November 25 – Thanksgiving

“Offer unto God thanksgiving; and pay thy vows unto the most High: And call upon me in the day of trouble: I will deliver thee, and thou shalt glorify me.”  Psalm 50: 14-15

What is Thanksgiving? A fall harvest festival set aside for celebrating and thanking God for plentiful crops. It was first decreed by Massachusetts Colony Governor Bradford in 1623. On November 25, 1789, President George Washington issued a general proclamation for a day of thanksgiving, but there was no regular Thanksgiving Day until President Lincoln, in 1863, set aside the last Thursday in November as a national holiday to give “praise to our beneficent Father.”

Thank God that we have a nation that still recognizes the value of a national day of thanksgiving. It is one reason why America is blessed of God. Scripture promises specific blessings in return for thanksgiving:

1) Deliverance comes (Psalm 50:14-15)

2) Prayers are answered (Philippians 4:6-7)

3) Opens the door to worship (Psalm 100:4)

4) Offers additional blessings (Luke 17:15-19)

Jonah prayed with “a song of thanksgiving, and was delivered from the belly of a great fish. (See Jonah 2:9a, NIV.) Your deliverance will also come on the wings of thanksgiving. Make it your priority today!

PRAY: “O Lord, You have given me so much. Grant me one thing more. . . a heart of thanksgiving I love You, I bless You, I praise You, I honor You, I give You glory today. In Jesus’ wonderful Name, I pray. Amen.”

November 24 – Give Thanks

“Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father In the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.” Ephesians 5:20

It is interesting to note that Thanksgiving Day, as we know it, began back in 1621 when the Pilgrims gave thanks to God for His bountiful blessings in the midst of their struggle to settle the New World. . . America. Faced with intolerable hardships, sickness, and death, they still were thankful to God.

In the impoverished nation of Haiti recently, joy was being expressed by believers in a church as they sang these words:

“Give what you have and the Lord will give you more; Give what you have for there’s plenty more in store; If you’ll give what you have, He will open heaven’s door; Give what you have to the Lord!”

Though they seemed to have little in earthly possessions to give, they gave their thanks and praise to God with joyful hearts and were rich in the peace, joy, and comfort of the Lord.

Perhaps it is tribulation that causes the heart to GROW in thanksgiving. Regardless, your expression of thanks to God is an act of GIVING. Will you make a deliberate decision to express your love and thanks to Him this season?

PRAY: “Father, I willingly give You thanks for all You have done and for what You have promised to do in my life Let me see Your sovereign hand in all things. Amen.”

November 17 – Levels of Friendship

“Iron sharpeneth iron; so a man sharpeneth the countenance of his friend.” Proverbs 27:17

Consider this definition of a friend: “A friend is one who KNOWS you as you are, UNDERSTANDS where you have been, ACCEPTS who you have become, and still gently invites you to GROW.”

Friendships help you grow. Your levels of friendship should grow also, from casual acquaintance to intimate friend. Consider what it takes to develop friendships at these four levels:

1) Acquaintance – be friendly, smile, learn names, be a great listener.

2) Casual Friendship – requires regular communication and contact; takes personal interest; being honest about your strengths and weaknesses.

3) Close Friendship – requires scheduled time together; takes interest in each other’s lives, dreams, potential; speaks of your friendship as “close.”

4) Intimate Friendship – takes more time! Assume personal responsibility for the other’s reputation. Learn how to comfort in trials and sorrows; pray for each other; be committed, loyal, faithful.

PRAY: “Dear Lord, I love you. As my friendship with You grows, help my friendship with others to grow, also In Jesus’ Name, amen”

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November 16 – Friendship Takes Giving

“A man that hath friends must shew himself friendly: and there is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother.” Proverbs 18:24

There are three levels of giving into a friendship.

1) Comfort Level – Giving when it is convenient, fun, rewarding, or affordable. This is a selfish level of friendship.

2) Sacrificial Level – Giving to the point of personal expense. It requires certain inconvenience and contribution. This level is better than the comfort level, but there is a tendency to “keep score” or draw comparisons.

3) Faith Level – Here is where you want to be. It is giving based on obedience to God’s Word. It is unconditional. It simply asks, “What would God do?” “What would God say?”

Your friendships will prosper when you love and give unconditionally, without the expectation of return. You can only achieve this faith level through putting your trust in God. Remember, God is keeping the score. He holds your reward. His Word simply says that obedience to Him is better than sacrifice. (See I Samuel 15:22.) What you give to others, God will give back to you.

PRAY: “Giving Lord, You have given Your best to me. I desire to be Your instrument of love to others.  Increase my faith and ability to give to others unconditionally. In Jesus’ Name, amen.”

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November 15 – Friendship Takes Persistence

“Do not forsake your friend and the friend of your father, and do not go to your brother’s house when disaster strikes you — better a neighbor nearby than a brother far away.” Proverbs 27:10 (NIV)

In Luke 11:5-8 (NIV), Jesus told a parable about a man who went to his friend at midnight to borrow three loaves of bread to entertain some guests. His friend was already in bed and said, “Don’t bother me… my children are with me in bed. I can’t getup and give you anything.” BUT, the man was PERSISTENT. He kept knocking and asking.

Jesus said in Verse 8, that because of his IMPORTUNITY “his friend would arise and give him as much as he needed.” Importunity is defined as “boldness, forwardness, unreasonable persistence.”

Friendship takes persistence and patience. It requires pressing in to another’s life to the point of vulnerability to test the level of love and trust. Valuable friendships do not “just happen,” nor do they happen quickly. Friendships are developed over a course of time and experiences.

Be willing to test your friendships. Be willing to have your friendship tested by others. Stick in there with your friend for the long haul. . . the big picture. After all, God has stuck in there with YOU!

PRAY: “Lord, help me to cultivate my friendships through love, patience, and persistence Help me not to be so easily hurt and offended. I desire to be a friend like You. I pray in Jesus’ precious Name. Amen.”

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November 14 – Identify Your Friends

“Confidence in an unfaithful man in time of trouble is like a broken tooth, and afoot out of joint.”  Proverbs 25:19

Picture yourself in this crisis… alone in a car on a remote country road. It is after midnight and you have just run out of gas. Fortunately, you are near a phone booth, but all you have in change is one quarter for one telephone call.


Suppose that you are not a member of AAA Road Service Club and that all your immediate family is overseas on a trip… NOW who are you going to call?

Your answer to this scenario may help you to identify your real friends. Can you name ONE who would gladly come to help you at midnight? Can you name FIVE?

You will qualify and identify your friends in three ways:

1) CHARACTER QUALITIES – honesty, integrity, love.

2) PRIOR EXPERIENCES – “How did they respond before?”

3) PROVEN THROUGH TIME – “How long have I known them?”

So, what kind of friend are YOU? How would you respond to a call from your friend at midnight?

PRAY: “Loving heavenly Father, You are the greatest example of a friend upon whom I can depend Help me to be more like You as I broaden my family of friends.”

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November 13 – Unity of the Faith

“Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ.”   Ephesians 4:13

God is looking for a church body that is in UNITY, a body that is alive and functioning as it was intended… growing up unto a perfect man… with

the EYES of a prophet the HANDS of a servant the EARS of a teacher

the FEET of an exhorter the ARMS of a giver

the HEAD of a ruler the HEART of mercy

Working together in Christ, all form a complete, healthy, functional body.

“From whom [Christ] the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love.” (Ephesians 4:16)

So… “As every man hath received the GIFT, even so minister the same one to another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.” (I Peter 4:10) (Emphasis supplied.)

 PRAY: “Dear Lord, with Your help l am discovering the gifts and abilities given me. Help me also to appreciate the gifts of others, so that together we will be effective and see Your body increase. In Jesus’ Name, amen.”

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