Living a Life that's Blessed

Encouraging Yourself Through Scripture

Video_Pastor-02-10-2013-AM-940x412Discouragement is a ruthless thief. It not only robs us of “full steam ahead” service for the Lord, it also decreases the spiritual goods and services others receive from us. Despair is a despot who despoils its servants. Those faith-filled and faithful souls who press on in the face of fear and despondency have treasures to share with others. By God’s grace,these God-bolstered bad boys – in the nicest sense of the word – bless others with booty from life’s battles.

When life assaults one’s heart and leaves breaches and scars, when retreat seems the only sensible and survivable option, we need to follow not-yet-king David’s example in 1 Samuel 30:1-6. “Now when David and his men came to Ziklag on the third day, the Amalekites had made a raid against the Negeb and against Ziklag. They had overcome Ziklag and burned it with fire and taken captive the women and all who were in it, both small and great. They killed no one, but carried them off and went their way. “And when David and his men came to the city, they found it burned with fire, and their wives and sons and daughters taken captive. Then David and the people who were with him raised their voices and wept until they had no more strength to weep. David’s two wives also had been taken captive… “And David was greatly distressed, for the people spoke of stoning him,because all the people were bitter in soul, each for his sons and daughters. But David strengthened himself in the LORD his God” (ESV).

How David zapped back at Ziklag – went from cinders to spoils to share – is beyond inspirational. It is instructional. He models how to move ahead in the Lord when we would rather just move away. Charred houses, kidnapped families, despair and near mutiny greet David when he came home to Ziklag. He had been excused from going to war alongside the Philistines against Israel. They knew his heart – that he would turn and fight for his people – God’s people (1 Samuel 27-31). A loyal man. Relieved at being spared another battle, David and his 600 men returned to a burnt city and abducted loved ones.

What a way to come home! After intense grieving, David’s men considered finding comfort in stoning him. Note: leadership means wearing a target and leaders often get too much blame or credit. David, lonely and discouraged, sought and found comfort and strength in the LORD. He “strengthened himself in the LORD his God” (vs. 6). Instead of digging a hole, he fled to the Holy One. He rediscovered resolve in His redeemer. Like Nehemiah would later tell of those who “repaired” Jerusalem’s torn down walls, so too David found help, repair for his breached soul. David found fortification in the Father.

The word “strengthened” is often used militaristically – beefed up troops. It speaks of being strong, courageous, to fasten to. David fastened his hope in the LORD and it turned this tale around. Read Psalms 27:14 and 46; Proverbs 3:5, 6; Isaiah 40 and 35:4. To what or whom do you turn for encouragement, fortification, help, soul-repair and mind-mending? Who is your source of inner strength, resolve, courage (see Joshua 1:6,7, 9, 18)? Friends are great blessings, but when they edge out God, we rob ourselves of God’s help. Note: such help that David found comes not from gods of our own making.

We idol-crafters need to turn fully to the LORD God (1 Thessalonians 1:8-10). Ask Israel if their dallying with idols gets proven results? “Judgment,” they say? To recovering, still-stinging freshly spanked idolaters we read: “For I, the LORD your God, hold your right hand; it is I who say to you, Fear not, I am the one who helps you” (Isaiah 41:13). Is the LORD your God?

Take a self-test from Jeremiah 2:5, 11-13;Joshua 23-24. Finding gumption in God, David seeks His will, then pursues and whips the bad guys. The Lord blesses him with full recovery of their wives, children and stuff. In celebration and as a witness, David sends out gifts from the goodies, perks from the plunder to several cities. Had he stayed in his funk, sunk into his bog of despair, the story might have a very different ending. Yet, he allowed God to gird him up for life and the battles ahead. What circumstances have you hidden behind? What excuses do you need to confess as sin?

For us to have spoils to share from wars won by God’s grace, we must find solace and strength in the LORD (see Jude 20; 1 Peter 1:3- 2:3; Psalm 37). Who has enjoyed the benefits of your seeking God? Who has been enriched by your encouragement in the LORD? Who has gone without – physically or spiritually – because you cling to your circumstances and not the God of the universe? Read Matthew 6:25-34 and Jeremiah 33:1-8. What spoils can you share as a testimony of God’s greatness? We must seek strength and comfort from the Lord as if lives depend on it.

Inspired by Kerry Doyal

We pray something in today’s post has enlightened you and inspired you to seek that which is good and allow Jesus into your heart.  Stay blessed in Jesus name…Amen

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Why You Are Not Being Blessed

Ever wondered why so many people around you are being blessed with new homes, new cars, better jobs, etc.

The answer to ‘Why You Are Not Being Blessed’ is simple…

1.  It’s not your season

God has specific plans for all of us.  At His specific time and how He decides to bless us

None of us are the same and God doesn’t bless us the same.  What you may need doesn’t necessarily mean your neighbor needs it too. God is so magnificent to know who to bless and what to bless them with…just leave it all in His hands

Another reason why you are not being blessed could simply be your attitude

Do you get upset or find yourself talking about the person in whom God is blessing?

If you can honestly say yes truthfully, then you must change your attitude.  Your season is coming and when it does, would you want someone being upset with you or talking about you?

There are countless blessings waiting for all of us.  God is so rich!  I mean, He’s richer, than rich and wants to bless His children, but we must keep ourselves ready to receive His blessings and that only means to do the following:

1.  Love God with all our heart, mind, soul and strength – Deuteronomy 6:5

2.  Love one another – John 13:34

3.  Keep God’s commandments – Exodus 20: 3 – 17

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Prayer for God’s Blessing

Dear Heavenly Father, Lord, God, Jesus! Lord I ask for forgiveness and guidance.  I ask for Your divine mercy over my life.  I pray that my life lines up with Your Word and that I will receive every blessing You have in store for me.  I ask that You help me to not get jealous of others being blessed around me, but that I may find myself rejoicing with them in their season.  I look forward to my season of being blessed by You and with every blessing You bestow upon me, I will use it for Your glory and Your honor always in Your name I pray, giving thanks always…Amen

Inspired by Sister Laraine Turner for Blessed Magazine

We pray something in today’s post has enlightened you and inspired you to seek that which is good and allow Jesus into your heart.  Stay blessed in Jesus name…Amen

Get your free yearly subscription of Blessed Magazine today at http://www.blessedmagazine.org

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What Will It Take For You to Follow God? | Obtaining God’s Blessings

5317913527_5471047557_4dc13f5376_xlargeAsk yourself this simple question if you haven’t decided to totally surrender to God and allow Him to govern your life according to His will -

“What will it take for me to follow God?”

Well today, I want to give you some examples of what it might take for any of us who haven’t surrendered to God to change our mind and say ‘Yes Lord, I surrender!”

1. Cancer

2. Heart Attack

3. Stroke

4. Loss of a loved one

5. Poverty

6. HIV/Aids

7. Natural Disaster such as Hurricane, Tornado, Earthquake, etc.

The list could go on and on, but I want you to keep one thing in mind while reading this blog…

God doesn’t want to step back and allow the enemy to do these things to us, but we on the other hand don’t give Him any choice.  God wants us to love and respect Him.  Surrender our all to Him.  Allow Him to care and love us the way He first designed

What will it take?  Only you can answer that question and I hope it only takes knowing that God so loved the world, that He gave us His only begotten Son, that whosoever believes on Him (the Son) will not perish, but have everlasting life with Him (John 3:16)

Inspired by Sister Laraine Turner for Blessed Magazine

We pray something in today’s post has enlightened you and inspired you to seek that which is good and allow Jesus into your heart.  Stay blessed in Jesus name…Amen

Get your free yearly subscription of Blessed Magazine today at http://www.blessedmagazine.org

For more inspirations daily, follow us on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/BlessedMagazine

God’s Feelings Are Not Important…Part 1 of 5

love-god-commandments_medWe all know how much it hurts when someone breaks a promise to us, but have we ever asked ourselves why we feel so comfortable breaking  promises we make to God?

The sad truth, is even when we know we are going to hurt God by breaking a promise, which usually involves sinning in a way we promised not to, we see more benefit from giving into whatever the enemy is dangling in front of us than keeping our word

Regardless of whatever we tell ourselves during, or after, these moments, these sinful, dishonest choices reveal how we care more about pursuing worldly happiness than showing God how much we love him–how can we feel so comfortable doing this?

We Cannot Be Honest With God If We Are Not Honest With Ourselves

This is going to sting, but if we, who claim to love God, knowingly do things to hurt him by sinning, and breaking our promises, we have to ask ourselves why this behavior is even an option, let alone something we think is okay enough to do on a regular basis

I mean, it is not like anyone is forcing us to sin or break our word, we do so by choice, but it is extremely rare for us to take responsibility for doing so, almost as if our behavior was conveniently out of our control

What am I talking about?

Look at the statements below, as we have all either said, or continue to say, these things when trying to justify our sinful actions, and broken promises to God as if we have no responsibility in how we live:

“If I sin, God will forgive me anyway so what does it matter”

“Yes, I know this is wrong, but God knows my heart”

“I will start giving once I start making more money”

“I really love God, I do not mean to hurt him by the way I act”

“I want to spend more time with God, but there is just not enough time in the day”

Now, these statements may sound rational at first, but on closer examination, we see they are really ideas like this:

“God, I expect you to love, and forgive me no matter what I do, who cares if I hurt your feelings while I seek happiness in sin”

“Even though this is wrong, I want it more than I care about our relationship, but I do not want to admit this because I might actually feel guilty”

“I do not want to adjust my lifestyle in any way, and I do not trust you to provide, so I will only give to others when I have what I want first”

“I like the idea of being in a relationship with you, and I know you well enough to even know what hurts you, but your feelings do not matter enough for me to change the way I act”

“I like the idea of spending time with you, but in reality, I like doing other things more”

Um, yeah…

No matter what we say to ourselves or others, our actions demonstrate the true desires of our hearts–words are meaningless when our actions contradict what we say

To show this is not exactly a new problem, look how Jesus openly addressed this in the parable of a man with two sons he asked to work, as many people claim to love, and have a heart to obey God, but they only do so with their lips, then turn and deny him by the way they live:

Matthew 21:28-32

“What do you think? There was a man who had two sons. He went to the first and said, ‘Son, go and work today in the vineyard’

“‘I will not,’ he answered, but later he changed his mind and went

“Then the father went to the other son and said the same thing. He answered, ‘I will, sir,’ but he did not go

“Which of the two did what his father wanted?”

“The first,” they answered

Jesus said to them, “Truly I tell you, the tax collectors and the prostitutes are entering the kingdom of God ahead of you. For John came to you to show you the way of righteousness, and you did not believe him, but the tax collectors and the prostitutes did. And even after you saw this, you did not repent and believe him

Does the son who said “Dude, I will toootally do what you ask of me” sound like any of us?

Of course not, we all obey diligently without question!

*cough*

Right, if that were true, the world would be a very different place

Titus 1:16
They claim to know God, but by their actions they deny him. They are detestable, disobedient and unfit for doing anything good

(Hi!)

It is incredibly important to be honest with ourselves when it comes to separating what we say, or think, from how we live, as it is easy to say things that make us feel good, or sound nice to others, but the way we choose to live is what really matters

Uncomfortable truth or what!

Article re-posted from: Nathan

Thank you for visiting our blog.  We pray something from this post will inspire you to seek that which is good and live your life to the fullest in the name of Jesus

Want daily inspirations? Follow us on Facebook and visit our website at http://www.blessedmagazine.org

13 Blessings You May Be Overlooking

bigstock-Blessings-Plaque-2052147-300x225I’m sure there has been much pain in your life. You have probably had extreme ups and downs, and times of emotional, spiritual, and physical unrest.

This is why gratitude can be one of the most difficult virtues to uphold.

We forget that gratitude is not only about our accomplishments, what we have, or the good fortune we experience, but that gratitude comes from simply being a person alive in the world.

There are many blessings in disguise that aren’t always apparent to us, and many of these blessings are afforded to us simply for being alive!

As long as we have life, we can learn to be grateful for it, and uncover our unique human blessings despite the hardships.

Below are some broad and general blessings that you may have overlooked.

1. Wisdom

Through life we have so many opportunities to grow as a person and gain greater awareness and understanding of ourselves and world around us. This is a true blessing. Learning from our mistakes and growing from experiences is a part of the gift of life. Recognize how fortunate we are to be able to grow spiritually and reflect on our own existence in order to reach greater contentment.

2. Service

As human beings we have been blessed to able to give and serve others. We can do kind things for other people, or altruistically help another person in need, and we can get this same behavior reciprocated to ourselves. Taking an approach to give back what we have been given and help others feel better is a wonderful gift. When we grow full of gratitude and joy we can begin to share it with others.

3. Protection

We are all afforded protection. Think of the many close calls and moments where you have safely made it through a precarious situation. Most of us have a sense of security and faith that we are going to be okay in difficult times. This is something to be very grateful for. Things may not be perfect but as long as we have a sense of safety it makes it possible to experience love, pleasure, and trust.

4. Rest

If you have a type-A personality like me you are always on the go, and viewing rest and relaxation as a blessing can be overlooked. However, we all need time to restore our body and mind, and having time to relax can be one of the most valuable gifts to receive in this busy world. It provides us a new beginning and fresh perspective. Don’t take for granted the opportunity to simply relax and be restful.  Recognize your downtown as a blessing.

5. Healing/Health

If you’re going through a difficult medical situation right now, this may be hard to accept, but our bodies are made to heal. Every cut, scrape, and bruise heals in time. Focus on the magnificence of your bodies natural healing ability. Learn to cherish your health, preserve it, and when you get sick feel blessed that you will get better.

6. Guidance

We all have moments where we receive guidance, whether directly or indirectly. We are given advice and receive advice every day if we are willing to stop and notice these moments. Feel blessed when you ask someone a question and they happily give you advice. When you are able to help another person, recognize the beauty in this encounter. There is an infinite amounts of knowledge in the world that is at our finger tips. If you are uncertain about something, guidance is around the corner.

7. Purpose

Everyone has a purpose. It just needs to be discovered. When we uncover our purpose we have a whole new outlook on life and can approach each day with vigor and resolve. This is a true blessing that we can uncover a purpose beyond ourselves. This may be one of the major reasons we are alive. Consider what you do best, what you desire to offer the world, and how you can make a difference, and start following your purpose.

8. Free Will

It’s an amazing thing to have free will. We can make choices that better our life and have a sense of control. In this sense, we have control over our destiny. We can also make choices that will cause us to learn from our mistakes and become a better person. We can choose to have fun and pursue our goals at the same time. We are free to choose how to live our life despite what others may say. This is a blessing is used appropriately.

9. Abundance

We are made to experience abundance and have our hearts desires. The universe does not lack in any outlet. There is enough in the world for everyone. This relates to creative ideas, wealth, and influence. The world’s abundance may not be distributed equally, but don’t let that fool you, there is enough for everyone, including you!

10. Eternity

If there is one thing that is easily overlooked in our day to day hustle and bustle is that we are eternal beings in an eternal world. We are hear to live our a purpose until our bodies expire. There are many beliefs about what happens after we die, but one thing that seems persistent is the eternity of time, and we are a part of this. We are eternal and everlasting.

11. Love and Sorrow

Our relationships, friends, and family are something to be thankful for everyday. Having someone who can give us support and allows us to experience love and affection is such a blessing. Whenever you develop a loving relationship realize how much of a blessing this is. Cherish relationships in all the joy and sorrow they provide. As the saying goes, “it’s better to have loved and lost, than to have never loved at all.”

12. Patience

When you are waiting in line, sitting in traffic, or anticipating a meeting, do you ever focus on these situations as a time to practice patience? It definitely requires a perspective shift to recognize what a blessing our ability to be patient is. Patience gives us a chance to be at peace, experience the present moment, and remain contented in a world of immediate gratification. Next time you have an opportunity to be patient recognize it as a blessing and use this capability.

13. Work

Work can seem like a pretty dirty word, but labor is a rewarding part of life. I’m sure we have all complained about work at one point or another. Yet without work, where would we be? Work is the fiber of our lives, and when we find work that is fulfilling, it offers us a sense of purpose, meaning, and pride. Work is a blessing. Even if you aren’t fulfilled by your work, you can be grateful for doing good work, and for what you do well.

We all have many things to be thankful for and that we can view with appreciation. Sometimes it takes a change in perceptive to find all the blessings in disguise that surround us. Begin to incorporate some of the ideas above and consider other blessings you may be overlooking. By doing so, it will help you develop acceptance, strength, and courage to make a better life.

Article re-posted from: Joe Wilner

Thank you for visiting our blog.  We pray something from this post will inspire you to seek that which is good and live your life to the fullest in the name of Jesus

Want daily inspirations? Follow us on Facebook and visit our website at http://www.blessedmagazine.org

How Often Do You Lay Down Your Cross?

coffee houseToday’s Topic: How often do you lay down your cross?

How many of us would be honest to say that we from time to time lay down the cross to handle business in our way? Well, if you are like me, sometimes when I’m not prayed up enough, I tend to allow the flesh to rise up and therefore set aside my cross

Although this is not the behavior that Jesus warrants, but thank God He knows that we are in the flesh and is ready to forgive us for those moments

Take up your cross and follow Me” (Matthew 16:24) is what Jesus is saying to all of us. It’s an invitation to not just follow Him, but also to walk in His footsteps, allow Him to be our strength and guide us in taking care of business


Pray, fast and read the Word to stay prayed up so that we won’t be so tempted and easily persuaded to lay down our cross to handle business

Inspired by Missionary Laraine Turner

We pray something in today’s post has uplifted your spirit and provided encouragement for you to seek that which is good and seek a closer walk with Jesus!  God bless you!

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