August 17

Nehemiah 12:27-13:31; 1 Corinthians 11:1-16; Psalm 35:1-16; Proverbs 21:17-18

There is power in Thanksgiving. As the people prepare to re-dedicate the Temple, they assemble two choirs to walk around the walls. They had one charge: to offer thanksgiving to God. Look at the picture: the walls are  completed and the people are excited to welcome God. They mount the walls (which is their greatest achievement) and they begin to thank God.

They put their human accomplishment in the proper perspective. They knew that it would not have been possible without the help and hand of God. What would happen if we really just lived our lives with an attitude of gratitude. Instead of looking at what we don’t have and what we should have, why not be thankful for what we do have?

Rebuilding the Temple and the walls was no small feat and it took a great deal of time, yet they did not focus on the difficulties (which they could have done). They chose to rejoice. We can become very anxious and ungrateful in life if we are prone to look at the problems instead of the promises. If you remember that you are just passing through your problems, you will be able to praise your way through.

Tomorrow’s Reading: Esther 1:1-3:15; 1 Corinthians 11:17-34; Psalm 35:17-28; Proverbs 21:19-20

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