The 100 Blessings Challenge – Holy Land Moments with The Fellowship – July 26

The 100 Blessings Challenge

The king rejoices in your strength, LORD.
How great is his joy in the victories you give! —Psalm 21:1

In honor of my father, Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein, and his lifework helping Christians understand the Jewish roots of their faith, I offer you one of his devotional teachings from the beloved Psalms.

Imagine for a moment that you have gone for hike on a nice summer morning. The sun is out, the sky is clear, and you set out on your path. Now imagine that during the hike, you make a wrong turn and become lost. Morning has turned to noon and the sun is blaring. Your water is long gone, your mouth is parched, and your strength is waning. Finally, you find your way back to civilization and make a beeline for the nearest source of water. “Thank you, Lord!” you say as you gulp down the water. Water never tasted that good!

Now contrast that experience with one that we encounter almost every day. Water is all around us — from the sink, the water dispenser, in fancy bottles. Water now comes in dozens of flavors and can be fortified with vitamins. And you know what? Most people take it completely for granted. Big deal, water is everywhere.

Isn’t it ironic? The more we have of something, the less we appreciate it. When we lack something and then we receive it — even if it’s only a small amount — we overflow with gratitude. But when we have something in abundance, our tendency is to overlook the blessings.

In Psalm 21, King David modeled just the opposite approach. The psalm begins, “The king rejoices in your strength, LORD. How great is his joy in the victories you give!” David was king, which meant that he had everything and anything that he could ever want. Wealth was his. Honor was his. Victory was his. But what did David say? It’s all from the Lord. David rejoiced in the blessings that came from God. He didn’t take a single one for granted nor did he think that he was the source of his blessings. David understood that all his gifts and strength were from the Lord, and he was so very grateful.

According to Jewish tradition, during a certain period in David’s reign, 100 people died prematurely each day. The spiritual source was eventually uncovered, and the following remedy was prescribed: Every person was commanded to say 100 blessings a day — or 100 expressions of gratitude. The decree went into effect, and the plague stopped immediately. Ever since then, it has been the Jewish custom to recite at least 100 blessings a day. We are careful to maintain a state of gratitude, lest we find ourselves cut off from our blessings.

Everything — from the food we eat, to our physical abilities, to the people in our lives — is a blessing from God. Let’s bless and be blessed.

Learn more about the darkest day on the Jewish calendar in this complimentary issue of our Bible study series, Limmud (“study” in Hebrew), “Tisha B’Av: A Time to Weep.”

Won’t you join The Fellowship in supporting Israel and her people, and in helping fulfill prophecy?

The Joy of the Lord – First 15 – July 26

The Joy of the Lord

Weekly Overview:

We have a great High Priest who constantly intercedes on our behalf. The Son of God and Man loves you more deeply than you can fathom. He prays for you, that you might walk in the abundant life his death affords you. And in John 17 we get a glimpse into the fullness of his desire for all those who would believe in him. As we dive deeply into the riches of Jesus’ High Priestly Prayer this week, may your heart be awakened and your life be transformed by the riches of God’s love.

Scripture:But now I am coming to you, and these things I speak in the world, that they may have my joy fulfilled in themselves.” John 17:13

Devotional:    

Jesus came to bring about the fullness of joy in man. Often we see Christians who are not exhibiting a lifestyle of joy, and therefore we assume God is not a happy God. We see all the darkness that surrounds and assume that God is most often angry or sad. But in John 17:13 Jesus prayed to the Father, “But now I am coming to you, and these things I speak in the world, that they may have my joy fulfilled in themselves.”

Jesus’ prayer in John 17:13 demonstrates two important, life-changing truths for you and me today. First, Jesus had joy. We could not have his joy fulfilled in us if he doesn’t have joy to start with. And the whole of Scripture supports the truth that within God dwells the fullness of joy. Psalm 16:11 says, “You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.” And Galatians 5:22 tells us that joy is a fruit of the Spirit. The God whom you have been filled with at salvation longs to produce the fruit of joy in your life. He longs to make you a joyful person from the inside out, that your joy wouldn’t be based on circumstances or the fleeting whims of the world.

Second, John 17 tells us that we can have the joy of Jesus for ourselves. The God of joy longs to fill you to overflowing with satisfaction and hope. He longs to make your joy abundant and transcendent of the good or bad around you. God is joyful because it’s a part of his nature. And he longs for it to be the same with you.

Do you believe that God is a joyful god? Have you experienced how happy he is? Have you met with him and encountered the joy and peace in his heart toward you? Zephaniah 3:17 says, “The Lord your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; he will rejoice over you with gladness; he will quiet you by his love; he will exult over you with loud singing.” God longs to meet with you today and fill you with joy to overflowing. In Romans 15:13 Paul prays, “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.” Joy is available to you today as you believe. There is hope in the Holy Spirit.

Come to God today with all your cares and burdens. Lay them at his feet and allow him to fill you with peace and joy where only heaviness abounded. God longs to set you free from the burdens of anxiety. He longs to lead you to a life of happiness and freedom in the Spirit. As you enter into guided prayer, choose to commit to God anything that has been weighing you down. Come before him with faith that he will shepherd you to greener pastures as you offer him your heart and follow his guidance.

Guided Prayer:

1. Meditate on God’s desire to fill you with the joy of Jesus.

But now I am coming to you, and these things I speak in the world, that they may have my joy fulfilled in themselves.” John 17:13

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.” Galatians 5:22-23

“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.” John 10:10

2. Lay your burdens at the feet of God. What concern, problem, circumstance, or relationship has been weighing on you? What has been stealing your joy lately? Cast all your cares at the feet of your heavenly Father who loves you.

“Casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you.” 1 Peter 5:7

3. Ask God to fill you with joy inexpressible. Ask him to reveal to you his joy, and to help you bear the fruit of his Spirit.

Oftentimes we allow ourselves to be continually downcast rather than fighting for the joy available to us in God. Joy is a vital part of the Christian life. We are not made to carry burdens that steal our joy and keep us from the abundant life Jesus died to give us. Psalm 16:6 says, “The lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; indeed, I have a beautiful inheritance.” God has plans to lead you to a life filled with the fullness of joy. May you pursue all the wonders and blessings God has in store for you today through the powerful sacrifice of Jesus.

Extended Reading: Psalm 16

For more information on today’s devotional click here!

Doing the Right Thing

NIGHT LIKE FOR COUPLES

“If anyone does not provide for his relatives, and especially for his immediate family, he has denied the faith.” 1 Timothy 5:8

Our friends Keith and Mary Korstjens have been married for more than forty years. Shortly after their honeymoon, Mary was stricken with polio and became quadriplegic. The doctors informed her that she would be confined to a wheelchair for the rest of her life. It was a devastating development, but Keith never wavered in his commitment to Mary. For all these years he has bathed and dressed her, carried her to and from her bed, taken her to the bathroom, brushed her teeth, and combed her hair.

Obviously, Keith could have divorced Mary in 1957 and looked for a new and healthier wife, but he never even considered it. We admire this man not only for doing the right thing, but for continuing to love and cherish his wife. Though the problems faced by the rest of us may be less challenging than those encountered by the Korstjens, each of us will confront some kind of hardship in the years ahead. How will we respond?

Just between us…

  • Do you worry about failing health down the road?
  • When you’re sick, how well do I care for you?
  • Have you ever resented having to serve me during times of sickness or disability?
  • How could illness—either minor or serious—actually strengthen our marriage?

Lord, we don’t want to deny the faith by failing to provide for those You have entrusted to our care. We ask for Your strength—especially when hardships come—to show enduring love in our marriage and in our family. Amen.

  • From Night Light For Couples, by Dr. James & Shirley Dobson
    Copyright © 2000 by James Dobson, Inc. All rights reserved.

Know Where You’re Going

NIGHT LIGHT FOR PARENTS

Those who plan what is good find love and faithfulness. Proverbs 14:22

Early in their marriage, FamilyLife ministry cofounders Dennis and Barbara Rainey decided to go away for a weekend. Their goal was more than a couple days of relaxation. Separately, they each created a list of values that they wanted to one day teach their children. After making their lists, Dennis and Barbara came together and settled on their top five family values. That project was a wonderful time of sharing for the Raineys that also established “true north” for their journey as parents. In later years, Dennis and Barbara had a written record to refer to when child-rearing issues arose. In fact, Dennis still carries that dog-eared piece of paper with him wherever he goes.

Whether you write your values list on paper or in your heart, it’s important to recognize where you are leading your family. As Yogi Berra once said, “You got to be very careful if you don’t know where you’re going, because you might not get there.” Your children will discover and embrace the values that matter—love for each other, kindness, integrity, devotion to God—only if you have the right map to lead them there. Choose your values wisely (see examples in Matthew 7:12; Romans 12:9–13; 1 Corinthians 16:13–14; 2 Peter 1:5–7)—then stay on the trail!

Before you say good night…

Do you have a plan for leading your family?

What are your family’s top five values?

Are you passing on your values to your kids?

How can you do a better job of this?

Lord Jesus, apart from You, we wouldn’t even know where to start. Help us to lead our children; help us to set the pace toward a godly life. Show us what You value most so that we might live those values within our home…and before a watching world. In Your strong name, amen.

  • From Night Light For Parents, by Dr. James & Shirley Dobson
    Copyright © 2000 by James Dobson, Inc. All rights reserved.

Values list material from Growing a Spiritually Strong Family by Dennis and Barbara Rainey with Bruce Nygren (Sisters, Ore.: Multnomah Publishers, Inc., 2002).

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Wonder Always. Wander Often

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Good Morning Gloucester

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Pain goes in, love comes out.

Chellz Curls

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PerfectionOntheHorizon

Creating and modifying long lasting solutions

Spiritual Meditations

Connect to Your Inner Being.

UK PRODUCTS

Promote the use of UK products by finding numerous list of merchants here on our website.

Nina Nandy

Gastroenterologist at The University of New Mexico Health Sciences Center

Roses and Brimstone

❧ A Little Heart With Extraordinary Passion

Paul Militaru

Photography Portfolio

Elevated Wanderlust

Wonder Always. Wander Often

The Strive

We Are Not Here Merely to Survive, but to Strive With Purpose

Good Morning Gloucester

My View of Life on the Dock

The Lonely Author

Pain goes in, love comes out.

Chellz Curls

All about my Transition hair

Words that breathe

Excavating the wealth hidden in words

My Buddy Nazari

Here you will find numerous dialect in form of prose or poetry of a happy or sad follower with God.

bilgi~yağıyor

Bilmiyorsan gel

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Music For Peaceful Mind

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MisaeMich :)

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