Are you Seeing blessings in your life? Take a look!

Being a blessed believer I’ve discovered has many layers.  I began weeks ago with a definition of what blessing is in man’s eyes: a gift of divine favor, good wishes or approval, anything that gives happiness or prevents misfortune.  Then I looked at scripture to see what God calls blessedness.  All of God’s examples show divine favor towards us and His divine ways of having His blessings in our lives.   Which ones have you seen, are seeing or hope to see in your life?  When you do- you can count yourself blessed!

Blessed is the believer who:  walks in His ways.  Psalm 1                                                            *whose’s sins are forgiven.  Psalm 32:1-2                                                                                          *who takes refuge in Him.  Psalm 34:8                                                                                               *who trusts in the Lord.  Psalm 40:4                                                                                                   *who wisely listens, obeys and accepts the Father’s discipline and instruction  Psalm                      94:12                                                                                                                                            *who fears (reveres) the Lord and delights in His Commandments.   Psalm 112:1                 *who is blessed through his children (physical or spiritual).  Psalm 127:5                               *who fears God and walks in His ways.  Psalm 128:1-2                                                                 *who does what is right based in His righteousness. Isaiah 56:1-2                                             *who is deep rooted in Him, standing firm in all seasons of life.  Jeremiah 17:4                      *whose sins are forgiven, dependent upon God for His righteousness in Christ.  Romans              4:6-8                                                                                                                                               *who is steadfast, persevering and awaiting reward.  James 1:12                                               *who is humble, sorrows over his sin and dependent upon God for forgiveness, hungers             after God’s Word, merciful, has a clean heart before God,  is a peacemaker, is                        persecuted  for His sake.   Matthew 5:3-10

blessed gratefulWhat a list to take to heart and meditate uponIf you are not seeing some of the blessings God provides for believers, take that to heart, pray about it, search scripture and ask God what He would have you do so that you might partake in His divine blessings!

Linda

Can you stand the heat of life?

jeremiah 17-5Our blessings passage today comes from Jeremiah 17.  Like in Psalm 1 where the blessed man was contrasted with the wicked man, so Jeremiah presents God’s description of the blessed or God favored man versus the worldly or self-sufficient man.   I looked at this passage in several translations but really liked the Message as it seemed to explain the essence of this passage the best.           Jeremiah 17:5-8 

5-6 God’s Message:

“Cursed is the strong one
    who depends on mere humans,
Who thinks he can make it on muscle alone
    and sets God aside as dead weight.
He’s like a tumbleweed on the prairie,
    out of touch with the good earth.
He lives rootless and aimless
    in a land where nothing grows.                        The man who depends on himself  or this world is not rooted or grounded in anything but like a tumbleweed, rolling around in life, not producing any fruit and bumping from one thing to another.

 

Dessicated plant on sand7-8 “But blessed is the man who trusts me, God,
    the woman who sticks with God.
They’re like trees replanted in Eden,
    putting down roots near the rivers—
Never a worry through the hottest of summers,
    never dropping a leaf,
Serene and calm through droughts,
    bearing fresh fruit every season.           The men and women of God are quite the contrast being rooted, growing, flourishing, trusting and bearing fruit even when storms, droughts or things get ‘hot’ in life.

Which type of person are you?  I know from time to time we can all be tumbleweeds- tossed to and fro by the winds of the world, but we have learned that trusting and clinging to Jesus can bring us through every situation.  Walking with Him keeps us steady and calm in the midst of life’s storms and gives us a life that is fruitful and honoring towards God.

Inspirational-Good-Morning-MessagesI challenge you to walk like the blessed man today.  See if you don’t have a song of praise in your heart and your steps are lighter as you trust and cling to Jesus.

Linda

Fear the Lord-it leads to blessings!

The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom is a classic line found multiple times in the Old Testament.  Within each reference we are told additional reasons for fearing the Lord.  Psalm 111 tells about the Lord’s greatness and ends with verse 10 “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom;  all who follow his precepts have good understanding.  To him belongs eternal praise.”    This verse closes Psalm 111 and leads into Psalm 112, one which scholars call its twin.  Psalm 112 speaks of a godly man and how following the Lord brings him an abundant life.  Praise the Lord!  Blessed is psalm 112the man who fears the Lord, who greatly delights in his commandments!”   The phrase ‘fear of the Lord’ is equated with reverence, awe and respect.  So having great respect for the Lord and His Word and following the precepts (principles) of His Word will bring blessing and delight.  The psalmist continues on for 8 more verse explaining how fearing the Lord brings blessings to the believer.

His offspring will be mighty in the land;        Children productive and blessed.
    the generation of the upright will be blessed.
Wealth and riches are in his house,                He will have physical 
and his righteousness endures forever.            and spiritual success before God. 
Light dawns in the darkness for the upright;    He will be of good character.
    he is gracious, merciful, and righteous.
It is well with the man who deals generously and lends;    His character will be
    who conducts his affairs with justice.                filled with generosity and justice.
For the righteous will never be moved;               He will stand firm in faith and
he will be remembered forever.                             be well remembered.
He is not afraid of bad news;
his heart is firm, trusting in the Lord.             He trusts the Lord in all circumstances.
His heart is steady; he will not be afraid,
    until he looks in triumph on his adversaries.
He has distributed freely; he has given to the poor;  
his righteousness endures forever;                   He will reap the fruits of his
    his horn is exalted in honor.                                  generosity and faith.

What amazing blessings await the man who fears the Lord and delights in Him.  The psalmist concludes with verse 10 which is a striking contrast to the blessed man.  The wicked man sees it and is angry;  he gnashes his teeth and melts away;  the desire of the wicked will perish!”    

Blessings lookAs you journey through this day, ponder how wonderful it is to fear the Lord and how blessed you are for finding your delight in Him!

Linda

 

    

A Recipe for Blessings

psalm 40 4Today’s blessing passage comes from Psalm 40.  David leads up to verses 4 and 5 by describing the wonderful things God has done for him and can do for us.  By the time we get to verse 4, we are ready to see how trusting the Lord can and does bring great blessing and to tell others of God’s greatness.

40 I waited patiently for the Lord;
    he inclined to me and heard my cry      In life, David had learned to wait upon the Lord patiently even when it was hard.  He experienced God’s hearing his pleas for help and His rescues personally as he waited 14 years to be king while running and hiding from Saul.  Is God asking you to wait patiently today?                  He drew me up from the pit of destruction,
    out of the miry bog,
and set my feet upon a rock,
    making my steps secure.             David had been rescued by God from Saul, the Philistines and from his own sinful mistakes multiple times, and he had experienced God’s restoration both physically and spiritually.  Is this your story too?
He put a new song in my mouth,
    a song of praise to our God.
Many will see and fear,
    and put their trust in the Lord.    David praised God for keeping him and giving him a new song of praise to sing, and he is calling others to put their trust in his saving God.  If you could name your new song from God, what would be the title?

Blessed is the man who makes
    the Lord his trust,
who does not turn to the proud,
    to those who go astray after a lie!   Here David reaches the conclusion that one who trusts in God and not worldly things or advice is and will be truly blessed.  Trusting God leads to wholeness in life.
You have multiplied, O Lord my God,
    your wondrous deeds and your thoughts toward us;
    none can compare with you!
I will proclaim and tell of them,
    yet they are more than can be told.      Lastly, David praises God for His grace, mercy, blessings and acts towards us. Even if we started now and praised all day long we could never tell of all the wonderful things God has done on our behalf.  We are truly blessed by Almighty God and no one or nothing can compare to Him!

The first 5 verses of this Psalm are all about blessings David experienced first hand and so can we.  God listens and desires that we wait patiently for His perfect timing.  God will lift us out of hard circumstances in life and set us upon solid ground if we will place our trust in Him.  He will give us a new song to sing as we walk with Him day by day.  We will be blessed by trusting in Him and not looking elsewhere for our direction and guidance.  God has given and will give us abundant blessings for walking in trust and faith.

today blessingWhat a wonderful recipe for success in life– patience in listening, trusting God to rescue and provide, singing His song, looking to Him for guidance and advice and telling about His goodness.  Will you make this your intent today?   Look for blessings if you do!

Linda

What’s in a Word?

Have you ever thought of having a Word for the year?  I had not done this until last year.  I was asked to choose a word for the year and then a Bible verse or verses to support me in that focus.  I prayed and asked God to give me a word to focus upon for 2018 and He gave me Hope.  I was amazed at how many times this word appeared in my study, my thoughts, my writing, etc.  Each time it would reassure me of His Hope that is within me and how all my hope is in Christ.  There were various verses I relied upon and you’d be amazed at how many times they appeared in my daily walk.   I did not focus on hope until spring as something I was doing required that I choose a word for the year.  Interestingly enough, God already had prepared me as my January 1 blog used Lamentations 3:21-22 which focused on hope.   I also used Jeremiah 29:11 and 1 Peter 3:15.    For 2019, I have chosen Trust as my word.  Right now I’m going through some things that required that I Trust in Him more than ever and not the world, things or people around me.  The verses I’ve chosen are Psalm 37:5 and Nahum 1:7. 

gods-word-personal2If you think this might help your focus for the year, pray and ask God to reveal to you a focus word for 2019.  Here are some suggestions and possible verses to support your word:

Joy- Psalm 16:11, Psalm 63:7, Habakkuk 3:18 or James 1:2

Hope–  Psalm 62:5, Psalm 147:11, Jeremiah 29:11, Lamentations 3:21-22, Romans 5:4-5 or 1 Timothy 4:10

Trust- Psalm 28:7, Psalm 31:14, Psalm 37:5, Proverbs 3:5-6 or  Jeremiah 17:7

Grace– John 1:16-17, Romans 3:24, 2 Corinthians 12:9, or Ephesians 1:7

Peace- Isaiah 26:3, Matthew 5:9, John 14:27 or Philippians 4:7.

god-ideas_guide-delightGod,  in His great providence, gives us so many resources to help us walk with Him in faith.  All His words,  we are reminded in 2 Timothy 3:16-17 are useful to us. All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, 17 that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.”  I pray that choosing a word will give you focus and support in the year ahead.  We desire to live for Him and as we are reminded in 2 Corinthians 10:4-5 “For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds. We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ,”

May you have a blessed year filled with His Words!

Linda

The 4th Sunday of Advent-worship and be blessed!

Psalm 2 is highlighted in the Messiah as it pointed to Jesus.  It foretells how the nations would conspire against Jesus to condemn Him, but even their plotting and actions were used by God for our good and the redemption of all mankind.                                                       Why do the nations rage
    and the peoples plot in vain?
The kings of the earth set themselves,
    and the rulers take counsel together,
    against the Lord and against his Anointed,

job42-2All the raging of nations, the shouting of atheists and the persecution of believers are all vain threats against the Lord and His plans.  Job spoke with confidence in Job 42:2 ““I know that you can do all things, and that no purpose of yours can be thwarted.”  Isaiah 8:10 reveals God’s plans against the warring Assyrians.  Take counsel together, but it will come to nothing; speak a word, but it will not stand,  for God is with us.   

Do you have the confidence Job and Isaiah showed about who God is and what power He possesses?  Think about Christmas and the miracle of Jesus’ birth, the sovereignty of God shown in all the prophecies being exactly fulfilled at the exact right time in history.  In the spirit of God’s sovereignty, claim Jeremiah 29:11 for your own life knowing and trusting God and His will.  “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare  and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.” 

psalm 2 11I love the way Psalm 2 ends with verses 11-12.                 Serve the Lord with fear,
    and rejoice with trembling.
12 Kiss the Son,
    lest he be angry, and you perish in the way,
    for his wrath is quickly kindled.
Blessed are all who take refuge in him.

Serve, fear-revere, rejoice, kiss Jesus (adore Him) then be ready to receive His blessings as you cling to Him.  Have a blessed Sunday worshiping the Lord!

Linda

I AM the God who Provides

jehovah jirehThis revelation of God’s character appears in Genesis 22:14.  “Abraham named the place Yahweh-Yireh (which means “the Lord will provide”). To this day, people still use that name as a proverb: “On the mountain of the Lord it will be provided.”  Abraham was doing as God commanded on Mt Moriah, preparing to sacrifice his only son, when God provided the ram of sacrifice.  Abraham believed God’s promise that from him would come a great nation so he must have believed God could resurrect his only son if the need arose.  It is a picture of what God did in Jesus to save us all.   

God's wayThis name for God, Jehovah-Jireh, is one of my personal favorites.  Think back in your life and recall a time when God provided exactly what you needed when you needed it and it seemed impossible for that to have happened.  That was the type of moment Abraham experienced on Mt Moriah.  He trusted God, and God answered in a miraculous way.  It seems that God always answers ‘outside the box’.  I think of ways God could answer my prayers, and it is always beyond my imagining.  Isaiah 55:8  “For my thoughts are not your thoughts,neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord.”   reminds us that God’s ways and thinking are not human, not like us.  His solutions or answers are always perfect in context and timing!

We can be encouraged today, as we serve a God who provides.  Claim Philippians 4:19 in your life and let the stress and pressures of life rest in His hands.  “And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus.”  Step out today with the faith of Abraham and trust God to provide exactly what you need when you note-to-self-may-24thneed it.

Learning to walk in trust,

Linda

I AM the God who Provides

I have always been fascinated by the I AM statements God makes about Himself in the Bible.  They convey the power, majesty and greatness of God and increase my trust in who God is.  The second I AM proclamation I’m going to look at is in Genesis 22 and was made before God’s revelation of I AM Who I AM in Exodus.  This was made to Abraham on Mt Moriah where he went to sacrifice his only son, Isaac, by God’s direction.  Isaac Gen-221asked where the sacrifice was going to come from and Abraham said, “God will provide for himself the lamb for a burnt offering, my son.”  Genesis 22:8    Then they proceeded up the mountain together.  This story has always troubled me as God had asked Abraham to do the unthinkable, sacrifice his only son.  It is a picture to us of the anguish God must have felt in sending Jesus to die for our sins.  He provides for us the ultimate sacrifice to remove our sins forever through His only Son’s sacrifice in Jesus’ death on the cross.  I have thought that Abraham knew  and trusted God’s promise of becoming a great nation, children as numerous as the stars and blessing the whole world which God had given him in Genesis 12 and 15.  He trusted God to provide whatever was needed and even to the point of resurrecting Isaac if needed.     Genesis 22:13-14 tells us what happened.  “And Abraham lifted up his eyes and looked, and behold, behind him was a ram, caught in a thicket by his horns. And Abraham went and took the ram and offered it up as a burnt offering instead of his son. 14 So Abraham called the name of that place, “The Lord will provide”; as it is said to this day, “On the mount of the Lord it shall be provided.”   God showed himself as the provider of life, of sacrifice, of hope, of the future and of faith to Abraham.  He had great faith in his God who would provide.

Do you see God as the I AM who will provide?  One of my favorite verses is Philippians 4:19 “And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus.”   God promises to provide what I need just like He did for Abraham on that mountain.  It is a matter of trusting God to provide.  Claiming and reciting this verse makes me focus and remember that God can and will provide for me even when it seems that the odds of that happening are very much against it.  I believe Abraham would have said the same as he trudged up the mountain with the wood and his son.  Take a step of faith closer to God today.  Trust Him instead of worrying.  Let the anxiety go and place it his-provisionin God’s hands.  “casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you.”  1 Peter 5:7

Loving Jesus requires a walk of trust in His great provision.

Linda

Do you trust God and know He is good?

How much do you trust the Lord?  Do know for sure He intends good for you?  Knowing and trusting God is essential to faith but do not come automatically.  As we walk daily with Jesus, study His Word and communicate with Him, He builds trust within us that is unshakable.  We learn that He alone is sovereign and intends good for us.  The psalmist reveals His trust in God in Psalm 119: 65-57.                                                                    psalm 119 65 67You have done many good things for me, Lord,
    just as you promised.
66 I believe in your commands;
    now teach me good judgment and knowledge.
67 I used to wander off until you disciplined me;
    but now I closely follow your word.

The psalmist trusted God as God had been forever faithful to him and had always kept His promises.  His belief was strengthen as he studied God’s Word, followed God’s commandments and saw the fruit of God in his life.  He recognized God’s loving discipline upon his life and knew it was for his good.

Do you believe God’s promise in Jeremiah 29:11 that He intends good for you?  “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.  Do you know for certain that God is good?  Nahum 1:7 “The Lord is good,  a refuge in times of trouble.  He cares for those who trust in him,”  Do you know God’s love is unconditional and forever?  Psalm 52:8  “But I am like an olive tree  flourishing in the house of God;  I trust in God’s unfailing love  for ever and ever.”  John 3:16 “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”

Claim these promises and know these truths about God today.  Seek Him and He will give you assurance and hope.  You will know and believe that God is good and intends the best for you now and for eternity.  Even in the hard things of life, God can and does use them to mold and shape our character as He refines us to be more and more like Jesus.  unknown-futureBe encouraged today by His love, care and tender mercies.

Each day is a walk of faith,

Linda