Because I’ve raised my own children and I now have four grandchildren, it helps me to understand God’s love for us as a Father and just how much He wants to bless us as His children.
One day my little two-year-old granddaughter, Olivia, looked up at me and said “PaPa, I love you!”
I took one look at that little precious face and grabbed for my wallet! “Honey, What can PaPa do for you? Look here! PaPa’s got money and credit cards. You just take whatever you want!”
The heart of a father wants to give extravagantly to bless his children.
And it shall be, when the LORD thy God shall have brought thee into the land which he sware unto thy fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, to give thee great and goodly cities, which thou buildedst not, And houses full of all good things, which thou filledst not, and wells digged, which thou diggedst not, vineyards and olive trees, which thou plantedst not; when thou shalt have eaten and be full; Then beware lest thou forget the LORD, which brought thee forth out of the land of Egypt, from the house of bondage. Deuteronomy 6:10-12
Cities, houses full of good stuff, wells, and vineyards! This is talking about material wealth—the real good stuff. And notice that God wants to give them to you in a way that you won’t have to worry and ruin your health as you gain them. (Cities you didn’t build, wells you didn’t dig, etc.)
But notice the big “Beware lest thou forget the LORD”.
Don’t forget how you got them. Human nature easily does that. One of the best ways to guard against the pride that tries to creep in when you get blessed is to maintain a thankful heart. Thankfulness repels the spirit of pride.
Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Romans 1:21 [Author’s emphasis]
This verse is talking about a people who knew God at one time. They had experienced the blessings that accompany serving God, but somehow they stopped thanking Him. When that happens it opens your heart for an invasion of darkness. When you’re in the dark, you can’t see. When it gets dark, you can stumble into things and get hurt. Darkness is able to enter and spread in a heart that stops being thankful.
A few years ago we were on the campus of Harvard University in New England. I was amazed to learn that the college had started out as a Spirit-filled Christian school. Unfortunately, it is now one of the most liberal universities in the entire country! Darkness entered and the people there forgot who their blessings came from.
I remember a song my grandpa used to sing in the Baptist church where I grew up. The chorus went like this:
Count your blessings. See what God has done.
Count your blessings. Name them one by one.
We should name the blessings we enjoy one by one!
I challenge you right now to think about five things in your life that you recognize as blessings. Now, get a piece of paper and WRITE THEM DOWN! Then, lift your hands to heaven and SAY OUT LOUD, “Thank You, Heavenly Father!” for each and every one.
Tell God how you recognize each one of these blessings as a gift from Him. Tell Him how very much you appreciate His working in your life, and tell Him how much you love Him.
The best way to maintain a blessed life is to keep an attitude of appreciation for Jesus, the Giver of all good gifts.