Living for Christ

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November 2009
Daily Devotions Reference List:
(Click here to view the daily devotions)

(11/1) Genesis 2:5b-6
(11/2) 2 Peter 1:16-18
(11/3) 2 Peter 2:1-3
(11/4) 2 Peter 2:6-7, 9
(11/5) 2 Peter 2:6-7, 9
(11/6) 2 Peter 2:18-19
(11/7) 2 Peter 3:3b-4a, 8-9
(11/8) 2 Peter 3:10-11
(11/9) 1 John 1:5-7
(11/10) 1 John 1:8-10
(11/11) 1 John 2:3-6
(11/12) 1 John 2:9-11
(11/13) 1 John 2:15-17
(11/14) 1 John 2:22-23
(11/15) 1 John 2:28-29
(11/16) 1 John 3:1a
(11/17) 1 John 3:1b
(11/18) 1 John 3:10-12
(11/19) 1 John 3:13-15
(11/20) 1 John 3:16-17
(11/21) 1 John 3:18-21
(11/22) 1 John 3:22-23
(11/23) 1 John 3:24
(11/24) 1 John 4:1-3
(11/25) 1 John 4:4-6
(11/26) Psalm 107:1-9
(11/27) (none)
(11/28) (none)
(11/29) (none)
(11/30) 1 John 4:7-11

Note: This is subject to change.
Monthly Feature: "A Thankful Heart"
The First Thanksgiving
Though there is some debate, general consensus is that the first Thanksgiving was held at the Plymouth colony in 1621. What were those people thankful for? Obviously they had no technology; in fact, they really didn't have much at all. They were probably most thankful for surviving the trip across the Atlantic, for their newfound freedom in America, for a good relationship between the colonists and Indians in that area (both groups shared the meal), and for the essentials like food, water, clothing, and shelter. At that point in time, they didn't have much more.

400 Years Later
Fast-forward nearly 400 years, and things have obviously changed quite a bit. This country is much more prosperous than those early settlers probably ever dreamed would be possible. Even the poorest people in this country have more than many other people across the world. We have so much to be thankful for, yet as a whole, I feel that we are less thankful today than those pilgrims were 400 years ago.

Black Friday
I find it ironic that the one day each year that promotes materialism moreso than any other day falls on the day after Thanksgiving. We barely have a chance to be thankful for what we have before we're bombarded with advertisements telling us that we need more! I know the term "Black Friday" comes from the idea that retailers' profits get "into the black" (on the plus side) for the year, but the term can have another meaning as well. The day promotes materialism and greediness like no other. It seems as if someone is killed trying to get into a store almost every year, which is hard for me to even imagine. That is certainly not what those early pilgrims had in mind when they celebrated the first Thanksgiving. They were happy and thankful for the simple things as I discussed in the first paragraph above. Why does it seem to take so much more to make some of us happy and thankful today?

A Thankful Heart
Be thankful for what you have. Be careful not to take the little things for granted. Be on alert against greed. If you find that you never seem to have enough stuff, chances are you have far too much already. God gives us everything that we need. Don't let advertisements convince you that you need things that you really don't need. Along the same lines, most people that you buy Christmas gifts for don't really need the things you buy for them, anyway. I would like to give you an alternate idea that you may not have considered before--something I have started to do myself over the last few years. Instead of giving people things they don't really need, I encourage you to consider giving a life-changing gift to someone in need in another part of the world. Two of the Christian organizations through which you can give such gifts are Franklin Graham's Samaritan's Purse and the more local World Help which is based near Lynchburg. Instead of continuing to give in to our materialistic society as we head into the Christmas season, give a gift that can make a real difference to someone who needs a gift the most. What better gift is there, and what better way is there to share the love of Christ?
Question of the Month:

What does it take to make you happy?

A. God's unconditional love is enough for me!
B. I just need the essentials--food, water, shelter, and clothing.
C. I need to have a decent amount of money to buy a few nice things for myself.
D. I need a lot of money and material things to make me happy.
E. Money is everything to me!

Take a moment to consider your answer, then read my comments below.

The best answer is obvious this month. We should all strive for A, or at least some combination of A and B. But be honest with yourself...which choice fits you best? Don't be led astray by materialism. As Matthew 6:24 says, you cannot serve both God and mammon (material possessions).