DAY 365

DAY 365

Psalm 150 | Praise the Lord. Praise God in his sanctuary; praise him in his mighty heavens. Praise him for his acts of power; praise him for his surpassing greatness. Praise him with the sounding of the trumpet, praise him with the harp and lyre, praise him with timbrel and dancing, praise him with the strings and pipe, praise him with the clash of cymbals, praise him with resounding cymbals. Let everything that has breath praise the Lord. Praise the Lord.

TAKE AWAY: AN ETERNITY OF PRAISE

I can’t believe that this is THE LAST DAY of this devotion! 😥 Part of me feels like this has been the longest year ever and part of me feels like it just flew by. The one thing I know for sure about this year is that this devotion was part of God’s plan for me. Through this devotion, God spoke to me and helped me to grow in my dependence upon Him. He allowed me to contrast my fears against His peace and blessed assurance.

I had thought about finding a new year-long devotion, but the choices are slim and don’t look like they would measure up to this one. And then my niece came to visit and I’m pretty sure that God gave me a new “devotion” of sorts. I have committed to calling her everyday and promised to love her unconditionally, regardless of her daily choices. She is open to God and has agreed to allow me to talk to her about Him. Yesterday, I sent her the song Reckless Love and she said she loved it. Yay!

PRAYER: Abba, You are truly amazing and I owe You an eternity of praise. Thank You for everything You’ve done for and in me this year. I look forward to whatever You have in store for me in 2019. Help me to FOCUS on You before anything else and to live like I’m loved. Guide me so I can be the hands and feet of Jesus. Give me Your words to speak to all I meet (and especially to Shawnee). Empty me of me so that I can be filled with Your Holy Spirit. I will love You forever and praise You until my last breath.

Live Like You’re Loved by Hawk Nelson

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DAY 364

DAY 364

Psalm 149 | Praise the Lord. Sing to the Lord a new song, his praise in the assembly of his faithful people. Let Israel rejoice in their Maker; let the people of Zion be glad in their King. Let them praise his name with dancing and make music to him with timbrel and harp. For the Lord takes delight in his people; he crowns the humble with victory. Let his faithful people rejoice in this honor and sing for joy on their beds. May the praise of God be in their mouths and a double-edged sword in their hands, to inflict vengeance on the nations and punishment on the peoples, to bind their kings with fetters, their nobles with shackles of iron, to carry out the sentence written against them—this is the glory of all his faithful people. Praise the Lord.

TAKE AWAY: THE PRAISE OF THE REDEEMED

So… I feel like it hasn’t been that great of a day. I missed church because my daughter called me and I chose to talk to her over going to church. That was good. We had lunch with Norm and Val at Sweet Tomatoes. That was good. But then my husband wanted me to drop him off at pickleball because he didn’t have time to bring me back home first. Fine. I stopped at Goodwill on my way home and found a pair of shorts, some white capris and a giant martini glass. That was good. But by the time I got home, it was almost time to pick up my husband—twenty minutes away. Ugh. I would have rather napped. Not good. Then we stopped at Lowe’s to get some screws so I could hang up this really cool “wall art” thing that I got last week at Goodwill for $12.99 (it’s amazing). I know it’s super petty of me to get annoyed over the little things, but when they happen over and over…

I explained to my husband the exact type of screws I wanted. His response was to tell me that he might have some totally different ones in his truck. Of course, my response was, Did you hear what I just said?” “I heard you,” he said. “Then why would you tell me something that was random and not at all helpful?” I wondered sardonically. “You don’t have to be so mean all the time!” he quipped. SERIOUSLY??? Why am I the bad guy???

And then I attempted to do this devotion and I’m having a hard time formulating a praise post. What is wrong with me? The “bad” stuff that happened wasn’t really bad at all. The good things totally outweighed the bad things and, yet, I feel annoyed and want to put off this post until I “feel better”. Again, what the heck is wrong with me??? I live a blessed life and have soooooo much to praise God for, but I’m wasting time dwelling on a couple of things that didn’t go exactly the way I wanted. 😱

PRAYER: Abba, Please forgive me for wanting to put off praising You until I’m in a better mood. I know I’m selfish. I have thousands of reasons to praise You… for loving me first, for loving me unconditionally, for saving me, for having a plan for me, for hearing my prayers, for answering my prayers, for never leaving nor forsaking me, for providing for all my needs and many of my wants, for protecting me from enemies, for being ever-present in my life… You are so great and I am so unworthy. But I do love You, Abba. I’m sorry.

How Great is Our God by Chris Tomlin

DAY 363

DAY 363

Psalm 148:7-14 | Praise the Lord from the earth, you great sea creatures and all ocean depths, lightning and hail, snow and clouds, stormy winds that do his bidding, you mountains and all hills, fruit trees and all cedars, wild animals and all cattle, small creatures and flying birds, kings of the earth and all nations, you princes and all rulers on earth, young men and women, old men and children. Let them praise the name of the Lord, for his name alone is exalted; his splendor is above the earth and the heavens. And he has raised up for his people a horn, the praise of all his faithful servants, of Israel, the people close to his heart. Praise the Lord.

TAKE AWAY: PRAISE THAT UNITES

I really love how David praises God over and over again. When I first began this devotion almost a year ago, I thought it was kind of annoying—I was like, ugh!, he already said this more than once. It took a while (I’m not gonna lie) but I started to understand the importance of his repetition. It’s because God’s creation is continual and His provision is continual and His love is continual; therefore, my praise should also be continual. And it is. I guess I just didn’t realize it until I saw someone else’s praises written down. And I’m so glad I did!

This is my story, this is my song
Praising my Savior all the day long
This is my story, this is my song
Praising my Savior all the day long

PRAYER: Abba, I could literally praise You all the day long. I’m grateful for the stars in the heavens; I’m grateful for the varied landscapes and creatures on Earth; I’m grateful for the country I was born in; I’m grateful for my family and friends; I’m grateful for my home and all the “creature comforts” in it; and I’m grateful for Your presence, protection and provision in my life. Most of all, I’m grateful for Jesus’ teachings and the blood He shed for me. Thank you, Abba, for keeping me close to Your heart.

Holy is the Lord by Chris Tomlin

DAY 362

DAY 362

Psalm 148:1-6 | Praise the Lord. Praise the Lord from the heavens; praise him in the heights above. Praise him, all his angels; praise him, all his heavenly hosts. Praise him, sun and moon; praise him, all you shining stars. Praise him, you highest heavens and you waters above the skies. Let them praise the name of the Lord, for at his command they were created, and he established them for ever and ever—he issued a decree that will never pass away.

TAKE AWAY: THE PRAISE OF CREATION

I know I don’t praise God enough. I take so much for granted. I can’t even imagine what a life of praise, gratitude and obedience would look like. I feel like I want that to be my life, but then I get caught up in the busyness of day-to-day living and I forget to praise God on a regular basis. It was at His command that I was created, after all; therefore, I owe Him everything.

PRAYER: Abba, Please forgive me for not giving You the praise You deserve. I owe You everything, but I take my life and everything in it for granted. I want to live my life in devotion to You, Abba, but I don’t know where to start. Help me to focus on You more so that my thoughts and actions are centered on You and not me.

Everything That Has Breath by Hillsong Worship

DAY 361

DAY 361

Psalm 147:12-20 | Extol the Lord, Jerusalem; praise your God, Zion. He strengthens the bars of your gates and blesses your people within you. He grants peace to your borders and satisfies you with the finest of wheat. He sends his command to the earth; his word runs swiftly. He spreads the snow like wool and scatters the frost like ashes. He hurls down his hail like pebbles. Who can withstand his icy blast? He sends his word and melts them; he stirs up his breezes, and the waters flow. He has revealed his word to Jacob, his laws and decrees to Israel. He has done this for no other nation; they do not know his laws.

TAKE AWAY: PRAISE AND OBEDIENCE

“There’s no use singing God’s praises when you’re being disobedient.” (from the devotion) That cuts deep. I know I do that all the time. I’m disobedient by nature. “I don’t really understand myself, for I want to do what is right, but I don’t do it. Instead, I do what I hate.” (Romans 7:15)

PRAYER: Abba, I want to be obedient. I really do. Please increase my desire for You and decrease the selfish rebel inside me. The revelation of Your Word has made all the difference in my life. But now I want to do only what You want me to do—not my will, but Yours be done.

Obey by Soul Survivor

DAY 360

DAY 360

Psalm 147:1-11 | Praise the Lord. How good it is to sing praises to our God, how pleasant and fitting to praise him! The Lord builds up Jerusalem; he gathers the exiles of Israel. He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds. He determines the number of the stars and calls them each by name. Great is our Lord and mighty in power; his understanding has no limit. The Lord sustains the humble but casts the wicked to the ground. Sing to the Lord with grateful praise; make music to our God on the harp. He covers the sky with clouds; he supplies the earth with rain and makes grass grow on the hills. He provides food for the cattle and for the young ravens when they call. His pleasure is not in the strength of the horse, nor his delight in the legs of the warrior; the Lord delights in those who fear him, who put their hope in his unfailing love.

TAKE AWAY: HE CALLS THE STARS

It really is unimaginable to not only know the number of stars in the heavens, but to have given each of them a name… wow! How fitting to praise our God!

PRAYER: Abba, You know how much I love the stars. Thank You for creating them and making them sparkle. Thank You for the gift of imagination which causes us to see shapes in the night sky and for the gifts of music and poetry which inspires us to write songs and poems about stars—“You place the stars in the sky and You call them by name. You are amazing, God.”

Indescribable by Chris Tomlin

DAY 359

DAY 359

Psalm 146 | Praise the Lord. Praise the Lord, my soul. I will praise the Lord all my life; I will sing praise to my God as long as I live. Do not put your trust in princes, in human beings, who cannot save. When their spirit departs, they return to the ground; on that very day their plans come to nothing. Blessed are those whose help is the God of Jacob, whose hope is in the Lord their God. He is the Maker of heaven and earth, the sea, and everything in them—he remains faithful forever. He upholds the cause of the oppressed and gives food to the hungry. The Lord sets prisoners free, the Lord gives sight to the blind, the Lord lifts up those who are bowed down, the Lord loves the righteous. The Lord watches over the foreigner and sustains the fatherless and the widow, but he frustrates the ways of the wicked. The Lord reigns forever, your God, O Zion, for all generations. Praise the Lord.

TAKE AWAY: PRAISE FOR JUSTICE

So, it’s Christmas morning. Happy Birthday, Jesus! (Let’s just ignore the fact that He couldn’t possibly have been born on this date.) The take away—praise for justice—reminds me of my son. We stayed at his college apartment last night and we’ll be spending Christmas day together. Yay! Anyway, I know I’ve said this before, but… it’s so frustrating for me to listen to his calls for social justice because he thinks that government should be in charge of that. Of course, he criticizes most forms of government currently established. What’s frustrating for me is that his values and beliefs so closely mirror those of the early church and, by extension, Jesus. But he stubbornly rejects everything he learned in his youth and now claims there is no God. I try so hard to explain things to him, but he’s a know-it-all millennial. All I can do is pray.

PRAYER: Abba, I pray for my son, who puts his hope in human beings who cannot save anyone. It is You who upholds the cause of the oppressed and gives food to the hungry, not earthly governments. Please give him eyes to see You, Abba, because he is spiritually blind to the truth of who You are. I ask this in Jesus’ name. I will praise You all my life and I will sing praise to You as long as I live.

Always by Kristian Stanfill