Tag Archives: blessings

The Blessing Thief

Throwback Thursday is a new feature I’m using to help build some margin into my schedule to pursue other writing ventures. Each Thursday I’ll be bringing you a previously written devotional that still speaks encouragement to us from God’s Word.

If I’m honest, I’d rather be a person who helps others than a person who receives help from others. It’s hard for me to accept help even when I need it. There have been times in my life though when I’ve needed help because I was unable to do what needed to be done. When others tried to help, I tried to push them away. Then one day, a person who was trying to help me said, “You’re robbing me of my blessing if you don’t let me help!” I had never thought of it like that.

I had forgotten that it is more blessed to give than to receive. I was definitely blessed by their giving, but I didn’t think about the blessing on the other side. I know they weren’t doing it for the blessing, but in my refusal, I was robbing them of what they would have received from God for helping me. Every act of service gets two blessings. By declining my blessing (them helping me), I was denying them theirs. So why do we reject help?

For me, I grew up in a family that needed the help of others often. God was always faithful to us and people showed up at the right times. I’ll never forget one family that helped me in particular. As they gave me a tremendous gift, I asked how I could repay them. They said, “One day when you’re able, do the same for others.” I decided then and there that I wanted to be a person who helped others rather than a person who needed help. So when I need help, it takes me back to that time and the feelings of being the poor kid back.

In Matthew 10, Jesus was sending out the disciples to preach all over Israel. He told them not to take any money, which meant they would be dependent on other’s help. He knew that if we needed help, it would also keep us humble. In verse 41 He spoke a life changing truth when He said, “Accepting help is as good as giving help” (MSG). By accepting help from others, you are actually helping them. They get a blessing from your acceptance. Don’t deny or rob others of blessings because of your pride. Look at it as your way of helping them when you have nothing else to give. Don’t be a blessing thief.

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Bless Me


When we pray, we typically have no issue asking God for things. We ask Him to meet our needs, to heal our sickness, to open doors and to bless our food. But how often do we ask God to bless us? It’s interesting that many of us have no problem asking God for help, but to ask Him to bless us seems to be selfish so we stay away from it. I believe that God wants to bless us and is waiting for us to ask Him for His blessings.

We can ask God to bless our relationships, our businesses, our churches and more. We don’t need to be afraid to ask or to think that God will think we’re selfish. I personally want all that God has for me. I even pray, “God give me what you want to give me that I don’t even know to ask for.” God has good gifts for us and He wants to bless us with them. We just need to be bold enough to ask for them.

Here are some scriptures on asking for blessings.

1. Remember, O my God, all that I have done for these people, and bless me for it.
Nehemiah 5:19 NLT

2. But Jabez prayed to the God of Israel, “Bless me, God, and give me much land. Be with me and keep me from anything evil that might cause me pain.” And God gave him what he prayed for.
1 Chronicles 4:10 GNT

3. Then he said, “Let me go, for the dawn is breaking.” But he said, “I will not let you go unless you bless me.”
Genesis 32:26 NASB

4. Please guarantee a blessing for me. Don’t let the arrogant oppress me!
Psalms 119:122 NLT

5. Bless me with your presence and teach me your laws.
Psalm 119:135 GNT

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The Pursuit Of Happiness


The Declaration of Independence of The United States says that life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness are among our inalienable rights as humans given to us by God. We all have the desire to live, to be free, and to be happy. So many of us have spent a lifetime in the pursuit of happiness. We think of we have more money, we’ll be happy. We think of we had a better job, a better house, a faster car, more friends, a bigger church, more toys, or (fill in the blank), we’ll be happy so we pursue those things.

The inalienable right granted to us was the pursuit of happiness, not the pursuit of things though. Yes, God wants you to be happy, but He wants you to find it in Him. If you’ve pursued things to make you happy, you can attest that once you had those things, your happiness faded. They fulfilled you for a short while, but then you wanted a better whatever it was that you pursued. When you pursue things for your happiness, you’ll never be satisfied. You will always want more. That’s why we have the phrase, “Money doesn’t buy happiness.”

The pursuit of happiness is different than the pursuit of things to make you happy. You can still desire those other things, but you have to understand that’s not what’s going to fulfill your longing to be happy. Psalm 37:4 says, “Seek your happiness in the Lord, and he will give you your heart’s desire” (GNT). When we pursue our happiness in God, a funny thing happens. He begins to give us the things we desire. It’s a matter of priorities.

Jesus said it this way in Matthew 6:33, “But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you” (ESV). It’s when we seek Him, His Kingdom, and His desires that we will find our happiness. All the other things are a side note to life. Yes, it’s ok to want them and to even have them, but we have to understand that if they are what we are pursuing to make us happy, we I’ll be disappointed. If we will seek our happiness in Him, we will be truly happy and He will bless us with things that will enhance our happiness.

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Bless You 

Blessing someone is not what we normally do unless someone sneezes. I believe it’s an under utilized tool God gives us. The fact that people in the Bible blessed their kids and each other, reiterates the power of words. I don’t know how many stories I’ve heard from people who have let what someone else said about them affect their self image. Those spoken words went out of the other person’s mouth and into their heart. Those words caused them to struggle for years.

Masaru Emoto did a study called “The Hidden Message in Water” to show the power of words. He used spoken word, labeling water with a word, and playing music then he immediately froze it. The results are astounding. What you see below are some of the photos taken from this experiment.
  
Now think about this: your body is about 60% water. Words have a greater effect than you or I realize. It’s no wonder that Solomon wrote in Proverbs 18:21 that death and life are in the power of the tongue. The words we say to our spouse, our children, our family, our neighbors, our co-workers, and those driving around us have real consequences. It’s so important that we learn to speak blessings over them.

Today, to end this devotion, I’m going to bless you with the words God told Moses to use to bless the congregation of Israel in Numbers 6:24-26.

“May the LORD bless you and protect you. May the LORD smile on you and be gracious to you. May the LORD show you his favor and give you his peace” (NLT).

If you would like to watch a video of Masaru Emoto’s work, click here.

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Prayer For Wisdom

Heavenly Father,

I want to start this prayer by saying, “Thank you.” There is so much in my life to be thankful for. You have blessed me in so many ways that I often over look some of them and treat them as ordinary. The truth is, nothing that comes from you is ordinary. Nothing you give me is common and I don’t want to treat it as such. When I sit down and think of all the ways you bless me daily, it gets overwhelming. I don’t deserve your goodness, but I’m thankful for it. I can’t repay you for the blessings. I can only offer a heart full of gratitude.

I confess that I don’t always appreciate the gifts you give. In fact, sometimes I even complain about people and things you bring into my life. I lose perspective on why you bring them into my life. I forget that you want me to make an impact on them by treating them with your love. I look at them as problems, distractions or annoyances. I don’t want to think about people or things in my life like that. I want to love them the way you love me. I want to treat them like you treat me, but I need your help to do that. Open my eyes to see beyond the distractions so I can see their needs. Give me wisdom in how I react and treat them.

You said in James 1:5 that if I lacked wisdom, I could ask you for it. Today, I’m asking for wisdom. I need divine wisdom for the situations I’m facing, for how to handle the relationships you’ve given me and with making decisions about my future. I can’t see very far into my future, but you already have it scripted out. My future is already history to you. I just want to make sure that I make the best decisions so I can have the future you have planned for me. I don’t want to make decisions based on knowledge. I want to make them from a position of wisdom and understanding.

I know that you have plans for me. I know that you want what is best for me. I understand the mindset of a father who wants the very best for his child. I know the love that pours out of me towards my own flesh and blood. If I feel this way about my own child, how much more do you feel for me? I can’t even grasp the depth of your love and desires for my life. I can’t comprehend the magnitude of what you want for me. Just like my child doesn’t understand the full concept of my love for him, I don’t understand the full concept of your love for me. I want to, but I don’t have the capacity.

Help me to live my life out of gratitude for all you’ve done. Show me the paths you want me to walk down in order to receive the future you’ve written out. Give me the courage to make the hard decisions that I have to make in order to be where you need me to be. Let your peace reign in me when the hard times come. Help me to make right decisions based on your wisdom instead of my emotions. Lead me along the paths of righteousness. Open my eyes to see people you’ve placed on my path to help along the way. Open my hands to give away what you ask me to give away. Open my mouth to speak wisdom into other’s lives and open my ears to hear your voice above all else.

I ask these things in Jesus’ name,

Amen.

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