Please find below MANY MORE BLESSINGS from my recently published book 365 BLESSINGS which you can receive by PDF file to download & print or read on your computer OR you can order in print form & can contact me at lara@GoodNews.love or 843-338-2219 for more information. The book contains 365 blessings from the Bible with loads of LOVE, JOY, & ENCOURAGEMENT.
Please consider printing out what you find below or returning to read them all. There are lots of them on this page so perhaps you might like to use them in your daily time with the Lord, to enjoy when you wake in the morning, before you fall asleep at night, during a work break, or even right now. Why post so many all on one page? Because I feel led by the Lord to do so! You can also scroll and skim down and perhaps the Lord will lead you to certain ones.
No matter what, please be blessed & encouraged in reading them! love & blessings, Lara
“Cast your burden on the Lord,
And He shall sustain you;
He shall never permit the righteous to be moved.” Psalm 55:22
Ever feel like you’re carrying too much on your shoulders? Like your burden is too big for you? What a blessing we can cast our burdens on the Lord Jesus Christ. He will be our burden bearer. And He will sustain us. He will keep us. He will help us. He will empower us. He will carry us. He will give us wisdom. He will make known His will for us. He will be there with us. He will be there for us. He is with us – when we are His. When we are living in obedience to Christ, oh, how Christ shall carry our burdens. Cast, cast, cast your burdens on Jesus, my friend. Life might not turn out the way we desire, and our troubles may not be resolved in the way we desperately desire, but we can rest assured Jesus will bear our burdens and by His Spirit lead us forth. And no matter our challenges on this earth, no matter our tribulations, we can be assured when we live for Jesus that forever we will be – with Him! Cast, cast, cast your burdens on Him, oh yes!
“Whenever I am afraid,
I will trust in You.” Psalm 56:3
When I am afraid, I will cry. When I am afraid, I will hide. When I am afraid, I will run. When I am afraid, I will quit. When I am afraid, I will do what? Will I do any or all of this instead of do what is the greatest blessing ever when it comes to fear? I have cried much from fear, I have hidden, I have run, I have quit, and I have done much more over the years in response to tremendous fear. I have been prone to anxiety for as long as I can remember. I have been in bondage to fear beyond imagination.
But now I have come to see the very best thing to do in response to fear – and such a blessing it is – is to consciously, willingly, desirously, deliberately PLACE MY TRUST IN THE LORD JESUS CHRIST. When we put our trust in Jesus, it doesn’t mean we won’t face fear. It doesn’t mean we won’t feel fear. It doesn’t mean fear won’t come lunging at us trying to entangle us in its terrifying mouth and try to gobble us up. What it does mean is that we know deep in our hearts the best way to address fear is to TRUST THE LORD TO LEAD US, TRUST THE LORD TO GUIDE US, TRUST THE LORD TO GIVE US BOLDNESS AND STRENGTH, TRUST THE LORD TO GIVE US WISDOM, TRUST THE LORD TO GIVE US VICTORY IN OUR BATTLES, TRUST THE LORD TO LOVE US THROUGH THE TERRIFYING PLACES IN LIFE, TRUST THE LORD TO COMFORT US, TRUST THE LORD TO BE THE PERFECT FATHER THROUGH IT ALL.
Oh, the blessedness for those of us who have had our fair share of battles with fear to know THE LORD IS THE GREATEST SHELTER, THE MOST WONDERFUL REFUGE, THE GREATEST ONE AND PLACE IN WHOM WE CAN AND SHOULD PUT OUR TRUST. Bless you, Lord, for taking into your everlasting arms, your sweet, tender, safe fold those of us who battle fear. Thank you, my God! Thank you, our God! Thank you, dear God! AMEN!
“Trust in Him at all times, you people;
Pour out your heart before Him;
God is a refuge for us. Selah” Psalm 62:8
How often should we trust the Lord? ALL THE TIME. At ALL TIMES. How often can we trust the Lord? ALL THE TIME WITHOUT EXCEPTION! Who but the Lord in the entire universe can we trust 100% of the time and should we put our trust in 100% – 100% of the time? Nobody but the Lord! Blessing #1.
And blessing #2 in this precious verse? We can POUR OUT OUR HEARTS to Jesus how often? You’ve got it. ALL THE TIME. Have you ever wanted and felt you needed to pour out your heart to someone but that someone wasn’t available or was available but didn’t want to listen? Or perhaps you couldn’t think of someone you felt you could truly trust to pour your heart out to when you were hurting or afraid or whatever and however you felt? There is no exception to the Lord being ready, willing, and able to hear His followers pour out our hearts to Him when we’re living in faith in, love for, and obedience to Christ!
Blessing #3 in this triple-blessings packed verse is that GOD IS OUR REFUGE! Yes, HE IS OUR SHELTER! We can RUN TO HIS REFUGE, and we can RUN INTO HIS REFUGE, and we can REMAIN IN HIS REFUGE – no matter what is coming against us. No matter who is coming against us. No matter how we feel. No matter what we’re going through. We can TRUST THE LORD, we can POUR OUT OUR HEARTS TO THE LORD, and we can FIND REFUGE IN THE LORD! Thank you, Lord!
““A little while, and you will not see Me; and again a little while, and you will see Me, because I go to the Father.”” John 16:16
If Jesus tells His disciples who walked in intimate fellowship with Him that when He leaves them, they will see Him because He was going to be with the Father, what did that mean for them – and for us this very day for those of us who believe in Him and follow Him as Lord? Jesus explains to them that His Spirit will come be with them once He goes to be with the Father. His same Spirit who came to be with them lives inside and through us today for those of us who have repented and received Him as Lord!
Not only do we get to “see” Jesus by faith in Him, and not only do we get to “see” Jesus by having His Holy Spirit in us, and not only do we get to “see” Jesus by seeing His Word, the Bible, but one day we will “see” – yes, SEE – Jesus face to face FOREVER! Glory, glory, glory be to the Lord God almighty! A zillion Hallelujah’s wouldn’t be enough! Glory to the Lord most high! We have the promise of the Spirit of Christ to be with us now, AND one day we will be right in His face-to-face everlasting presence!
And remember, friend, not only did Jesus go to the Father, but JESUS IS THE FATHER! For Jesus is LORD! Jesus is GOD! Jesus is FATHER GOD IN HEAVEN! He simply came in the form of a perfect man to die on the cross for us and to be raised from the dead, He came in the form of His Spirit who dwells in us, He will come again to bring His followers to Himself, and one day He will be with us and we with Him – FOREVER! Glory! Glory oh Lord! Hallelujah, YES! One true God! One Lord! Forever!
“For you are the temple of the living God. As God has said:
“I will dwell in them
And walk among them.
I will be their God,
And they shall be My people.”
Therefore “Come out from among them
And be separate, says the Lord.
Do not touch what is unclean,
And I will receive you.”
“I will be a Father to you,
And you shall be My sons and daughters,
Says the Lord Almighty.”” 2 Cor. 6:16-18
Seven blessings in these unbelievably powerful verses as the apostle Paul writes in his letter what God has previously said. Ready?
* We who believe in and follow Jesus Christ as Lord are His temple in which HE LIVES! In and through us, HE LIVES!
* The Lord will be IN and WITH His followers FOREVER! This would not have been the case if it were not for what Jesus did on the cross for us! We humans lost our ability to be in the Lord’s forever almighty face-to-face presence when Adam and Eve sinned in the Garden of Eden and ever since all humans have been born into a world of sin with a sin nature. But Jesus paid our sin punishment on the cross to pave the pathway for us through repentance and faith in Him as Lord to experience and enjoy the Lord’s forever presence – IN and WITH us!
* The Lord is our GOD! There are so many false gods, but there is only ONE TRUE GOD. The Lord is our ONE TRUE GOD! For eternity!
* When we commit our lives to Christ as Lord, we are adopted into His forevermore family and are HIS PEOPLE. Yes, we are God’s people! The Lord’s people! Not temporarily! Not for a season! Everlastingly!
* The Lord calls us to a life of separation from the world! Please don’t get me wrong. We live IN the world. We associate and interact with others IN the world. But He calls us to a life of being separated out for Him whereby we no longer live a lifestyle of sin but instead live a lifestyle pleasing to Him. Just as the world lives according to the world’s wicked ways, we learn to live according to the Lord’s ways! We are separated out to be His holy children living righteous lives in His strength for His glory! He by His Spirit perfects His ways in us. We are not perfect. We are not holy in our everyday living. He is perfecting us. We are becoming holy in our way of life!
* When we receive Christ as Lord, we become HIS CHILDREN! Yes, HIS SONS and HIS DAUGHTERS! Belonging to Him! He adopts us – forever!
* Who is the Lord Almighty? Jesus Christ! He gives us this understanding, this truth, this blessedness, this reality that ALMIGHTY GOD is THE LORD JESUS CHRIST! With whom we who believe in and are devoted to Jesus as Lord WILL BE FOREVERMORE!
Amazing, isn’t it? All seven blessings, amazing. Thanks be to the Lord! These seven blessings alone are enough to keep us meditating on them – and praising God for the truth of them – for a long, long, long time to come. Forever, don’t you think?!
““As for you, son of man, the children of your people are talking about you beside the walls and in the doors of the houses; and they speak to one another, everyone saying to his brother, ‘Please come and hear what the word is that comes from the Lord.’ So they come to you as people do, they sit before you as My people, and they hear your words, but they do not do them; for with their mouth they show much love, but their hearts pursue their own gain. Indeed you are to them as a very lovely song of one who has a pleasant voice and can play well on an instrument; for they hear your words, but they do not do them. And when this comes to pass—surely it will come—then they will know that a prophet has been among them.”” Ezekiel 33:30-33
Can you imagine what the prophets of old went through when the Lord gave them extremely hard and convicting warnings and messages to deliver to the people? What did they get in return? Love? Acceptance? Validation? Kindness? Sweetness? They got hatred, rejection, persecution – and even death! Did the awfulness of the treatment they received from the people mean they should have stopped loving and serving the Lord and delivering the messages He gave them? NO! Did the people when they heard the messages always listen and obey? NO! Sometimes they did anything and everything but! Sometimes they continued right on in their wickedness and rebellion against God!
But the faithful prophets pressed on! In the verses above, look how the people responded to the prophet Ezekiel. They heard – but they did not do! They heard what he said but did not do what the Lord through Ezekiel told them.
We are blessed by the Lord when we HEAR HIM and OBEY HIM! We are blessed by the Lord when He gives us messages to give to others and we HEAR HIM and OBEY HIM! And we are blessed when we read these verses and understand that HEARING AND OBEYING THE LORD is a indescribably crucial part of forever following the Lord Jesus Christ! A hard message. But so vitally important. Let us hear AND obey, YES!
““Cursed is the man who trusts in man
And makes flesh his strength,
Whose heart departs from the Lord.
For he shall be like a shrub in the desert,
And shall not see when good comes,
But shall inhabit the parched places in the wilderness,
In a salt land which is not inhabited.
“Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord,
And whose hope is the Lord.
For he shall be like a tree planted by the waters,
Which spreads out its roots by the river,
And will not fear when heat comes;
But its leaf will be green,
And will not be anxious in the year of drought,
Nor will cease from yielding fruit.” Jeremiah 17:5-8
Do you hear this message from Jeremiah the prophet in the Old Testament? Do you REALLY hear the message? We need to hear God’s Word – and DO God’s Word. What is He telling us here through the prophet? WE NEED TO PUT OUR TRUST IN THE LORD GOD ALMIGHTY and not in humans. TRUSTING IN THE LORD and in HIS WILL and HIS WAYS with the obedience that goes with this trust BRINGS THE LORD’S BLESSINGS ACCORDING TO HIS WILL! How blessed we are the Lord tells us to TRUST IN HIM and BLESSES US when we do! AMEN!
“My flesh and my heart fail;
But God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.” Psalm 73:26
No matter how much we struggle, no matter how downhearted, discouraged, and depressed we may become, no matter the trials we face, no matter the storms in which we find ourselves, we can run to the Lord for His love, grace, mercy, and STRENGTH – and find in Jesus our FOREVER PORTION. For so very long, I had no idea what “portion” meant in this context. Then, the Lord gave me a personal understanding. No matter the details of our stories on this earth, and how very hard they may be, we can have in Jesus His glorious loving forever presence when we turn our lives over to Him. We may not receive the “portion” of what we so desire to have on this earth in the way of our life’s circumstances, but we can have a FOREVER RELATIONSHIP WITH JESUS! And, is there any greater portion? Of course not! There is no greater “portion” in the universe than Jesus! The word portion is often used regarding food. One person gets a small portion. One a big portion. One a delicious portion. One the leftover portion. It’s all food. It lasts a short while. It is temporary. JESUS IS FOREVER. And when our hearts and lives belong to Jesus, no matter our tribulations, we can enjoy the indescribably tremendous blessing of being loved by and loving and being in the company of Jesus forever. The best portion of all. The forever portion. Of Jesus the Christ, AMEN!
“I, the Lord, search the heart,
I test the mind,
Even to give every man according to his ways,
According to the fruit of his doings.” Jeremiah 17:10
Wow. Hard stuff. Seriously. Read this verse. Not so easy, is it? Now that’s an understatement! The Lord doesn’t just see our actions. He searches. He knows our actions inside and out. Is that all? No! He knows – and searches – our hearts! And our minds! He tests our minds! Everything about us, He knows. He searches. Is that all? No! No way! The fruit of what we do comes with consequences. Bad, awful ones. Or good, really, really good ones. He has rewards for His followers in heaven. For those who refuse to repent and give their lives over to Jesus as Lord, the Lord tells us clearly in His Word we will face hell and the lake of fire forever apart from Him. Heaven – with rewards. Or hell – in fiery forever torment. And we also have consequences on this earth in our everyday lives. Blessings on the one side. Icky, yucky, ugly, awful stuff on the other. Nothing is hidden from Jesus, friend. So let what He sees in our hearts, words, and actions be pleasing and glorifying to Him! What a blessing He tells us plainly and clearly that the right way to live is – FOR HIM! And, oh, the blessings we have to look forward to when we do just that. Live for Jesus, YES!
“For My eyes are on all their ways; they are not hidden from My face, nor is their iniquity hidden from My eyes. And first I will repay double for their iniquity and their sin, because they have defiled My land; they have filled My inheritance with the carcasses of their detestable and abominable idols.”” Jeremiah 16:17-18
The Lord may have been speaking long ago of people long ago who were living in rebellion against Him who lived with idols as gods instead of for the Lord who is the one true God, but this message is just as much for us today as it was for the people back then. Just as He speaks in these verses, HE SEES ALL OUR SINS AGAINST HIM even if we think nobody sees! And He will punish us for our sins if we do not turn away from them and turn to JESUS CHRIST AS LORD who died on the cross to pay the punishment we deserve for our sins and was raised from the dead.
If you read the verses in context in the book of Jeremiah the prophet, you will see the Lord’s promise to the Israelites and how stunningly beautiful it is. But He does not cease warning them – and warning us – that we MUST TURN TO HIM IN LOVE AND OBEDIENCE! How can this possibly be a blessing? Such a hard, even harsh message, isn’t it? BECAUSE HE LOVES US SO MUCH HE WARNS US AGAINST SINNING AGAINST HIM, AND HE LOVES US SO MUCH HE SENT JESUS TO THE CROSS IN OUR PLACE, AND HE LOVES US SO MUCH HE WANTS US TO TURN TO HIM SO WE CAN BE WITH HIM FOREVER! Hallelujah!
“Blessed is the man
Who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly,
Nor stands in the path of sinners,
Nor sits in the seat of the scornful;
But his delight is in the law of the Lord,
And in His law he meditates day and night.
He shall be like a tree
Planted by the rivers of water,
That brings forth its fruit in its season,
Whose leaf also shall not wither;
And whatever he does shall prosper.” Psalm 1:1-3
What a lovely and beautiful description of the life of the person who puts his or her trust in the Lord and lives according to the ways of God and who DELIGHTS – yes, DELIGHTS – in the Lord’s law. What does he or she do? Meditate on God’s law how often? Day and night! When we as Christ’s followers meditate on God’s Word – the Bible each and every day, night included, when we truly put our focus on Jesus and on the Bible, and live as God teaches us through the Bible, oh, how blessed we are! We can soak and bathe and delight and rest and rejoice in HIS WORD!
In the Old Testament, the word “meditate” originates from a Hebrew word that per Strong’s concordance means to “murmur” and implies also to speak and to study. When we reflect on God’s Word, when we study God’s Word, when we speak about God’s Word, when we actively meditate on it, when we LIVE BY IT, oh how exceedingly blessed we are!
“But let all those rejoice who put their trust in You; Let them ever shout for joy, because You defend them; Let those also who love Your name Be joyful in You.” Psalm 5:11
Please pay attention to the words used here. REJOICE. TRUST. JOY. LOVE. JOYFUL. Get the point? When we put our trust in Jesus, we have reason to REJOICE, to experience JOY, and to ENJOY Jesus’ love for us and our love for Him! The Lord, according to this verse, and according to many others in the Bible, defends His people. Another reason for JOY. So, so, so, many, many, many reasons for REJOICING – the most important one of all being THE LORD JESUS CHRIST! Blessing? Blessing-s with an “s”? YES!
“For You, O Lord, will bless the righteous; With favor You will surround him as with a shield.” Psalm 5:12
Who gets blessed per this verse? The righteous! Who gets surrounded with the Lord’s favor? The righteous! Who is surrounded as though there is a shield around the person or people? The righteous! Who are the righteous? Those who turn from their sins, put their faith in Jesus Christ as Lord, and live for Him according to God’s ways. We receive the righteousness of Christ who died in our place on the cross bearing the punishment we deserve for our sins upon Himself before being raised from the dead. But our lives don’t end there when we receive Christ as Lord and receive His righteousness. Now we learn how to live righteously. To live the right way. God’s way. Not ours. For Him. Not for us. The blessing of Christ’s righteousness and righteous living? Not just the blessing. Many, many, so very many blessings. Starting with Jesus and a forever relationship with Him. And the promise of His fellowship now and forever and ever in heaven. And going on from there. Blessings forevermore. Christ’s blessedness forevermore! AMEN!
“The Lord of hosts is with us;
The God of Jacob is our refuge. Selah.” Psalm 46:11
I am someone who used to dread reading the Bible. I had to force myself sometimes. I would get bored, intimidated, overwhelmed, afraid, and just not get it. I looked at it like a textbook with a dreaded teacher standing over me ready to bop me over the head for failing in reading, understanding, and living by it. I would open it up and skim the surface with my natural fleshly mind instead of go diving deep with the Holy Spirit leading the way and teaching me and bringing understanding and teaching me to live by it empowered by His glorious self. Now I see the Bible as an endless treasure trove of blessings with the Lord Himself as the number one blessing! Take a look with me at this one simple verse if you would. And rejoice with me. That GOD ALMIGHTY, THE LORD JESUS, KING FOREVER, is WITH HIS FOLLOWERS FOREVERMORE! And that HE IS OUR REFUGE! From the storms, trials, tribulations, struggles, enemies, battles, etc. of this life! We can REST IN THE REFUGE OF CHRIST each and every day even as the world goes on with all its challenges. We still have to go forward in our own lives, of course. The Lord doesn’t promise us a challenge-free life. But He is there with us through it all when we are surrendered to His sovereign loving merciful tender wondrous care!
“God is our refuge and strength,
A very present help in trouble.” Psalm 46:1
When we’re in trouble, where do we turn? Oh, we can turn to this thing or that thing or this person or that person or even turn to ourselves as though any of this or any of us as humans have and are the answer to our troubles. Or, friend, we can turn to the LORD GOD ALMIGHTY who is PRESENT WITH US AS OUR HELP and WHO GIVES US STRENGTH and PROVIDES US WITH SHELTER through the trials of this life! How blessedly we can turn to Jesus! Turn to Jesus, yes! Let us turn to Him! Turn! Thank you, Lord! AMEN!
“And this I pray, that your love may abound still more and more in knowledge and all discernment, that you may approve the things that are excellent, that you may be sincere and without offense till the day of Christ, being filled with the fruits of righteousness which are by Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God.” Philippians 1:9-11
The apostle Paul’s prayer for those to whom he was writing so very, very long ago is just as applicable for us today, don’t you think? Do we not need exactly that for which he prayed for them? Will not the Lord answer this prayer for us? Isn’t this His will for us day by day? That we will grow in the love of Christ? That we will do what is right? That we will be real and genuine and learn and choose not to sin, that we will bear the fruit of right, godly living which we can only do through Jesus, and that all the glory and praise will belong to the Lord?
Such a blessing that this prayer from so long ago is right on for us now as we learn to follow Jesus day by day. What a blessing the Lord leads, teaches, and enables us to live in this new way – for Him! And thank the Lord that we can pray and be heard – including on matters like these vital ones! Thank you, oh dear Lord! Amen!
“Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling; for it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure.” Philippians 2:12-13
The apostle Paul and his son in the faith Timothy, in speaking to the Philippian believers, encourage them to work out their salvation. How so? “WITH FEAR AND TREMBLING.” This means this is a VERY SERIOUS BUSINESS. What are the believers being told? What are we being told as Christ’s followers through this? When we repent and believe in and receive Christ as Lord, genuinely becoming His faithful followers, we are just at the BEGINNING of a lifelong journey of following Him. We are forgiven, born again spiritually, and saved from God’s wrath at us for our sins and the curse of death, hell, and the lake of fire. We are given everlasting life instead. But we don’t just get a ticket to heaven one day and go back to a lifestyle of sin until it’s time to fly first class to heaven with Jesus. We need to learn to live in love for and obedience to Christ! We need to WORK OUT the salvation we have been given.
God’s Spirit comes to live inside us when we give our lives to Jesus. We now need to learn to live filled with God’s Spirit and led by God’s Spirit according to God’s Word. This way, we live according to God’s will and bring the Lord love, joy, and pleasure! The Lord conforms us to Himself, and we learn day by day to yield ourselves to the Spirit of God so He can grow us in His glorious image! How blessed we are the Lord doesn’t leave us where we were or even where we are. How blessed we are He turns us into the men and women of God, His very children and servants, He desires that we be! Let us then surrender ourselves utterly to the Lord. Let us live to bring Him joy, pleasure, honor, and glory! Let us make the Lord proud to call us His children by humbling ourselves before Him and living to honor and glorify Him now and for eternity! AMEN!
“I will bless the Lord at all times;
His praise shall continually be in my mouth.
My soul shall make its boast in the Lord;
The humble shall hear of it and be glad.
Oh, magnify the Lord with me,
And let us exalt His name together.
I sought the Lord, and He heard me,
And delivered me from all my fears.
They looked to Him and were radiant,
And their faces were not ashamed.
This poor man cried out, and the Lord heard him,
And saved him out of all his troubles.
The angel of the Lord encamps all around those who fear Him,
And delivers them.
Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good;
Blessed is the man who trusts in Him!
Oh, fear the Lord, you His saints!
There is no want to those who fear Him.
The young lions lack and suffer hunger;
But those who seek the Lord shall not lack any good thing.
Come, you children, listen to me;
I will teach you the fear of the Lord.
Who is the man who desires life,
And loves many days, that he may see good?
Keep your tongue from evil,
And your lips from speaking deceit.
Depart from evil and do good;
Seek peace and pursue it.
The eyes of the Lord are on the righteous,
And His ears are open to their cry.
The face of the Lord is against those who do evil,
To cut off the remembrance of them from the earth.
The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears,
And delivers them out of all their troubles.
The Lord is near to those who have a broken heart,
And saves such as have a contrite spirit.
Many are the afflictions of the righteous,
But the Lord delivers him out of them all.
He guards all his bones;
Not one of them is broken.
Evil shall slay the wicked,
And those who hate the righteous shall be condemned.
The Lord redeems the soul of His servants,
And none of those who trust in Him shall be condemned.” Psalm 34
One of the beautiful blessings about the Bible is that it is so exceedingly full of blessings! Just when you think you might have found all the blessings in a Bible passage, a chapter, or a book, and have come to all the understanding you will come to in that particular section of the Bible, don’t be surprised if you yield yourself to the Spirit of God if you find yourself diving even deeper – and finding even more blessings.
I was stuck in my writing on a verse from Psalm 34 when I felt compelled to get away from my writing for a little bit. That was when it came to me that I had the perfect opportunity not to be stuck in that particular verse, but to use the psalm in its entirety as a lesson about blessings and about the goodness and wondrousness of the Lord and His Word.
Will you dig deep into this psalm – and into the Bible as a whole? Will you make a commitment as I did some years ago to read the Bible daily – and to learn to live according to the Lord’s ways as He teaches us in His Word? Will you look at the first and last verses in Psalm 34? What do you see? I see blessings. Beginning with PRAISING THE LORD – ALL THE TIME. For He is worthy of being praised ALL THE TIME – forever, in fact! What a blessing the Lord is deserving of our praise 24-7 and forever, that’s how AWESOME He is!
The last verse? We will not be condemned if we put our trust in the Lord Jesus Christ! Freedom from God’s wrath, judgement, condemnation, and hell and the lake of fire comes through repentance and turning to Christ as Lord. This freedom, this salvation, is one of the endless blessings we find in Christ! Why not read through this psalm and see God’s blessings in it? And why not take the step I did years ago and make a lifelong commitment to read the Bible daily? And to live for Jesus. Entirely for Jesus. Wholly for Jesus. Utterly for the Lord. Now. And forever and ever. AMEN!
“And immediately he received his sight, and followed Him, glorifying God. And all the people, when they saw it, gave praise to God.” Luke 18:43
When the blind man received the miracle from Jesus of being able to see, he ran back to his life to enjoy it and left Jesus behind, right? He didn’t give any praise to the Lord, he didn’t tell anyone about Jesus and the miracle, right? WRONG! The blind man who got his sight because of Jesus FOLLOWED THE LORD and PRAISED THE LORD. Yes, He GLORIFIED GOD! The result was that others saw what had happened and joined the man in PRAISING THE LORD! Look at the BLESSINGS in this for us! The Lord is continually blessing us with different things for which we can and should praise Him! Whether little things or enormous miracles, God’s gifts to us are blessings for which we should be thankful. So one blessing here in this verse is the Lord is the giver of blessings and miracles! Another blessing here is that the Lord CALLS and WANTS us to follow Him. He wants us in His glorious company! Another blessing is that He gives us the ability to PRAISE HIM, and praising the Lord though it is for Christ’s sake also blesses us as we joyfully thank Him! And yet another blessing here is that others see the love and beauty and glory of Christ when we praise Him and speak of Him in front of them! The Bible is jam packed with blessings! So are our lives! Let us not miss them! And let us be so very thankful – TO THE LORD GOD ALMIGHTY!
“For whatever things were written before were written for our learning, that we through the patience and comfort of the Scriptures might have hope.” Romans 15:4
Some people in different parts of the world including where we ourselves live don’t have access to Bibles, aren’t by law allowed to have or read them, can’t see to read them, don’t have the mental ability because of disabilities to understand what they read, etc. Have you ever considered how unmatchable is the blessedness for those of us who have the good fortune to have a Bible, to have the eyes to read it, to have the ability to read, to have the mental ability to understand, and who are born again spiritually and have the Holy Spirit living inside us to teach us to comprehend and live by the Bible? This verse is a wonderful reminder how blessed we are to receive the learning, the comfort, and the hope we find in God’s Word! And that is just a little snippet of the unbelievable abundance of blessings found in the Bible! Let us dig in daily and devotedly and feast on the Lord’s Word. And, yes, live according to His ways as He teaches us in it! Hallelujah! Amen!
“For whatever things were written before were written for our learning, that we through the patience and comfort of the Scriptures might have hope. Now may the God of patience and comfort grant you to be like-minded toward one another, according to Christ Jesus, that you may with one mind and one mouth glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.” Romans 15:5
The Lord has so many names in the Bible, and so many descriptions. All beautiful. All wonderful. All powerful. All reflecting His unfathomable love and grace and power, yes. Here in this verse He is referred to as the “GOD OF PATIENCE” AND the God of “COMFORT”. We were created in God’s image, and, as Christ followers, we are to grow in God’s image by the power of His Spirit. The apostle Paul in these verses is telling the people something we all need to hear even all this time later. In the Bible we are blessed with being taught how to live according to God’s ways rather than according to the world’s sinful ways as we once learned to do.
We are to love the Lord and to love one another, and we are to be patient with each other and to comfort one another. The Lord models to us how we are to love and treat one another. And He uses His Word to change and grow us. The end result according to this verse of our living the way God calls us to live in relation to Him and to one another is that we BRING GLORY TO THE LORD! It is such a sweet, sweet, bountiful and beautiful blessing to be called to GLORIFY GOD! So let us do that! So let us do! Let us LOVE HIM, let us LOVE OTHERS, and, as we do, let us GLORIFY THE LORD, AMEN!
“Then Jesus spoke to them again, saying, “I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life.”” John 8:12
“The city had no need of the sun or of the moon to shine in it, for the glory of God illuminated it. The Lamb is its light.” Revelation 21:23
Have you ever been in such a dark place you weren’t even able to imagine that there would be even an ounce of light ever again? Maybe spiritually speaking. Maybe emotionally speaking. Maybe physically. Maybe you were simply in the middle of a storm and the power went out in your house. Maybe you were hiking and got lost in a tunnel. Most of us have heard the expression about “seeing the light at the end of the tunnel” – or not seeing it. The truth about living a lifestyle of sin with our backs turned on God almighty and our hearts in rebellion against Him is that we are LIVING IN THE DARK. And if we continue on that course, the ONLY light we will ever see after our lives are over is the light of hellfire and we will know the burning of fiery torment forever apart from God.
The truth about THE LORD JESUS CHRIST and when we repent and turn our lives over to Him, committing to following Him and faithfully doing so, is WE COME TO KNOW AND EXPERIENCE AND WALK IN AND REFLECT TO OTHERS AND ENJOY A LIGHT BEYOND IMAGINATION. The light of the Lord Jesus Christ. His light which is forever. HE IS THE LIGHT. HE IS FOREVER. And there will come a time, in heaven, when we won’t even need any manufactured light at all, nor will we even need the light of the sun. For THE LORD’S LIGHT IS FOREVER AND WILL BE SO BRIGHT AND BEAUTIFUL AND GLORIOUS WE WILL NEED NO OTHER LIGHT!
We do NOT need to wait as Christ’s followers to be in heaven to know this light. Look at the verse above. Oh, thank you God almighty, WHAT A BLESSING! WHAT LIGHT! THE LIGHT OF JESUS! OURS TO KNOW. OURS TO WALK IN. OURS TO FOLLOW. Oh, the blessedness of the light of the Lord Jesus Christ. FOREVER AND EVER AMEN! Look at the scriptures above, friend. ENJOY! The blessedness of the light of the Lord, yes, AMEN! The Lord created the light as recorded all the way back in the beginning of the Bible. But the light we see from the sun and moon and stars is nothing compared with the everlasting light of the Lord Jesus Christ. Hallelujah, yes, hallelujah, once again, AMEN! Let us rejoice! Christ is the light, praise the Lord, praise the Lord!
“and that the Gentiles might glorify God for His mercy, as it is written:
“For this reason I will confess to You among the Gentiles,
And sing to Your name.”” Romans 15:9
There are the Gentiles, and there are the Chosen people, the Israelites, the Jewish people. All who turn from our sins and believe in Christ as Lord and in His death and resurrection, surrendering ourselves to God and His ways, become God’s adopted children. We are brought together, whether the Chosen people or the Gentiles, into ONE everlasting family in Christ. This you can study much of in the Bible beginning with the Old Testament and going on into the New Testament. Sometimes I get so bogged down in the history and the details all of which are of course important in their own right that I miss other blessings in the midst of God’s Word. Like this one.
In the verse above, reference is made to the people GLORIFYING THE LORD FOR HIS MERCY! Are we? Are you and I? Do we regularly thank God for His forgiveness which we don’t deserve but only receive by His grace and through what Jesus did on the cross? Or is it possible we sometimes take for granted His forgiveness and the price Jesus paid on the cross for us? Maybe some of us – myself absolutely – need reminders from time to time that day by day we should THANK THE LORD and GLORIFY THE LORD for His indescribable goodness – Himself and His love and forgiveness and mercy right at the top of the list of His countless blessings!
“Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” Romans 15:13
I LOVE how the Lord has so many names! Keep reading the Bible, day by day, and see all the characteristics of the Lord – and all His names. Like “THE GOD OF HOPE.” Per this verse, what does the “GOD OF HOPE” do? The apostle Paul is praying for the Romans. That God would FILL THEM with what? JOY! And PEACE! Look at that! HOPE! JOY! PEACE! Through faith in Christ as Lord, through our lives dedicated to Jesus, through the Holy Spirit who lives inside followers of precious Jesus, we can be FILLED with all this blessedness! We can be filled with the Lord Himself! With His very Spirit and all the blessings we can have in Him! God’s power, the very power of His very Spirit, we have access to through Jesus! And not only can we have the hope of Christ, of His Spirit, but we can “ABOUND” in it. We can overflow with hope in such a way that the world around us sees in and through us the LOVE OF JESUS, the JOY OF JESUS, the PEACE OF JESUS, and the HOPE OF JESUS, and the POWER OF JESUS. Blessings for us – and blessings for all to see and desire and find in Christ, HALLELUJAH!
“I commend to you Phoebe our sister, who is a servant of the church in Cenchrea, that you may receive her in the Lord in a manner worthy of the saints, and assist her in whatever business she has need of you; for indeed she has been a helper of many and of myself also.” Romans 16:1-2
The apostle Paul is speaking well here of his sister-in-Christ and co-laborer for the Lord Phoebe whom he calls a SERVANT of the Lord. He is encouraging the believers to HELP HER who is HELPING OTHERS – ALL FOR THE GLORY OF THE LORD! We who follow Jesus are ALL ONE Body of Christ worldwide. We are to labor for the Lord in helping to build His Kingdom of followers TOGETHER as ONE UNIFIED Body of Jesus. We are to LOVE ONE ANOTHER and to SERVE ONE ANOTHER and to HELP ONE ANOTHER. This Paul encourages them to do, and we who read this are encouraged by the Lord through Paul and the Bible to do the very same! Included in this is that we are to HELP THOSE HELPING OTHERS. Loving, serving, helping all for Christ’s sake. We are blessed that we don’t love and serve the Lord alone, but that we have a worldwide family of siblings in Christ, of co-laborers, of co-servants in Christ. We are to HUMBLY SERVE. To HUMBLY LOVE. To HUMBLY HELP. Servants are to NOT exalt themselves but to LOWER THEMSELVES. We as Christ’s servants are to lower OURSELVES and to GIVE as the Lord so bountifully and blessedly gives to us. Blessed are we to be ONE BODY called to love, give, serve, and help all in the name of the Lord! AMEN!
“Greet Tryphena and Tryphosa, who have labored in the Lord. Greet the beloved Persis, who labored much in the Lord.” Romans 16:12
Most of the time when people in this day and age speak of labor, they speak of work and specifically of either work done with the end result of a paycheck and hopefully a job well done or perhaps volunteer work without pay but with the hope of service work that is successful toward whatever the end goal. There is, however, no greater labor on this planet earth than the labor of love offered in humble service to the Lord God almighty. In this verse are mentioned various laborers for Christ from long ago.
Let us not miss our opportunity to receive the exciting, exhilarating, thrilling, and incredibly rewarding blessing of laboring for the Lord Jesus Christ as part of His worldwide Body of followers laboring for Him in the building of His forever Kingdom of adoring children. Thank you Father for the utter privilege of laboring for you! Help us to serve you however you desire in whatever you desire with whomever you desire whenever you desire wherever you desire, and may YOU receive ALL THE GLORY in whatever it is to which you call us in serving you. AMEN!
“Now I urge you, brethren, note those who cause divisions and offenses, contrary to the doctrine which you learned, and avoid them. For those who are such do not serve our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly, and by smooth words and flattering speech deceive the hearts of the simple.” Romans 16:17-18
Yet another warning in God’s Word. His Word is full of so very much – warnings included. Warnings can be hard to hear. Very at times. Other times, maybe not so much. No matter what, we MUST listen to the warnings of the Lord – and heed them. This warning helps us see we need to AVOID deceivers and AVOID divisions and sins. We need to AVOID what goes against the Lord and His Word. Certainly we live in a world in which all of this is widespread and even growing. So what do we do? SEEK THE LORD. READ THE BIBLE. FOLLOW THE LEADING OF THE LORD. We can’t avoid everyone and everything. But the Lord in His love and mercy for us can lead and guide us and give us wisdom in each and every situation.
His Spirit who lives inside His followers will help us through any and every situation so long as we yield ourselves to Him and keep our ears and eyes open to hearing Him and obeying Him as He mercifully protectively leads us on. I talked to a woman who told me she stays away from an enormous part of the Bible because she seemed to think it wasn’t very positive.
ALL OF THE BIBLE IS IMPORTANT, and warnings no matter how hard they may be to hear are a vital part of God’s Word and instructions for our lives. Thank you, Father, for loving us so much you tell us THE TRUTH – YOUR TRUTH – in all matters and empower us to follow you in everything so we can live our lives in love, honor, and praise of you! AMEN!
“For your obedience has become known to all. Therefore I am glad on your behalf; but I want you to be wise in what is good, and simple concerning evil.” Romans 16:19
What is the apostle Paul saying here about the obedience of the believers to whom he is writing? THEIR OBEDIENCE IS KNOWN! People know about their obedience! Can you imagine having the same said about us? That people near to us and dear to us as well as people with whom we may cross paths only briefly and even people far away and perhaps even those who never meet us but simply hear about us KNOW THAT WE LIVE OUR LIVES IN DEVOTION AND OBEDIENCE TO CHRIST!
What a blessed life it is when we can say we are entirely in the hands and at the mercy of Jesus! When we can say anyone who knows us and anyone who hears us would not hesitate to say we are Christ followers. Paul goes on to say something else here. Another blessing. The blessing of wisdom with which the Bible is filled to the brim! The Lord gives us His wisdom from start to finish of the Bible, doesn’t He?
Here, through Paul, He reminds us to DO WHAT IS RIGHT and to NOT DO WHAT IS WRONG. Simple, isn’t it? But something of which we need to be continuously reminded. The life of a Christ follower is ABOUT THE LORD JESUS CHRIST – AND ABOUT LOVING, HONORING, SERVING, WORSHIPING, AND OBEYING THE LORD GOD ALMIGHTY! The life of obedience to the Lord is a blessed life. May we be known by such a life, you and I, oh may it be so!
“Now to Him who is able to establish you according to my gospel and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery kept secret since the world began but now made manifest, and by the prophetic Scriptures made known to all nations, according to the commandment of the everlasting God, for obedience to the faith— to God, alone wise, be glory through Jesus Christ forever. Amen.” Romans 16:25-27
Know what I did without fail for years, and something with which I still struggle if I forget or simply am not careful? I try to live as a Christ follower in my own strength attempting desperately to muster up enough human strength to live in a way honoring to the Lord. I somehow think what is impossible will be possible if somehow I can pull myself up by my bootstraps, to use a very old expression, and try, try, try to make it happen. Somehow, some way, I think I will figure out how I can obey the Lord in my own human power. Or lack thereof, to be perfectly honest!
Truth? Look at these blessed verses! GOD IS THE ONE WHO ESTABLISHES US! ACCORDING TO THE GOOD AND GLORIOUS NEWS OF CHRIST. These verses help us see how Jesus was prophesied in scriptures before He came onto the scene and eventually went to the cross and was raised from the dead. The verses also speak of God being EVERLASTING and of how we are to be OBEDIENT. Now who gets the glory for ALL OF THIS? From the mystery in the Old Testament and the prophecies of Christ to the fulfillment of Jesus’ death and resurrection to the Gospel message to our salvation through Christ and to our living in obedience to Him once forgiven by God through Him and given the promise of everlasting life? Do we get the glory? Humans? Do we take the credit? Do we deserve it? NO WAY!
THE LORD JESUS CHRIST GETS EVERY SINGLE OUNCE OF GLORY NOW AND FOREVER FOR EVERYTHING GOOD EVER IN THE UNIVERSE RIGHT DOWN TO ANY OBEDIENCE WE ARE SO BLESSED AND FORTUNATE ENOUGH TO BE ABLE TO WALK IN! ALL GLORY for EVERYTHING GOOD in ALL OF TIME belongs to Jesus! HALLELUJAH! No, we can NEVER as humans muster up enough human “strength” (i.e. weakness when compared with God’s strength) to live the righteous life to which the Lord calls us. We must come running to the love, mercy, grace, and hope of Christ, to Christ Himself first and foremost, to receive all that He has for us each and every moment of our lives. Bless, bless, bless the Lord for His unfathomable goodness, oh, bless the Lord! HALLELUJAH!
“Then, as He was now drawing near the descent of the Mount of Olives, the whole multitude of the disciples began to rejoice and praise God with a loud voice for all the mighty works they had seen, saying: ‘Blessed is the King who comes in the name of the Lord!’ Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!” And some of the Pharisees called to Him from the crowd, “Teacher, rebuke Your disciples.” But He answered and said to them, “I tell you that if these should keep silent, the stones would immediately cry out.” Luke 19:37-40
The disciples are crying out in these verses! With JOY! With REJOICING! CELEBRATING! PRAISING THE LORD! WORSHIPING GOD! They are NOT HOLDING back their praise! Why would they? They have seen the “MIGHTY WORKS” of the Lord over and again, and loudly they are EXPRESSING THEIR THANKSGIVING FOR THE GOODNESS OF GOD! They call Jesus King! They call Jesus Lord! They speak of the peace of God and the glory of God! The prideful arrogant appearance-oriented religious tradition-bound Pharisees want to silence the crowd. The result? Jesus makes plain and clear PRAISING THE LORD CANNOT BE STOPPED! He says EVEN THE ROCKS will shout out! Even the rocks will praise Him! The praises of God cannot be silenced! One day there will be a new heaven and a new earth and there will be praise and worship continually forevermore! In the meantime, we can BLESS THE LORD by not allowing ourselves to be silenced by anyone or anything. Should we not BLESS THE LORD in praise and song and thanksgiving and dance and writing and artwork and whatever He places on our hearts and calls us to do in the way of worshiping Him now and forever? Oh, bless the Lord! We are so blessed by God! Let us be a blessing to Him! How blessed we are to have the ability and the endless reasons to PRAISE AND BLESS THE LORD, AMEN!
“And He looked up and saw the rich putting their gifts into the treasury, and He saw also a certain poor widow putting in two mites. So He said, “Truly I say to you that this poor widow has put in more than all; for all these out of their abundance have put in offerings for God, but she out of her poverty put in all the livelihood that she had.”” Luke 21:1-4
Does the Lord want us to give Him a zillion dollars? Does He need any money at all? Or does He desire our hearts, our attention, our words, our thoughts, our focus, our actions? Does He want our loyalty, our devotion, our commitment, our obedience, our service? Does He want all we are and all we have? Does He want all our time, our seeking Him, our prayers to Him, our faithfulness to Him? Does He want ALL of us?
In this little story, He honored the widow who gave virtually nothing in the grand scheme of things financially but gave out of her poverty. He didn’t honor those who gave a tiny bit out of their abundance. How tragic that our flesh fights obedience to Christ whether it be giving financially or whether most importantly it be the total giving of our entire hearts and lives to Christ as Lord. For the greatest blessing when it comes to giving is to give ALL OF OURSELVES to Jesus! For the blessedness of being in intimate fellowship with Him now and forever, of having Him as Lord and King and master of our lives, not to mention friend and sovereign God, what or who can possibly compare?
The widow GAVE from the little she had. Giving to the Lord isn’t about possessions ultimately, is it? Isn’t it most of all about the heart? She gave from a heart filled with love and generosity and sacrifice, didn’t she? The others would barely give anything because they were consumed with themselves, weren’t they? We need to be consumed with Christ Jesus forever Lord! Oh, the blessedness of being His forevermore! May we give all we are and have to Jesus, may we give and give day by day now and forever – with no holding back. Let us surrender all to Jesus! ALL! Every penny the Lord wants us to give Him, which is all His anyway, quite assuredly, and every ounce of ourselves to Him – FOREVER! AMEN!
“And this will be the sign to you: You will find a Babe wrapped in swaddling cloths, lying in a manger.”
“And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying:
“Glory to God in the highest,
And on earth peace, goodwill toward men!”
So it was, when the angels had gone away from them into heaven, that the shepherds said to one another, “Let us now go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has come to pass, which the Lord has made known to us.”” Luke 2:12-15
Some of us grew up with hearing this story at Christmas time as nothing more than a story that went along with Christmas trees and Christmas presents. Others of us heard the story over the years with an understanding of the birth of Christ. But how many of us, I wonder, truly, truly, truly reflect and meditate on the awesomeness of the birth of THE LORD OF LORDS, KING OF KINGS, AND SAVIOR OF THE WORLD?!
Can you imagine the joy of those angels celebrating His birth? Can you imagine those who got to see in person the fulfillment of the prophecy of the birth of JESUS THE CHRIST? Do you realize that baby in the manger is THE CREATOR OF THE UNIVERSE who came in the flesh to this earth to die on the cross for us and be raised from the dead so we can be with Him forever if we receive Him as Lord through repentance and faith in Him as Lord?
How often do we consider His birth outside of Christmas time? How often do we stop everything else we’re doing and thinking and simply meditate on the beauty and majesty and glory and wonder of THE LORD JESUS CHRIST whose followers will be WITH HIM FOREVERMORE?! OH, glory be to the Lord! Blessing, blessing, the greatest blessing ever born. JESUS THE CHRIST, King of Kings for ETERNITY, HALLELUJAH, AMEN!