As Stan was talking, he stopped and held up his hand. “Hold on,” he said as he pulled out his handkerchief and sneezed into it.
“Bless you,” I said.
“I am,” he replied.
“Blessed,” he said. “And since you brought it up, let’s talk about blessings.”
“What do you want to talk about?”
“Well,” Stan responded, “it seems to me that there are basically two separate categories of blessings.”
I didn’t say anything, so he continued. “In the first place, it seems to me that there are the blessings I don’t have to anything about in order to receive them.”
“The blessings of having life and being alive,” he replied. “I don’t have to do anything about the air that comes into my lungs or the blood that flows through my heart. Or how about a beautiful sunrise or sunset, or the beautiful color of fall leaves? They are blessings that just flow from the Creator of life. I am the beneficiary of those blessings without having to do anything except keep on living!”
“Just keep on living and be blessed ,” I commented. “And the second category?”
“These are the blessings that require me to choose to receive them,” Stan replied. “They are available, but God will not force them upon me.”
“Again, you got some examples?” I said.
“There are probably too many to count,” Stan responded, “but here are a few off the top of my head. How about salvation and redemption? The blessing of knowing I’m going to spend eternity in God’s presence when my time here is completed? That’s certainly a blessing that I had to choose to receive. Same thing with the blessing of becoming more like Christ through transformation and sanctification. How about the blessing of being a disciple? I have to choose and keep on choosing.”
Continuing, he added, “How about the blessing of the fruit of the Spirit? I have to choose for that fruit to be manifested in and through me. Or how about the blessing of growing closer to God through the eternal life of knowing Him? Again, the blessing of being closer to God only results from a choice I make to be closer to Him.”
“You’re right,” I said, “probably too many such blessings to even count.”
“Exactly,” Stan replied. “We could probably spent the rest of the time we both have on this side of eternity talking about God’s blessings that have to be chosen. For me the point is to be aware of the blessings that are available from God and then, every single day, choose to receive and embrace those blessings to the absolute maximum possible extent.”
“Choose to be blessed,” I commented.
“And,” Stan responded with a smile, “don’t forget to thank God for every single blessing He makes available and pours out.”
Bible verses to consider:
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ. Ephesians 1:3.
Now to Him who is able to do exceeding abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us, to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations forever and ever. Amen. Ephesians 3:20-21.
But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness; and all these things shall be added to you. Matthew 6:33.
And my God shall supply all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:19.
So they shall invoke My name on the sons of Israel, and I will then bless them. Numbers 6:24-26.
Prayer: Thank you, Father, for the blessing of life eternally with you through the finished work of the cross. Thank you for blessing me with the people you brought into my life to bring me to the truth so I could accept it. Thank you, too, for the uncountable blessings you pour into my life every moment of every day. I confess that too often I do not take the time to recognize and thank you for your every blessing. Please forgive me of that foolishness. And please, Father, help me follow every step of your lead in acknowledging and thanking you for each blessing you provide. Thank you I can and do bring these prayers before you in the name of Jesus. Amen.
Think on this: Have you accepted God’s blessing of life eternally with Him when your time here is completed? If you haven’t, why? What’s in the way of accepting God’s free and gracious blessing of that? If you are a Christian, how are you doing with acknowledging and thanking God for every blessing He pours into your life? Are you taking for granted too many of God’s blessings without acknowledging Him? If you sense the need for change in how you view God’s blessings, how is that going to happen? Is that what you want? Why or why not?