Odds & Ends: November 2017
Prayers of thanks
The Bible’s close connection between prayer and praise caused 19th-century preacher J.C. Ryle to proclaim, “I dare not call that true prayer in which thankfulness has no part.” He points, for example, to Paul’s words in Philippians 4:6 (“By prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God”) and Colossians 4:2 (“Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful”), both NIV.
Whenever we speak to God, Ryle adds, thoughts of his mercy and the hope of heaven should be at the forefront of our minds. “Surely,” he writes, “we should never open our lips in prayer without blessing God for that free grace by which we live, and for that lovingkindness which endures forever.”
Thank you, veterans!
On Veterans Day, we honor men and women who’ve served and sacrificed in one of America’s armed services.
On November 11, 1918, America and her allies signed a truce with German leaders, ending World War I. In 1919, President Wilson decided the United States should remember with gratitude the end of that war and honor military members by marking Armistice Day, or “truce” day. In 1954, Congress changed the name to Veterans Day, honoring veterans of every era.
Veterans Day highlights our country’s quest for peace, justice and freedom throughout the world. Followers of Jesus, the Prince of Peace, pray for unity among all nations and for the day when “nation will not take up sword against nation, nor will they train for war anymore” (Isaiah 2:4, NIV).
A wake-up call
The good God permits such small evils to befall us merely in order to arouse us snorers from our deep sleep and to make us recognize, on the other hand, the incomparable and innumerable benefits we still have…
With [our misfortunes], God gives us a light by which we may see and understand His goodness and kindness in countless other ways. Then we conclude that such small misfortunes are barely a drop of water on a big fire or a little spark in the ocean. Then we understand and love the words: “O give thanks to the Lord, for He is good; His steadfast love endures forever!”
You say, “If I had a little more, I should be very satisfied.” You make a mistake. If you are not content with what you have, you would not be satisfied if it were doubled.
DAYLIGHT SAVINGS TIME ENDS
SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 5