Evening, September 19
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Bible League: Living His Word
Oh give thanks to the LORD, for he is good;
    for his steadfast love endures forever!

Giving thanks to God is not optional for Christians. There are many passages in the Bible that command us to give thanks to Him. Aside from our verse for today, Psalm 100:4 says that we should "Enter his gates with thanksgiving, and his courts with praise! Give thanks to him; bless his name!" Psalm 95:2 says "Let us come into his presence with thanksgiving; let us make a joyful noise to him with songs of praise." And Psalm 50:14 says "Offer to God a sacrifice of thanksgiving."

Giving thanks is commanded in the Bible because it is the appropriate thing to do. One might say that it is the socially appropriate thing to do in the presence of God. Proper etiquette simply demands it. Psalm 92:1 says "It is good to give thanks to the LORD, to sing praises to your name, O Most High." It is good because that is what you do in the presence of the Most High, in the presence of the Almighty God upon whom heaven and earth depend for their very existence. Anything less would be unseemly and indecorous.

Many Bible passages, however, include more personal reasons for why thanks are appropriate. Our verse for today says we should give thanks because God is good to us and because His love for us endures forever. Further in Psalm 118 it says "I thank you that you have answered me and have become my salvation" (verse 21). After giving a list of requests and concerns to God, David promises that he will "thank you in the great congregation; in the mighty throng I will praise you" (Psalm 35:18).

The thanks we should give to God are not conditional upon our liking the way things are. I Thessalonians 5:18 says "give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you" and Ephesians 5:20 says "giving thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ." We give thanks in all circumstance because "we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose" (Romans 8:28). There is no good reason, in other words, to withhold our thanks to God.

From the Bible's perspective, thankfulness should be a regular feature of our relationship to God at all times and in every situation.

Bible in a Year
Old Testament Reading
Ecclesiastes 7, 8, 9

Ecclesiastes 7 -- A good name is better than fine perfume


Ecclesiastes 8 -- "Keep the king's command!" because of the oath to God.


Ecclesiastes 9 -- All things come alike to all.


New Testament Reading
2 Corinthians 11:1-15

2 Corinthians 11 -- Paul Defends His Apostleship; Paul's Sufferings


Reading Plan Courtesy of Christian Classics Etherial Library.
Tyndale Life Application Daily Devotion
Don't just pretend to love others. Really love them. Hate what is wrong. Hold tightly to what is good. Love each other with genuine affection, and take delight in honoring each other.
Most of us have learned how to pretend to love others—how to speak kindly, avoid hurting their feelings, and appear to take an interest in them. We may even be skilled in pretending to feel moved with compassion when we hear of others' needs, or to become indignant when we learn of injustice. But God calls us to real and sincere love that goes far beyond pretense and politeness. Sincere love requires concentration and effort. It means helping others become better people. It demands our time, money, and personal involvement. No individual has the capacity to express love to a whole community, but the body of Christ in your town does.
Look for people who need your love, and look for ways you and your fellow believers can love your community for Christ.
Morning and Evening by Spurgeon
1 Samuel 1:27  For this child I prayed.

Devout souls delight to look upon those mercies which they have obtained in answer to supplication, for they can see God's especial love in them. When we can name our blessings Samuel, that is, "asked of God," they will be as dear to us as her child was to Hannah. Peninnah had many children, but they came as common blessings unsought in prayer: Hannah's one heaven-given child was dearer far, because he was the fruit of earnest pleadings. How sweet was that water to Samson which he found at "the well of him that prayed!" Quassia cups turn all waters bitter, but the cup of prayer puts a sweetness into the draughts it brings. Did we pray for the conversion of our children? How doubly sweet, when they are saved, to see in them our own petitions fulfilled! Better to rejoice over them as the fruit of our pleadings than as the fruit of our bodies. Have we sought of the Lord some choice spiritual gift? When it comes to us it will be wrapped up in the gold cloth of God's faithfulness and truth, and so be doubly precious. Have we petitioned for success in the Lord's work? How joyful is the prosperity which comes flying upon the wings of prayer! It is always best to get blessings into our house in the legitimate way, by the door of prayer; then they are blessings indeed, and not temptations. Even when prayer speeds not, the blessings grow all the richer for the delay; the child Jesus was all the more lovely in the eyes of Mary when she found him after having sought him sorrowing. That which we win by prayer we should dedicate to God, as Hannah dedicated Samuel. The gift came from heaven, let it go to heaven. Prayer brought it, gratitude sang over it, let devotion consecrate it. Here will be a special occasion for saying, "Of thine own have I given unto thee." Reader, is prayer your element or your weariness? Which?

Daily Light on the Daily Path
Psalm 121:1,2  A Song of Ascents. I will lift up my eyes to the mountains; From where shall my help come? • My help comes from the LORD, Who made heaven and earth.

Psalm 125:2  As the mountains surround Jerusalem, So the LORD surrounds His people From this time forth and forever.

Psalm 123:1,2  A Song of Ascents. To You I lift up my eyes, O You who are enthroned in the heavens! • Behold, as the eyes of servants look to the hand of their master, As the eyes of a maid to the hand of her mistress, So our eyes look to the LORD our God, Until He is gracious to us.

Psalm 63:7  For You have been my help, And in the shadow of Your wings I sing for joy.

2 Chronicles 20:12  "O our God, will You not judge them? For we are powerless before this great multitude who are coming against us; nor do we know what to do, but our eyes are on You."

Psalm 25:15  My eyes are continually toward the LORD, For He will pluck my feet out of the net.

Psalm 124:8  Our help is in the name of the LORD, Who made heaven and earth.

New American Standard Bible Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation, La Habra, Calif. All rights reserved. For Permission to Quote Information visit http://www.lockman.org.

Morning September 19
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