Friday, November 13, 2020
Forty Days of Proclamation: Blessings
“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ.” (Ephesians 1:3)
Can this be coincidence? I think not…it has to be a God wink. Last year on this exact date, I decided on my 2020 Word of the Year – Blessings!
I had just gotten home from the trip of a lifetime. No, I’m not just saying that…it really was! I had earned a trip to go to a John Maxwell leadership event in London! I had never traveled overseas, and I was so excited! The leadership event was filled with all kind of surprises: dinner at Windsor Castle hosted by Prince Michael with special entertainment by an opera singer (I can't remember her name) who had sung at some of the royal weddings; a special teaching by Tony Blair, former Prime Minister of United Kingdom; a cruise down the Thames River on a private yacht with private tours at The Globe and The Tower of London that ended with dinner on the top of London Bridge which had been transformed into looking like something off the set of Frozen. And the cherry on top, one of my besties in this world, Mayce Nierenberg DelValle, whom you met earlier this week when she wrote about her word of the year, Faith, began her journey in Christianity during our travels. This was something that I had been praying for, daily, for over 4 years. So now, you see what I mean…this was truly a trip of a lifetime.
I must pause and tell you that my word for 2019 was also “Blessings” and my verse was James 1:17, “Every good and perfect gift is from above.” My intent on choosing the word was to be on the lookout for all the blessings, big and small, that God was sending my way, as well as, seeking high and low for opportunities to use my blessings to serve others.
I knew in my heart as I was on my “trip of a lifetime” that is was a very special blessing from above. And when I came home, I could hardly wait to get up and journal about my trip and praise God for the blessings. As I started writing in my journal and giving Glory to Him for the incredible experiences I had had, the voice of the enemy crept in and invaded my mind. He was wanting me to believe that God was finished with me. He wanted me to believe that the blessings that I had experienced had used up all of the sweet gifts that my Father had for me. He wanted me to believe that there would be no more blessings for me OR for me to share with others. Fear and doubt about what was in store in for me consumed my thoughts. Let me tell you, Sister, Satan is a liar!
I knew I had to get in God’s Word and drown out the voice of the destroyer. I was led to Ephesians and I began reading. Literally the first words I read in Ephesians 1:1 were, “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ who has blessed us in the heavenly reals with every spiritual blessing in Christ.” What? Satan was telling me no more blessings, only curses, but God…God took me directly to a verse about being blessed. How great is our God! I dug in and began looking at the footnotes to more fully understand. These are the words I read: "The heavenly realms means that God's blessings are eternal not temporal. His blessings are forever! Get behind me Satan because God’s Word reminded me that in Christ, I am blessed for eternity!
I knew I had to claim the word blessings again. I had to prove to the enemy that he wasn’t going to rob me of the anticipation of my eternal blessing. And so my word for 2020 would once again be Blessings or as I like to call it, Blessings 2.0.
If you’ve stayed with me this long – thank you! However, I need to point out something very important! Although this story is about an earthly blessing, a fantasy vacation, I want to make it clear that every good thing in our life, BIG or small, is a gift from God. It’s just that God happen to have used this particular blessing to make me think about ALL His blessings in my life and take stock. The enemy wanted me to think there would be no more! And Sister, you can’t give what you don’t have…so how could I be a blessing to others if I had used up all my blessings?
In a year like we’ve had in 2020, “Blessings” has been a great word. Because it’s been a year full of sickness, stress, confusion, unrest, loss, and worry...there have been days when I have had to really search to see His blessings. But they are there…there is always something to be grateful for when you look. And, 2020 has been a year where so many people need to be blessed. So my word reminded me to to find ways creative ways to be a blessing to others.
The world has changed, Sister. But God has not! James 1:17 describes God as “the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.” God can be depended on to be true to His loving nature. This means that the ups and downs we experience cannot block God’s blessing from our life. “EVERY spiritual blessing is our in Christ.” God is not going to run out of blessings! He will never tire of flooding us with His joy, peace, love, hope, and strength.
Finally, let’s not forget that His blessings allow us to share blessings with others. We are the only Bible that some people will ever read. God’s light in us shines and blesses everyone around us whether we are aware of it or not. Let’s ask God every day to funnel His blessings to us and through us for all of those who need them. We are blessed to be the hands and feet of Jesus!
My word for 2021 is not decided, but hey...maybe Blessings x 3?
For Further Reading: James 1:17; Ephesians 2:6-7; Psalm 21:6; Deuteronomy 28:1-13
Dear Lord, Thank you for your gift of eternal blessings in Christ. We know that you will never leave or forsake us so. Thank you that You are always with us and that your blessings are forever. Thank you that You fill us so full that Your blessings overflow and touch those around us. Lord help us each use our blessings today to be a blessing to people around us. In Jesus’ name and for the Father’s glory, Amen.