What do you see as you look around you – blessings or curses? Is that glass half empty or half full? Do you recall the old song with the line, ‘Count your blessings name them one by one and it will surprise you what the Lord has done’? Blessings look like family, peace, flowers, bees, butterflies, people, food, freedom, life, breath, health and of course those wonderful fresh tomatoes – we all have many of these and some have all of them. We start with nothing and then God just keeps pressing blessings into lives.
‘For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it’ – 1 Timothy 6:7
‘I pray to start my day and finish it in prayer. I'm just thankful for everything, all the blessings in my life, trying to stay that way. I think that's the best way to start your day and finish your day. It keeps everything in perspective’ – Tim Tebow
‘I just thank God for all of the blessings’ – James Brown
‘I laugh a lot and count my blessings’ – Cheryl Ladd
Can we be sure that God wants to bless us?
‘God saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Saviour, so that, having been justified by his grace, we might become heirs having the hope of eternal life’ – Titus 3:5-7
‘If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you’ – James 1:5
‘I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full – John 10:10
‘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. For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love he predestined us for adoption to sonship through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will – to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves’ – Ephesians 1:3-6
Oh yes, there’s no doubt that God our Father loves to bless his children. The greatest blessing is that we can call him ‘Abba Father’.
‘One of the greatest titles in the world is parent, and one of the biggest blessings in the world is to have parents to call mum and dad’ – Jim DeMint
Take any character in the Bible and you can see God’s blessing, even if they chose not to receive it or to walk away from it into the land of curses. God wants to bless you, whether you’re in pain or plenty. Take one whose very name means ‘born in pain’ but cried out to God for blessing:
‘Jabez cried out to the God of Israel, ‘Oh, that you would bless me and enlarge my territory! Let your hand be with me, and keep me from harm so that I will be free from pain.’ And God granted his request’ - 1 Chronicles 4:10
There’s a saying, ‘What goes round comes round’! That’s certainly true with Abraham who was told: ‘I will make you into a great nation, and I will bless you; I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing’ - Genesis 12:2
‘All the blessings we enjoy are Divine deposits, committed to our trust on this condition, that they should be dispensed for the benefit of our neighbours’ – John Calvin
‘… remembering the words the Lord Jesus himself said: “It is more blessed to give than to receive”’ – Acts 20:35
‘Be true to yourself, help others, make each day your masterpiece, make friendship a fine art, drink deeply from good books - especially the Bible, build a shelter against a rainy day, give thanks for your blessings and pray for guidance every day’ – John Wooden
‘What if you gave someone a gift, and they neglected to thank you for it - would you be likely to give them another? Life is the same way. In order to attract more of the blessings that life has to offer, you must truly appreciate what you already have’ – Ralph Marston
‘There is something that happens when you are grateful: You continue to keep receiving blessings. So I will always be grateful’ – Chrissy Metz
The Lord is a Lord who loves to bless, even if sometimes the blessing is that of a loving Father who loves enough to discipline us for a time. As you take a long hard look at the life God has given you, take Moses’ advice to choose life and the blessings of God, to walk in step with him and not away from him.
‘Our real blessings often appear to us in the shape of pains, losses and disappointments; but let us have patience and we soon shall see them in their proper figures’ - Joseph Addison
‘Each time we cooperate with God, we take one more giant step forward. Because when God asks us to change, it means that He always has something better to give us - more freedom, greater joy, and greater blessings’ – Joyce Meyer
‘Blessed is the one who does not walk in step with the wicked or stand in the way that sinners take or sit in the company of mockers, but whose delight is in the law of the Lord, and who meditates on his law day and night. That person is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither – whatever they do prospers’ – Psalm 1: 1-3
Imagine a world where people recognised their blessings and became 'blessing practitioners' as they delighted to bless others! A world can be changed this way, one day and one person at a time. Make a wise choice to recognise the blessings of God, to live in those blessings and to share them generously with others - in this way, your's will be a blessed world.
‘The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make his face shine on you and be gracious to you; the Lord turn his face towards you and give you peace’ – Numbers 6:24-26
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