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October 12 – Grateful praise-worthy living

But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light. – 1 Peter 2:9

Scripture reading: Ephesians 2:1-10

Canadians celebrate Thanksgiving Day today. Christians will above all thank and praise God for calling them out of darkness into His wonderful light. We do so best by speaking of Him and showing Christ’s character in our living.

In the Old Testament, we read that God redeemed a people in order to bring praise to His name. In Jeremiah 13:11, God says:

I made the whole house of Israel and the whole house of Judah cling to me, declares the LORD, that they might be for me a people, a name, a praise, and a glory.

This God-centered focus should be ours. Often we fall into the trap of thinking about our success, our honour, our benefits, even in times of worship and praise, yet God’s purpose for all of our living is His glory. When we forget this, our witness is poor and God’s name is not glorified as it ought to be.

Today is a day for prayer and song, for speaking to others about the greatness of our God. Salvation is not simply for our welfare and pleasure, but that we might serve God and witness for Jesus. We have a natural tendency to conform to the pattern of life around us as Israel did. We need to discipline ourselves to live holy lives reflecting God’s character. As kingdom citizens, we are aliens and strangers here. Focus your living on Jesus, abstain from selfish desires to living holy lives for our Saviour’s praise.

Suggestion for prayer

Give thanks for all of God’s blessings, above all the wonderful life we have in Jesus. Pray for a Christ-centered focus in all you do.

Rev. Calvin Tuininga is the Pastor Emeritus of the Covenant United Reformed Church in Pantego, North Carolina. This daily devotional is also available in a print edition you can buy at Nearer to God Devotional.

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