I am going to let you all in on a parenting secret. The night before Christmas or a big birthday is not always all joy and happiness. It can be extremely stressful. In fact, the weeks leading up to a big celebration are very tense. For example, trying to get the perfect Christmas gift has meant fighting large crowds and driving all over the place to go to the right store that has the right gift. Or it has meant spending hours and hours on the internet searching for something that you end up overpaying for shipping and handling to make sure it gets here on time. When that big day arrives, we as parents are all thinking, it will be worth it to see the smile on our child’s face and as they throw themselves at our feet and wrap their arms around our knees and gush forth in humble gratitude. However, especially when a child is young, they open the gift and…meh. We rush down there and show them how it works and all the noises and buttons. The child begins to play with it and we run around the room giving ourselves high fives. But when we look over again, they are eating the wrapping paper and playing with the box it came in while the toy is lying by itself on the floor.
Today I am going to write about the first word in Psalm 1, the word “blessed”. The writer of Psalms says, “blessed is the man”. I don’t know about you, just like a child that plays with the wrapping paper and the box, I do not embrace and seek the amazing gifts that God gives. I get caught up with secondary things, the trappings of this world. Let’s briefly talk about some of those amazing blessings that God freely gives.
What does it mean to be blessed?
First, it is a blessing in that He is our redeemer. The Apostle Paul writes “while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us”. We were in complete hatred and rebellion towards God and He chose to send His own Son to take the penalty of sin that I deserved. It gets better. If by faith I receive Him into my heart, He adopts me into His family, which means I was a slave and prisoner and now I am royalty. He declares me righteous, as if I had never sinned, even though I was once his sworn enemy.
Not only that, He didn’t just save me and adopt me and leave it at that, no, He loves me. As a perfect father, a perfect dad. His love is amazing. It has no beginning or end.
We talk about hurricanes in categories of severity, with a category 4 and 5 being the biggest. God’s love is category infinite.
He shows His love by giving us His law and the Bible to show us how to love Him back. He is like a sea captain confidently steering the ship, who knows the way, understands the ship, the waves and the sea, He stands with us and guides us and shows us where we should go. This is why learning God’s word and hiding it in our hearts by memorizing it is so important. It is our map, our chart or compass.
We do not believe, as a religion called the Deists believe, that God created everything up front and then let it go. Like a cosmic clock that He winds up and then steps back to see what happens. No, He is here. He is in every breath, every second of our life. He is in control of all things and because of His great love for us, He uses all things for our good and His glory. That is called grace. And that is an amazing blessing that He gives His children every second of every day. It motivates us to live life with the courage to do what is right and to love our neighbors without expecting something in return.
If all these blessings were not enough, He prepares a place for us to go when we die. It is heaven. In fact, it is way better than being here on earth. Jonathan Edwards, a famous preacher of the past said,
“A Godly’s death is better than his birth”.
Amazing and glorious things await us in heaven where our hearts will be filled with such awe and wonder and joy that we will join in with a loud and thunderous choir that will sing praises to God. A thousand years after we arrive in heaven, we will still be raising our voices and never get tired of singing his praises. Amazing.
I have only scratched the surface of all the blessings that God offers the one who seeks after Him with their whole heart. As David begins the book of Psalms, he wants us to desire nothing less than the full banquet table of God’s blessings. As I wrote in the last blog, because of God’s amazing blessings through His Son Jesus,
if we lost everything in this world but still had Jesus, you would have everything. And you would be blessed beyond belief.
We finish today by thinking of the hymn Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing. Robert Robinson wrote this hymn in 1757. He was only 22 years old. He talks about God’s blessings being like a fountain. Not like a drinking fountain but like a geyser, a never ending flow of water gushing out, that is the fount of God’s blessing. That is what David is talking about when he wrote: “blessed is the man”. It is like he is saying “oh the blessings!” Blessings on blessings on blessings.