Note: The AMI QT Devotionals for November 21-26 are provided by Pastor Yohan Lee of Radiance Christian Church in San Francisco, CA.
Devotional Thought for Today
By faith Abel brought God a better offering than Cain did. By faith he was commended as righteous, when God spoke well of his offerings. And by faith Abel still speaks, even though he is dead.
My wife and I are trying a new thing with our seven-year-old son (Simon): chores with cash rewards. So, we give him a quarter for things like throwing out the trash, recycling or setting the table for dinner, etc. In a huge week, he can make about three to five bucks (that’s big money for the little guy). We are doing this for several reasons, but my primary motivation is that I want him to learn the value of a dollar and earn his next Lego set. My hope is that my son will look at his new set and realize that it took him three to four months of “hard work” and savings to get it; then, he’ll appreciate it more, and hopefully I won’t have to see Legos all over the floor.
Another lesson that is coming out of his chores is tithing. Now that he’s making his own money, I get to teach him about the joy of giving to the Lord. To be honest, I was not looking forward to telling Simon that as soon as he makes his tenth dollar, we are going to set one of them apart for offering. I was expecting him to complain, fuss, boycott church, or turn agnostic, but to my surprise he didn’t. In fact, just the opposite; he was kind of excited at the prospects of giving his own offering. I always knew Simon liked going to church, but I realized in that moment how much he appreciated the teachers, his friendships, and hopefully growing in his relationship with Jesus. So, when the time came for him to give toward that cause, dare I say he was thankful?
If you’ve read the account of Cain and Abel in Genesis 4, then you would realize that the Bible is a little nebulous when describing why Abel’s offering was pleasing to God, while Cain’s was not. (I don’t think it’s because God loves meat.) Might I suggest that Abel’s offering came with a thankful heart and was not given begrudgingly? Hebrews offers a little more insight by stating that Abel’s faith made the difference. The connection, which I learned in church this week, is that genuine thankfulness can only come from faith. If you are truly thankful for the cross, church, jobs, family, etc., and sincerely believe that these are all gifts of grace from a generous Father, then giving is easier and comes with more joy and thanksgiving. If, on the other hand, you have taken for granted all that you have is the product of your own labor, then you would run the risk of becoming a begrudging giver, possibly like Cain.
Today is Thanksgiving, which means you will undoubtedly be asked, “For what are you thankful?” Before you shoot out the typical answers like God, family, health, jobs, homes, etc., take a moment this morning and ask yourself, “Am I truly thankful for these or have I taken them for granted?”
Prayer: Heavenly Father. Thank you truly for Jesus who died so that a sinner like me could become a child. Thank you for… (you fill in the rest).
Bible Reading for Today: Proverbs 12
Lunch Break Study
Read Psalm 100: Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth. 2 Worship the Lord with gladness
come before him with joyful songs. 3 Know that the Lord is God. It is he who made us, and we are his; we are his people, the sheep of his pasture. 4 Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name. 5 For the Lord is good and his love endures forever; his faithfulness continues through all generations.
Questions to Consider
- According to verse 1, 2, 5, what attitudes should we bring into praise and worship?
- What reasons does the Psalmist give to support the idea that the Lord is praiseworthy?
- Are you thankful for these things?
- We are told to shout with joy, to worship with gladness, and sing joyful songs. We are also told to give thanksgiving and praise. Surely, our worship was meant to done with joy and enthusiasm.
- In verse 3, the Psalmist reminds us that God created us and we belong to him and are under his care. In verse 5, the Lord is praised for his ever-enduring love. These were true for Israel, and they are true for us today.
- Personal application question.
This was literally a day of Thanksgiving. So, this evening, take some time to reflect on things for which you are thankful. Try to list 50 things that bring you joy. Thank God for all of them.