Count Your Blessings – Dr. Charles Stanley

when is the last time you stopped to count your blessings now let's go beyond the things we normal to think about well you have a nice automobile to drive and you live in a nice neighborhood you were beautiful clothes you have a good job and so you can think of a lot of things like that that you're grateful for but I want to go beyond that I want to think about what the Word of God says as far as the source of our blessings in other words you work hard you have a salary so you song feel like you deserve that and a few other things in life but I want us to think about the blessings that you have they come from God purchased by the blood of Jesus at Calvary blessings that most people never think about blessings that many people have never heard about but specific blessings that you and I can claim as our own as a result of a relationship to Jesus Christ and so as we think about it I want you to start and let's say let's look if you will the beginning in Ephesians chapter 1 and I want us to read a few verses in this chapter and I want you to think clearly about some things you probably have not thought about in the very good while Ephesians chapter 1 Paul an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God to the Saints who are at Ephesus and who are faithful in Christ Jesus grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ now listen to this blessed be the God and father of our Lord Jesus Christ who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ just as he chose us in him the in Christ before the foundation of the world that we would be holy and blameless before him in love he predestined us to adoption as sons through Jesus Christ himself according to the kind intention of his will to the praise of the glory of His grace which he freely bestowed on us in the beloved in him that is in Christ we have redemption through his blood the forgiveness of our sins our trespasses according to the riches of His grace which he lavished on us in all wisdom and insight what an awesome awesome promise of God because some of those words most people probably haven't even thought about now watch this he chose you in Christ Jesus before the foundation of the world who did the choosing God did the choosing he chose us in Christ Jesus before the foundation of the world in order that what what's his purpose for choosing us have a good time to be successful to have notoriety no he chose us that we would be holy and blameless holy and blameless before him in love he predestined us to adoption as sons think about that that's a whole bunch of sermons in one verse of scripture it took us somebody listening to Almighty God to be able to even think those thoughts that's not the thinking of the reasoning of a man this is the language of deity this is the language of God this is the knowledge of holy God predestined chosen in him according to his predestined will to the praise of his glory which he freely bestowed us in the beloved in him we have redemption that is salvation through him that forgiveness of our sins to the riches of His grace do you know how blessed you are if you are a child of God look how rich you are wealthy you are with things that money can't buy and something that nobody can take away from you watch this predestined us to adoption chose us in him what's this chose us in him before Genesis 1:1 and when I think about being thankful I could just turn to the pigeon there's one read the first seven eight verses or so and be absolutely thrilled to death I didn't have anything else they takes care of life before time during time and after town only God Almighty the sovereign God of the universe can make that kind of promise and when I think about people who have no purpose in life have no sense of real that nothing exciting about life I want to say read the first chapter and believe what he says about you every single child of God can claim those verses he says to the Saints in Ephesus if he were writing today he'd say to the Saints here in Atlanta the same thing and sometimes we want to read the Word of God and we want to put it back yonder somewhere that Paul must have meant something to someone no no this is for us this is one of the blessings of Almighty God that God has made a choice of us even before we were born he did the choosing so that's one thing we could think about then I think about this 13th verse in him that is in Christ you also after listening to the message of truth the gospel of your salvation having also believed you were sealed in Christ with a spirit of promise look at that what we just read first of all he says here's what you can count on you can count on the fact that you were sealed as a child of God that what he promised will come to pass nobody can break the seal of holy God Almighty God sovereign God of the universe and these are the blessings oftentimes that we overlook and we think about blessings being this and that something you buy whatever it might be here blessings that watch here blessings that have already been purchased art had been purchased purchased by the blood of Jesus wrapped in the grace of God given to every single one of us who is willing to believe in that's how blessed we are then in Chapter 12 of first Corinthians he talks about the fact that we have been gifted that is that we have a variety of gifts that is this watch this the God who made this promise has gifted you in order for you to accomplish whatever he has in mind to you in life there are seven major gifts but many other gifts and so he has equipped us to live out our life according to that gift brother for example there's a gift of service and the person of the gift of service that's that's what motivates them that they want to serve now most people don't want the gift of service because they think well I've got a service somebody know you're serving God all of us whatever we're doing we're serving God so if I'm serving God it's important it may be unimportant to some people but it's important to you here's the thing you will do best what you're gifted by God to do because he had that in mind for you when somebody says I don't feel important you're important when he says he chose you before the foundation of the world it says that very important the Jesus died on the cross for your sins that you have very important you're into out with the Holy Spirit you are very important so promise after promise after promise and then for example in John 14:21 he says he who loves me will be loved of my father and I will love him and reveal myself to him think about it he says he loves us and I discover a lot of people who did not feel loved they don't feel loved they can tell you why that they tell you why God doesn't love them because this has never happened that that's never happened they don't have this they've never been there whatever it might be God loves every single one of us and I love that 31st chapter of Jeremiah look at that for a moment this is the Old Testament but I want you to see this verse 30 first chapter listen to this I have loved you with an everlasting love therefore I have drawn you with loving-kindness who else can say to you I've loved you with an everlasting love most people have most people have never felt real true genuine love by anybody sons and daughters of their parents parents whoever it might be I have loved you with an everlasting love you know how long everlasting is how long is everlasting that means it never ceases it has never ceased we are loved by God 24 hours a day you said what does he allow these things to happen I can't answer that question except that I know this nothing happens to you if you're a child of God without his knowledge of it and his presence and his power why does he let certain things happen all of us have suffered things who didn't choose to suffer we didn't like we like for God to have done it some other way but that's what he allowed and he'll take every circumstance in life and turn it for our good if we're trust him if we'll recognize that our God loves us he cares for us he's written our name in the Lamb's Book of Life and he says don't let your heart be troubled I'll be afraid moment by moment we have the presence of Almighty God don't be afraid he says for example in John 14 he says my peace I leave with you my peace I give to you he doesn't promise peace in this world we live in a world that's full of warfare and yet he says my peace I give unto you he doesn't throw it out as a blanket he gives you peace him peace herpes and them peace moppy's he gives us peace because that's who he is he intends for us they've had peace the word peace in the Greek is a little word our Rene is a pronunciation of it it means to bind together God intends for us to be bound together with him to have his peace his joy his love his satisfaction even in difficult times we are blessed in ways that we never think about and then he says for example in Philippians 4:19 he says my God shall supply all your needs according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus here's what he does not say he does not say that God will supply everything you want when you trust Jesus Christ as your Savior watch this you come under the awesome umbrella of a sovereign God who not only will provide everything you need he'll provided in time when he knows you need it when he knows it's best to give it to you he'll protect you watch over you and care for you no matter what it doesn't mean you won't suffer doesn't mean you won't have hard times because what drives us to God is oftentimes pain and suffering and hurt and we're driven to God also by his awesome love for us when you think of the things you have to be grateful ho we're talking about eternal blessings we're talking about the blessings that Almighty God has signed and sealed with your name in it we're talking about blessings that nobody can take away you trusted Christ as you said you who can take away your eternal security nobody what are we thankful for what do we take for granted and most of the time I'm afraid we're thankful for material things where you live what you drive what you wear your job and this that Anila the most precious valuable commodities of your life are all spiritual things the presence of God the power of God a knowledge you've got think about this think about what you know about the Lord you blessed you blessed everyday you blessed with eternal life that never ceases with the eternal presence of Almighty God who answers our prayers who says I'll never leave you nor forsake you I'll supply all your needs the problem is we don't know we don't know the God we say we serve you can come to church and sing about the grace of God and sing about the goodness of God and watch this you can you can sing it and it comes in your mind at your lips but as far as experiencing enjoying they all some God do you enjoy it talking to God when I think about prayer and the wonderful privilege of watch this look around you who created all this the sovereign God of the universe created everything that's here you and I have the privilege of talking to him now you probably have somebody in life that you just love talking to them or listening to them what about God what about God you can talk to God you said I don't know him very well the reason you know him very well is because you don't read his book when you read his book you get excited when you read his book you're thrilled about what he can do when you read his book all of a sudden you get a whole different opinion of who God is he is not somebody out in the far future somewhere in the invisible future but he is a warm intimate personal God listening who sent his son Jesus in order that you and I they recognize yes he can feel what I feel yes he does understand when I heard yes he does understand when I don't understand that's the God we serve the world in which you know they do not they don't know the God you and I serve and then in first corinthians 15:51 listen to what he says he says behold I tell you a mystery we will not all sleep but we will all be changed in a moment in the twinkling of an eye at the last Trump the Trump will sound the devil will be raised in peril and we will be changed which means what your loved ones my loved ones whose body we saw last in a casket placed in a hole covered with dirt that's not the end there's a resurrection for every single child of God a new body that exists for ever and ever with Almighty God thank God there is no end of your life that's a promise of Almighty God that's why we don't have to fear death when is the last time you thanked him that when he called your home you're gonna meet him face to face when's the last time you ever said lord I don't know when I'm not too happy but come in too soon but I'm happy about it when I do come on I'm gonna meet you I'm gonna be happy to meet your Lord when I think about all you've done for me all this stuff you've all the things you've got me through all the mistakes I've made the sins I've committed and you're still gonna meet me the blood of Jesus Christ has washed us clean and made us pure in his sight God is our God not some fictitious idea that people write about the sovereign God of the universe he's God and I think what he says in John 14 I'm going to prepare a place for you and if I go to prepare a place for you I'll come again to receive you to myself that where I am there you may be also and so another one of his promises listener going to prepare a place for you if somebody says what's heaven gonna be like I don't know I'll tell you what I do know it's gonna be like the god I serve and you serve that's what heaven is gonna be like I do want to see Jesus and so nothing when I think about all that we have to be grateful for and when he says I'm going to prepare a place for you and if I go to prepare a place for you I will come again one of these days to receive you to myself that where I am there you will be also now it's one other thing I'm grateful for minute many people many people in the world have never seen one many people if they saw it wouldn't know what it is of all the things that exist in the face of this earth his number one his had all started his had always going to be end and here's what's going to happen from beginning to end the Living Word of God every parent should teach it to their children and one of the first gifts you ought to give you a child is a copy of the Word of God there are people who live and die just the other copy the Word of God the grass withers and the flowers fade but the word of our God stands forever Amen let's pray father we bless you we praise your holy name we thank you for giving us the word and we thank you for inspiring stirring the hearts of men to pin what you told them thank you for all the centrists that have gone by that you have preserved your precious word your precious promises thank you that we have the promise of eternal life thank you we have the promise of your presence within us guiding us sealing us keeping us so we ask you Father to accept our thanks we humble ourselves before you acknowledge we owe you everything everything God and we give ourselves to you this morning afresh and anew and praise your holy name and we ask it in Jesus name Amen amen you [Music]