VIDEO Counting Your Blessings: Numbers to Be Thankful For – 4

There are four things which are little on the earth, but they are exceedingly wise. Proverbs 30:24

The writer of Proverbs 30 was counting his blessings while pondering God’s diverse creation. Four little creatures brought awe to his heart as he considered their skill. First, he was amazed at the tiny ants, which hurry around in organized lines setting aside their food for winter. Second, rock badgers, who know how to craft homes in the mountain crags. Third, locusts, which appear at once to be organized and disorganized as they sweep through the sky. Fourth, spiders, whose ability to spin webs makes them among the world’s greatest engineers (verses 24-28).

Perhaps you’re not very thankful for ants or spiders, but take a moment to watch them and ponder how such tiny creatures know how to do their daily work. Then turn your focus to aspects of God’s creation that bring you more delight. As you go through the weekend, take time to notice the flowers, fields, grass, clouds, birds, puppies, and sunsets. God created a world of wonder, surrounded by galaxies of glory.

Count some of them as blessings today.

All things bright and beautiful, all creatures great and small, all things wise and wonderful, the Lord God made them all. Cecil Frances Alexander

Living Wisely or Foolishly – Dr. Charles Stanley

Running the Race

We [go into strict training] to get a crown that will last forever. 1 Corinthians 9:25

The careers of most National Football League players are remarkably brief: just 3.3 years on average, according to Then there’s NFL quarterback Tom Brady. In 2021, he began his twenty-second season at the age of forty-four. How? Perhaps his famously rigorous diet and exercise routine have enabled him to maintain his competitive edge. Brady’s seven Super Bowl rings have earned him the title of G.O.A.T.—greatest of all time in the NFL. But it’s a title he never could have achieved apart from letting his single-minded pursuit of football perfection shape everything in his life.

The apostle Paul recognized athletes exhibiting similar discipline in his day (1 Corinthians 9:24). But he also saw that no matter how much they trained, ultimately their glory faded. In contrast, he said, we have an opportunity to live for Jesus in a way that affects eternity. If athletes striving for momentary glory can work so hard at it, Paul implies, how much more should those living for “a crown that will last forever” (v. 25).

We don’t train to earn salvation. Rather, just the opposite: as we realize how truly wondrous our salvation is, it reshapes our priorities, our perspective, and the very things we live for as each of us faithfully runs our own race of faith in God’s strength.

By:  Adam Holz

Reflect & Pray

How do you think your faith motivates you to give your very best? How can you avoid legalism as you grow in spiritual disciplines?

Father, help me to grow in discipline as a response to Your love and not as an attempt to earn something You’ve already given me.

Learn more about the basics of spiritual life.

The Source of Our Hope

Since it’s easy to become discouraged, we need to remember that God is working for our good Romans 15:13

Hope is usually defined as a desire for something, accompanied by the anticipation of receiving it. If our expectation isn’t fulfilled, it’s easy to become discouraged. We have an enemy who wants to steal our hope. As the father of lies, Satan tries to keep us focused on our circumstances so we will doubt God’s love and care for us.   

So at times we may feel desperate and abandoned, but emotions are not reliable. As children of the heavenly Father, we’re never in hopeless circumstances because He promises to work everything for our good (Romans 8:28). But His concept of “good” doesn’t always match ours. Too often we set our hopes on the things of this world, whereas God prioritizes our spiritual well-being. 

Disappointment and discouragement are the result of setting our hopes on the wrong aspiration. This doesn’t mean we can’t have dreams and expectations. But we should hold them loosely, with an attitude of submission to God and trust that He’s still working for our good when they don’t come to fruition.  Our expectations for this life are temporary, but we have a living hope in Christ that’s unfailing and eternal.

Ask What Ye Will

“If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you.” (John 15:7)

The precious promise in this verse has been an inspiration to the faithful down through the centuries. It becomes even more amazing when attention is paid to the original Greek language in which it was written.

Abiding implies a close personal fellowship with someone; in this case, the personal, loving Lord Jesus: “As the Father hath loved me, so have I loved you: continue ye in my love” (v. 9). Such an abiding on our part will be evidenced by obedience, love for Him and for the brethren, and joy (vv. 10-14). Our minds and hearts will be in total harmony with His, guided by such a walk and His words.

“Ye shall ask” does not carry the proper force in English. This is a command in the imperative mode in Greek—a challenge, if you will. He challenges us to “ask what ye will” (literally “whatever ye desire”) and see Him faithful. Desire speaks of something different from need; indeed, it speaks of an “inclination.” He is not afraid we will ask for selfish inclinations, for if we “abide” in Him, our desires are His desires, and we will naturally ask for those things that glorify Him. “Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples” (v. 8).

Notice the word “done,” which in Greek stems from the word meaning “to come into existence.” God will answer our unselfish prayers, even if He has to transcend natural law or even create something to do so. He even challenges us to “ask” without hesitation, as implied by the Greek construction.

If we meet the condition of “abiding” in Him, as a branch “abides” in the vine (vv. 1-5), He will place in us the desire to bring forth much fruit (v. 5) to His glory and to our everlasting delight. JDM

Silence and Self-examination

Stand in awe, and sin not: commune with your own heart upon your bed, and be still. Selah.Psalm 4:4

I should like to suggest that we Bible-believing Christians announce a moratorium on religious activity and set our house in order preparatory to the coming of an afflatus from above.

So carnal is the body of Christians which composes the conservative wing of the Church, so shockingly irreverent are our public services in some quarters, so degraded are our religious tastes in still others that the need for power could scarcely have been greater at any time in history. I believe we should profit immensely were we to declare a period of silence and self-examination during which each one of us searched his own heart and sought to meet every condition for a real baptism of power from on high. POM094

More spiritual progress can be made in one short moment of speechless silence in the awesome presence of God than in years of mere study….The exposure may be brief but the results are permanent. ROR146

Jesus calls us o’er the tumult

Of our life’s wild, restless sea;

Day by day His sweet voice soundeth,

Saying, “Christian, follow Me.” HCL221

We See Jesus

We do not yet see everything subjected to him. But we do see Jesus.Hebrews 2:8-9

Are you troubled as you look out at the situation in the world? Well, according to the Bible, things are going to get worse. As Jesus said: “People will faint from fear and expectation of the things that are coming on the world” (Lk 21:26). How are Christians going to stand when the darkness deepens and things get very much worse? What will we do when international tension increases?

Christians have a glorious hope—the hope of salvation. It is this, and this alone, that enables believers to live out their lives free from mental distress. I am sure you have already discovered that after reading the morning newspaper, you move into the day feeling somewhat depressed. Why is this? It is because almost daily, our newspapers are filled with murder, rape, violence, economic distress, child abuse. And our conscience, which through conversion has been sensitized to the moral laws of God, begins to reverberate as it comes up against the reports of things we know are contrary to the divine principles.

Satan, seeing our concern, attempts to exploit it to his own ends. “Things are getting worse, aren’t they?” he says. “Why don’t you just admit that God has lost control of His world?” If we did not have the helmet of salvation to put on at such a moment, we would finish up with the same attitude as H. G. Wells, who, after the Second World War, wrote: “The spectacle of evil in the world has come near to breaking my spirit.” Again I say, there is no protection in the world for the mind.


My Father and my God, where would I be if I could not cling to a text such as that in my reading for today? My spirit, too, would be near to breaking. I am so thankful that in You there is hope—hope with a capital H.

Further Study

Jn 17; Rm 8:35-37; 1Jn 5:4

What did Jesus pray for His disciples?

What was Paul’s conviction?

Wisdom Justified

“Yet wisdom is vindicated by all her children.”Luke 7:35

The world is full of “experts.” There are people everywhere who want to convince you of the wisdom of their opinion. Yet God says that it is not the one who declares his viewpoint the most loudly or vociferously who is the wisest, but the one who is vindicated over time.

Wisdom is not proven by argument or debate. Wisdom is proven over time. Some people adamantly proclaim that their opinion is best. Regardless of how convincingly these people defend their viewpoint, time is the best judge of their wisdom. The result of a practice proves its validity, not how loudly it is promoted.

When you seek to obey what God has told you, you will sometimes meet resistance and criticism from others who disagree with the wisdom of your actions. Your immediate response may be the urge to vindicate yourself. However, if you wait patiently, time will reveal the wisdom of your actions far better than you could through argument.