Neuschwanger for writing this week's devotions!)

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