“How blessed are those who observe [God’s] rules, and seek him with all their heart” (NET).
Psalm 119 begins with two blessings. This is the second of the two. It pairs obedience to God’s commands and a full-hearted seeking of God. What few consider a blessing today is actually even more so in the new covenant of Christ. If it was a blessing under the old law, how much more so is it a blessing today.
During these holidays, may you and yours be greatly blessed by the time spent together and by the enjoyment of all the things “that God created to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and know the truth” 1 Tim 4.3.
Our prayer is that you may be drawn even closer to the Lord. If you are not in Christ, we pray you may enter the kingdom of God through faith, repentance, and immersion.
If you are already in Christ, we pray the Lord may give you greater appreciation of your salvation, greater love for his leading and his family, and greater opportunity for service as his followers.
We are happy also to share this prayer with you.
I speak both for and to the Fellows here on TFR. Thank you for being a special blessing by your presence here.
You’re talking to the world, online,
Every word an open letter,
So make the light of Jesus shine,
Give hope, and make our spirits better.
—J. Randal Matheny
More blest to give than to receive,
Said Him who gave it all;
By death this truth I can believe,
And hear from Him my call. Continue reading
We were seated in a Waffle House in Montgomery Christmas day. Our booth was next to the checkout counter. I heard the older man say, “I’m going to need your help in a few minutes.” I turned to look over Doug’s shoulder at the older gentleman and noticed there was an older lady beside him. He asked, “Do you have five twenty dollar bills?” He handed the girl a hundred dollar bill and she made the change for him. He then called all five of the employees, males and females, up to the counter and gave each one a twenty dollar bill.
One girl was heard to say, “I was about to cry.” Others were telling him thank you. As he was leaving he turned and said, “It’s Jesus Christ birthday,” and went out the door.
The man didn’t look to be wealthy. He wasn’t someone you would pick out in a crowd. He was just an everyday sort of guy, but he had a heart of gold. He didn’t wait around for all the praise that would come from the employees or those of us who witnessed his kindness, but he made a lasting impression on us. We won’t soon forget his act of kindness, nor will those employees who had left their families to come to work and serve us on Christmas day. He gave from the heart.
One day Jesus was sitting over against the treasury, and watched how people cast money into the treasury. Many that were rich cast in much. And the Bible says that there came a certain poor widow, and she threw in two mites, which make a farthing. Jesus took note of her giving, and said, “Verily I say unto you, That this poor widow hath cast more in, than all they which have cast into the treasury: For all they did cast in of their abundance; but she of her want did cast in all that she had, even all her living” (Mark 12:43-44).
The only Jewish coin mentioned in the New Testament is the “widow’s mite” or lepton, called a mite by the NKJV. These were very small copper coins worth only a fraction of a penny by today’s standards. Yet, Jesus commended the poor widow who gave two mites to the temple treasury, because “she out of her poverty put in all that she had, her whole livelihood (Mark 12:44). – Nelson’s New Illustrated Bible Dictionary, p. 856
May we be open to helping and blessing others with that which we have been blessed.
Since God Created humans, only God can provide specific understanding of human behavior. God gave Solomon Divine Wisdom (1 Kings Chapters 3 and 10) to explain what and why behavior is as it is, and Proverbs 10:1-24:34 are randomly written, as if they were Solomon’s judgments about individual cases brought to him, or simply God-given explanations about life. New Testament passages may help see the continuation of Wisdom offered through Jesus Christ.
Proverbs 21:20: “There is desirable treasure, And oil in the dwelling of the wise, But a foolish man squanders it.”
“Desirable treasure” and “oil” are signs of God’s blessings, but are for “the dwelling of the wise.” God blesses the “wise,” or those who obey Him, as Solomon wrote: “Here is what I have seen: It is good and fitting for one to eat and drink, and to enjoy the good of all his labor in which he toils under the sun all the days of his life which God gives him; for it is his heritage. As for every man to whom God has given riches and wealth, and given him power to eat of it, to receive his heritage and rejoice in his labor-this is the gift of God” (Ecclesiastes 5:18-19). “Oil” (pressed olives but not petroleum!) was among the plentiful bounties of the Promised Land for the Israelites (Deuteronomy 8:7-10), and was used for burning in lamps (Exodus 27:20-21), dedication of sacred items (Exodus 40:9-11), dedication of kings (1 Samuel 16:11-13), and was included in many sacrifices in Moses’ Law (Leviticus, Numbers). God blesses those who are dedicated to Him.
It takes a “foolish man” to “squander it.” Those who refuse to live by God’s code of conduct will “waste” (literally, scatter, throw away) whatever possessions and life he or she owns (Luke 15:13)! Jesus Christ used “foolish virgins” to show what happens to those who make no provision to keep their lamps burning with oil (Matthew 25:1-13): they are unprepared to go in to the wedding, and once the door is closed, they are left outside. What good does it do for God to bless a fool, who will not learn from those blessings to love and worship the God who gave them?
All Scriptures and comments are based upon the New King James Version, unless otherwise noted.
A little bit of encouragement can go a long way! And that’s good because it just so happens that a long way is how far many of us have to go.
See if you can give an “ataboy” or an “atagirl” to someone today.
Here’s some “ataboy’s” that I wanted to pass along with some links to boot:
- Great job John T. Polk II for completing his posts on Psalm 1 through Psalm 150! Here’s the link to his last installment. – P.S. this praise is biblically (1 Thessalonians 5:11) and not the type of praise John talks about in the Psalm 150 🙂
- Great job Stephen Bradd on a great Mother’s Day article on Audio Evangelism called “Shame to His Mother.”
- Great job Mike Benson on an awesome post about the power and influence of godly women posted on Forthright. I’m going to put this in our bulletin soon.
- Great job Don Ruhl on encouraging us to put our self in the shoes of another Bible character in another one of his short but challenging posts from his “Twice Blessed” devo’s.
I would add others but I’m out of time, but I would like to quickly say to those of you who work hard to present the truth over the web: Great Job and Hang In There – you never know who your work may be encouraging.
“And Joses, who was also named Barnabas by the apostles (which is translated Son of Encouragement), a Levite of the country of Cyprus, having land, sold it, and brought the money and laid it at the apostles’ feet.” (Acts 4:36-37 – NKJV)