Posts Tagged ‘ Blessing ’

Remembering God’s Blessings

MP900409495[1] Are you ever burdened with a load of care?
Does the cross seem heavy you are called to bear?
Count your many blessings, every doubt will fly,
And you will keep singing as the days go by.

Johnson Oatman Jr. wrote those words. He was probably hoping that even in the most difficult times and darkest hours we would look to God, and find strength in remembering all that God has done.

I think he is right, at least in theory. The problem is that remembering our blessings and then counting them is easier said than done. One thing psychologists have discovered about memory is that we we not only remember what happened to us, but also how we felt at that moment. So when we want to recall an event, we will be more successful if we are feeling like we did when that event first happened.MP900386362[1]

That tells me I will have the best chance of remembering God’s blessings, if I feel  like I did when I was being blessed. I usually feel happy when blessed. So I will be most likely to remember God’s blessings when I’m happy.

But the songwriter is telling us that it’s when we are most burdened and beaten down that we need to turn our attention to God. But that’s when we will be least likely to recall those blessed times. So what are we supposed to do?

Maybe redirecting our attention would be a good place to start. Instead of feeding our anxiety and focusing only on the problems pressing in on us, we could nurture more positive and hopeful emotions. That might mean turning to Scripture for some inspiration, or just looking around at the wonder of God’s creation.

Even simple things like that can break the cycle of worry, and begin to carve out some room for joy. Once we open the door to a little bit of happiness, then all the memories related to our happiness can come flooding back in! At that point we will be ready to count our blessings, and praise God from whom all blessings flow!

MP900386297[1] Next time you are burdened, don’t forget to count your blessings. But before you do, put yourself in a state where you can begin to remember those blessings, and experience joy. Then you will surely remember them one by one!

A Generous Portion

I am the LORD your God, who brought you up out of the land of Egypt. Open your mouth wide and I will fill it. Psalm 81:10 NRSV

MP900442347[1] Think of all that God has done for you. Remember the troubles the Lord has delivered you from. Look back and see just how far God has brought you as a follower of Jesus Christ. Then, give praise to God for all the grace and goodness you have received. Raise a song of thanksgiving and shout for joy!

But don’t stop there. Ask yourself whether or not God is finished with you yet. Has the Lord given you your share of blessings and moved on to others in need? Certainly not! God is not finished with you yet. God’s love for you is everlasting. God’s mercies and blessings are renewed every morning. God’s plan for you extends on into eternity!

God isn’t finished with you yet.

Just read what God said to his people in Psalm 81. They had experienced God’s blessings in ways that almost defy belief. Their history was marked by miracle after miracle. Still, God continued inviting his people to come to his banquet table, and to find food for their hungry souls. Through the psalmist’s words, God let his children know there were good and perfect gifts just waiting for them. They just had to open their mouths and be filled.

The truth is that God is in the blessing business. God’s resources never run dry. Even today God is ready to give you more than you could ask for or imagine. In fact, according to the psalmist, God is ready to give you as much as you can hold. Now God wants you to open your mouth as wide as possible, so you can be filled to the full! There certainly is no stinginess in God’s Kingdom!

You can be filled to the full.

Simply stated, the Lord cares for and abundantly blesses his children. God is looking for hungry souls who turn to him daily for sustenance and for strength. God is longing to bless those who will delight in him!

MP900443617[1]Are you hungry for blessings? Are you hoping God will heap your plate full of loving kindness and mercy? Well, you’ve come to the right God.

Now make yourself available to God. Come into God’s presence, and take your place at his banquet table. Tell the Lord what you need. Then open wide and receive today a generous portion of the grace that gives not just life, but life more abundant!

Just Open Wide & Receive!

Prayer:

Gracious God, Your goodness know no bounds. Your love is from everlasting to everlasting. Thank you for your blessings. They are too numerous to count.

You have provided for me, guided me and brought me to today. Continue now to fill me with the blessings of your grace, and lead me into the tomorrow you have prepared for me!

Amen.

Good copy

A Blessed People

Repent therefore, and turn to God so that your sins may be wiped out… Acts 3:19 NRSV

Peter is making an impassioned plea. MC900156543He speaks while standing in the temple, the epicenter of the Jewish faith. Peter is calling out to Jews who have come there to perform their prescribed duties, and fulfill their religious obligations.

In the midst of all this religious activity, a miracle had happened. Peter spoke to a man sitting at one of the gates. He was collecting alms, because he had been lame from birth. Peter didn’t have any money to give the man, but he called on Jesus’ healing power, and the man was healed.

A crowd quickly gathered around Peter. This dramatic miracle let the people know that not only were they standing in the epicenter of their religion, they were standing at the epicenter of history! Peter told them that the prophets from Moses onward had spoken about this moment in time.

The life of Jesus Christ is the epicenter around which human history revolves!

In fact, Peter let them know that they were the ones the prophets were talking about. The prophet’s words were fulfilled by their response to Jesus’ teaching and ministry among them. The Messiah came to fulfill God’s promises. But the actions of God’s chosen people led to his death.

Despite how they treated Jesus, Peter tells the crowd that Jesus wants to bless them, by calling them to repentance! That’s a different thought!

j0160570 Normally we think of God blessing us by opening the riches of heaven, and showering us with gifts of grace. We think of ourselves as being blessed when God renews our hope, answers our prayers, restores our brokenness and increases our strength. But Peter spoke of the blessing of repentance.

The message is that the blessing of God is not a heavenly handout. The blessing God promises us is God’s Spirit working in our lives to turn us around.

So one of the most important blessings we receive is when God changes our direction. When we walk away from wickedness and turn toward God, we are being blessed. In that moment we are rejecting sin, and accepting grace. We are giving God the opportunity to release us from guilt, and wash us in the waters of forgiveness. We are literally moving from the darkness of death into the glorious light of eternal life!

Blessed people turn from darkness to light!

This is the blessing of Jesus Christ. It is the blessing that restores us to a right relationship with God. It is the blessing that calls us to acknowledge Copy of j0396136that the Lord God is our God, and to affirm that we are God’s people.

The blessing of Jesus leaves us dead to sin, and alive to God! With his blessing God’s truth fills our minds, God’s love is shed abroad in our hearts, and God’s power is at work in our lives! God lives in us, and we live in him!

Jesus Christ has turned us from sin, and set us on the road to becoming the people God created us to be! What greater blessing could there ever be!

Turn toward God today, and be blessed!

Prayer:

Wonderful Savior,

You call me to leave behind sin, and to come and follow you. Help me to respond to your call each and every day. Help me to always turn to you and walk in the light of your love. Bless me with a repentant heart!

Amen

Blessing2

Want More?

    This Week’s Scripture

      Go Deeper

      Our Daily Cup