(After a feast with my daughter and her family today, I am reminded of a vision of a feast years ago.)
For some reason my mind has been on food these last few days, not just on one item and not just on one meal, and not just for a common occasion. My thoughts have been on a feast, in which I picture this long table that extends out of my sight, with so much food, and with such a variety, it is a smorgasbord that is more than you would ever have time to sample.
This sight affects all my senses. What I see is an arrangement of colors, textures, and designs. They all fit together so that we could not describe any one platter of such a banquet. It is a beautiful offering of a majestic kind, fit for a king and his court. The aromas capture my sense of smell, as I am drawn nearer to the table.
I am invited to come closer, to taste the delicacies spread before me. What do I sample first? It is all so magnificent, that I dare not spoil the display. It is too glorious even to touch, but I must. I am enthralled with the scene.
The questions come: “Who has prepared such a feast?”
“Where do such delicacies grow? Why have I not seen or tasted such as this before?”
“How is all this food prepared and preserved? Will it not spoil before it is eaten?”
“I cannot begin to partake of all this by myself. There is no one here but me. This is too much for me. I must go and find others with whom I can share this banquet. It is too wonderful!”
But, as I start to leave, a voice comes from the end of the table. “Before you go, taste for yourself, before you bring someone else. Without tasting you will not remember where you have been, nor will you want to come back.”
And so, humbly I approach the table. I see in the middle of all the other food, and my hand reaches for, a piece broken from a simple loaf of bread, the aroma of which I have never enjoyed before. Slowly, and gently the bread is lifted to my mouth and the sensation is indescribable. My eyes are opened to a throne at the end of the table where the King is seated. Gathered around Him and around the table are all these people who have come and tasted of the feast in the simplicity of Christ, His Son.
The feast is too rich for us now; our palate must be prepared for it. It is designed by the Father and revealed to us by His Holy Spirit who draws us to the center of the table—the bread oflife—Christ, Himself. For now the breadof heaven is enough. He is our sustenance for this earth and our taste of heaven. The Feast is for the Wedding and heavenly dining with the Father, and Son, in His great glory—for His glory and our joy.
“I am the living bread which came down from heaven; if any man eat of this bread, he shall live for ever…” John 6:51
“O taste and see that the LORD is good: blessed is the man that trusteth in Him.” Psalm 34:8
I pray that today we might taste of His divine goodness and bring others to His table.
9/29/07 (from Waiting is Not a Game ~ Articles of Faith, written during the three years that we waited for the wound to heal from Jerry’s amputation.)
Thirty years ago I was drawn to God’s Word to discover things I had never heard. Through adversity, God began to show me great and mighty things I had never known (Jer. 33:3). After searching different religions, including psychology, I came back to the roots of a poor, meager Christian faith that was never stoked and fed.
We live in a world that brings us to see our need for something beyond our understanding. It stirs up a fire that cries for help. If we come to His Word, God uses it in our adversity to burn away the dross of ourselves. Our anguish either turns us to seek the truth or it destroys us and others in the process. When we turn to Him, He uses our helplessness for His glory and our good.
Through years of study and prayer over God’s Word, I begian my life as a writer by formatting for chosen groups what I was learning. This happened to be for middle school students in our church and for youth discipleship groups.
In August 1992, what I was writing from head knowledge, became a fire of truth in my very soul. I know what Jesus meant when He said, “You must be born of the Spirit.” Some may say that the ember of faith was rekindled. Perhaps. It does not matter whether from an old faith that was put aside or from a totally new spark from God’s Word and His Spirit, there was a welling up of TRUTH within me that lighted a fire and new life that would feed on His Word and bear fruit to this day. I vividly remember my first writing of TRUTH. It was more than my thoughts could contain.
The whole gist of those years was “TRUTH cannot be contained.” Yet, it seemed then as if buried for many generations. I left those notes to continue in my search for TRUTH believing that it could not stay buried but one day would have to explode. You cannot bury TRUTH, just as you can’t bury LIFE.
The enemy has succeeded in hiding TRUTH from God’s creatures for thousands of years, but the power of God in His TRUTH is beginning to accumulate among His people. Those who continue in His Word know the TRUTH and are being set free.
The world has its volcanoes – the nation of America being one of the most volatile. It seems the emotions of human nature are overflowing with the lava of hell itself.
The Unseen The world can only see what men are doing to themselves. They cannot see what God has planned and is doing at this very moment.
I write this post today as I am led to stir this fire of TRUTH in the hearts of His people who read this.
We as individuals have little power over “the powers that be.” Recent news uncovers things happening in this world that are beyond my imagination – things not worth repeating.
Repetition of the promises of our heavenly Father overpower the words of the enemy.
“He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world” – that lies in wickedness.”
God’s kingdom rules in the middle of the turmoil. In and through what we are seeing of man’s exploits and deviations is the working of His power stirring up His church. I know this because my church and I am part of this volcanic explosion of TRUTH.
Deuteronomy 29:29 was one of the truths I discovered in those first years of new life.
“The secrets belong to God but are revealed to us and our children.”
They are revealed as we continue in His Word – “you are truly my disciples”—children of God—1 John 3:1-3. “And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” John 8:32
Free from what and free for what?
We are freed from deception and death. We are free to LIVE in light of TRUTH. TRUTH works the power of God in His people.
So, let us believe beyond what we can ask or think, of His kingdom in the lowest part of this volcanic action happening in our nation bursting through in an explosion of JOY to His glory.
“These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may remain in you, and that your joy may be full.
Lord willing, I will share how our heavenly Father is working in His church today.
In the meantime, I would share with you the link to our pastor’s present series on Philippians in our morning worship and Raising Godly Children in the evening. You would be blessed to see what the Lord is doing in our midst for humility, unity, and joy to His glory.
Please begin to pray this prayer for His church with us. He is beginning a great and mighty work.
That we may be “FILLED with the knowledge of His will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding; that we may walk worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing Him, being fruitful in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God; strengthened with all might, according to His glorious power, for all patience and longsuffering with JOY;”Colossians 1:9-11
Gracious Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done in earth as it is in heaven. You have set your throne in the heavens and your kingdom rules over all. From the rising of the sun to its setting, we praise you. Stir up your Spirit within the hearts of your people, gather us before your throne to praise you. Let our fervent prayers to your throne of mercy bring lightnings, thundering, and earthquakes to this earth, the power of your TRUTH and LIFE in us through Jesus our Lord surge and bring forth your JOY through us to your glory. Let the world know who you are in us. In His name, I pray. Amen. Fran
Our pastor’s Monday morning email. This was after the Lord’s Day worship.
“Watch and pray, that you do not enter into temptation.” May the Lord strengthen us by his Spirit to be faithful as our Lord’s kingdom of priests, for we are raised with Him and seated with Him in the heavenlies (Eph. 2:5-6). And the rule of God’s kingdom is to ask, seek, and knock. The Lord was present in Zion, his church, yesterday to bless and receive our worship, for he takes pleasure in those who fear him. Our Savior was present by his Spirit to proclaim the name of his Father and sing praises in the midst of his congregation!
Believe God’s promise. Appreciate and fear God for what he does when his people gather together as the church and believe his promise. Praise God for the renewing work of the Holy Spirit, an open and friendly throne of grace through our Savior’s resurrection, enthronement, and meditation at the right hand of the Father. Rejoice in God’s grace and seek the Lord’s strength — no good thing will he withhold from those that walk uprightly. Let us follow the Lamb this week, especially on our knees.”
The following is his sermon from Luke 22:29-36. Hear why Jesus prayed as He did. And let us pray in His name for His deliverance and strength secured for us in His submission to the Father’s will.
As the Shepherd continues to lead in “paths of righteousness,” I must not lag behind but keep close to Him to see where He is leading.
But I see other places. “Lord, that looks good.”
To the sheep, He says, “That is not what I have planned for you ~ I have something better.”
As we continue, I hear voices calling from different directions. They speak louder than the Shepherd, promising help and success.
The Still Small Voice This new stage is like no other. For fifty-nine years, I learned to listen to one human voice my Father had given me on this earth. Now, He is teaching me to hear clearly only His “still small voice” in the middle of this wilderness, through His Word and prayer. I understand why the apostle Paul directed the early church to “rejoice always, pray without ceasing and to give thanks in all things” (1 Thess. 5:16-18).
“From the rising of the sun to its setting, the name of the Lord is to be praised.” Psalm 113:3
Outdated and Vulnerable In any weak moment, there is a temptation for me to give in to the flesh and say, “I can’t do it anymore. I am too old. I am outdated and vulnerable to every influence I hear and see.” I am beginning to understand what Jerry meant when he said he had lived past his expiration date.
Having just come out of quarantine ~ my daughter and her family had COVID (grateful they were mild cases) ~ I desire to go forward ~ to know and do “the will of the Father.”
From watching motivational videos this past week, I agree, if I want glory to my own name, I can go for it and succeed. I still have enough zeal to achieve whatever I set my mind and heart toward. But I learned years ago, as a full-time caregiver, true success comes only through a life of humility.
“Humility is the bedrock of true success.”
Be Still We can set our own goals and achieve whatever we want but we fall short of what God can do in and through us. His plans, His presence, and power are seeded in the life of His children who are zealous for the work of His kingdom ~ those who are about “the Father’s business.” We are still dust in the hands of our Creator. Dirt cannot think of what it can accomplish. It can only “be still” with what is planted ~ and wait. It cannot even cherish the seed.
The seed is fed and watered, and the life in the seed breaks through the shell, sends roots downward, and stems upward looking for the light from which it was planted. It blooms and bears the fruit of the seed planted. The plant becomes the life in the dirt that glorifies the gardener. Eventually, the dirt is no longer seen but covered over becoming one with the plant. The plant glorifies the gardener and the dirt is enriched to grow more fruit.
Branches of the True Vine Jesus teaches how we bear fruit as branches from His life in John 15. This, too, is a lesson on humility. We can do nothing without Him, but if we abide in Him and He abides in us, we will bear much fruit (John 15:5).
By His grace, in the hands of the Gardener, we are fruitful even through old age.
Whether I think of being a sheep, a branch, or plain dirt, His Spirit and His Word are my motivation to remain humble and focused upon the Shepherd to lead me and the Gardener to do His work in me. Abiding and Fruitful is my goal for 2021 ~ to live passionately for Christ and die humble.
Gracious Father, hallowed be thy name in all the earth. Let us give unto you the glory due unto your name. Let us worship you in the beauty of holiness; fear before you with all the earth. Thy kingdom come, thy will be done in us for your glory and our joy. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen. Fran
2006 was a different year with different circumstances and the only reason I record the events here is as an archive for our family. So, if you who are reading, don’t like to hear how God brings His children to love and depend on Him more, you may want to skip this post.
The first six months of that year were the last for Jerry and me to care for my mother with Alzheimer’s disease. After four and a half years with us, she died on August 2 and was buried on August 7.
August 9, we learned our pastor and half the families in our church were moving to Tennessee ~ a drastic division in the church.
September 19, Jerry had an emergency by-pass surgery on his left leg.
October 24, his leg was amputated.
November 8, he came home from rehab.
For the remainder of the year, we waited for healing which did not happen until three years later, after another surgery to remove the graft inserted in the by-pass.
We experienced a physical and a spiritual amputation in our church that year that took years to reconcile. Recovery from both came about the same time as we were drawn closer to the Lord.
That was 2006. Fast-forward to 2020.
On this day, fourteen years ago, I am recalling that day of amputation and the years that followed until Jerry’s death on June 1, five months ago.
Of the fourteen years, he did not walk for the first three years. As we waited for healing, he was fitted for a prosthesis but every time he tried to use it the wound opened.
After the last surgery, he still experienced spasms and pain, soreness and discomfort that he finally accepted. He used a walker for eight years as he was able. He drove again for about five years, until 2017 when he could no longer wear a shoe and resigned himself to a wheelchair for the last three years. During these three years, we knew the Father’s care through our church family and our children and their families.
The date, October 24, 2006, and the anniversary, startled me as I lay in bed this morning. I was frozen as I imagined how he faced that day until after 5:00 P.M. His life would no longer be the same. He was 70; I was 67. We were both still strong enough to face that trial physically. It was not until the week before his death, we understood how strong our heavenly Father had made us, spiritually.
All we lost was for our gain, for eternity.
He did not complain; I did not complain ~ we both learned to praise Him in all things ~ to establish and live by the Glad Rule our heavenly Father taught us.
In his last days, Jerry would say, “I wonder what it will be like.”
Could he tell us, we might listen and take heed to what waits for us beyond this wilderness ~ and praise Him.
Heavenly Father, thank you that you gave us a spirit of praise and thanksgiving. You showed us your grace, mercy, and glory in the middle of the worst times in this life. Thank you for your Holy Spirit that lives in your children to declare the love of Christ and your kingdom on this earth. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen. Fran
“Unless these men stay in the ship, you cannot be saved.” Acts 27:31
Paul’s last voyage was not a pleasant one. From Caesarea he was being sent to Rome as a prisoner to be tried before Caesar. The storm encountered was causing the ship to break apart as it ran upon the rocks near the beach of Malta.
Before running aground, where the bow stuck and the stem was being broken by the surf, the prisoners could have escaped by throwing out the anchor and letting down the lifeboat. This could have been Paul’s chance to avoid being carried to Rome. But, he knew what was happening was within God’s plans for him.
The following night, after Paul was arrested, “the Lord stood by him and said, “Be of good cheer, Paul; for as you have testified for Me in Jerusalem, so you must also bear witness at Rome.” Acts 23:11
Then, during the storm, Paul stood to encourage all who are in the ship, “Take heart for there will be no loss of life among you, but only of the ship. For this very night there stood before me an angel of the God to whom I belong and whom I worship, and he said, Do not be afraid Paul, your must stand before Caesar. And behold, God has granted you all those who sail with you. So take heart, men, for I have faith in God that it will be exactly as I have been told. But we must run aground on some island.” Acts 27:22-26
Paul trusted God’s plan for him; he trusted His Word, and he was obedient to the will of God. His was the example of the obedience of faith he preached in the gospel to the Roman Christians.
God’s plans for us may be that we go through the storms and waves of this world. The relationship we are in may break up, and seemingly all hope is lost, but in faith, we must stay in the ship. Our relationship with God may encounter upheavals; our fellowship with other believers may run aground, but we are called to obedience to stay in the ship and endure through the entire course, even if that means that we are heading toward the end of this life.
Paul survived his last voyage with other prisoners and soldiers. Undoubtedly, they were non-believers, not knowing the promises or power of God to save His people. Paul is the example for us, even in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation to shine as lights in the darkness.
Cutting Away the Lifeboat
“Then the soldiers cut away the ropes of the ship’s boat and let it go.” Acts 27:32
God is able: and He promises in His Word never to leave us nor forsake us. At times He may have to cut away the ropes of anything that might help us to abandon ship.
His church is that great ship that is often run aground, but He has not forsaken her. Many leave the ship, and often have a difficult time finding it again.
Marriage and family units are vessels that have to bear the storms. Many find these relationships on the rocks, but when we rely on God’s promises, His presence and power as Paul did, we experience His working through the upheavals. He can restore these ships, sometimes to better relationships than they were before.
We may be the only one with faith, courage, and perseverance to stay with the ship, knowing the God to whom we belong and worship. We may be the only light that God chooses to save a whole family from darkness and disaster.
We accept this reality with humility, not pride. It can be a heavy burden for us, but in time it will produce the joy that He intends for us. Wherever we are is where God places us; to testify ofHim.
A few days ago, a friend made reference to her daughter’s piano teacher who is taking her daughter “to a new level.” Music students rate themselves as beginner, intermediate, or advanced. Not many go from beginner to advanced, but from one level to another, as they are trained and practiced in what they are being taught.
This can be applied to our lives as disciples of Christ. Does not our Lord Jesus Christ challenge us to a new level of wisdom and understanding of His grace? If so, we will find ourselves more humble than we can imagine. We will be filled and enabled to thrive on the abounding grace and the abundant life that He promised.
As we continue to see our need for humility; to desire this abounding grace; to pray and believe as we wait on Him, He will not fail to fulfill His promises to us, in us, and through us.
Growing in grace and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we now live, should be an ongoing process as we pray, read, study, meditate, and wait.
We should be advancing in our faith to higher levels of knowledge and holiness. This is a process working in us that will not exalt us, nor of which we can boast, but rather one that will humble us more and more.
It is the sinner dwelling in the full light of God’s holy, redeeming love ~ in the experience of that full indwelling of divine love, which comes through Christ and the Holy Spirit ~ who cannot be anything but humble. Not to be occupied with your sin, but to be occupied with God, brings deliverance from self.
Humility Chap. 8 Humility and Sin
Of your great goodness make known to me and take from my heart every kind and form and degree of pride, whether of evil spirits or my own corrupt nature and awaken in me the deepest depth and truth of that humility which can make me capable of your light and your Holy Spirit. Humility: the Beauty of Holiness
Dear Father, you, the God of all grace, have called us unto your eternal glory through Jesus Christ. You do not leave us to grow by ourselves. You know what we need ~ grace and more grace. Work in us according to your own good pleasure that we may be a witness of the abundant life in Christ that humbles us and glorifies you. In Jesus’ name, I pray and praise you. Amen (Excerpt from A Broad Review of Andrew Murray’s Humility
Send a message on our contact page for a free PDF. Fran
After our pastor’s recent sermon from Luke 7:38, my heart was led to think of what it means to be “at Jesus’ feet.”
“Behold, a woman in the city, who was a sinner, when she knew that Jesus sat dining in the Pharisee’s house, brought an alabaster box of ointment, and stood at his feet behind him weeping and began to wash his feet with tears, and did wipe them with the hairs of her head, and kissed his feet, and anointed them with the ointment.” Luke 7:38.”
“Gracious tears are wept at Jesus’ feet. Oh, if you would have your heart broken until the rock shall gush with rivers of repentance, stand at Jesus’ feet. Stand there now. If you would have a tender heart, think of the Beloved who died for you! Think of how those feet were pierced. This woman could not see that, for it was not then done; but you can see it, and note where the nail has bored each blessed foot.” At His Feet Charles Spurgeon
The first reference of Jesus’ feet is in Matthew 15:30
In recognition of Jesus’ power to heal, “great multitudes came unto him, having with them those that were lame, blind, dumb, maimed, and many others, and cast them down at Jesus’ feet; and he healed them:”
There were those who fell at Jesus’ feet to worship Him, and those who sat at His feet.
We come to His feet to pray for loved ones, knowing by experience He is the only one who can save.
Jairus, a rule of the synagogue, whose daughter was ill, ”fell down at Jesus’feet, and besought him that he would come into his house:” Luke 8:41
In Mark 7:25 “a certain woman, whose young daughter had an unclean spirit, heard of him, and came and fell at his feet:
We find in Luke 8:35 the story of the man who had a legion of demons in him who used to cut himself, and who lived among the tombs.
“They went out to see what was done; and came to Jesus, and found the man, out of whom the demons were departed, sitting at the feet of Jesus.”
At Jesus’ feet” is the fitting place for a willing learner.
“She had a sister called Mary, who also sat at Jesus’ feet, and heard his word”; Luke 10:39
In the healing of the ten lepers, only one returned to thank Jesus and acknowledge His healing.
“And fell down on his face at hisfeet, giving him thanks: and he was a Samaritan.” Luke 17:16
It is at Jesus’ feet that we recognize our place before Him and honor and acknowledge His power and authority over all things.
“Then when Mary was come where Jesus was, and saw him, she fell down at hisfeet, saying unto him, Lord, if thou hadst been here, my brother had not died.” John 11:32
After His resurrection “when they went to tell his disciples, behold, Jesus met them, saying, All hail. And they came and held him by the feet, and worshipped him.” Matthew 28:9
When we fall before Him, it is His feet we see and touch. We come to Him in gratitude for His condescension to us, for He walked this dusty earth to proclaim the kingdom of God, our Father; then climbed that hill to Golgatha to have those precious feet pierced for our sake.
His disciples tarried in obedience to the Master and were blessed to see those glorious feet as He ascended back to the Father to rule in power and as our High Priest to intercede for us.
“For he must reign, till he hath put all enemies under his feet.”
1 Corinthians 15:25
“And hath put all things under hisfeet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church,” Ephesians 1:22
We live under His authority, no longer enemies but friends and family ~ His church. We will not come under His feet in the wrath of God, but we will rule with Him at His feet, forevermore. We bow before Him now or will be brought under His feet in condemnation forever.
When He Reigns
“I think I see the angels and the blood-bought ones beginning one of their celestial chorales. Hear them as they begin the rapturous strain! Their notes how sweet, how seraphic, as they praise the eternal Father and the glorious Lamb of God and worship!
“We hear the song. How it swells! Listen to the soft touches of the harpists playing on their harps! Do you see how the singers and the players of instruments seem caught up in the ecstasy? But notice! as the song rises they begin to bow. As it rises higher they bow lower, and lower, and lower.
“The enthusiastic fervour of their love has made them lift their loudest hallelujah; and lo ~ they cast their crowns at his sacred feet. The whole company are still lifting up the song to its utmost glory, but immediately they fall on their faces, prostrate before the throne. “At his feet” is their loftiest position. Let us imitate them, and making the worship more ecstatic than before, bow before him.
Lo, at his feet, with awful joy,
The adoring armies fall!
With joy they shrink to nothing there,
Before the eternal All.
“So let us praise him for all that he has done for us; and, as we praise him, let us sink lower, and lower, and lower, until in ourselves we are nothing and only Christ lives in us. Let no thought of self, nor wish for self, nor dream of self, intrude, but let Jesus be all in all.
“At his feet,” there our heaven shall be found. When our soul is deepest bathed in grateful praise we shall fall down on our faces and worship the Lamb. May the Lord bless you, and keep you at his feet for ever. Amen. At Jesus’ Feet Charles Spurgeon
“And the four and twenty elders fell down and worshipped him that liveth for ever andever.” Revelation 514; Revelation 19:4
“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ:”
If our main purpose in seeking God is to receive a blessing, then our blessing will most likely be in vain. The blessings we seek for ourselves are usually selfish and without substance. True blessings will be returned to the sender from grateful hearts with the fruit of praise unto His name.
“The chief end of man is to glorify God and enjoy Him forever.” Shorter Catechism
As God’s children, we live under His constant showers of blessings. We are continually blessed even ~ and sometimes more so ~ in our most dire circumstances. Let’s explore this word used extensively in the seasoned Christian’s vocabulary.
Here is the link to the 463 words BLESS, BLESSED, or BLESSING(S) recorded in the KJV.
Old Testament H1288 bârak, baw-rak’; a primitive root; to kneel; by implication to bless God (as an act of adoration), and (vice-versa) man (as a benefit);
If blessing begins with God, it must mean that He kneels ~ or should we say, He condescends to us ~ in order to bless us. He must, from His height of glory, look down upon us in pity and love. This is itself our blessing ~ that He has any interest in us as mere creatures. This is where our hearts are warmed to receive what He has planned and is willing to pour down upon us.
When we experience His blessings, it becomes our second nature to return the blessing to Him.
The first use of the word BLESS is found in Genesis 1:22 refering to God’s blessing Adam and Eve and His creation, “Be fruitful, and multiply, and fill the waters in the seas, and let fowl multiply in the earth.
In Genesis 2:3, “God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it: because that in it he had rested from all his work which God created and made.”
In Genesis 9:1 “God blessed Noah and his sons, and said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth.”
Genesis 12:2 records God’s blessing for Abraham,“I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing:”
Genesis 14:20 is the first record of God being blessed
“And blessed be the most high God, which hath delivered thine enemies into thy hand. And he gave him tithes of all.
Genesis 27:35 relates to Jacob’s deception in taking away Esau’s blessing.
Genesis 32:26 speaks of Jacob’s wrestling with God. “And he said, I will not let thee go, except thou bless me.”
The following is a well-known blessing we use for others.
“The Lord bless thee, and keep thee:
The Lord make his face shine upon thee, and be gracious unto thee:
The Lord lift up his countenance upon thee, and give thee peace.”
“Behold, I set before you this day a blessing and a curse;
A blessing, if ye obey the commandments of the Lord your God, which I command you this day:” Deuteronomy 11:26-27
The blessing refers to life.
“I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live: Deuteronomy 30:19
One of the most familiar verses shows us in a negative way how a man is blessed. Then the next verse in the positive showing the connection of blessings and delight.
“Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful. But his delight is in the law of the Lord.” Psalm 1:1-2
“Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered.”
“Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord; and the people whom he hath chosen for his own inheritance.Psalm 33:12
“The curse of the Lord is in the house of the wicked: but he blesseth the habitation of the just.” Proverbs 3:33
“Blessed is every one that feareth the Lord; that walketh in his ways.” Psalm 128:1
Blessings returned to the Lord
“Blessed be the Lord God, the God of Israel, who only doeth wondrous things.” Psalm 72:18
“Bless the Lord, O my soul: and all that is within me, bless his holy name. Psalm 103:1
“The Lord liveth; and blessed be my rock; and let the God of my salvation be exalted.” Psalm 18:46
“I will extol thee, my God, O king; and I will bless thy name for ever and ever.” Psalm 145:1
“I will bless the Lord at all times: his praise shall continually be in my mouth.” Psalm 34:1
The promise of blessing in our obedience of bringing our tithes to Him.
“Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the Lord of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it.” Malachi 3:10
New Testament G3107 makários, mak-ar’-ee-os; supremely blest; by extension, fortunate, well off:—blessed, happy(X -ier).
The word in Greek carries with it a greater meaning. We should understand this as relating to the greater blessing we have in Jesus Christ.
The most familiar are the blessings Jesus promised in the Sermon on the Mount ~ commonly called the Beatitudes. He taught that happiness is not based on the physical things of this life but in the spiritual life He came to give.
Blessed are the poor in spirit, they that mourn, hunger and thirst after righteousness, the merciful, the pure in heart, the peacemakers, persecuted for righteousness’ sake and when men shall revile you. The blessings that come after are recorded after each of these.
With the promised blessings is the command for us to bless those that curse us (Matthew 5:44).
Because our Lord has stooped to bless us, we are able to bless others as well as kneel before Him and bless Him for His work in and through us.
Blessings are promised to those who hear the word of God, who keep it, do His commandments, and endure temptation.
“But he said, Yea rather, blessed are they that hear the word of God, and keep it.” Luke 11:28
“Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city.”
“Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him.” James 1:12
Jesus’ last blessing to them before His ascension.
“And he led them out as far as to Bethany, and he lifted up his hands, and blessed them. And it came to pass, while he blessed them, he was parted from them, and carried up into heaven.” Luke 24:50-51
He is the blessed and only Potentate, King of kings and Lord of lords.
“Which in his times he shall shew, who is the blessed and only Potentate, the King of kings, and Lord of lords;” 1 Timothy 6:15
“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,” 1 Peter 1:3
As children of God ~ the blessed people of God living in His abundant mercy and hope ~ let us live daily in obedience to Him.
Dear Father, fill us with the Spirit of Christ today. In humility and reverence to you, let us experience your blessings flowing through us to others. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.
Words and names have always fascinated me. They make a sound, ring a bell, and become a current that carries me wherever they want me to go.
Names are words that indicate relationship ~ whether personal or just in passing ~ both are functional as to their influence to excite or suppress. Names stir in other souls who and what they represent.
A name in my thoughts is a visitation of that person, their personality, their beliefs, their life. If only in passing ~ whenever or wherever I have known them ~ they leave a mark on my life.
Names are the identification of the contents. We can never willingly show the entirety of our being ~ considering the depravity of our nature and the years we have lived. But we can be known for one particular thing and that one thing is memorable.
Where would we be as Jesus’ followers if He not lived up to His name ~ Jesus, meaning Salvation ~ and established as the only means of salvation (Acts 4:12).
And only He has the Words of eternal life (John 6:68).
Our own thoughts form a pattern, a plan, a possibility of spoken words and actions. They are part of the design of a spiritual landscape. Words spoken leave impressions on the hearts that hear. And our names are the label for what we leave behind.
“For we are unto God a sweet savour of Christ, in them that are saved, and in them that perish: To the one we are the savour of death unto death; and to the other the savour of life unto life. And who is sufficient for these things?”
2 Corinthians 2:15-16
Dust or Fragrance Words that are spoken are either dust and mud for people’s feet, or they are fragrance that lifts them to the heights of God’s glory. And so, when others hear our names, they respond in their spirit to what they have heard and seen.
We, as human creatures, represent either God or Satan. We are light or we are darkness. We are good or we are evil. God makes known to His people who He is and who we are as His children. Light and goodness are not our own. They are the nature and fruit of a new heart and spirit given by God to His people (Ezekiel 36:26). We experience a new birth (John 1:12-13; 3:3).
He brings us to His Word and by His Spirit births us into His family and kingdom (1 Peter 1:3; 1 Peter 1:23). Even as we live through Jesus Christ, His Spirit works in and through us. Our thoughts and desires are changed. We are given a new design for living and a language that is different from the rest of the world. Our vocabulary is inspired by the Word of God and by His Word we are changed into the image of Christ (2 Corinthians 3:18).
We are known by our fruit. Our words and lives are the inward working of the Life of Christ within us. The birds of the air take our words and scatter the seeds where the Lord wills so as to make His name known and to produce more fruit for His kingdom.
How do others know us? How do they remember us? Are we a sweet fragrance unto life for others?
Gracious Father, Hallowed be your name ~ for we remember that you are holy, We remember you in your majesty and your glory. We are humbled by your mercy to us as lost sinners in need of grace and new life. Make us holy ~ humble us and make us the representatives of Christ that we are meant to be. In Jesus’ name, Amen.