Daily encouragement

Video by

Kendra Cortez

ACF Devo Team

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1 Timothy 4:4-5

For everything God created is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving, because it is consecrated by the word of God and prayer. (NIV)

Behind the Scenes

"Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows" (James 1:17). Good things come from God - do you believe that? Culture has tried to trick us into believing that good things come from our own hard work, luck, or the benevolence of others. But truly, they come from above.

David agrees in Psalm 16, when he says, "You are my Lord; apart from you I have no good thing" (v. 2). Pastor Josh reminded us a few weeks ago in his sermon that the concept of Lord is sometimes lost on us in modern culture. When David declares God as his Lord, he is acknowledging his utter dependence on God. Just as lords in ancient times provided everything from protection to provision to their subjects, so David acknowledges that apart from his Lord's work, not a single good thing would come his way.

And in his letter to Timothy, Paul's words also remind us of this truth - everything God creates is good. Paul speaks in this moment particularly to an issue of food codes, which some Jewish Christians were trying to enforce for all Gentile Christians, as well. Paul calls this behavior out as missing the point: what's in a person's heart will always matter more than what's in his belly. And in this case, Paul says that whenever we partake of God's good creation, what fills our hearts should be thanksgiving, the word of God, and prayer.

That's not always the case though, is it? The enemy has been trying for a long time to twist and corrupt the good things God has made for us to find delight in. From food codes in this passage to the sexual revolution of our modern day, the enemy continually seeks to corrupt the good things God has created. Satan is forever trying to get us to elevate the goodness of the creation over the goodness of the God who gifted it.

Make it Real

In Romans 1:25, Paul says people have "exchanged the truth about God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator." Have you been there? Instead of allowing the good things God has given us in this life - maybe an incredible spouse or an amazing job or sweet children or kind friends - to drive us to our knees in praise and thanksgiving of the One who gave them, we struggle not to worship the created things.

How do we turn from these idols? How do we stop obsessing over the things of this world that we think will make us feel better or bring us happiness? In this verse, Paul has given us three good places to start: thanksgiving, the Word of God, and prayer.

Speaking about food in this moment, Paul lays out the process of receiving good gifts from God: Receive what he gives with thanksgiving. Trust that he has declared this food as provision for you according to his word (Gen. 1:29 and 9:3). And pray that it would be a holy benefit to your body. It makes me wonder: how might this three-fold process change how we view God's other good gifts in our lives?

As you approach your work or school, are you trusting in it to provide for you and fulfill you? Or, are you thanking God for the gift of this work, agreeing you are living according to his word that reveals we were designed to work (Gen. 2:15), and prayerfully approaching your tasks each day?

As you love your spouse, are you bitterly waiting for them to save and fulfill you? Or are you serving them with a thankful spirit, pressing more and more into God's vision of your marriage as "one flesh" (Gen. 2:24), and praying for your spouse daily?

As you care for your children, are you finding your worth in how polished your life looks to those around you? Or are you spending the beautiful moments and the ugly moments with your heart drenched in thanksgiving? Are you thanking God that he has enabled you to be fruitful and multiply (Gen. 1:28), covering your family in prayer every chance you get?

Yes, everything God creates is good, but only One is meant to receive our worship. What areas of your life do you need the Lord to infuse with thanksgiving, his word, and prayer today?

End in Prayer

Thank you, Heavenly Father, for your good gifts! From the food in my belly to the work you give me to the people you have placed around me, I am filled with humble and overwhelming gratitude today. Please teach me to keep YOU on the throne of my life, thanking you for your good creation, rather than letting those things become idols in my life. My worship and praise are for you alone! In Jesus' name, amen.

Written by

Kimber Gilbert

ACF Devo Team Leader