” ‘I Am About To’ ” ( Joel 2: 23, HCSB ) by Carley Evans

God becomes “jealous for His land and spares His people.” (Joel 2: 18) He promises “grain, new wine, and olive oil.” (Joel 2: 19) He says that His people are “no longer a disgrace among the nations.” (Joel 2: 19) God calls His people to no longer “be afraid.” Instead, He calls us to “rejoice and be glad.” (Joel 2: 21)

We are able to rejoice “because the Lord has done great things.” (Joel 2: 21)

He “gives [us] the autumn rain for [our] vindication. He sends showers for [us], both autumn and spring rain as before.” Whether the growing or the harvest season, God provides the refreshment and the sustenance of rain.

God promises to “repay [us] for the years that the swarming locust ate.” (Joel 2: 25) Whatever He has taken from us in His disciplining wrath, He returns. “[We] have plenty to eat and are satisfied.” (Joel 2: 26)

God says to us, “You know that I Am present… and that I Am the Lord your God, and there is no other. My people are never again to be put to shame.” (Joel 2: 27)

“A Testimony Of Praise” (1 Chronicles 16: 8, ESV) by Carley Evans

Quoting David, Ezra writes: “Seek His presence continually.” (1 Chronicles 16: 11)

In his song, David calls us to “give thanks to the Lord; call upon His Name.” But, we are also to “make known His deeds among the peoples!”

We are to testify. We are to “remember the wondrous works that He has done, His miracles and the judgments He uttered.” (1 Chronicles 16: 12) We are to testify of “His covenant forever, the Word that He commanded, for a thousand generations, the covenant He made with Abraham.” (1 Chronicles 16: 15 – 16)

We are a testimony to God’s wondrous works and to the everlasting covenant He has made with His people. “Splendor and majesty are before Him, strength and joy are in His place.” (1 Chronicles 16: 27)

We are to “tell of His salvation from day to day; [to] declare His glory among the nations, His marvelous works among all the peoples! For great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised, and He is to be held in awe.” (1 Chronicles 16: 23 – 25)

“Praise God Continually” (Psalm 100: 4 – 5, ESV) by Carley Evans

Thanksgiving approaches, but every day is a day of giving thanks. “The Lord, He is God!” God made us; we belong to Him. “We are His people, and the sheep of His pasture.” (Psalm 100: 3)

Being His sheep, we are to “enter His gates with thanksgiving.” Inside His pasture, we are safe under the watchful eye of the Great Shepherd. At His feet, we are to praise Him, thank Him, bless His Name.

“For the Lord is good.” His Love is steadfast; He is faithful forever. “For You, O Lord, are good and forgiving, abounding in steadfast love to all who call upon You.” (Psalm 86: 5) Like sheep, let us rely solely on Him.

“I will bless the Lord at all times; His praise shall continually be in my mouth.” (Psalm 34: 1) “Oh, magnify the Lord with me, and let us exalt His Name together!” (Psalm 34: 3)

“A People Of His Own Possession” (1 Peter 2: 9, ESV) by Carley Evans

We are “a people for His own possession.” God “calls [us] out of darkness into His marvelous light.” God creates us as “a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation.”

Of course, this is how we start in the first place. God fashions humankind out of clay, and makes us in His image. From the beginning, we owe our existence to Him. At the beginning, something mysterious and evil happens; the image of God in us distorts and we are lost. We look to something else other than God; and we fall away into the darkness, into death.

Something mysterious and marvelous happens; “God calls [us[ out of darkness.” He makes a way with His own body and blood for us to become “a people for His own possession, a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation.”

“Now have come the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God, and the authority of His Christ. For the accuser of our brothers, who accuses them before our God day and night, has been hurled down.” (Revelation 12: 10, NIV)