Thanksgiving Examen

I have loved you, says the Lord.
But you say, “How have You loved us?”
Malachi 1:2 MEV

Our first week in the book of Malachi brings us face to face with the incredible greatness of God. His steadfast love and faithfulness to the ones He created and who right from the start snubbed their noses at Him.

I loved you before I created you!
I love you despite the mess you’ve made!
I love you so much I emptied Myself and carried your shame to the cross!
I’m still loving you! every. single. moment. of. every. single. day.

The message of Malachi speaks loud and clear to us today. Maybe even louder this side of the cross. Yet in our ignorance. our selfishness. small view of life. we continue with our complaint: How have You loved me?

I found myself convicted by this message of Malachi. I often tell people my days and choices flow out of my relationship with God. But receiving and believing His love for me is hard to grasp. I’m prone to focus on the negative. prone to complaint. lament is my second language. So Yes. The first week of our study of Malachi laid me low…

The beauty of The Daily Grace Co. studies, one reason we put them on the shelves of our shop, is they don’t lead you to just study the Word but to study your heart. They challenge you to work out what you’ve read and discovered in Scripture.

Each week ends with a time to reflect on what was learned. The question God used for me this week:

What are two action steps you can take this week to apply this passage to your life?

Waiting for Hope, A study on the book of Malachi by The Daily Grace Co.

Through a series of seemingly unrelated circumstances, God brought them together to bless me with a specific action to remind me of His greatness and love for me. Begin a thanksgiving journal, but with a twist.

Journaling things to be thankful for on a daily basis is not new to me. Ann Voskamp’s book One Thousand Gifts led me to the practice of recording three a day until a total of 1000 were recorded. But God, in this season, inspired me to look back at the day before, a sort of Examen, and re-member the previous day to find places where He made Himself known and respond with thanks.

The inspiration of these two spiritual disciplines which are hard for me in my natural bent has put a new perspective on my day. Examen is usually a practice to do in the evening, at the day’s end, and review where God was during your day. For whatever reason this too is a discipline difficult for me. But with this idea of starting each day afresh by looking back over yesterday for His presence and work is somehow different. And even in this new practice — Thanksgiving Examen — for just a couple of days, I feel a greater confidence in His presence with me today and anticipation of how He will reveal His steadfast love for me today.

God says He loves us. you. me.
He says He is GREAT!
But we are often blind to these two truths.
For me this practice of Thanksgiving Examen helps me to believe it in a new and deeper way.

Perhaps you too can amp up your understanding of His love for you and how great He is by seeking what He did for you sunrise to sunset yesterday.

For from the rising of the sun to its setting, My name will be great among the nations, and in every place incense will be offered to My name, and a pure offering. For My name will be great among the nations, says the Lord of Hosts.
Malachi 1:11 MEV

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