Thursday, February 28, 2008

Taking Inventory of the Blessings in My Life

This is the day that the Lord has made, I will REJOICE and be glad in it. As I got up this morning, I was very much aware of the blessings in my life. Let me name a few things that I thanked God for this morning:

  • Salvation through Jesus Christ. I was on my way to hell, but Jesus came into my life, turned me around and gave me a reason to live. I owe Him everything. He is my EVERYTHING. I am also thankful for the person of the Holy Spirit who leads me and directs me every day. Of course, I am thankful to my Heavenly Father who blesses me with all of these gifts.
  • My wonderful, beautiful wife. Twenty-four years ago, God blessed me with Dorinda. She is an awesome lady of God, wife and mother. She is the consummate LADY, and my best friend.
  • My four children: Glenda, Jordan, Mackenzie and Taylor. God was SO good to me when He allowed me to be the Father of such special people. I am so proud of all of them. Each of them has their own gifts, talents and personalities. I wouldn't change a thing about them. Also, my son-in-law (Glenda's husband) is such a blessing to my life as well.
  • My two Grandchildren: Macy and Mia. Big Daddy's pride and joy.
  • My Mom and Dad, and my brother and sisters (and their families). I have a very rich heritage.
  • My Mother and Father in law. Godly people. I'm also thankful for my sister-in-law and her family.
  • The wonderful church that I pastor, West Memphis First Assembly of God. What a great group of people. I also came from a great church, Huntsville First Assembly of God. I have been truly blessed to pastor such GREAT churches.
  • The awesome STAFF that God has blessed me with.
  • The health of my family. That is easy to take for granted.
  • The wealth of my family: house, vehicle, clothes, groceries, my job, computers, etc.
  • To live in this great country, The United States of America. The greatest country to live in the world, in my opinion.
  • The ability to WALK, TALK, TOUCH, SEE, HEAR. There are many people that would LOVE to be able to do the things that I just mentioned.
  • My many FRIENDS that God has blessed me with.

This is not an all-inclusive list, but the things that I took the time to thank God for this morning. I am truly BLESSED. Each of these blessings came from one source:

James 1:17 (AMP)
Every good gift and every perfect (free, large, full) gift is from above; it comes down from the Father of all [that gives] light, in [the shining of] Whom there can be no variation [rising or setting] or shadow cast by His turning [as in an eclipse].

(MSG) Every desirable and beneficial gift comes out of heaven. The gifts are rivers of light cascading down from the Father of Light. There is nothing deceitful in God, nothing two-faced, nothing fickle.

EVERY SINGLE GIFT comes from our Heavenly Father. Wow! Do you realize how BLESSED you are today? Why not take the time RIGHT NOW to give our Father praise for these gifts. I am so thankful that we can come to Him with our needs, great or small, and He cares about us. But there are times that we just need to give Him praise. Please read the following words from Psalm 100 out of the Message and let it speak deeply into your heart:

Psalm 100:1-5 On your feet now--applaud GOD! (2) Bring a gift of laughter, sing yourselves into his presence. (3) Know this: GOD is God, and God, GOD. He made us; we didn't make him. We're his people, his well-tended sheep. (4) Enter with the password: "Thank you!" Make yourselves at home, talking praise. Thank him. Worship him. (5) For GOD is sheer beauty, all-generous in love, loyal always and ever.

Isn't that wonderful? I especially like v. 4 "Enter with the password: "Thank you!" Then we can truly make ourselves home in His presence, talking praise, thanking Him, and worshipping Him. He is ALL-GENEROUS in love. He is WORTHY of our praise.

So many times I take these blessings from God for granted, kind of like nine men in the Bible:

Luke 17:12-19 As he entered a village, ten men, all lepers, met him. They kept their distance (13) but raised their voices, calling out, "Jesus, Master, have mercy on us!" (14) Taking a good look at them, he said, "Go, show yourselves to the priests." They went, and while still on their way, became clean. (15) One of them, when he realized that he was healed, turned around and came back, shouting his gratitude, glorifying God. (16) He kneeled at Jesus' feet, so grateful. He couldn't thank him enough--and he was a Samaritan. (17) Jesus said, "Were not ten healed? Where are the nine? (18) Can none be found to come back and give glory to God except this outsider?" (19) Then he said to him, "Get up. On your way. Your faith has healed and saved you."

Out of the TEN LEPERS only one returned to give God thanks and praise. ONLY ONE! That is ONLY 10% of those who were blessed by God, stopped long enough to just simply say "thank you." Then Jesus asked the question: "Can none be found to come back and give glory to God EXCEPT this outsider?" I pray that Jesus will not have to ask today, "Can none be found to come back and give glory to God?" May He find SOME right now, reading this blog that are going to stop what they are doing, IN THEIR TRACKS, and give God thanks for His manifold blessings. He truly is worth isn't He?

When I sat down to type this blog, I had already put the title at the top, "Four Kinds of Fasting" but as I began to type, I knew that I was supposed to go another direction. God's people need to RETURN TO GOD to give Him GLORY, THANKS and PRAISE. As we begin our fast this Sunday, March 2nd, 2008, THANKSGIVING should definitely be a part of our fast. Let's fight the temptation to complain and gripe because of what we are "giving up" and instead give God PRAISE and THANKSGIVING.

I love you guys, and pray that you have a THANKS-filled day! Blessings.

Pastor Rusty

Today's "through the Bible in a year" reading: February 28, 2008 (Thursday) I Samuel 16:1- I Samuel 17:58


Anonymous said...

Glory and thanks be to God! Also, thanks be to you too Pastor, for all of the great things you do for the church to bring God glory. I especially thank you today for helping me focus on the many, many blessings that I have because of God. I also love the fact that when we stop to count our blessings, one by one, there is no time left for complaining.

Rick Bruce