Psalm 128:1 Blessed In Fear And Obedience

Blessed are all who fear the LORD, who walk in obedience to him. Psalm 128:1

Fear and obedience are two things that many people do not see associated with blessings. Yet the psalmist says that the one who fears and the one who is obedient is blessed.

Fear is often associated with being scared, not respect. There are many people in the world who fear God, because they fear that He will not accept them because of their past sins. Christians often fall into this same type of fear of God. They fear God no longer loves them because they fell back into some sin again. The weight of judgement against them weighs heavily on their minds.

This is not the fear the psalmist was talking about. Fear, here, is the respect and reverence for God. It is allowing God to be God and absolutely ruler over one’s life.

Obedience is seen as something that one must do, not a privilege to do. Throughout the world, many people obey the laws, only because they have to. The rules are obeyed only out of fear of getting caught. This also is often seen in the church. The heart is not in the obedience.

When a believer realizes what Jesus has done for him and how much God loves him, he will want to obey God. It will be a choice, not a requirement.

When you obey God out of fear, you are constantly on the outlook for when God is going to strike you. In that way, there is no real peace or loving relationship with God.

The blessings in fearing and obeying God is found in the relationship that is built up through the obedience. The level of trust in God is built up as you fear and obey Him. Knowing that there is peace between you and God rises when you know you are living for God with the right mindset.

Having that right relationship with God removes fear of judgement or reprimand. You will know the grace and mercy God has for you. In the midst of trouble in this life, you will still have God’s peace and love in your life. What better blessing can there be than that?

I pray today that you will know God’s love for you; that you will know God’s mercy for you; that you will have the proper fear and respect for God; that God will strengthen you in your obedience to Him; and that you will know all the blessings God has for you.

Psalm 72:15 Pray For And Bless The Leader

Long may he live! May gold from Sheba be given him. May people ever pray for him and bless him all day long. Psalm 72:15

This psalm of Solomon is one in which he is talking about the king. His prayer is that God would bless the king in many ways, and that the king would live to honor God in all of his ways. In this verse, he specifically wants the people to pray for and bless the king on a continual basis.

Leaders at every level have a heavy load to bear. They are responsible for leading and guiding people correctly. Leaders can make or break people very easily  by the decisions that they make.

One thing that is easy for every person, who is not a leader, to do is to criticize the leader. Watch the news, Facebook, Twitter, and other sources of media, and one will see all the “discussions” about various leaders.

When looking from the bottom of the leadership pole, it is easy to find faults with a leader. It is easy to find reasons to not like some leader. People do this with God all the time. God allows something in their life, and they get mad because it happened or something did not happen.

People who are not in leadership do not always see the reason for the choices made. Leaders often see a bigger picture. God is the only one who sees the picture perfectly all the time, but God has placed leaders in position for a reason.

Whether you agree with or disagree with a leader should not stop you from praying for and blessing a leader. This does not matter whether the leader is of a business, a small community or the leader of a nation.

Take time daily to pray for your leaders. Pray that God will guide each one in the path He has for them. Pray that their hearts and lives will be touched by and led by God. Pray that they will make decisions that will honor God. And pray that God will pour out blessings on your leaders.

God can bless and lead even those who do not desire to follow Him. Do not just pray for removal, but show God’s love and compassion for your leaders.

I pray today that you will pray for every leader you have; that you will seek God’s blessings on your leaders; that you will show God’s love for your leaders; and that every leader will honor and live for God.

Psalm 67:1-2 Blessings For A Reason

May God be gracious to us and bless us and make his face shine on us–so that your ways may be known on earth, your salvation among all nations. Psalm 67:1-2

Everyone loves to have God’s blessings on them. They want God to be gracious with them in dealing with their faults and sins. People want God to be pleased with them as He looks at them.

There is nothing wrong with desiring God’s blessings and grace on one’s personal life. The challenge comes in as to why a person wants those blessings and grace.

Most often those blessings are wanted for personal gain or appearance. People want others to look a them and see that God is really blessing them, so they must be “good” “holy” people. In reality, most are looking at the blessings for personal pride, which is not the same reason the psalmist wanted the blessings.

The psalmist wanted the blessings so that God’s ways may be known to everyone on the earth. He wanted to be a witness of who God is.

The only way people on this earth will know who God really is and what He is like, is by the witness of those who know Him. Seeing a believer and hearing of the testimony of what God is doing in his life, will do more than anything.  But the believer must be willing to point people to God, not just looking at the things he is blessed with.

Take a look at all the blessings in your life. How do you speak about them?

Is it as the world does, talking about how much you earned or built up?

Or is it focused on who God is and how gracious He has been with you?

The things of this world are only temporary, here today and gone tomorrow. The real blessing and gift of God is the salvation Jesus provided. Nothing can be as good as that salvation in your life or in the life of anyone else.

Are you sharing that with the world?

Sharing Jesus with others is your purpose to be here on this earth. God wants the world to know His ways and His salvation that He provides. God blesses you so you can share that information with the world.

I pray today that you will know the blessings God has given you; that you will know how gracious God is to you; that you will be His witness to the world; and that many will know Jesus because of you.

Being Grateful

I work as a substitute teacher in a local public school. It is a very rewarding job to work with the students, however, when there is no school I have no job. This creates a great concern to be living without a paycheck and having a large family.

In the past, I have been able to secure short-term temporary jobs for the break time. This last break, however, I was unable to get one for the entire break. My wife and I did a lot of praying about it and were still very concerned, ok, very worried about it. In spite of what we saw, God had a different plan for us.

During the break I did get to work for a couple of days for someone for a little pay that did help a lot, but not enough. It also was hard to not be able to do any big family trip during this time, at least that is what we thought would happen.

On the Wednesday right after Christmas, my oldest daughter (an adult who lives with us), had won a pack of four tickets to a Six Flags park in Arlington, Texas. On Thursday, she was then given a four pack of tickets to the San Antonio Zoo.

Since I have a very large family, eight children, we had chosen to split up to use all the tickets we were given. My daughter brought herself and three other siblings with her to the Six Flags Park on that Friday. While she went north, my wife and I brought the three youngest to the zoo.

Both of these trips were a blessing to everyone that was able to go to the place they went. The older ones did not want to go to a zoo, and the younger would not have been able to do much at the park.

As my wife and I left for the zoo, we planned to be back home about 7pm. It was a three-hour drive to the zoo and we planned to leave the zoo when it closed at four.

The younger children had a great time at the zoo seeing all the different animals.

We left as planned to go home. We expected to be home several hours before my daughter and other children would get home.

As we were driving home, we got to about 30 miles from home, when the traffic came to a dead halt. There had been a major accident up ahead. I had decided to sit and wait for the road to open up, since it would have been about a 40 mile turn around to go a different direction around the accident.

As we sat there waiting, we did not know how long it would take. Time kept passing and nothing seemed to be happening. After about 30 minutes of sitting, we saw a helicopter come in and land. It was a medical emergency helicopter. At that point we knew that whatever happened, it had to have been very bad.

It was getting very frustrating to be sitting there, so close to home and, yet, not be able to get home. In just the time we had been sitting there, we could have been home already. The children were starting to get very hungry and tired of sitting.

While waiting there, we saw several people come running up from behind our vehicle to where the accident was. A few moments later, several men and ladies came back wailing very loudly. They stopped just near our vehicle and were holding each other crying.

My wife’s and my heart went out to those people. We did not know what happened, but knew it had to have been bad. (The news the following day, stated that it had been a head on collision of two vehicles, and two others were also hit. One person was killed, and all the rest were hospitalized, several were children. Several were in severe critical condition.)

It was at that point, when we saw the people crying, that we started to be grateful for our own lives and protection. We ended up sitting at that one spot for about 1 1/2 hours. When we did get home, we were home only about 40 minutes or so before my daughter got home.

As difficult as it was to sit there, being very tired and hungry from a long day on the road, it was better than what the other people were going through. Several were in the hospital and one never made it home. Families were destroyed. Loved ones were lost. Lives were changed, and not for what seemed the better.

Instead of complaining about having to sit there, we prayed for those people. We prayed God’s touch in their lives. And we gave God praise for taking care of us and allowing us to make it back home safely. If we had been just a few seconds faster on that road, we could have been the ones in that accident.

In our lives, there a times that things will occur that will be a major inconvenience or disruption in our lives. In those times we need to look at how the lives of others are going. We need to be grateful for what God has given us, instead of complaining or worrying about what we cannot have or what we are going through. Things can always be better or they can be worse.

During that Christmas break, I was able to spend a lot of time with my family, since I could not work anywhere else. Along with that, money came in from different sources that totaled up to almost exactly what I would have made at my normal job. God had a plan that was to support us and meet all of our needs. We were blessed in many more ways than having a temporary job would have been.

Give God praise today for what He has blessed you with. Be grateful for what God has given you or spared you from.

Deuteronomy 11:26-28 Blessings And Curses

See, I am setting before you today a blessing and a curse–the blessing if you obey the commands of the LORD your God that I am giving you today; the curse if you disobey the commands of the LORD your God and turn from the way that I command you today by following other gods, which you have not known. Deuteronomy 11:26-28

Moses set before the Israelites many commands of God. With those commands came a variety of blessings and curses. If they loved and served God faithfully, they would enter the land, take possession of it, and God would pour out rain for their crops on it. If they chose not to obey God and worshipped other gods, He would strike them in anger.

Even to this day, God’s blessings and curses still work in a person’s life. If a person chooses to not follow God, He will set Himself against that person.

Following and obeying God will always bring about blessings. Many people, however, refuse to see all the blessings God is giving them. They see the struggles of life and feel that God is not blessing them at all.

As the Israelites went into Canaan, they had to work at taking over the land. They had to go into battle against the enemy to take possession. The blessings appeared in that God helped them win each battle, as long as they obeyed and followed Him.

You will have struggles in this life, Jesus promised them. Yet, through it all, there will be the blessing of peace and comfort in knowing that God will bring you through it all, if you are loving and obeying God.

Do not allow yourself to be turned away to the gods (things) of this world. Trust only in Jesus and love and obey Him. In doing this you will not have to receive God’s anger against you. You will receive the blessings and favor of God in your life, in spite of all the struggles of this life.

Who are you following and obeying today?

God?

Or this world?

I pray today that you will love and obey God with all your heart; that you will trust God in every circumstance in your life; that you will see all the blessings of serving God; and that God will give you the strength to stay true and faithful to Him.

1 Peter 3:9 Paybacks

“Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult. On the contrary, repay evil with blessing, because to this you were called so that you may inherit a blessing.” 1 Peter 3:9

In this world getting even with someone is very common and accepted. Everyone wants to pay back some for what was done to them. It is often looked as the saying in the Old Testament of “eye for eye, tooth for tooth”.

There are thousands of lawyers out there who are ready and willing to take someone to court to help get the desired payback. That someone can be an individual, a family or even a large corporation. It is always someone with some money. The idea is to hurt the person for some wrong that they had done. People will hire these lawyers to get back at that person.

Many other people cannot afford the lawyers, or just do not want to get even in the legal way. They will take matters into their own hands and fight back. Some will physically harm the person or business, others will slander them to harm them, while others will just ignore them. All of these ways are the same in getting revenge in a way to hurt them.

Peter states here not to repay evil with evil, but with blessings. Jesus had already stated that every believer is to love their enemies and bless them. This is the very thing that Jesus had done with His enemies when He was on the cross. He blessed them by asking the Father to forgive them. You were also included in that prayer.

If Jesus can pour out blessings on His enemies as He is being crucified, can you not give out some blessings on one who does wrong against you?

God may be using your enemies to help get you to the right spot at the right time. Think about Joseph and his brothers, if they had not done wrong to him, he never would have been a leader in Egypt.

Allow God to use whoever He wants to build you. Pray for those who do wrong against you and pray blessings on them, not curses. See what God can do for you and with them. It might amaze you.

I pray today that God will fill you with His love for your enemies; that God will strengthen you to bless your enemies; that God will use every wrong against you for your good; and that you will be a shining light for Jesus in this world.

Ephesians 1:3 Every 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

Paul gives praise to God for the all the blessings that God had given all believers through Jesus Christ. These blessings are the spiritual blessings that are found in the heavenly realms. It is also not just a few spiritual blessings, but everyone one of them.

When people give thanks God for the physical things that they receive. Some of these things are: a job, family, a car, a vacation, money, food, and friends. While all of these things are great, many forget about what else God has blessed them with.

Spiritual blessings are things you cannot see with natural eyes. They are only seen in the spiritual, heavenly realms. These blessings are God’s infinite perfect love, forgiveness, wisdom, peace, patience, grace, mercy, and the list goes on. Although praising God for the physical things He has blessed a person with is good and needed, the spiritual blessings are things that really count.

One can have all of the physical things of this world, yet not have peace, or wisdom, or love, or any of the other spiritual blessings. His life will be miserable. While another person may not have any of the physical things of this world and yet have all of the spiritual blessings and be very happy.

When you look at your life and count your blessings, what are you counting? Do you just count the things you can see and touch? Or are you looking at all of the spiritual blessings?

Being forgiven by God is the greatest blessing you can have receive from Him. Are you praising God for that forgiveness? Are you praising Him for the peace that He has brought between you and Him?

Make a list today of all the spiritual blessings God has given you. Take time to praise Him now for them. Realize how much God has blessed you today.

I pray today that you will know the blessings God has given you; that you will have a song of praise to God on your heart all day; that you will use the blessings God has given you to His glory; and that you will share those blessings with others.