"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
Isn't it incredible how good many kids have it? Think about it..from the moment that they wake up, they are surrounded with great things and blessings of all kinds. Kids wake up to a room full of toys of all varieties; they are sleeping on beds that are considered a luxury to most of the world; they open up their closets to select outfit for the day from dozens, sometimes hundreds, of items of clothing; they have clean, running water to shower with and brush their teeth; they walk downstairs to a kitchen full of the latest food varieties; a living room full of incredible entertainment technology; finally, they walk out the door with some of the most advanced telecommunications equipment ever invented!!
Though this is the common experience of most modern children and teens in our Western culture, rarely do they ever stop to count all of their blessings. However, they would do well to heed the old Christian hymn:
"Count your blessings, one by one...you'll be amazed what God has done!"
Being thankful of all the great variety of gifts, blessings, and graces that the Lord has poured out on our lives is a non-negotiable according to the Scriptures:
"..in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you."
1 Thess 5:18
It even appears that one of the special categories of people that Jesus Himself is looking for on the earth are THANKFUL people. In Luke 17:12-19 we read:
"Then as He entered a certain village, there met Him ten men who were lepers, who stood afar off. And they lifted up their voices and said, “Jesus, Master, have mercy on us!” So when He saw them, He said to them, “Go, show yourselves to the priests.” And so it was that as they went, they were cleansed. And one of them, when he saw that he was healed, returned, and with a loud voice glorified God, and fell down on his face at His feet, giving Him thanks. And he was a Samaritan. So Jesus answered and said, “Were there not ten cleansed? But where are the nine? Were there not any found who returned to give glory to God except this foreigner?” And He said to him, “Arise, go your way. Your faith has made you well.”
Many times, we are like the 9 lepers who were healed, but failed to return to give thanks to Jesus. It's interesting to note that the one who came back, a Samaritan and outcast, received and additional blessing - salvation!
Has it been a while since you've sat before the Lord and taken 10 solid minutes just thanking Him for the abundant gifts and blessings He's given you? Take some time now, and thank the Lord for these 3 major areas of blessings:
1. Physical Blessings: These are the most basic, but still important. Food, clothing, cars, beds, money, clean water, electricity, etc...
2. Relational Blessings: These are gifts in disguise many times. Your father and mother, brother or sister, friends, coworkers, neighbors, teachers, pastors, etc...
3. Spiritual Blessings: This is the most valuable by far. Paul told us in Ephesians 1:3 that ALL spiritual blessings are our IN Christ..amazing! In the first chapters of Ephesians (be sure to read them) Paul lists things like this: We were chosen before time began; we've been made perfectly holy; we are adopted sons/daughters of God; we've received and inheritance in Heaven; been sealed by the Spirit...on and on Paul lists about 30 spiritual blessings that we receive by being saved and IN Christ!
Take time right now, to read Ephesians 1-3, and then sit before the Lord quietly reflecting and thanking Him for all the great blessings He's poured on your life physically, relationally, and best of all - spiritually!
"Count your blessings one by one...you'll be amazed what God has done!"