Saturday, July 9, 2016

The Blessed Life

by Tim Howard

A few days ago we celebrated our 240th Birthday as a nation. Our family – like so many – put some burgers on the grill, had friends over to the house, shot off some fireworks for the kids and had a wonderful day.

We also took time to share and give thanks for some of the wonderful gifts we all get to experience because we live in such a great country.

We have running water to our houses 24 hours a day. Electricity is available to us and we only need to flip a switch. If a fire breaks out in your home – people you don’t even know will come and do everything within their power to extinguish it. Six days a week someone visits our homes to pick up an envelope and take it wherever you want. Wow - What a blessing!

As the conversation continued, we enumerated many other blessings. Things like cell phones, computers, navigational systems, 50-inch flat screen HD televisions, homes with a pool, cars that are fast and the list goes on. 
Wow – What blessings we have at our fingertips!

In the final analysis, however, we all agreed that the gift of friends, family and the freedom to worship God freely - topped the blessing list!

The song titled: ‘God Bless America’ is a prayer that God has answered!  We must never take for granted the great blessings we enjoy and the freedom afforded to all of us. How can we guard ourselves for this?

Two things come to mind from the life of David and Abraham in the Old Testament.

David in the Book of Psalms took time to give thanks and in doing so – reminded himself of God’s goodness.  Psalms 103: 2-5 “Bless the LORD, O my soul and all that is within me, bless his holy name! Bless the LORD, O my soul forget not all his benefits. He forgives all my sins and heals all my diseases. He redeems me from death and crowns me with love and tender mercies. He fills my life with good things.”

Abraham in the book of Genesis heard God say:  - “I have committed myself to blessing you with the sole purpose of making you a blessing to others.”

How can we guard ourselves from – taking things for granted? By giving thanks to God daily for what we have and deciding to use our blessings as a means to bless others.

For you were called to freedom, brothers. Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another” Gal 5:13

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