November 11: God gives rest

So the realm of Jehoshaphat was quiet: for his God gave him rest round about.

II Chronicles 20:30

The context here is talking about political rest – there are times that God calls people to fight (Numbers 31:3), and there are times He calls people to rest.

A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace.

Ecclesiastes 3:8

Sometimes God gives nations supernatural rest, and sometimes thru the work of its soldiers (2 Samuel 7:1).

On this Veterans Day, let’s be thankful for the sacrifice that our veterans have made, and thankful for the peace that God allow them to purchase that we enjoy.

November 10: The God-Given Record

Among Millennials, Christianity is now a minority position. Polling data is showing that most Millennials do not affiliate with Christianity, and we’re only a few years from most Millennials not affiliating with any religion. Skepticism is in vogue, but indifference even more so. If religion is so important, and if God really existed, wouldn’t He give us a clue?

He that believeth on the Son of God hath the witness in himself: he that believeth not God hath made him a liar; because he believeth not the record that God gave of his Son.

1 John 5:10

We have something better than just a clue – we have a God-given record!

Coincidentally less than half of Millennials crack open the Bible.

Let’s thank God for the Bible – but also, let’s read it!

November 9: God-given abilities

If any man speak, let him speak as the oracles of God; if any man minister, let him do it as of the ability which God giveth: that God in all things may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom be praise and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.

1 Peter 4:11

Perhaps you’ve noticed that we’ve been looking at the phrase “God giveth” in the Bible. It’s been helpful to see what things we can be grateful for that are the “gifts of God.”

Today, we see our ministry ability – is God-given. Not that it’s surprising. What can lowly man do for an omnipotent God? Not much. And since the very dust that we are made of (Genesis 2:7) is made by Him (John 1:3), are not the talents that we claim to have developed His gifts as well?

The challenge that I often see – is that I want to do something for God. I want to be a success for Him. I want to make a big impact for Him, and perhaps for people to know that I made a big impact for Him. The problem is the word “I.” I have no innate ability – all the ability I have to use for God, was given by Him. Yes I have a duty to be a good steward – but stewards / vilici aren’t supposed to get too much attention. In fact, bad things happened to Joseph when he started to get attention as the steward of Potiphar’s house (Genesis 39:7).

Jim Collins, author of Good to Great discusses “Level 5 Leadership” at the core of companies that surpassed their competitors and the economy as a whole. These leaders are a “powerful mixture of personal humility and indomitable will.”

The eleven good-to-great CEOs are some of the most remarkable CEOs of the century, given that only eleven companies from the Fortune 500 met the exacting standards for entry into this study. Yet, despite their remarkable results, almost no one ever remarked about them! … The good-to-great leaders never wanted to become larger-than-life heroes. They never aspired to be put on a pedestal or become unreachable icons. They were seemingly ordinary people quietly producing extraordinary results.

https://www.jimcollins.com/concepts/level-five-leadership.html

In the book he mentions “servant leadership” but was afraid that would scare off his readers, so he calls it “Level 5.” But as students of the Bible, we would understand the term “servant leadership.” We’re not the hero. God is.

As we pray, let’s seek His help to direct he praise to where it belongs – with Him!

November 8: Thanking God for enjoyment!

A man to whom God hath given riches, wealth, and honour, so that he wanteth nothing for his soul of all that he desireth, yet God giveth him not power to eat thereof, but a stranger eateth it: this is vanity, and it is an evil disease.

Ecclesiastes 6:2

The Preacher (Qoheleth) is having an existential conversation with his audience. What could be worse than God giving someone riches, wealth, and honor, but not letting that someone enjoy the riches, wealth, and honor? The Preacher is obviously saying that even if you could gather riches, wealth, and honor (and all such gifts do come from God), they are nothing if they cannot be enjoyed. When you sit down for a delicious dinner – thank God that you can enjoy it!

November 7: Thankful for all the days God gives us

Behold that which I have seen: it is good and comely for one to eat and to drink, and to enjoy the good of all his labour that he taketh under the sun all the days of his life, which God giveth him: for it is his portion.

Ecclesiastes 5:18

Did you ever stop to thank God for the gift of life? Every day of life is a gift from God. As someone pointed out, that’s why it’s called the “present.” The ability we have to enjoy our work and to be nourished – is part of God’s daily blessings. Let’s thank Him for this as we approach Thanksgiving!

November 6: Gifts of God

For God giveth to a man that is good in his sight wisdom, and knowledge, and joy

Ecclesiastes 2:26

What are the gifts of God that we can be thankful for?

Ecclesiastes tells us that He gives wisdom, knowledge, and joy.

Wisdom:

For wisdom is better than rubies; and all the things that may be desired are not to be compared to it.

Proverbs 8:11

Knowledge:

Wise men lay up knowledge: but the mouth of the foolish is near destruction.

Proverbs 10:14

Joy:

Thou wilt shew me the path of life: in thy presence is fulness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore

Psalm 16:11

Yes, every good and perfect gift cometh from the Father above! Let’s rejoice in the good gifts that he gives.

November 5: God gives blessing!

4 For thus saith the Lord, the God of Israel, concerning the houses of this city, and concerning the houses of the kings of Judah, which are thrown down by the mounts, and by the sword;

They come to fight with the Chaldeans, but it is to fill them with the dead bodies of men, whom I have slain in mine anger and in my fury, and for all whose wickedness I have hid my face from this city.

Behold, I will bring it health and cure, and I will cure them, and will reveal unto them the abundance of peace and truth.

And I will cause the captivity of Judah and the captivity of Israel to return, and will build them, as at the first.

And I will cleanse them from all their iniquity, whereby they have sinned against me; and I will pardon all their iniquities, whereby they have sinned, and whereby they have transgressed against me.

And it shall be to me a name of joy, a praise and an honour before all the nations of the earth, which shall hear all the good that I do unto them: and they shall fear and tremble for all the goodness and for all the prosperity that I procure unto it.

Jeremiah 33

God was in the middle of judging Judah. The message of judgment was so rough that they imprisoned Jeremiah. Judah would be taken captive into a foreign country. The king’s house would be thrown down. But:

God was promising blessing! Health, Cure, Peace and Truth (Jeremiah 33:6). Returning and rebuilding (Jeremiah 33:7). Cleansing and pardoning (Jeremiah 33:8). Good and prosperity (Jeremiah 33:9).

God was going to bless Israel so much that the nations of the earth would be scared! (Jeremiah 33:9).

This same God who was so angry at the sin of His people (Ezekiel 8:17) – is angry but a moment, but lifelong giving of favor (Psalm 30:5).

Are you willing to receive His blessing? Stick close to Him!

November 4: Satisfaction for the longing soul

“Oh that men would praise the LORD for his goodness, and for his wonderful works to the children of men! For he satisfieth the longing soul, and filleth the hungry soul with goodness.”

Psalms 107:8-9

I feel restless at times. Wanting to accomplish something … do something…. be something. I have a longing inside to be more… do more… have more? My longing will not be fulfilled thru anything earthly. We’ve been created with a God-shaped hole in our hearts.

God is good – and He wants to fill your soul with His goodness! He will satisfy our needs. He will fill our hearts!

November 3: Strength from Prayer

In the day when I cried thou answeredst me, and strengthenedst me with strength in my soul.

Psalm 138:3

Is your soul weak? The Psalmist said he “walk[ed] in the midst of trouble” (Psalm 138:7). Are your enemies full of wrath? Join the club (Psalm 138:7). Are you feeling lowly? God is nearer! (Psalm 138:6).

Cry out for strength and He will answer!

November 1: God’s lovingkindness

Yet the Lord will command his lovingkindness in the day time, and in the night his song shall be with me, and my prayer unto the God of my life.

Psalm 42:8

Ever notice the blessings of God that we can claim? His lovingkindness in the day, and his songs in the night.

It’s interesting to note the connection to prayer – my prayer to the God of my life. He’s been our God from birth and He will be our God until death. And it is thru prayer that we access His blessings.

Do we feel lonely by day? Depressed at night? Claim His lovingkindness by day and His songs in the night!

Perhaps the opening theme from this radio program in 1962 sounds familiar?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cvvqFMxuSyY