Preacher: Tony Hunter
Daily Walk: Tony Hunter
Refresh: Open with prayer. Read or listen to Psalm 79:9-13.
Read: Romans 8:31-38 (NLT). As you read the New Living Translation, note 1-3 insights or questions.
Reflect: I find Christmas exhausting. When I was a kid it was this time of fun anticipation that culminated with finding cool stuff hidden in wrapped boxes under a tree. What was going to be there? Were my boxes big? Where they small? Was there something crazy awesome in the weird round package? Would I get Megatron this year? Would crazy uncle John give me a shoehorn? Again?
During the days and weeks leading up to Christmas, it was tree decorating, sitting in the living room with no lights on except for those on the Christmas tree, listening to Christmas music, watching a Christmas movie, or simply fantasizing about how awesome Christmas might be that particular year.
Now? It’s really nothing but stress—trying to figure out what to buy everyone and did we forget anyone or anything and can we afford it and do we have to do Christmas again this year? At some point, Christmas went from being a joy to being a burden. It’s no longer a time of peace, rest, and wonder. I’m not always grateful for the season.
I love how Paul talks about God giving us his Son. And not just that He did it, but how He gave Him and how He will give us all things. Graciously. When we think of the word “grace," we often think of a dancer. Someone with balance, and fluidity of motion. But the origin of grace is from the Greek word from which we get “gratitude." Grace is about thanks. To do something graciously is to do it thankfully.
God is thankful. For us. He is so thankful, so filled with gratitude for our existence, that He wants to give us everything. He didn’t even hold back His own Son. Aren’t you glad God doesn’t view us like I often view Christmas? Just going through the motions and making a burden out of something beautiful? Maybe if I lived a life filled with gratitude, moments like Christmas still be a time of joy and wonder. Perhaps my questions would change from “How much do I have to do?” to “How much can I do?”
Respond: Pray for gratitude to overwhelm your heart and soul in every part of your life..
Research: What are some of the ways that God has shown gratitude for humanity within the Bible other than the gift of His Son?