Dan ****** (DAN THE CHILD OF GOD) Offline

55 Not-so-happily married Male from Boston       221
         
not much to say about me i am who i am either you like me or you dont i have been a christian since i was 22 years old

My name is Dan. I am a 55 years old sadly in April of 2013 i had to put to sleep my cat tiger i had him for 17 years i have 1 cat is 1 yr old his name is Myles who means every thing to me but very sadly i had to put Baby girl to sleep on 3-5-21 2001- 2021. I am a very family oriented person, and would never do anything to hurt my friends or family. I am also very proud of Jesus Christ for he is the one who made me realize better times were ahead when I thought that things were completely gone. If you would like to know anything please feel free to ask me also i love a good cigar been smoking cigars since i was 11 yrs old

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DAN THE CHILD OF GOD: December 7
The Uniqueness of Christ
Matthew 16
When Jesus asked His disciples, “Who do people say that the Son of Man is?” they replied, “Some say John the Baptist; and others, Elijah; but still others, Jeremiah, or one of the prophets.” But Peter answered, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God” (Matt. 16:13-16).What set Jesus apart as the Messiah?
Many people deny Christ’s deity, calling Him simply a “prophet” or “good teacher.” But Jesus was never merely human. As complex as it is for us to comprehend, He was fully God and fully man. This is the unique way in which our heavenly Father chose to demonstrate His eternal love for us from Dr. Charles Stanley--Silencing Unholy Sounds
Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth. - Psalm 46:10
You don’t need to look very far to find that our culture is bombarded by words–billboards, radio, email, text messaging, internet, television, telephones, the list goes on and on. Some messages are, of course, better than others. Nevertheless, there comes a time when we all need a break from the constant bombardment.
But how do you find refuge in a world as frenzied as ours? You can’t just set up your life in a way that you avoid everything coming at you. Yet it will be good for you to find a way to carve out a time and a place for silence in the midst of the frenzy.
The Bible tells us to sit still and be silent, and know that God is God. Take a break from the constant chatter of the world. Sit quietly and attentively in God’s presence.
Try it. See if this spiritual discipline doesn’t break the power of fear and anxiety in your life. See if it doesn’t heighten your awareness of God’s presence. See if, in this silence, you can learn to pay less attention to the noise of the world and more attention to what God is trying to say to you.
Set aside some time this week. Read Psalm 46 slowly and carefully, then sit quietly and let your heart rest in the comforting truth that God is God, and you’re not!
- Steve Arterburn
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DAN THE CHILD OF GOD: December 6
Our Partnership with God
1 Corinthians 12:4-11
I don't know how some in today's church got the false idea that the preacher is a servant and the folks in the pews are just members. No one is a bystander in God's kingdom! All believers are in partnership with the Lord (2 Cor. 6:1). He chose to work through mankind to accomplish the gospel mission on earth. To borrow a biblical metaphor, we are the workers cultivating and harvesting His fields (Matt. 9:37-38).God gave one or more spiritual gifts to every single believer to aid in the work for His kingdom. We each need this special "wiring" to carry out our unique role in His plan. He knits that spiritual gift into our personality and inborn talents to create a useful and effective servant. And just to be clear, there is no such thing as a non-gifted believer.
Believers are the Lord's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for the purpose of good works (Eph. 2:10). Spiritual gifts are not our own abilities. The Holy Spirit manifests them through us. Remember, it is the sap running from the vine into the branches that produces fruit (John 15:5). In the same way, the Spirit lives and works through God's followers to bring forth acts of service. The Lord's power is behind it all. Think of that when you are tempted to shy away from God-given opportunities.
God's awesome power is present in and available to every believer. The Holy Spirit equips us to obey the Lord in whatever He calls us to do. Don't waste your life sitting in a pew! Get busy using that spiritual gift. The fields of this world are ripe for harvest (John 4:35).from Dr. Charles Stanley,Hope in Faith
We came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.
Step Two is often referred to as "the hope step." In coming to believe that a Power greater than ourselves can restore us to sanity, we must remember what it was like to live sanely, and have the faith to hope that sanity can return.
"What is faith?" the Bible asks. "Faith is the confidence that what we hope for will actually happen; it gives us assurance about things we cannot see" (Hebrews 11:1). How can we be confident that something we want is going to happen, especially if all of our hopes have been dashed? How can we risk believing that the life we hope for is waiting for us around the bend?
The Bible tells us that the key is in the nature of the higher Power we look to. We are told, "Anyone who wants to come to him must believe that God exists and that he rewards those who sincerely seek him" (Hebrews 11:6). If we see God as one waiting to reward us, we will be more eager to look for him. If our faith has not matured to that point yet, we can ask for help. There was one man who came to Jesus and asked him to help his young son who was afflicted by a demon. He said to Jesus, " 'Have mercy on us and help us, if you can.' 'What do you mean, "If I can"?' Jesus asked. 'Anything is possible if a person believes.' The father instantly cried out, 'I do believe, but help me overcome my unbelief!' " (Mark 9:22-24). We can start by asking God to help us to have more faith. Then we can ask him for the courage to hope for a better future.
Faith starts when we believe God is who he is. by Stephen Arterburn and David Stoop
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DAN THE CHILD OF GOD: December 4
The Uniqueness of Christ
Matthew 16
When Jesus asked His disciples, “Who do people say that the Son of Man is?” they replied, “Some say John the Baptist; and others, Elijah; but still others, Jeremiah, or one of the prophets.” But Peter answered, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God” (Matt. 16:13-16).
What set Jesus apart as the Messiah?
His birth: He was conceived by the Holy Spirit and born, as prophesied, in Bethlehem to a virgin. Though angels announced His arrival and He reigns over all creation, Jesus entered our world in a lowly manner so He could be identified with the meek and the poor.
His wisdom: At age 12, He spent three days with rabbis, asking questions that showed his uncommon understanding.
His baptism: Though He didn’t need cleansing, Jesus asked John to baptize Him so He could identify with sinners and demonstrate His love to them.
His temptation: Satan tempted Him relentlessly for 40 days, yet He did not sin.
His ministry: He challenged man-made religious traditions. And by healing people—regardless of nationality—raising the dead, and forgiving sins, He revealed that God wants to be involved personally in our lives. Leading Pharisees wanted Him dead, but the Father protected His life until the crucifixion.
Many people deny Christ’s deity, calling Him simply a “prophet” or “good teacher.” But Jesus was never merely human. As complex as it is for us to comprehend, He was fully God and fully man. This is the unique way in which our heavenly Father chose to demonstrate His eternal love for us.from Dr. Charles Stanley,Lessons in Humility
Young men, in the same way be submissive to those who are older. All of you clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, because, God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble. - 1 Peter 5:5
I recently heard a story about a woman who invited guests to her home for dinner. As they sat to eat, the woman turned to her six-year-old daughter and said, "Sweetheart, would you like to ask the blessing?" The little girl replied sheepishly, "Yes, but I don't know what to say."
Mom spotted a teaching moment, and perhaps an opportunity to draw attention to her own piety. "Just say what you hear Mommy saying, dear," she said. The counsel seemed to work. The little girl clasped her hands, bowed her head, and said, "Lord, why on earth did I invite all these people to dinner?"
Life is a school for humility. And we dare not ignore the lessons. St. Augustine once said the three essential components of the Christian life are as follows: humility, humility, and humility.
- Steve Arterburn
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DAN THE CHILD OF GOD: December 3
Our Partnership with God
1 Corinthians 12:4-11
I don't know how some in today's church got the false idea that the preacher is a servant and the folks in the pews are just members. No one is a bystander in God's kingdom! All believers are in partnership with the Lord (2 Cor. 6:1). He chose to work through mankind to accomplish the gospel mission on earth. To borrow a biblical metaphor, we are the workers cultivating and harvesting His fields (Matt. 9:37-38).
God gave one or more spiritual gifts to every single believer to aid in the work for His kingdom. We each need this special "wiring" to carry out our unique role in His plan. He knits that spiritual gift into our personality and inborn talents to create a useful and effective servant. And just to be clear, there is no such thing as a non-gifted believer.
Believers are the Lord's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for the purpose of good works (Eph. 2:10). Spiritual gifts are not our own abilities. The Holy Spirit manifests them through us. Remember, it is the sap running from the vine into the branches that produces fruit (John 15:5). In the same way, the Spirit lives and works through God's followers to bring forth acts of service. The Lord's power is behind it all. Think of that when you are tempted to shy away from God-given opportunities.
God's awesome power is present in and available to every believer. The Holy Spirit equips us to obey the Lord in whatever He calls us to do. Don't waste your life sitting in a pew! Get busy using that spiritual gift. The fields of this world are ripe for harvest (John 4:35).from Dr. Charles Stanley,Work Ethic
Give her the reward she has earned, and let her works bring her praise at the city gate. - Proverbs 31:31
Are you feeling worn out? Are you using that worn out feeling as an excuse for not doing the things you know you should be doing? There's a story of a Harvard University freshman who was late handing in an assignment. He came to his professor's office to explain:
"I'm sorry, sir," he said, "but I wasn't feeling well." The Dean replied, "Young man, please bear in mind that by far the greater part of the world's work is carried on by people who are not feeling very well."
Isn't that the truth? Who have you encountered that went the extra mile in spite of feeling less than 100%? A parent? a fellow worker? A community leader? A friend at church?
Are you lacking motivation, energy, or drive? Don't wait on your feelings. Act and see if you don't feel better.
- Steve Arterburn
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DAN THE CHILD OF GOD: December 2

Our Partnership with God

1 Corinthians 12:4-11

I don't know how some in today's church got the false idea that the preacher is a servant and the folks in the pews are just members. No one is a bystander in God's kingdom! All believers are in partnership with the Lord (2 Cor. 6:1). He chose to work through mankind to accomplish the gospel mission on earth. To borrow a biblical metaphor, we are the workers cultivating and harvesting His fields (Matt. 9:37-38).

God gave one or more spiritual gifts to every single believer to aid in the work for His kingdom. We each need this special "wiring" to carry out our unique role in His plan. He knits that spiritual gift into our personality and inborn talents to create a useful and effective servant. And just to be clear, there is no such thing as a non-gifted believer.

Believers are the Lord's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for the purpose of good works (Eph. 2:10). Spiritual gifts are not our own abilities. The Holy Spirit manifests them through us. Remember, it is the sap running from the vine into the branches that produces fruit (John 15:5). In the same way, the Spirit lives and works through God's followers to bring forth acts of service. The Lord's power is behind it all. Think of that when you are tempted to shy away from God-given opportunities.

God's awesome power is present in and available to every believer. The Holy Spirit equips us to obey the Lord in whatever He calls us to do. Don't waste your life sitting in a pew! Get busy using that spiritual gift. The fields of this world are ripe for harvest (John 4:35).Dr. Charles Stanley,Maintaining Focus

Has it ever been easier or more convenient than now for a believer to lose focus on God? If the apostle Paul found himself "greatly distressed" that Athens was "full of idols" (Acts 17:16), what would he think after checking out today's culture? The Internet alone is overwhelming.
A recent Wall Street Journal article quotes an Internet guru who plugged the word "God" into a popular search engine. He received a number of responses remarkably close to the amount of sites listed for "sex." Yahoo Inc. lists thousands of sites devoted to religion and spirituality, compared with thousands about movies and hundreds about home and garden.

And these figures are expanding exponentially. We're only a mouse click away from countless links, Web pages, and chat rooms, that define God, redefine Him, recast Him into our own image, or explain Him away altogether.

With all this at our fingertips, it's more important than ever to stay focused on the true God and His Son, Jesus Christ. We can't allow ourselves to be sidetracked by falsehoods or temptations that will prove destructive to our faith.

The writer to the Hebrews called this "fixing our thoughts" and "fixing our eyes." "Therefore, holy brothers, who share in the heavenly calling, fix your thoughts on Jesus, the apostle and high priest whom we confess, let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith" (Hebrews 3:1; 12:2).

The old adage is true; the eyes are a window to the soul. So what things will your eyes let into your soul today? It's your call. You get to decide to be the strong, self-disciplined person you know you want to be, or let your eyes lead you to places that you know deep down you don't want to go. Focus.

- Steve Arterburn
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DAN THE CHILD OF GOD: November 29

Discovering Our True Identity

1 Corinthians 1:1-9

Many Christians are experiencing an identity crisis. They know they’re saved, but they don’t really know what to think about themselves. Let’s take a little test. Do you consider yourself a sinner saved by grace or a saint who occasionally sins? Both statements are true, but the first one dwells on your past identity, whereas the second focuses on the Lord’s perception of you.

If you are a believer, God’s Word says that you are a saint (v. 2). But too many of us still see ourselves as the same old sinner, who’s been forgiven and patched up and yet is basically unchanged inside. But the Lord says anyone in Christ “is a new creature; the old things passed away” (2 Cor. 5:17). That’s what being born again is all about. We can never go back to the way we were.

The solution to this identity crisis is to change the way we think about ourselves. If we don’t, we’ll rely on how we feel, and Satan will bombard us with reminders of our failures and sins. He wants to keep us focused on being a sinner, because he knows that the recognition of our sainthood will lead us to live like saints. We’ll be motivated and empowered to obey God, and the Devil will lose his foothold in our lives.

Jesus didn’t come just to save you from hell; He wants to live His life through you. In Christ, you have a new identity which has replaced your old one. If you will focus on who you are now, your actions will follow, and you’ll experience the enjoyment of a victorious Christian life.from Dr. Charles Stanley,It's Hard Not to Be Thankful

The LORD is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in Him, and I am helped. My heart leaps for joy and I will give thanks to Him in song. - Psalm 28:7
Be joyful always. Pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus. - 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

The great English writer G. K. Chesterton once wrote, "You say grace before meals. All right. But I say grace before the concert and the opera, and grace before the play and pantomime, and grace before I open a book, and grace before sketching, painting, swimming, fencing, boxing, walking, playing, dancing, and grace before I dip the pen in the ink."

Wow! What a reminder! There's no doubt in my mind that I could give thanks more often. We set aside meal time, Sunday mornings, and my favorite holiday; Thanksgiving. But, don't let an hour go by without giving thanks . . . for your work, school, kids, health, your spouse, your blessings and your challenges.

When you have a God-awareness about life and when you see and sense Him in your day (in the big things and the little things), it's hard not to be thankful. A grateful heart is one that finds the countless blessings of God in the seemingly mundane everyday life.

- Steve Arterburn
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DAN THE CHILD OF GOD: November 26
The Road of Discipleship
Galatians 1:11-17
After Paul's conversion, he disappeared into the desert for three years, during which time the Holy Spirit instructed him in the ways of God. He emerged, ready to communicate divine truth.
The Lord speaks to believers so that they will comprehend the truth, conform to the truth, and communicate the truth. These same steps form a roadmap to discipleship. What happened during Paul's desert years was only the beginning of a life-long process—God renewed his mind and transformed him into the image of Christ. For the apostle, that change began with connecting his rich biblical knowledge to the revelation that Jesus Christ was the Son of God.
Paul knew Scripture thoroughly, but the truth that Jesus was the promised Messiah made him reconsider the foundation he'd been trusting. Everything he knew about God had to be reevaluated in light of this new information. Paul had a history of wanting to please God, so the Holy Spirit no doubt found him a willing pupil.
The apostle's spirit had to be shaped according to the Father's will. And the Lord kept working on him long after Paul left the desert and began his ministry. Every person who reads his letters is a witness to the work of God in a submissive man.
The Lord's discipleship road map looks similar for every believer. Like Paul, you are the Holy Spirit's student, and the knowledge you reap from Scripture should be changing your life. Be like the apostle in this way to become a disciple maker by sharing what you learn with others.from Dr. Charles Stanley, Practicing Thankfulness at Thanksgiving
Gratitude can transform common days into thanksgivings, turn routine jobs into joy, and change ordinary opportunities into blessings. - William Arthur Ward
Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name. - Psalm 100:4
It was 1636 and the Thirty Years’ War was raging. Death, disease, and economic collapse enveloped Europe in a fog of terror. One German pastor, Martin Rinkart, is said to have buried five thousand of his parishioners in one year—an average of fifteen people per day! Yet under the shadow of death and amidst a crucible of chaos, Rinkart penned this beautiful prayer for his children:
Now thank we all our God
With heart and hands and voices
Who wondrous things had done
In whom His world rejoices.
Who, from our mother’s arms
Hath led us on our way
With countless gifts of love
And still is ours today.
Was this man in denial? Out of touch? Hardly. Rinkart was a person of incredible faith. He knew thanksgiving flows from within as a result of acknowledging the love of God at all times. It is not dependent on outward circumstance.
- Steve Arterburn
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DAN THE CHILD OF GOD: November 24
Peace with God
Romans 5:1-2
One day I posed a question to the waitress at my table: “If you could ask God for anything, what would your request be?” Her answer was immediate. “I want to feel at peace.” She tearfully explained that her grandmother had died and emotional turmoil resulted.
Many in our world are like this young woman, in that they desire inner calmness but have no relationship with the Lord. People often seek contentment by trying to improve their appearance, physical fitness, financial situation, or social status—or by abusing substances. But such things can’t bring tranquility of heart or mind. Only a relationship with Jesus leads to true peace.
Prior to salvation, we were slaves to sin and living in opposition to God (Col. 1:21). Our transgressions had formed a barrier of hostility between Him and us, which we were helpless to cross on our own. Without God’s intervention, we could not have found the way of peace. But our heavenly Father provided the perfect solution to our sin problem. He sent His Son to pay for our iniquities and remove the separation that existed between us and Him.
When we trusted Jesus as our Savior, we were reconciled to the Lord (Rom. 5:10) and no longer at odds with Him. In Christ, we have peace with the Father.
Our triune God has provided everything we need for inner tranquility. The Father opened the way for us to be in His family. Jesus continually offers His peace so we can experience serenity of mind and heart (John 14:27). And the Holy Spirit cultivates the fruit of peace in our lives (Gal. 5:22).from Dr. Charles Stanley, Demonstrations of Love
(Gratitude) turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos into order, confusion into clarity...it makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow." - Melody Beattie
May your unfailing love be my comfort, according to your promise to your servant. - Psalm 119:76
Right before Thanksgiving, an elderly man in Phoenix called his son in New York and said, 'Your mother and I are divorcing, 45 years of misery is enough. But I'm sick of talking about this, so please call your sister and tell her the news.'
The son called his sister in Chicago and she immediately called her father. 'You're not getting divorced!' she said, 'We'll be there tomorrow. Until then, don't do a thing.'
The old man hung up the phone and turned with a wry smile to his wife. 'They're coming for Thanksgiving and paying their own fares!'
If you're a parent, you can appreciate the humor of this story. Yet I must say I'm glad we never have to worry about God using deception to get us to spend time with him. Instead, he demonstrates his great love through his Son, Jesus.
- Steve Arterburn
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DAN THE CHILD OF GOD: November 23
Our Heavenly Father
Matthew 6:8-13
When Christ taught His disciples to pray, He told them to address God as "Our Father." They had previously heard Jesus say, "My Father," but now they, too, shared in that privileged family relationship. All of us who has been born again into the household of God have this same right.
Since our concepts of God are shaped by our earthly fathers, we all have different perceptions of Him, but Jesus is the only one who has a completely accurate understanding of the heavenly Father. Consider some of the ways He cares for His children:
• Loves: God's love is unconditional, since it's based on His nature rather than our performance (1 John 4:16).
• Listens: When we pray, He gives us His full attention (Ps. 55:16-17).
• Provides: The Father assumes responsibility for meeting all our needs (Phil. 4:19).
* Guides: He is the one who directs our path when we trust in Him (Prov. 3:5-6).
• Protects: The Lord shields us spiritually, emotionally, and physically, sifting every experience through His sovereign fingers. (Ps. 121:1-8).
• Stays: He's not an absentee parent, since He'll never leave or forsake us (Deut. 31:8).
• Disciplines: The Lord disciplines us
for our good, so that we may share in His holiness (Heb. 12:5-11).
Though experiences with our earthly dads may have distorted our view of the heavenly Father, we can learn to see Him as He truly is. By viewing Him through the truth of Scripture instead of our preconceptions, we will see evidence of His loving care and discover a security we've never known before. from Dr. Charles Stanley,A Lesson in Thanks
In normal life we hardly realize how much more we receive than we give, and life cannot be rich without such gratitude. It is so easy to overestimate the importance of our own achievements compared with what we owe to the help of others. - Dietrich Bonhoeffer
Giving thanks is good for our souls.
Still, we all have the question: How can I give thanks in all circumstances?
The answer is: Only by the power of the Holy Spirit.
Immediately after commanding the Thessalonians to give thanks in all circumstances Paul says, "Don't put out the Spirit's fire." (1 Thessalonians 5:19) You need the fire of the Holy Spirit in your soul if you are ever going to be able to give thanks in all circumstances. Perhaps we can learn this valuable lesson from a great man who went before us.
Abraham Lincoln's life was marked with pain and difficulty.
When he was nine, his mother died.
Though he loved books, he received little formal education.
His sister died in childbirth.
At age twenty-four he was left badly in debt when a store he invested in failed.
When he was twenty-five the woman he loved caught fever and died--he suffered deep depression.
Three years later he proposed to another woman and she turned him down.
At thirty-four he lost the nomination for U.S. Congress--one of many elections that he would lose.
Only one of his four sons lived to adulthood--one died just short of age four, one at age 11, one at 18.
Lincoln faced great obstacles and suffered deep depression. He would be remembered as one of the greatest presidents for his courage in ending slavery.
And we owe to him gratitude for his great Proclamation of Thanksgiving. Lincoln was not a man who grieved without hope. He knew the absolute necessity of giving thanks in all times. Consider these words, share them with your family this Thanksgiving:
Proclamation of Thanksgiving
BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED
STATES OF AMERICA.
A PROCLAMATION.
The year that is drawing towards its close, has been filled with the blessings of fruitful fields and healthful skies. To these bounties, which are so constantly enjoyed that we are prone to forget the source from which they come, others have been added, which are of so extraordinary a nature, that they cannot fail to penetrate and soften even the heart which is habitually insensible to the ever watchful providence of Almighty God. In the midst of a civil war of unequaled magnitude and severity, which has sometimes seemed to foreign States to invite and to provoke their aggression, peace has been preserved with all nations, order has been maintained, the laws have been respected and obeyed, and harmony has prevailed everywhere except in the theater of military conflict; while that theater has been greatly contracted by the advancing armies and navies of the Union. Needful diversions of wealth and of strength from the fields of peaceful industry to the national defense, have not arrested the plough, the shuttle or the ship; the axe has enlarged the borders of our settlements, and the mines, as well of iron and coal as of the precious metals, have yielded even more abundantly than heretofore. Population has steadily increased, notwithstanding the waste that has been made in the camp, the siege and the battlefield; and the country, rejoicing in the consciousness of augmented strength and vigor, is permitted to expect continuance of years with large increase of freedom. No human counsel hath devised nor hath any mortal hand worked out these great things. They are the gracious gifts of the Most High God, who, while dealing with us in anger for our sins, hath nevertheless remembered mercy. It has seemed to me fit and proper that they should be solemnly, reverently and gratefully acknowledged as with one heart and one voice by the whole American People. I do therefore invite my fellow citizens in every part of the United States, and also those who are at sea and those who are sojourning in foreign lands, to set apart and observe the last Thursday of November next, as a day of Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens. And I recommend to them that while offering up the ascriptions justly due to Him for such singular deliverances and blessings, they do also, with humble penitence for our national perverseness and disobedience, commend to His tender care all those who have become widows, orphans, mourners or sufferers in the lamentable civil strife in which we are unavoidably engaged, and fervently implore the interposition of the Almighty Hand to heal the wounds of the nation and to restore it as soon as may be consistent with the Divine purposes to the full enjoyment of peace, harmony, tranquility and Union.
In testimony whereof, I have hereunto set my hand and caused the Seal of the United States to be affixed.
Done at the city of Washington, this Third day of October, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty-three, and of the Independence of the United States the Eighty-eighth.
Abraham Lincoln
- Steve Arterburn
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DAN THE CHILD OF GOD: Novermber 20 Jesus the Source of Peace

Colossians 1:15-20

Before we knew Jesus Christ, our life was full of godlessness and wickedness—we had self-seeking ways and stubborn, unrepentant hearts (Rom. 1:18; 2:5, 8). Like our strife-filled world, we clamored for peace and tried to find it, but our efforts failed.

When we came to faith in the Savior, all of that changed. We were rescued from the dominion of darkness and brought into Christ’s kingdom (Col 1:13). Every one of our sins—past, present, and future—was forgiven. Divine justice was satisfied by Christ’s sacrifice, and God’s wrath upon us was removed. We became a new creation, washed clean by Jesus’ blood (2 Cor. 5:17).

Now that sin’s power over us has been broken, we can live in accord with God. He sent His Holy Spirit to be our personal guide in this new life, helping each of us experience Christ’s peace (Rom. 8:6). We also can look forward to an eternity spent in heaven, where righteousness, tranquility, and joy abound (Rom. 14:17).

The story of the prodigal son’s return is a picture of our reconciliation with the Lord (Luke 15:11-24). The son had chosen to leave his father, living instead to please himself. Repentant, he eventually returned home; his father joyfully greeted him and forgave him, and there was harmony between them. God has done all this for us.

Our unity with the heavenly Father came at a great price—the sacrifice of His only Son. Christ gave His life for us so that we could be reconciled to God (Col. 1:20). Christian lives are to testify that Jesus is the source of our peace. Does your life communicate this message?from Dr. Charles Stanley,
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DAN THE CHILD OF GOD: November 19

Resisting Fleshly Appetites

Ephesians 2:1-7

The Holy Spirit guides believers to make wise and righteous decisions. But when Christians fail to listen, they can make choices that appeal to the flesh instead.

After the serpent spoke to Eve, she no doubt took a long look at the tree of the knowledge of good and evil (Gen. 2:17; 3:3). Whatever she might have thought about the tree before, she now saw it with new eyes—flesh-focused eyes. Genesis 3 tells us that the forbidden tree appealed to Eve in three ways: 1) it was good for food, 2) it was a delight to the eyes, and 3) it was desirable to make one wise.

In other words, the tree could fulfill three legitimate human appetites: the desire for tasty meals, beauty, and wisdom. There is nothing wrong with these God-given yearnings. The Lord created a variety of food and an earth packed with breathtaking sights so that people could enjoy them. He also offers the Holy Spirit as a source of His true wisdom and knowledge. In fact, it is the Spirit who teaches believers to keep fleshly appetites under control and in balance.

Meanwhile, Satan works very hard at corrupting healthy desires. He abhors seeing people's appetites satisfied. What he wants is to watch a person lusting after a good thing until he or she is controlled by the impulse to have it.

The Devil is pleased when people make themselves slaves to a desire that—in the proper context—the Lord intended to be enjoyed freely. A believer walking in the Holy Spirit rejects gluttony, preferring desires that are within God's boundaries instead. That's how we get His very best.from Dr. Charles Stanley,Cultivate a Heart of Gratitude Part 5

The ungrateful see little of His great love; but the grateful feel their heart is a shore and His love is a sea that never stops coming in. - Ann Voscamp
This is the last day of learning how to Cultivate a Heart of Gratitude Within Your Home this Thanksgiving Season—7 simple ways

Part 5 of 5.

Journal.
Tell Stories.
Serve.
Create.
Sing.
Connect.
Remember. Why do we celebrate Thanksgiving? Take some time to remember the history of this holiday. Watch Peanuts The Mayflower Voyage with your kids (you can rent it from the library or pick it up from the store and make it a yearly family tradition). This surprisingly informative movie tells the story of the dangerous and difficult voyage made by the Pilgrims and the challenges they faced when they arrived in America. Talk with your kids about God’s provision for the pilgrims.
Remember also how God has and is caring for us. How true are the words of, William Jennings Bryan, "On Thanksgiving Day we acknowledge our dependence." We all have stories. God has brought us through valleys. He’s been with us in joy and sadness. And he will be with us in the days ahead.

Not only will intentional gratitude enrich Thanksgiving, it will help us as we look forward to the season of Christmas, where the desire for stuff can run high. Wouldn’t it be wonderful to battle this cultural trend by cultivating thankful hearts in our families now, hearts of profound and simply joy?

Thanksgiving, after all, is a word of action. - W.J. Cameron

Let us be actively thankful this Thanksgiving, remembering how we've been loved. Pick one or two of the above suggestions you think would bless your family and lean into the loveliness of this season..Steve Arterburn
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DAN THE CHILD OF GOD
DAN THE CHILD OF GOD: November 18

Gratitude in Affliction

Psalms 119:65-72

At Thanksgiving, we typically express gratitude for God's blessings. But did you ever consider thanking Him for something that doesn't seem like a blessing—such as a trying circumstance you want Him to remove or change? A grateful heart is most precious to God when, humanly speaking, our situations don't warrant giving thanks. By making four foundational decisions, we can begin to see the value of our adversities and respond with appreciation.

Believe and trust the Lord. Only by viewing life from a scriptural perspective can we understand His purposes in our trials and trust His wisdom in allowing them.

Accept the situation as coming from God—either directly sent or permissively allowed. If we truly believe He's working for our good (Rom 8:28-29), we can choose to receive each difficulty as coming from His loving hand. Then we can say "Thank You."

Submit to God in the circumstance. Although we may not like the situation, knowing that God "[is] good and does good" (v. 68) allows us to confidently place our lives under His authority.

Draw from Him the strength to endure. No one has the ability within himself to endure hardships with gratefulness. Only by relying on the Lord can believers go through adversity with an appreciative heart.

Now, think about that circumstance you would like changed, and with a new mindset, offer this prayer to God: "Lord, I accept this situation as coming from You. In faith and trust, I place myself under Your loving authority, and draw from You the strength I need to endure with gratitude."from Dr. Charles Stanley,Cultivate a Heart of Gratitude Part 4

But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. - 1 Corinthians 15:57
For the next few days, learn how to Cultivate a Heart of Gratitude Within Your Home this Thanksgiving Season—7 simple ways

Part 4 of 5.

Journal.
Tell Stories.
Serve.
Create.
Sing. The beautiful thing about song is that it will find its way into our hearts and overflow into our minds and upon our lips when we least expect it. Once a song finds a home, it greets you when you’re making breakfast, brushing your teeth, doing chores, or just walking down the street. Have your kids pick a song/hymn about thankfulness and sing it before dinner or while you’re cleaning dishes. Some classics to consider: Now Thank We All Our God, Praise to the Lord The Almighty, Give Thanks (with a grateful heart), My Heart is Filled With Thankfulness. (You can listen to the song online to get the tune right or print the lyrics, if necessary.)
Connect. Take time during dinnertime in November to connect. Tell your kids about your Thanksgiving memories and traditions when you were a kid, with whom you celebrated, what you ate, games you played, places you went, etc. Ask your family or friends who may be sharing a meal with you to finish this statement, "It really doesn’t feel like Thanksgiving to me without …"
Tomorrow, part 5.Steve Arterburn
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DAN THE CHILD OF GOD
DAN THE CHILD OF GOD: November 17

Grace to Keep Going

Acts 15:7-11

As believers, we readily attribute our salvation to God’s grace, but what does “this grace in which we stand” mean to us now (Rom. 5:2)? How does it work out in everyday life, especially when we’re going through periods of trial or suffering?

The Lord’s grace releases His supernatural power within us so we can endure life’s hardships with a godly attitude. In fact, we’ll even be able to rejoice in what He is doing in us through the adversity.
Grace builds our confidence in the sovereign Lord. Nothing looks hopeless when we focus on Him instead of on our problems.
We discover the assurance of God’s sustaining presence as He walks with us every step of the way.
Because we’ve experienced His care for us, we are able to show empathy and love to others facing hard times.
During fiery trials, grace works to transform our character so that others can see Jesus reflected in us.
Difficulties in life are unavoidable. So we need a daily dose of God’s grace if we are to walk through trials with confidence that there is great reward on the other side. If we rely on our own strength, however, obstacles will appear insurmountable, leaving us discouraged and ready to give up.

Too often believers rely on Christ for their salvation but then try to go solo. If God’s grace was needed to save us, then logic says we would also need it for the rest of our days. Only through a continuous infusion of His sustaining power can we live a victorious Christian life.from Dr. Charles Stanley,Cultivate a Heart of Gratitude Part 3

Sing praise to the Lord, you saints of His, and give thanks at the remembrance of His holy name . . .– Psalm 30:4
For the next few days, learn how to Cultivate a Heart of Gratitude Within Your Home this Thanksgiving Season—7 simple ways

Part 3 of 5.

Journal.
Tell Stories.
Serve… together as a family. Collect canned goods, rake leaves for your neighbors, volunteer in a soup kitchen, or invite an outsider (maybe a college student, a single person from church, or someone who is new to the area) to celebrate Thanksgiving with you. Ask your kids to think of someone from their school whom they might like to bless with a basketful of goodies. Start a "giving jar" where you put spare change or extra dollars with the goal of giving to someone in need. Ask your kids if they have any ideas regarding service. Get creative. The possibilities are endless.
Create. Have your kids make creative place cards for Thanksgiving dinner. Instead of just cards with names, have them write, ‘I’m thankful for Grandma.’ Or be even more specific, ‘I’m thankful for Grandma’s chocolate chip cookies.' ‘I’m thankful for Dad’s funny stories.’ ‘I’m thankful for trips to the fire station with Uncle Joe.’ This will cultivate a thankful heart in your children and bless the people who are sharing the meal with you. (Even if you’re not hosting Thanksgiving dinner, volunteer to bring place cards even if you don’t normally use them).
Tomorrow, part 4.Steve Arterburn
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DAN THE CHILD OF GOD: November 16

The Ultimate Father-Son Relationship

John 5:19-20

God is called by a variety of names in the Bible, and each one sheds light on an aspect of His nature. Jesus' favorite title for Him was Father. Surprisingly, this name for God is used only 15 times in the Old Testament, but in the New Testament, it's recorded 245 times!

Many of God's names speak of His majestic and lofty attributes that separate Him from mankind, but Father conveys intimacy. Jesus used this name not only because He was God's Son, but also to help people realize that Jehovah isn't some unapproachable Deity gazing down on them from a distance. Rather, He is their loving heavenly Father, who cares about them and wants to be involved in their everyday lives.

Throughout His time on earth, Christ revealed by example what this kind of love relationship was like. He depended completely on His Father for daily direction, power, and provision and obediently carried out every instruction. He often left the demands of ministry just to find a secluded place to be alone with Jehovah. We know Jesus successfully conveyed the riches of this relationship to His disciples, because in John 14:8, Philip said, "Lord, show us the Father"—he wanted to know Him the way Christ did.

Do you long for that kind of intimacy with God? He wants to relate to you as a Father to His child, and He's given you the privilege of drawing near to Him. In fact, He chose you before the foundation of the world and waits with open arms for you to enter His loving embrace.from Dr. Charles Stanley, Cultivate a Heart of Gratitude Part 2

A grateful heart is one that finds the countless blessings of God in the seemingly mundane everyday life.
For the next few days, learn how to Cultivate a Heart of Gratitude Within Your Home this Thanksgiving Season—7 simple ways

Part 2 of 5.

Journal.
Tell Stories. Share the story of Pastor Martin Rinkart with your family.
In 1636 the Thirty Years’ War was raging. Death, disease, and economic collapse enveloped Europe in a fog of terror. One German pastor, Martin Rinkart, is said to have buried five thousand of his parishioners in one year, an average of fifteen people daily! Yet under the shadow of death and amidst a crucible of chaos, Rinkart penned this beautiful table grace for his children:

Now thank we all our God
With heart and hands and voices
Who wondrous things had done
In whom His world rejoices.

Who, from our mother’s arms
Hath led us on our way
With countless gifts of love
And still is ours today.

Talk about this with your family. Was this man in denial? Out of touch? Hardly. Rinkart was a person of audacious faith. He knew thanksgiving flows from love of God, not outward circumstance. Share this story and sing the table grace he wrote for his children.

Tomorrow, part 3.Cultivate a Heart of Gratitude Part 2

A grateful heart is one that finds the countless blessings of God in the seemingly mundane everyday life.
For the next few days, learn how to Cultivate a Heart of Gratitude Within Your Home this Thanksgiving Season—7 simple ways

Part 2 of 5.

Journal.
Tell Stories. Share the story of Pastor Martin Rinkart with your family.
In 1636 the Thirty Years’ War was raging. Death, disease, and economic collapse enveloped Europe in a fog of terror. One German pastor, Martin Rinkart, is said to have buried five thousand of his parishioners in one year, an average of fifteen people daily! Yet under the shadow of death and amidst a crucible of chaos, Rinkart penned this beautiful table grace for his children:

Now thank we all our God
With heart and hands and voices
Who wondrous things had done
In whom His world rejoices.

Who, from our mother’s arms
Hath led us on our way
With countless gifts of love
And still is ours today.

Talk about this with your family. Was this man in denial? Out of touch? Hardly. Rinkart was a person of audacious faith. He knew thanksgiving flows from love of God, not outward circumstance. Share this story and sing the table grace he wrote for his children.
Steve Arterburn
Tomorrow, part 3.
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DAN THE CHILD OF GOD
DAN THE CHILD OF GOD: November 15

Sufficient Grace

2 Corinthians 12:7-10

I thought the Christian life was going to be easier than this. Have these words ever entered your mind? Sometimes we come into the family of God thinking that our heavenly Father will fix all our problems and devote Himself to our happiness and comfort. However, that is not the reality portrayed in Scripture. Paul was a man whom the Lord used greatly, and yet his life was anything but easy.

In fact, at one point, the apostle thought his pain was too much to bear, and he begged God to remove it. There’s nothing wrong with asking the Lord to relieve our suffering, but what should our response be if He doesn’t? Paul probably had no idea that His experience would find its way into the Bible, to comfort and guide believers throughout the ages. The promise God gave him applies to us as well: “My grace is sufficient for you” (v. 9).

God’s grace could be defined as His provision for us at the point of our need. The problem is that sometimes it doesn’t seem as if the Lord truly is meeting our need. But He frequently sees deficiencies, outcomes, and complications that we don’t. His goals for us involve spiritual growth, the development of Christlike character, and strong faith. And trials play a vital role in achieving these.

The important issue is how we respond. If all you want is relief, you could descend into anger and doubt. But if your desire is to become the person God wants you to be, you’ll see each trial as an opportunity for Christ to display His character and strength in you. from Dr. Charles Stanley, Cultivate a Heart of Gratitude Part 1

Courtesies of a small and trivial character are the ones which strike deepest in the grateful and appreciating heart. - Henry Clay
For the next few days, learn how to Cultivate a Heart of Gratitude Within Your Home this Thanksgiving Season—7 simple ways

Part 1 of 5.

Feeling gratitude and not expressing it is like wrapping a present and not giving it. - William Arthur Ward

Thanksgiving is too wonderful a holiday to let slip by without some intentional, active gratitude. But unless we’re deliberate, that’s exactly what will happen. Already busy lives seem to be compounded this time of year, right? By the time Thanksgiving Day arrives, we can be so emotionally and physically tired from all the prep or travel that the actual "giving thanks" gets lost.

But the Christian heart is a heart of gratitude. And to the extent that we express gratitude, we reflect the heart of our Savior and brother, Jesus Christ. God’s word implores us:

Enter his gates with thanksgiving, and his courts with praise! Give thanks to him; bless his name! (Psalm 100).

We were made to worship and enjoy the triune God who has set his love upon us and lavished us with good gifts. Yet where or how do we begin this journey into the very heart of Christ? Here are some thoughts to assist you in cultivating a thankful spirit within your family this season!

Journal. In the beginning of November or a few weeks prior to Thanksgiving Day, place a journal on your kitchen counter (or a highly trafficked area) or attach a paper to your refrigerator. At the top of the page you can write or print, I’m thankful for… Then encourage your family to fill out the journal as things come to mind during this season. Include anything and everything that comes to mind from the simple pleasures of life, I’m thankful for hot coffee! To the profound, I’m thankful that God’s mercies are new every morning. Have the thankful person be sure to include his or her name next to the line of gratitude. Tell little ones who cannot write to simply share with someone in your home who can record it for him/her. On Thanksgiving Day, select a person to read the list or pass it around the table giving each person a chance to read.
Tomorrow, part 2.- Steve Arterburn
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DAN THE CHILD OF GOD
DAN THE CHILD OF GOD: November 13
Victory Over Guilt
John 3:16-17
At times, people are bound by guilt long after the feeling should have been resolved. Some rightly live with it because they refuse to give up the sin that brought it on. Meanwhile, others suffer the weight of false guilt because they harbor shame that doesn't belong to them. Whatever the root cause of your condemnation, the battle plan remains the same.
Victory over guilt begins with understanding that Jesus took our shame to the cross and paid our penalty. There is no way that we can pay for our own sin. But we do need to honestly identify the source of our guilt and confess before God. That means we agree with His perspective on what we've done. In other words, we admit when we're wrong. Repentance goes a step further: we turn away from the wrong and choose to do right.
Confronting guilt in this way replaces the weight of shame in our heart with peace and joy, which are far lighter and more freeing. And an amazing side effect is that we have wisdom to share. Openness about our past mistakes, resulting consequences, guilt burdens, and forgiveness can reveal the Lord to those in our sphere of influence. Through our witness, God may reach others who need their guilt chains broken.
The battle to overcome guilt is one that should not be delayed. The feeling won't just go away. Whether your condemnation is true or false, it needs to be dealt with quickly. Stop running, and face the source of your guilt. It's time to end your captivity and start walking in the joy of God's blessing. from Dr. Charles Stanley,Giving Thanks Through Everything
The unthankful heart discovers no mercies; but let the thankful heart sweep through the day and, as the magnet finds the iron, so it will find, in every hour, some heavenly blessings! - Henry Ward Beecher
Thanksgiving goes deep into our national heritage. In fact, the newly formed United States first recognized Thanksgiving as a national holiday during the administration of our country's first president: George Washington. These are words in which President Washington introduced it:
'Whereas, it is the duty of all nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey His will, to be grateful for His benefits, and humbly to implore His protection and favor;
Therefore, both the houses of Congress have, requested me, to recommend to the people of the United States a day of public thanksgiving and prayer, to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many and signal favors of Almighty God, Now, therefore, I do recommend next, to be devoted by the people of the states to the service of that great and glorious Being, who is the beneficent Author of all the good that was, that is, or that will be, that we may then all unite in rendering unto Him our sincere and humble thanks for His kind care and protection of the people of this country.'
But, the call to give thanks goes even deeper into our identity and responsibility as disciples of Jesus Christ. Giving thanks is an essential aspect of worship, and worship; is the very reason for our existence. Therefore, take the time to reflect on and respond to this question: what has God done in your life that calls for thanksgiving today?
- Steve Arterburn
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DAN THE CHILD OF GOD: November 12

Victory Over Guilt

John 3:16-17

At times, people are bound by guilt long after the feeling should have been resolved. Some rightly live with it because they refuse to give up the sin that brought it on. Meanwhile, others suffer the weight of false guilt because they harbor shame that doesn't belong to them. Whatever the root cause of your condemnation, the battle plan remains the same.

Victory over guilt begins with understanding that Jesus took our shame to the cross and paid our penalty. There is no way that we can pay for our own sin. But we do need to honestly identify the source of our guilt and confess before God. That means we agree with His perspective on what we've done. In other words, we admit when we're wrong. Repentance goes a step further: we turn away from the wrong and choose to do right.

Confronting guilt in this way replaces the weight of shame in our heart with peace and joy, which are far lighter and more freeing. And an amazing side effect is that we have wisdom to share. Openness about our past mistakes, resulting consequences, guilt burdens, and forgiveness can reveal the Lord to those in our sphere of influence. Through our witness, God may reach others who need their guilt chains broken.

The battle to overcome guilt is one that should not be delayed. The feeling won't just go away. Whether your condemnation is true or false, it needs to be dealt with quickly. Stop running, and face the source of your guilt. It's time to end your captivity and start walking in the joy of God's blessing.from Dr. Charles Stanley,Giving Thanks Through Everything

The unthankful heart discovers no mercies; but let the thankful heart sweep through the day and, as the magnet finds the iron, so it will find, in every hour, some heavenly blessings! - Henry Ward Beecher
Thanksgiving goes deep into our national heritage. In fact, the newly formed United States first recognized Thanksgiving as a national holiday during the administration of our country's first president: George Washington. These are words in which President Washington introduced it:

'Whereas, it is the duty of all nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey His will, to be grateful for His benefits, and humbly to implore His protection and favor;

Therefore, both the houses of Congress have, requested me, to recommend to the people of the United States a day of public thanksgiving and prayer, to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many and signal favors of Almighty God, Now, therefore, I do recommend next, to be devoted by the people of the states to the service of that great and glorious Being, who is the beneficent Author of all the good that was, that is, or that will be, that we may then all unite in rendering unto Him our sincere and humble thanks for His kind care and protection of the people of this country.'

But, the call to give thanks goes even deeper into our identity and responsibility as disciples of Jesus Christ. Giving thanks is an essential aspect of worship, and worship; is the very reason for our existence. Therefore, take the time to reflect on and respond to this question: what has God done in your life that calls for thanksgiving today?

- Steve Arterburn
25 days ago Report Link
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DAN THE CHILD OF GOD
DAN THE CHILD OF GOD: November 11

Understanding Guilt

John 8:1-11

Guilt over doing something that violates the conscience is a normal emotion. However, living under a cloud of remorse for no discernible reason is not. The Lord designed feelings of culpability and regret to serve as a reminder that a person has done wrong and needs to repent. But Satan twists those emotions to imprison men and women: those living in shame are uncertain of God's love and often lack self-confidence.

Good guilt--the Lord's effective tool for prompting repentance--is a gift that helps us find the right path. However, the Devil encourages false guilt, which involves taking responsibility for things outside our control and then suffering self-condemnation for not changing the outcome. This unhealthy type of guilt is also a widespread problem for those in legalistic churches or lifestyles--certain behaviors or thoughts are labeled as wrong, and then people feel ashamed for doing or thinking those things.

Self-condemnation stunts a relationship with Jesus. Instead of enjoying the peace of God, people who are trapped by shame fear His rejection and feel driven to prove their worth. Trust is nearly impossible because they are waiting for God's judgment to rain down. Their guilt even colors how they see themselves: rather than saying, "My action is wrong," they say, "I am bad."

Jesus did not come to accuse or condemn us. Christ restored our souls and made us righteous before God so that our guilt is removed. If our Savior forgave the woman caught in an adulterous relationship, just imagine how ready He is to take your shame away too (John 8:11).from Dr. Charles Stanley,The Art of Thanksgiving

With joy you will draw water from the wells of salvation. In that day you will say: ‘Give thanks to the LORD, call on His name; make known among the nations what He has done, and proclaim that His name is exalted. Sing to the LORD, for He has done glorious things; let this be known to all the world.’ - Isaiah 12:3-5
The Bible has a lot to say to us about being thankful. Here are nine reasons you can give thanks today.

1. God is deserving of our thanks. Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever. 1 Chronicles 16:34 (This verse can be found throughout the scriptures.)

2. Thankfulness is a great witness. Give thanks to the Lord, call on his name; make known among the nations what he has done. 1 Chronicles 16:8

3. In the midst of your struggles and pain, God is with you. The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and I am helped. My heart leaps for joy and I will give thanks to him in song. Psalm 28:7

4. Give thanks because God is for you, He remains faithful even when you falter. Let them give thanks to the Lord for his unfailing love and his wonderful deeds for men. (found four times in Psalm 107).

5. It's a command. And he (Jesus) took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them, saying, "This is my body given for you; do this in remembrance of me." Luke 22:19

6. Thanksgiving shows that you know to whom you belong and builds character. Give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus. 1 Th 5:18

7. Give thanks because God uses broken vessels like us to do his work.
But thanks be to God, who always leads us in triumphal procession in Christ and through us spreads everywhere the fragrance of the knowledge of him. 2 Corinthians 2:14

8. Give thanks because you have a Savior.
Thanks be to God for his indescribable gift! 2 Corinthians 9:15

9. Give thanks because not only has your debt been paid, you can now live with hope, love, and faith. But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. 1 Corinthians 15:57- Steve Arterburn
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DAN THE CHILD OF GOD
DAN THE CHILD OF GOD: November 10

Victory Over Unforgiveness

Daniel 6

Immediately after teaching His followers to pray, Jesus gave a warning about allowing unforgiveness to reside in the heart. He said that those who refuse to forgive others won't be forgiven by the Father.

Do not misunderstand Jesus' meaning here. Believers don't lose their salvation when they refuse to forgive. Rather, they break fellowship with God because their unrepentant attitude gets in the way of regular confession and repentance. The Lord cannot ignore sin, and His Spirit will bring wrong behavior to the believer's attention until he or she deals with it.

Forgiveness is an act of the will more than an act of the heart. Often people don't feel like being merciful to someone who has wronged them. But a resentful spirit grows into a terrible burden. The Lord knows that forgiveness is best, even when it is difficult.

You won't deal with a sin until you see it as God does. So assume full responsibility for your unforgiving attitude, and acknowledge that it is a violation of His Word. Claim the divine mercy He offers, and ask Him to enable you to lay aside anger and resentment against the other person(s). As part of the decision to move forward in grace, make a habit of praying for those who hurt you. And if God so leads, seek their forgiveness for your wrong attitude.

A bitter and resentful spirit doesn't fit who we are in Christ. Nor is it healthy to carry an angry attitude through life. That's why Scripture emphasizes the need to forgive. Choose to be liberated from your burden--Jesus promised to make us free when we release our sins to Him (John 8:36).from Dr. Charles Stanley, Thankfulness In Spite Of . . .

Rejoice in the LORD, you righteous, and give thanks at the remembrance of His holy name. - Psalm 97:12
Why are you downcast, O my soul? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God. Psalm 42:11

Consider this short recap from a previous devotional of the life of one man who knew the importance of a thankful heart:

When he was nine, his mother died. Though he loved books, he received little formal education. His sister died in childbirth. At age twenty-four he found himself deep in debt when a store he invested in failed. When he was twenty-five the woman he loved caught fever and died causing him to sink into deep depression.
Three years later he proposed to another woman and she turned him down. At thirty-four he lost the nomination for U.S. Congress. Only one of his four sons lived to adulthood: one died just short of age 4, one at age 11, one at 18. Who was this man? Abraham Lincoln. And in 1863 he asked Congress to establish the annual celebration of Thanksgiving.
In spite of his failings, his sorrow, his depression, his disappointments, he chose to express gratitude to God and lead a nation to do the same.

What's your "In spite of . . .?" It doesn't matter what it is: hurt, pain, sorrow, depression, loss, disappointments, or anything else. You can choose to have a thankful spirit.



- Steve Arterburn
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DAN THE CHILD OF GOD
DAN THE CHILD OF GOD: November 9
When God Looks on Us with Favor
Isaiah 66:1-2
Believers are always under the canopy of God’s grace and love. Nothing we do can change that. At the same time, our behavior and heart condition do determine whether we receive the fullness of His blessings. Today’s passage teaches us how to experience the Father’s favor.
First, He desires that we have a contrite heart and a humble spirit (Ps. 51:17). For that to be the case, all aspects of our lives must be surrendered to Jesus. Yet some dreams, desires, and people are difficult to release into His hands.
Anything we do not give over to His authority is evidence of pride, the exact opposite of what our Father wants in His children. Remember that “God is opposed to the proud, but gives grace to the humble” (James 4:6). Lack of submission proves that we think our way is better than His plan.
Second, God tells us to tremble at His Word (Isa. 66:2). Scripture—the unfolding revelation of Jesus Himself—is living and powerful to teach and transform us. Consider how we treat this treasure. Do we devote time each day to know what the Bible says and how to apply its principles? Do we hunger for more of the Word in our lives so we can know its Author better? One measure of our reverence is obedience: to honor the Lord, we must obey Him.
We all desire God’s favor. Are you living in a manner that positions you to receive His full blessings? Prayerfully consider whether you have submitted all areas of your life—from finances and health to relationships and work habits—to Jesus Christ. Recognize His authority in all things, and revere His Word. from Dr. Charles Stanley,Thankfulness In Spite Of . . .
Rejoice in the LORD, you righteous, and give thanks at the remembrance of His holy name. - Psalm 97:12
Why are you downcast, O my soul? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God. Psalm 42:11
Consider this short recap from a previous devotional of the life of one man who knew the importance of a thankful heart:
When he was nine, his mother died. Though he loved books, he received little formal education. His sister died in childbirth. At age twenty-four he found himself deep in debt when a store he invested in failed. When he was twenty-five the woman he loved caught fever and died causing him to sink into deep depression.
Three years later he proposed to another woman and she turned him down. At thirty-four he lost the nomination for U.S. Congress. Only one of his four sons lived to adulthood: one died just short of age 4, one at age 11, one at 18. Who was this man? Abraham Lincoln. And in 1863 he asked Congress to establish the annual celebration of Thanksgiving.
In spite of his failings, his sorrow, his depression, his disappointments, he chose to express gratitude to God and lead a nation to do the same.
What's your "In spite of . . .?" It doesn't matter what it is: hurt, pain, sorrow, depression, loss, disappointments, or anything else. You can choose to have a thankful spirit.
Most people are about as happy as they make up their minds to be. - Abraham Lincoln
- Steve Arterburn
28 days ago Report Link
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DAN THE CHILD OF GOD
DAN THE CHILD OF GOD: November 8
The Passion to Obey
John 14:15
For a sermon I gave several years ago, I jotted down a list and titled it "The Evolution of a Passion to Obey God." That passion doesn't just spring up, full-blown at salvation. We do enter our new life in Christ with a desire to please Him, and that does include obeying Him. But an intensely determined pursuit of His will develops more slowly.n fact, the first stage--fear of the consequences of disobedience--barely qualifies as reverence for God. But as we progress in our faith and form a commitment to obey the Lord, we eventually reach the final stage, which is love and devotion to Christ. Wouldn't you rather follow Him out of love than out of fear?
Getting from the first stage to the last begins with what you might expect--an increasing knowledge of Jesus Christ. As we dig into God's Word to see how He provided for the saints, we develop a desire for His best. Men like Moses, David, and Paul weren't satisfied with what the world had to offer, and we won't be either when we witness His work in the lives of His followers. So we test out obedience and discover that God's promised blessings are real. As we acquire a record of consistent rewards for doing His will, we recognize the wisdom of obedience.
Can you find yourself on the spectrum between fear and devotion? It is my hope that you have committed to obeying God and that you are reading His Word daily to learn how to keep your promise. God wants your best--your passionate pursuit of His will--because He is giving His best to you.from Dr. Charles Stanley,Giving Thanks Through Everything
The unthankful heart discovers no mercies; but let the thankful heart sweep through the day and, as the magnet finds the iron, so it will find, in every hour, some heavenly blessings! - Henry Ward Beecher
Thanksgiving goes deep into our national heritage. In fact, the newly formed United States first recognized Thanksgiving as a national holiday during the administration of our country's first president: George Washington. These are words in which President Washington introduced it:
'Whereas, it is the duty of all nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey His will, to be grateful for His benefits, and humbly to implore His protection and favor;
[Therefore], both the houses of Congress have, requested me, to recommend to the people of the United States a day of public thanksgiving and prayer, to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many and signal favors of Almighty God, Now, therefore, I do recommend next, to be devoted by the people of the states to the service of that great and glorious Being, who is the beneficent Author of all the good that was, that is, or that will be, that we may then all unite in rendering unto Him our sincere and humble thanks for His kind care and protection of the people of this country.'
But men, the call to give thanks goes even deeper into our identity and responsibility as disciples of Jesus Christ. Giving thanks is an essential aspect of worship, and worship; is the very reason for our existence. Therefore, men, take the time to reflect on and respond to this question: what has God done in your life that calls for thanksgiving today?
- Steve Arterburn
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DAN THE CHILD OF GOD
DAN THE CHILD OF GOD: November 6
How to Get the Most Out of Your Work
Matthew 20:25-28
According to Scripture, work is to be part of the believer's life. We all have daily tasks, and many Christians hold jobs outside the home. Some people view these as drudgery. Others wake up excited to face the day's challenges. What is your outlook?There is an important biblical principle to follow if you are going to enjoy your work: View yourself as a servant. This might be hard if you feel unappreciated or your coworkers are difficult. But consider the example that the Lord set for us. He was rejected, tortured, and crucified. Yet Jesus was willing to serve even His tormentors with His attitude and, ultimately, with His life. Colossians 3:23-24 states, "Whatever you do, do your work heartily, as for the Lord rather than for men . . . It is the Lord Christ whom you serve."
When I was in college, this proved to be a valuable perspective. I worked in the bleachery, which was the hottest and most uncomfortable job at the local textile mill. At first, I focused on how much I disliked this position. But I decided to change my attitude and look for opportunities to serve Jesus through my work. For the first time, the heat did not bother me. In fact, I was eager to share my faith with those around me. People listened and responded because they noticed my demeanor.
No job is perfect; each position has negative aspects. But we can find joy and excitement even in the most menial task when we decide to work for God. Choose to serve Christ in all you do. After all, why face each day with dread when you could experience excitement and anticipation?from Dr. Charles Stanley,In All Things Give Thanks
Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. - 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
Sometimes, in the rush of everyday living, we simply don’t stop long enough to pause and thank our Creator for the countless blessings He has bestowed upon us.
When we slow down and express our gratitude to the One who made us, we enrich our own lives and the lives of those around us. Thanksgiving should become a habit, a regular part of our daily routines. God has blessed us beyond measure, and we owe Him everything, including our eternal praise.
As Christians, we are called to give thanks in all the things. Not just the good things, not just some things but ALL things. Are you a thankful person? Do you appreciate the gifts that God has given you? And, do you demonstrate your gratitude by being a faithful steward of the gifts and talents that you have received from your Creator? You most certainly should be thankful. After all, when you stop to think about it, God has given you more blessings than you can count. So the question of the day is this: will you thank your Heavenly Father . . . or will you spend your time and energy doing other things?- Steve Arterburn
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DAN THE CHILD OF GOD
DAN THE CHILD OF GOD: November 5
Obeying God
Acts 5:27-32
The high priest ordered Peter and the apostles to stop teaching about Jesus, but they ignored the order. When questioned about their actions, Peter replied, “We must obey God rather than men” (v. 29). What motivated them to follow the Lord with such conviction?
God’s Sovereignty. Peter and the other disciples recognized that God had carried out His divine plan of redemption in Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection. Convinced that salvation was found in Christ alone, they had the courage to speak boldly about their faith. They didn’t alter their words, even in front of a powerful authority. Instead, they gave allegiance to God and obeyed Him.Thankfulness. Their obedience was also motivated by gratitude. After betraying the Lord, Peter had wept over his failure (Mark 14:72). Think of the disciple’s joy to realize that Christ had forgiven him for his mistakes and restored him to a right relationship with God (Mark 16:7; John 21:15-17). With his past behind him, Peter became a leader of the Jerusalem church, with a passion to obey fueled by a thankful heart.
God is in charge of our lives. He has rescued us from the bondage of sin, forgiven us, and brought us into His family. Grateful obedience should be our response too.
Each day we have a choice. We can acknowledge God’s sovereignty and trust Him, or we can turn away and follow our own plan. Cultivating a thankful spirit will motivate us to stay the course and obey the Lord. Like Peter, let’s commit to following our heavenly Father wherever He leads.from Dr. Charles Stanley,God’s Peace through Prayer
Praise the LORD! Oh, give thanks to the LORD, for He is good! For His mercy endures forever. - Psalm 106:1
Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. - Philippians 4:4-7
We sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God, praying only for knowledge of His will for us and the power to carry it out. There are times when we're caught off guard by life. We are suddenly faced with problems that can wipe out our joy in an instant. Our hearts are disquieted and our minds begin to race. When we are grappling with unsettling problems that come our way and cause us to worry, it's time to run to God in prayer.
From his prison cell, Paul wrote this message: "Don't worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God's peace, which exceeds anything we can understand" (Philippians 4:6-7).
The psalmist wrote, "Enter his gates with thanksgiving; go into his courts with praise. Give thanks to him and praise his name. For the Lord is good. His unfailing love continues forever, and his faithfulness continues to each generation" (Psalm 100:4-5).
God's gates are always open to us. He's waiting for us, whenever we're upset and in need of a friend. We'll still feel the painful emotions. We don't just hand them over to God and expect them to disappear. But we can experience God's peace through prayer. Prayer is a useful tool to help us work through our problems. He will give us his peace, reminding us that he's there with us. For this, we can be thankful. by Stephen Arterburn and David Stoop.
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DAN THE CHILD OF GOD
DAN THE CHILD OF GOD: November 4
Assurance in Trials
Romans 8:32-39
We all experience hardship, and trials can shake us unless we cling to truth. Let me share three assurances to remember when troublesome circumstances arise.
First, God will always meet our needs. This doesn't mean He provides everything we want. Instead, the Lord will bless us with all that is necessary to fulfill His purpose for our lives. His goal is to sanctify us, not simply to satisfy each immediate desire.
Second, we're never alone. God promised to be with us always (Heb. 13:5). Loneliness often accompanies hardship, so we may feel deserted or opposed by family and friends. But our Father has sent His Spirit to be with us and in us, until the day He brings us to heaven (John 14:16-17). He is all we need--our advocate, guide, helper, and comforter. Recognizing His intimate presence gives us confidence in the midst of trials.
Third, God's love is eternal. Regardless of our circumstances or poor decisions, His care is unconditional--even when He reprimands us. Loving parents allow disobedient children to experience the consequences of wrong choices; they recognize the benefit of learning from mistakes. Of course, there are also times when we are negatively affected by others' wrong actions. Even then, God is sovereign and allows only what will bring good in His followers' lives.
In difficult times, we can remember that God will meet all of our needs, is always with us, and loves us forever. Though Jesus said we would face troubles in this life, He offered encouragement: The ultimate victory is His. So keep in mind that trials are fleeting, whereas our Father's love is forever.from Dr. Charles Stanley,Growing in Christ
That I may proclaim with the voice of thanksgiving, and tell of all Your wondrous works. - Psalm 26:7
For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord. - Isaiah 55:8
People today are striving for personal improvement, self-empowerment, and inner strength. Yet, Christianity has a completely opposite way of thinking; it's full of paradoxes. We die to live; we lose to find; we surrender to gain strength.
When Jesus overcame death, he defeated the worst enemy of all. Today we're left to battle with far lesser foes, knowing that He's already won the war.
When we stop trying to control the outcome of every situation and stop demanding that God resolves our problems according to our dictates, we unlock the door for God to show us his redemptive purpose.
Praying, 'Your will be done' gets us out of God's way and removes our ideas as to how things are supposed to work out in our lives, and allows God's ideas to take control.
Are you struggling to be a better follower of Jesus? Spiritual growth results from trusting Jesus. A life of faith will enable you to trust God increasingly without knowing what's around the corner.
- Steve Arterburn
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