January 16, Thursday

Today’s devotional, prepared by Pastor Jason Sato, was originally posted on December 14, 2013.  He and his wife Jessica (along with their three young children) recently moved to Japan to serve as missionaries. 

 

Devotional Thought for This Morning

“The Secret to Having a Blessed Family”

Psalm 128:1-6

Blessed is everyone who fears the Lord, who walks in his ways! 2 You shall eat the fruit of the labor of your hands; you shall be blessed, and it shall be well with you. 3 Your wife will be like a fruitful vine within your house; your children will be like olive shoots around your table. 4 Behold, thus shall the man be blessed who fears the Lord. 5 The Lord bless you from Zion! May you see the prosperity of Jerusalem all the days of your life! 6 May you see your children’s children! Peace be upon Israel!

Much of our striving is for the purpose of building a life of blessing for our families.  We pursue academic and professional advancement to guarantee a certain kind of material future.  We employ the latest psychological techniques and attend relationship seminars in the hopes of producing idyllic children and marriages.  In Psalm 128, the Psalmist simplifies this very complex and very important pursuit.  

Blessed is everyone who fears the Lord.  

The Psalmist even clarifies for us what fear entails—walking in His ways.  Our families will never be more blessed than when we completely and willingly trust and obey God.  

When we prioritize anything—money, psychological well-being, extracurricular activities, even conflict free relationships in the home—over complete obedience to God, we subtly imply that true joy and security are found in something other than Him.  In doing so, we deprive our families of His blessings and of His presence that leads to true life.

This morning, bless your family and those whom you love by committing yourself to fearing the Lord and walking in His ways today.

Prayer: Lord, I thank You that You are generous with Your blessings to me and to my family.  I thank You that You do not pit my love for them against my love for You, but they are blessed when I love You more than anyone or anything.  May my household be united in our worship of Your Son. May we enjoy life, joy, and Your very presence as we abandon all that the world offers us for You.  In Jesus’s name I pray. Amen.

Bible Reading for Today: John 16


Lunch Break Study

Read Matthew 5:3-12: “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. 4 “Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted. 5 “Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth. 6 “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied. 7 “Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy. 8 “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God. 9 “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God. 10 “Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. 11 “Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. 12 Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.

Questions to Consider

  1. According to Jesus, who is blessed?
  2. According to Jesus, what are blessings?
  3. Where is our reward?

Notes

  1. The poor in spirit, those who mourn, the meek, those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, the merciful, the pure in heart, the peacemakers, and those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake.
  2. The kingdom of heaven, comfort, inheriting the earth, satisfaction, mercy, seeing God, and being called sons of God.
  3. In heaven.

Evening Reflection

Are you blessed?  Is your family blessed? The Lord cares for you! Keep those thoughts in mind as you turn in for the night.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s