Join me in reading Today’s Word with Joel and Victoria Osteen:
IN YOUR MIDNIGHT HOUR
Paul and Silas were put in jail for spreading the good news. It wasn’t fair. They were beaten with rods without a trial. It was unjust. As they sat in the prison, bloody, bruised and uncomfortable, they began to sing praises to God. As they were singing praises to God, all of the sudden, there was a great earthquake. The prison doors flung open, the chains fell off, and they walked out as free men. What happened? They praised their way to victory!
Friend, if you’re going to live in victory, you have to know how to praise in your midnight hour — when things seem the darkest, when you’re in pain, disappointed, lonely or experiencing a loss. When you praise Him no matter what, that’s when God can enter your situation. That’s when He can break your chains and set you free!
Remember, a sacrifice of praise is when it costs you something, when you don’t necessarily feel like doing it. Praise Him, not because of how you feel, but because He is worthy! Praise Him in your midnight hour and get ready to embrace the freedom He has planned for you!
Father God, right now I lift my heart to You. I declare that You are worthy to be praised, and Your worth doesn’t change because of my circumstances. I will bless You today and every day. I will bless You in the midnight hour knowing that You are good, and You have victory and freedom in store for me in Jesus’ name. Amen
Today I am reading day 139 of Joseph Prince’s Devotional:
Thank Your Way To Greater Blessings
Luke 17:15 15And one of them, when he saw that he was healed, returned, and with a loud voice glorified God,
People who have a grateful heart are always praising God. You often hear them say, “God is good!” They know that God is the reason for every blessing they get.
But there are those who look to God for blessings and when they get blessed, they just go on their merry way. Their hearts are captivated by the blessings instead of the One who has blessed them.
Jesus had an encounter with both these types of people when He walked into a village one day. Ten lepers cried out to Him, “Jesus, Master, have mercy on us!” (Luke 17:13) Now, when you call out to Jesus for mercy, He always hears you. On another occasion, when two blind men cried out to Him, “Son of David, have mercy on us!” He took the time to give them their miracles. (Matthew 9:27–30)
So these 10 lepers cried out to Him for mercy. He stopped, looked at them and said, “Go, show yourselves to the priests.” And “as they went, they were cleansed”. (Luke 17:14) But only one came back and fell at Jesus’ feet, giving Him thanks. Notice the very sad words of Jesus that followed: “Were there not 10 cleansed? But where are the nine?” (Luke 17:17)
The other nine obviously knew that it was Jesus who had cleansed them. Yet, they did not bother to go back and thank Him. My friend, let it be said of you that when the blessings come, you remember to give God the praise, glory and honor, and acknowledge that He is the source of every blessing in your life.
Do you know that when the man came back to thank Jesus, he received the additional blessing of becoming whole? Jesus said to him, “Arise, go thy way: thy faith hath made thee whole.” (Luke 17:19, KJV) He was not just cleansed of leprosy, he got his missing fingers and toes back!
My friend, when your heart is thankful toward God, you position yourself for even greater blessings!
Thought For The Day
When you praise God and give Him thanks for His blessings, you position yourself for even greater blessings!
Today I am reading day 211 of Rick Warren’s Daily Devotional:
God Smiles When We Praise
Few things feel better than receiving heartfelt praise and appreciation from someone else. God loves it, too. He smiles when we express our adoration and gratitude to him.
Noah’s life brought pleasure to God because he lived with a heart of praise and thanksgiving. Noah’s first act after surviving the flood was to express his thanks to God by offering a sacrifice. (Genesis 8:20)
We praise God for who he is, and we thank God for what he has done. (Hebrews 13:15; Psalm 116:17) David said, “I will praise God’s name in song and glorify him with thanksgiving. This will please the Lord.” (Psalm 69:30-31 NIV)
An amazing thing happens when we offer praise and thanksgiving to God. When we give God enjoyment, our own hearts are filled with joy!
My mother loved to cook for me. Even after I married Kay, when we would visit my parents, Mom prepared incredible home-cooked feasts. One of her great pleasures in life was watching us kids eat and enjoy what she prepared. The more we enjoyed eating it, the more enjoyment it gave her.
But we also enjoyed pleasing Mom by expressing our enjoyment of her meal. It worked both ways. As I would eat the great meal, I would rave about it and praise my mother. I intended not only to enjoy the food but to please my mother. Everyone was happy.
Worship works both ways too. We enjoy what God has done for us, and when we express that enjoyment to God, it brings him joy – but it also increases our joy.
Today I am reading day 16 of NIV Once-A-Day At the Table Family Devotional:
Psalm 135:3 Praise the Lord, because he is good; sing praises to his name, because he is kind.
• Can you think of a time when someone praised you? For what reasons might you praise other people?
• How do you praise God?
We know that God is good. All we need to do is look around to see that. But it’s not enough for us to say, “God is good,” and leave it at that. We need to do something about it. We need to respond. We need to tell him how we feel about his goodness. And then we need to share our response with others.
When you go to a restaurant and the server takes good care of you, what do you do? You leave a tip to show your appreciation. If you find an awesome vacation spot, what do you do? You tell everyone you know about it and give them a chance to enjoy it too. We also need to show our appreciation to God and share God with others.
God gets a lot of bad press in our world. People blame him for the bad things that happen. They accuse him of being unloving or uncaring. We can work to change people’s perceptions. We can tell of his goodness and help people understand who he really is.
My Prayer to God
Dear God, we praise you for your goodness. You could treat us any way you choose, and you choose to love us, even though we’ve done nothing to deserve it. Guide our words as we tell others about your goodness. Amen.