Good morning, good morning … 🎵
Happy August morning, friends! Today is a new day, and the second day of the Writing Life Challenge. What’s that, you say? A challenge? Yes, for the month of August I decided to post daily challenges in hopes of building an online community of people dedicated to encouraging each other daily and challenging each other to grown in our faith in Jesus. If you’re just coming to the blog—or coming back to the blog after a hiatus—you can read about it in my previous posts, and you can access any of the challenge posts in the August Challenge menu (👈🏻 in a computer or tablet, 👆🏻on a phone). I hope you’ll consider joining the challenge. But if challenges aren’t your thing, don’t worry—I’ll still be writing regular devotional posts weekly-ish.
In Challenge Me…, I wrote a bit more about my vision for the challenge itself, but when I prepared for this challenge post I realized I never explained why, personally, I decided to do something like this. I’d like to take the time to explain that here, but if you’re in a hurry and just need to get to the challenge, you’ll find that below 👇🏻.
Besides the fact that I just love a challenge—a fact I wrote about earlier this week—my heart’s desire for this blog lately has been to share how to grow in one’s faith. The easiest way I know how to do that is to think about what has helped me to grow—spending time in God’s word and in prayer on a consistent basis—and take that experience and simplify it to fit in a few minutes of your already busy day. Even if you are already consistent about spending time with God, I’m hoping these prompts will help open your hearts to what God is speaking to you. That, in a nutshell, is the most important reason I decided to start a challenge.
But on to today’s challenge…
Inspiration. Yesterday, I introduced the idea of communication and its importance, whether on a vertical level (individual to God, God to individual) or a horizontal level (person to person). The fact is that God wants to be in relationship and fellowship with us, but in order to communicate with God we have to actually talk to—and listen to—him. That talking to piece is called prayer. (Probably obvious to most of you, but some readers may need to know this so please don’t take offense if it is!) The verse that inspired the first few days of this challenge, then, is Colossians 4:2:
Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful. (NIV)
Yesterday we focused on that little word thankful. We’ll continue with that today, but add in the natural response when we recognize we are thankful for something: praise.
Challenge. Read one of the Psalms of praise: 18, 32, 41, 95, 96, 98, 103, 104, 106, 111, 112, 113, 117, 118, or 145-150. As you read, consider both what the Psalmist was praising God for, and what about God it is that evoked this praise. In other words, take some time to think about who God is. Then, take a few minutes to pray and acknowledge who God is—tell him that you know this about him, and thank him for it. The very act of acknowledging the truths God tells us about himself is an act of worship.
Participate. Comment below or on the Instagram post (@rhondalorraineblog) and tell us what you read and what it taught you or reminded you about who God is. Or if you’d like, take a photo that represents something you have to praise God for, post it on Instagram using the hashtag #writinglifeaugustchallenge, and use the caption to provide your explanation. (If you have a private Instagram account and aren’t friends with me, I won’t see it but feel free to post anyway!)
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I did this day’s challenge and what a blessing it was! I read Psalm 130, and as I read it I journaled with “you are” statements, like “You are Holy, set apart, like no other.” This Psalm was rich with truths about God that I could acknowledge and affirm: He is forgiving, a healer, my redeemer, compassionate, generous, good, righteous, knowable, gracious, understanding, everlasting, and king over all—and he loves me. Just looking over the list again reminds me of what a blessing it is to be a child of God. Thank you, Lord.
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