God’s Bounty (2)

God’s Bounty (2)DSCF4224

“Deal bountifully with thy servant,

that I may live, and keep thy word.”

Psalm 119:17,KJV

How do you wake up each day—with a song? a sigh? What is your morning routine—a pillow over your head and ask for just 15 more minutes? ready to hop out of bed and greet the sunshine?

How might our lives change if we started our day with a praise, a prayer, and thanksgiving—with our focus on things above rather than things on the earth?

Sometime through the day, David, the shepherd king of Israel, gave us a psalm to offer to the Lord, anytime. He wrote,

“Bless the LORD,

O my soul:

and all that is within me,

bless his holy name.

Bless the LORD, O my soul,

and forget not all his benefits:”

103:1-2, KJV

This psalm extols the bounty of the Lord toward us—

  • forgiveness,
  • healing,
  • redemption,
  • lovingkindness,
  • tender mercies,
  • good things,
  • and renewed strength.

These are found in just the first few verses. Next David rehearses what the Lord does and what he is—

  • does righteous judgement,
  • makes his ways known to us,
  • is merciful,
  • gracious,
  • slow to anger,
  • he remembers we are but human.

David’s response:

“Bless the LORD,

all his works in all places of his dominion:

bless the LORD, O my soul.”

103:22, KJV

The Psalms don’t stop there. In Psalm 104, the psalmist exalts the God of creation, the One who brought life and light out of chaos and darkness.

“Bless the LORD, O my soul, O LORD my God,

thou art very great;

thou art clothed with honour and majesty.

Who coverest thyself with light as with a garment:

who streachest out the heavens like a curtain:”


After rehearsing the bounty found in God’s creation work, his power, wisdom, and provision, this author can do only one thing. He says—

“I will sing unto the LORD as long as I live:

I will sing praise to my God while I have my being.

My meditation of him shall be sweet:

I will be glad in the LORD.” (33-34)

In these Psalms we discover our bountiful God, who he is and the bounty he has shown us. We gain understanding of why we should bless the Lord, bring him pleasure. It is what he created us for and he is worthy.

Our Response:

  • “O give thanks unto the LORD;
  • call upon his name:
  • make known his deeds among the people.
  • Sing unto him, sing psalms unto him:
  • talk ye of all his wondrous works.
  • Glory ye in his holy name:
  • let the heart of them rejoice that seek the LORD.
  • Seek the LORD, and his strength;
  • seek his face evermore.” (105:1-4, KJV)

When we make time in our day, whether morning, noon, or night, to spend time praising our God for the abundant bountiful life he deals to his servants,

  • we find our day is filled with worship.
  • Blessing the Lord, bringing him pleasure, becomes a way of life
  • and ends our days in thanksgiving.
  • We would see our days filled with hope—not despair; joy—not depression; peace—not chaos; love—not hate; faith—not fear.

“Praise ye the LORD,

O give thanks unto the LORD;

for he is good:

for his mercy endureth for ever.”

Psalm 106:1, KJV

What is your response to the Lord’s bounty in your life? Share one way you will bring blessing to him. It’s a good start to seeing your day blessed of the Lord.



Blessed Happiness

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“Blessed are the undefiled in the way,

who walk in the law of the LORD. ”

Psalm 119:1, KJV

“Happy New Year,” the greeting, the blessing, the hope rings in each turning of the page from the old year to the new one. Hearts desire something better than what the previous year left with us. Hopes and well-wishes are meant but how do those blessings come to pass? What do they look like?

We know that the Lord told us in this world there’s trouble. Good things and bad things happen to all people—the believing and the unbelieving. So, how do we walk in blessing throughout the coming year, no matter the circumstances that come into our lives?

“Blessed are the undefiled in the way …

Who walk in the law of the LORD …

Keep his testimonies …

Seek him with the whole heart.”

The word, blessed, is used three hundred and two times in scripture, with over six hundred references to blessing just in the Old Testament. The word means, “How happy!” Happy is used twenty-eight times. Our heavenly Father has an abundance of blessings to pour in those who walk in his way with a pure heart, obeying his word, and seeking him with the whole heart—a heart that is not divided.

We all, believing and unbelieving, are recipients of the Lord’s blessings. He gives us breath, sunshine and clouds, food, shelter, strength—his love. For the believer there is even more.

“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,

who hath blessed us with

all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ:”

Ephesians 1:3, KJV

We receive those blessings when we are born into the Father’s spiritual family. They are ours when we—

  • Delight in the Lord’s law, and walk in his ways, Psalm 1:1,2;
  • Know our transgressions are forgiven and our sins covered, Psalm 32:1;
  • Trust in God’s goodness, Psalm 34:8;
  • Remember the poor, Psalm 41:1;
  • Fear the Lord, Psalm 112:1;
  • Hope in the Lord, Psalm 146:5;
  • Serve God faithfully, Matthew 24:46:
  • Recognize our need for the Lord, sorrow over sin, suffer for Christ’s sake, Luke 6:20-22;
  • Hear and keep the word of God, Luke 11:28;
  • Haven’t seen God but yet believe in Jesus, John 20:29;
  • Place our faith in God, Galatians 3:9.

The final blessings come from the Book of Revelation. These blessings are the Lord’s final words on being blessed. We are blessed when we—

  • Read, hear, and keep what’s written in this book, 1:3;
  • Die in the Lord, 14:13;
  • Watch for Christ’s return and are ready when he comes, 16:15;
  • Are called to the marriage supper of the Lamb, 19:9;
  • Keep the sayings found in this book, 22:7;
  • Do his commandments, 22:14.

In case you’re wondering, the Lord’s commandments are simple.

“Jesus said unto him,





This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it,


On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.” Matthew 22:37-40, KJV

None of the blessings are contingent upon world events or personal circumstances. They are contingent upon our relationship with our heavenly Father through Jesus Christ the Son. What he gives the world cannot take from us. Blessedness is our position in the Lord which produces a state of contentment, happiness, and joy even when our feelings and our spirit faces hard things. When good things come—thank the Lord for his blessings. When bad things come—thank the Lord for his blessings.

May you and yours be blessed with a Happy New Year!

The Writer’s Heart: Schedules & Blessings

The Writer’s Heart: Schedules and Unexpected Blessings123_1[7665]

“Come now, you who say,

“Today or tomorrow, we shall go to such and such a city,

and spend a year there

and engage in business and make a profit …

Instead, you ought to say,

“If the Lord wills, we shall live and also do this or that.”

James 4:13,15; NASB

We had made our plans for the book event a month earlier. But I’ve learned plans are made to give us a semblance of control when the real control belongs to one.

My daughter, Heather, and I checked off the list. No car—check. Extra driving—check. Unexpected meeting—check. Family member with covid—check. And that’s only Saturday’s list of changes—check. Saturday’s list rolled over into more unexpected plan changes and blessings on Sunday—where the best unexpected changes and blessings appeared.

The first change—the baptism of my best friend’s grandson. Because of the first alteration of plans, my husband and I attended a church dinner and auction to provide needy children with a good Christmas.

Mike bookHeather, at the last minute, asked to donate my novel, The Nazarene’s Price, for the auction. She, also donated one of her novels, Love In Any Season, a collection of four novellas by her and three other authors. Both books sold for about twice their selling price, providing a blessing—

  • for the children;
  • hopefully, for the purchasers as they read our stories;
  • for us as we see the Lord doing more with our writing than we had expected or planned. For—

“God gave the increase …

For we are labourers together with God”

1 Corinthians 3:6b,9a, KJV

Interruptions bombard our lives and the writer isn’t exempt. When these intrusions worm their way into our day, do we get frustrated? Or do we give thanks? We are told to—

“Be anxious for nothing,

but in everything by prayer and supplication

with thanksgiving

let your requests be made known to God.”

Philippians 4:6, NASB

(I have to work on this one on a daily basis.)

Writing takes time, concentration, and determination—which often leaves the writer exasperated, discouraged, and lacking in consistent progress. How do interrupted schedules become unexpected blessings? Three things come to mind.

  1. If we do as James tells us and speak God’s will into our day instead of our own plans, we understand that our change of plans come at the Lord’s direction and serve his purpose.

“Many are the plans in a man’s heart,

But the counsel of the LORD,

it will stand.”

Proverbs 19:21, NASB

  1. Pray for the Lord to order our day, direct our steps, and receive what He brings and where He leads with thanksgiving. For our interruption may turn into a blessing for another and an unexpected blessing for us.

“Delight thyself also in the LORD;

and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart.

Commit thy way unto the LORD;

trust also in him;

and he shall bring it to pass.”

Psalm 37:4-5, KJV

  1. Remember, God sends unexpected blessings packaged in the people he puts in our lives.

“This is my commandment,

That ye love one another, as I have love you.”

John 15:12, KJV

The Lord turns his interruptions into blessings and helps us complete what He wants accomplished when we keep our focus on the eternal instead of the temporary.

Blessing of God

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Because we have beheld(meditated on and believed) the love of God, freely given at great expense to himself, spoken of in 1 John 3:1, we are called—

“the sons of God.”

We are the “Beloved” of God—Those He has lavishly poured his love into, and “now” our lives are different than before we gazed on his love for us. 1 John 3:2 repeats—

“now are we the sons of God,”

Our identification has changed. We are different than before beholding the Father’s love.

“For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus.

For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ

have put on Christ.

There is neither Jew nor Greek,

there is neither bond nor free,

there is neither male nor female:

for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.

And if ye be Christ’s ,

then are ye Abraham’s seed,

and heirs according to the promise.”

Galatians 3:26-29,KJV

We have been born spiritually into the Father’s family, but like newborn babies, we are not what we will be.

“but we know that, when he shall appear,”

One day Jesus will appear and with him comes a great blessing for the Father’s children.

“When Christ, who is our life, shall appear,

then shall ye also appear with him in glory.”

Colossians 3:4,KJV

Any trials, pain, or persecution we may have suffered in this life will disappear when Jesus appears. They will pass away like the pain of childbirth(sorry men, you’ve not experienced it, but you have witnessed the pain) and when we see Jesus, all that remains will be the glory of new life.

“we shall be like him.”

What does that mean exactly? I don’t know. I do know we will bask in his glory.

“Who shall change our vile body, that it may

be fashioned like unto his glorious body …

As for me,

I will behold thy face in righteousness:

I shall be satisfied,

when I awake, with thy likeness.”

(Philippians 3:21a; Psalm 17:15, KJV”)

We are blessed of God. We are his children by faith. We have been changed with the greatest change yet to come. And when Jesus does come?

“we shall see him as he is.”

Truly, God’s blessing rests on his children now and in what is to come. Jesus last prayer on earth for us will be answered.


I will that they also, whom thou hast given me,

be with me where I am;

that they may behold my glory,

which thou hast give me:

for thou lovedst me before the foundation of the world …

Surely goodness and mercy

shall follow me all the days of my life:

and I will dwell in the house of the LORD for ever.”

John 17:24; Psalm 23:6, KJV

Forever-time without end where time has been swallowed by eternity. Yes, we will be like Jesus and be forever in his presence. This is our greatest blessing of the Father. May we share our blessedness with others—”that they may behold my glory,”

302 Plus

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Photo by cottonbro on Pexels.com

Statistics can be both fascinating and confusing when the elements change from person to person. Not to get into anything political but we have all been introduced and can agree to the division and mess it causes. One unchanging fact existing from the beginning of time remains constant –  God’s desire to bless his creation.

On the fifth and sixth days of creation God spoke these words after creating all creatures including the first people.

“And God blessed them, saying,

Be fruitful, and multiply, and fill the waters in the seas,

and let fowl multiply in the earth …

To the first man and woman the Lord continued –

And God blessed them,

and God said unto them,

Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth and subdue it;

and have dominion over the fish of the sea,

and over the fowl of the air,

and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.”

Genesis 1:22, 28.

He also provided for all their nutritional needs. In chapter 2, God then set aside a day of rest for them. His first act  after creation was blessing it – giving it his highest good, his favor.

Through this month’s posts, we have been reminded of the Lord’s blessings as we revisited Jesus’s Sermon on the Mount. It introduced the Beatitudes. Then the last chapter of the last book of the bible ends with a final blessing.

“Behold, I come quickly:

blessed is he that keepeth the sayings

of the prophecy of this book.”

Revelation 22:7

*The scriptures are salted with approximately 468 verses speaking of blessed, blessings, and bless. Of those 302 are blessed, 67 blessing, and 127 bless. Not all are pronouncements of God’s blessings. Some include people blessing others. Many speak of us blessing God.

Differences exist concerning the actual number of verses in the King James Bible. If the one I read is correct the total would be 31,102. I found it fascinating the middle verses of the bible come in Psalm 103 verses 1 and 2. This Psalm reveals David’s enraptured soul with his Lord. It begins-

“Bless the LORD, O my soul:

and all that is within me, bless his holy name.

Bless the LORD, O my soul,

and forget not all his benefits:”

David’s praise captures the essence of who the Lord is and all he has done. C. S. Spurgeon describes it best in his commentary on this Psalm.

 “As in the lofty Alps some peaks rise above all others so among even the inspired Psalms there are heights of song which overtop the rest … It is as the apple tree among the trees of the wood, and its golden fruit has a flavour such as no fruit ever bears unless it has been ripened in the full suushine of mercy. It is man’s reply to the benedictions of his God, his Song on the Mount answering to his Redeemer’s Sermon on the Mount.”

Why did David’s song of blessing echo above the mountains? He remembered all the goodness of God poured out on his life. He remembered God’s blessings of –

  • Forgiven sin;
  • healing of all his diseases;
  • redemption of life from destruction;
  • being crowned with God’s lovingkindness and tender mercies;
  • being filled with the goodness of God;
  • given strength;
  • His mercy, grace, righteousness, and faithfulness.

So overwhelmed by his Redeemer, David then calls all to join his song.

“Bless the LORD, ye his angels,

that excel in strength,

that do his commandments,

hearkening unto the voice of his word.

Bless ye the LORD, all ye his hosts;

ye ministers of his, that do his pleasure.

Bless the LORD all his works

in all places of his dominion:

bless the LORD, O my soul.”

Psalm 103:20-22

It’s the Lord’s turn. He blesses us on a daily basis if we have eyes to see. Let’s join David in blessing our Redeemer by –

  • Giving him our obedience
  • Hearing his word
  • Doing what brings him pleasure
  • Remembering he rules over all

Let’s commit with C. S. Spurgeon to –

“Let others forbear if they can: “Bless the Lord, O MY soul.” Let others murmur, but do thou bless. Let others bless themselves and their idols, but do thou bless the LORD. Let others use only their tongues, but as for me I will cry, “Bless the Lord, O my soul.” “And all that is within me, bless the LORD.” … Half-hearted, ill-conceived, unintelligent praises are not such as we should render to our loving Lord.”

What blessing of praise will you offer the Lord today?

*Statistics gleaned from biblebelievers.com. Written by Nic Kizziah.

Blessings Times Two, Part 2

“Blessed are ye,

when men shall revile you and persecute you,

and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely,

for my sake.”

Matthew 5:11

dscf6859“How can you possibly say, ‘God is a God of love?’” So began the reproach. He used his words in an effort to hurt and try to ease his own guilt and pain.

Another is accused of being self-righteous for speaking truth in love that spoke too closely to the offended’s heart. The accused had no idea of the other’s situation.

One is charged falsely of a crime against the church.

These examples happen all too often and not just at the hand of the world. In fact, we should expect such conduct from those standing in opposition to the Lord. Whether from the worldly or those among the body of Christ, what should be the response and why?

Let’s look at the why first.

There is reward:

“Blessed are ye…”

“for great is your reward in heaven:

for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.”

Matthew 5:12b

“for the spirit of glory and of God resteth upon you:

on their part he is evil spoken of,

but on your part he is glorified.”

1Peter 4:14b

  • You receive God’s highest good for you now and forever.
  • You receive a great reward in heaven – a prophets reward.
  • You receive praise from the Father for you are bringing him glory.

These things are why in persecution we can –

“Rejoice and be exceeding glad…”Matthew 5:12a

 I know. It’s easier said than done. But Jesus tells us our response and shows us.

“But I say unto you,

  • Love your enemies,
  • bless them that curse you,
  • do good to them that hate you,
  • and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you.” Matthew 5:44

“For even hereunto were ye called:

  • because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example,
  • that ye should follow his steps:
  • Who did no sin,
  • neither was guile found in his mouth:
  • Who, when he was reviled, reviled not again:
  • when he suffered, he threatened not;
  • but committed himself to him that judgeth righteously:” 1 Peter 2:21-23

“Then said Jesus,

Father, forgive them;

for they know not what they do…”

Luke 23:34

Imagine with me for a moment. If in the context of being reproached, accused or charged falsely, the ranting ceased for a moment. In that moment you lock eyes with your accuser and pray God’s blessing on the person. You ask God to show you how to extend his goodness in a practical way. What do you imagine the next scene to be?

However the scenario might play out, Jesus gave us an example to follow. He could do it for he kept his eyes on the joy to come. We can do it for he lives in us. We do it for the love he has shown us and the glory that waits.

“But God commendeth his love toward us, in that,

while we were yet sinners,

Christ died for us.”

Romans 5:8

“For our light affliction, which is but for a moment,

worketh for us

a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory;

While we look not at the things which are seen,

but at the things which are not seen:

for the things which are seen are temporal;

but the things which are not seen are eternal.”

2 Corinthians 4:17-18

Christ has left us an example and gives us strength to follow him.

“I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.” Philippians 4:13

Jesus mentions two blessings for the persecuted – the kingdom of heaven is theirs where a greater reward waits for them. Why do you think they have a blessing times two?  Could it be their greater need? Or maybe it’s their identification with the suffering of their Lord and enduring until the end? What do you think?

Whatever the reason, remember if you are a follower of Christ you are blessed of the Father.

“who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings

in heavenly places in Christ;”

Ephesians 1:3


Blessings Times Two

“Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake:

For theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”

Matthew 5:10

It began with Abel, the second born of Adam and Eve. The first born Cain met him in the field and killed him. This is the first account of  the righteous experiencing suffering at the hand of the unrighteous. The Old and New Testaments speak of the many persecuted for righteousness’ sake; Joseph, Jeremiah, Daniel, his three friends, each of the eleven disciples, Paul, and of course at the top of the list Jesus Christ.

Where is the blessing? The testimony of Abel reveals it.

“By faith

Abel offered unto God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain,

by which he obtained witness that he was righteous,

God testifying of his gifts:

and by it he being dead yet speaketh.”

Hebrews 11:4

Abel’s faith in God revealed his righteousness when tested. He received God’s testimony. His example and the others mentioned speak to us today. They encourage us to keep moving forward to keep –

“Looking to Jesus the author and finisher of our faith;

who for the joy that was set before him

endured the cross, despising the shame,

and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.”

Hebrews 12:2

Jesus experienced persecution from the time of his birth until his death. His suffering continues for a time vicariously through his body the church.

“But rejoice,

inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ’s sufferings;

that, when his glory shall be revealed,

ye may be glad also with exceeding joy.”

1 Peter 4:13

Peter wasn’t alone in sharing in Christ’s affictions. Paul wrote his and our pain in ministry continue to fill up the sufferings of Christ in the work of the gospel. These bring us into fellowship with Christ’s sorrows.

“That I may know him,

and the power of his resurrection,

and the fellowship of his sufferings,

being made conformable unto his death:”

Philippians 3:10

Christ makes it clear his followers will suffer persecution in this world. For the kingdoms of this world oppose the kingdom of heaven.

  • “If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you…
  • Remember the word that I said unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord,
  • If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you;
  • if they have kept my saying, they will keep yours also.
  • But all these things will they do unto you for my name’s sake,
  • because they know not him that sent me.” John 15:18,20-21

It’s not without purpose –

“Persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed:

Always bearing about in the body

the dying of the Lord Jesus,

that the life also of Jesus

might be made manifest in our body.”

2 Corinthians 4:9-10

It has reward.

  • We are blessed with a testimony like Abel of faith that bears the righteousness of God.
  • We are blessed to show the life of Christ in a dark world through enduring persecution.
  • We are blessed with God’s grace, glory, and all good things.

“For the LORD God is a sun and shield:

the LORD will give grace and glory;

no good thing will he withhold from them that walk uprightly.

O LORD of hosts,

blessed is the man that trusteth in thee.”

Psalm 84:11

We should not be surprised if we are called upon to suffer persecution. In fact, Paul tells us this in his letter to Timothy.

“Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus

shall suffer persecution.”

2 Timothy 3:12

What should our response be?

  • Look to Jesus.
  • Rejoice we have been counted worthy to suffer. (More of this in the next post)
  • Look to the reward.
  • Know with Paul and with the three Hebrew children in the fire, God will deliver.

“but out of them all the Lord delivered me.” 2 Timothy 3:11b

“If it be so, our God whom we serve

is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace,

and he will deliver us out of thine hand, O king.”

Daniel 3:17.

  • Resolve to stand with Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego.

“But if not, be it known unto thee, O king,

that we will not serve thy gods,

nor worship the golden image which thou hast set up.”

Daniel 3:18

  • Finally, do as Jesus instructed his disciples and
  • keep on speaking the word without fear.
  • We are children of a heavenly kingdom whose builder is our King.

“What I tell you in darkness, that speak ye in light:

and what ye hear in the ear, that preach ye upon the housetops.

And fear not them which kill the body,

but are not able to kill the soul:

but rather fear him

which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.”

Matthew 10:27-28

I admit, I have suffered little persecution in this world. During this writing, I’ve felt very unworthy to handle the subject. May we remember always to pray for our persecuted brothers and sisters in Christ.

The blessing of the persecuted holds two blessings. How blessed do you want to be?

More on that next time. Until then choose blessing.

The Blessing of Cleanliness

“Blessed are the pure in heart:

for they shall see God.” Matthew 5:8

“Grandma, Grandma, can we, uh? Can we, is it okay?” What grandma could say no to those sweet pleading faces. They wanted to hunt for hidden treasure. Gold and precious rubies filled their imaginations as they grabbed a water hose (the ground was hard), shovels, hoes, even a big kitchen spoon.

While I finished some chores inside, they found the perfect place to dig – Grandpa’s  garden spot. After all, the dirt was already loosened. When I checked on them they were covered in mud. Not a hint of cleanliness could be found nor could gold or rubies.

My grandsons and my niece serve well as a picture of a Pharisee turned inside out.

Jesus made this declaration.

“Even so ye also outwardly appear righteous unto men, but within ye are full of hypocrisy, and iniquity.” Matthew 23:28.

Mud covered hearts void of purity before God.

“This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me.” Matthew 15:8

These men exemplified the exact opposite of the, “pure in heart.”

The pure in heart belong to those who knows the cleansing power of the blood of Jesus Christ. Sin no longer remains in the pure heart for Jesus dwells there.

“I am crucified with Christ:

nevertheless I live;

yet not I,

but Christ liveth in me:

and the life which I now live in the flesh

I live by the faith of the Son of God,

who loved me and gave himself for me.” Galatians 2:20

“But now being made free from sin,

and become servants to God,

ye have your fruit unto holiness,

and the end everlasting life.” Romans 6:22

The pure in heart before God live in his highest good for them. We live free from the penalty of sin and its power over us. We live in the holiness of Jesus Christ and the sure hope of everlasting life. When you think it can’t get any better, listen to this.

“Beloved, now are we the sons of God,

and it doth not yet appear what we shall be:

but we know that, when he shall appear,

we shall be like him;

for we shall see him as he is.”

1 John 3:2

There is no higher good than to be known as God’s own child and in pureness of heart we will see Jesus. If you’re wondering what constitutes a pure heart, it begins with receiving Jesus into your heart believing he is the Christ the Son of God who was born of a virgin, suffered death on the cross for our sin, then rose the third day to give us life.

Then Jesus describes a pure heart as the one that –

“Shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart,

and with all thy soul,

and with all thy mind

… and…

shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.”

Matthew 22:37,39

The pure heart has no room for hatred. It only has room for loving God above all else and loving others.

My grandsons and niece had to scrub awhile to get every nook and cranny clean. I’m not sure the clothes ever got free of grime. But this I am sure of – the blood of Jesus Christ is abundantly sufficient to cleanse completely the sin from our lives and make us pure within. For He took our sin upon himself to secure our purity before the Father. Who could refuse such love as this?

“Blessed are the pure in heart; 

for they shall see God.”

One day we shall see him face to face. Until then, may others see him in us.

Hunger’s Blessing

“Blessed are they which

do hunger and thirst after righteousness:

for they shall be filled.” Matthew 5:6

bloghomeless-55492__340Did you know 40 million tons of food are wasted in the United States each year. That means 80 billion pounds of our food source or between 30 – 40% is tossed each year. The U.S. is the global leader in food waste. These statistics gleaned from Recycle Track System at rts.com are astounding when we think of those going hungry. It is to our shame.

To be the most wasteful by logic means we must also be the leader in food production – we have more to waste. Those who are hungry appreciate the value of a meal. Our abundance often breeds ungratefulness. Our  bodies may not hunger but in our abundance often our soul becomes lean. It is true of the physical and of the spiritual.

In the United States we have the word of God available in so many translations we don’t know which to choose. Once chosen it often goes to waste sitting on the coffee tables. And we wonder why we grow weak when faced with the trials of life. Often we pick and choose what we will taste of God’s word – we want the sweet and not the meat. Then when trouble comes we are left faint.

I’ve heard it said when someone is starving there comes a time the person no longer recognizes hunger – the need for food. Too long we’ve been picky eaters of the word or fasting completely from it. We cannot know the blessing of hunger for we have forgotten the blessing of being filled. Instead of filling our spirits with the righteousness of Christ we have filled ourselves with self-righteousness which is no righteousness at all. Our spirit is starving and we remain unaware.

Hosea’s word to Israel bears our attention.

“Hear the word of the LORD, ye children of Israel: for the LORD hath a controversy with the inhabitants of the land, because

  • there is no truth,
  • nor mercy,
  • nor knowledge of God in the land.
  • By swearing, and lying,
  • and killing, and stealing,
  • and committing adultery,
  • they break out, and blood toucheth blood.
  • Therefore shall the land mourn,
  • and every one that dwelleth therein shall languish…

My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge…” Hosea 4:1-3,6

Here his words and pray to be hungry for the righteousness of Christ to reign in each of God’s children. Then let’s hear how to receive the filling our spirit needs.

Isaiah chapter 55 tells us how to once again walk in the blessing of spiritual hunger and reap its deserts.

“Ho, every on that thirsteth, come ye to the waters…

Jesus told the woman at the well –

“But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him

shall never thirst:

but the water that I shall give him

shall be in him a well of water

springing up into everlasting life.”

John 4:14

Jesus fully satisfies our thirst for life with a well of water that never runs dry.

Isaiah continues –

…hearken diligently unto me …

Incline your ear, and come unto me:

hear, and your soul shall live…

Jesus spoke to another woman and said,

“blessed are they that hear the word of God,

and keep it.” Luke 11:28

Isaiah continues the Lord’s invitation –

eat ye that which is good,

and let your soul delight itself in fatness…

Jesus told the Jews –

“I am the living bread which came down from heaven:

if any man eat of this bread,

he shall live for ever;

and the bread that I will give is my flesh,

which I will give for the life of the world…

I am come that they might have life,

and that they might have it more abundantly.”

John 6:51; John 10:10b.

Jesus fills our need for life abundantly – now and forever.

It’s time to hunger for the righteousness of Christ and know the blessing of being filled with his Spirit. Thanksgiving will abound and even the mountains and trees will join our rejoicing.

“For ye shall go out with joy,

and be led forth with peace:

the mountains and the hills

shall break forth before you into singing,

and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands.”

Isaiah 55:12.

Keep in mind it is necessary to know hunger pains before receiving the reward of being filled. Pray for the hunger only Christ can fill.

Strength for Today – Hope for Tomorrow

“Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth.”

Matthew 5:5

man in black reebok shoes about to carry barbell
Photo by Victor Freitas on Pexels.com

With the appearance of January 1st comes many new year’s resolutions. I’m guessing getting our bodies fit and strengthened ranks high on the list. Many are even into body building sagging muscles into chiseled bulked up muscle. The apostle Paul redirects our focus when we read Ephesians 3:16.

“That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory,

to be strengthened with might

by his Spirit in the inner man…”

It’s time to strengthen our inner being, our spirit, by exercising the strength of the meek. That’s right. Meekness is strength not weakness.  It is the strength to do what’s right in the right attitude when wronged or  suffering the trials of life.

The apostle Peter gives us a good example of the meek.


  • be ye all of one mind,
  • having compassion one of another,
  • love as brethren,
  • be courteous;
  • Not rendering evil for evil,
  • or railing for railing:
  • but contrariwise blessing;
  • knowing that ye are thereunto called,
  • that ye should inherit a blessing.” 1Peter 3:8-9

The easy thing to do when wronged is to get even. My grandkids and I often played pranks on one another. They thoroughly loved “getting Grandma.” While they stood laughing, I’d come alongside with a sly smile and a twinkle in my eye and say, “You never know when. You never know how. But you know it’s coming.” It took them some years before they realized those words were my way of repaying their tricks. Rarely did I follow through with anything but my words kept them watching. It was a fun game but not a good witness of meekness.

Meekness reveals itself in self-control based on faith in God who rights all wrongs against his children and promises his highest good for us – his blessing.

“But the LORD is my defence;

and my God is the rock of my refuge.”

Psalm 94:22

“Seeing it is a righteous thing with God

to recompense tribulation to them that trouble you;

And to you who are troubled rest with us,

when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed

from heaven with his mighty angels.”

2 Thessalonians 1:6-7

When trials of life or testing come our way, the Israelites wandering in the wilderness for forty years provide a good example of the lack of meekness. Their grumbling and railing against God evidenced their deficient trust in the word and power of God. This one generation failed to receive the inheritance of the land and all the good things God had promised. Only two trusted and received his blessing of inheritance.

God’s highest good comes in our inheritance and only the meek receive it.

“Knowing that of the Lord

ye shall receive the reward of the inheritance:

for ye serve the Lord Christ.”

Colossians 3:24

“being justified by his grace,

we should be made heirs

according to the hope of eternal life.”

Titus 3:7

You might think this inheritance benefits us after we die. Truth tells us we inherit a land, a kingdom. That kingdom lives in our heart for as the children’s song says, “The King has his residence there.” What belongs to the King we have inherited and one day we will live in the fulfillment of our eternal inheritance. For today –

Ephesians 1 tells us all things will be gathered as one in Christ

“In whom also we have obtained an inheritance…”

I encourage you to read all of Ephesians chapter 1 and count the blessings of the meek – those who have found peace with God and peace in the trials of life. It may not add to your physical stature but it will definitely build spiritual muscles. Join the ranks of the meek and be blessed with your inheritance.