Tag Archives: blessed

The Beginning of a New Year

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“A land which the Lord thy God careth for: the eyes of the Lord thy God are always upon it, from the beginning of the year even unto the end of the year.” (Deuteronomy 11:12)

This phrase, “the beginning of the year,” occurs only twice in the Bible, here in Deuteronomy 11:12 and in Ezekiel 40:1. In this passage, the Lord, through Moses, is speaking of the promised land which He had prepared for the children of Israel, “a land of hills and valleys, [that] drinketh water of the rain of heaven” (Deuteronomy 11:11), promising great blessing on the land and its people if they obeyed God, but judgment if they disobeyed.

Although these promises were made specifically with reference to Israel, the principle surely would apply worldwide, for God “hath made of one blood all nations of men . . . and hath determined the times before appointed, and the bounds of their habitation; That they should seek the Lord” (Acts 17:26-27). It certainly has applied to America, for God has certainly blessed our nation most abundantly, founded as it was in its beginnings on the principles of God’s words. Sadly, however, there are now many signs that His blessings are being withdrawn, with judgment imminent, because of the widespread apostasy and moral decay that have overtaken us.

Here, at “the beginning of the year,” we can pray that America will return to the God of our fathers before it is too late and final judgment falls on our once-blessed nation. In the words of our text, “the eyes of the LORD” are on us, “from the beginning of the year even unto the end of the year.”

In addition to prayer, we personally can work and give and vote and live in ways that demonstrate our own personal trust in God and His Word, as well as our deep concern for our families, our churches, our nation, and God’s eternal plan for His great creation. HMM

Count Your Many Blessings

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“Thou crownest the year with thy goodness; and thy paths drop fatness.” (Psalm 65:11)

At year’s end, a Christian should stop to count his blessings. If he does this fairly and fully, no matter what his problems may have been during the year, he will have to confess that God, as always, has crowned the year with goodness.

The coronation figure is frequently used in Scripture to speak of God’s blessings in the Christian life. For example: “Bless the LORD. . . Who redeemeth thy life from destruction; who crowneth thee with lovingkindness and tender mercies” (Psalm 103:2, 4). Even our testings and trials are always in the context of God’s grace and love. Christ Himself wore a crown of thorns so that we may be crowned with mercy and salvation.

Consider also Psalm 5:12: “For thou, Lord, wilt bless the righteous; with favor wilt thou compass him as with a shield.” The word “compass” is the same Hebrew word as “crown,” with the basic meaning “encircle.” Other jewels in the believer’s year-end crown are God’s grace and glory. “[Wisdom] shall give to thine head an ornament of grace: a crown of glory shall she deliver to thee” (Proverbs 4:9).

Then there is the wonderful testimony that “thou hast made him a little lower than the angels, and hast crowned him with glory and honor” (Psalm 8:5). Finally, the believer’s crown is none other than the Lord Himself: “In that day shall the Lord of hosts be for a crown of glory, and for a diadem of beauty, unto the residue of his people” (Isaiah 28:5).

Most Christians have an abundance of material blessings for which to thank the Lord. Even if they have none of these, however, God has crowned the year with goodness and favor, with lovingkindness and tender mercies, with grace and glory and honor and, best of all, with His own presence. “Bless the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all His benefits” (Psalm 103:2). HMM

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