Posted tagged ‘Blessings’

New Year New Blessings

January 4, 2011

2011 will bring blessings to all who put the Lord first in their lives (Matthew 6:33).  To enjoy those blessings to the fullest we need to open our eyes and hearts to them.  Too often we rush through life and forget to live life.  Living too quickly to enjoy the fruits of our labors, the joys of family, friends and the Lord will cause anyone to become weary, ungrateful and depressed.

Take stock of what God is doing in your life. Enjoy each and every gift granted to us.  Give thanks and share those blessing with others.

Lord,  Please help me to see every gift and blessing.  Help me to let the joy of your salvation motivate me and others to share my gifts and blessing.  In Jesus we ask.

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So Good!

December 10, 2010

My friend and teacher Thomas Chapin has a gift for writing, arranging and performing music.  He chooses to direct that talent toward worship of God.  He penned a beautiful song a few years back that reminds us of how truly good God is.

As I wake with the dawn,
I am blessed by your light,
And when the light is gone,
You give me peace in the night.

I feel your love and your mercies
They’re new everyday
They inspire and stir me and I have to say…

You, are so good, You are so good to me.

Thomas Chapin

So many things remind us of God’s goodness.  Often the most important blessings are the simplest of all. Paul’s preaching reminded us that it is in God that we “live, move and have our very being.” The joy of beauty is a rich blessing we see, hear and experience all the time.  The mighty maker didn’t have to marry artistry and beauty with function.  He threw that in as a blessing.  Every sunrise and sunset are testimony to God’s goodness.

O Lord my God,
When I in awesome wonder
Consider all
The works Thy Hand hath made,
I see the stars,
I hear the mighty thunder,
Thy pow’r throughout
The universe displayed;

Carl Boberg

Grateful hearts should be noisy.  Because of God’s kindness toward us we should be telling others about what He is doing and has done for us.  That could be our project for improvement.  Let’s try to tell at least one person how good our God has been to us.  It could be something that happened today or years earlier.  God is so Good.

Participating without the Participation

December 2, 2010

On many occasions I’ve heard about people leaving the worship assembly feeling like nothing happened to change their lives.  As one man put it “We start at 10:00 sharp and end at 11:00 dull. How can it be that some folks come expecting great things and leave disappointed that nothing special happened?

The activity of worship doesn’t change a whole lot from week to week (it’s content and what we are supposed to do is settled by Scripture).  We sing, we pray, we give a donation, we listen to a sermon, and eat the same Lord’s supper week after week.  Not much changes.  So it is quite easy to participate in a ritual without having to really involve the heart, mind and soul. Our bodies just seem to go through a well practiced pattern.

It is easy to fix blame on worship leaders. We can complain about boring songs, long sermons, rehashed prayers.  But is that really the problem?  How is it that one person can come to worship and be excited, motivated, uplifted, and satisfied while the person next to him leaves bored, lifeless and disappointed?

Our worship is an offering to God.  We assemble to praise, worship and extol Him.  It is our opportunity to pour out our hearts and our love to the Father.  This originates from our hearts.  I am reminded of God’s words…

“You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart.” Jeremiah 29:13

Could it be that many are not finding strength, joy and fulfillment in the worship of God because their hearts are not in it?  Maybe much of the problem of dull assemblies falls upon each of us, in that what we put into the worship isn’t very exciting, energetic or motivating.  Perhaps attendance isn’t enough to make worship a special time.  Perhaps merely being in the crowd isn’t fulfilling.  It’s time to seek God with our whole heart.  I need to prepare for worship by getting my heart ready to meet God.  My heart, my mind, my body needs to be engaged in giving my best to God.  Then He will be pleased and I will be rewarded with His presence in worship.  Who could consider that dull?

Spectator worship is truly boring and lifeless.  Engaging worship involves the whole heart and being of the individual.  Singing out, praying along, giving cheerfully, listening and applying the word of God, and meeting Jesus in the Lord’s Supper these things depend on you and not much on anyone else.  Worship with the saints can often be a reflection of our own personal worship habits.  What is your worship like at home?  How fulfilling is your daily devotional time?  If those lack spirit and energy then most likely you will bring that same spirit and energy to the church building  to do the same with everyone else.

Joseph D. Chase
Gladewater, Texas

 

I Love to Preach

February 24, 2010

It is a privilege to be God’s preacher. When you count the many blessings of friendship, family and fellowship you could never find a greater abundance than you find within the church of our Lord. I’ve seen a rich outpouring of kindness not only for my wife and me, but also for other members within the body. Over the years I’ve witnessed people going out of their way to pay honor to the sick, widowed, and every imaginable part of the family of Christ imaginable. In the world it happens more times than not that people tear down and mistreat one another. I’m glad I am in a place that does the work of a loving and compassionate Lord who teaches us to be the same way.

I love preaching because it brings hope and healing to those who hear. So much of what we hear in the media is doom and gloom. However, the very nature of the Bible and preaching is the “Good News”(Matthew 28:19,20). I am preaching to the downhearted, a healing and cheering message. We all can realize that Jesus is the answer to every struggle we face. He brings unity to the family that is divided. Jesus brings balance to broken finances (Mt. 6:33). Jesus builds bridges to evangelism and better relationships.
I love preaching because it holds a wonderful reward in Heaven. This is a blessing that all of us share, because we are all preachers (Matthew. 28:19), God promises rest from our labors and joy beyond measure (Revelation. 14:13) when we pass from this world to Heaven.

I thank God for letting me do the thing I believe with all my heart He intends for me to do. Great things are happening for those who love God, please come into His family.

Peter Promises Persecution

January 7, 2010

It is hard to understand how the televangelists of the day get by with preaching that if you become a Christian then your troubles in this life are over.  The Bible just doesn’t uphold that doctrine.  God has never promised a life of painless, bliss with riches and ease.  He does promise peace in the midst of persecutions (Philippians 4:7).

Notice carefully that Peter’s first letter deals with persecution on every page. He tells us plainly the following precepts:

  • It is God’s will that we suffer persecution “Therefore let those who suffer according to God’s will entrust their souls to a faithful Creator while doing good” (1 Peter 4:19)
  • We should follow in the steps of Jesus in our persecution “For to this you have been called, because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example, so that you might follow in his steps” (1 Peter 2:21).
  • We should expect suffering “Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery trial when it comes upon you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you” (1 Peter 4:12).
  • We should not be troubled by it “But even if you should suffer for righteousness’ sake, you will be blessed. Have no fear of them, nor be troubled” (1 Peter 3:14).
  • We must bear persecution patiently “Do not repay evil for evil or reviling for reviling, but on the contrary, bless, for to this you were called, that you may obtain a blessing” (1 Peter 3:9; 2:23).
  • We should even rejoice in suffering “But rejoice insofar as you share Christ’s sufferings, that you may also rejoice and be glad when his glory is revealed” (1 Peter 4:13).
  • There is blessing and value to persecution “In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, so that the tested genuineness of your faith–more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire–may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ” (1Peter 1:6-7).
  • He warns us not to suffer as an evildoer.  Suffering for your own sins is a natural consequence.  Persecution on Christ’s account brings the joy of heaven to the one suffering (Matthew 5:12).

Do we long for persecution? Certainly not! We should be ready for it so that when it comes we don’t lose our faith (Mark 4:17).  Please be aware of the preacher promising you life here without struggles and rewards of money and fortune on this earth.  He is most likely going to ask you for a big donation before that life can be yours to have.


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What About Tomorrow?

December 14, 2009

I have a problem, I want to know what is going to happen before it happens.  Surprises are never really exciting to me.  Its always easier for me to have things always be the same with nothing new coming along.

We know that this is not ever going to be the case.  Reality is, life is ever in a state of change.  New challenges come with the dawn.  Some challenges are blessings in disguise while others are trials of our character.

James challenges us to be careful about thinking tomorrow is a guarantee.  Don’t ever fall into the trap of believing tomorrow will bring more of the same of what we have today.  Watch for the big challenges and the little opportunities to make this world better for yourself and for others.

Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go into such and such a town and spend a year there and trade and make a profit”– yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes.
(Jas 4:13-14)

Worry about tomorrow benefits us nothing.  Remember our Lord’s words “‘Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble'” (Mat 6:34).  Anxiety and worry lead to doubt and discouragement.

“I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.”  (John 16:33)
Tomorrows struggles matter nothing with God’s power on our side.  He works all things together for good for those who love Him (Rom 8:28).

The poets remind us of God’s loving care and our need to look to him for comfort.

Days are filled with sorrow and care, Hearts are lonely and drear
Burdens are lifted at Calvary, Jesus is very near
Cast your care on Jesus today, Leave your worry and fear
Burdens are lifted at Calvary, Jesus is very near
Troubled soul, the Savior can see, Every heartache and tear
Burdens are lifted at Calvary, Jesus is very near

© 1952 Singspiration Music (ASCAP) (admin. by Brentwood-Benson Music Publishing, Inc.) All rights reserved.

Going even farther back in modern history is this song

If the world from you withhold of its silver and its gold,
And you have to get along with meager fare,
Just remember, in His Word, how He feeds the little bird;
Take your burden to the Lord and leave it there

If your body suffers pain and your health you can’t regain,
And your soul is almost sinking in despair,
Jesus knows the pain you feel, He can save and He can heal;
Take your burden to the Lord and leave it there.

When your enemies assail and your heart begins to fail,
Don’t forget that God in Heaven answers prayer;
He will make a way for you and will lead you safely through.
Take your burden to the Lord and leave it there.

When your youthful days are gone and old age is stealing on,
And your body bends beneath the weight of care;
He will never leave you then, He’ll go with you to the end.
Take your burden to the Lord and leave it there.

Leave it there, leave it there,
Take your burden to the Lord and leave it there.
If you trust and never doubt, He will surely bring you out.
Take your burden to the Lord and leave it there.

This last song reminds of Peter’s words “Cast your burdens on Him for He Cares for you.”  Please let the sunshine of God’s promise to bring you to Heaven after your tomorrows are spent be enough to lift your heart from any sorrow of today.