Lucia's Blog: COUNT YOUR BLESSINGS!
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Isaiah 55:8-9

Isaiah 55:8-9

Wednesday, November 25, 2020

COUNT YOUR BLESSINGS!

 
“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.”
Psalm 40:5



This week we are celebrating the Thanksgiving holiday to give thanks for all the blessings that we enjoy.  We are indeed blessed!  The song “Count Your Blessings” reminds us of God’s blessings toward us at all times.   We have an abundance of reasons, especially as God’s children, to give thanks at all times, even when life is hard, and we are struggling.  We must be careful not to become ungrateful, taking for granted the numberless blessings God bestows on us. We must be grateful and count our blessings!

The song “Count Your Blessings” compels us to see the goodness of God in our lives, even amid troubling times.  Yes, we must name God’s blessings one by one.  Sadly, we often neglect to count our blessings, forgetting to thank God for them.  How often do we lose sight of God’s blessings to us in Christ?  It is not enough to simply say, “thank you, God, for every spiritual blessing.”  Why?  Because we also must completely appreciate those spiritual blessings.  The apostle Paul reminds us that we have been blessed with every spiritual blessing.  

“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ.” (Ephesians 1:3


God had told Abraham,

 “Look toward heaven, and number the stars, if you are able to number them.’ Then he said to him, “So shall your offspring be.”’ (Genesis 15:5)


God told Abraham that his seed or descendants would be as the multitude of stars in the sky, and just as the stars in the sky are a multitude, so are the blessings that God abundantly bestows on us. Why not pause for a moment and meditate on this truth, and count our blessings when we are discouraged?  Why not pause and count the many blessings our Father in heaven bestows upon us when we feel self-sufficient?   

James wrote, 

“Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.” (James 1:17)


God is the source of all blessings:  physical and spiritual.  God is the source of all life, the breath of life. God breathed the breath of life into Adam, and the man became a living soul (Gen 2:7).  God gives to all mankind  “life and breath, and everything” (Acts 17:25).  May we always thank God that we are able to breathe without help!  The ability to breathe without help is indeed a blessing that many don’t have.  There are those on life support or that need an oxygen tank to walk around.   Thus let us stop and be thankful for all that we have and give God the glory for His abundant blessings in our lives.  We are blessed beyond measure!  

Not only have we been blessed with every spiritual blessing, but God has blessed us abundantly.   Let us consider the abundant spiritual blessings we have in Christ. 


I.   COUNTING OUR ABUNDANT BLESSINGS

  • The first stanza of the song reads:  

When upon life’s billows you are tempest-tossed, 
When you are discouraged, thinking all is lost, 
Count your many blessings, name them one by one, 
And it will surprise you what the Lord has done.


In stanza 1, we are encouraged to count our blessings, naming them one by one, especially when we are discouraged and troubledIndeed, life is not easy here on earth!  We are always facing challenges and hardship.  Because of these challenges and troubled times, we become discouraged and believe “all is lost.” Yet during those difficult times, we must slow down and turn to our Lord, acknowledging how truly blessed we are.  God declares,

“Be still, and know that I am God.”  (Psalm 46:10)


Although our lives are frantic and fast-paced, God commands us to slow down and turn to Him.  Often we deceive ourselves, thinking that we do not need God, but it is at that moment that we must acknowledge that we need Him the most. 
"For thus said the Lord God, the Holy One of Israel, 'In returning and rest you shall be saved; in quietness and in trust shall be your strength.'  But you were unwilling."'  (Isaiah 30:15)


May we never be unwilling to rest, repent,  be quiet, or unwilling to trust in the Lord’s strength. May we never be reluctant to count our blessings!  

Being tempest-tossed symbolizes our life’s trials and tribulations.

"Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, 3 for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness."  (Jas. 1:2-3)  

It is easy for us to be discouraged during these times—even Paul was discouraged. 
"For we do not want you to be unaware, brothers, of the affliction we experienced in Asia. For we were so utterly burdened beyond our strength that we despaired of life itself."  (2 Cor. 1:8)

Yet, while Paul was in prison, he prayed.  I am pretty sure his prayers included thanksgiving.

"But when her owners saw that their hope of gain was gone, they seized Paul and Silas and dragged them into the marketplace before the rulers. 20 And when they had brought them to the magistrates, they said, 'These men are Jews, and they are disturbing our city. 21 They advocate customs that are not lawful for us as Romans to accept or practice.' 22 The crowd joined in attacking them, and the magistrates tore the garments off them and gave orders to beat them with rods. 23 And when they had inflicted many blows upon them, they threw them into prison, ordering the jailer to keep them safely. 24 Having received this order, he put them into the inner prison and fastened their feet in the stocks.  25 About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the prisoners were listening to them.'"   (Acts 16:22-25)


  • The second stanza reads:
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 be singing as the days go by.


Worry ruins our lives.  On the other hand, when we count our blessings, doubt and worry will fly, and we can sing as the days go by.  Indeed, we all have a cross to bear, which at times can be very heavy to carry.  It is the burden that Jesus commands us to put aside.  He wants us to trust Him and bear His cross (Matt. 16:24-28).  Because of God’s promise to us, we can count our many blessings, and thus every doubt and fear will fly.
"Keep your life free from love of money, and be content with what you have, for he has said, 'I will never leave you nor forsake you.'"  (Heb. 13:5

 As we trust God’s promises, our hearts will greatly rejoice, and we shall be singing.
"The LORD is my strength and my shield; in him my heart trusts, and I am helped; my heart exults,  and with my song I give thanks to him."  (Ps. 28:7)  

God wants us to put aside our personal interests so that we can crucify the old man of sin of death and follow Christ with our whole heart.

“As they were going along the road, someone said to Him, 'I will follow You wherever You go.' And Jesus said to him, 'The foxes have holes and the birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay His head.' 59 And He said to another, 'Follow Me.' But he said, 'Lord, permit me first to go and bury my father.' 60 But He said to him, “Allow the dead to bury their own dead; but as for you, go and proclaim everywhere the kingdom of God.” 61 Another also said, 'I will follow You, Lord; but first permit me to say good-bye to those at home.' 62 But Jesus said to him, 'No one, after putting his hand to the plow and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.”'  (Luke 9:57-62)


Since God has blessed us abundantly through Christ, we must put aside the cares of this world, putting our spiritual blessings first and above everything else in life.  Our heart must follow Him completely.  We must bear His cross as we go through this painful and difficult life. In Galatians 2:19,  the apostle Paul declares, 

“I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me.”  


So, we must truly be crucified with Christ.  Our self-reliance must also be crucified.  Why?  Because if we refuse to do this, doubt and the cares of this life will overcome us and won’t fly away.  As we crucify self and rely on our Lord completely, our hearts will be full of joy and love.

  • Stanza 3 (not in HFWR) states: 
When you look at others with their lands and gold,
Think that Christ has promised you His wealth untold;
Count your many blessings. Money cannot buy
Your reward in heaven, nor your home on high.


When we count our blessings, we discover that money can never buy God’s wealth untold.  The Bible warns us about the love of money and its danger.  It also urges us to be content with what God provides and abstain from the desire to be rich with lands and gold.  The love of money is the soil for all kinds of evil (1 Timothy 6:9-10).  Our Lord has promised us that if we lay up heavenly treasures, we will inherit a far greater wealth (Matt. 6:19-20).  When we count our blessings, we are reminded of God’s daily benefits that money cannot buy (Ps. 68:19).

  • The fourth stanza reads:

So, amid the conflict whether great or small,
Do not be discouraged, God is over all;
Count your many blessings, angels will attend,
Help and comfort give you to your journey’s end.


Counting our blessings reminds us that God is in control over all whatever may come our way.  Thus we must trust Him and never get discouraged.  

“What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who is against us? 32 He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him over for us all, how will He not also with Him freely give us all things? 33 Who will bring a charge against God’s elect? God is the one who justifies; 34 who is the one who condemns? Christ Jesus is He who died, yes, rather who was raised, who is at the right hand of God, who also intercedes for us. 35 Who will separate us from the love of Christ? Will tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? 36 Just as it is written, ‘For Your sake we are being put to death all day long; We were considered as sheep to be slaughtered.”’  (Romans 8:31-39)


The word “conflict” in this stanza refers to our spiritual warfare (Eph. 6:12).  And though we are engaged in a spiritual warfare, we are not alone, for God is over all (Ps. 103:19).  Therefore, we must acknowledge that God will help us, for He is the giver of every good gift (James 1:17).



II.   OUR ABUNDANT BLESSINGS IN CHRIST:

  • Abundant Mercy and Grace:

“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His abundant mercy has begotten us again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead…”  (1 Peter 1:3).


God has shown abundant mercy toward us. He has not given us what we deserve because of our sins, for He is a merciful God.  We all were dead in our sins, and we absolutely deserved to remain in that condition and be separated from God. We deserve to be cut off from God.  We deserve the outcome of Uzzah, Ananias and Sapphira, and Nadab and Abihu.  God has every right to punish us, for we have violated His commands and have committed wickedness toward Him.  Because of His abundant Mercy and Grace, His wrath has not consumed us. We do not receive what we deserve because of our transgressions!  Instead, God has extended pardon to us in His mercy (Eph. 2:1-10; Isaiah 55:7).

I cannot fathom how God would want to pardon us from our sins so abundantly!  Why would He do that for us? Why would He be so merciful to us?  Isaiah gives us the answer.

“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways my ways, says the LORD.”  (Isaiah 55:8


I can assure you that none of us would have had such mercy toward someone else with the many violations against God.  But God, out of His abundant Mercy, has pardoned us.  Because of God’s abundant Grace, we can receive the gift of salvation.  He can pardon our sins even though we are not worthy of such a gift. 

“If, because of one man’s trespass, death reigned through that one man, much more will those who receive the abundance of grace and the free gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man Jesus Christ”  (Romans 5:17). 


We do not deserve God’s gift.  But because of Jesus’ sacrifice, God has extended Grace to us, instead of giving us what we deserve for our actions.  These concepts of God’s Mercy and Grace are linked together in Ephesians 2:4-9. Because of God’s abundant Mercy, He has saved us by the immeasurable riches of His Grace. We receive God’s gift through faith in Jesus.

“And you were dead in the trespasses and sins 2 in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience— 3 among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind. 4 But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, 5 even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved— 6 and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, 7 so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. 8 For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, 9 not a result of works, so that no one may boast. 10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.”  (Ephesians 2:1-11)


  • Abundant Goodness:

“O how abundant is your goodness that you have laid up for those who fear you, and accomplished for those who take refuge in you, in the sight of everyone!”  (Psalm 31:19


God’s goodness is laid up for those who fear Him.  His goodness works in those who turn to Him for refuge.  The word “goodness” indicates God’s desire to do good things for His children.  God is abundant in His goodness toward His children. God gives His children everything they need. 

“His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and goodness” (2 Peter 1:3). 


Everything that we need to live and be in God’s likeness has been granted to us.  Because of this, we can do what God has laid out for us.  He does this for His glory and great goodness.  Jonah, the prophet, acknowledged this truth of the character of God. God’s love is so great that it compels Him to act in goodness toward His children.  Jonah said, 

“He prayed to the LORD and said, ‘Please LORD, was not this what I said while I was still in my own country? Therefore in order to forestall this I fled to Tarshish, for I knew that You are a gracious and compassionate God, slow to anger and abundant in lovingkindness, and one who relents concerning calamity”’  (Jonah 4:2). 


Jonah knew that because God is gracious, compassionate, slow to anger, and abundant in lovingkindness, God would not punish them when he preached to Nineveh, and they repented in sackcloth and ashes.  The Psalms declare,

“The earth is full of the goodness of the LORD” (Psalm 33:5). 


It is hard for many to fathom the working of God’s providence in their lives!   Why do I say that?  Because they often attribute that which must be attributed to God’s providence to luck, fortune, and destiny.  We must acknowledge that the earth is full of God’s goodness! Everything that exists is because of God’s goodness.  
  1. Why do we live? 
  2. Why is there a universe? 
  3. Why do we have plants, animals, celestial bodies, and so forth?  

Because of God’s goodness.  God created all things for our benefit and because of His goodness. Thus we must give thanks for God’s goodness, for it is through His goodness that we exist and are sustained.  In Psalm 107, the Psalmist declares repetitively God's goodness four times in this Psalm.

“Oh, that men would give thanks to the LORD for His goodness, And for His wonderful works to the children of men!” (Psalm 107:8)

"Let them thank the LORD for his steadfast love, for his wondrous works to the children of man!"  (Psalm 107:15)

"Let them thank the LORD for his steadfast love, for his wondrous works to the children of man!"  (Ps. 107:21)

"Let them thank the LORD for his steadfast love, for his wondrous works to the children of man!"  (Ps. 107:31)  

 

  • Abundant Power:

“Great is our LORD, and abundant in power; his understanding is beyond measure” (Psalm 147:5). 


God’s abundant power is vital in developing our faith.  When we acknowledge God’s great power, we begin to surrender our lives to Him.   When we are facing difficult times, we can let God have control of our lives because we acknowledge that He has all power.  But God’s power is not the kind of power that a tyrannical dictator exercises.  God does not abuse or use His power to force His will upon us in a selfish manner. Instead, He uses His power to help us.

Listen to the thrust of Paul’s words in Ephesians 3:20

“Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to His power that is at work within us.” 


According to Paul’s words, God’s immense power is at His disposal.  God is able to do exceedingly abundantly beyond what we ask for and even beyond what we can imagine. Thus, we must let those powerful words sink into our hearts to know God’s power in our lives. Isn’t it marvelous that God can do far beyond what we can even ask or think!  Nothing is impossible for God, for He is all-powerful. God uses His power in our lives for our own good.   Listen to what Paul said, 

“According to His power that is at work within us.” 


God’s immense power is put to work in our lives.  Knowing God’s mighty power in our lives, we are compelled to pray more and fervently.  God's way is to work His power in us. God’s power works in our lives through His Divine Word.  God has given us everything that we need for life and godliness through the knowledge of His Word (of Him who has called us).  We know God through what He has revealed to us through His apostles and prophets who wrote down what we have today through the Scriptures.  Thus we must turn our lives over to God’s power.  
  1. Are we allowing God’s abundant power to work in our lives? I am afraid we are simply a weak light bulb on top of a lampstand that can administer power as strong as the sun. 
  2. Why are we neglecting the power of God in our lives?  
  3. Can we not fathom how many abundant blessings we have available through Christ?  Yet we only allow God the very minimal requirements such as attendance, giving, and the Lord’s Supper. We have not even begun an intimate relationship with our Creator, our Father, to see His lovingkindness and mighty power working in our lives. 


  • Abundant Joy in Life:

Since we are disciples of Christ, we Christians must have joy.  Those who are outside of Christ have no joy.  Christians must be joyful always because of who we are in the Lord and what we have in Him. One of the fruits of the Spirit is joy, Galatians 5:22.  That joy must be abundant in us. Peter urged us saying, 

“Though you have not seen Him, you love Him. Though you do not now see Him, you believe in Him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory, obtaining the outcome of your faith, the salvation of your souls” (1 Peter 1:8-9). 


Paul commanded us to be joyful at all times. 

“Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice”  (Philippians 4:4). 


Notice that the apostle Paul commands to be joyful while he was in the pits of his own despair since he was imprisoned and suffering.  We must remember that Paul gave that command when he could have given up in despair, as he was imprisoned and suffering. Yet, he urged us to rejoice always.  We Christians must have an inexpressible joy in our hearts at all times.  We have plenty of reasons to rejoice always because of the abundant life we have in Christ. Jesus said,

“I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly”  (John 10:10).


Sadly, this is not always the case.  And though we are commanded to rejoice inexpressibly in all circumstances since the fruit of the Spirit includes joy, many Christians lack this joy.  Why do I say that?  Because some have a hard time finding joy while they serve the Lord.  Joy is only found in selfish gain.  Instead of joy, many Christians find it easier to complain, whine, and grumble.  They seem to never find any good or hope in any given situation.  Their outlook on life is always negative and pessimisticThe glass is always half empty.  They always find something to grumble about. 

Is this the life that glorifies our Father in heaven?  What do you think?  Does this ugly attitude show the new man in us, the new self in Christ?  Absolutely not!  Why?  Because we are selfish and living for self and nothing else.  We reject the abundant life that Christ promised to all who serve Him.  We are still living to satisfy the desires of the flesh, the physical, and not the spiritual.   All that matters is me, me, and me and all the physical world that surrounds us.  Thus we complain, for we think we have every right. Our hearts are ungrateful with a fleshly attitude in the heart, looking at ourselves selfishly.  We are ungrateful for what God has done and is doing in our lives!  

We must change the selfish and ungrateful attitude in our hearts.  We must renew our minds!  Life is not about serving self but about serving God with all our might.  The greatest joys in life are found in serving God and then others.  There is no better joy than knowing that we have nothing to worry about or be anxious because God will take care of us.  But when we complain and whine, seeking the negative in life, we have lost our primary focus, and thus we are not living the abundant life that Jesus promised us. 


  • Abundant Entrance to Heaven:

One of the most magnificent joys we have is the hope of eternal life in heaven with our Lord. Listen to Peter’s word, 

“Therefore, brethren, be even more diligent to make your call and election sure, for if you do these things you will never stumble; for so an entrance will be supplied to you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ”  (2 Peter 1:10-11). 


We are promised an abundant entrance into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord.  Our Lord has provided every possible opportunity so that we may enter into the kingdom of God. Peter’s statement sums up all that God has done for us, which is exactly the main point of this valuable lesson.  
  1. God sent His beloved Son to this world of darkness to become a sacrifice for our sin. God did this for us because of His Mercy and Grace.  
  2. He continues to show His lovingkindness and goodness to us by providing everything we need to live and to be godly.  
  3. God’s power is freely available to us.  
  4. He is working in our lives for our good through His providence. 

Indeed, our God has blessed us and continues to provide for us abundantly.  He is abundantly providing for each of us an entrance into His everlasting Kingdom.  His blessings are beyond measure!


CONCLUSION:

We have so many reasons to be thankful to our God. Of course, our main appreciation is for all our spiritual blessings.  Nothing is lacking in our lives because God has richly provided every need for us.  

“And my God will meet all your needs according to His glorious riches in Christ Jesus”  (Philippians 4:19). 


God has met every need for us:  Our emotional,  spiritual, and personal needs. God satisfies every need we may have.  But when we don’t allow God to fill the void in our lives, we lack everything.  When we try to fill those voids in our lives, we often come up empty.  We forget that we must seek God to satisfy our yearning and not be empty.  God also meets our physical needs. Paul said, 

“Command those who are rich in this present age not to be haughty, nor to trust in uncertain riches but in the living God, who gives us richly all things to enjoy. Let them do good, that they be rich in good works, ready to give, willing to share, storing up for themselves a good foundation for the time to come, that they may lay hold on eternal life”  (1 Timothy 6:17-19). 


God will take care of us as long as we put our trust in Him and acknowledge our need for Him, not in this world’s riches or ourselves.  All that we have in life comes from our Father in heaven.   God wants us to serve Him with the things He has blessed us with.  Let us always be thankful, not just on Thanksgiving Day.  And let us never forget that God is the source of all our blessings and all we have.  

The song “Count Your Blessings” reminds us of the 23rd Psalm, for it describes the vastness of God’s provision for us.  David said,

“You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; You anoint my head with oil; My cup runs over. ” 


Our cup does indeed run over with God’s bountiful blessings. Our cup runs over so abundantly that it is almost impossible to pause and count every blessing.  It would be wise to stop and be mindful of the many ways God is good to us.  We must think of God’s blessings and name them, count them one by one.  To understand God’s grace and goodness, we must pause and particularize each of our blessings.  It will allow us to understand our utter dependence on God.  God holds all things together, the whole universe, by the power of His Word (Colossians 1:17; Hebrews 1:3).  It will surprise us to see how immensely God has blessed.  But to do this, we must give ourselves completely to Him (Luke 14:26; Matthew 16:24; 2 Corinthians 5:8). The wealth of God’s blessing will astonish us (physically, spiritually, and thankfully) when we realize how much He has prospered us! (Luke 6:38; 1 Corinthians 16:2).

 “Oh that men would praise the LORD for his goodness, and for his wonderful works to   the children of men” (Psalm 107:8)!


Since God has done so abundantly for us, we must remember to give Him the glory!  Can we not stop for a second and appreciate what He has done in our lives? Both physically and spiritually? Have we thanked God for giving us the fullness of the earth?  Do we thank Him without ceasing for His tender care and the hope of eternal life, made possible by His beloved Son’s sacrifice?  

I see a big problem: we want to hold on to all that we have, believing that it is ours by our own power. We fail to see the goodness of God, who has shared with us what belongs to Him.  Why do we give ourselves praise, honor, and glory for what we have, not God?!  We must examine our hearts and change our carnal attitudes toward God’s blessings.  We must rid ourselves of selfishness and pride to appreciate and be thankful for all that we have.  So why not take a moment to thank our Father in heaven for His love and mercy?! Why not love God in return by our obedience to Him?! (John 14:15). Be thankful and faithful to Him, for He is worthy of our complete devotion!

We take so much for granted!  We take for granted the blessing of hearing.  Let us be thankful for our hearing!  We likewise take for granted God’s blessing of speech.  Do you know that to be able to declare God’s Word is a blessing and a privilege (1 Cor. 2:1-3; 2 Tim. 4:2)?  To speak for Jesus is a blessing (Acts 8:4).  To use our tongues to edify and tell others that we love them is a blessing that should never be taken for granted.  To have good health is a blessing.  Do we even pause for a moment to thank God for good health?  Do we take our health for granted?  But when we lose our good health, we immediately realize that we need God’s blessing to restore our health. We must be thankful every day for God’s blessing of health!  These blessings are just a few among the abundance of blessings that our God bestows upon us day in and day out.  For that abundance of blessings like the stars in the sky, we must bow our knee in thanksgiving to God always.  

Let us be mindful of all our spiritual blessings in Christ (Eph. 1:3). Consider a few of these blessings that we must never take for granted:  Forgiveness is definitely at the top of our spiritual blessings.  Paul wrote, 

“In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace.”  (Ephesians 1:7)  


The burden of sin is one of the heaviest loads that man can carry.  David cried,

“For mine iniquities are gone over mine head: As an heavy burden they are too heavy for me.” (Psalm 38:4


When one is baptized into Christ, his sins are washed away (Acts 22:16; Rev. 1:5).  When we continue to walk in the light of God’s Word faithfully, the blood of Christ continues to cleanse us of our sins (1 John 1:7).

Prayer is another spiritual blessing we enjoy in Christ.  

“For the eyes of the Lord are over the righteous, and his ears are open unto their prayers: but the face of the Lord is against them that do evil.” (1 Peter 3:12


God, the Father, hears the prayers of His children.  Our heavenly Father hears His children’s cries.  We must be thankful that we can approach God’s throne through our Mediator, Jesus our Lord.  Paul wrote, 

“And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father.” (Galatians 4:6


Fellowship in Christ is another wonderful spiritual blessing.  The word fellowship means “joint participation.”  It is a state and an action.  It is our participation in the worship and work of the church. Fellowship is our participation with the Father and His Son, Jesus Christ, when we assemble every first day of the week to sing songs, pray, hear the Word of God preached, the Lord’s Supper, and giving (1 John 1:3-7).  Luke wrote,

“And they continued stedfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers.” (Acts 2:42


We can add to our list an abundance of more blessings, both physical and spiritual.  Therefore, we must be thankful, not only on Thanksgiving once a year, but every day of our lives for what God has done for us. 

“Make a joyful noise to the LORD, all the earth!  2 Serve the LORD with gladness!  Come into his presence with singing!  3 Know that the LORD, he is God!  It is he who made us, and we are his; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.  4 Enter his gates with thanksgiving, and his courts with praise!  Give thanks to him; bless his name!  5 For the LORD is good; his steadfast love endures forever, and his faithfulness to all generations.”  (Psalm 100


Our song “Count Your Blessings” stresses in the chorus the importance of counting our blessings.  When you find yourself being tossed about by the cares of this world, burdened with care, or when you feel His cross is too heavy to bear, slow down and count your blessings, name them one by one, see what God hath done!  It will surprise you what the Lord hath done.  His blessings are beyond measure!

Chorus,

Count your blessings, name them one by one,
Count your blessings, see what God hath done!
Count your blessings, name them one by one,
And it will surprise you what the Lord hath done.

May we always have a heart of gratitude and never take for granted the innumerable blessings we have through Christ Jesus. When we give our hearts completely to Him, He will guard and protect us.  

“The blessing of the LORD makes rich, and he adds no sorrow with it.” (Proverbs 10:22)

“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.”  (Psalm 40:5)





Luci




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