On Monday I celebrated my 37th birthday! I know, I know, some of you think I am still just a young wipper-snapper, while others of you think I am starting to get “up there” in age. It’s all about perspective. Whatever the case, I know I am a blessed man. The apostle Paul asks, “What do you have that you did not receive?” (1 Corinthians 4:7). The answer, of course, is nothing. “Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights” (James 1:17).
I thought this might be an appropriate time to reflect on some of the blessings God has bestowed on me. Here are 10.
Salvation. This one tops the list. From now till the day of our death, the people of God will glory in their salvation, knowing that it was totally of grace. “The saying is trustworthy and deserving of full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am the foremost” (1 Timothy 1:15).
My Wife. My wife Stephane is a real gem. I thank the Lord every day for her. “He who finds a wife finds a good thing and obtains favor from the Lord” (Proverbs 18:22). I pray the Lord blesses us with many more years and decades together.
My Kids. It sure is fun being a Dad. On Monday our four kids really heaped on the love with cards and gifts. At this stage of life (ages 9, 7, and 5), it is amazing to see them rapidly grow in physical and spiritual maturity. King Solomon writes, “Behold children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb a reward” Psalm 127:3). Amen!
My Church Family. Not quite four months ago, the Lord brought us to a new church family and it has been such a joy getting to know them. As COVID-19 peaked, I was really able to bond with our church leadership, and now I am enjoying getting to know our broader church family. The Church is critically important in many ways, including the opportunity it gives “to stir up one another to love and good works and encourage one another in the Lord (Hebrews 10:24-25).
The Support of Family and Friends. None of us are who we are of our own accord. The Lord has blessed me with many wonderful friends and family members who have prayed for me, encouraged me, and helped me in ways that I probably don’t even comprehend. I am grateful for this support, even from those I haven’t seen in years.
Creation. The older I get, the more I appreciate God’s creation. Last week, I climbed the “Thousands Steps” which is a beautiful hike not too far from our home (see picture above). This world is fallen and cursed of God, but it still has a remarkable beauty that points us to our Creator (Psalm 19:1).
My Health. Four years ago, I dealt with a serious heart condition, but the Lord took care of me and its been a long time since I felt this good. We dwell in weak, feeble “tents” as Paul calls them (1 Corinthians 5:1) that are slowly in the process of dying. Our health is never guaranteed, but we can still be thankful for the years and the health that God has given to us.
Victory Over Sin. God’s Word says, “Strive for peace with everyone, and for the holiness without which no one will see the Lord” (Hebrews 12:14). The absolute need for holiness has been under taught and under emphasized in the church in recent times. In many ways, the Christian life is a pilgrimage of faith where we progressively strive to mortify sin and embrace righteousness (Romans 6:18). I am grateful for the sanctifying work of the Holy Spirit over the past year in my life.
Open Doors For Ministry. It is a massive privilege to serve as the pastor of Pine Glen Alliance Church, but I am also grateful for opportunities to serve the Lord through writing and also ministering in Ghana, West Africa last fall. I continue to pray that God would open up a door for the Word, to declare the mystery of Christ (Colossians 4:3).
The Hope of Heaven. The world has been shaken up big-time over the past few months. It has been a long time since we have been humbled like this through COVID and the recent riots here in the States. But for Christians, we have a hope that transcends the present circumstances. As good a life is, I recognize there is something terribly wrong with the way things are, which is why I long for the new heavens and new earth where righteousness dwells (2 Peter 3:13).
Let me encourage you to do a simple exercise. Count your blessings, name them one by one (just to quote an old hymn). If you are a believer, I can guarantee you that you will be amazed by all that God has given you.