1. Children Are A Heritage Of The Lord
As each devotional series ends, I pray that God will lead me to the next theme. It was getting late on Saturday evening and I did not know how the Lord was leading, so I looked to the Lord for guidance as I opened my Bible for my daily reading. I came to Psalm 127:3-5 and read, "Lo, children are an heritage of the LORD: and the fruit of the womb is his reward. As arrows are in the hand of a mighty man; so are children of the youth. Happy is the man that hath his quiver full of them:..." As I read these verses I thought about the many years I have enjoyed being a mother and how grand it is to be a grandmother. I read on to Psalm 128 which begins, "Blessed is every one that feareth the LORD; that walketh in his ways." And God reminded me of how blessed I am. I looked at my Bible Theophilos program and found that the word "blessed" is found 302 times in the Bible. So, as we begin these devotions on Mother's Day, I want to look at some of these verses and see just how "Happy And Blessed" we really are.
2. Happy Mother's Day
"Who can find a virtuous woman? for her price is far above rubies." (Proverbs 31:10) I have heard many Mother's Day sermons preached from Proverbs 31. Think about the godly mothers you know as you read the final verses of this chapter.
"26 She openeth her mouth with wisdom; and in her tongue is the law of kindness.
27 She looketh well to the ways of her household, and eateth not the bread of idleness.
28 Her children arise up, and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praiseth her.
29 Many daughters have done virtuously, but thou excellest them all.
30 Favour is deceitful, and beauty is vain: but a woman that feareth the LORD, she shall be praised.
31 Give her of the fruit of her hands; and let her own works praise her in the gates." (Proverbs 31:26-31)
Verse 28 is our Mother's Day verse for today. "Her children arise up, and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praiseth her." I want to wish a Happy Mother's Day to all you mothers today. There are many things in our lives that can bring a shadow across Mother's Day, but I hope that you will put your hope, trust, and faith in the Lord and ask Him to give you a blessed day.
3. A Garden Blessing
I want to look again at Psalm 128 today for what I am calling "A Garden Blessing". "Blessed is every one that feareth the LORD; that walketh in his ways. For thou shalt eat the labour of thine hands: happy shalt thou be, and it shall be well with thee." (Psalm 128:1-2) I planted my vegetable garden almost three weeks ago and I was so excited to watch the tiny plants push their way up through the ground. Then it started raining. And it rained and it rained and it rained. The water washed down the hill and on several occasions was standing between the rows. Now the grass and weeds are popping up again trying to regain their position. I am looking forward to a few sunny days so I can get back in there and keep the weeds from choking out my precious plants. I enjoy working in the garden and I see God's handiwork as it grows. When God created Adam and Eve He planted the first garden for them "And the LORD God took the man, and put him into the garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it." (Genesis 2:15) I thank the Lord for those little plants that He has given me to "dress" and to "keep". And just as Adam and Eve walked with the Lord in their garden in the cool of the day I can walk and talk with the Lord as I work around in my little garden. With the help of the Lord I will keep working to nurture my garden and in another month I will receive this blessing from Psalm 128:1-2. "Blessed is every one that feareth the LORD; that walketh in his ways. For thou shalt eat the labour of thine hands: happy shalt thou be, and it shall be well with thee." Nothing tastes so good as vegetables picked and eaten fresh from my garden. We can also apply this concept to being faithful and fruitful in sowing the seed of God's Word. We can be blessed to plant and work the fields where God has placed us.
"14 The sower soweth the word.
15 And these are they by the way side, where the word is sown; but when they have heard, Satan cometh immediately, and taketh away the word that was sown in their hearts.
16 And these are they likewise which are sown on stony ground; who, when they have heard the word, immediately receive it with gladness;
17 And have no root in themselves, and so endure but for a time: afterward, when affliction or persecution ariseth for the word's sake, immediately they are offended.
18 And these are they which are sown among thorns; such as hear the word,
19 And the cares of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, and the lusts of other things entering in, choke the word, and it becometh unfruitful.
20 And these are they which are sown on good ground; such as hear the word, and receive it, and bring forth fruit, some thirtyfold, some sixty, and some an hundred." (Mark 4:14-20)
4. The Blessing Of Psalm 1
I just finished reading the book of Psalms and there are many verses of blessings. In fact, the book of Psalms begins, "Blessed is the man..." Let's look at the first Psalm.
"1 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.
2 But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night.
3 And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.
4 The ungodly are not so: but are like the chaff which the wind driveth away.
5 Therefore the ungodly shall not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous.
6 For the LORD knoweth the way of the righteous: but the way of the ungodly shall perish."
In the first verse we see a progression; walking, standing, and then sitting. When we fall away from God, it is often a gradual process. Let's look at the story of Lot.
"And Lot lifted up his eyes, and beheld all the plain of Jordan, that it was well watered every where, before the LORD destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah, even as the garden of the LORD, like the land of Egypt, as thou comest unto Zoar. Then Lot chose him all the plain of Jordan; and Lot journeyed east: and they separated themselves the one from the other. Abram dwelled in the land of Canaan, and Lot dwelled in the cities of the plain, and pitched his tent toward Sodom. But the men of Sodom were wicked and sinners before the LORD exceedingly." Genesis 13:10-13
Lot looked at the good land toward Sodom and Gomorrah, and because it looked like the best land he "pitched his tent toward Sodom". The city was very wicked, but Lot began walking in the wrong direction. Genesis 14:12 tells us that Lot "dwelt in Sodom" and Genesis 19:1 tells us that "Lot sat in the gate of Sodom". Do you see the progression? I think Lot's road to destruction was a gradual journey. We need to be careful that we don't look at the things of the world and turn our hearts to the riches and fame that the world offers. Keep your heart in tune with God and His Word and don't "pitch your tent" toward the world. Lot had a place of importance as "he sat in the gate of Sodom", but he ended up losing all that he had except for two of his daughters. Lot lost his great riches, his flocks, herds and tents. (Genesis 13:5) He lost his reputation, even among his family. (Genesis 19:14) He lost his wife, as she looked back and turned to a pillar of salt. (Genesis 19:26) Make wise choices and stay in the Word. "But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night. And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper." (Psalm 1:2-3) We can have a fruitful and blessed life when we meditate on and keep God's Word.
5. Forgiven And Blessed
David was chosen by God to be king and called a man after God's own heart. (I Samuel 13:14 and Acts 13:22) So when King David sinned in committing adultry and murder I am sure his heart was broken in his loss of communion with God. We can see the depth of David's guilt in Psalm 38:4 and 6. "For mine iniquities are gone over mine head: as an heavy burden they are too heavy for me... I am troubled; I am bowed down greatly; I go mourning all the day long." There have been times in my life when I failed God and was bowed down greatly in body and spirit. During those times it is hard to feel happy and blessed, but we can say with David, "Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered." (Psalm 32:1) I want to close with a portion of this victory Psalm, also by King David.
"1 Bless the LORD, O my soul: and all that is within me, bless his holy name.
2 Bless the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits:
3 Who forgiveth all thine iniquities; who healeth all thy diseases;
4 Who redeemeth thy life from destruction; who crowneth thee with lovingkindness and tender mercies;
5 Who satisfieth thy mouth with good things; so that thy youth is renewed like the eagle's.
8 The LORD is merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and plenteous in mercy.
9 He will not always chide: neither will he keep his anger for ever.
10 He hath not dealt with us after our sins; nor rewarded us according to our iniquities.
11 For as the heaven is high above the earth, so great is his mercy toward them that fear him.
12 As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us."
Praise the Lord! We can be forgiven and blessed by calling on the name of Jesus!
6. Blessings To Boast In The Lord About
My verse of blessing today is Psalm 34:8, "O taste and see that the LORD is good: blessed is the man that trusteth in him." My thoughts are from the sermon Pastor Jack Tripp preached Wednesday night on "Boasting In The Lord." We can't boast of tomorrow. "Boast not thyself of to morrow; for thou knowest not what a day may bring forth." (Proverbs 27:1) And we can't boast of our works. "For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast." (Ephesians 2:8-9) But we can boast in the Lord. Psalm 34 gives us several things that we can boast in the Lord about. "I will bless the LORD at all times: his praise shall continually be in my mouth. My soul shall make her boast in the LORD: the humble shall hear thereof, and be glad." (Psalm 34:1-2)
First of all we can Boast of our Privilege of Prayer. "I sought the LORD, and he heard me, and delivered me from all my fears... This poor man cried, and the LORD heard him, and saved him out of all his troubles... The righteous cry, and the LORD heareth, and delivereth them out of all their troubles." (Psalm 34:4, 6, and 17) Secondly, verse 7 tells us we can Boast of the Providence of God. "The angel of the LORD encampeth round about them that fear him, and delivereth them." Next, we see from verses 9 and 10 we can Boast of the Provisions of God. "O fear the LORD, ye his saints: for there is no want to them that fear him. The young lions do lack, and suffer hunger: but they that seek the LORD shall not want any good thing." And last of all we can Boast of the Price Jesus Paid. "But God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world." (Galatians 6:14) I close with this question, "Have you tasted and seen that the Lord is good?" If so, then you are blessed in trusting in Him.
7. Blessed To Be Born In America
"Righteousness exalteth a nation: but sin is a reproach to any people." (Proverbs 14:34) I don't know exactly when the change started taking place that made it so controversial to sing, "God Bless America." Not too many years ago the people of this country recognized that God had brought America to the place of honor and respect she held, but that has all changed. This country was founded on Biblical principles and now people demand that the Ten Commandments be removed from public places. I really don't understand how it can be wrong to honor American flags, past and present, and how the people of this land can turn on the one God who made it great. It is a shame and disgrace that sin has taken many of our leaders and the media so far that people disagree on which public restroom to use. I still feel blessed to be born an American. I enjoy the freedom I have with respect to those who fought and were willing to give their lives so that we could have that freedom. My verses today are found in Psalm 33:12-14. "Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD; and the people whom he hath chosen for his own inheritance. The LORD looketh from heaven; he beholdeth all the sons of men. From the place of his habitation he looketh upon all the inhabitants of the earth." God is still in control and even though the sinful condition of mankind may take us by surprise, God has known all along how it will all come out. He even gave John a glimpse in the book of Revelation, and we can pray with him, "Even so, come Lord Jesus." "He which testifieth these things saith, Surely I come quickly. Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen." (Revelation 22:20-21) And for those who have not already heard, "For it is written, As I live, saith the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God." (Romans 14:11) That day is coming!
8. A Blessing From The Lord Jesus
As I looked over the verses which tell of being blessed, most of them were specifically to certain people or to the Children of Israel. But, when we come to the New Testament, there are verses in which we can include ourselves in the blessings of God. Do you remember when the Lord appeared after His resurrection and Thomas was not in the room with the other disciples?
"24 But Thomas, one of the twelve, called Didymus, was not with them when Jesus came.
25 The other disciples therefore said unto him, We have seen the Lord. But he said unto them, Except I shall see in his hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and thrust my hand into his side, I will not believe.
26 And after eight days again his disciples were within, and Thomas with them: then came Jesus, the doors being shut, and stood in the midst, and said, Peace be unto you.
27 Then saith he to Thomas, Reach hither thy finger, and behold my hands; and reach hither thy hand, and thrust it into my side: and be not faithless, but believing.
28 And Thomas answered and said unto him, My Lord and my God.
29 Jesus saith unto him, Thomas, because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed." (John 20:24-29)
This is me! When Jesus said, "...blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed." That's us. This is a blessing from the Lord to all who believe on Him. This old world may not think too much of Christians, but in God's eyes, we are blessed.
9. Happy And Blessed At My Church
Today is the Lord's day and I am happy to say with David, "I was glad when they said unto me, Let us go into the house of the LORD." (Psalm 122:1) I am very happy and blessed to be a member of Pine Grove Baptist Church in High Point, NC. Michael and I have been members there close to 30 years. We have heard some great preaching and singing that uplifted the name of our Lord Jesus Christ during those years. Pastor Jack Tripp preaches from the Word of God and we sing songs of praise and worship to our God. We worship with a wonderful group of Christians whom I love dearly. If you are in the area and looking for a Bible believing church, please visit with us. If you would like information about our summer Youth Jubilee send me a message.
"1 How amiable are thy tabernacles, O LORD of hosts!
2 My soul longeth, yea, even fainteth for the courts of the LORD: my heart and my flesh crieth out for the living God.
3 Yea, the sparrow hath found an house, and the swallow a nest for herself, where she may lay her young, even thine altars, O LORD of hosts, my King, and my God.
4 Blessed are they that dwell in thy house: they will be still praising thee. Selah.: (Psalm 84:1-4)
10. A Blessed Hope
Sometimes when we look at the world around us, we may begin to feel like there is no hope. It may seem like we are too small to make a difference. And it may be true that we can't change the outcome of things on a large scale, but as long as we keep our trust in the Lord, we have hope. God's Word tells us, "Blessed is the man that trusteth in the LORD, and whose hope the LORD is." (Jeremiah 17:7) For the lost, the future is dark and hopeless, but Christians can walk in the Light of "that blessed hope." "Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ; Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works." (Titus 2:13 & 14) With this blessed hope we can walk with our heads held high, not ashamed of our Christian beliefs. Today I am rejoicing in that blessed hope!
"1 Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ:
2 By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.
3 And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience;
4 And patience, experience; and experience, hope:
5 And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us." (Romans 5:1-5)
11. "The Lord Bless Thee And Keep Thee"
I don't fully understand the extent of how people blessed one another in Bible days. Abraham's blessing was passed down through his children and according to the scriptures we are blessed through Abraham, even though we are not Israelites. " And the scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the heathen through faith, preached before the gospel unto Abraham, saying, In thee shall all nations be blessed. So then they which be of faith are blessed with faithful Abraham." (Galatians 3:8-9) God gave Moses blessings for when the people obeyed the Lord and cursings when they followed idols. Balak hired Balaam to curse the Children of Israel, but God would only let him bless them. Fathers blessed their children before they died and we well remember the story of Jacob stealing Esau's blessing.
Sometimes when a special friend seems to be going through a trial, I like to send a card and include this little blessing from Numbers 6:24-26. I believe the Lord can use His Word to lift our spirit and send peace to our hearts. Maybe you need these special thoughts today.
"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."
12. Jesus' Sermon On The Mount
As Jesus looked out over the multitude that had followed Him up the hillside, He not only saw their broken bodies, but He knew their broken spirits and He began... "Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven." He saw the pain and sorrows they bore and continued, "Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted. Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth." He knew their hunger, as they listened to His every word, "For he taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes." (Matthew 7:29) And He continued, "Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled." Jesus knew the love and mercy deep in their hearts, and wanted to bless them with peace... "Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy. Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God. Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God." He also understood the oppression and heavy hand under which they lived and offered comfort. "Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness' sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you." (Matthew 5:3-12) Jesus had great things to teach the people that day, about the law and judgment, prayer, and a sure foundation, but He began with His blessing on the people. These poor, ordinary, yet chosen people. How blessed they were to sit and hear the words of our loving Savior.
13. Jesus Blessed The Children
I enjoyed spending the day with Micah and Maggie, two of my grandchildren. We made stepping stones for my garden, hung a hammock swing in an oak tree next to the garden, played a little T-ball, and we had chocolate cake for dessert, twice! It was a great day! I always enjoy spending time with my grandchildren. Micah wanted to see videos of his dad when he was young, and for a few moments I relived some birthday parties, vacations, and snow days with my children. We can strive to gain wealth, popularity, or a high position in this life but when we die we will leave it all behind. But when we give our time and energy to our children and "bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord" (Ephesians 6:4) we have the hope of being with them throughout eternity. Our loved ones who know the Lord as their Savior are the only thing we have on this earth that we can take to heaven with us. We need to pray for our children more than ever before. They are facing new fears and temptations that most of us never had to face. Jesus loved and cared for the children. He took them up in His arms and blessed them.
"13 And they brought young children to him, that he should touch them: and his disciples rebuked those that brought them.
14 But when Jesus saw it, he was much displeased, and said unto them, Suffer the little children to come unto me, and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God.
15 Verily I say unto you, Whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child, he shall not enter therein.
16 And he took them up in his arms, put his hands upon them, and blessed them." (Mark 10:13-16)
14. "Blessed Assurance Jesus Is Mine"
In thinking about these devotionals for the last two weeks, my mind keeps going over the great old song, "Blessed Assurance." It was written by Fanny Crosby in 1873. Although her physical eyes were blind, she had such a great insight to the things of God. Do you know this blessed assurance? "Blessed is the people that know the joyful sound: they shall walk, O LORD, in the light of thy countenance. In thy name shall they rejoice all the day: and in thy righteousness shall they be exalted. For thou art the glory of their strength: and in thy favour our horn shall be exalted." (Psalms 89:15-17)
Blessed assurance, Jesus is mine!
O what a foretaste of glory divine!
Heir of salvation, purchase of God,
Born of His Spirit, washed in His blood.
This is my story, this is my song,
Praising my Savior all the day long;
This is my story, this is my song,
Praising my Savior all the day long.
Perfect submission, perfect delight!
Visions of rapture now burst on my sight;
Angels descending bring from above
Echoes of mercy, whispers of love.
Perfect submission, all is at rest!
I in my Savior am happy and blessed,
Watching and waiting, looking above,
Filled with His goodness, lost in His love.
15. Jesus Gave Thanks And Blessed The Bread
We are closing our devotions on "Happy And Blessed" with a familiar story that is found in all four of the gospels. We are reading from Luke 9:12-17.
"12 And when the day began to wear away, then came the twelve, and said unto him, Send the multitude away, that they may go into the towns and country round about, and lodge, and get victuals: for we are here in a desert place.
13 But he said unto them, Give ye them to eat. And they said, We have no more but five loaves and two fishes; except we should go and buy meat for all this people.
14 For they were about five thousand men. And he said to his disciples, Make them sit down by fifties in a company.
15 And they did so, and made them all sit down.
16 Then he took the five loaves and the two fishes, and looking up to heaven, he blessed them, and brake, and gave to the disciples to set before the multitude.
17 And they did eat, and were all filled: and there was taken up of fragments that remained to them twelve baskets."
Jesus had taken the disciples apart to have a time of rest and the multitudes followed them. Mark 6:34 tells us, "And Jesus, when he came out, saw much people, and was moved with compassion toward them, because they were as sheep not having a shepherd: and he began to teach them many things." In His compassion Jesus taught them, He healed them, and He fed them. But, before He fed them, He blessed the food. Again in Luke 24:30 we read, " And it came to pass, as he sat at meat with them, he took bread, and blessed it, and brake, and gave to them." I was taught as a young child to ask the blessing before eating. I love to hear my grandchildren pray before meal time. God has been so good to us, the least we can do is give Him thanks and ask Him to bless our food each time we sit down to eat. When we are eating out in restaurants this is one small way we can show the world we are not ashamed of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.