Volume. XXIV, No. 12
Sunday, 20 September 2009


Count Your Blessings


Blessings come to us in all different ways. It is true – there is abundance all around us. The key to our individual greatness is to start appreciating and recognising this abundance. The first step in this quest is to count your blessings. To sincerely appreciate what you are and have. If you cannot appreciate what you have you shut the door to receiving more. This is why praising and worshipping God should be at the centre of all that we do.

None of us is so poor that we have nothing! Sometimes because we spend our time looking out of the window comparing ourselves to other people, we forget to appreciate and enjoy what we have. Look around your life. Look at what you have and thank God for each one of these things. If you can write down all that you have, you will be surprised how much you really do have! Thank God for all the things that you have. This frees you to receive more and it delivers you from looking at other people for your self-worth.

Thank God for who and what we are. None of us chose the circumstances into which we were born. Each of us was born where we were for a divine purpose. Our worth is not based on any comparison with other people. Our worth is in finding our purpose and pursuing it.

All of us come into the world naked and with nothing. When we leave, regrettably, we cannot carry anything out of this world. We are all stewards of the things that we have received. In 1 Corinthians 4:7, Paul asks, “For who maketh thee to differ from another? and what hast thou that thou didst not receive? now if thou didst receive it, why dost thou glory, as if thou hadst not received it?” We need to be grateful for the things that God has placed into our stewardship.

Too often, we take too many things for granted – the air we breathe, the water we drink, our daily bread…. In the quest of achieving all that our heart desires, we forget to appreciate what we already have. One way to remember this is to count our blessings.

The hymn “Count Your Blessings” by Johnson Oatman Jr says, "Count your blessings - name them one by one; count your blessings - see what God hath done." Have you counted your blessings lately? Do you really know what God has done in your life, in the lives of your family members? The greatest blessing we have today is the fact that He has let us live one more day, to worship and serve Him one more day. So, why not give Him thanks now for the many blessings He has given you, and for all those blessings He will give you in the future?

When you feel down, and everything does not seem to be working; when all your best seems to be not enough, then remember verse 1 of the hymn: “When upon life’s billows you are tempest tossed, When you are discouraged, thinking all is lost, Count your many blessings - name them one by one, And it will surprise you what the Lord has done.”

When you look around you, and it looks as if, "maybe this is not the way it ought to be". Perhaps your family is in turmoil! You should look back and see how far the Lord has brought you, and give thanks unto Him and remember verse 2 of the hymn: “Are you ever burdened with a load of care? Does the cross seem heavy you are called to bear? Count your many blessings - every doubt will fly, And you will be singing as the days go by.”

Many times when I am in the office, I see what the company I work for is going through and how there is the fear or threat of losing my job. I always bring myself back to the memory of what God has done for me and count my blessings, instead of being afraid of what is going to happen -- for nothing evil will happen when God is in charge. Then I will think of verse 3 of the hymn: “When you look at others with their lands and gold, Think that Christ has promised you His wealth untold, Count your many blessings - money cannot buy Your reward in heaven nor your home on high.”

When you are in the midst of conflict, and it looks like everything does not seem to be going right, when everyone around you is not cooperating, and you feel as if giving up on your family or your business, look for the positive things. Look for good things to say about the friend, about the spouse or about the business. There is always something good in everyone. And the errors will be little compared to the good things you can point out. Remember verse 4 of the hymn: “So amidst 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.”

In Matthew’s Gospel: the Sermon on the Mount in Chapter 5:3-11, our Lord Jesus’ first word was “blessed” and He repeated this word throughout His first sermon. Notice how our Lord Jesus’ blessings are not the norm of blessings we expect them to be: “healthy, wealthy, and wise” as Benjamin Franklin put it, but: “Blessed are the poor in spirit…Blessed are they that mourn…Blessed are the meek…Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness…Blessed are the merciful…Blessed are the pure in heart…Blessed are the peacemaker…Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness…” Poverty, mourning, meekness…, persecution are words accurately describing the lives of too many of the world’s people. Sorrow and oppression, hunger and thirst, persecution everywhere – these are the realities of life. However, each of our Lord Jesus’ blessings bears a promise: “…for theirs is the kingdom of heaven…for they shall be comforted…for they shall inherit the earth…for they shall be filled…for they shall obtain mercy…for they shall see God…for they shall be called the children of God…for theirs is the kingdom of heaven…”

Our Lord Jesus blesses us by sharing our lot. He becomes the one who is poor in spirit, the one who mourns, the meek, the one who hungers and thirsts for righteousness. He takes the curse into His own body, yet even as He absorbs abuse, He ministers. He is mercy made fresh, pure in heart, the Prince of Peace, the one who is persecuted for helping others. Our Lord Jesus not only feels people’s pains, He shares it, bearing their burden and finding in it blessing.

If we follow Jesus, we too will find ourselves hungry and thirsty, naked and imprisoned, poor in spirit, mournful and meek. But as God called out the whole of creation and blessed it, so Jesus calls out us as Christians, blesses us, and turns us – in spite of ourselves – into a blessing to others.

Indeed, let us praise God, from Whom all blessings flow; praise Him, all creatures here below; Praise Him above, ye heavenly host; Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. Amen.

Dn. Yaw Chiew Tan


More Lively Hope

 

Announcements

Announcements

Kitchen Rosters: Team Leader: Bro Phil Surman

Next Lord’s Day Kitchen Roster: Team Leader: Bro Daniel Volvricht

A list of all persons helping in kitchen duties has been placed on the foyer table. If you do not wish to be on kitchen duty, please delete your name.

Parents invited to look at the new Sunday School Curriculum from 2010 in the Nursery room for the next two Sundays.

Christmas Concert Committee needs to be formed. Helpers urgently required.

Session thanks organizers, helpers and participants in yesterday’s Farewell Gathering.

Deepest sympathy - Bro Cong Pham on death of his uncle (Vietnam).

 

Looking Ahead

Christmas Concert: Sat, 5 Dec 2009

 

Praise & Thanksgiving

Journey mercies: Ps David & Sis Susan Weng & Lizzie (Adl); Bro Joseph & Sis Chrisanthi Selvanayagam (Melb); Bro Raphael Ng (Pt Aug/Adl); family members, relatives & friends of Bro Jason & Sis Tabitha Tan (interstate/overseas); & all others who arrived safely at their destinations.

Church activities: BBK Class; Reformed H&A Class; Choir Practice/Rehearsals; Senior Citizens’ Fellowship; BSAG Prayer Meeting & Bible Study; & YAF Meeting.

Farewell Gathering - for Ps & Sis Ki yesterday.

Daily mercies, protection, and guidance.

Wedding Reception last night (S’pore) - Bro Jason & Sis Tabitha Tan

 

Prayer Items

Health & God’s healing - Rev George & Sis Nan van Buuren; Rev John & Mrs Christine McKenzie; Rev Stephen Khoo, Dr S H Tow, Preacher Zhang, Dn Yaw Chiew Tan; Bros Tommy Brooks, Colin Creaser, Makoto Kobayashi, Elton Law, Alan Marion, Len & Richard Pearson, Winston Selvanayagam, Fred Volvricht & Hans Ziegelmann; Mr Swee Liang Ng, Mr Yeom; Grandpa Ki; Auntie Oei; Sisters Mabella Booth, Nita Chong, Annie D’Mello, Myung Ki, Choon Fong Lee (KL); Fiona Paauwe; Margaret, Dianne, & Sarah Pearson; Aranka Rejtoe, Sally Teng, Susan Veradi, Irena Kurek-Braden; Mrs Win Hooper; & others in affliction.

Missions - Cambodia (Preacher Zhang & Ministry, Sihanoukville); Hopefuls in S’pore; Teo family (Kuching).

Special Prayer: Bro Surish Dharmalingam - family & ministry in Vientiane (Laos) & Siem Pang (Cambodia).

Sketch n’ Tell Ministry - Pr H S Lim.

IBPFM (USA) - For missionaries & funds

Pastor Weng & family & ministry.

Journey mercies: Bro Ngie Joo & Sis Sooi Chin Gong (Perth); Bro Joseph & Sis Chrisanthi Selvanayagam (Adl); Bro Jason & Sis Tabitha Tan (Taipeh/S’pore/Adl); Bro Raphael Ng (Pt Aug/Adl); Sisters Min Yen Chia (Brisb) & Gillian Ong (S’pore); & their family members, relatives & other wedding guests to overseas & interstate locations; Bro Raphael Ng (Pt Aug/Adl).

Job - Bro Cong Pham; Sisters Marion Chan, Tabitha Heah, Judy Li & Corinne Teng.

God’s guidance: Ps Ki’s UK visa application.

God’s comfort, strength, guidance & care: Sisters Kathleen Creaser & Margaret Hooper.

Australian B-P Churches - for unity of doctrine & fellowship.

God’s comfort to Bro Cong Pham & family on his bereavement.

 

 

© Hope Bible-Presbyterian Church
PO Box 398, Fullarton, Adelaide, South Australia 5063