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Thankful? For What? – Appreciation

giving-thanks-to-godTempted by the Devil to turn the wilderness stones into loaves of bread (Matthew 4:3-4), Jesus quoted from this section of Moses’ address to the Hebrews preparing to enter the Promised Land. Real life, he affirmed, is based on more than satisfying our appetites.

Recalling what God has provided should lead us to total commitment to him—and grateful praise.

Interact with God’s Word:  Deuteronomy 8:2-18

  1. Memories of the preceding 40 years centered (vv. 3, 15) on how God supplied manna and water. What are obvious ways God has provided for you?
  2. Less obvious were the negative outcomes (v. 4) from which they’d been spared. List some easy-to-take-for-granted blessings that you experience daily.
  3. Verses 6-9 describe a land where they will lack nothing. How (v. 10) should the people respond?
  4. When (vv. 12-13) do God’s people especially need to be on their guard?
  5. What dangers associated with prosperity (vv. 11, 14) were the Israelites about to face?
  6. Why (vv. 17-18) would crediting your standard of living to your own hard work and cleverness be off base?
  7. How can a person experience life more fully by feeding on every word of the Lord (v. 3)? How should feeding on God’s Word promote trust, obedience, and praise?

Spend Time in Prayer:  Ask God for a fresh appreciation of His provision and protection, both material and immaterial, and praise Him for thes

Deuteronomy 8:2-18

2 Remember how the LORD your God led you all the way in the desert these forty years, to humble you and to test you in order to know what was in your heart, whether or not you would keep his commands. 3 He humbled you, causing you to hunger and then feeding you with manna, which neither you nor your fathers had known, to teach you that man does not live on bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of the LORD. 4 Your clothes did not wear out and your feet did not swell during these forty years. 5 Know then in your heart that as a man disciplines his son, so the LORD your God disciplines you.

6 Observe the commands of the LORD your God, walking in his ways and revering him. 7 For the LORD your God is bringing you into a good land—a land with streams and pools of water, with springs flowing in the valleys and hills; 8 a land with wheat and barley, vines and fig trees, pomegranates, olive oil and honey; 9 a land where bread will not be scarce and you will lack nothing; a land where the rocks are iron and you can dig copper out of the hills.

10 When you have eaten and are satisfied, praise the LORD your God for the good land he has given you. 11 Be careful that you do not forget the LORD your God, failing to observe his commands, his laws and his decrees that I am giving you this day. 12 Otherwise, when you eat and are satisfied, when you build fine houses and settle down, 13 and when your herds and flocks grow large and your silver and gold increase and all you have is multiplied, 14 then your heart will become proud and you will forget the LORD your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery. 15 He led you through the vast and dreadful desert, that thirsty and waterless land, with its venomous snakes and scorpions. He brought you water out of hard rock. 16 He gave you manna to eat in the desert, something your fathers had never known, to humble and to test you so that in the end it might go well with you. 17 You may say to yourself, “My power and the strength of my hands have produced this wealth for me.” 18 But remember the LORD your God, for it is he who gives you the ability to produce wealth, and so confirms his covenant, which he swore to your forefathers, as it is today.

 

Prayer for the Week: Give me a fresh awareness, Lord, of those gifts I’ve taken for granted.

 

 

 

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