Monday, April 29, 2013

Count your Blessings

Isaiah 63:7-9  I will recount the gracious deeds of the LORD, the praiseworthy acts of the LORD, because of all that the LORD has done for us, and the great favour to the house of Israel that he has shown them according to his mercy, according to the abundance of his steadfast love. For he said, "Surely they are my people, children who will not deal falsely"; and he became their saviour in all their distress. It was no messenger or angel but his presence that saved them; in his love and in his pity he redeemed them; he lifted them up and carried them all the days of old.

As I read the words of Isaiah 63:7 I am challenged to ask of myself: how often do I give thanks for the blessings in my life – and how often do I complain about the things that do not go my way? I ruefully answer that it is easy to allow 'complaints mode' to overshadow the gratitude for my life. Right now I am far away from home in Birmingham, England. It is cold (5 degrees after sunrise), and grey, and I am missing my wife. See how easy it is to slip into complaining!

So here is my invitation: let us choose to “recount the gracious deeds of the Lord” as a spiritual discipline for this week. Here is my observation on the “deeds of the Lord”: In addition to the facts of my life supplied above, I am working alongside a wonderful colleague who inspires me and brings out the best in me; I have been offered an opportunity to share a week with some of the finest Christ followers I know; and I am invited to a dinner tonight that promises to be entertaining and loads of fun.

Now it is your turn........

So, amid the conflict whether great or small,
Do not be discouraged, God is over all;
Count your many blessings, angels will attend,
Help and comfort give you to your journey’s end.

Count your blessings, name them one by one,
Count your blessings, see what God hath done!
Count your blessings, name them one by one,
And it will surprise you what the Lord hath done

Johnson Oatman, Jr., 1897

Sixth  Sunday of Easter
Chosen by God
Scripture reading taken from A Guide to Prayer for Ministers and Other Servants p.173



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