Daily D – Psalm 139:17-18
Psalm 139:17, 18 How precious are your thoughts about me, O God. They cannot be numbered! I can’t even count them; they outnumber the grains of sand! And when I wake up, you are still with me! (NLT)
“Thinking of you!”
“Wish you were here!”
These common greetings written on a million postcards across the years are sweet and endearing. They have also been written from time to time with lesser motives we will not consider today.
We recently enjoyed the vacation of a lifetime. We never dreamed we would have the opportunity to take such a vacation and therefore never made any plans for such an excursion.
First, we would have to travel to Africa, a place many American Christians have prayed God would not send them. Second, we would have to know somebody who knows somebody to help us with planning such a trip. Third, there is a matter of finances, and I am married to a financial professional who is quite concerned at all times about dollars and cents.
When we visit with our financial planner each year, he assures us we will be able to retire someday. By the time we have ridden the elevator to the ground floor and made our way out the door, my bride begins sounding like Eeyeore again, “We will never be able to retire.”
I am forever grateful for her careful management of our finances. She gets the biggest bang possible out of every buck. Her generosity is extravagant.
One day over Mexican food in Grapevine, Texas, a friend and ministry leader in South Africa invited my coworker Becky and me to help him provide strategic planning with his organization. One thing after another unfolded quite nicely after that.
When it comes to what I want for Christmas, please remember what I just said about the vacation of a lifetime. This trip was a Christmas present, anniversary present, birthday presents, and Mother’s and Father’s Day presents for years to come.
One of the greatest gifts of a person’s lifetime has nothing to do with wrapping paper and bows. It has nothing to do with special days on the calendar. Instead, they are the people who enrich our lives.
We hired a youth pastor at the last church where I served as pastor. We became so much more than coworkers. Not only do we love him and his immediate family like our own, but we love his extended family as well.
My friend’s sisters, Kim Niles and Kelly Horn, are accomplished authors. Kim has a YouVersion Christmas devotional you can read this month. It’s called, Experiencing the Holidays with Jesus: Christmas. Look it up.
Today’s devotional includes the verses above and a story Kim’s mom told her when she was a child. It’s as if God sends us notes every day saying, “Thinking of you!” He knows all about us, and as one guy wrote years ago, he loves us anyway.
We celebrate Christmas because God was thinking of us. He was thinking of us before the world began. He was thinking of us when we lived lives separated from him. He was thinking of how he could draw us into a deep and loving relationship with himself. He is thinking about you now. He is thinking about your highest and best. You are always on his mind.
God was thinking of you when you drifted off to sleep last night. He was thinking of you when you slumbered through the hours. He was thinking of you when you awoke this morning. The most loving and joyful Being in the universe turns his thoughts to you. He wants you to know his grace, mercy, and peace.
Jesus is God’s thoughtful gift for each of us. He gives us life worth living today and life that endures forever. He is the Giver of All Good Things.
I will celebrate God’s thoughts toward me and his perfect gift for what I need now and forever.
Our Father, thank you for knowing all about me and loving me anyway. Thank you for thinking of me. May your thoughts about me shape me more than my thoughts about myself. You think better than I do. You desire better for me than I desire for myself. Amen.
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Deuteronomy 8:12-18 When you eat and are full, and build beautiful houses to live in, and your herds and flocks grow large, and your silver and gold multiply, and everything else you have increases, be careful that your heart doesn’t become proud and you forget the Lord your God who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the place of slavery. He led you through the great and terrible wilderness with its poisonous snakes and scorpions, a thirsty land where there was no water. He brought water out of the flint rock for you. He fed you in the wilderness with manna, which your ancestors had not known, in order to humble and test you, so that in the end he might cause you to prosper. You may say to yourself, ‘My power and my own ability have gained this wealth for me,’ but remember that the Lord your God gives you the power to gain wealth, in order to confirm his covenant he swore to your ancestors, as it is today.
Deuteronomy 6:4-9 “Listen, Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength. These words that I am giving you today are to be in your heart. Repeat them to your children. Talk about them when you sit in your house and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Bind them as a sign on your hand and let them be a symbol on your forehead. Write them on the doorposts of your house and on your city gates.“
Deuteronomy 1:2, 3 It is an eleven-day journey from Horeb to Kadesh-barnea by way of Mount Seir. In the fortieth year, in the eleventh month, on the first of the month, Moses told the Israelites everything the Lord had commanded him to say to them.