By Jessica Bordeleau
In advance, go through your scrapbooks or digital picture files and find a picture of a baby. Look for an image of a newborn. Be prepared to show this picture to your group.
(Show picture of newborn baby to your group.) A newborn. We all started out this way. You might have even been a parent to a newborn at some point in time. Consider a newborn baby—what did you need when you were this little? (Allow for some discussion.) Yes, when we were newborns we needed a lot! Besides basic food and shelter, we needed someone to burp us in between feedings and change our diapers. We needed someone to hold us when we cried and rock us to sleep. We couldn’t meet our countless needs on our own. In order to live, in order to survive, we required an adult to care for us. We couldn’t have made it on our own!
As adults, our needs have changed, but we still can’t make it alone! God has blessed us with oxygen to breathe, water to drink, and food to eat. The list doesn’t end there! He has given us the beauty of nature, the comfort of friends, and the ability to imagine. In addition to providing for our physical needs he has blessed us with something far greater: he has fully provided for our spiritual needs. Listen to the promise he has given us:
God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.
Getting to the Heart
Even the greatest of blessings in life can’t completely satisfy the hunger of our hearts. Just as a baby cries out in the night for food and comfort, our hearts cry out for lasting peace and hope, a permanent reprieve from the ravages of sin. Like a loving parent, God quiets our fears and holds us in his arms. He feeds the gnawing hunger of our hearts with his love. He provided for our need of forgiveness and peace by sending a Savior.
- Jesus took the punishment for our sins. His sacrifice on the cross and resurrection from the dead supplied all we need to have peace with God. If we want to count our blessings we could start and stop right there! God’s grace, given to us through Jesus, is sufficient—everything else is just extra. The apostle Paul wrote about this all-encompassing grace from God. (Read 2 Corinthians 12:9.)
- Like a wide-eyed child who gets a root beer float when all he asked for was a drink of water, God blesses us with more than we could possibly imagine. We may have asked him only to help us get through the day, but he has blessed us with eternal life with him forever! (Read Ephesians 3:20–21.)
- When we pray to God, when we ask for specific blessings or offer praise for what he’s so graciously given us, we enter the court of his throne room and are given the opportunity to speak to him directly. We are allowed to enter his presence boldly because of the forgiveness Christ earned on our behalf. We have the complete attention of the King of kings. Let that miracle fill you with joy that spills over into praise! (Read Psalm 100:4.)
- We receive blessings from those around us: the gift of life from our parents, encouragement from friends, medicine from the doctor, a smile from the antics of our pet, warm bread from the bakery down the road. While it may seem like these blessings have their origins with the other person, that person is just delivering a gift that came from God. A mailman may deliver the box, but the present inside is from the person who sent it. God works through others to bring us blessings and he works through us to bring blessings to others. Whichever side of the mailbox we’re on, God sends the gift! (Read James 1:17.)
Taking It Home
While you could never list every single blessing you’ve received, it would be fun to try! Like looking through a scrapbook from your favorite vacation, thinking about your past blessings enables you to relive the joy all over again. When you go home today, set an alarm for two minutes. During that time, write out a list of blessings you’ve received. Start with the gift of life and the blessings of your childhood and continue through to the gifts of today. Once the alarm goes off write one more blessing at the top of your list—eternal life with Christ. Through Jesus, God has promised to provide all you need! Finish this exercise by taking a moment of silent prayer to thank your heavenly Father for your Savior and each of the blessings you recorded.
Editor’s note: Today’s devotion is slightly adapted from the Ministry Message for the Count Your Blessings product line.
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Editor’s note: Write out a list of blessings you've received. Start with the gift of life and the blessings of your childhood and continue through to the gifts of today. Then write one more blessing at the top of your list--eternal life with Christ. Through Jesus, God has promised to provide all you need!