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Day 21: A BLESSED LIFE: Loving God, Loving People, Loving Life

I love the passage in Deuteronomy chapter twenty eight where God tells the newly formed nation of Israel, recently delivered from slavery, of His desire to bless them.

His plan is for them to know blessing in every area of their lives. They will be blessed in the city and in the country, in their homes and in the field. Their children, their produce andtheir livestock will be blessed - blessed in their going in and going out, in their battles with their enemies.All the world will see that God is a God who blesses His children in every way.

God made it abundantly clear that He wants us to know His blessing in every area of our lives.

In fact God said "if you obey Me, My blessing will not only be accessible to you but My blessing will come upon you AND overtake you!"

No matter how fast the challenges and the most difficult moments of life come at us, God promises that His blessing will ultimately overtake them. His blessing moves faster than anything that can come against us!

In the Old Covenant these blessings were accessed through our obedience but in the New Covenant they are accessed through Jesus'obedience. That's good news for you and me!

Jesus said "I have come that you might have life and that you might have it more abundantly"

A Blessed life is accessed through faith in Jesus as we find life in Him and His life in us.

Let's make 2016 a year where we find our life in Christ, Christ's life is released in us and God’s blessings overtake us in every area of life.Be blessed!

- Pastor Jonathan

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Day 20: A BLESSED LIFE: Loving God, Loving People, Loving Life

 “Until the time came to fulfill his dreams, the Lord tested Joseph’s character.” - Psalm 105:19 NLT

This verse about Joseph is one of my favorite scriptures in the entire bible. When we look at Joseph’s life, it has many ups and downs. He was the favorite child in his rather large family. He was hated by his brothers who nearly killed him, but hewas betrayed by them instead when they sold himinto slavery. He did well during his role as a slave and was promoted until he was framed and thrown into prison, only to come out again on top, favored by God and put in charge by the most powerful man in the land.

I’m sure his life was filled with smiling and laughter, and sadness and tears. But even more than that, it seems the common theme in Joseph’s life was his perspective and attitude. It’s almost as if he knew God had a plan. It’s as if he knew that God was on his side. How else does one keep moving forward in difficult circumstances? The truth is that God is on our side. God does have a plan. Joseph could have buried his head in thesand and given up many times, but was blessed by God as he persevered. The next time an opportunity arises for our character to be tested consider it a blessing and then maybe our dreams will also come to pass.

 

- Bre Wierenga

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Day 19: A BLESSED LIFE: Loving God, Loving People, Loving Life

John 7:38 NIV

“Whoever believes in me, as Scripture has said, rivers of water will flow from within them.”

There is something very refreshing about a person with a free spirit and an uncomplicated approach to life.Loving life is more than just enjoying a great lifestyle or having everything we want. It is the overflow of a grateful heart - the expression of life touched by God.

It is clear from Scripture that walking in the blessing of God first begins with obedience. Adam and Eve were blessed until they sinned against God’s command. Our response of obedience takes us to greater levels of revelation, understanding, and blessing. John 14:21 says, “Whoever has my commands and keeps them is the one who loves me. The one who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love them and show myself to them”(NIV). Blessing and obedience work together hand in hand, but we cannot confuse obedience with works or performance. The Blessings of God are not tied to our performance in the natural but to our revelation of Jesus in the spiritual. God’s blessings are not trophies for those who behave but the inheritance of those who believe.

Psalm 119:33 in The Message says, “God teach me lessons for living so I can stay the course. Give me insight so I can do what you tell me – my whole life one long, obedient response.”At the outset of this new year let’s commit ourselves afresh to Him, entering into that long obedient response to Jesus.

- Jamin Steel

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Day 18: A BLESSED LIFE: Loving God, Loving People, Loving Life

Matt. 11:28-30 NLT

“Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light.”

Life is complicated. The primary reason for this is that people are complicated.
We are complicated and we complicate things.
When we attempt to figure out how to navigate life’s complexities we end up making things worse, in all our own wisdom.

Just a few verses prior to this passage Jesus thanks the Father for hiding the truth from those who think themselves wise and revealing it to the simple-minded. The Gospel message is that we don’t have to do it alone anymore – there is a better, simpler way.

The weight and complexity of life becomes light and simple when we align our lives to Jesus. If we can, by His Spirit, match His pace and share the load with Him we will see more return in our lives than we ever could in our own efforts. Light and simple - a blessed life.

- Jeff Mason

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Day 17: A BLESSED LIFE: Loving God, Loving People, Loving Life

Psalms 23:1-6 NLT

“The LORD is my shepherd; I have all that I need. He lets me rest in green meadows; he leads me beside peaceful streams. He renews my strength. He guides me along right paths, bringing honor to his name. Even when I walk through the darkest valley, I will not be afraid, for you are close beside me. Your rod and your staff protect and comfort me. You prepare a feast for me in the presence of my enemies. You honor me by anointing my head with oil. My cup overflows with blessings. Surely your goodness and unfailing love will pursue me all the days of my life, and I will live in the house of the LORD forever.”

Our lives are full of highs and lows, with changes we weren't anticipating and daily choices we need to make, big and small.

Like sheep, it's easy to get focused on the changing terrain beneath our feet or the other sheep around us. Then we feel the gentle nudge of the Shepherds staff beside us. It is a comfort and reminder to us that He is not only present, but is guiding us every step of the way no matter what the terrain looks like.

In the second half of this Psalm God is described as a Host, displaying similar qualities as the Shepherd, but with an emphasis on the true lasting blessing that we, His guests, obtain from residing in His house.

Our lives are blessed no matter what current season we are in, because we are in the care of a good and faithful Shepherd and Host. This is a blessed life.

- Jessica Bronczyk

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Day 16: A BLESSED LIFE: Loving God, Loving People, Loving Life

Loving life can at times seem to be the most elusive thing to grasp, but it is God’s desire to bless us with a fulfilling and joyous life.

We can often feel that if we had a more fulfilling job, a better circle of friends, or a stronger financial position then we would find that we loved life more. These things add to our lives, but the key to loving life is found in Jesus and walking in his calling for us.

It can be difficult to find this fulfillment in life because we often look for happiness rather than joy. Happiness comes from what is happening around us at any given time, but joy comes from our ever deepening relationship with Jesus. Happiness is like the weather around us, ever changing and always uncertain. Happiness reflects the source from which it comes, circumstance. Joy also reflects the source from which it comes - Jesus! - Ever good, ever present, always stable, always certain.

Psalm 84 shows us that there is no more fulfilling place than in the presence of God. Joy, blessing and fulfillment comes not from the circumstances in which we find ourselves, but from our whole hearted pursuit of, and relationship with, Jesus.

 - Graham Bronczyk

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Day 15: A BLESSED LIFE: Loving God, Loving People, Loving Life

Psalms 118:24

“This is the day the LORD has made.
We will rejoice and be glad in it”

I love waking up early in the morning before the sun rises and my kids wake up. There is something about a new day that I am always very excited about. A new start, full of potential. 

Getting out of the right side of bed is always a choice. Choosing to leave yesterday’s troubles behind and choosing to focus on positive thoughts is essential for living a blessed life and loving life. I have found the best way to do this is to create positive habits, such as reading my Bible and a devotional book first thing in the morning. I then exercise in order to kick my energy into gear -you have to sow energy to reap energy - and I always connect with my husband and kids in a meaningful way before everyone sets out for the day.

These simple decisions are keys to me enjoying a healthy life, spirit, soul and body. Our everyday life may feel mundane unless we apply ourselves to creating habits that energize us. When we prioritize the important, we can usually manage and learn to love the seemingly mundane. When we choose to live and give our best time, talent and treasure to the Lord – everyday – we experience His blessing in our lives: body, soul and spirit!

- Pastor Di

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